literature literary french century france time history period style character
1789-1830. - General Sketeli. - Tho period which elapsed between the outbreak of the Revolution and the accession of Charles X. has often been considered a sterile one in point of literature. As far as mere productiveness goes, this judgment is hardly correct. No class of literature was altogether neglected during these stirring five-and-thirty years, the political events of which have so engrossed the attention of posterity that it has sometimes been necessary for historians to remind us that during the height of the Terror and the final disasters of the empire the theatres were open and the booksellers' shops patronized as much or more than ever. Journalism, parliamentary eloquence, and scientific writing were especially cultivated, and the former in its modern sense may almost be said to have been created. But of the higher products of literature the period may justly be considered to have been somewhat barren. Durinc. the earlier part of it there is, with the exception of Ancdre Chenier, not a single name of the first or even second order of excellence. Towards the midst those of Chateaubriand (1768-1848) and Madame de Stael (1766-1817) stand almost alone ; and at the close those of Courier, Beranger, and Lamartine are not seconded by any others to tell of the magnificent literary burst which was to follow the publication of Cromwell. Of all departments of literature, poetry proper was worst represented during this period. Andre Chenier was silenced at its opening by the guillotine. Le Brun and Define, favoured by an extraordinary longevity, continued to be admired and followed. It was the palmy time of descriptive poetry. Fontanes, Castel, Boisjolin, Esmenard, Berchoux, Ricard, Martin, Gudin, Cournaud, are names which chiefly survive as those of the authors of scattered attempts to turn the Encycloptedia into verse. Chonedolle (1769-1833) owes his reputation rather to amiability and to his association with men eminent in different ways, such as Rivarol and Joubert, than to any real power. Even more ambitiously, Luce de Lancival, Campenon, Dumesnil, and Parseval de Grand-Maison endeavoured to write epics, and succeeded rather worse than the Chapelains and Desmarets of the 17th century. The characteristic of all this poetry was the description of everything in metaphor and. paraphrase, and the careful avoidance of anything like directness of expression ; and the historians of the romantic movement have collected many instances of this absurdity. Lamartine will be more properly noticed in the next division. But about the same time as Lamartine, and towards the end of -the present period, there appeared a poet who may be regarded as the last important echo of Malherbe. This was Casimir Delavigne (1793-1843), the author of Les hfesseniennes, a writer of very great talent, and, according to the measure of Rousseau and Lebrun, no mean poet. It is usual to reckon Delavigne as transitionary between the two schools, l•tt in strictness he must be counted with the classicists. Dramatic poetry exhibited somewhat similar characteristics. The system of tragedy writing had become purely mechanical, and every act, almost every scene and situation, had its regular and appropriate business and language, the former of which the poet was not supposed to alter at all, and the latter only very slightly. Poinsinet, Laharpe, M. J. Chenier, Raynouard, De Jouy, Briffaut, Baour-Lormian, all wrote in this style. Of these Chattier (1764-1811) had some of the vigour of his brother Andre, from whom he was distinguished by more popular political principles and better fortune. On the other hand Ducis (1733-1816), who passes with Englishmen as a feeble reducer of Shake speare to classical rules, passed with his contemporaries as an introducer into French poetry of strange and revoln tionary novelties. Comedy, on the other band, fared better, as indeed it had always fared, Fabre d'Eglantine (1755-1794) (the companion in death of Danton), Collin d'Ilarleville (1755-1806), Andrieux (1759-1833), Heard, Alexandre Duval, and Nepomucene Lemercier (177 1-1840) were the comic authors of the period, and their works have not suffered the complete eclipse of the contemporary tragedies which in part they also wrote. If not exactly worthy successors of MoliOre, they are at any rate not unworthy children of Beaumarchais. In romance writing there is again, until we come to Madame de Stael, a great want of originality and even of excellence in workmanship. The works of Madame de Genlis (1746-1830) exhibit the tendencies of the 18th century to platitude and noble sentiment at their worst. Madame Cottin, Madame Souza, and Madame de Krudener exhibited some of the qualities of Madame do Lafayette and more of those of Madame de Geniis. Fievoe (1767-1839), in Le, Dot de Suzette and other works, showed some power over the domestic story ; but perhaps the most remarkable work in point of originality of the time was Xavier de Maistre's (1763-1852) Voyage autonr de ma Chambre, an attempt in quite a new style, which has been happily followed up by other writers. Turning to history we find comparatively little written at this period. Indeed, until quite its close, men were too much occupied in making history to have time to write it. There is, however, a considerable body of memoir writers, especially in the earlier years of the period, and some great names appear even in history proper. Many of Sismondi's (1773-1842) best works were produced during the empire. De Barante (1782-1866), though his best known works date much later, belongs partially to this time. On the other hand, the production of philosophical writing, especially in what we may call applied philosophy, was considerable. The sensationalist views of Condillac were first continued as by Destutt de Tracy (1754-1832) and Laromiguii,re, and subsequently opposed, in consequence partly of a religious and spiritualist revival, partly of the influence of foreign schools of thought, especially the German and the Scotch. The chief philosophical writers from this latter point of view were Boyer Collard (1763-1846), Maine de Biran (1776-1824), and Jouffroy (1796-1842). Their influence on literature, however, was altogether inferior to that of the reactionist school, of whom De Bonald (1753-1840) and Joseph de Maistre (1754-1821) were the great leaders. These latter were strongly political in their tendencies, and political philosophy received, as was natural, a large share of the attention of the time. In continuation of the work of the Philosophes, the most remarkable writer was Volney (1757- 1820), whose Ruines are generally known. On the other hand, others belonging to that school, such as Necker and Morellet, wrote from the moderate point of view against revolutionary excesses. Of the reactionists, Dc Bonald is extremely royalist, and carries out in his Legislations Primitives somewhat the same patriarchal and absolutist theories as our own Filmer, but with infinitely greater genius. As De Bonald is royalist and aristocratic, so De Maistre is the advocate of a theocracy pure and simple, with the pope for its earthly head, and a vigorous despotism for its system of government. Of theology proper there is almost necessarily little or nothing, the clergy being in the earlier period proscribed, in the latter part kept in a strict and somewhat discreditable subjection by the empire. In moralizing literature there is one work of the very highest excellence, which, tltough not published till long afterwards, belongs iu point of composition to this period. This is the Pensees of Joubert (1754-1824), the most illustrious suecessor of Pascal and Vauvenargues, and to be ranked perhaps above both in the literary finish of his maxims, and certainly above Vauvenargues in the breadth and depth of thought which they exhibit. Of science and erudition the time was fruitful. At an early period of it appeared the remarkable work of Cabanis (1757-1808), the Rapports du Physique et du Horale de l' Homy, a work in which physiology is treated from the extreme materialist point of view, but with all the liveliness and literary excellence of the Philosophe movement at its best. Another physiological work of great merit at this period was the Traite de in Vie et de la Hort of Bichat, and the example set by these works was widely followed; while in other branches of science Laplace, Lagrange, llauy, Berthollet, &c., produced contributions of the highest value. From the literary point of view, however, the chief interest of this time is centred in two individual names, those of Chateaubriand and Madame de Stael, and three literary developments of a more or less novel character, which were all of the highest importance in shaping the course which French literature has taken since 1824. One of these developments was the reactionary movement of De Maistre and De Bonald, which in its turn largely influenced Chateaubriand, then Lameunais and Montalentbert, and has been recently represented in French literature in different guises, chiefly by M. Louis Veuillot and Mgr Dupanloup. The second and third, closely connected, were the immense advances made by parliamentary eloquence and by political writing, the latter of which, by the hand of Paul Louis Courier (1773-1825), contributed for the first time an undoubted masterpiece to French literature. The influence of the two combined has since raised journalism to even a greater pitch of power in France than in any other country. It is in the development of these new openings for literature, and in the cast and complexion which they gave to its matter, that the real literary importance of the Revolutionary period consists ; just as it is in the new elements which they supplied for the treatment of such subjects that the literary value of the authors of Rene and De l'Allentagne mainly lies. We have already alluded to some of the beginnings of periodical and journalistic letters in France. For some time, in the hands of Bayle, Basnage, Des Maizeaux, Jurieu, Leclerc, periodical literature consisted mainly of a series, more or less disconnected, of pamphlets, with occasional extracts from forthcoming works, critical adve•saria, and the like. Of a more regular kind were the often-mentioned Journal de T re VOWX and Mercure de France, and later the Annie Litteraire of Freron and the like. The Correspondance of Grimm also, as we have pointed out, bore considerable resemblance to a modern Monthly review, though it was addressed to a very few persons. Of political news there was, under a despotism, naturally very little. 1789, however, saw a vast change in this respect. An enormous efflorescence of periodical literature at once took place, and a few of the numerous journals founded in that year or soon afterwards survived fora considerable time. A whole class of authors arose who pretended to be nothing more than journalists, while many writers distinguished for more solid contributions to literature took part in the movement, and not a few active politicians contributed. Thus to the original staff of the Moiiiteur, or, as it was at first called, La Gazette Nationale, Laharpe, Lacretelle, Andrieux, Garat, and Ginguene were attached. Among the writers of the Journal de Paris Andre Chanier had been ranked. Fontanes contributed to many royalist and moderate journals. Guizot and Morellet, representatives respectively of the 19th and the 18th century, shared in the Nouvelles Politiques, while Bertin Fievee and Geoffroy contributed to the Journal de l'Empire, after- . wards turned into the still existing Journal des Debats. Of active politicians Marat (L' Anti du l'enple), Mirabeau (Courier de Proven-cc), Barite (Journal des D'ebats et des Decrees), Brissot (Patriole Francais), Hebert (Pere Duchesne), Robespierre (Thyenseur de la Constitution), and Tallien (La Sentinelle) were the most remarkable who had an intimate connexion with journalism. On the other hand, the type of the journalist pure and simple is Camille Desmoulins (1759-1794), one of the most brilliant, in a literary point of view, of the short-lived celebrities of the time. Of the same class were Pelletier, Durozoy, Loustalot, Royon. As the immediate daily interest in politics drooped, there were formed periodicals of a partly political and partly literary character. Such had been the Decade Philosophique, which counted Cabanis, Chenier, and Be Tracy among its contributors, and this was followed by the Revue FranNise at a later period, which was in its turn succeeded by the Revue des deux MOndes. On the other hand, parliamentary eloquence was even more important than journalism during the early period of the Revolution. Mirabeau naturally stands at the head of orators of this class, and next to him may be ranked the well-known names of Malouet and Meunier among constitutionalists ; of Robespierre, Marat, and Danton, the triumvirs of the Mountain ; of Maury, Cazales, and the Vicomte de Mirabeau, among the royalists ; and above all of the Girondist speakers Barnave, Vergniaud, and Lanjuinais. The last-named survived to take part in the revival of parliamentary discussion after the Restoration. But the permanent contributions to French literature of this period of voluminous eloquence arc, as frequently happens in such cases, by no means large. The union of the journalist and the parliamentary spirit produced, however, in Paul Louis Courier a master of style. Courier spent the greater part of his life, tragically cut short, in translating the classics and studying the older writers of France, in which study be learnt thoroughly to despise the pseudo-classicism of the 18th century. It was not till lie was past forty that he took to political writing, and the style of his pamphlets, and their wonderful irony and vigour, at once placed them on the level of the very best things of the kind. Along with Courier should be mentioned Benjamin Constant (1767-1830), who, though partly a romance writer and partly a philosophical author, was mainly a politician and art orator, besides being fertile in articles and pamphlets. Lamennais like Lamartine will best be dealt with later, and the same may be said of Beranger ; but Chateaubriand and Madame de Stael must be noticed here. The former represents, in the influence which changed the literature of the 18th century into the literature of the 19th, the vague spirit of unrest and " Weltschmerz," the affection for the picturesque qualities of nature, the religious spirit occasionally turning into mysticism, and the respect sure to become more and more definite and appreciative for antiquity. He gives in short the romantic and conservative element. Madame de Stael, on the other hand, as became • a daughter of Necker, retained a great deal of the Philosophe character and the traditions of the 18th century, especially its liberalism, its sensibilite, and its thirst for general information ; to which, however, she added a cosmopolitan spirit, and a readiness to introduce into France the literary and social, as well as the political and philosophical, peculiarities of other countries to which the 18th century, in France at least, had been a stranger, and which Chateaubriand himself, notwithstanding his excursions into English literature, had been very far from feeling. She therefore contributed to the positive and liberal side of the future movement. Both of these remarkable personshave in their works a certain taint of what it is difficult to call by any other name than insincerity, though it is certain that there was in their case nothing consciously insincere. The 18th century, however, had left a tradition of " posing " in French literature from which these writers, two of its most distinguished children, were by no means free. The absolute literary importance of the two was very different. Madame de Stael's early writings were of the critical kind, half aesthetic half ethical, of which the 18th century had been fond, and which their titles, Lettres sur J. J. Rousseau, De l'Influence des Passions, De la Litterature consideree dons scs rapports avec les Institutions Sociales, sufficiently show. Her romances, Delp hine and Corinne, have singularly lost their attraction in seventy years, but their influence at the time was immense. The work, however, which had really the most fertile influence was the De l'Allemagne, which practically opened up to the rising generation in France the till then unknown treasures of literature and philosophy, which during the most glorious half century of her literary history Germany had, sometimes on hints taken from France herself, been accumulating. The style of these various works is not of the most admirable, and in their matter there is still, as we have said, much hollow talk. But the enthusiasm which pervaded them had a powerful effect, and the indications of new sources at which this enthusiasm might satisfy itself had an effect more powerful still. • The literary importance of Chateaubriand is far greater, while his literary influence can hardly be exaggerated. Chateaubriand's literary father was Rousseau, and his voyage to America helped to develop the seeds which Rousseau had sown. In Rene and other works of the same kind, the naturalism of Rousseau received a still further development. But it was not in mere naturalism that Chateaubriand was to find his most fertile and most successful theme. It was, on the contrary, in the rehabilitation of Christianity. The 18th century had used against religion the method of ridicule; Chateaubriand, by genius rather than by reasoning, set up against this method that of poetry and romance. " Christianity," says he, almost in so many words," is the most poetical of all religions, the most attractive, the most fertile in literary, artistic, and social results." This theme he develops with the most splendid language, and with every conceivable advantage of style, in the Genie du Christianisme and the Martyrs. The splendour of imagination, the summonings of history and literature to supply effective and touching illustrations, analogies, and incidents, the rich colouring so different from the peculiarly monotonous and grey tones of the masters of the 18th century, and the fervid admiration for nature which were Chateaubriand's main attractions and characteristics, could not fail to have an enormous literary influence. The romantic school acknow ledged, and with justice, its direct indebtedness thereto ; but at the same time Chateaubriand's power of argument is perhaps weaker than that of any writer of equal eminence; and great as has been his literary following, his followers have very rarely adopted his principles.
Literature since 1830. - In dealing with the history of French literature during the last half century, a slight alteration of treatment is requisite. The subdivisions of literature have lately become so numerous, and the contributions to each have reached such an immense volume, that it is impossible to give more than cursory notice, or indeed allusion, to most of them. It so happens, however, that the purely literary characteristics of this fperiod, though of the most striking and remarkable, are confined to a few branches of literature. The characteristic of the 19th century in France has hitherto been at least as strongly marked as that of any previous period. In the Middle Ages men of letters followed each other in the cultivation of certain literary forms for long centuries. The chanson de geste, the Arthurian legend, the roman d'aventure, the fabliau, the allegorical poem, the rough dramatic jell, mystery,'and farce, served successively as moulds into which the thought and writing impulse of generations of authors were successively cast, often with little attention to the suitableness of form and subject. The end of the 15th century, and still more the 16th, owing to the vast extension of thought and knowledge then introduced, finally broke up the old forms, and introduced the practice of treating each subject in a manner more or less appropriate to it, and whether appropriate or not, freely selected by the author. At the same time a vast but somewhat indiscriminate addition was made to the actual vocabulary of the language. The 17th and 18th centuries witnessed a process of restriction once more to certain forms and strict imitation of predecessors, combined with attention to purely arbitrary rules, the cramping and impoverishing effect of this (in Fenelon's words) being counterbalanced partly by the.efforts of individual genius, and still more by the constant and steady enlargement of the range of thought, the choice of subjects, and the familiarity with other literature, both of the ancient and modern world. The literary work of the 10th century and of the great romantic movement which began in its second quarter was to repeat on a far larger scale the work of the 16th, to break up and discard such literary forms as had become useless or hopelessly stiff, to give strength, suppleness, and variety to such as were retained, to invent new ones where necessary, and to enrich the language by importations, inventions, and revivals. The result of this revolution is naturally most remarkable in the belles lettres and the kindred department of history. Poetry, not dramatic, has been revived ; prose romance and literary criticism have been brought to a perfection previously unknown ; and history has produced works more various, if not more remarkable, than at any previous stage of the language. Of all these branches we shall therefore endeavour to give some detailed account. But the services clone to the language were not limited to the strictly literary branches of literature. Modern French, if it lacks, as it probably does lack, the statuesque precision and elegance of prose style to which between 1650 and 1800 all else was sacrificed, has become a much more suitable instrument, for the accurate and copious treatment of positive and concrete subjects. These subjects have accordingly been treated in an abundance corresponding to that manifested in other countries, though the literary importance of the treatment has perhaps proportionately declined. We cannot even attempt to indicate the innumerable directions of scientific study which this copious industry has taken, and must confine ourselves to those which come more immediately under the headings previously adopted. In philosophy France, like other nations, has principally devoted itself to the historical side of the matter, and the names of Damiron, Jules Simon, Vacherot, Quinet, De Remusat, and Renan must be mentioned. Victor Cousin (1792-1867), after enjoying a brief celebrity as the chief of an eclectic school, is now principally remembered as a philosophical historian and critic. Towards the latter part of his long life he quitted even this connexion with philosophy, and devoted himself chiefly to the study of French history. The importance of Auguste Comte (1793-1857) is rather political and scientific than literary. We must also mention M. Taine (b. 1828), a brilliant writer, who busies himself alternately with history, philosophy, and criticism. Theology again, with the exception of Lamennais, to be mentioned hereafter, supplies no name on which we need linger except that of M. Renan (b. 1823), whose somewhat florid literary style has contributed largely to the influence of his theological ideas. Montalembert (1810-1870), an historian with a strong theological tinge, deserves notice, and among orators Lacordaire (180218G1) and the Pere Felix (b. 1810) on the Catholic side, and Athanase Coquerel (1820-1875) on the Protestant. The Pensees of Joubert, partly moral and partly literary, belong, in point of publication and interest, to this period, And sc do the melancholy moralizings of De Sdnancour (1770-184G), which have had a great influence, though on a somewhat limited circle. Political philosophy and its kindred sciences have naturally received a large share of attention. Towards the middle of the century there was a great development of socialist and fanciful theorizing on politics, with which the names of St Simon, Fourier, Cabot, and others are connected. As political economists Bastiat, De Lavergne, Blauqui, and Chevalier may be noticed. In De Tocqueville (1805-1859) France produced a political observer of a remarkably acute, moderate, and reflective character. The name of Lerminier (1805-1857) is of wide repute for legal and constitutional writings, and that of Jomini (1779-1869) is still more celebrated as a military historian ; while that of Lenormant (1801-1859) holds a not dissimilar position in archeology. With the publications devoted to physical science proper we do not attempt to meddle. Philology, however, demands a brief notice. In classical studies France has not recently occupied the position which might be expected of the country of Scaliger and Casaubon. She has, however, produced some considerable Orientalists, such as Champollion the younger, Burnout, Silvestre de Sacy, and Stanislas Julien. In attention to the antiquities of their own country the French have been at last stimulated by the example of Germany. The foundation of Romance philology was due, indeed, to the foreigners Wolf and Diez. But early in the century the curiosity as to the older literature of France created by Barbazan, Tressan, and others continued to extend. Meon published many imprinted fabliaux, gave the whole of the French Resort cycle, with the exception of Renart le Contrefait, and edited the Roman de la Rose. Fauriel and Raynouard dealt elaborately with Provençal poetry as well as partially with that of the trouvi2res; and the latter produced his comprehensive Lexique Romane. These examples were followed by many other writers, who edited manuscript works and commented on them, always with zeal and sometimes with discretion. Foremost among these must be mentioned M. Paulin Paris, who for fifty years has served the cause of old French literature with untiring energy, great literary taste, and a pleasant and facile pen. His selections from manuscripts, his Romaneero Francais, his editions of Garin le Lohe•ain and Berte aux Grans Pies, and his Romans de la Table Ronde may especially be mentioned. Soon, too, the Benedictine Ilistoire Litteraire, so long interrupted, was resumed under M. Paris's general management, and has proceeded nearly to the end of the 14th century. Among its contents M. Paris's dissertations on the later chansons de gestes and the early song writers, M. Victor Le Clerc's on the fabliaux, and M. Littres on the romans d'aventures may be specially noticed. For some time indeed the work of French editors was chargeable with a certain lack of critical and philological accuracy. This reproach, however, has recently been wiped off by the efforts of a band of young scholars, chiefly pupils of the Ecole des Charles, with MM.' Gaston Paris and Paul Meyer at their head. The Societe des Amiens Textes Francais has also been formed for the purpose of publishing scholarly editions of inedited works. Yet France has as yet produced no lexicon of her older tongue to complete the admirable dictionary in which M. Littre (b. 1801), at the cost of a life's labour, has embodied the whole vocabulary of the classical French language. Meanwhile the period between the Middle Ages proper and the 17th century has not lacked its share of this revival of attention. To the literature between Villon and Regnier especial attention was paid by the early romantics, and Sainte-Beuve's Tableau Historique et Critique de la Poesie et du Theatre an Seizieme Sieele was one of the manifestoes of the school. Since the appearance of that work in 1828 editions with critical comments of the literature of this period have constantly multiplied, aided by the great fancy for tastefully produced works which exists among the richer classes in France ; and there are probably now few countries in which works of old authors, whether in cheap reprints or in editions de luxe can be more readily procured.
The Romantic Movement. - It is time, however, to return to the literary revolution itself, and its more purely literary results. At the accession of Charles X. France possessed three writers, and perhaps only three, of already remarkable eminence, if we except Chateaubriand, who was already of a past generation. These three were &ranger (1780-1857), Lamartine (1790-1869), and Lamennais (1782-1854). The first belongs definitely in manner, despite his striking originality of nuance, to the past. He has remnants of the old periphrases, the cumbrous mythological allusions, the poetical properties of French verse. He has also the older and somewhat narrow limitations of a French poet ; foreigners are for him mere barbarians. At the same time his extraordinary lyrical faculty, his excellent wit, which makes him a descendant of Rabelais and La Fontaine, and his occasional touches of pathos made him deserve and obtain something more than successes of occasion. B&-ranger, moreover, was very far from being the mere improvisatore which those who cling to the inspiratiouist theory of poetry would fain see in him. His studies in style and composition were persistent, and it was long before he attained the firm and brilliant manner which distinguishes him. Boranger's talent, however, was still too much a matter of individual genius to have great literary influence, and he formed no school. It was different with Lamartine, who was, nevertheless, like Boranger, a typical Frenchman. The Meditations and the Harmonies exhibit a remarkable transition between the old school and the new. In going direct to nature, in borrowing from her striking outlines, vivid and contrasted tints, harmony, and variety of sound, the new poet showed himself an innovator of the best class. In using romantic and religious associations, and expressing them in affecting language, he was the Chateaubriand of verse. But with all this he retained some of the vices of the classical school. His versification, harmonious as it is, is monotonous, and he does not venture into the bold lyrical forms which true poetry loves, and with which the alexandrine of Boileau could not unite itself. He has still the horror of the mot proyre ; he is always spirituabzing and idealizing, and his style and thought have a double portion of the feminine and almost flaccid softness which had come to pass for grace in French. Nevertheless the Lac is a poem such as had not been written in France for 200 years. The last of the trio, Lamennais, represents an altogether bolder and rougher genius. Strongly influenced by the Catholic reaction, Lamennais also shows the strongest possible influence of the revolutionary spirit. His earliest work, the .Essai sur l'Indiference en Matiere de Religion., was a defence of the church on curiously unecclesiastical lines. It was written in an ardent style, full of illustrations, and extremely ambitious in character. The plan was partly critical and partly constructive. -The first part disposed of the 18th century; the second, adopting the theory of papal absolutism which De Isfaistre had already advocated, proceeded to base it on a supposed universal consent, which the Church of Rome was very far from accepting as a contribution to its defence. The after history of Lamennais was perhaps not an unnatural recoil from this ; but with this after history we are not concerned ; it is sufficient to point out that in his prose, especially as afterwards developed in the apocalyptic Paroles d'un Croyant, are to be discerned many of the tendencies of the romantic school, particularly its hardy and picturesque choice of language, and the disdain of established and accepted methods which it professed. The signs of the revolution itself were, as was natural. first given in periodical literature. The feudalist affectations of Chateaubriaud and the legitimists excited a sort of msthetic affection for Gothicism, and Walter Scott became one of the most favourite authors in France. Soon was started the periodical La Muse Francaise, in which the names of Hugo, De Vigny, Deschamps, and Madame de Girardin appear. Almost all the writers in this periodical were eager royalists, and for some time the battle was still fought on political grounds. There could, however, be no special connexion between classical drama and liberalism ; and the liberal journal, the Globe, with no less a person than Sainte-Beuve among its contributors, declared definite war against classicism in the drama. Soon the question became purely literary, and the romantic school proper was born in the famous eenacle or clique in which Hugo was chief poet, Sainte-Beuve chief critic, and Gautier, Gerard de Norval, Emile and Antony Deschamps, Petrus Bore], and others were officers. Alfred de Viguy and Alfred de Musset stand somewhat apart, and so d•s Charles Nodier (1783-1844), a versatile and voluminous writer, the very variety and number of whose works have somewhat prevented the individual excellence of any of them from having justice done to it. The objects of the school, which was at first violently opposed, so much so that certain Academicians actually petitioned the king to forbid the admission of any romantic piece at the Theatre Franqais, were, briefly stated, the burning of everything which had been adored, and the adoring of everything which had been burnt. They would have no unities, no arbitrary selection of subjects, no restraints on variety of versification, no academically limited vocabulary, no considerations of artificial beauty, and, above all, no periphrastic expression. The mot propre, the calling of a spade a spade, was the great commandment of romanticism; but it must be allowed that what was taken away in periphrase was made up in adjectives. De Musset, who was very much of a free-lance in the contest, maintained indeed that the drferentia of the romantic was the copious use of this part of speech. All sorts of epithets were invented to distinguish the two parties, of which Flamboyant and Grisdtre are perhaps the most accurate and expressive pair, - the former serving to denote the gorgeous tints and bold attempts of the new school, the latter the grey colour and monotonous outlines of the old. The representation of Hernani in 1830 was the culmination of the struggle, and during great part of the reign of Louis Philippe almost all the younger men of letters in France were romantics. The representation of the Luerece of Ponsard (1814-1867) in 1846 is often quoted as the herald or sign of a classical reaction. But this was only apparent, and signified, if it signified anything, merely that the more juvenile excesses of the romantics were out of date. For forty years all the greatest men of letters of France have been on the innovating side, and all without exception, whether intentionally or not, have had their work coloured by the results of the movement Drama and Poetry since 1830. - Although the immediate subject on which the battles of classics and romantics arose was dramatic poetry, the dramatic results of the movement • have not been those of greatest value or most permanent character. The principal effect in the long run has been the introduction of a species of play called Brame, as opposed to regular comedy and tragedy, admitting of much freer treatment than either of these two as previously understood in French, and lending itself in some measure to the lengthy and disjointed action, the multiplicity of personages, and the absence of stock characters which characterized the English stage in its palmy days. All Victor Hugo's dramatic works are of this class, and each, as it was produced or published (Cromwell, Hernani, Marion de l'Orme, Le Roi, s'amuse, LuertW Borgia, Marie Tudor, Roy Bias, and Les Burgraves), was a literary event, and excited the most violent discussion, - the author's usual plan being to prefix a prose preface of a very militant character to his work. A still more melodramatic variety of Brame was that chiefly represented by Alexandre Dumas 11803-1874), whose _Henri III. and Antony, to which may be added later La Tour de _zY este and Mademoiselle de Relleisle, were almost as much rallying points for the early romantics as the dramas of Hugo, despite their inferior literary value. At the same time Alexandre Soumet (1788-1845), in Norma, true _Me de Neron, &c., and Casimir Delavigne in Marino _Patio-a Louis XI., &c., maintained a somewhat closer adherence to the older models. The classical or semiclassical reaction of the last years of Louis Philippe was represented in tragedy by Ponsard (Luerece, Agnes de Meranie, Charlotte Corday, Lllysse, and several comedies), and on the comic side, to a certain extent, by Emile Augier (b. 1820) in L' Aventuriere, Le Gendre de M. Poirier, Le Pits de Giboyer, Sm. During almost the whole period EngCne Scribe (1791-1861) poured forth innumerable comedies of the vaudeville order, which, without possessing much literary value, attained immense popularity. For the last twenty years the realist development of romanticism has had the upper hand in dramatic composition, its principal representatives being on the one side Victorien Sardou (b. 1831), who in Nos Intimes, La Faraille Benolion, Rabagas, Dora, &c., has chiefly devoted himself to the satirical treatment of manners, and Alexandre Dumas fits (b. 1824), who in such pieces as Les Ideas de Madame Aubray and L'Etrangere has rather busied himself with morals. Certain isolated authors also deserve notice, such as Autran (1813-1877), a poet and Academician having some resemblance to Lamartine, whose Fille iEschyle created for him a dramatic reputation which lie did not attempt to follow up, and Legouve (b. 1807), whose Adrienne Lecouvrenr was assisted to popularity by the admirable talent of Eachel. A special variety of drama of the first literary importance has also been cultivated in this century under the title of scenes or proverbes, slight dramatic sketches, in which the dialogue and style is of even more importance than the action. The best of all of these are those of Alfred de Musset (1810-1857), whose Il faut yu'une porte soit onverte on fermee, On ne badine pas avec l'amour, &c., are models of grace and wit. Among his followers may be mentioned especially M. Octave Feuillet (b. 1812).
In poetry proper, as in drama, M. Victor Hugo showed the way, and has never allowed any one since to take the lead from him. In him all the romantic characteristics are expressed and embodied, - disregard of arbitrary critical rules, free choice of subject, variety and vigour of metre, splendour and sonorousness of diction. If the careful attention to form which is also characteristic of the movement is less apparent in him than in some of his followers, it is not because it is absent, but because the enthusiastic conviction with which he attacks every subject somewhat diverts attention from it. As with the merits so with the defects. A. deficient sense of the ludicrous which has characterized many of the romantics is strongly apparent in their leader, as is also an equally representative grandiosity, and a fondness for the introduction of foreign and unfamiliar words, especially proper names, which occasionally produces an effect of burlesque. Victor Hugo's earliest poetical works, his chiefly royalist and political Odes, are cast in the older and accepted forms, but already display astonishing poetical qualities. But it was in the Ballades (for instance, the splendid Pas d'Armes du Poi Jean, written in verses of three syllables) and the Orientates (of which may be taken for a sample the sixth section of Navarin, a perfect torrent of outlandish terms poured forth in the most admirable verse, or Les Minns, where some of the stanzas have lame of two syllables each) that the grand provocation was thrown to the believers in alexandrines, careful msuras, and strictly separated couplets. Les Fent:1les (1'2100)1121e, ',es Chants du Crepuseztle, Les Voix Interieures, Les Rayons et les Ontb•es, the productions of the next twenty years were quieter in style and tone, but no less full of poetical spirit. The Revolution of 1848, the establishment of the empire, and the poet's exile brought about a fresh determination of his genius to lyrical subjects. Les Claitintents and La Li.'gezade des Sieeles, the one political, the other historical, reach perhaps the high water mark of French verse ; and they were followed by the philosophical Contemplations, the lighter Chansons des lines et des Bois, the Annie Terrible, the second Liqende des Sieeles, and one or two more volumes which lead us to the present day. We have been thus particular because the literary productiveness of Victor Hugo himself has been the measure and sample of the whole literary productiveness of France on the poetical side. At five-and twenty he was acknowledged as a master, at seventy-five ho is a master still. His poetical influence has been represented in three different schools, from which very few of the poetical writers of the century can be excluded. These few we may notice first. Alfred de Musset, a writer of great genius, felt part of the romantic inspiration very strongly, but was on the whole unfortunately influenced by Byron, and partly out of wilfulness, partly from a natural want of persevering industry and vigour, allowed himself to be careless and even slovenly in composition. Notwithstanding this many of his lyrics are among the finest poems in the language, and his verse, careless as it is, has extraordinary natural grace. Auguste Barbier, whose Ianzbes shows an extraordinary command of nervous and masculine versification, also comes in here ; and the Breton poet Brizeux, together with HcCgosippe Moreau, an unequal poet possessing some talent, and Pierre Dupont (1821-1870), one of much greater gifts, also deserve mention. Of the school of Larnartine rather than of Hugo are Alfred de Vigny (1799-1865) and Victor de Laprade (h. 1812), the former a writer of little bulk and somewhat over-fastidious, but possessing one of the most correct and elegant styles to be found in French, the latter a meditative and philosophical poet, like De Vigny an admirable writer, but somewhat deficient in pith and substance, as well as in warmth and colour. The poetical schools which more directly derive from the romantic movement as represented by Hugo are three in number, corresponding in point of time with the first outburst of the movement, with the period of reaction already alluded to, and with the closing years of the second empire. Of the first by far the most distinguished member was Theophile Gautier (1811-1872), the most perfect poet in point of form that France has produced. The side of the romantic movement which Gautier developed was its purely pagan and Renaissance aspect. When quite a boy he devoted himself to the study of 16th century masters, and though he acknowledged the supremacy of Hugo, his own talent was of an individual order, and developed itself more or less independently. liberties alone of his poems has much of the extravagant and grotesque character with distinguished early romantic literature. The Conzedie de la Hort, the Poesies Diverses, and still more the L'ntaux et Cannes, display a distinctly classical tendency - classical, that is to say, not in the party and perverted sense, but in its true acceptation. The tendency to the fantastic and horrible may be taken as best shown by Petrus Borel (18091859), a writer of singular power almost entirely wasted. Gerard Labrunie or de: Nerval (1808-1855) adopted a manner also fantastic but more idealist than Borel's, and distinguished himself by his Oriental travels and studies, and by his attention to popular ballads and traditions, while his style has an exquisite but unaffected strangeness hardly inferior to Gautier's. This peculiar and somewhat quintessenced style is also remarkable in the Gaspard de la Suit of Louis Bertrand, a work of rhythmical prose almost unique in its character. The two Deschamps were chiefly remarkable as translators. The next generation produced three remarkable poets, to whom may perhaps be added a fourth. Theodore de Danville (b. 1820), adopting the principles of Gautier, and combining with them a considerable satiric faculty, composed a large amount of verse, faultless in form, delicate and exquisite in shades and colours, but so entirely neutral in moral and political tone that it has found corn• paratively few admirers. Leconte do Lisle (b. 1819), carrying out the principle of ransacking foreign literatures for subjects, has gone to Celtic, classical, or even Oriental sources for his inspiration, and despite a science in verse not much inferior to De Bauville's, and a far wider range and choice of subject, has diffused an air of erudition, not to say pedantry, over his work which has disgusted some readers. Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), by his choice of unpopular subjects and the terrible truth of his analysis, has revolted not a few of those who, in the words of an English critic, cannot take pleasure in the representation if they do not take pleasure in the thing represented. Thus by a strange coincidence each of the three representatives of the second romantic generation has for various reasons been hitherto disappointed of his due fame. The fourth poet of this time, Jos6phin Soulary, is probably little known in England. His sonnets, however, are of rare beauty and excellence. In 1866 a collection of poems, entitled after an old French fashion Le Parnasse Contenzporain, appeared. It included contributions by many of the poets just mentioned, but the mass of the contributors were hitherto unknown to fame. A similar collection appeared in 1869, and was interrupted by the German war, but continued after it, and a third in 1876. The contributors to these collections, who have mostly published separate:works, were very numerous, and have become collectively known, half seriously and half in derision, as Les Parnassiens. From time to time aspirants to poetry, such as MM. Bouchor and Lafagette, have attempted to revolt against this society, but they have ended by being absorbed into it. The cardinal principle of the Parnassietts is, in continuation of Gautier and Baudelaire, a devotion to poetry as an art, but under this general principle there is a considerable diversity of aim and object, and a still greater diversity of subject. Francois Copp6e has devoted himself chiefly to domestic and social subjects. Sully Prudhomme, has a certain classical tinge. Catulle Mendes has followed Leconte de Lisle in going far afield for his subjects ; Louisa Siefert indulges in the poetry of despair ; while Albert Glatigny, a poet who lived as a strolling actor, and died young, perhaps excelled any of the others in individuality of poetical treatment. As the Parnassiens, however, muster some three or four score poets, it is impossible to deal with them at length here. It is sufficient to say that the average merit of their work is decidedly high, though it is difficult to assign the first rank to any poet among them. Assuming that their work is to be classed as minor poetry, there has assuredly not even in the Elizabethan age in England been such a school of minor poets. It is fair to add that they appear to be little read in France, and hardly at all elsewhere. To complete the history of French poetry in the 19th century we must add that considerable efforts have been made to give Provencal rank once more as a literary tongue. The Gascon poet Jacques Jasmin has produced a good deal of verse in the western dialect of the language. Within the last twenty years a more cultivated and literary school of poets has arisen in Provence itself, the chief of whom are Fradiric Mistral (lizWo, Cal endau) and Th6odore Aubanel.
Prose Fiction, since 1830. - Even more remarkable, because more absolutely novel, was the outburst of prose fiction which followed 1830. We have said that in this department the productions of France since the discrediting of the Scudery romances had not on the whole been remarkable, and had been produced at considerable intervals. Madame de Lafayette, Le Sage, Marivaux, Voltaire, the Abbe Prevost, Diderot, J. J. Rousseau, Bernardin de St Pierre, and Flay& had all of them produced work excellent in its way, and comprising in a more or less rudimentary condition most varieties of the novel. But none of them had, in the French phrase, made a school, and at no time had prose fiction been composed in any considerable quantities. The immense influence which, as we have seen, Walter Scott exercised was perhaps the direct cause of the attention paid to prose fiction ; the facility, too, with which all the fancies, taste's, and beliefs of the timo could be embodied in such work may have had considerable importance. But it is difficult on any theory of cause and effect to account for the appearance in less than ten years of such a group of novelists as Hugo, Gautier, Dumas, Morimoe, Balzac, George Sand, Jules Sandeau, and Charles de Bernard, names to which might be added others scarcely inferior. There is hardly anything else resembling it in literature, except the great cluster of English dramatists in the beginning of the 17th century, and.of English poets at the beginning of the 19th ; and it is remarkable that the excellence of the first group has been maintained by a fresh generation, - Murger, About, Feuillet, Flaubert, Erckmann-Chatrian, Droz, Daudet, Cherbuliez, and Gaborian, forming a company of diadochi not far inferior to their predecessors. The romance writing of France during the period has taken two different directions, - the first that of the novel of incident, the second that of analysis and character. The first, now mainly deserted, was that which, as was natural when Scott was the model, was formerly most trodden ; the second required the astonishing genius of George Sand and of Balzac to attract students to it. The novels of Victor Hugo are novels of incident, with a strong infusion of purpose, and considerable but rather ideal character drawing. They are in fact lengthy prose drames rather than romances proper, and they have found no imitators, probably because no other genius was equal to the task. They display, however, the powers of the master at their fullest. On the other hand, Alexandre Dumas originally composed his novels in close imitation of Scott, and they are much less dramatic than narrative in character, so that they lend themselves to almost indefinite continuation, and there is often no particular reason why they should terminate even at the end of the score or so of volumes to which they sometimes actually extend. Of this purely narrative kind, which hardly even attempts anything but the boldest character drawing, the best of them, such as Vivi .ins Apres, Les Trois Mousquetaires, La Refine 31-argot, are probably the best specimens extant. Dumas possesses almost alone among novelists the secret of writing interminable dialogue without being tedious. Of something the same kind, but of a far lower stamp, are the novels of Eugene Sue (1804-1857). Dumas and Sue were accompanied and followed by a vast crowd of companions, independent or imitative. Alfred de Vigny had already attempted the historical novel in Cing-..1fars. Henri de La Touche, an excellent critic who formed George Sand, but a mediocre novelist, may be mentioned, and perhaps also Roger do Beauvoir and Frdcleric Soulio. Paul Feval and Arad& Achard are of the same school, and some of the attempts of Jules Janin (1801-1874), more celebrated as a critic, may also be connected with it. By degrees, however, the taste for the novel of incident, at least of an historical kind, died out till it was revived in another form, and with an admixture of domestic interest, by MM. ErckmaimChatrian. The last and one of the most splendid instances of the old style was Le Capitaine Fracasse, which Theophile Gautier wrote in his old age as a kind of tour de force. The last-named writer in his earlier days had modified the incident novel in many short tales, a kind of writing for which French has always been famous, and in which Gautier's sketches are masterpieces. His only other long novel, .ilfaclemoiselle de Maupin, belongs rather to the class of analysis. With Gautier as a writer, whose literary characteristics even excel his purely tale-telling powers, may be classed Prosper 'Merlin& (1803-1871), one of the most exquisite 19th century masters of the language. Already, however, in 1830 the tide was setting strongly in favour of novels of contemporary life and manners. These were of course susceptible of extremely various treatment. For many years Paul de Kock, a writer who did not trouble himself about classics or romantics or any such matter, continued the tradition of Marivaux, Crebillon ,as, and Pigault Lebrun, in a series of not very moral or polished but lively and amusing sketches of life, principally of the bourgeois type. Later Charles de Bernard (1805-1850), with infinitely greater wit, elegance, propriety, and literary skill, did the same thing for the higher classes of French society. But the two great masters of the novel of character and manners as opposed to that of history and incident are Honore de Balzac (1799-1850) and Aurore Dudevant, commonly called George Sand (1793-1876). Their influence affected the entire body of novelists who succeeded them, with very few exceptions. At the head of these exceptions may be placed Jules Sandeau (b. 1811), who, after writing a certain number of novels in a less individual style, at last made for himself a special subject in a certain kind of domestic novel, where the passions set in motion are less boisterous than those usually preferred by the French novelist, and reliance is mainly placed on minute character drawing and shades of colour sober in hue but very carefully adjusted (Catherine Mademoiselle de Penarran, Mademoiselle de la Seigliere). In the same class of the more quiet and purely domestic novelists may be placed X. B. Saintine (Picciola), Madame C. Reybaud (Clementine, Le Cadet de Colobrieres), J. T. de St Germain (Pour un Epingle, La Fenille de Coudrier), Madame Craven (Recit dune Sceur, Fleurange). Henri Beyle, who wrote under the none de plume of Stendhal, also stands by himself. His chief work in the line of fiction is La Chartreuse etc Panne, an exceedingly powerful novel of the analytical kind, and he also composed a considerable number of critical and miscellaneous works. Last among the independents must be mentioned Henry Murger (18221861), the painter of what is called Bohemian life, that is to say, the struggles, difficulties, and amusements of students, youthful artists, and men of letters. In this peculiar style, which may perhaps be regarded as an irregular descendant of the picaroon romance, Murger has no rival ; and he is also, though on no extensive scale, a poet of great pathos. But with these exceptions, the influences of the two writers we have mentioned, sometimes combined, more often separate, may be traced throughout the whole of later novel literature. George Sand began with books G. strongly tinged with the spirit of revolt against moral and social arrangements, and she sometimes diverged into very curious paths of pseudo-philosophy, such as was popular in the second quarter of the century. At times, too, as in Lucrezia Floriani and some other works, she did not hesitate to draw largely on her own personnl adventures and experiences. But latterly she devoted herself ratherto sketches of countrylife and manners, and to novels involving bold if not very careful sketches of character and more or less dramatic situations. She was one of the most fertile of novelists, continuing to the end of her long life to pour forth fiction at the rate of ninny volumes a year. This fertility, and the inexhaustible supply of comparatively novel imaginations with which she kept it up, is one of the most remarkable characteristics of her work, and in this respect she is perhaps second only to Sir Walter Scott ; but there is at the same time a certain want of finish about her fertility, and she is not generally found to be an author whose readers return to her individual works, as in the case with less productive but more laborious writers. Of her different styles may be mentioned as fairly characteristic, Lelia, Lucrezia Consuelo, La Mare au Diable, La Petite Fadette, Franpis le Champy, illademoiselle de la o Quintinie. Considering the shorter length of his life the productiveness of Balzac was almost more astonishing, especially if we consider that much of his early work is never reprinted, and has passed entirely out of remembrance. He is, moreover, the most remarkable example in literature of untiring work and determination to achieve success despite the greatest discouragenients. His early work was, as we have said, worse than unsuccessful, it was positively bad ; and even the partiality which is usually shown to the early work of a man of genius has found it impossible to reverse the verdict of his first readers. After more than a genre of unsuccessful attempts, Les Chouans at last made its mark, and for twenty years from that time the astonishing productions composing the so-called Comedie Humaine were poured forth successively. The sub-titles which Balzac imposed upon the different batches, Scenes de la Vie Parisienne, De la Vie de Province, De la Vie Intime,&c., show like the general title a deliberate intention on the author's part to cover the whole ground of human, at least of French life. Such an attempt could not succeed wholly ; yet the amount of success attained is astonishing. Balzac has, however, with some justice been accused of creating the world which he described, and his personages, wonderful as is the accuracy and force with which many of the characteristics of humanity are exemplified in them, are somehow not altogether human, owing to the specially French fault which we noticed in Racine and Moliere of insisting too much on the ruling passion. Since these two great novelists, many others have arisen, partly to tread in their steps, partly to strike out independent paths. Octave Feuillet, beginning his career by apprenticeship to Alexandre Dumas and the historical novel, soon found his way in a very different style of composition, the roman intime of fashionable life, in which, notwithstanding some grave defects, he has attained much popularity. The so-called realist side of Balzac has been developed by Gustave Flaubert (b. 1821), who, to all his master's acuteness, and more than his knowledge of human nature, adds culture, scholarship, and a literary power over the language inferior to that of no writer of the century. Madame liovary and L'Education Sentimentale are studies of contemporary life ; in Salammbtl and La Tentation de St Antoine erudition and antiquarian knowledge furnish the subjects for the display of the highest literary skill. Of about the same date (b. 1828) Edmond About, before he abandoned novel-writing, devoted himself chiefly to sketches of abundant but always refined wit (L'Ilonzme c2 l'Oreille cassee, Le .Ares d'un Yotaire), and sometimes to foreign scenes (Tolla, le Roi des Montagnes). Champfleury (b. 1821), an associate of .Burger, deserves notice for stories of the extravaganza kind. During the whole of the second empire one of the most popular writers was Ernest Feydeau (1821-1874), a wri ter of great ability, but morbid and affected in the choice and treatment of his subjects (Fanny, S,ylvie, Catherine d'Overmeire). In the last ten years many writers of the realist school have endeavoured to outdo their predecessors in unflinching fidelity, nominally carrying out the principles of Balzac and Flaubert, but in reality rather reverting to the extravagance of the very earliest romantic school, such as that of Jules Janin in L'ilne Mort, and Petrus Borel in Champavert. Emile Zola, for instance, in parts of his long series Les Rouyon-Macquart, descends to mere thieves' Latin and rhyparography. Emile Gaboriau, taking up that side of Balzac's talent which devoted itself to inextricable mysteries, criminal trials, and the like, produced if Le Coq, he Crime d'Orcieai, La Degringolade, &-c.; and Adolphe Belot for a time endeavoured to out-Feydeau Feydeau in La Femme de Feu and other works. Of a different stamp, and less of a mere exaggerator, is Victor Cherbuliez, who has produced in Le Roman d'une bonnete Femme a good novel of the analytic class, and in Le Comte Kostia, Ladislas Bolski, &c., less successful romances of incident. Gustave Droz deserves praise for extraordinarily witty and finely drawn domestic sketches, and Alphonse Daudet has written novels of manners the popularity of which is too recent to allow us to judge its chances of continuance.
Periodical Literature since 1830. - Criticism. - One of the causes which led to this extensive composition of novels was the great spread of periodical literature in France, and the custom of including in almost all periodicals, daily, weekly, or monthly, a feuilleton or instalment of fiction. The same spread of periodical literature, together with the increasing interest in the literature of the past, led also to a very great development of criticism. Almost all French authors of any eminence during the last half century have devoted themselves more or less to criticism of literature, of the theatre, or of art, and sometimes, as in the case of Janin and Gautier, the comparatively lucrative nature of journalism and the smaller demands which it made for labour and intellectual concentration have diverted to feuilleton-writing abilities which might perhaps have been better employed. At the same time it must be remembered that from this devotion of men of the best talents to critical work has arisen an immense elevation of the standard of such work. Before the romantic movement in France Diderot in that country, Lessing and some of his successors in Germany, Hazlitt, Coleridge, and Lamb in England, had been admirable critics and reviewers. But the theory of criticism, though these men's principles and practice had set it aside, still remained more or less what it had been for centuries. The critic was merely the administrator of certain hard and fast rules. There were certain recognized kinds of literary composition ; every new book was bound to class itself under one or other of these. There were certain recognized rules for each class ; and the goodness or badness of a book consisted simply in its obedience or disobedience to these rules. Even the kinds of admissible subjects and the modes of admissible treatment were strictly noted and numbered. This was especially the case in France and with regard to French belles lettres, so that, as we have seen, certain classes of composition had been reduced to unimportant variations of a registered pattern. Tho romantic protest against this absurdity was specially loud and completely victorious. It is said that a publisher advised the youthful Lamartine to try " to be like somebody else" if he wished to succeed. The romantic standard of success was, on the contrary, to be as individual as possible. Victor Hugo himself composed a good deal of criticism, and in the preface to his Orientates he states the critical principles of the new school clearly. The critic, ho says, has nothing to do with the subject chosen, the colours employed, the materials used. Is the work, judged by itself and with regard only to tho ideal which the worker had in his mind, good or bad7 It will be seen that as a legitimate corollary of this theorem the critic becomes even more of an interpreter than of a judge. He can no more satisfy himself or his readers by comparing the work before him with some abstract and accepted standard, and marking off its shortcomings. He has to reconstruct, more or less conjecturally, the special ideal at which each of his authors aimed, and to (so this he has to study their icliosyncracies with the utmost care, and set them before his readers in as full and attractive a fashion as he can manage. The first writer who thoroughly grasped this necessity and successfully dealt with it was Sainte-Beuve (1804-1869), who has indeed identified his name with the method of criticism just described. SainteBeuve's first remarkable work (his poems and novels we may leave out of consideration) was the sketch of 16th century literature already alluded to which he contributed to the Globe. But it was not till later that his style of criticism became fully developed and accentuated. During the first decade of Louis Philippe's reign his critical papers, united under the title of Critiques et Portraits Litteraires, show a gradual advance. During the next ten years lie was mainly occupied with his studies of the writers of the Port Royal school. But it was during the last twenty years of his life, when the famous Causeries du Lunch appeared weekly in the columns of the Constitutionnel and the Moniteur, that his most remarkable productions came out. Sainte-Beuve's style of criticism (which is the key to so much of French literature of the last half century that it is necessary to dwell on it at some length), excellent and valuable as it is, lent itself to two corruptions. There is, in the first place, in making the careful investigations into the character and circumstances of each writer which it demands, a danger of paying too much attention to the man and too little to his work, and of substituting for a critical study a mere collection of personal anecdotes and traits, especially if the author dealt with belongs to a foreign country or a past age. The other danger is that of connecting the genius and character of particular authors too much with their conditions and circumstances so as to regard them as merely so many products of the age. These faults, and especially the latter, have been very noticeable in many of SainteBeuve's successors, particularly in M. Henri Taine, the most brilliant of living French critics, and owing to his Ilistoire de in Litterature Anglaise, the best known in England. A large number of other critics during the period deserve notice because they have, though acting more or less on the newer system of criticism, manifested considerable originality in its application. As far as merely critical faculty goes, and still snore in the power of giving literary expression to criticism, Theophile Gautier yields to no one. His Les Grotesques, an early work dealing with Villon, De Viau, and other enfants terribles of French literature, has served as a model to many subsequent writers, such as Charles Monselet and Charles Asselineau, the affectionate historian of the less famous promoters of the romantic movement. On the other hand, Gautier's picture criticisms, and his short reviews of books, obituary notices, and other things of the kind contributed to daily papers, are in point of style among the finest of all such fugitive compositions. Janin, chiefly a theatrical critic, excelled in light and easy journalism, but his work has neither weight of substance nor careful elaboration of manner sufficient to give it permanent value. This sort of light critical comment bas become almost a specialty of the French press, and among its numerous practitioners the names of Armand de Pontmartin (an imitator and assailant of Sainte-Beuve), Arsine Houssaye, Fiorentino, may be mentioned. Edmond Scherer and Paul de St Victor - the former of whom was born in 1812, the latter in 1827 - represent different sides of Sainte-Beuve's style in literary criticism ; and in theatrical censure Francisque Sarccy, an acute but somewhat severe judge, has succeeded to the good-natured sovereignty of Janin. The criticism of the Revue des Deux Mondes has played a sufficientlyimportant part in French literature to deserve separate notice in passing. Founded in 1829, the Revue, after some vicissitudes, soon attained, under the direction of the Swiss Buloz, the character of being one of the first of European critical periodicals. Its style of criticism has on the whole inclined rather to the classical side, - that is, to classicism as modified by, and possible after, the romantic movement. Besides some of the authors already named, its principal critical contributors have been Gustave Planche, an acute but somewhat truculent critic, Henri Etienne, St Rem') Taillandicr. Lastly we must notice the important section of professorial or university critics, whose critical work has taken the form either of regular treatises or of courses of republished lectures, books somewhat academic and rhetorical in character, but often representing an amount of influence which has served largely to stir up attention to literature. The most prominent name among these is that of Villemain (1790-1870), who was one of the earliest critics of the literature of his own country that obtained a hearing out of it. M. Nisard (b. 1806) has perhaps been more fortunate in his dealings with Latin than with French, and in his History of the latter literature represents too much the classical tradition; Alexandre Vinet (1797-1847), a Swiss critic of considerable eminence, Saint-Mare-Girardin (1801-1373), whose Course de Litterature Dranzatique is his chief work, and Eugene GOruzez (17 99-1865), who is the author not only of an extremely useful and well, written handbook to French literature before the Revolution, but also of other works dealing with separate portions of the subject, must also be mentioned.
_History since 1830. - The remarkable development of historical studies which we have noticed as taking place under the Restoration was accelerated and intensified in the reigns of Charles X. and Louis Philippe. Both the scope and the method of the historian underwent a sensible alteration. For something like 150 years historians had been divided into two classes, those who produced elegant literary works pleasant to read, and those who produced works of laborious erudition, but not even intended for general perusal. The Vertots and Voltaires were on one side, the Mabillons and Tillemonts on another. Now, although the duty of a French historian to produce works of literary merit was not forgotten, it was recognized as part of that duty to consult original documents and impart original observation. At the same time, to the merely political events which had formerly been recognized as forming the historian's province were added the social and literary phenomena which had long been more or less neglected. Old chronicles and histories were re-read and re-edited ; innumerable monographs on special subjects and periods were produced, and these latter were of immense service to romance writers at the time of the popularity of the historical novel. Not a few of the works, for instance, which were signed by Alexandre Dumas consist mainly of extracts or condensations from old chronicles, or modern monographs ingeniously united by dialogue and varnished with a little description. History, however, had not to wait for this second-hand popularity, and its cultivators had fully sufficient literary talent to maintain its dignity. Sismondi, whom we have already noticed, continued during this period his great Ilistoire des Francais, and produced his even better known Ilistoire des Republiques Italiennes an Mogen Age. The brothers Thierry devoted themselves to early French history, Amedee Thierry (1787-1873) producing a Histoire des Gaulois and other works concerning the Roman period, and Augustin Thierry (1795-1856) the well-known history of the Norman Conquest, the equally attractive _Neils des Temps Merovingiens, and other excellent works. Philippe de S6gur (1780-1875) gave a history of the Russian campaign of Napoleon, and some other works chiefly dealing with Russian history. The voluminous Ilistoire de Fiance of Henri Martin (b. 1810) is perhaps the best and most impartial work dealing in detail with the whole subject.
De Baraute, after beginning with literary criticism, turned to history, and in his Ilistoire des Dues de Bourgogne produced a work of capital importance. As was to be expected, many of the most brilliant results of this devotion to historical subjects consisted of works dealing with the French Revolution. No series of historical events has ever perhaps received treatment at the same time from so many different points of view, and by writers of such varied literary excellence, among whom it must, however, be said that the purely royalist side is hardly at all represented. One of the earliest of these histories is that of 3lignet (b. 1796), a sober and judicious historian of the older school. About the same time was begun the brilliant work of 31. Thiers (1797-1871) on the Revolution, which established the literary reputation of the future president of the French republic, and was at a later period completed by tho Ilistoire du Consulat et de l'Empire. The downfall of the July monarchy and the early years of the empire witnessed the publication of several works of the first importance on this subject.. De Barante contributed histories of the Convention and the Directory, but the three books of greatest note were those of Lamartine, Michelet (1798-1873), and Louis Blanc (b. 1813). Lamartine's Ilistoire des Cirondins is written from the constitutional republican point of view, and is sometimes considered to have had much influence in producing the events of 1848. It is, perhaps, rather the work of an orator and poet than of a historian. The work of 3lichelet is of a more original character. Besides his history of the Revolution, 3lichelet wrote an extended history of France, and a very large number of smaller works on historical, political, and social subjects. His imaginative powers are of the highest order, and his style stands alone in French for its strangely broken and picturesque character, its turbid abundance of striking images, and its somewhat sombre magnificence, qualities which, as may easily be supposed, found full occupation in a history of the Revolution. The work of Louis Blanc is that of a sincere but ardent republican, and is useful from this point of view, but possesses no extraordinary literary merit. The principal contributions to the history of the Revolution during the last twenty years are those of Quinet, Lanfrey, and Taine. Edgar Quinet (1803-1875), like Louis Blanc a devotee of the Republic and an exile for its sake, brought to this one of his latest works a mind and pen long trained to literary and historical studies; but La Revolution is not considered his best work. P. Lanfrey devoted himself with extraordinary patience and acuteness to the destruction of the Napoleonic legend, and the setting of the character of Napoleon I. in a new, authentic, and very far from favourable light. Quite recently M. Taine,after distinguishing himself, as we have mentioned, in literary criticism (Ilistoire de la Litterature Anglaise), and attaining less success iu philosophy (De l' Intelligence), has begun an elaborate discussion of the Revolution, its causes, character, and consequences, which has excited some commotion among the more ardent devotees of the principles of '89. To return from this group, we must notice Michaud (1767-1830), the historian of the crusades, and Guizot (1787-1876), who, like his rival Thiers, devoted himself much to historical study. His earliest works were literary and linguistic, but he soon turned to political history, and for the last half-century of his long life his contributions to historical literature were almost incessant and of the most various character. The most important are the histories Des Origins du Gouvernement Representatif, De la Revolution d'Angleterre, De la Civilisation en France, and latterly a Ilistoire de France, which he was writing at the time of his death. Among minor historians of the century may be mentioned Duvergier de Ham-we (Gouvernement Parlementaire en France), Mignet (Ilistoire de Marie Stuart), Ampere (Ilistoire Romaine a Rome), Beugnot (Destruction da Paganismc d'Occident), Ilaussonville (La Reunion de la Lorraine (1 la France), Vaulabelle (Les Deux Restanrations.) Summary and Conclusion. - We have in these last pages given such an outline of the 10th century literature of France as seemed convenient for the completion of what has gone before. It has been already remarked that the nearer approach is made to our own time the less is it possible to give exhaustive accounts of the individual cultivators of the different branches of literature. It may be added, perhaps, that such exhaustiveness becomes, as we advance, less and less necessary, as well as less and less possible. The individual Paru.assien may and does produce work that is in itself of greater literary value than that of the individual trouvere. As a matter of literary history his contribution is less remarkable because of the examples he has before him and the circumstances which he has around him. Yet we have endeavoured to draw such a sketch of French literature from the Chanson de Roland to the Legende des Siecles that no important development and hardly any important partaker in such development should be left out. A few lines may, perhaps, be now profitably given to summing up the aspects of the whole, remembering always that, as in no case is generalization easier than in the case of the literary aspects and tendencies of periods and nations, so in no case is it apt to be more delusive unless corrected and supported by ample information of fact and detail.
At,the close of the 11th century and at the beginning of the 12th we find the vulgar tongue in France not merely in fully organized use for literary purposes, but already employed in most of the forms of poetical writing. An immense outburst of epic and narrative verse has taken place, and lyrical poetry, not limited as in the case of the epics to the north of France, but extending from Roussillon to the Pas de Calais, completes this. The 12th century adds to these earliest forms the important development of the mystery, extends the subjects and varies the manner of epic verse, and begins the compositions of literary prose with the chronicles of St Denis and of Villehardouin, and the prose romances of the Arthurian cycle. All this literature is so far connected purely with the knightly and priestly orders, though it is largely composed and still more. largely dealt in by classes of men, trouveres and jongleurs, who are not necessarily either knights or priests, and in the case of the jongleurs are certainly neither. With a possible ancestry of Romance and Teutonic cantilence, Breton lais, and vernacular legends, the new literature has a certain pattern and model in Latin and for the most part ecclesiastical compositions. It has the sacred books and the legends of the saints for examples of narrative, the rhythm of the hymns for a guide to metre, and the ceremonies of the church for a stimulant to dramatic performance. By degrees also in this 12th century forms of literature which busy themselves with the unprivileged classes begin to be born. The fabliau takes every phase of life for its subject ; the folk-sona. acquires elegance and does not lose raciness and truth. folk-song the next century, the 13th, mediaeval literature in France arrives at its prime - a prime which lasts until the first quarter of the 14th. The early epics lose something of their savage charms, the polished literature of Provence quickly perishes. But in the provinces which speak the more prevailing tongue nothing is wanting to literary development. The language itself has shaken off all its youthful incapacities, and, though not yet well adapted for the requirements of modern life and study, is in every way equal to the demands made upon it by its own time. The dramatic germ contained in the fabliau and quickened by the mystery produces the profane drama. Ambitious works of merit in the most various kinds are published ; Aucassin et .Yicolette stands side by side with the Vie de Saint Louis, the fee de la Fellalie with Le Miracle de The'ophile, the Roman de la Rose with the Roman du Renart. The earliest notes of ballade and rondeau are heard ; endeavours are made with zeal, and not always without understanding, to naturalize the wisdom of the ancients in France, and in the graceful tongue that France possesses. Romance in prose and verse, drama, history, songs, satire, oratory, and even erudition, are all represented and represented worthily. Meanwhile all nations of Western Europe have come to France for their literary models and subjects, and the greatest writers in English, German, Italian, content themselves with adaptations of Chretien de Troyes, of Benoit de Ste More, and of a hundred other known and unknown trouveres and fabulists. But this age does not last long. The language has been put to all the uses of which it is as yet capable ; those uses in their sameness begin to pall upon reader and hearer; and the enormous evils of the civil and religious state reflect themselves inevitably in literature. The old forms die out or are prolonged only in half-lifeless travesties. The brilliant colouring of Froissart, and the graceful science of ballade and rondeau writers like Lescurel and Deschamps, alone maintain the literary reputation of the time. Towards the end of the 14th century the translators and political writers import many terms of art, and strain the language to uses for which it is as yet unhandy, though at the beginning of the next age Charles d'Orloans by his natural grace and the virtue of the forms he used, emerges from the mass of writers. Throughout the 15th century the process of enriching or at least increasing the vocabulary goes on, but as yet no organizing hand appears to direct the process. Villon stands alone in merit as in peculiarity. But in this time dramatic literature and the literature of the floating popular broadsheet acquire an immense extension - all or almost all the vigour of spirit being concentrated in the rough farce and rougher lampoon, while all the literary skill is engrossed by insipid rhetorigueurs and pedants. Then comes the grand upheaval of the Renaissance and the Reformation. An immense influx of science, of thought to make the science living, of new terms to express the thought, takes place, and a band of literary workers appear of power enough to master and get into shape the turbid mass. Rabelais, Amyot, Calvin, and Herberay fashion French prose ; Marot, Ronsard, and Regnier refashion French verse. The Ploiade introduces the drama as it is to be and the language that is to help the drama to express itself. Montaigne for the first time throws invention and originality into some other form than verse or than prose fiction. But by the end of the century the tide has receded. The work of arrangement has been but half done, and there are no master spirits left to complete it. At this period Malherbe and Balzac make their appearance. Unable to deal with the whole problem, they determine to deal with part of it, and to reject a portion of the riches of which they feel themselves unfit to be stewards. Balzac and his successors make of French prose an instrument faultless and admirable in precision, unequalled for the work for which it is fit, but unfit for certain portions of the work which it was once able to perform. Malherbe, seconded by Boileau, makes of French verse an instrument suited only for the purposes of the drama of Euripides, or rather of Seneca, with or without its chorus, and for a certain weakened echo of those choruses, under the name of lyrics. No French verse of the first merit other than dramatic is written for two whole centuries. The drama soon comes to its acme, and during the succeeding time usually maintains itself at a fairly high level until the death of Voltaire. But prose lends itself to almost everything that is required of it, and becomes constantly a more and more perfect instrument. To the highest efforts of pathos and sublimity its vocabulary and its arrangement likewise are still unsuited, though the great preachers of the 17th century do their utmost with it. But for clear exposition, smooth and agreeable narrative, sententious and pointed brevity, witty repartee, it soon proves itself to have no superior and scarcely an equal in Europe. In these directions practitioners of the highest skill apply it during the 1 ith century, while during the 18th its powers are shown to the utmost of their variety by Voltaire, and receive a new development at the hands of Rousseau. Yet, on the whole, it loses during this century. It becomes more and more unfit for any but trivial uses, and at last it is employed for those uses only. Then occurs the Revolution, repeating the mighty stir in men's minds which the Renaissance had given, but at first experiencing more difficulty in breaking up the ground and once more rendering it fertile. The faulty and incomplete genius of Chateaubriand and De Stael gives the first evidence of a new growth, and after many years the romantic movement completes the work. The force of that movement is now, after fifty years, all but spent, though its results remain ; and France in a literary point of view occupies a position not very dissimilar to that which she occupied at the extreme end of the 16th century, save that the greatest of her regenerators is yet alive. The poetical power of French has been once more triumphantly proved, and its productiveness in all branches of literature has been renewed, while in that of prose fiction there has been almost created a new class of composition. In the process of reform, however, not a little of the finish of French prose style has been lost, and the language itself has been affected in something the same way as it was affected by the less judicious innovations of the Ronsardists. The pedantry of the Plaiade led to the preposterous compounds of Du Bartas ; the passion of the Romantics for foreign tongues and for the mot propre has loaded French with foreign terms on the one hand and with argot on the other. There is, therefore, room for new Malherbes and Balzacs, if the days for Balzacs and Malherbes had not to all appearance passed. Should they be once more forthcoming, they have the failure as well as the success of their predecessors to guide them.
Finally, we may sum up even this summary. For volume and merit taken together the product of these eight centuries of literature excels that of any European nation, though for individual works of the supremest excellence they may perhaps be asked in vain. No French writer is lifted by the suffrages of other nations - the only criterion when sufficient time has elapsed - to the level of Homer, of Shakespeare, or of Dante, who reign alone. Of those of the authors of France who are indeed of the thirty but attain not to the first three Rabelais and Moliere alone unite the general suffrage, and this fact roughly but surely points to the real excellence of the literature which these men are chosen to represent. It is great in all ways, but it is greatest on the lighter side. The house of mirth is more suited to it than the house of mourning. To the latter, indeed, the language of the unknown marvel who told Roland's death, of him who gave utterance to Camilla's wrath and despair, and of the living poet who sings how the mountain wind makes mad the lover who cannot forget, has amply made good its title of entrance. But for one Frenchman who can write admirably in this strain there are a hundred who can tell the most admirable story, formulate the most pregnant reflexion, point the acutest jest. There is thus no really great epic in French, few great tragedies, and those imperfect and in a faulty kind, little prose like Milton's or like Jeremy Taylor's, little verse (though more than is generally thought) like Shelley's or like Spenser's. But there are the most delightful short tales, both in prose and in verse, that the world has over seen, the most polished jewellery- of rcflexion that has ever been wrought, songs of incomparable grace, comedies that must make men laugh as long as they aro laughing animals, and above all such a body of narrative fiction, old and new, prose and verse, as no other nation can show for art and for originality, for grace of workmanship in him who fashions, and for certainty of delight to him who reads.
Bibliography. - The bibliography of such a subject as French literature cannot be dealt with here exhaustively. We shall, however, indicate the principal works on the subject, and its subdivisions, which will serve to fill up the outline of the foregoing pages. On the general subject there is no work in English of any extent, except the recent compilation of Mr H. Van Laun (Edinburgh). Notices more or less detailed of the earlier periods will be found in Hallam's works, and of the 17th and 18th centuries (which must, however, be read with great caution) in Buckles History of Civilization in Europe. The chief English critical periodicals will supply monographs, though until recently in no great abundance, of the chief names and some of the chief forms. I1ir Besant's French Poets and French Humorists may be noticed.
In French the chief works on the whole subject are that of Geruzez, already noticed, and another by Demogeot. These works are both excellent, and being composed on different plans, they may with advantage he read together. They are chiefly deficient with regard to the earliest and latest literature.
For the literature of the Middle Ages the fountain-head is tho ponderous Histoire Litteraire already referred to, which, notwithstanding that it extends to 27 quarto volumes, and has occupied, with interruptions, 150 years in publication, has only reached the 14th century. Many of the monographs which it contains are the best authorities on their subjects, such as that of M. P. Paris on the early chansonniers, of M. V. Leclerc on the fabliaux, and of M. Littre on the romans d'aventures. For the history of literature before the 1 lth century, the period mainly Latin, J. J. Ampere's Histoire Litleraire de in France avant Charlemagne, sous Charlemagne, et jusqu'an onzieme sieele is the chief authority. Leon Gautier's Epopees Francaises (4 vols., but now reprinting on a still larger scale) contains almost everything known concerning the chansons de gestes. M. 1'. Paris's Romans de la Table Ronde is the main authority for this subject, though it does not include the contributions of Chretien de Troyes. On the cycle of Reynard the standard work is Rothe, Les Bonums die Rcnart. All parts of the lighter literature of old France. are excellently treated by M. Lenient, be Satire au Me yen Aye. The early theatre has been frequently treated by the brothers Parfaict (Ilistoire else Theatre Francais), by Fabre (Les Clercs de In Baxoche), by Leroy (Etude sur les MystCi.es), by Anbeqin (Histoirc de in Langue et de la Litterature Prancaise ait Mullen Age). This latter book, recently completed, will be found a useful summary of the whole mediaeval period. The historical, dramatic, and oratorical sections are especially full.
On the 16th century an excellent handbook has recently been written by 'MM. Darmesteter and llatzfeld. Sainte-Beuve's Tableau has been more than once referred to. Ebert (Entivicklungsgesehiehte der Franzlisiselten Tragodie vornchmlieh int 16ten Jahrhundcrt) is the chief authority for dramatic matters. The various editions of the great authors of this and other periods do not need special reference. For Provencal the most convenient and trustworthy handbook is Karl Bartsch, Grioulriss cur Gcsehiehte der ProvezzalisClten Literatur. In English, Dr Hueffer's Troubadours is the only work of value.
The 17th century, as the supposed classical age, has been repeatedly treated in French. 'We may mention Sainte-I3euve's Studies on Port Royal, Demogeot's Tableau du lienw Slide avant Corneille, and Geruzez (Essais el' 1 istoire Litteruire). Godefroy's His-Loire de in Litt. Prancaise depuis le 16eme Siecle jusqu'a nos jours is all important work, as yet carried no furthdr than the Revolution.
On the 18th century we may mention, in English, Mr Carlyle's essays on Voltaire and Diderot, and Mr John Morley's elaborate and exhaustive works on Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau, with his smaller essays on Turgot, Vauvenargues, Sze. In French, the works of Vinet, Godefroy, and Villemain, and for the philosophical side Damiron may be consulted. The best work on the period, in a small compass, is, however, a Tableau which M. Godefroy has published in addition to his larger work. Post-Revolution literature is as yet too recent to have been treated in works of sufficient corn. prehension to be noticed here. We may, however, mention Geruzez, Litterature de la Revolution, and Nettement, Litterature Francaise eons la Restauration et in Monarchic de Juillet.
On the subject of popular poetry, which, though a contrary impression appears to prevail in England, is of extreme importance in French literature, the main authorities are, - for the Breton district-, M. Luzel (Chants Pop ulaires de In Basse-Bretagne), (the more famous works of M. de la Villemarque, Barsaz-Breiz and others, are of doubtful trustworthiness) ; for those of Lorraine, M. de Puymaigre ; for those of Champagne, M. Tarbe. 111. Haupt's Franasische Volkslieder, Gaston Paris's Chansons du Theme &tele, Wackernagel's Alt-Franzbsische Licder and Leielze, and Bartsch's Ilomanzen senul Pastourellen may also be consulted, though rather for specimens than for comment. (G. SA.)