« VorigeDoorgaan »
and Lafayette, saw in the general and the legislator the type of their own mind.*
* Time that France has passed in war from the Thirteenth to the Eight
eenth Century. In the fourteenth century, forty-three years of war; i, e, five of civil war, thirteen of war off the territory, twenty-five of war on the territory of France.- In this period there were fourteen great battles. among others, that of Contrai, where the Flemish won four hundred pair of spurs from the French knights; and that of Poictiers, where the King of France was taken prisoner.
In the fifteenth century, seventy-one years of war; i. e. thirteen of civil war, forty-three of war on the territory, and fifteen of war carried out of the territory of France. In this period there were eleven great battles-Agincourt, Castillon, and Monthery were among the number.
In the sixteenth century, eighty-five years of war; i. e. fortyfour of war off the French territory, eight of war on the French territory, and thirty-three of civil and religious war.-In this period there were twenty-seven great battles.
In the seventeenth century, sixty-nine years of war; i. e. eleven of civil war, fifty-two of war carried off the French territory, and six of religious war.-In this period there were thirty-nine great battles.
In the eighteenth century, fifty-eight years of war; i. e. one of religious war, six of civil war, and fifty-one of war off the French territory. Thus in the space of five centuries we have :
35 years, 40 years. 76 years. 175 years.
326 years. During which time were fought one hundred and eighty-four great battles.
The anniversary of Molière-Speech of M. Thiers—The man of
letters is what the Baron and the Courtier were—The literary man in France is what he is not in America, Germany, and EnglandElection of Finsbury—The false conclusions drawn during the reform bill, as to the respect which would be afterward felt for men of letters-How a love of letters grew up in France—The causes that extend a power need not be those which have created it, If you wish to create a love for the arts and for science in England, how you must do it-Dr. Bowring's evidence on silk trade-What are the advantages that England would derive from a taste for the arts-How men of science and letters have been encouraged in France-List-Public establishments in France-Ecole des arts et métiers-What is honoured by the state is honoured in society, Situation of literary men in France and literary men in England Unhappy situation of the latter-Causes— The French might even derive more advantages than they have yet done from their
national love of science and letters—New aristocracy that might be based
16th January, 1832. It is the anniversary of Molière. .. “ Le Théatre Français joue • le Misanthrope' et • le Malade Imaginaire, avec la cérémonie. Mademoiselle Mars, et l'élite de la troupe joueront dans cette réprésentation. L'anniversaire de la naissance de Molière sera aussi célébré au Faubourg St. Germain. L'Odéon jouera • Tartuffe' et le Médecin malgré lui.""* I copy this paragraph from the newspaper. Every year, on the same day, is observed and celebrated the birthday of Molière, by the great theatre of France.f On this day one of his comedies is invariably given, and the best performers, male and female,
*“The French Theatre will give “The Misanthrope' and 'The Malade Imaginaire,' with the usual ceremony. Mademoiselle Mars and the élite of the company will perform in this representation. The anniversary of Molière wiil also be celebrated in the Faubourg St. Germain. The Odéon will give the “Tartuffe' and the Médecin malgré lui.' »
+ The great comedian's bust is placed in the middle of the theatre; the comedians, all in the costume of some of the great parts in Molière, walk in procession round the theatre, salute the assembly, and depose, one after the other, a laurel branch at the foot of the statue.
in any part, however inconsiderable, that may be assigned to them. Some piece, made for the occasion, as the “ Ménage de Molière,” follows, or an ode in honour of the great French dramatist is recited, and the evening concludes with the ceremony, sacred in the place where it is perforined, “ the Crowning of the Statue of Molière,” amid the shouts and the tears, the religious joy and veneration, with which the populace of Paris hail a triumph of the arts.
One of the influences most powerful in France, and most visible in every society of France, is undoubtedly the influence of letters. “I begin my political life,” said M. V. Hugo, when his tragedy of " Le Roi s'amuse” was prohibited ; and in a country where the public take so deep and lively an interest in literature, the prohibition of a tragedy is, in fact, the commencement of a political life. At the very moment I am writing, the words yet ring in my ear which I heard one of the most distinguished members address the other evening to the Chamber of Deputies :-“ And I -I who am speaking to you, “messieurs,' when people talk to you of an aristocracy, what am I? What am I, whom you think worthy of your attention ; who take my place on yonder bench, by the side of men who have gained battles ;* by the side of men bearing the noblest namest in France? What am I, messieurs,' but an humble man of letters, whom a little talent, kindly noticed, introduced among you ?”
There are countries, the monarchs of which show an enlightened sense of the dignity with which men of learning and science decorate their dominionsthere are countries in which you will find ambassa- : dors and ministers as eminent for their literary attainments as for their high political station ; but in no country do literature and science open so free, and honourable, and independent a career as in that France which M. Thiers addressed from the National Tribune, in the few touching words that I have just cited.
* Looking at Marshal Soult.
Overturn the monarchy :-Give me the liberty of the press, and I will restore it in six months,"* the noble expression of an author confident in his taient, confident in the genius of his countrymen, and only wrong in the folly of his cause. A great writer in France is a great power.
The barori of feudal times sallied forth against his neighbour, or his sovereign, with his armed retainers at his heels; and in those days of violence the goodness of the right depended on the goodness of the sword; the courtier in France, who succeeded the baron, abandoned the glaive and the gauntlet--for the Graces—and trusted to an appropriate smile and a well-turned compliment for the success of his career. But mark yonder pale young man ; feeble in his person, slovenly in his dress -holding his pen with a trembling hand, doubled up over his paper! That young man has come from some mean abode, from some distant province, where, amid penury and insignificance, with his eyes now fixed on the page of history, now on the heading of a newspaper, he has long indulged his reveries of immortality and his hopes of power.f In him see the báron and the courtier of the day; he attacks the monarch or the minister, but it is not with the falchion and the lance. He glides into the cabinet and the boudoir, not in a powdered wig and an embroidered waistcoat, but bound in vellum. He does not measure his force or his address with yours, but his intelligence: he is the person to admire; he is the person to fear; he is the person-in France which he is nowhere else.
He is the person in France that he cannot be in America, for there is no superstition for the arts in America; the vanity of wealth, the natural consequence of a nation depending wholly on its industry and its commerce, predominates over the diviner thoughts and more graceful occupations of letters. He is the person in France that he cannot be in Germany, for in Germany a “von” before your name is a matter of social necessity; for in Germany, to be “ well born,” or to be “nobly born,” or to be “rightnobly born,” is a matter submitted to historical rules, and the superscription of a letter demands the profoundest study, the most accurate knowledge, the nicest distinctions. He is the person in France that he cannot be in England— for in England, politics is the only passion of the men, fashion the only idol of the women —for in England, to be a blockhead is far more pardonable than to live in a bad street-for in England, to have voted against the house and window-tax would make you of far more consequence than to have written the profoundest work on legislation.
* M. de Châteaubriand. + Mirabeau, consulted by the Queen of France; and the Institút admitted to the Council of Napoleon :-these are the pictures present to the young man who, in some remote village, surrounded by poverty, and born a little above the plough, pursues with indefatigable perseverance studies which he sees every day conducting his fellows to the highest situations in letters and the state, and which, if sometimes a cause of misery to himself, are still a source of energy, and strength, and prosperity to his country.
Observe! Messrs. Cousin, and Villemain, and Royer Collard are made peers, because they are very learned and eloquent professors. M. Lamartine is elected a representative of the French people on account of his poems-M. Arago on account of his mathematical acquisitions–M. Thiers on account of his talent as a journalist and an historian. This takes place in France—and what takes place in England ?
THE CLOSE OF THE POLL AT A LATE CONTEST.
The most distinguished man of science at this moment in England, appears upon the hustings as candidate for a great metropolitan district; he professes liberal but moderate opinions, such as a life of reflection usually engenders. How is he received ? Do the people feel grateful and flattered by the philosopher's appearing among them as a solicitor for popular hon