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a tragic passion "); and lastly the composition of long tirades to moralizings and theological discussions on Jansenist principles, of smooth but monotonous verses, arranged in couplets tipped while Pierre Camus, bishop of Belley (1582–1652), in Palombe with delicately careful rhymes. Only Thomas Corneille (1625- and others, approached still nearer to the strictly religious story. 1709), the inheritor of an older tradition and of a great name, In the latter part of the century, the example of La Fontaine, deserves to be excepted from the condemnation to be passed on though he himself wrote in poetry, helped to recall the talethe lesser tragedians of this period. He was unfortunate in tellers of France to an occupation more worthy of them, more possessing his brother's name, and in being, like him, too volumin- suitable to the genius of the literature, and more likely to last. ous in his compositions; but Camma, Ariane, Le Comte d'Essex, The reaction against the Clélie school produced first Madame de are not tragedies to be despised. On the other hand, the names of Villedieu (Cathérine Desjardins) (1632-1692), a fluent and Jean de Campistron (1656-1723) and Nicolas Pradon (1632-1698) facile novelist, who enjoyed great but not enduring popularity. mainly serve to point injurious comparisons; Joseph François The form which the prose tale took at this period was that of Duché (1668-1704) and Antoine La Fosse (1653-1708) are of still the fairy story. Perrault (1628-1703) and Madame d'Aulnoy less importance, and Quinault's tragedies are chiefly remarkable (d. 1705)composed specimens of this kind which have never ceased because he had the good sense to give up writing them and to to be popular since. Hamilton (1646–1720), the author of the take to opera. The general excellence of French comedy, on the well-known Mémoires du comte de Gramoni, wrote similar stories other hand, was sufficiently vindicated. Besides the splendid of extraordinary merit in style and ingenuity. There is yet a sum of Molière's work, the two great tragedians had cach, in third class of prose writing which deserves to be mentioned. It Le Menleur and Les Plaideurs, set a capital example to their also may probably be traced to Spanish influence, that is to say, successors, which was fairly followed. David Augustin de to the picaresque romances which the 16th and 17th centuries Brueys (1640-1723) and Jean Palaprat (1650–1721) brought out produced in Spain in large numbers. The most remarkable once more the ever new Advocat Palelin besides the capital example of this is the Roman comique of the burlesque writer Grondeur already referred to. Quinault and Campistron wrote Scarron. The Rowan bourgeois of Antoine Furetière (1619-1688) fair comedies. Florent Carton Dancourt (1661-1726), Charles also deserves mention as a collection of pictures of the life of the Rivière Dufresny (c. 1654-1724), Edmond Boursault (1638–1701), time, arranged in the most desultory manner, but drawn with were all comic writers of considerable merit. But the chief comic great vividness, observation and skill. A remarkable writer who dramatist of the latter period of the 17th century was Jean had great influence on Molière has also to be mentioned in this François Regnard (1655-1709), whose Joueur and Légataire connexion rather than in any other. This is Cyrano de Bergerac are comedies almost of the first rank.

(1619-1655), who, besides composing doubtful comedies and 17th-Century Fiction. In the department of literature which tragedies, writing political pamphlets, and exercising the task comes between poetry and prose, that of romance-writing, of literary criticism in objecting to Scarron's burlesques, produced

the 17th century, excepting one remarkable develop- in his Histoires comiques des étals et empires de la lune et du soleil, Heroic Romaace,

ment, was not very fertile. It devoted itself to so half romantic and half satirical compositions, in which some

many new or changed forms of literature that it had no have seen the original of Gulliver's Travels, in which others have time to anticipate the modern novel. Yet at the beginning discovered only a not very successful imitation of Rabelais, of the century one very curious form of romance-writing was and which, without attempting to decide these questions, may diligently cultivated, and its popularity, for the time immense, fairly be ranked in the same class of fiction with the masterpieces prevented the introduction of any stronger style. It is remark- of Swift and Rabelais, though of course at an immense distance able that, as the first quarter of the 17th century was pre- below them. One other work, and in literary influence perhaps eminently the epoch of Spanish influence in France, the distinctive the most remarkable of its kind in the century, remains. Madame satire of Cervantes should have been less imitated than the de Lafayette, Marie de la Vergne (1634-1692), the friend of La models which Cervantes satirized. However this may be, the Rochefoucauld and of Madame de Sévigné, though she did not romances of 1600 to 1650 form a class of literature vast, isolated, exactly anticipate the modern novel, showed the way to it in and, perhaps, of all such classes of literaturc most utterly her stories, the principal of which are Zaide and still more La obsolete and extinct. Taste, affectation or antiquarian diligence Princesse de Clèves. The latter, though a long way from Manon have, at one time or another, restored to a just, and sometimes Lescaut, Clarissa, or Tom Jones, is a longer way still from Poler. a more than just, measure of reputation most of the literary andre or the Arcadia. The novel becomes in it no longer a more relics of the past. Romances of chivalry, fabliaux, early drama, or less fictitious chronicle, but an attempt at least at the display Provençal poetry, prose chronicles, have all had, and deservedly, of character. La Princesse de Clèves has never been one of the their rebabilitators. But Polexandre and Cléopâtre, Clélie and works widely popular out of their own country, nor perhaps the Grand Cyrus, have been too heavy for all the industry and does it deserve such popularity, for it has more grace than energy of literary antiquarians. As we have already hinted, strength;, but as an original effort in an important direction the nearest ancestry which can be found for them is the romances its historical value is onsider le. Bu with this exception, of the Amadis type. But the Amedis, and in a less degree its the art of fictitious prose composition, except on a small scale, followers, although long, are long in virtue of incident. The is certainly not one in which the century excelled, nor are any romances of the Clélie type are long in virtue of interminable of the masterpieces which it produced to be ranked in this class. discourse, moralizing and description. Their manner is not 17th-Century Prose.-If, however, this was the case, it cannot unlike that of the Arcadia and the Euphues which preceded them be said that French prose as a whole was unproductive at this in England; and they express in point of style the tendency timc. On the contrary, it was now, and only now, J. C. de which simultaneously manifested itself all over Europe at this that it attained the strength and perfection for which Balzac and period, and whose chief exponents were Gongora in Spain, it has been so long renowned, and which has perhaps, modera Marini in Italy, and Lyly in England. Everybody knows the by a curious process of compensation, somewhat French Carte de Tendre which originally appeared in Clélie, while most deteriorated since the restoration of poetry proper people have heard of the shepherds and shepherdesses who in France. The prose Malherbe of French řterature was Jean figure in the Astrée of Honoré D'Urfé (1568-1625), on the borders Guez de Balzac (1594-1654). The writers of the 17th century of the Lignon; but here general knowledge ends, and there is had practically created the literary language of prose, but they perhaps no reason why it should go much further. It is suffi- had not created a prose style. The charm of Rabelais, of Amyot, cient to say that Madeleine de Scudéry (1607-1701) principally of Montaigne, and of the numerous writers of tales and memoirs devotes herself in the books above mentioned to laborious whom we have noticed, was a charm of exuberance, of naiveté, gallantry and heroism, La Calprénède (1610-1063) in Cassandre of picturesque effect-in short, of a mixture of poetry and prose, el Cléopâtre to something which might have been the historical rather than of prose proper. Sixteenth-century French prose novel if it had been constructed on a less preposterous scale, is a delightful instrument in the hands of men and women of and Marin le Roy de Gomberville (1600-1647) in Polexandre I genius, but in the hands of those who have not genius it is full


of defects, and indeed is nearly unreadable. Now, prose is. Henri IV. himself has left a considerable correspondence, essentially an instrument of all work. The poet who has not which is not destitute of literary merit, though not equal to the genius had better not write at all; the prose writer often may memoirs of his wife. What are commonly called Richelieu's and sometimes must dispense with this qualification. He has Memoirs were probably written to his order; his Testament need, therefore, of a suitable machine to help him to perform politique may be his own. Henri de Rohan (1579-1638) has not his task, and this machine it is the glory of Balzac to have done memoirs of the first value. Both this and earlier times found more than any other person to create. He produced himself chronicle in the singular Historielles of Gédéon Tallemant des no great work, his principal writings being letters, a few discourses Réaux (1619-1690), a collection of anecdotes, frequently scandaland dissertations, and a work entitled Le Socrale chrétien, a ous, reaching from the times of Henri IV. to those of Louis XIV., sort of treatise on political theology. But if the matter of his to which may be joined the letters of Guy Patin (1602-1676). work is not of the first importance, its manner is of a very different The early years of the latter monarch and the period of the value. Instead of the endless diffusenessof the preceding century, Fronde had the cardinal de Retz himself, than whom no one its ill-formed or rather unformed sentences, and its haphazard was certainly better qualified for historian, not to mention a periods, we find clauses, sentences and paragraphs distinctly crowd of others, of whom we may mention Madame de Motteplanned, shaped and balanced, a cadence introduced which is ville (1621–1689), Jean Hérault de Gourville (1625-1703), rhythmical but not metrical, and, in short, prose which is written Mademoiselle de Montpensier (" La Grande Mademoiselle '') knowingly instead of the prose which is unwittingly talked. (1627-1693), Conrart, Turenne and Mathieu Molé (1584–1663), It has been well said of him that he “écrit pour écrire"; and François du Val, marquis de Fontenay-Mareuil (1594-1655), such a man, it is evident, if he does nothing else, sets a valuable Arnauld d'Andilly (1588–1670). From this time memoirs and example to those who write because they have something to say. memoir writers were ever multiplying. The queen of them Voiture seconded Balzac without much intending to do so. all is Madame de Sevigné (1626–1696), on whom, as on most of His prose style, also chiefly contained in letters, is lighter than the great and better-known writers whom we have had and shall that of his contemporary, and helped to gain for French prose have to mention, it is impossible here to dwell at length. The the tradition of vivacity and sparkle which it has always last half of the century produced crowds of similar but inferior possessed, as well as that of correctness and grace.

writers. The memoirs of Roger de Bussy-Rabutin (1618-1693) 17th-Century History.-In historical composition, especially (author of a kind of scandalous chronicle called Histoire amouin the department of memoirs, this period was exceedingly rich. reuse des Gaules) and of Madame de Maintenon (1635–1719) At last there was written, in French, an entire history of France. perhaps deserve notice above the others. But this was in truth The author was François Eudes de Mézeray (1610--1683), whose the style of composition in which theage most excelled. Memoirwork, though not exhibiting the perfection of style at which some writing became the occupation not so much of persons who of his contemporaries had already arrived, and though still more made history, as was the case from Comines to Retz, as of those or less uncritical, yet deserves the title of history. The example who, having culture, leisure and opportunity of observation, was followed by a large number of writers, some of extended devoted themselves to the task of recording the deeds of others, works, some of histories in part. Mézeray himself is said to and still more of regarding the incidents of the busy, splendid have had a considerablc share in the Histoire du roi Henri le and cultivated if somewhat frivolous world of the court, in which, grand by the archbishop Péréfixe (1605–1670); Louis Maimbourg from the time of Louis XIV.'s majority, the political life of the (1610-1686) wrote histories of the Crusades and of the League; nation and almost its whole history were centred. Many, if not Paul Pellisson (1624-1693) gave a history of Louis XIV. and a most; of these writers were women, who thus founded the celemore valuable Mémoire in defence of the superintendent Fouquet. brity of the French lady for managing her mother-tongue, Still later in the century, or at the beginning of the next, the and justified by results the taste and tendencies of the bluePère d'Orléans (1644-1698) wrote a history of the revolutions stockings and précieuses of the Hotel Rambouillet and similar of England, the Père Daniel (1649-1728), like d'Orléans a coteries. The life which these writers saw before them furnished Jesui., composed a lengthy history of France and a shorter one them with a subject to be handled with the minuteness and care on the French military forces. Finally, at the end of the period, to which they had been accustomed in the ponderous romances comes the great ecclesiastical history of Claude Fleury (1640 of the Clélie type, but also with the wit and terseness hereditary 1723), a work which perhaps belongs more to the section of in France, and only temporarily absent in those ponderous erudition than to that of history proper. Three small treatises, compositions. The efforts of Balzac and the Academy supplied however, composed by different authors towards the middle a suitable language and style, and the increasing tendency part of the century, supply remarkable instances of prose style towards epigrammatic moralizing, which reached its acme in its application to history. These are the Conjurations du in La Rochefoucauld (1663–1680) and La Bruyère (1639-1696), comte de Fiesque, written by the famous Cardinal de Retz added in most cases point and attractiveness to their writings. (1613-1679), the Conspiration de Walstein of Sarrasin, and the 17th-Century Philosophers and Theologians.--To these moralists Conjuration des Espagnols contre Venise, composed in 1672 we might, perhaps, not inappropriately pass at once. But it by the abbé de Saint-Réal (1639-1692), the author of various seems better to consider first the philosophical and

Descartes. historical and critical works deserving less notice. These three theological developments of the age, which must share works, whose similarity of subject and successive composition with its historical experiences and studies the credit of producing at short intervals leave little doubt that a certain amount of these writers. Philosophy proper, as we have already had intentional rivalry animated the two later authors, are among occasion to remark, had hitherto made no use of the vulgar the earliest and best examples of the monographs for which tongue. The 16th century had contributed a few vernacular French, in point of grace of style and lucidity of exposition, treatises on logic, a considerable body of political and ethical has long been the most successful vehicle of expression among writing, and a good deal of sceptical speculation of a more or European languages. Among other writers of history, as less vague character, continued into our present epoch by such distinguished from memoirs, nced only be noticed Agrippa writers as François de la Mothe le Vayer (1588–1672), the last d'Aubigné, whose Histoire universelle closed his long and varied representative of the orthodox doubt of Montaigne and Charron. list of works, and Varillas (1624-1096), a historian chiefly But in metaphysics properit had not dabbled. The 17th century, remarkable for his extreme untrustworthiness. In point of on the contrary, was to produce in René Descartes (1596-1650), at memoirs and correspondence the period is hardly less fruitful once a master of prose style, the greatest of French philosophers, than that which preceded it. The Régistres-Journaux of Pierre and one of the greatest metaphysicians, not merely of France de l'Étoile (1540-1611) consist of a diary something of the Pepys and of the 17th century, but of all countries and times. Even character, kept for ncarly forty years by a person in high official before Descartes there had been considerable and important employment. The memoirs of Sully (1560-1641). published developments of metaphysical speculation in France. The first under a curious title too long to quote, date also from this time. I eminent philosopher of French birth was Pierre Gassendi (1592

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1655). Gassendi devoted himself to the maintenance of a sof its dramatic triumphs, all its greatest literary works, are almost modernized form of the Epicurean doctrines, but he wrote mainly, inextricably intermingled. Its earliest years, however, bear if not entirely, in Latin. Another sceptical philosopher of a less in theological matters rather the complexion of the scientific character was the physicist Gabriel Naudé (1600-1653), previous century. Du Perron and St Francis of Sales who, like many others of the philosophers of the time, was survived until nearly the end of its first quarter, and the accused of atheism. But as none of these could approach most remarkable works of the latter bear the dates of 1608 and Descartes in philosophical power and originality, so also none later. It was not, however, till some years had passed, till the has even a fraction of his importance in the history of French counter-Reformation had reconverted the largest and most literature. Descartes stands with Plato, and possibly Berkeley powerful portion of the Huguenot party, and till the influence of and Malebranche, at the head of all philosophers in respect of Jansenius and Descartes had time to work, that the extraordinary style; and in his case the excellence is far more remarkable outburst of Gallican theology, both in pulpit and in press, took than in others, inasmuch as he had absolutely no models, and place. The Jansenist controversy may perhaps be awarded the was forced in a great degree to create the language which he merit of provoking this, as far as writing was concerned. The used. The Discours de la méthode is not only one of the epoch- astonishing eloquence of contemporary pulpit oratory may be set making books of philosophy, it is also one of the epoch-making down partly to the zeal for conversion of which du Perron and books of French style. The tradition of his clear and perfect de Sales had given the example, partly to the same taste of the expression was taken up, not merely by his philosophical disciples, time which encouraged dramatic performances, for the sermon but also by Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) and the school of and the tirade have much in common. Jansenius himself, though Port Royal, who will be noticed presently. The very genius a Dutchman by birth, passcd much time in France, and it was of the Cartesian philosophy was intimately connected with in France that he found most disciples. These disciples consisted this clearness, distinctness and severity of style; and there is in the first place of the members of the society of Port Royal something more than a fanciful contrast between these literary des Champs, a coterie after the fashion of the time, but one which characteristics of Descartes, on the one hand, and the elaborate devoted itself not to sonnets or madrigals but to devotional splendour of Bacon, the knotty and crabbed strength of Hobbes, exercises, study and the teaching of youth. This coterie early and the commonplace and almost vulgar slovenliness of Locke. adopted the Cartesian philosophy, and the Port Royal Of the followers of Descartes, putting aside the Port Royalists, Logic was the most remarkable popular hand-book

Royal by far the most distinguished, both in philosophy and in literature, of that school. In theology they adopted Jansenism,

is Nicolas Malebranche (1638-1715). His Recherche and were in conséquence soon at daggers drawn with the Jesuits, de la vérile, admirable as it is for its subtlety and its according to the polemical habits of the time. The most dis

consecutiveness of thought, is equally admirable for tinguished champions on the Jansenist side were Jean Duvergier its elegance of style. Malcbranche cannot indeed, like his great de Hauranne, abbé de St Cyran(1581–1643), and Antoine Arnauld master, claim absolute originality. But his excellence as a (1560-1619), but by far the most important literary results of the writer is as great as, if not greater than that of Descartes, and the quarrel were the famous Provinciales of Pascal, or, to give them Recherche remains to this day the one philosophical treatise of their proper title, Lettres écrites d un provincial.

Pascal. great ļength and abstruseness which, merely as a book, is delight. Their literary importance consists, not merely in their ful to read not like the works of Plato and Berkeley, because grace of style, but in the application to serious discussion of the of the adventitious graces of dialogue or description, but from peculiarly polished and quiet irony of which Pascal is the greatest the purity and grace of the language, and its admirable adjust- master the world has ever seen. Up to this time controversy had ment to the purposes of the argument. Yet, for all this, philo- usually been conducted either in the more bludgeon fashion of sophy hardly flourished in France. It was too intimately the Scaligers and Saumaises-of which in the vernacular the connected with theological and ecclesiastical questions, and Jesuit François Garasse (1585-1631) had already contributed especially with Jansenism, to escape suspicion and persecution. remarkable examples to literary and moral controversy—or else Descartes himself was for much of his life an exile in Holland in a dull and legal style, or lastly under an envelope of Rabelaisian and Sweden; and though the unquestionable orthodoxy of buffoonery such as survives to a considerable extent in the Malebranche, the strongly religious cast of his works, and the Satire Ménippée. Pascal set the example of combining the use remoteness of the abstruse region in which he sojourned from of the most terribly effective weapons with good humour, good that of the controversies of the day, protected him, other followers breeding and a polished style. The example was largely of Descartes were not so fortunate. Holland, indeed, became followed, and the manner of Voltaire and his followers in the 18th a kind of city of refuge for students of philosophy, though even century owes at least as much to Pascal as their method and in Holland itself they were by no means entirely safe from matter do to Bayle. The Jansenists, attacked and persecuted by persecution. By far the most remarkable of French philosophical the civil power, which the Jesuits had contrived to interest, Bayle,

sojourners in the Netherlands was Pierre Bayle were finally suppressed. But the Provinciales had given them

(1647-1706), à name not perhaps of the first rank in an unapproachable superiority in matter of argument and respect of literary value, but certainly of the first as regards literature. Their other literary works were inferior, though still literary influence. Bayle, after oscillating between the two remarkable: Antoine Arnauld (the younger, often called "the confessions, nominally remained a Protestant in religion. In great ") (1612–1694) and Pierre Nicole (1625-1695) managed philosophy he in the same manner oscillated between Descartes their native language with vigour if not exactly with grace. and Gassendi, finally resting in an equally nominal Cartesianism. They maintained their orthodoxy by writings, not merely against Bayle was, in fact, both in philosophy and in religion, merely the Jesuits, but also against the Protestants such as the pera sceptic, with a scepticism at once like and unlike that of petuité de la foi due to both, and the A pologie des Catholiques Montaigne, and differenced both by temperament and by circum- written by Arnauld alone. The latter, besides being responsible stance-the scepticism of the mere student, exercised more or for a good deal of the Logic (L'Arl de penser) to which we have less in all histories, sciences and philosophies, and intellectually alluded, wrote also much of a Grammaire générale composed unable or unwilling to take a side. His style is hardly to be called by the Port Royalists for the use of their pupils; but his principal good, being diffuse and often inelegant. But his great dictionary, devotion was to theology and theological polemics. To the latter though one of the most heterogeneous and unmethodical of Nicole also contributed Les Visionnaires, Les Imaginaires and compositions, exercised an enormous influence. It may be other works. The studious recluses of Port Royal also produced called the Bible of the 18th century, and contains in the germ a large quantity of miscellaneous literary work, to which full all the desultory philosophy, the ill-ordered scepticism, and the justice has been done in Sainte-Beuve's well-known critical but negatively critical acuteness of the Aufklärung. 171h-Century Preachers.--When we think of Gallican theology 3. We have said that the philosophical, theological and moral during the 17th century, it is always with the famous pulpit tendencies of the century, which produced, with the exception orators of the period that thought is most busied. Nor is this

unjust, for though the most prominent of them all, Jacques of nearly a century, he dared to speak favourably of Ronsard, Bénigne Bossuet (1627–1704) was remarkable as a writer of and plainly expressed his opinion that the practice of his own matter intended to be read, not merely as a speaker of matter contemporaries and predecessors had cramped and impoverished intended to be heard, this double character is not possessed the French language quite as much as they had polished or puriby most of the orthodox theologians of the time; and even fied it. The other doctors whom we have mentioned were more Bossuet, great as is bis genius, is more of a rhetorician than of a purely theological than the accomplished archbishop of Cambray, philosopher or a theologian. In no quarter was the advance of Fléchier is somewhat more archaic in style than Bossuet or culture more remarkable in France than in the pulpit. We have Fénelon, and he is also more definitely a rhetorician than either. alıeady had occasion to notice the characteristics of French pulpit Mascaron has the older fault of prodigal and somewhat indiseloquence in the 15th and 16th centuries. Though this was very criminate erudition. But the two latest of the series, Bourdaloue far from destitute of vigour and imagination, the political frenzy and Massillon, had far the greatest repute in their own time of the preachers, and the habit of introducing anecdotic buf- purely asorators, and perhaps deserved this preference. The differfoonery, spoilt the eloquence of Maillard and of Raulin, of ence between the two repeated that between du Perron and de Boucher and of Rose. The powerful use which the Reformed Sales. Bourdaloue's great forte was vigorous argument and ministers made of the pulpit stirred up their rivals; the advance unsparing denunciation, but he is said to have been lacking in in science and classical study added weight and dignity to the the power of influencing and affecting his hearers. His attraction matter of their discourses. The improvement of prose style and was purely intellectual, and it is reflected in his style, which is language provided them with a suitable instrument, and the clear and forcible, but destitute of warmth and colour. Massillon, growth of taste and refinement purged their sermons of grossness on the other hand, was remarkable for his pathos, and for his and buffoonery, of personal allusions, and even, as the monarchy power of enlisting and influencing the sympathies of his hearers. became more absolute, of direct political purpose. The earliest Of minor preachers on the same side, Charles de la Rue, a Jesuit examples of this improved style were given by St Francis de (1643-1725), and the Père Cheminais (1652–1680), according to a Sales and by Fenouillet, bishop of Marseilles (d. 1652); but it somewhat idle form of nomenclature, “the Racine of the pulpit," was not till the latter half of the century, when the troubles of may be mentioned. The two Protestant ministers whom we the Fronde had completely subsided, and the church was estab- have mentioned, though inferior to their rivals, yet deserve lished in the favour of Louis XIV., that the full efflorescence of honourable mention among the ecclesiastical writers of the theological eloquence took place. There were at the time pulpit period. Claude engaged in a controversy with Bossuet, in orators of considerable excellence in England, and perhaps which victory is claimed for the invincible eagle of Meaux. Jeremy Taylor, assisted by the genius of the language, has Saurin, by far the greater preacher of the two, long continued to wrought a vein more precious than any which the somewhat occupy, and indeed still occupies, in the libraries of French academic methods and limitations of the French teachers Protestants, the position given to Bossuet and Massillon on the allowed them to reach. But no country has ever been able other side. to show a more magnificent concourse of orators, sacred or 171h-Century Moralists. It is not surprising that the works profane, than that formed by Bossuet, Fénelon (1651-1715), of Montaigne and Charron, with the immense popularity of the Esprit Fléchier (1632-1710), Jules Mascaron (1634-1703), former, should have inclined the more thoughtful minds in France Louis Bourdaloue (1632-1704), and Jean Baptiste Massillon to moral reflection, especially as many other influences, both (1663-1742), to whom may be justly added the Protestant direct and indirect, contributed to produce the same result. divines, Jean Claude (1619-1687) and Jacques Saurin (1677-1730). The constant tendency of the refinements in French prose was

The characteristics of all these were different. Bossuet, towards clearness, succinctness and precision, the qualities

the earliest and certainly the greatest, was also the most most necessary in the moralist. The characteristics of the universal. He was not merely a preacher; he was, as we have prevailing philosophy, that of Descartes, pointed in the same said, a controversialist, indeed somewhat too much of a con- direction. It so happened, too, that the times were more favourtroversialist, as his battle with Fénelon proved. He was a able to the thinker and writer on ethical subjects than to the philosophical or at least a theological historian, and his Discours speculator in philosophy proper, in theology or in politics. sur l'kistoire universelle is equally remarkable from the point of Both the former subjects exposed their cultivators, as we have view of theology, philosophy, history and literature. Turning seen, to the suspicion of unorthodoxy; and to political speculato theological politics, he wrote his Politique lirée de l'ecrilure tion of any kind the rule of Richelieu, and still more that of sainte, to theology proper bis Méditations sur les évangiles Louis XIV., were in the highest degree unfavourable. No and his Elevations sur les mystères. But his principal work, after successors to Bodin and du Vair appeared; and even in the all, is his Oraisons funèbres. The funeral sermon was the special domain of legal writings, which comes nearest to that of politics, oratorical exercise of the time. Its subject and character in- but few names of eminence are to be found. vited the gorgeous if somewhat theatrical commonplaces, the Only the name of Omer-Talon (1595-1652) really illustrates display of historical knowledge and parallel, and the moralizing the legal annals of France at this period on the bench, and that analogies, in which the age specially rejoiced. It must also be of Olivier Patru (1604–1681) at the bar. Thus it noticed, to the credit of the prcachers, that such occasions gave happened that the interests of many different classes Pascal and them an opportunity, rarely neglected, of correcting the adulation of persons were concentrated upon moralizings, which writing. which was but too frequently characteristic of the period. The took indeed very different forms in the hands of Pascal spirit of these compositions is fairly reflected in the most famous and other grave and serious thinkers of the Jansenist complexion and often quoted of their phrases, the opening " Mes frères, Dieu in theology, and in those of literary courtiers like Saint-Evremond seul est grand” of Massillon's funeral discourse on Louis XIV.; (1613-1703) and La Rochefoucauld, whose chief object was to and though panegyric is necessarily by no means absent, it is depict the motives and characters prominent in the brilliant rarely carried beyond bounds. While Bossuet, made himself and not altogether frivolous society in which they moved. Both chiefly remarkable in his sermons, and in his writings by an classes, however, were more or less tempted by the cast of their almost Hebraic grandeur and rudeness, the more special character thoughts and the genius of the language to adopt the tersest istics of Christianity, largely alloyed with a Greek and Platonic and most epigrammatic form of expression possible, and thus Fénelon. spirit, displayed themselves in Fénelon. In pure to originate the “pensée" in which, as its greatest later writer,

literature he is not less remarkable than in theology, Joubert, has said, “the ambition of the author is to put a politics and morals. His practice in matters of style was admir- book into a page, a page into a phrase, and a phrase into a word.” able

, as the universally known Télémaque sufficiently shows to The great genius and admirable style of Pascal are certainly those who know nothing

else of his writing. But his taste, both not less shown in his Pensées than in his Provinciales, though in its correctness and its audacity, is perhaps more admirable perhaps the literary form of the

former is less strikingly supreme still. Despite of Malherbe, Balzac, Boileau and the traditions than that of the latter. The author is more dominated by his




subject and dominates it less. Nicole, a far inferior writer as', erudition of one form or another. It was in this century that well as thinker, has also left a considerable number of Pensées, literary criticism of French and in French first began to be largely which have about them something more of the essay and less composed, and after this time we shall give it a separate heading. of the aphorism. They are, however, though not comparable It was very far, however, from attaining the excellence or to Pascal, excellent in matter and style, and go far to justify observing the form which it afterwards assumed. The institution Bayle in calling their author “ l'une des plus belles plumes de of the Academy led to various linguistic works. One of the l'Europe." In-sharp contrast with these thinkers, who are earliest of these was the Remarques of the Savoyard Claude invariably not merely respecters of religion but ardently and Favre de Vaugelas (1595-1650), afterwards re-edited by Thomas avowedly religious, who treat morality from the point of view Corneille. Pellisson wrote a history of the Academy itself when of the Bible and the church, there arose side by side with them, it had as yet but a brief one. The famous Examen du Cid was or only a little later, a very different group of moralists, whose an instance of the literary criticism of the time which was writings have been as widely read, and who have had as great afterwards represented by René Rapin (1621–1687), Dominique a practical and literary influence as perhaps any other class Bouhours (1628-1702) and René de Bossu (1631-1680), while of authors. The earliest to be born and the last to die of these Adrien Baillet (1649-1706) has collected the largest thesaurus was Charles de Saint-Denis, seigneur de saint-Evremond (1613- of the subject in his Jugemens des savants. Boilcau set the

1703). Saint-Evremond was long known rather as a example of treating such subjects in verse, and in the latter part Evremond. conversational wit, some of whose good things were of the century Reflexions, Discourses, Observations, and the like,

handed about in manuscript, or surreptitiously printed on particular styles, literary forms and authors, became exceedin foreign lands, than as a writer, and this is still to a certain ingly numerous. In earlier years France possessed a numerous extent his reputation. He was at least as cynical as his still band of classical scholars of the first rank, such as Scaliger and better known contemporary La Rochefoucauld, if not more so, Casaubon, who did not lack followers. But all or almost all this and he had less intellectual force and less nobility of character. sort of work was done in Latin, so that it contributed little to But his wit was very great, and he set the example of the brilliant French literature properly so-called, though the translations from societies of the next century. Many of Saint-Évremond's the classics of Nicolas Perrot d'Ablancourt (1606-1664) have printed works are nominally works of literary criticism, but always taken rank among the models of French style. On the the moralizing spirit pervades all of them. No writer had a other hand, mathematical studies were pursued by persons of greater influence on Voltaire, and through Voltaire on the far other and far greater genius, and, taking from this time whole course of French literature after him. In direct literary forward a considerable position in education and literature in value, however, no comparison can be made between Saint-France, had much influence on both. The mathematical disEvremond and the author of the Sentences el maximes morales. coveries of Pascal and Descartes are well known. Of science François, duc de la Rochefoucauld (1613–1680), has other literary proper, apart from mathematics, France did not produce many

claims besides those of this famous book. His Mémoires distinguished cultivators in this century. The philosophy of La Roche

were very favourably judged by his contemporaries, Descartes was not on the whole favourable to such investigations,

and they are still held to deserve no little praise even which were in the next century to be pursued with ardour. Its among the numerous and excellent works of the kind which that tendencies found more congenial vent and are more thoroughly age of memoir-writers produced. But while the Mémoires thus exemplified in the famous quarrel between the Ancients

Coatro invite comparison, the Maximes el sentences stand alone. Even and the Moderns. This, of Italian origin, was mainly allowing that the mere publication of detached reflections in started in France by Charles Perrault (1628-1703), between terse language was not absolutely new, it had never been carried, who thereby rendered much less service to literature Aecleota

aod perhaps has never since been carried, to such a perfection. than by his charming fairy tales. The opposite side

Moderos. Beside La Rochefoucauld all other writers are diffuse, vacillating, was taken by Boileau, and the fight was afterwards unfinished, rough. Not only is there in him never a word too revived by Antoine Houdar[d, t) de la Motte (1672-1731), a much, but there is never a word too little. The thought is always writer of little learning but much talent in various ways, and fully expressed, not compressed. Frequently as the metaphor by the celebrated Madame Dacier, Anne Lefèvre (1654-1720). of minting or stamping coin has been applied to the art of manag. The discussion was conducted, as is well known, without very ing words, it has never been applied so appropriately as to the much knowledge or judgment among the disputants on the one maxims of La Rochefoucauld. The form of them is almost side or on the other. But at this very time there were in France beyond praise, and its excellencies, combined with their immense students and scholars of the most profound erudition. We and enduring popularity, have had a very considerable share in have already mentioned Fleury and his ecclesiastical history. influencing the character of subsequent French literature. Of But Fleury is only the last and the most popular of a race of hardly less importance in this respect, though of considerably omnivorous and untiring scholars, whose labours have ever since, less intellectual and literary individuality, was the translator until the modern fashion of first-hand investigations came in, of Theophrastus and the author of the Caractères, La Bruyère. furnished the bulk of historical and scholarly references and

Jean de la Bruyère (1645-1696), though frequently quotations. To this century belong le Nain de Tillemont (1637Bruyère. epigrammatic, did not aim at the same incredible 1698), whose enormous Histoire des empereurs and Memoires

terseness as the author of the Maximes. His plan did pour servir à l'histoire. ecclésiastique served Gibbon and a not, indeed, render it necessary. Both in England and in France hundred others as quarry; Charles Dufresne, seigneur de there had been during the whole of the century a mania for Ducange (1614–1688), whose well-known glossary was only one character writing, both of the general and Theophrastic kind, and of numerous productions; Jean Mabillon (1632-1707), one of the historical and personal order. The latter, of which our of the most voluminous of the voluminous Benedictines; and own Clarendon is perhaps the greatest master, abound in the Bernard de Montfaucon (1655-1741), chief of all authorities of French memoirs of the period. The former, of which the naive the dry-as-dust kind on classical archaeology and art. sketches of Earle and Overbury are English examples, culminated Opening of the 18th Century.--The beginning of the 18th in those of La Bruyère, which are not only light and easy in century is among the dead seasons of French literature. All manner and matter, but also in style essentially amusing, though the greatest men whose names had iHustrated the early reign of instructive as well. Both he and La Rochefoucauld had an Louis XIV. in profane literature passed away long before him, enduring effect on the literature which followed them--an effect and the last if the least of them, Boileau and Thomas Corneille, perhaps superior to that exercised by any other single work in only survived into the very earliest years of the new age. The French, except the Roman de la rose and the Essais of Montaigne. political and military disasters of the last years of the reign were

17th-Century Savants.-Of the literature of the 17th century accompanied by a state of things in society unfavourable to there only remains to be dealt with the section of those writers literary development. The devotion to pure literature and philowho devoted themselves to scientific pursuits or to antiquarian I sophy proper which Descartes and Corneille had inspired had


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