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died out, and the devotion to physical science, to sociology, and to a kind of free-thinking optimism which was to inspire Voltaire and the Encyclopedists had not yet become fashionable. Fénelon and Malebranche still survived, but they were emphatically men of the last age, as was Massillon, though he lived till nearly the middle of the century. The characteristic literary figures of the opening years of the period are d'Aguesseau, Fontenelle, Saint-Simon, personages in many ways interesting and remarkable, but purely transitional in their characteristics. Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle (1657-1757) is, indeed, perhaps the most typical figure of the time. He was a dramatist, a moralist, a philosopher, physical and metaphysical, a critic, an historian, a poet and a satirist. The manner of his works is always easy and graceful, and their matter rarely contemptible. 18th-Century Poetry.-The dispiriting signs shown during the 17th century by French poetry proper received entire fulfilment in the following age. The two poets who were most prominent at the opening of the period were the abbé de Chaulieu (16391720) and the marquis de la Fare (1644-1712), poetical or rather versifying twins who are always quoted together. They were both men who lived to a great age, yet their characteristics are rather those of their later than of their earlier contemporaries. They derive on the one hand from the somewhat trifling school of Voiture, on the other from the Bacchic sect of Saint-Amant; and they succeed in uniting the inferior qualities of both with the cramped and impoverished though elegant style of which Fénelon had complained. Their compositions are as a rule lyrical, as lyrical poetry was understood after the days of Malherbe--that is to say, quatrains of the kind ridiculed by Molière, and Pindaric odes, which have been justly described as made up of alexandrines after the manner of Boileau cut up into shorter or longer lengths. They were followed, however, by the one poet who succeeded in producing something resembling poetry J. B in this artificial style, J. B. Rousseau (1671-1741). £ses. Rousseau, who in some respects was nothing so little as a religious poet, was neverthelessstrongly influenced, as Marot had been, by the Psalms of David. His Odes and his Cantates are perhaps less destitute of that spirit than the work of any other poet of the century excepting André Chénier. Rousseau was also an extremely successful epigrammatist, having in this respect, too, resemblances to Marot. Le Franc de Pompignan . (1709-1784), to whom Voltaire's well-known sarcasms are not altogether just, and Louis Racine (1692-1763), who wrote pious and altogether forgotten poems, belonged to the same poetical school; though both the style and matter of Racine are strongly tinctured by his Port Royalist sympathies and education. Lighter verse was represented in the 18th century by the long-lived Saint-Aulaire (1643-1742), by Gentil Bernard (1710-1775), by the abbé (afterwards cardinal) de Bernis (1715-1794), by Claude Joseph Dorat (1734-1780), by Antoine Bertin (1752-1790) and by Evariste de Parny (1753-1814), the last the most vigorous, but all somewhat deserving the term applied to Dorat of verluisant du Parnasse. The jovial traditions of Saint-Amant begat a similar school of anacreontic songsters, which, represented in turn by Charles François Panard (1674– 1765), Charles Collé (1709-1783), Armand Gouffé (1775-1845), and Marc-Antoine-Madeleine Desaugiers (1772-1827), led directly to the best of all such writers, Béranger. To this class Rouget de Lisle (1760-1836) perhaps also belongs; though his most famous composition, the Marseillaise, is of a different stamp. Nor is the account of the light verse of the 18th century complete without reference to a long succession of fable writers, who, in an unbroken chain, connect La Fontaine in the 17th century with Viennet in the 19th. None of the links, however, of this chain, with the exception of Jean Pierre Florian (1759-1794) deserve much attention. The universal faculty of Voltaire (1694–1778) showed itself in his poetical productions no less than in his other works, and it is perhaps not least remarkable in verse. It is impossible nowadays to regard the Henriade as anything but a highly successful prize poem, but the burlesque epic of La Pucelle, discreditable as it may be from the moral point of view, is remarkable enough as literature.

Voltaire (poetry),

The epistles and satires are among the best of their kind, the verse tales are in the same way admirable, and the epigrams, impromptus, and short miscellaneous poems generally are the ne plus, ultra of verse which is not poetry. The Anglomania of the century extended into poetry, and the Seasons of Thomson set the example of a whole library of tedious descriptive verse, which in its turn revenged France upon England by producing or helping to produce English poems of the Darwin school. The first of these descriptive performances was the Saisons of Jean François de Saint-Lambert (1716-1803), identical in title with its model, but of infinitely inferior value. SaintLambert was followed by Jacques Delille (1738-1813) in Les Jardins, Antoine Marin le Mierre (1723-1793) in Les Fastes, and Jean Antoine Roucher (745-1794) in Les Mois. Indeed, everything that could be described was seized upon by these describers. Delille also translated the Georgics, and for a time was the greatest living poet of France, the title being only disputed by Escouchard le Brun (1729-1807), a lyrist and ode writer of the school of J. B. Rousseau, but not destitute of energy. The only other poets until Chénier who deserve notice are Nicolas Gilbert (1751-1780)—the French Chatterton, or perhaps rather the French Oldham, who died in a workhouse at twenty-nine after producing some vigorous satires and, at the point of death, an elegy of great beauty; Jacques Charles Louis Clinchaut de Malfilâtre (1732-1767), another short-lived poet whose “Ode to the Sun” has a certain stateliness; and Jean Baptiste Gresset (1709-1777), the author of Ver-Vert and of other poems of the lighter order, which are not far, if at all, below the level of Voltaire. André Chénier (1762–1794) stands Chénier far apart from the art of his century, though the strong chain of custom, and his early death by the guillotine, prevented him from breaking finally through the restraints of its language and its versification. Chénier, half a Greek by blood, was wholly one inspirit and sentiment. The manner of his verses, the very

air which surrounds them and which they diffuse, are different

from those of the 18th century; and his poetry is probably the utmost that its language and versification could produce. To do more, the revolution which followed a generation after his death was required. 18th-Century Drama.-Theresults of the cultivation of dramatic poetry at this time were even less individually remarkable than those of the attention paid to poetry proper. Here again the astonishing power and literary aptitude of Voltaire gave value to his attempts in a style which, notwithstanding that it counts Racine among its practitioners, was none the less predestined to failure. Voltaire's own efforts in this kind are indisputably as successful as they could be. Foreigners usually prefer Mahomet and Zaire to Bajazel and Mithridale, though there is no doubt that no work of Voltaire's comes up to Polyeucte and Rodogune, as certainly no single passage in any of his plays can approach the best passages of Cinna and Les Horaces. But the remaining tragic writers of the century, with the single exception of Crébillon père, are scarcely third-rate. C. Jolyot de Crébillon (1674–1762) himself had genius, and there are to be found in his work evidences of a spirit which had seemed to die away with Saint-Genest, and was hardly to revive until Hernani. Of the imitators of Racine and Voltaire, La Motte in Inés de Castro was not wholly unsuccessful. François Joseph de la Grange-Chancel (1677-1758) copied chiefly the worst side of the author of Britannicus, and Bernard Joseph Saurin (1706–1781) and Pierre-Laurent de Belloy (1727– 1775) performed the same service for Voltaire. LeMierre and La Harpe, mentioned and to be mentioned, were tragedians; but the Iphigénie en Tauride of Guimond de la Touche (1725–1760) deserves more special mention than anything of theirs. There was an infinity of tragic writers and tragic plays in this century, but hardly any others of them even deserve mention. The musc of comedy was decidedly more happy in her devotees. Molière was a far safer if a more difficult model than Racine, and the inexorable fashion which had bound down tragedy to a feeble imitation of Euripides did not similarly prescribe an undeviating adherence to Terence. Tragedy had never been, has scarcely been since, anything but an exotic in France, comedy was of the soil and native. Very early in the century Alain René le Sage (1668–1747), in the admirable comedy of Turcaret, produced a work not unworthy to stand by the side of all but his master's best. Philippe Destouches (1680-1754) was also a fertile comedy writer in the early years of the century, and in Le Glorieux and Le Philosophe marié achieved considerable success. As the age went on, comedy, always apt to lay hold of passing events, devoted itself to the great struggle between the Philosophes and their opponents. Curiously enough, the party which engrossed almost all the wit of France had the worst of it in this dramatic portion of the contest, if in no other. The Méchant of Gresset and the Métromanie of Alexis Piron (1689–1773) were far superior to anything produced on the other side, and the Philosophes of Charles Palissot de Montenoy (1730-1814), though scurrilous and broadly farcical, had a great success. On the other hand, it was to a Philosophe that the invention of a new dramatic style was due, and still more the promulgation of certain ideas on dramatic criticism and construction, which, after being filtered through the German mind, were to return to France and to exercise the most powerful influence on its dramatic productions. Diderot This was Denis Diderot (1713–1784), the most fertile (plays). genius of the century, but also the least productive in finished and perfect work. His chief dramas, the Fils naturel and the Père de famille, are certainly not great successes; the shorter plays, Est-il bon? est-il méchant? and La Pièce et le prologue, are better. But it was his follower Michel Jean Sédaine (1719-1797) who, in Le Philosophe sans le savoir and other pieces, produced the best examples of the bourgeois as opposed to the heroic drama. Diderot is sometimes credited or discredited with the invention of the Comédie Larmoyante, a title which indeed his own plays do not altogether refuse, but this special variety seems to be, in its invention, rather the property of Pierre Claude Nivelle de la Chaussée (1692–1754). Comedy sustained itself, and even gained ground towards the end of the century; the Jeune Indienne of Nicolas Chamfort (1741– 1794), if not quite worthy of its author's brilliant talent in other paths, is noteworthy, and so is the Bille! perdu of Joseph François Edouard de Corsembleu Desmahis (1722-1761), while at the extreme limit of our present period there appears the remarkable figure of Pierre Caron de Beaumarchais (1732–1799). The Mariage de Figaro and the Barbier de Séville are well known as having had attributed to them no mean place among the literary causes and forerunners of the Revolution. Their dramatic and literary value would itself have sufficed to obtain attention for them at any time, though there can be no doubt that their popularity was mainly due to their political appositeness. The most remarkable point about them, as about the school of comedy of which Congreve was the chief master in England at the beginning of the century, was the abuse and superfluity of wit in the dialogue, indiscriminately allotted to all characters alike. It is difficult to give particulars, but would be improper to omit all mention, of such dramatic or quasi-dramatic work as the libretti of operas, farces for performance at fairs and the like. French authors of the, time from Le Sage downwards usually managed these with remarkable skill. 18th-Century Fiction.-With prose fiction the case was altogether different. We have seen how the short tale of a few pages had already in the 16th century attained high if not the highest excellence; how at three different periods the fancy for long-winded prose narration developed itself in the prose rehandlings of the chivalric poems, in the Amadis romances, and in the portentous recitals of Gomberville and La Calprenède, how burlesques of these romances were produced from Rabelais to Scarron; and how at last Madame de Lafayette showed the way to something like the novel of the day. If we add the fairy story, of which Perrault and Madame d'Aulnoy were the chief practitioners, and a small class of miniature romances, of which Aucassin et Nicolette in the 13th, and the delightful Jehan de Paris (of the 15th or 16th, in which a king of England is patriotically sacrificed) are good representatives, we shall have exhausted the list. The 18th century was quick to develop the system of the author of the Princesse de Clèves, but it did not abandon

the cultivation of the romance, that is to say, fiction dealing with incident and with the simpler passions, in devoting itself to the novel, that is to say, fiction dealing with the analysis of sentiment and character. Le Sage, its first great novelist, in his Diable boiteux and Gil Blas, went to Spain not merely for his subject but also for his inspiration and manner, following the lead of the picaroon romance of Rojas and Scarron. Like Fielding, however, whom he much resembles, Le Sage mingled with the romance of incident the most careful attention to character and the most lively portrayal of it, while his style and language are such as to make his work one of the classics of French literature. The novel of character was really founded in France by the abbé Prévost d'Exilles (1697-1763), the author of Cleveland and of the incomparable Manon Lescaut. The popularity of this style was much helped by the immense vogue in France of the works of Richardson. Side by side with it, however, and for a time enjoying still greater popularity, there flourished a very different school of fiction, of which Voltaire, whose name occupies the first or all but the first place in every branch of literature of his time, was the most brilliant cultivator. This was a direct development of the earlier conte, and consisted usually of the treatment, in a humorous, satirical, and not always over-decent fashion, of contemporary foibles, beliefs, philosophies and occupations. These tales are of every rank of excellence and merit both literary and moral, and range from the astonishing wit, grace and humour of Candide and Zadig to the book which is Diderot's one hardly pardonable sin, and the similar but more lively efforts of Crébillon fils (1707–1777). These latter deeps led in their turn to the still lower depths of La Clos and Louvet. A third class of 18th-century fiction consists of attempts to return to the humorous fatrasie of the 16th century, attempts which were as much influenced by Sterne as the sentimental novel was by Richardson. The Homme aux quarante écus of Voltaire has something of this character, but the most characteristic works of the style are the Jacqucs le fataliste of Diderot, which shows it nearly at its best, and the Compère Mathieu, sometimes attributed to Pigault-Lebrun (1753–1835), but no doubt in reality due to Jacques du Laurens (1719-1797), which shows it at perhaps its worst. Another remarkable story-teller was Cazotte (1719–1792), whose Diable amoureux displays much fantastic power, and connects itself with a singular fancy of the time for occult studies and diablerie, manifested later by the patronage shown to Cagliostro, Mesmer, St Germain and others. In this connexion, too, may perhaps also be mentioned most appropriately Bestif de la Bretonne, a remarkably original and voluminous writer, who was little noticed by his contemporaries and successors for the best part of a century. Restif, who was nicknamed the “Rousseau of the gutter,” Rousseau du ruisseau, presents to an English imagination many of the characteristics of a non-moral Defoe. While these various schools busied themselves more or less with real life seriously depicted or purposely travestied, the great vogue and success of Télémaque produced a certain number of didactic works, in which moral or historical information was sought to be conveyed under a more or less thin guise of fiction. Such was the Voyage du jeune Anacharsis of Jean Jacques Barthélemy (1716-1795); such the Numa Pompilius and Gonzalve de Cordoue of Florian (1755-1794), who also deserves notice as a writer of pastorals, fables and short prose tales; such the Bélisaire and Les Incas of Jean François Marmontel (1723-1799). Between this class and that of the novel of sentiment may perhaps be placed Paul et Virginie.and La Chaumière indienne; though Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737–1814) should more properly be noticed after Rousseau and as a moralist. Diderot's fiction-writing has already been referred to more than once, but his Religieuse deserves citation here as a powerful specimen of the novel both of analysis and polemic; while his undoubted masterpiece, the Neveu de Rameau, though very difficult to class, comes under this head as well as under any other. There are, however, two of the novelists of this age, and of the most remarkable, who have yet to be noticed, and these are the author of Marianne and the author of Julie. We do

not mention Pierre de Marivaux (1688-1763) in this connexion as the cqual of Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), but merely as being in his way almost equally original and equally remote from any suspicion of school influence. He began with burlesque writing, and was also the author of several comedies, of which Les Fausses Confidences is the principal. But it is in prose fiction that he really excels. He may claim to have, at least in the opinion of his contemporaries, invented a style, though perhaps the term marivaudage, which was applied to it, has a not altogether complimentary connotation. He may claim also to have invented the novel without a purpose, which aims simply at amusement, and at the same time does not seek to attain that end by buffoonery or by satire. Gray's definition of happiness, “to lie on a sofa and read endless novels by Marivaux" (it is true that he added Crébillon), is well known, and the production of mere pastime by means more or less harmless has since become so well-recognized a function of the novelist that Marivaux, as one of the earliest to discharge it, deserves notice. The name, J. J. however, of Jean Jacques Rousseau is of far different £sseau importance. His two great works, the Nouvelle Héloise and Émile, are as far as possible from being perfect as novels. But no novels in the world have ever had such influence as these. To a great extent this influence was due mainly to their attractions as novels, imperfect though they may be in this character, but it was beyond dispute also owing to the doctrines which they contained, and which were exhibited in novel form. Such are the principal developments of fiction during the century; but it is remarkable that, varied as they were, and excellent as was some of the work to which they gave rise, none of these schools was directly very fertile in results or successors. The period with which we shall next have to deal, that from the outbreak of the Revolution to the death of Louis XVIII., is curiously barren of fiction of any merit. It was not till English influence began again to assert itself in the later days of the Restoration that the prose romance began once more to be written. 18th-Century History.-It is not, however, in any of the departments of belles-lettres that the real eminence of the 18th century as a time of literary production in France consists. In all serious branches of study its accomplishments were, from a literary point of view, remarkable, uniting as it did an extraordinary power of popular and literary expression with an ardent spirit of inquiry, a great speculative ability, and even a far more considerable amount of laborious erudition than is generally supposed. The historical studies and results of 18th-century speculation in France are of especial and peculiar importance. There is no doubt that what is called the science of history dates from this time, and though the beginning of it is usually assigned to the Italian Vico, its complete indication may perhaps with equal or greater justice be claimed by the Frenchman Turgot. Before Turgot, however, there were great names in French historical writing, and perhaps the greatest of all is that of Charles Secondat de Montesquieu (1689-1755). The three principal works of this great writer are all historical and at the same time political in character. In the Lettres persanes he handled, with wit inferior to the wit of no other writer even in that witty age, the corruptions and dangers of contemporary morals and politics. The literary charm of this book-the plan of which was suggested by a work, the Amusements sérieux et comiques, of Dufresny (1648-1724), a comic writer not destitute of merit—is very great, and its plan was so popular as to lead to a thousand imitations, of which all, except those of Voltaire and Goldsmith, only bring out the immense superiority of the original. Few things could be more different from this lively and popular book than Montesquieu's next work, the Grandeur et décadence des Romains, in which the same acuteness and knowledge of human nature are united with considerable erudition,and with a weighty though perhaps somewhat grandiloquent and rhetorical style. His third and greatest work, the Esprit des lois, is again different both in style and character, and such defects as it has are as nothing when compared with the merits

of its fertility in ideas, its splendid breadth of view, and the felicity with which the author, in a manner unknown before, recognizes the laws underlying complicated assemblages of fact. The style of this great work is equal to its substance; less light than that of the Lettres, less rhetorical than that of the Grandeur des Romains, it is still a marvellous union of dignity and wit. Around Montesquieu, partly before and partly after him, is a group of philosophical or at least systematic historians, of whom the chief are Jean Baptiste Dubos (1670-1742), and G. Bonnot de Mably (1709-1785). Dubos, whose chief work is not historical but aesthetic (Réflexions sur la poésie et la peinture), wroteaso-called Histoire critique de l'établissement de la monarchie française, which is as far as possible from being in the modern sense critical, inasmuch as, in the teeth of history, and in order to exalt the Tiers état, it pretends an amicable coalition of Franks and Gauls, and not an irruption by the former. Mably (Observations sur l'histoire de la France) had a much greater influence than either of these writers, and a decidedly mischievous one, especially at the period of the Revolution. He, more than any one else, is responsible for the ignorant and childish extolling of Greek and Roman institutions, and the still more ignorant depreciation of the middle ages, which was for a time characteristic of French politicians. Montesquieu was, as we have said, followed by Anne Robert Jacques Turgot (1727-1781), whose writings are few in number, and not remarkable for style, but full of original thought. Turgot in his turn was followed by Condorcet (1743-1794), whose tendency is somewhat more sociological than directly historical. Towards the end of the period, too, a considerable number of philosophical histories were written, the usual object of which was, under cover of a kind of allegory, to satirize and attack the existing institutions and government of France. The most famous of these was the Histoire des Indes, nominally written by the Abbé Guillaume Thomas François Raynal (1713-1796), but really the joint work of many members of the Philosophe party, especially Diderot. Side by side with this really or nominally philosophical school of history there existed another and less ambitious school, which contented itself with the older and simpler view of the science. The Abbé René de Vertot (1655-1735) belongs almost as much to the 17th as to the 18th century; but his principal works, especially the famous Histoire des Chevaliers de Malte, date from the later period, as do also the Révolutions romaines. Vertot

is above all things a literary historian, and the well-known

“Mon siège est fait,” whether true or not, certainly expresses his system. Of the same school, though far more comprehensive, was the laborious Charles Rollin (1661-1741), whose works in the original, or translated and continued in the case of the Histoire romaine by Jean Baptiste Louis Crévier (1693–1765), were long the chief historical manuals of Europe. The president Charles Jean François Hénault (1685-1770), and Louis Pierre Anquetil (1723–1806) were praiseworthy writers, the first of French history, the second of that and much else. In the same class, too, far superior as is his literary power, must be ranked the historical works of Voltaire, Charles XII, Pierre le Grand, &c. A very perfect example of the historian who is literary first of all is supplied by Claude Carloman de Rulhière (17351791), whose Révolution en Russie en 1762 is one of the little masterpieces of history, while his larger and posthumous work on the last days of the Polish kingdom exhibits perhaps some of the defects of this class of historians. Lastly must be mentioned the memoirs and correspondence of the period, the materials of history if not history itself. The century opened with the most famous of all these, the memoirs of the duc de Saint-Simon (1675-1755), an extraordinary series of pictures of the court of Louis XIV. and the Regency, written in an unequal and incorrect style, but with something of the irregular excellence of the great 16th-century writers, and most striking in the sombre bitterness of its tone. The subsequent and less remarkable memoirs of the century are so numerous that it is almost impossible to select a few for reference, and altogether impossible to mention all. Of those bearing on public history the memoirs of Madame de Staël (Mlle Delaunay) (1684-1750), of Pierre Louis de Voyer, marquis d'Argenson (1694–1757), of Charles Pinot Duclos (1704-1772), of Stephanie Félicité de Saint-Aubin, Madame de Genlis (1746-1830), of Pierre Victor de Bésenval (1722-1791), of Madame Campan (1752–1822) and of the cardinal de Bernis (1715-1794), may perhaps be selected for mention; of those bearing on literary and private history, the memoirs of Madame d'Épinay (1726–1783), those of Mathieu Marais (1664–1737) the so-called Mémoires secrets of Louis Petit de Bachaumont (1690-1770), and the innumerable writings having reference to Voltaire and to the Philosophe party generally. Here, too, may be mentioned a remarkable class of literature, consisting of purely private and almost confidential letters, which were written at this time with very remarkable literary excellence. As specimens may be selected those of Mademoiselle Aissé (1694–1757), which are models of easy and unaffected tenderness, and those of Mademoiselle de Lespinasse (1732-1776) the companion of Madame du Deffand and afterwards of d'Alembert. These latter, in their extraordinary fervour and passion, not merely contrast strongly with the generally languid and frivolous gallantry of the age, but also constitute one of its most remarkable literary monuments. It has been said of them that they “burn the paper,” and the expression is not exaggerated. Madame du Deffand's (1697–1780) own letters, many of which were written to Horace Walpole, are noteworthy in a very different way. Of lighter letters the charming correspondence of Diderot with Mademoiselle Voland deserves special mention. But the correspondence, like the memoirs of this century, defies justice to be done to it in any cursory or limited mention. In this connexion, however, it may be well to mention some of the most remarkable works of the time, the Confessions, Rêveries, and Promenades d'un solitaire of Rousseau. In these works, especially in the Confessions, there is not merely exhibited passion as fervid though perhaps less unaffected than that of Mademoiselle de Lespinasse—there appear in them two literary characteristics which, if not entirely novel, were for the first time brought out deliberately by powers of the first order, were for the first time made the mainspring of literary interest, and thereby set an example which for more than a century has been persistently followed, and which has produced some of , the finest results of modern literature. The first of these was the elaborate and unsparing analysis and display of the motives, the weaknesses and the failings of individual character. This process, which Rousseau unflinchingly performed on himself, has been followed usually in respect to fictitious characters by his successors. The other novelty was the feeling for natural beauty and the elaborate description of it, the credit of which latter must, it has been agreed by all impartial critics, be assigned rather to Rousseau than to any other writer. His influence in this direction was, however, soon taken up and continued by Bernardin de SaintPierre, the connecting link between Rousseau and Chateaubriand, some of whose works have been already alluded to. In particular the author of Paul et Virginie set himself to develop the example of description which Rousseau had set, and his word-paintings, though less powerful than those of his model, are more abundant, more elaborate, and animated by a more amiable spirit. 18th-Century Philosophy.—The Anglomania which distinguished the time was nowhere more stongly shown than in the cast and direction of its philosophical speculations. As Montesquieu and Voltaire had imported into France a vivid theoretical admiration for the British constitution and for British theories in politics, so Voltaire, Diderot and a crowd of others popularized and continued in France the philosophical ideas of Hobbes and Locke and even Berkeley, the theological ideas of Bolingbroke, Shaftesbury and the English deists, and the physical discoveries of Newton. Descartes, Frenchman and genius as he was, and though his principles in physics and philosophy were long clung to in the schools, was completely abandoned by the more adventurous and progressive spirits. At no time indeed, owing to the confusion of thought and purpose to which we have already alluded, was the word philosophy used with greater looseness than at this time. Using it, as we have hitherto used it, in the sense of metaphysics, the majority of the Philosophes have very

little claim to their title. There were some who manifested, however, an aptitude for purely philosophical argument, and one who confined himself strictly thereto. Among these the most remarkable are Julien Offroy de la Mettrie (1709-1751) and Denis Diderot. La Mettrie in his works L'Homme machine, L'Homme plante, &c., applied a lively and vigorous imagination, a considerable familiarity with physics and medicine, and a brilliant but unequal style, to the task of advocating materialistic ideas on the constitution of man. Diderot, in a series of early works, Lettre sur les aveugles, Promenade d'un sceptique, Pensées philosophiques, &c., exhibited a good acquaintance with philosophical history and opinion, and gave sign in this direction, as in so many others, of a far-reaching intellect. As in almost all his works, however, the value of the thought is extremely unequal, while the different pieces, always written in the hottest haste, and never duly matured or corrected, present but few specimens of finished and polished writing. Charles Bonnet (1720-1793), a Swiss of Geneva, wrote a large number of works, many of which are purely scientific. Others, however, are more psychological, and these, though advocating the materialistic philosophy, generally in vogue, were remarkable for uniting materialism with an honest adherence to Christianity. The half mystical writer, Louis Claude de Saint-Martin (1743–1803) also deserves notice. But, the French metaphysician of the century is undoubtedly Etienne Bonnot, abbé de Condillac (1714-1780), almost the only writer of the Coadiha. time in France who succeeded in keeping strictly to philosophy without attempting to pursue his system to its results in ethics, politics and theology. In the Traité des sensations, the Essai sur l'origine des connaissances humaines and other works Condillac elaborated and continued the imperfect sensationalism of Locke. As his philosophical view, though perhaps more restricted, was far more direct, consecutive and uncompromising than that of the Englishman, so his style greatly exceeded Locke's in clearness and elegance and as a good medium of philosophical expression. 18th-Century Theology.—To devote a section to the history of the theological literature of the 18th century in France may seem something of a contradiction; for, indeed, all or most of such literature was anti-theological. The magnificent list of names which the church had been able to claim on her side in the 17th century was exhausted before the end of the second quarter of the 18th with Massillon, and none came to fill their place. Very rarely has orthodoxy been so badly defended as at this time. The literary championship of the church was entirely in the hands of the Jesuits, and of a few disreputable literary freelances like Elie Fréron (1719–1776) and Pierre Francois Guyot, abbé Desfontaines (1685-1745). The Jesuits were learned enough, and their principal journal, that of Trévoux, was conducted with much vigour and a great deal of erudition. But they were in the first place discredited by the moral taint which has always hung over Jesuitism, and in the second place by the persecutions of the Jansenists and the Protestants, which were attributed to their influence. But one single work on the orthodox side has preserved the least reputation; while, on the other hand, the names of Père Nonotte (1711-1793) and several of his fellows have been enshrined unenviably in the imperishable ridicule of Voltaire, one only of whose adversaries, the abbé Antoine Guénée (1717– 1803), was able to meet him in the Lettres de quelques Juifs with something like his own weapons. It has never been at all accurately decided how far what may be called the scoffing school of Voltaire represents a direct revolt against £). Christianity, and how far it was merely a kind of guerilla warfare against the clergy. It is positively certain that Voltaire was not an atheist, and that he did not approve of atheism. But his Dictionnaire philosophique, which is typical of a vast amount of contemporary and subsequent literature, consists of a heterogeneous assemblage of articles directed against various points of dogma and ritual and various characteristics of the sacred records. From the literary point of view, it is one of the most characteristic of all Voltaire's works, though it is perhaps not entirely his. The desultory arrangement, the light

and lively style, the extensive but not always too accurate erudition, and the somewhat captious and quibbling objections, are intensely Voltairian. But there is little seriousness about it, and certainly no kind of rancorous or deep-seated hostility. With many, however, of Voltaire's pupils and younger contemporaries the case was altered. They were distinctively atheists and anti-supernaturalists. The atheism of Diderot, unquestionably the greatest of them all, has been keenly debated; but in the case of Etienne Damilaville (1723-1768), Jacques André Naigeon (1738-1810), Paul Henri Dietrich, baron d'Holbach, and others there is no room for doubt. By these persons a greatmassofatheisticand anti-Christian literature was composed and set afloat. The characteristic work of this school, its last word indeed, is the famous Système de la nature, £... attributed to Holbach (1723-1789), but known to be, *::" in part at least, the work of Diderot. In this remarkable work, which caps the climax of the metaphysical materialism or rather nihilism of the century, the atheistic position is clearly put. It made an immense sensation; and it so fluttered not merely the orthodox but the more moderate freethinkers, that Frederick of Prussia and Voltaire, perhaps the most singular pair of defenders that orthodoxy everhad, actually set themselves to refute it. Its style and argument are very unequal, as books written in collaboration are apt to be, and especially books in which Diderot, the paragon of inequality, had a hand. But there is an almost entire absence of the heterogeneous assemblage of anecdotes, jokes good and bad, scraps of accurate or inaccurate physical science, and other incongruous matter with which the Philosophes were wont to stuff their works; and lastly, there is in the best passages a kind of sombre grandeur which recalls the manner as well as the matter of Lucretius. It is perhaps well to repeat, in the case of so notorious a book, that this criticism is of a purely literary and formal character; but there is little doubt that the literary merits of the work considerably assisted its didactic influence. As the Revolution approached, and the victory of the Philosophe party was declared, there appeared for a brief space a group of cynical and accomplished phrase-makers presenting some similarity to that of which, a hundred years before, Saint-Evremond was the most prominent figure. The chief of this group were Nicolas Chamfort (1747-1794) on the republican side, and Antoine Rivarol(1753-1801)on that of the royalists. Like the older writer to whom we have compared them, beither can be said to have produced any one work of eminence, and in this they stand distinguished from moralists like La Rochefoucauld. The floating sayings, however, which are attributed to them, or which occur here and there in their miscellaneous work, yield in no respect to those of the most famous of their predecessors in wit and a certain kind of wisdom, though they are frequently more personal than aphoristic. 18th-Century Moralists and Politicians.-Not the least part, however, of the energy of the period in thought and writing was devoted to questions of a directly moral and political kind. With regard to morality proper the favourite doctrine of the century was what is commonly called the selfish theory, the only one indeed which was suitable to the sensationalism of Condillac and the materialism of Holbach. The pattern book of this newsau, doctrine was the De l'esprit of Claude Adrien Helvétius (1715-1771), the most amusing book perhaps which ever pretended to the title of a solemn philosophical treatise. There is some analogy between the principles of this work and those of the Système de la nature. With the inconsistencysome would say with the questionable honesty—which distinguished the more famous members of the Philosophe party when their disciples spoke with what they considered imprudent outspokenness, Voltaire and even Diderot attacked Helvétius as the former afterwards attacked Holbach. But whatever may be the general value of De l'esprit, it is full of acuteness, though rhea... that acuteness is as desultory and disjointed as its style. As Helvétius may be taken as the representative author of the cynical school, so perhaps Alexandre Gérard Thomas (1732-1785) may be taken as representative of the

Chamfort. Arivarol.

votaries of noble sentiment to whom we have also alluded. The works of Thomas chiefly took the form of academic éloges or formal panegyrics, and they have all the defects, both in manner and substance, which are associated with that style. Of yet a third school, corresponding in form to La Rochefoucauld and La Bruyère, and possessed of some of the antique vigour of preceding centuries, was Luc de Clapiers, marquis de Vauvenargues (1715-1747). This writer, who died very young, has produced maxims and reflections of considerable mental force and literary finish. From Voltaire downwards it has been usual to compare him with Pascal, from whom he is chiefly distinguished by a striking but somewhat empty stoicism. Between the moralists, of whom we have taken these three as examples, and the politicians may be placed Rousseau, who in his novels and miscellaneous works is of the first class, in his famous Contrat social of the second. All his theories, whatever their originality and whatever their value, were made novel and influential by the force of their statement and the literary beauties of its form. Of direct and avowed political writings there were few during the century, and none of anything like the importance of the Contrat social, theoretical acceptance of the established French constitution being a point of necessity with all Frenchmen. Nevertheless it may be said that almost the whole of the voluminous writings of the Philosophes, even of those who, like Voltaire, were sincerely aristocratic and monarchic in predilection, were of more or less veiled political significance. There was one branch of political writing, moreover, which could be indulged in without much fear. Political economy and administrative theories received much attention. The earliest writer of eminence on these subjects was the great engineer Sébastien le Prestre, marquis de Vauban (1633-17oz), whose Oisivetés and Dime royale exhibit both great ability and extensive observation. A more utopian economist of the same time was Charles Irénée Castel, abbé de Saint-Pierre (1658–1743), not to be confounded with the author of Paul et Virginie. Soon political economy in the hands of François Quesnay(1694-1774)took a regular form, and towards the middle of the century a great number of works on questions connected with it, especially that of free trade in corn, on which Ferdinand Galiani (1728-1787), André Morellet (1727-1819), both abbés, and above all Turgot, distinguished themselves. Of writers on legal subjects and of the legal profession, the century, though not less fertile than in other directions, produced few or none of any great importance from the literary point of view. The chief name which in this connexion is known is that of Chancellor Henri François d'Aguesseau (1668–1751), at the beginning of the century, an estimable writer of the Port Royal school, who took the orthodox side in the great disputes of the time, but failed to display any great ability therein. He was, as became his profession, more remarkable as an orator than a writer, and his works contain valuable testimonies to the especially perturbed and unquiet condition of his century-a disquiet which is perhaps also its chief literary note. There were other French magistrates, such as Montesquieu, Hénault (1685-1770), de Brosses (1706– 1773) and others, who made considerable mark in literature; but it was usually (except in the case of Montesquieu) in subjects not even indirectly connected with their profession. The Esprit des lois stands alone; but as an example of work barristerial in kind, famous partly for political reasons but of some real literary merit, we may mention the Mémoire for Calas written by J. B. J. Élie de Beaumont (1732–1786). 18th-Century Criticism and Periodical Literature.-Wehave said that literary criticism assumes in this century a sufficient importance to be treated under a separate heading. Contributions were made to it of many different kinds and from many different points of view Periodical literature, the chief stimulus to its production, began more and more to come into favour. Even in the 17th century the Journal des savants, the Jesuit Journal de Trévoux, and other publications had set the example of different kinds of it. Just before the Revolution the Gazette de France was in the hands of J. B. A. Suard (1734–1817), a man who was nothing if not a literary critic. Perhaps, however, the most

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