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contorted but rather attractive style and the perverse sentiment of Maurice Barrès (b. 1862); and, above all, the audacious and inimitable dialogue pieces of “Gyp” (Madame de Martel, b. 1850), worthy of the best times of French literature for gaiety, satire, acuteness and style, and perhaps likely, with the work of Maupassant, Pierre Loti and Anatole France, to represent the capital achievement of their particular generation to posterity. Periodical Literature since 1830. Criticism.-One of the causes which led to this extensive composition of novels was the great spread of periodical literature in France, and the custom of including in almost all periodicals, daily, weekly or monthly, a feuilleton or instalment of fiction. Of the contributors of these periodicals who were strictly journalists and almost political journalists only, the most remarkable after Carrel were his opponent in the fatal duel,—Émile de Girardin, Lucien A. Prévost-Paradol (1829-1870), Jean Hippolyte Cartier, called de Villemessant (1812-1879), and, above all, Louis Veuillot (1815–1883), the most violent and unscrupulous but by no means the least gifted of his class. The same spread of periodical literature, together with the increasing interest in the literature of the past, led also to a very great development of criticism. Almost all French authors of any eminence during nearly the last century have devoted themselves more or less to criticism of literature, of the theatre, or of art. And sometimes, as in the case of Janin and Gautier, the comparatively lucrative nature of journalism, and the smaller demands which it made for labour and intellectual concentration, have diverted to feuilleton-writing abilities which might perhaps have been better employed. At the same time it must be remembered that from this devotion of men of the best talents to critical work has arisen an immense elevation of the standard of such work. Before the romantic movement in France Diderot in that country, Lessing and some of his successors in Germany, Hazlitt, Coleridge and Lamb in England, had been admirable critics and reviewers. But the theory of criticism, though these men's principles and practice had set it aside, still remained more or less what it had been for centuries. The critic was merely the administrator of certain hard and fast rules. There were certain recognized kinds of literary composition; every new book was bound to class itself under one or other of these. There were certain recognized rules for each class; and the goodness or badness of a book consisted simply in its obedience or disobedience to these rules. Even the kinds of admissible subjects and the modes of admissible treatment were strictly noted and numbered. This was especially the case in France and with regard to French belles-lettres, so that, as we have seen, certain classes of composition had been reduced to unimportant variations of a registered pattern. The Romantic protest against this absurdity was specially loud and completely victorious. It is said that a publisher advised the youthful Lamartine to try “to be like somebody else” if he wished to succeed. The Romantic standard of success was, on the contrary, to be as individual as possible. Victor Hugo himself composed a good deal of criticism, and in the preface to his Orientales he states the critical principles of the newschool clearly. The critic, he says, has nothing to do with the subject chosen, the colours employed, the materials used. Is the work, judged by itself and with regard only to the ideal which the worker had in his mind, good or bad? It will be seen that as a legitimate corollary of this theorem the critic becomes even more of an interpreter than of a judge. He can no longer satisfy himself or his readers by comparing the work before him with some abstract and accepted standard, and marking off its shortcomings. He has to reconstruct, more or less conjecturally, the special ideal at which each of his authors aimed, and to do this he has to study their idiosyncrasies with the utmost care, and set them before his readers in as full and attractive a fashion as he can manage. The first writer who thoroughly grasped this necessity and successfully Salate- dealt with it was Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve Reve. (18o3–1869), who has indeed identified his name with the method of criticism just described. Sainte-Beuve's first remarkable work (his poems and novels we may leave out of consideration) was the sketch of 16th-century literature
already alluded to, which he contributed to the Globe. But it was not till later that his style of criticism became fully developed and accentuated. During the first decade of Louis Philippe's reign his critical papers, united under the title of Critiques et portraits littéraires, show a gradual advance. During the next ten years he was mainly occupied with his studies of the writers of the Port Royal school. But it was during the last twenty years of his life, when the famous Causeries du lundi appeared weekly in the columns of the Constitutionnel and the Moniteur, that his most remarkable productions came out. Sainte-Beuve's style of criticism (which is the key to so much of French literature of the last half-century that it is necessary to dwell on it at some length), excellent and valuable as it is, lent itself to two corruptions. There is, in the first place, in making the careful investigations into the character and circumstances of each writer which it demands, a danger of paying too much attention to the man and too little to his work, and of substituting for a critical study a mere collection of personal anecdotes and traits, especially if the author dealt with belongs to a foreign country or a past age. The other danger is that of connecting the genius and character of particular authors too much with their conditions and circumstances, so as to regard them as merely so many products of the age. These faults, and especially the latter, have been very noticeable in many of Sainte-Beuve's successors, particularly in, perhaps, Hippolyte Taine, who, however, besides his work on English literature, did much of importance on French, and has been regarded as the first critic who did thorough honour to Balzac in his own country. A large number of other critics during the period deserve notice because, though acting more. or less on the newer system of criticism, they have manifested considerable originality in its application. As far as mercly critical faculty goes, and still more in the power of giving literary expression to criticism, Théophile Gautier yields to no one. His Les Grotesques, an early work dealing with Willon, the earlier “Théophile ” de Viau, and other enfants terribles of French literature, has served as a model to many subsequent writers, such as Charles Monselet (1825-1888), and Charles Asselineau (1820-1874), the affectionate historian, in his Bibliographie romantique (1872-1874), of the less famous promoters of the Romantic movement. On the other hand, Gautier's picture criticisms, and his short reviews of books, obituary notices, and other things of the kind contributed to daily papers, are in point of style among the finest of all such fugitive compositions. Jules Janin (1804-1874), chiefly a theatrical critic, excelled in light and easy journalism, but his work has neither weight of substance nor careful elaboration of manner sufficient to give it permanent value. This sort of light critical comment has become almost a speciality of the French press, and among its numerous practitioners the names of Armand de Pontmartin (1811–1890) (an imitator and assailant of Sainte-Beuve), Arsène Houssaye, Pierangelo Fiorentino (1806–1864), may be mentioned. Edmond Scherer (1815-1889) and Paul de Saint-Victor (1827-1881) represent different sides of Sainte-Beuve's style in literary criticism, Scherer combining with it a martinet and somewhat prudish precision, while Saint-Victor, with great powers of appreciation, is the most flowery and “prose-poetical ” of French critics. In theatrical censure Francisque Sarcey (1827-1899), an acute but somewhat severe and limited judge, succeeded to the good-natured sovereignty of Janin. The criticism of the Revue des deux mondes has played a sufficiently important part in French literature to deserve separate notice in passing. Founded in 1829, the Revue, after some vicissitudes, soon attained, under the direction of the Swiss Buloz, the character of being one of the first of European critical periodicals. Its style of criticism has, on the whole, inclined rather to the classical sidethat is, to classicism as modified by, and possible after, the Romantic movement. Besides some of the authors already named, its principal critical contributors were Gustave Planche (1808–1857), an acute but somewhat truculent critic, SaintRené Taillandier (1817–1879), and Émile Montégut (1825-1805, a man of letters whom greater leisure would have made greaucr, but who actually combined much and varied critical power with
an agreeable style. Lastly we must notice the important section of professorial or university critics, whose critical work has taken the form either of regular treatises or of courses of republished lectures, books somewhat academic and rhetorical in character, but often representing an amount of influence which has served largely to stir up attention to literature. The most prominent name among these is that of Abel Villemain (1790-1867), who was one of the earliest critics of the literature of his own country to obtain a hearing out of it. Désiré Nisard (1806-1888) was perhaps more fortunate in his dealings with Latin than with French, and in his History of the latter literature represents too much the classical tradition, but he had dignity, erudition and an excellent style. Alexandre Vinet (1797-1847), a Swiss criticof considerable eminence, Saint-Marc-Girardin (1801-1873), whose Cours de littérature dramatique is his chicf work, and Eugène Géruzez (1799–1865), the author not only of an extremely useful and well-written handbook to French literature before the Revolution, but also of other works dealing with separate portions of the subject, must also be mentioned. One remarkable critic, Ernest Hello (1818–1885), attracted during his life little attention even in France, and hardly any out of it, his work being strongly tinctured with the unpopular flavour and colour of uncompromising “clericalism,” and his extremely bad health keeping him out of the ordinary fraternities of literary society. It was, however, as full of idiosyncrasy as of partisanship, and is exceedingly interesting to those who regard criticism as mainly valuable because it gives different aspects of the same thing. Perhaps in no branch of belles-lettres did the last quarter of the century maintain the level at which predecessors had arrived better than in criticism; though whether this fact is connected with something of decadence in the creative branches, is a question which may be better posed than resolved here. A remarkable writer whose talent, approaching genius, was spoilt by eccentricity and pose, and who belonged to a more modern generation, Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly (1808-1889), poet, novelist and critic, produced much of his last critical work, and corrected more, in these later days. Not only did the critical work in various ways of Renan, Taine, Scherer, Sarcey and others continue during parts of it, but a new generation, hardly in this case inferior to the old, appeared. The three chiefs of this were the already mentioned Anatole France, Emile Faguet(b. 1847), and Ferdinand Brunetière (1849-1906), to whom some would add Jules Lemaitre (b. 1853). The last, however, though a brilliant writer, was but an “interim ” critic, beginning with poetry and other matters, and after a time turning to yet others, while, brilliant as he was, his criticism was often ill-informed. So too Anatole France, after compiling four volumes of La Vie littéraire in his own inimitable style and with singular felicity of appreciation, also turned away. The phenomenon in both cases may be associated, though it must not be too intimately connected in the relation of cause and effect, with the fact that both were champions and practitioners of “impressionist criticism”-of the doctrine (unquestionably sound if not exaggerated) that the first duty of the critic is to reproduce the effect produced on his own mind by the author. Brunetière-and Faguet, on the other hand, are partisans of the older academic style of criticism by kind and on principle. Faguet, besides regular volumes on each of the four great centuries of French literature, has produced much other work-all of it somewhat “classical ” in tendency and frequently exhibiting something of a want of comprehension of the Romantic side. Brunetière was still more prolific on the same side but with still greater effort after system and “science.” In the books definitely called L'Évolution des genres, in his Manuel of French literature, and in a large number of other volumes of collected essays he enforced with great learning and power of argument, if with a somewhat narrow purview and with some prejudice against writers whom he disliked, a new form of the old doctrine that the “kind” not the individual author or book ought to be the main subject of the critic's attention. He did not escape the consequential danger of taking authors and books not as they are but as in relation to the kinds which they in fact constitute and to his general views. But he was undoubtedly at
his death the first critic of France and a worthy successor of her best. Of others older and younger must be mentioned Paul Stapfer (b. 1840), professor of literature, and the author of divers excellent works from Shakespearé et l'antiquité to volumes of the first value on Montaigne and Rabelais; Paul Bourget and Edouard Rod, already noticed; Augustin Filon (b. 1841), author of much good work on English literature and an excellent book on Mérimée, Alexandre Bcljame (1843-1906), another eminent student of English literature, in which subject J. A. Jusserand (b. 1855), Legouis, K. A. J. Angellier (b. 1848), and others have recently distinguished themselves; Gustave Lärroumet, especially an authority on Marivaux; Eugène Lintilhac (b. 1854); Georges Pellissier; Gustave Lanson, author of a compact history of French literature in French; Marcel Schwob, who had done excellent work on Villon and other subjects before his early death; René Doumic, a frequent writer in the Revue des deux mondes, who collected four volumes of Études sur la littérature française between 1895 and 1900; and the Vicomte Melchior de Vogüé (b. 1848), whose interests have been more politicalphilosophical than strictly literary, but who has done much to familiarize the French public with that Russian literature to which Mérimée had been the first to introduce them. But the body of recent critical literature in France is perhaps larger in actual proportion and of greater value when considered in relation to other kinds of literature than has been the case at any previous period. History since 1830.—The remarkable development of historical studies which we have noticed as taking place under the Restoration was accelerated and intensified in the reigns of Charles X. and Louis Philippe. Both the scope and the method of the historian underwent a sensible alteration. For something like 150 years historians had been divided into two classes, those who produced elegant literary works pleasant to read, and those who produced works of laborious erudition, but not even intended for general perusal. The Vertots and Voltaires were on one side, the Mabillons and Tillemonts on another. Now, although the duty of a French historian to produce works of literary merit was not forgotten, it was recognized as part of that duty to consult original documents and impart original observation. At the same time, to the merely political events which had formerly been recognized as forming the historian's province were added the social and literary phenomena which had long been more or less neglected. Old chronicles and histories were re-read and re-edited; innumerable monographs on special subjects and periods were produced, and these latter were of immense service to romance writers at the time of the popularity of the historical novel. Not a few of the works, for instance, which were signed by Alexandre Dumas consist mainly of extracts or condensations from old chronicles, or modern monographs, ingeniously united by dialogue and varnished with a little description. History, however, had not to wait for this second-hand popularity, and its cultivators had fully sufficient literary talent to maintain its dignity. Sismondi, whom we have already noticed, continued during this period his great Histoire des Français, and produced his even better-known Histoire des républiques italiennes au moyen dge. The brothers Thierry devoted themselves to early French history, Amédée Thierry (1797-1873) producing a Histoire des Gaulois and other works concerning the Roman period, and Augustin Thierry (1795-1856) the well-known history of the Norman Conquest, the equally attractive Récits des temps Mérovingiens and other excellent works. Philippe de Ségur (1780-1873) gave a history of the Russian campaign of Napoleon, and some other works chiefly dealing with Russian history. The voluminous Histoire de France of Henri Martin (1810-1883) is perhaps the best and most impartial work dealing in detail with the whole subject. A. G. P. Brugière, baron de Barante (1782-1866), after beginning with literary criticism, turned to history, and in his Histoire des ducs de Bourgogne produced a work of capital importance. As was to be expected, many of the most brilliant results of this devotion to historical subjects consisted of works dealing with the French Revolution. No series of historical events has ever perhaps received treatment at the same time from so many different points of view, and by writers of such varied literary excellence, among whom it must, however, be said that the purely royalist side is hardly at all represented. One of the earliest of these histories is that of François Mignet (1796-1884), a sober and judicious historian of the older school, also well known for his Histoire de Marie Stuart. About the same time was begun the brilliant if not extremely trustworthy work of Adolphe Thiers (1797-1877) on the Revolution, which established the literary reputation of the future president of the French republic, and was at a later period completed by the Histoire du consulat et de l'empire. The downfall of the July monarchy and the early years of the empire witnessed the publication of several works of the first importance on this subject. Barante contributed histories of the Convention and the Directory, but the three books of greatest note were those of Lamartine, Jules Michelet (1798-1874), and Louis Blanc (1811-1882). Lamartine's Histoire des Girondins is written from the constitutional-republican point of view, and issometimes considered to have had much influence in producing the events of 1848. It is, perhaps, rather the work of an orator and poet than of an historian. The work of Michelet is of a more original character. Besides his history of the Revolution, Michelet wrote an extended history of France, and a very large number of smaller works on historical, political and social subjects. His imaginative powers are of the highest order, and his style stands alone in French for its strangely broken and picturesque character, its turbid abundance of striking images, and its somewhat sombre magnificence, qualities which, as may easily be supposed, found full occupation in a history of the Revolution. The work of Louis Blanc was that of a sincere but ardent republican, and is useful from this point of view, but possesses no extraordinary literary merit. The principal contributions to the history of the Revolution of the third quarter of the century were those of Quinet, Lanfrey and Taine. Edgar Quinet (1803-1875), like Louis Blanc a devotee of the republic and an exile for its sake, brought to this one of his latest works a mind and pen long trained to literary and historical studies; but La Révolution is not considered his best work. P. Lanfrey devoted himself with extraordinary patience and acuteness to the destruction of the Napoleonic legend, and the setting of the character of Napoleon I. in a new, authentic and very far from favourable light. And Taine, after distinguishing himself, as we have mentioned, in literary criticism (Histoire dela littérature anglaise), and attaining less success in philosophy (De l'intelligence), turned in Les Origines de la France moderne to an elaborate discussion of the Revolution, its causes, character and consequences, which excited some commotion among the more ardent devotees of the principles of '89. To return from this group, we must notice J. F. Michaud (1767-1839), the historian of the crusades, and François Pierre Guillaume Guizot (1787-1874), who, like his rival Thiers, devoted himself much to historical study. His earliest works were literary and linguistic, but he soon turned to political history, and for the last half-century of his long life his contributions to historical literature were almost incessant and of the most various character. The most important are the histories Des Origines du gouvernement représentatif, De la révolution d'Angleterre, De la civilisation en France, and latterly a Histoire de France, which he was writing at the time of his death. Among minor historians of the earlier century may be mentioned Prosper Duvergier de Hauranne (1798-1881) (Gouvernement parlementaire en France), J. J. Ampère (18oo-1864) (Histoire romaine d Rome), Auguste Arthur Beugnot (1797– 1865) (Destruction du paganisme d'occident), J. O. B. de Cléron, comte d'Haussonville (La Réunion de la Lorrained la France), Achille Tendelle de Vaulabelle (1799-1876) (Les Deux Restaurations). In the last quarter of the century, under the department of history, the most remarkable names were still those of Taine and Renan, the former being distinguished for thought and matter, the latter for style. Indeed it may be here proper to remark that Renan, in the kind of elaborated semi-poetic style which has most characterized the prose of the 19th century in
all countries of Europe, takes pre-eminence among French writers even in the estimation of critics who are not enamoured of his substance and tone. But, under the influence of Taine to some extent and of a general European tendency still more, France during this period attained or recovered a considerable place for what is called “scientific” history-the history which while, in some cases, though not in all, not neglecting the development of style attaches itself particularly to “the document,” on the one hand, and to philosophical arrangement on the other. The chief representative of the school was probably Albert Sorel (1842-1906), whose various handlings of the Revolutionary period (including an excursion into partly literary criticism in the shape of an admirable monograph on Madame de Staël) have established themselves once for all. In a wider sweep Ernest Lavisse (b. 1842), who has dealt mainly with the 18th century, may hold a similar position. Of others, older and younger, the duc de Broglie (1821-1901), who devoted himself also to the 18th century and especially to its secret diplomacy; Gaston Boissier (b. 1823), a classical scholar rather than an historian proper, and one of the latest masters of the older French academic style; ThureauDangin (b. 1837), a student of mid 19th-century history; Henri Houssaye (b. 1848), one of the Napoleonic period; Gabriel Hanotaux (b. 1853), an historian of Richelieu and other subjects, and a practical politician, may be mentioned. A large accession has also been made to the publication of older memoirs—that important branch of French literature from almost the whole of its existence since the invention of prose. Summary and Conclusion.-We have in these last pages given such an outline of the 19th-century literature of France as seemed convenient for the completion of what has gone before. It has been already remarked that the nearer approach is made to our own time the less is it possible to give exhaustive accounts of the individual cultivators of the different branches of literature. It may be added, perhaps, that such exhaustiveness becomes, as we advance, less and less necessary, as well as less and less possible. The individual poet of to-day may and does produce work that is in itself of greater literary value than that of the individual trouvère. As a matter of literary history his contribution is less remarkable because of the examples he has before him and the circumstances which he has around him. Yet we have endeavoured to draw such a sketch of French literature from the Chanson de Roland onwards that no important development and hardly any important partaker in such development should be left out. A few lines may, perhaps, be now profitably given to summing up the aspects of the whole, remembering always that, as in no case is generalization easier than in the case of the literary aspects and tendencies of periods and nations, so in no case is it apt to be more delusive unless corrected and supported by ample information of fact and detail. At the close of the 11th century and at the beginning of the 12th we find the vulgar tongue in France not merely in fully organized use for literary purposes, but already employed in most of the forms of poetical writing. An immense outburst of epic and narrative verse has taken place, and lyrical poe'ry, not limited as in the case of the epics to the north of France, but extending from Roussillon to the Pas de Calais, completes this, The 12th century adds to these earliest forms the important development of the mystery, extends the subjects and varies the manner of epic verse, and begins the compositions of literary prose with the chronicles of St Denis and of Villehardouin, and the prose romances of the Arthurian cycle. All this literaure is so far connected purely with the knightly and priestly orders, though it is largely composed and still more largely dealt in by classes of men, trouvères and jongleurs, who are not necessarily either knights or priests, and in the case of the jongleurs are certainly neither. With a possible ancestry of Romance and Teutonic cantilenae, Breton lais, and vernacular legends, the new literature has a certain pattern and model in Latin and for the most part ecclesiastical compositions. It has the sacred books and the legends of the saints for examples of narrative, the rhythm of the hymns for a guide to metre, and the ceremonies of the church for a stimulant to dramatic performance. By degrees
also, in this 12th century, forms of literature which busy themselves with the unprivileged classes begin to be born. The fabliau takes every phase of life for its subject; the folk-song acquires elegance and does not lose raciness and truth. In the next century, the 13th, medieval literature in France arrives at its prime—a prime which lasts until the first quarter of the 14th. The earlyepics lose something of their savage charms, the polished literature of Provence quickly perishes. But in the provinces which speak the more prevailing tongue nothing is wanting to literary development. The language itself has shaken off all its youthful incapacities, and, though not yet well adapted for the requirements of modern life and study, is in every way equal to the demands made upon it by its own time. The dramatic germ contained in the fabliau and quickened by the mystery produces the profane drama. Ambitious works of merit in the most various kinds are published; Aucassin et Nicolette stands side by side with the Vie de Saint Louis, the Jeu de la feuillie with Le Miracle de Théophile, the Roman de la rose with the Roman du Renart. The earliest notes of ballads and rondeau are heard; endeavours are made with zeal, and not always without understanding, to naturalize the wisdom of the ancients in France, and in the graceful tongue that France possesses. Romance in prose and verse, drama, history, songs, satire, oratory and even erudition, are all represented and represented worthily. Meanwhile all nations of western Europe have come to France for their literary models and subjects, and the greatest writers in English, German; Italian, content themselves with adaptations of Chrétien de Troyes, of Benoit de Sainte More, and of a hundred other known and unknown trouvères and fabulists. But this age does not last long. The language has been put to all the uses of which it is as yet capable; those uses in their sameness begin to pall upon reader and hearer; and the enormous evils of the civil and religious state reflect themselves inevitably in literature. The old forms die out or are prolonged only in half-lifeless travesties. The brilliant colouring of Froissart, and the graceful science of ballade and rondeau writers like Lescurel and Deschamps, alone maintain the literary reputation of the time. Towards the end of the 14th century the translators and political writers import many terms of art, and strain the language to uses for which it is as yet unhandy, though at the beginning of the next age Charles d’Orléans by his natural grace and the virtue of the forms he used emerges from the mass of writers. Throughout the 15th century the process of enriching or at least increasing the vocabulary goes on, but as yet no organizing hand appears to direct the process. Willon stands alone in merit as in peculiarity. But in this time dramatic literature and the literature of the floating popular broadsheet acquire an immense extension-all or almost all the vigour of spirit being concentrated in the rough farce and rougher lampoon, while all the literary skill is engrossed by insipid rhétoriqueurs and pedants. Then comes the grand upheaval of the Renaissance and the Reformation. An immense influx of science, of thought to make the science living, of new terms to express the thought, takes place, and a band of literary workers appear of power enough to master and get into shape the turbid mass. Rabelais, Amyot, Calvin and Herberay fashion French prose; Marot, Ronsard and Regnier refashion French verse. The Pléiade introduces the drama as it is to be and the language that is to help the drama to express itself. Montaigne for the first time throws invention and originality into some other form than verse or than prose fiction. But by the end of the century the tide has receded. The work of arrangement has been but half done, and there are no master spirits left to complete it. At this period Malherbe and Balzac make their appearance. Unable to deal with the whole problem, they determine to deal with part of it, and to reject a portion of the riches of which they feel themselves unfit to be stewards. Balzac and his successors make of French prose an instrument faultless and admirable in precision, unequalled for the work for which it is fit, but unfit for certain portions of the work which it was once able to perform. Malherbe, seconded by Boileau, makes * French verse an instrument suited only for the purposes of the
drama of Euripides, or rather of Seneca, with or without its chorus, and for a certain weakened echo of those choruses, under the name of lyrics. No French verse of the first merit other than dramatic is written for two whole centuries. The drama soon comes to its acme, and during the succeeding time usually maintains itself at a fairly high level until the death of Voltaire. But prose lends itself to almost everything that is required of it, and becomes constantly a more and more perfect instrument. To the highest efforts of pathos and sublimity its vocabulary and its arrangement likewise are still unsuited, though the great preachers of the 17th century do their utmost with it. But for clear exposition, smooth and agreeable narrative, sententious and pointed brevity, witty repartee, it soon proves itself to have no superior and scarcely an equal in Europe. In these directions practitioners of the highest skill apply it during the 17th century, while during the 18th its powers are shown to the utmost of their variety by Voltaire, and receive a new development at the hands of Rousseau. Yet, on the whole, it loses during this century. It becomes more and more unfit for any but trivial uses, and at last it is employed for those uses only. Then occurs the Revolution, repeating the mighty stir in men's minds which the Renaissance had given, but at first: experiencing more difficulty in breaking up the ground and once more rendering it fertile. The faulty and incomplete genius of Chateaubriand and Madame de Staël gives the first evidence of a new growth, and after many years the Romantic movement completes the work. Whether the force of that movement is now, after three-quarters of a century, spent or not, its results remain. The poetical power of French has been once more triumphantly proved, and its productiveness in all branches of literature has been renewed, while in that of prose fiction there has been almost created a new class of composition. In the process of reform, however, not a little of the finish of French prose style has been lost, and the language itself has been affected in something the same way as it was affected by the less judicious innovations of the Ronsardists. The pedantry of the Pléiade led to the preposterous compounds of Du Bartas; the passion of the Romantics for foreign tongues and for the mot propre has loaded French with foreign terms on the one hand and with argot on the other, while it is questionable whether the vers libre is really suited to the French genius, There is, therefore, room for new Malherbes and Balzacs, if the days for Balzacs and Malherbes had not to all appearance passed. Should they be once more forthcoming, they have the failure as well as the success of their predecessors to guide them. Finally, we may sum up even this summary. For volume and merit taken together the product of these eight centuries of literature excels that of any European nation, though for individual works of the supremest excellence they may perhaps be asked in vain. No French writer is lifted by the suffrages of other nations—the only criterion when sufficient time has elapsed —to the level of Homer, of Shakespeare, or of Dante, who reign alone. Of those of the authors of France who are indeed of the thirty but attain not to the first three Rabelais and Molière alone unite the general suffrage, and this fact roughly but surely points to the real excellence of the literature which these men are chosen to represent. It is great in all ways, but it is greatest on the lighter side. The house of mirth is more suited to it than the house of mourning. To the latter, indeed, the language of the unknown marvel who told Roland's death, of him who gave utterance to Camilla’s wrath and despair, and of Victor Hugo, who sings how the mountain wind makes mad the lover who cannot forget, has amply made good its title of entrance. But for one Frenchman who can write admirably in this strain there are a hundred who can tell the most admirable story, formulate the most pregnant reflection, point the acutest jest. There is thus no really great epic in French, few great tragedies, and those imperfect and in a faulty kind, little prose like Milton's or like Jeremy Taylor's, little verse (though more than is generally thought) like Shelley's or like Spenser's. But there are the most delightful short tales, both in prose and in verse, that the world has ever seen, the most polished jewelry of reflection that has ever been wrought, songs of incomparable grace, comedies that must make men laugh as long as they are laughing animals, and above all such a body of narrative fiction, old and new, prose and verse, as no other nation can show for art and for originality, for grace of workmanship in him who fashions, and for certainty of delight to him who reads. BibliographY.—The most elaborate book on French literature as a whole is that edited by Petit de Julleville, and composed of chapters by different authors, Histoire de la langue et de la littérature françaises (8 vols., Paris, 1896-1899). Unfortunately these chapters, some of which are of the highest excellence, are of very unequal value: they require connexions which are not supplied, and there is throughout a neglect of minor authors. The £ indications are, however, most valuable. For a survey in a single volume Lanson's Histoire has superseded the older but admirable manuals of Demogeot and Géruzez, which, however, are still worth consulting. Brunetière's Manuel (translated into English) is ve valuable with the cautions above given; and the large Histoire la langue française depuis leseizième siècle of Godefroy supplies copious and well-chosen extracts with much biographical information. In English there is an extensive History by H. van Laun (3 vols., 1874, &c.); a Short History by Saintsbury (1882; 6th ed., continued to the end of the century, 1901); and a History by Professor Dowden
#: pass to special periods—the fountain-head of the literature of the middle ages is the ponderous Histoire littéraire already referred to, which, £ that it extended to 27 quarto volumes in 1906, and had occupied, with interruptions, 150 years in publication, had only £ the 14th century. Many of the monographs which it contains are the best authorities on their subjects, such as that of P. Paris on the early chansonniers, of V. Leclerc on the fabliaux, and of Littré on the romans d'aventures. For the history of literature before the 11th century, the period mainly Latin, J. J. Ampère's Histoire littéraire de la France avant Charlemagne, sous Charlemagne, et jusqu'au onzième siècle is the chief authority. Léon Gautier's # £ (5 vols., 1878-1897) contains almost everything known concerning the chansons de geste. P. Paris's Romans de la table ronde was long the main authority for this subject, but very much has been written recently in France and elsewhere. The most important of the French contributions, especially those by Gaston Paris (whose Histoire # de Charlemagne has been reprinted since his death), will be found in the periodical Romania, which for more than thirty years has been the chief receptacle of studies on old French literature. On the cycle of Reynard the standard work is Rothe, Les Romans de Renart. All parts of the lighter literature of old France are excellently treated by Lenient, Le Satire au moyen dge. The early theatre has been f # treated by the brothers Parfaict (Histoire du théâtre français), by Fabre (Les Clercs de la Bazoche), by Leroy (Étude sur les £3. by Aubertin # de la langue et de la littérature française au moyen #. his latter book will be found a useful summary of the whole medieval period. The historical, dramatic and oratorical sections are especially full. On a smaller scale but of unsurpassed authority is G. Paris's Littérature du moyen äge translated into English.
On the 16th century an excellent handbook is that by Darmesteter and Hatzfeld; and the recent Literature of the French Renaissance of A. Tilley (2 vols., 1904) is of high value. Sainte-Beuve's Tableau has been more than once referred to. Ebert (Entwicklungsgeschichte der französischen Tragödie vornehmlich im 16** # is the chief authority for dramatic matters. Essays and volumes on periods and sub-periods since 1600 are innumerable; but those who desire thorough acquaintance with the literature of these three hundred years should read as widely as possible in all the critical work of Sainte-Beuve, of Schérer, of Faguet and Brunetière-which may be supplemented ad libitum from that of other critics mentioned above. The series of volumes entitled Les grands écrivains français, now pretty extensive, is generally very good, and Catulle Mendès's invaluable book on 19th-century poetry has been cited above. As a companion to the study of poetry E. Crepet's Poètes français (4 vols., 1861), an anthology with introductions by Sainte-Beuve and all the best critics of the day, cannot be surpassed, but to it may be added the later Anthologie des poètes français du XIX* siècle (1877-1879). (G. S.A.)
FRENCH POLISH, a liquid for polishing wood, made by dissolving shellac in methylated spirit. There are four different tints, brown, white, garnet and red, but the first named is that most extensively used. All the tints are made in the same manner, with the exception of the red, which is a mixture of the brown polish and methylated spirit with either Saunders wood or Bismarck brown, according to the strength of colour required. Some woods, and especially mahogany, need to be stained before they are polished. To stain mahogany mix some bichromate of potash in hot water according to the depth of colour required.
After staining the wood the most approved method of filling the
grain is to rub in fine plaster of Paris (wet), wiping off before it “sets.” After this is dry it should be oiled with linseed oil and thoroughly wiped off. The wood is then ready for the polish, which is put on with a rubber made of wadding covered with linen rag and well wetted with polish. The polishing process has to be repeated gradually, and after the work has hardened, the surface is smoothed down with fine glass-paper, a few drops of linseed oil being added until the surface is sufficiently smooth. After a day or two the surface can be cleared by using a fresh rubber with a double layer of linen, removing the top layer when it is getting hard and finishing off with the bottom layer. FRENCH REVOLUTION, THE. Among the many revolutions which from time to time have given a new direction to the political development of nations the French Revolution stands out as at once the most dramatic in its incidents and the most momentous in its results. This exceptional character is, indeed, implied in the name by which it is known; for France has experienced many revolutions both before and since that of 1789, but the name “French Revolution,” or simply “the Revolution,” without qualification, is applied to this one alone. The causes which led to it: the gradual decay of the institutions which France had inherited from the feudal system, the decline of the centralized monarchy, and the immediate financial necessities that compelled the assembling of the long neglected statesgeneral in 1789, are dealt with in the article on FRANCE: History. The successive constitutions, and the other legal changes which resulted from it, are also discussed in their general relation to the growth of the modern French polity in the article FRANCE (Law and Institutions). The present article deals with the progress of the Revolution itself from the convocation of the states-general to the coup d'état of the 18th Brumaire which placed Napoleon Bonaparte in power. The elections to the states-general of 1789 were held in unfavourable circumstances. The failure of the harvest of 1788 and a severe winter had caused widespread distress.
- - Open/ The government was weak and despised, and its agents of :* were afraid or unwilling to quell outbreaks of disorder. : ©n
At the same time the longing for radical reform and the belief that it would be easy were almost universal. The cahicrs or written instructions given to the deputies covered well-nigh every subject of political, social or economic interest, and demanded an amazing number of changes. Amid this commotion the king and his ministers remained passive. They did not even determine the question whether the estates should act as separate bodies or deliberate collectively. On the 5th of May the states-general were opened by Louis in the Salle des Menus Plaisirs at Versailles. Barentin, the keeper of the seals, informed them that they were free to determine whether they would vote by orders or vote by head. Necker, as director-general of the finances, set forth the condition of the treasury and proposed some small reforms. The Tiers Etat (Third Estate) was dissatisfied that the question of joint or separate deliberation should have been left open. It was aware that some of the nobles and many of the inferior clergy agreed with it as to the need for comprehensive reform. Joint deliberation would ensure a majority to the reformers and therefore the abolition of privileges and the extinction of feudal rights of property. Separate deliberation would enable the majority among the nobles and the superior clergy to limit reform. Hence it became the first object of the Tiers Etat to effect the amalgamation of the three estates. The conflict between those who desired and those who resisted amalgamation took the form of a conflict over the verification of the powers of the deputies. The Tiers État insisted ceam. that the deputies of all three estates should have their between powers verified in common as the first step towards the Three making them all members of one House. It resolved to hold its meetings in the Salle des Menus Plaisirs, whereas the nobles and the clergy met in smaller apartments set aside for their exclusive use. It refrained from taking any step which might have implied that it was an organized assembly, and persevered in regarding itself as a mere crowd of individual members incapable of transacting business, Meanwhile the clergy and