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Lascaris, ou les Grecs du quinzième siècle,
suivi d'un Essai historique sur l'état des Grecs depuis la conquête musulmane, jusqu'à nos jours, troisième édition. Paris, 1826, 2 vols. 18mo. “ This production of M. Villemain is not unworthy a place by the side of the Voyage d'Anacharsis.”-Revue Encyclo. vol. 30, p. 824.
- Discours et Mélanges littéraires.
Paris, 1823, 1 vol. 8vo. “If the strict duty of a critic will not allow us to place M. Villemain among the first of authors, I must nevertheless consider him as one, who among the universal shipwreck of taste, has held fast to its true principles, and has not disdained to take the ancients for guides. He has studied all the secrets of style, and has made the best use of his knowledge. Doubtless he sometimes sacrifices the justice of the expression to the harmony of the phrase; more simple, he would be more touching and sublime. But this ambition of style, which he has perhaps derived from too intimate an acquaintance with the oratory of the ancients, with the fathers of the Church, with Isocrates and Seneca, Chrysostom and Tertullian, forms a portion of his identity. What we admire in M. Villemain, is the profound knowledge of the ancients, which illuminate every page of his writings. He does not quote, which is often an artifice of ignorance, affecting learning, but every line of his composition is evidently embued with classical attainment.”-Revue Ency. vol. 22, p. 353.
To this work should be added the “Courg" now being delivered in Paris, by this elegant and gifted Littérateur.
VOLNEY (C. F.)
L'Alphabet Européen, appliqué aux langues
asiatiques, ouvrage élémentaire, utile à tout voyageur en Asie. Paris, 1819, 1 vol. 8vo. “ This volume is a continuation and completion of a work of M. de Volney, entitled Simplificateur des langues orientales ou•Méthode nouvelle et facile d'apprendre les langues arabe, persanne, turque, avec des caractères européens.' The curious in etymological studies, will find in this work many learned views, and scientific observations.”—Revue Ency. vol. 2, p. 115-117.
Les Ruines, ou Méditations sur les Révolutions
des Empires. Paris, 1821, 1 yol. 8vo. “ Volney was indefatigable in his search after Truth ; not content with what Books contained, he sought it in the wilds of Egypt and Syria. He braved hunger and thirst, and exposed himself to every danger. He mixed with tribes of Arabs, learned their language, and adopted their customs. Arrived before the ruins of Palmyra, his admiration knew no bounds, and here those inspirations took place which he has transmitted to Posterity.”- Revue Ency. vol. 11, p. 174.
The most celebrated epoch of French literature, particularly in the departments of Poetry and the Drama, may be dated from the days of Corneille down to those of Voltaire. The chefs-d'æuvres produced during this period are much too numerous to be characterised here. We must be content to refer the reader to the account of the works of CORNEILLE, RACINE, MOLIÈRE, VOLTAIRE, &c. to be found in the succeeding pages. The name of LA FONTAINE is dear to every lover of nature; his fables, a compound of gaiety, grace, and elegance, have justly procured him the name of the inimitable. BOILEAU, though less read in England, still enjoys a high and well-deserved reputation. The same may be said of J. B. ROUSSEAU. Though few among the modern Poets of France will bear a comparison with those just mentioned, the productions of DELILLE, ANDRIEUX, DELAVIGNE, the two Le BRUN, LAMARTINE, Jouy, BERANGER, and Tastu, have a great number of admirers.