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nious and sonorous cadences. We have diligently compared many of the paragraphs with the opposite text; some of these are nearly instar the original; and two or three, we think, we could indicate as even superior to it. In Sin's speech to Satan, p. 268, the words, “ Tu nous as donné la force de surcharger de cet énorme pont le sombre abîme," cannot fail to strike all ears as quite Miltonic. The transformation of the demons into serpents is given with accuracy and great spirit. P. 280, “ Terrible fut le bruit du sifflement dans la salle remplie d'une épaisse fourmillière de monstres compliqués de têtes et de queues, scorpion, aspic, amphisbène atroce," &c.; and, a few lines afterwards, “ Tombent leurs bras, tombent leurs lances et boucliers, tombent eux-mêmes aussi vite ; et ils renouvellent l'affreux sifflement." The effect of the consummation of the grand transgression by Adam, is thus given :-" La terre trembla jusque dans ses entrailles, comme de nouveau dans les douleurs, et la nature poussa un second gémissement. Le ciel se couvrit, et un sourd tonnerre marmonnant pleura quelques gouttes tristes, quand s'acheva le mortel péché original.” We prefer gouttes to M. de Chateaubriand's larmes; the original, drops, having a beautiful reference to rain, as well as tears. The italics mark a slight change of our own.
The splendid address to the sun in the fourth book, may be said to be fairly, but not strikingly translated. Several of the periods might have been easily moulded with more emphasis. He has succeeded well, we think, in the catalogue of the demons; also, in the splendid passage in the tenth book, descriptive of the effects of the eating of the apple on the general aspect of nature. In the eleventh book, the farewell apostrophe of Eve to Paradise is touchingly rendered: “ O coup inattendu, pire que la mort! Faut-il donc te quitter, o Paradis !" &c. And this apostrophe, as well as several other similar passages which we could cite, indicate that our immortal poet could, when he pleased, put forth a delicacy both of diction and sentiment, not surpassed by Racine in his best efforts.
We subjoin the translation of the concluding lines of the poem, sublimer than the close of any other epic, printing in italics our proposed alterations of the text of M. de Chateaubriand:
s So spake our mother Eve; and Adam heard
Gliding metéorous, as evening mist
With dreadful faces throng'd, and fiery arms." " Ainsi parla Eve notre mère, et Adam l'entendit satisfait, mais ne répondit point; car à cet instant, l'archange se posait trop près, et de l'autre colline à leur poste assigné, tous, dans un ordre brillant, les chérubins descendaient : ils glissaient, comme des météores sur la terre, ainsi qu'un brouillard du soir élevé d'un fleuve, glisse sur un marais, et envahit rapidement le sol sur les talons du laboureur, qui retourne à sa chaumière. De front avancé, flamboyait devant eux le glaive brandissant du Seigneur, terrible comme une comète. La chaleur torride de ce glaive, et sa vapeur, telle que l'air brûlé de la Libye, commençaient à dessécher le climat tempéré du Paradis ; quand l'ange, bâtant nos parens tardifs, les prit par la main, les conduisit droit à la porte orientale ; de là aussi vite, jusqu'au bas du précipice dans la plaine inférieure, et disparut, Ils regardèrent derrière eux, et virent toute la partie orientale du Paradis, naguère leur heureux séjour, surondulée par ce brandon Aambant : la porte était obstruée de figures redoutables et d'armes ardentes.”
But it is time to refer our readers, who may be lovers of Milton, to the work itself, which is well got up, and printed in separate paragraphs, which at once relieve the eye, and the mind. The English text is on the left hand, the French on the right; and we have but seldom noticed errors in the typography or punctuation. Still it must be confessed that the Miltonic ladder has not yet, by any means, satisfactorily been scaled by our Gallic neighbours. There is a brisk petulance in their dialect, which is very hostile to the matronal and Juno-like majesty of the “ Lady of Christ's," who loves to walk with a gait "sober, stedfast, and demure," generally speaking at least, like her own Penseroso. Aware, as we are, that M. de Chateaubriand has been a great reader of our Homer, perhaps he may be pleased to hear, that the garden of Christ's College, in Cambridge, the nurse of our poet, has been lately embellished, and made, perhaps, as pretty as a small acre will admit of its being, for the
VOL. XIX.-NO, XXXVII.
sum expended upon it. Sometimes did it occur to the writer of this, when a stripling at Cambridge, about the time that Byron was lisping his numbers under the elm at Harrow, to pass a musing hour or two by the mulberry (it should have been an apple) tree, traditionally believed to have been planted by Milton's own hand. He revisited this tree but last year, and found it, with some sorrow, shorn of a limb of considerable size, through the incivility of Notus, or Boreas, “bursting their brazen dungeons” from over Barnwell, Trumpington, or the Gogmagoghills. The hollow of this tree, two centuries old, has long been protected by a leaden plate; but the remaining portion of the trunk showed a good display of fruit, forbidden to all but the inmates of the college.
Some three centuries hence this garden will be visited, perhaps by some Byron of the new world, to muse there, as did lately our Byron by the tomb of Dante, at Ravenna.
One or two more efforts from the marchands de modes in the service of MM, Didot and Gosselin, and France will ultimately be able to congratulate herself on having conferred on the “ Lady of Christ's," a dress à la Parisienne, and with which she, peradventure, will be, on the whole; as pleased as with many other of her foreign habits. But it must be confessed that the atmosphere of Paris is not over-well suited to her physical and moral temperaments; and, how much soever to her satisfaction may her future best dress prove, she will never be content with any residence in that capital, out of the Boulevard du Temple.
M, de Chateaubriand, the Abdiel of the revolution, has, we are aware, carried in his pilgrimage through life a pretty heavy wallet of mind. Scripsit multum, et nil moramur. In his essay noticed above, which he dates d'outre tombe, we have often noticed strong proofs of that wide-encroaching vanity, which, we think, in the eyes of posterity, must deduct considerably from the merits of his literary toils. The essay smells as strong of this as any of his former productions, confirming the fine lines of Alexander Pope, which we conclude with paraphrasing :
“ Thou, Chateaubriand, at thy latest breath,
Shalt find the ruling passion strong in death;
Crown me immortal, fame,' shall be thy last," But, whatsoever may be the quota of praise which posterity shall award to his deserts, let us hope that the evening of his days will be gilded by the consciousness that the major part of the productions of his prolific pen have been, even out of France, neither fruitless, nor disregarded.
Art. III.- Portraits Littéraires. Par Gustave Planche. 2 tomes
8vo. Paris. Werdet. These volumes contain a collection of several clever literary sketches, which appear to have been occasional contributions to Parisian periodicals. They are destitute of formal arrangement; there is no connexion between the parts; Planche assumes the character of a gossiping friend rather than that of a regular lecturer, and he thus continues to correct errors without giving offence, to hint useful information without wounding self-love. The subjects on which he dwells most emphatically are the state of modern crititicism and the characteristics of modern works of fiction, both in France and England. We feel inclined to adopt his example, to lay aside the grave dictatorial character of reviewers, and enjoy a quiet chat with our readers by the social fire-side, discussing various matters, grave and gay, in the desultory conversation that best whiles away the long nights of winter. How shall we begin? What subject may best be started—the last drama or the last novel, or the character of Bulwer, whose tragedy would, it was supposed, outshine the glories of his Rienzi ? Every body says that the English stage is in the lowest state of degradation; many add that our neighbours are no better off: let us just inquire into the causes that have produced this consummation, far from being devoutly to be wished.
Oh! for the days of Shakspeare! sighs the lover of what is called the legitimate drama." See what the theatre was then !" Well, let us see; it was the newspaper, the novel, the essay, and sometimes the sermon; it was not merely the place of public amusement, it was more emphatically the place of public instruction. A new play, in the days of Elizabeth, was a leading article in the Times; a comedy in five acts filled the place of a novel in three volumes; Macbeth on the stage was what Rienzi is in the closet; and Ben Jonson's Alchymist was a very able essay on the currency question. What a fine trade wool-combing was in the days of Shakspeare's father? Cotton had not then commenced its race against the fleece, silk was rare and costly, hands had not been superseded by machinery, brawny arms did not confess themselves vanquished by the potent force of steam, and spinning-jennies were jocund figures of flesh and blood, not curious combinations of wood and iron. We have touched, then, the very point of explanation; the theatre has lost its intrinsic importance because more efficient means have been found to effect its great object--public instruction; and because potent rivals have interfered with its secondary object-public amuse
grounds tigers than Colbut Bunn andy vantag
ment. While it stood alone at the head of both departments, all the talent of the nation hasted to the only vantage-ground by which it could obtain display; but Bunn and Osbaldistone are less active managers than Colburn or Bentley. On all intellectual grounds the novel has beaten the drama hollow, and all the lamentations of steady play-goers cannot alter the fact. Does any one now propose to act George Barnwell once a year for the benefit of the London apprentices, or hope to improve the morals of servants by exhibiting High Life Below Stairs ? Apprentices and servants, like the higher classes, have taken to the circulating library, just as they wear cottons instead of worsted stuffs; to re vive the power of the stage is about as wise a project as to restore the Heptarchy. Could Bulwer bring back the days of Shakspeare? Yes, if he could annihilate all the periodicals, and unwrite the Waverley novels. · Our good friend Gustave Planche admires the author of Pelham exceedingly, but he moots a question which, in reference to that gentleman's present literary projects, possesses considerable interest. Can the same person hope to excel as a dramatist and a novelist ? Maturin's example may be quoted on one side of the argument, Scott's on the other. Before, however, we allow any weight to the instance of Maturin, let us see whether one play will make a dramatist, although one swallow will not make a summer. Bertram succeeded, but Manuel and Fredolfo were very speedily dismissed to the tomb of all the Capulets, and they merited their fate.
Let us not be accused of treating unjustly a very powerful and very original writer. M. Planche ranks Melmoth and Bertram with Faust and Manfred, and he is not the only continental critic who thus highly estimates works that have here fallen into undeserved oblivion. But in all Maturin's writings, for the stage or the closet, we find a want of form, that prevents us from assigning to his works a definite place in literature. He is all over Irish; his imagination hurries him into digressions, extravagances, and inconsistencies; he wrote for the sake of writing, as his countrymen fight for the abstract love of fighting. It is said that a young Irishman, going out to join Don Pedro, accidentally landed in the territories of Don Miguel—the Mogul, as he had learned to call the pretender. Naught recked he of cause or principle; he fought valiantly against those whom he came to join, declaring all the time that he would drive out the intruding Mogul, a name which his Portuguese associates, not too deeply skilled in geography, supposed to be a malicious allusion to Don Pedro's empire in Brazil. Maturin, in his glow of composition, similarly misleads himself and others. Like Frankenstein, he collected all