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suit England do not suit France, and lost the governor-generalship because he
Materialism" (vol. ii. p. 51), printed as “ Pan
theism," and the greater portion of the impresMr. Wilson's burthens. At present,
sion went off before the error could be rethey would stop the very power of medied. The phrase should stand thus :accumulation, and thus run counter to
“But against such Pantheism, overt or the very principles of his own budget.
latent, in the gristle or in the bone, there is
no better preservative than the Pantheism, if A singular want of judgment, it may I may use the term, of Christianity." be observed, has hitherto attended the The writer would not, but for what has recall of India's governors. Such a happened, have deemed it necessary to point punishment, or its equivalent, has in
out that the distinction be sought to establish
was between the looking upon all as God variably reached those who were among
re among (nav-Beov), and upon all as from God, or divine her ablest and best. Lord Macartney (way-Belor).
SWISS-FRENCH LITERATURE: MADAME DE GASPARIN.
BY J. M. LUDLOW.
THE surface of the earth has gold the early half of the sixteenth century, fields intellectual, as it has material. —a centre of free thought. From FroTake a map of Switzerland, draw a line ben's presses are poured forth the SS. W. from about Bâle to Martigny, works of Erasmus, of Luther; Erasmus not straight, but incuived so as to follow comes to die beside his friend. French the valleys of the Upper Birse, the Switzerland only wakens up from the middle Aare, and the Saane, and you day when Farel, the restless apostle of will have marked out one of such, of French Protestantism, invading Switwhich the Eldorado diggings, or richest zerland, carries Neufchâtel as by assault nugget-nest, will be found at the south- (1530), and on his return from a synod Western extremity. Within that field, of the Waldenses of Piedmont, stops about as large as Norfolk, Suffolk, and at Geneva (1532), where in three years Essex together, more of intellectual (1532-5) the bishop's yoke is broken power has been developed than in many from off the city, and political indea great empire ; in that Eldorado corner pendence is the fruit of religious reform. a good three-fifths of the whole has Farel is succeeded by those other great taken its rise. The tract in question Frenchmen, Calvin and De Bèze, and embraces the Jura chain and the greater under them grows up that marvellous part of the valley between its eastern theocracy which, however stern and slopes and the western ones of the Alps, oppressive it may show itself to us so far as the Gallic tide has extended under some of its aspects, yet made until met and arrested by the Teutonic. Geneva one of the very centres of EuWith an outlying district or two, such ropean thought. Think of one small as the valley of the Upper Rhône as far town having given in three centuries, to as Visp, it represents French Switzer- physical science Saussure, Deluc, De land.
Candolle, Huber; Charles Bonnet to Strange to say, indeed, this gold-field metaphysics; to jurisprudence, Buris but of comparatively recent discovery. lamaqui, Delolme, Dumont (not to Three centuries alone have seen its trea- speak of our Romilly, a Genevese watchsures brought to light. Nothing in the maker's son); to history, Sismondi, earlier history of Switzerland foretold its Guizot; Necker and Sismondi again to splendours. The great names of that political economy; to diplomacy, Albert Earlier history are all German. From Tell Gallatin ; to literature proper, Rousseau to Zwingli the Teutonic race has a mo- and Madame de Stael,—besides the Dionopoly of Swiss glory. Basel-not yet datis, Leclercs, Senebiers, Mallets, Pictets, Bale-is in some respects the Geneva of and other miscellaneous celebrities.
No. 9,-VOL II.
Protestantism, therefore, may be said to have created French Switzerland; Protestantism is that which has made it entitled to stand out before Europe as the representative of all Switzerland. It is easy to see why. If there be one marked characteristic of the Swiss race, it is its individualism. Inhabiting for the most part a very thinly populated country, always at war, so to speak, with nature, since even his sunniest valleys are swept by the wintry mountain blasts,—the Switzer is obliged to earn his own living, to fight his own way. He is essentially a worker and a fighter; shrewd, prudent, determined ; endowed with more good sense than genius; his thrift shading easily into avarice; a trader even when he fights. Now the Calvinistic reformation is the most individualizing of all the theological movements of the sixteenth century, and it was thus admirably adapted to the tendencies of the Swiss mind, whilst the position of Geneva, as a harbour for French Protestantism when ever expelled by fire and sword from its own country, and thereby in constant antagonism with Romanist France, tended to develop this character to the uttermost. Not, indeed, but what the Protestant cantons of German Switzerland have always held a respectable place in the intellectual annals of Europe. Haller, of Berne; J. von Müller, of Schaffhausen; and, above all the sons of Zurich, the “ Athens of German Switzerland,” the Gessners, Lavater, Tschudi, Zimmermann, with Zchokke in our own days, give to that district quite a fair average of literary and scientific merit. But already on the borderland between Gaul and German, at Bâle (which now every year becomes more French), the Bernouillis and Euler are French in language ; and it is un questionable that to French Switzerland belong those few really great Swiss names which stamp themselves upon their age, the Rousseaus, De Staels, Guizots. Romanism, moreover, continued to cling to the rock-summits of German Switzerland, harbouring with it ignorance and intellectual torpor, at the
very heart of the old Teutonic nucleus of the land. And thus it came to pass, as I said, that wherever Swiss individualism had to speak out before Europe, it did so mainly in French.
Conversely again, we need not be surprised to find that if there be one character which distinguishes SwissFrench literature and science, it is precisely this individualism. Here we find ourselves dealing with men who think for themselves. Their very mediocrity becomes thus original by the force of circumstances. Was there ever a heavier writer, a more mediocre thinker than Necker? And yet that Genevese banker, standing in his plebeian respectability amid the brilliant French court, daring to declare, in an age of prodigality and insolvency, that economy is a public duty, that it is the business of kings to rule for the good of their subjects, has an originality which it is impossible to mistake in contemporary pictures, and becomes thereby for a time the very idol of a nation. Dumont is not a man of very great genius ; but he has the originality to discover Bentham, who for twenty years perhaps is scarcely known except in Dumont's paraphrases.
These Swiss-French have thus, in the modern history of France. herself, an importance which no impartial observer should overlook. They represent that principle of individualism which the French Reformation tended perhaps unduly to develop, which generations of despotism, from Richelieu downwards, took every pains to trample out. The type-man of them all,-the man whose valué we Englishmen are least apt to appreciate, -is Rousseau. What is Rousseau's essential function in the eighteenth century ? Above all, to stand up against that last despot whom a Frenchman will yet obey, when he has cast off every other yoke,-King Wit, then lording it over Europe under the name of Voltaire. I know of no greater marvel in history than the infuence of Rousseau. In an essentially spirituel age, without a particle of esprit, -in an essentially courtly age, a mere
boor,--devoid of every worldly advan- period belong the purest pages of his tage, incapable of joining or leading history, such as that story of Calas to school, sect, or party,—he becomes, he, which I have referred. The persevering Jean Jacques the misanthrope, a very pluck which he displayed in it would power in the world, balancing even that have been physically impossible in Paris. of the lord of Ferney. No one can I believe it would have been no less fairly judge Rousseau except in contrast beyond his moral reach amidst the friwith Voltaire. The relation between volous corruption of French society. them is that of absolute antagonism. There blows through it all, as it were, a The one is essentially positive, the other waft of free mountain air. essentially negative. The life of the one Between Rousseau and the next great is one long struggle—oh, through what name which I shall have to mention, hideous failures often !- to do good. Switzerland gives to France one no The highest efforts of the other are but longer of splendour, but of infamy. to undo evil—with what noble success This time, however, it is right to say indeed sometimes, let the name of Calas that it is not free Geneva, but Neuftestify. It is easy for us to rail at châtel, completely under the thumb of Rousseau's “rose-pink" sentiment, at wooden Friedrichian Prussianism, which the immorality of Julie or St. Preux. sends forth the most hideous figure of But place them beside the “Pucelle," the French Revolution, Marat. And and then see to what immorality that yet I do not know but what, even in tale of passion really was the antidote. this portent of humanity, we may When shall we practically learn that recognise the distinctive individualism God's medicine is not more timid than of the Swiss character. Mediocre in all man's ? that He too knows in what things, the time exhibits no other proportions even poisons may be used instance of mediocrity so self-sufficient, to check or quell disease ? Unwhole- and rising to such importance. The some as Rousseau's works may be for man thoroughly dares to be that which the nineteenth century, they were price- he is—hence his power. Marat with less for the eighteenth. Voltaire was his greasy cap and scurvied frame is, for ever crushing out all enthusiasm; after all, but the loathsome caricature of Rousseau for ever kindling it ; Voltaire Rousseau “the savage," as he was called, was essentially an intellectual aristocrat; and called himself. The peculiarity of Rousseau, the ex-lackey, never ceased to both men is that they are always ready be one of the many. Whatever of noble to stand defiant against those who are and generous, of loving and self-sacri- held to be their fellow-combatants. ficing, lived amid the fires of the French Marat quails as little before Danton or revolution and survived them, one man Robespierre, as Rousseau before Voltaire above all others has France to thank or Diderot. for it under God, Rousseau the Genevese. But Geneva boasts no such heroes as
Nor would it, I believe, be sufficient Marat. Other names are hers. Not to to give Switzerland the credit of speak of the Dumonts, Clavières, Mallet Rousseau's influence, her native-born Dupans, who represent her during the son. It is characteristic of all countries revolutionary crisis,—what Rousseau with strongly-marked natural features, is in one century, Madame de Stael of all nations with strongly-marked is at the beginning of the next. We generic qualities, that they impress a need not emulate the admiration of the perceptible influence upon the guests generation which preceded us for Mawho come to sojourn among them. dame de Stael's writings in themselves. Neither Calvin nor De Bèze would pro But her historical greatness can, I think, bably have been in France what they but grow. It is one of contrast, like were at Geneva. Still less, I believe, that of Rousseau. You must measure would Voltaire have been anywhere her by him against whom she measured else what he was at Ferney. To that herself. Only when we have appreciated the colossal and yet fascinating us the patient research into original greatness of the First Napoleon, as he authorities, without which all historical showed himself, with Greek profile and thought is baseless; Guizot, along with eagle eye, springing up, as it were, from this, that keen questioning of facts till the ruins, from the ashes of old France, they yield up their inmost meaning, young, beautiful, brave, mighty ; in war, without which historic research remains driving the nations asunder before his fruitless. If we look to Guizot's polisword; in peace, making the walls of a tical career, on the other hand,—though new social order to rise about him from the close of it is to me singularly painthe ground, as to the sound of some ful and unworthy of him,—who can magic lyre,-a sort of Phoebus-Ares or deny that for some years the Swiss pro Balder-Odin among men,-only then fessor had made himself not only the can we discern also the strange greatness foremost man in France, but one of the of that woman's voice lifted against him two or three foremost in Europe ? And in protest, from Coppet or elsewhere; if he failed, why was it, but because not dwelling on old traditions, like De he .stooped from Swiss independence Maistre or Châteaubriand ; not backed, to the practice of Louis Philippian like our English statesmen, by Tory despotism? obstinacy and national pride, but sing Shall we take some less ambitious ing alone, as it were in the very ears of names, though no less likely to endure? the despot, the weird and deadly song of I will single out two, in wholly different the future, the song of Freedom and of spheres: Agassiz, of Fribourg, and Vinet, Peace, of the fraternal independence of of Lausanne. The country that has prothe nations. Very wonderful was the duced two such names in a generation power of that voice. Years after her may well rest satisfied. Agassiz, one of the death it seemed yet to murmur in music greatest of contemporary naturalists, on round every name that had once been whom, by universal consent, the mantle familiar to it; and the selfish and scep- of Cuvier has descended,–Vinet, the tical Benjamin Constant died the object real father of modern French religious of a nation's reverence because Madame thought, the most Pascal-like since Pascal de Stael had once chanced to care for of French writers. How many names him, and had for a time kindled his dry of mark within their sphere cluster heart into indignation and eloquence. round his — the Merle d'Aubignés, It is hardly too much to say that the Gaussens, Malans, Cellériers, Bonrets, spirit of Madame de Stael was that Bosts, Cherbuliez, &c.—is well known which presided over that, on the whole, to religious readers ; whilst from him very noble period in the history of proceed directly the two most remarkFrench liberalism, its fifteen years able, though mutually opposed, schools of opposition under the government of contemporary French theology, those of the Restoration. Nor can we deem of De Pressensé and Scherer. And now her influence wholly extinct so long there has come forth from the same as a De Broglie thinks and writes, quarter one who seems destined to exand lives respected. So great is the ercise, within the sphere of French debt of France to that other noble thought, a religious influence more wideGenevese.
spreading, more popular, than any other And what greater name do we find in number of her school, the authoress of France, during that period of fifteen the “Horizons Prochains" and the "Hoyears and the next of eighteen which rizons Célestes," Madame de Gasparin. follows it, than that of Guizot? If we Of this lady herself, it is sufficient to look to his worth as a writer, he and say that she is the wife of Count Agénor that other Swiss (though not by descent), de Gasparin, son of that Count de GasSismondi, are in truth the fathers, under parin who was long a minister under both its leading aspects, of the present Louis Philippe. M. Agénor de Gasparin historical school. Sismondi exhibits to was himself for several years a member