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of the Chamber of Deputies, where his country, nor the political reformers the position may be briefly characterised by power to see that political reform, uninsaying that he showed himself there as spired by religious faith, can end but in frankly Protestant as M. de Montalem- a mere change of machinery—it came bert showed himself frankly Romanist, to
pass that the conquerors met in turn and won the respect of all. He after- as opponents, whilst the conquered wards took a prominent part in the passed, so to speak, each to the service formation of that “ Free Church” of of the other conqueror. Religious reform Protestant France, which certainly in- became identified with political conservacludes within it the most stirring and tism-political reform, with irreligion ; energetic members of the general body. old Socinianism easily ranging itself,
Now, if Calvinism in general exhibits under colour of the most absolute Erasmainly the individualist side of Chris- tianism, beneath the banners of demotian doctrine—if the French Calvinistic cracy, in order to worst its opponents by Church, from the circumstances of its means of the civil arm. Hence, though position as the Church of a long unre- indeed even less in Geneva than in its cognised and often persecuted minority, neighbouring French and Protestant tends to bring out that individualist side canton of Vaud, that shameless opwith peculiar sharpness - if the like pression of the Church by the majority tendency results in the Swiss Church which developed the “ Free Church" of from the national position and charac- Vaud. And as Swiss democracy, blindly teristics of the Swiss people—it has echoing the voice of French, had taken up been naturally carried to an extreme by the cry of Socialism-an idea which the the events in the midst of and in op- Swiss character seems specially incapable position to which the Vinet school of of understanding—it followed that the theology grew up, and by the special religious reformers grew to embody in constitution of the “ Free Church.” that word all the blasphemy, lawlessThose who are in anywise familiar with ness, oppression which they saw around the state of religion on the Continent, them. Socialism, as will be seen almost know that half a century ago an almost anywhere in Vinet's works, is for that complete religious deadness spread over adinirable thinker a mere monster and French Switzerland, -—that Socinianism, portent. He is too much unnerved at following in the wake of despotic and sight of it ever to reach its root-idea, as aristocratic rule, established its very being simply the effort to organize social throne at Geneva. Against these two relations, and to elevate that labour into tendencies—the aristocratic and the So- a science and an art. He never stops cinian—a sort of cross-reaction took to inquire whether the problem, how to place. A coarse, vulgar democracy, de- conciliate the claims of society with void of all religious principle, copied those of the individual, may not occupy from the lowest French models, of which some of those socialists whom he inM. James Fazy is the too successful veighs against quite as much as himself. embodiment, rose up against the old Socialism for him must be a dreadful Genevese aristocracy, and threw it. A conspiracy against individual freedom spring of earnest, self-devoted, thought and worth ; the very word of society, ful, sometimes learned, Christian faith you would say, makes him almost shiver. welled out, and soon carried away, for To understand his vehemence, we must all religious purposes, the dry bones of remember that for him, as taught by the old Socinianism. Meanwhile a strange lessons of daily experience, society" change was taking place. As each meant in practice a knot of ignorant struggle was unfortunately carried on, parish demagogues pretending to orin great measure, within separate spheres ganize a Church; whilst “ the indi-as many of the religious reformers vidual” was the poor “pasteur” their had not the insight to discern the victim. political necessities of their age and Swiss democracy had been a bad copy
of French ; the French “ Free Church" these early works and the two last, was a somewhat better copy of the really there is all the difference between the heroic Swiss ones. It is founded, I larva and the butterfly. None of them heard it declared by one of its most belong indeed quite to the class of those eloquent champions, M. Pilatte, in one, quarter or half-pounds of spiritual starch certainly, of the very noblest sermons I commonly called “good books,” which ever heard, -not (as the words might are as incapable of alone nourishing the seem to follow) on that foundation other soul of man as material starch alone his than which, St. Paul tells us, hath no body. But it was impossible to guess man laid, but upon individual profes- from them the high qualities which dission."
It sets itself in direct opposition tinguish the last two; only in the latest to the churches of multitude," as it predecessor of these, “Some Faults of terms those that venture to hold God's the Christians of our Day”-full of revealed Will and Love a somewhat searching and often caustic truth-can firmer foundation than the fleeting“pro- we now, looking back, discern, as in fession” of man. For their behoof it the ripened chrysalis, the folded wings has invented the contemptuous term which have since outspread themselves of "multitudinism ; ” individualism it to the sun. openly glorifies ; many of its members The “Near Horizons" went forth last repelling the baptism of those infants, year anonymously, not from any special likeness to whom, we are told, makes us Protestant book-shop, but from that of children of the kingdom. How many the great popular publishers of Paris, broader and nobler currents flow mingled the Michel Lévys.
the Michel Lévys. The appeal thus with these, especially in the works of made to a wider public than Madame M. de Pressensé-how the sense of God's de Gasparin had yet addressed was fully universal Fatherhood has taken root in justified by the result. The value of what would otherwise seem an ungenial the book was soon pointed out by the soil—how a deeper study of the Scrip- Revue des Deux Mondes, and ere this tures and of the fathers, a broader edu- three editions have appeared. Yet the cational training, a wider outlook over book hardly promised to be popular men and things, have induced also a The “ Near Horizons'
are those of catholicity of spirit towards Romanism, heaven itself. The various sketches towards even heathen creeds and phi- of which the work consists mostly losophies, an acknowledgment of Christ's have death-beds for subjects, and a everlasting and universal working as the certain monotony thus runs through Light of the world in the minds and it, felt indeed only when it is read consciences of men, to which we are off at once, and which the freshness sadly unaccustomed in such quarters- of feeling and language otherwise enhow openly the extreme consequences tirely keeps off. Yes, freshness; for of Calvinistic doctrine have been pro- after her sixteen years of authorship, it tested against in this body, the latest is only now that Madame de Gasparin, offshoot of Calvinism-I have not here
young no longer, has completely reached the space to show.
the expression of that quality. FreshSo much for the quarter whence ness is the great charm of the book, as Madame de Gasparin's works proceed. it is of its successor. You feel that She has been long before the public as an you are dealing with one who has author. I have before me the second looked at nature, who has looked at edition, dated 1844, of her earliest work, religion, at first hand.
So wondrous “Marriage from a Christian point of are the pictures of nature in the former, view;" so that it must be sixteen that it seems at first sight impossible years and more since she achieved her they should have been written by any first success as an author. But that other than that sovran queen of French success was almost limited to the “re- landscape painters in words, George ligious" public. And, indeed, between Sand. And yet soon-apart from indications of fact or of doctrine which ing under the bare oak-trees leave them unindividual knowledge may suggest as
touched! I know not." decisive against the supposition—the The first sketch, “Lisette's Dream,” very character of the style declares it the main charm of which lies, however, impossible. George Sand's style is that in its descriptions, is directed against of her favourite scenes of central France, what, in her next work, the writer will with their fat plains or stretches of call “a Paradise which frightens one.” common, never undulating into more Lisette, an old peasant-woman, has than hill and dale, with streams swift dreamed of Paradise-of a house of or sluggish, pebbly or clayey, but all gold, bright as the sun of midday, unconscious of torrent or waterfall: so wherein she saw a fair old lady, severe that she must leave Berry for Auvergne and yet sweet of mien, who sat and to find that “Black Town” which she knitted in perfect bliss, but forbade her was lately depicting to us; it is Rafaelesque the door. She is frightened ; such a or Mozartlike in its perfection, vehe- vision of Paradise oppresses her. The ment without roughness, lofty without writer comforts her with the rememreaching to the sublime. Madame de brance of the thief on the cross. Gasparin's style, on the contrary, is
"At this hour, since many a winter, Lisette essentially a mountain style, hasty often has entered the house of gold. and abrupt, now rushing like a torrent, “Does she knit, impassive, in beatitude, from now towering like a rock. Mountains age to age, beside the silver-haired matron ? too are a leading subject for her pen,
I think not; I believe her to be alive and
active in heaven as upon earth. Cares have with their ravines and their pine-trees,
passed away; happiness beams immutable, those Jura Mountains, which already, if supreme life reveals its mysteries to the I mistake not, have proved the main
ardent soul of Lisette." source of inspiration for Calame the
“The Three Roses” represent three landscape painter, but of which Madame
young girls dying before twenty. All de Gasparin may be called the first three sketches are inimitable in their poet, as Rousseau was of the Alps. graceful tenderness. I will not spoil
Of Madame de Gasparin's powers them by attempting to analyse, but will of word-painting, take the following only detach the following paragraph :example :
“Little cries answer one another:
“ ' Have you any ?'-'Yes.'-'A good place ?' "It is not yet the time for beautiful fungi,
Silence. those strange creations which sow the wood
“There is no hunt in which selfishness diswith their warm tints when October has
plays itself better than in the hunt after lilies stripped the glades flowerless. They are
of the valley. One holds one's tongue. To queer characters, full of mystery. Some are
say no would be lying; to say yes would be to
lose one's find. One makes haste; if scrupuhonest, some vicious. I don't speak of the deadly ones, I mean the face, the bearing of
lous, one makes a little murmur which pledges them. Some delicate, milk-white, planted all
one to nothing; and the treasure once reaped, in a ring, as if to mark the spot where the
one creeps farther on, very far on, into some fairies danced last night. The others solitary,
other odorous nest all sown with white blackish, livid, traitor-faces ruminating some
bunches." crime apart. These purple, doubled with
The “Tilery," as we may call it, orange, spreading forth the magnificence of their mantle in the midst of a crowd of grey
takes its name from the description of buttons that hold themselves at a distance,-a an entirely secluded house, inhabited pasha in his harem. Those with a silver lustre, by a family of tile-makers, who take smooth as silk, with a dome of satin above delight, the wife especially, in their and spotless ribbing beneath. Some are iri- loneliness. “The Hegelian
“The Hegelian” is a tale descent, some pale golden. How came they? how go they? What sun, when autumn mists of 1849, placing before us, in striking grow heavy on the soil, what sun empurpled contrast, the wild enthusiasm of German them, what painted them with sulphur, what revolutionists, and the innocent bloodgave them the rainbow reflections of mother
thirstiness of the reactionists : of-pearl? Why does the cow that crops the latest plants, that twists off the leaves touched Shot,' cried the general. . . . Shot the with the frost; why does the sheep wander. chiefs ! shot the soldiers ! shot the imbeciles
who let them alone.' As I named to him this style of Madame de Gasparin in her one and that, the general, with an expressive “Near Horizons" is full of words and gesture, took aim, winked, pulled the trigger, uttered' his absurd 'shot,' and then laughed a
expressions which have a sweet country big simpleton laugh."
smell about them, though the dialect is
not the same as that with which George Amongst the other sketches, I would Sand has made us familiar. Very difchiefly point out “The Poor Boy,”– ferent, indeed, is the point of view of wonderfully beautiful all through, the Protestant authoress from that of which gives the life of a grotesque her world-famous contemporary ; not idiot, maltreated by his father, till, in only as being strictly religious, but also his last illness, the religious sense is under the social aspect. Here we have kindled in him, and he dies in peace. only glances cast from above, bright “The Pigeon-house,” is not "what you and loving indeed, but still not actual " think. There is no other pigeon- outlooks from that sphere of artizan and “house but a poor room, no other pigeons labourer life into which George Sand " than an old man and his wife.” It is seems to have fairly penetrated. It is the story of the last years of an old always the great lady, in town or country, Lyonnese upholsterer, a good workman, going forth to help, to comfort, to speak but a shallow and weak mind, coming of Christ, using, nobly and generously, to Paris in the hope of finding work, her own social privileges for the benefit with a wife, his good genius, to whom of others; it is not a soul oppressed he is tenderly attached ; and after with the weight of those very privileges, various ups and downs, losing his striving and struggling, even, it may be, wife and going off into semi-imbe- at the cost of sin, to be one with the zility. Though away from her beloved poorest and the lowest. mountains, the writer shows here a The “Heavenly Horizons” is, in its delicate truth of observation and firm
success, even a more remarkable work ness of touch which could not be sur- than its elder born. passed. “ Marietta," again, is a charming been reviewed in the Deux Mondes, by tale of a hideous, though gentle-souled Emile Montegut, and with singular dwarf, cared for with the most thought- favour; again it has reached a third ful delicacy by an old shoemaker, her edition. Yet this deals no longer with cousin.
nature's glories, even Very slight are for the most part higher things, no longer sketches the these sketches, as, indeed, the writer sunlights or the shadows of human life
. warns us from the first.
It is occupied all through directly with great quality is, that they are all from the highest, gravest subjects, death, nature, and by one who has eyes to see. heaven, immortality, resurrection, the But they have all of them a singular new creation. If the writer's style has charm of style. The French of these forgone the field of its charming rusSwiss writers, as M. Ste. Beuve has ticities, yet, struggling with mighty purobserved ere this, has always a pleasant poses, it becomes as it were even more archaic provincialism about it,—à smack picturesque than ever in its brave free; of that sixteenth century, so various dom, its bold abruptness. The cardinal and so free, ere yet France had put on the idea of the book may be said to be a periwig of the “ Grand Siècle. This is
protest against the “Paradise which remarkable, amongst other writers, in frightens one,” a Paradise of absorption, that charming teller of tales Rudolph or even of rest, -the “apocryphal ParaTöpffer, the caricaturist schoolmaster, dise" of the painters, of Dante
, a whose "Travels in Zigzag," though too “Chinese scene painted with strange lengthy, constituted, even before "Tom “figures," as the writer somewhere calls Brown," the first great literary homage it. That the soul does not sleep, that paid to boy-nature. But apart from personal identity subsists after death, mere archaisms and provincialisms, the that affections are eternal, such are the
Again it has
as vehicles for
points on which the writer exhausts her bound to his own. Go a step further; most incisive arguments.
imagine Jacob indifferent to Rachel. He
meets her, the gentle beloved, the com“Who made our affections? God or the
panion of his pilgrimages, he meets her in
this Paradise of uniform tints. No names devil ! Forgive me my precision of terms. Now if God put affections into us Himself; if He
more, no touching memories, no tenderness. judged His work as good, will He judge it as
He meets her, and unmoved in eye, unmoved bad all of a sudden, on such a day? He who
in thought, he glides beside her. A soul taken endowed the earth with attachments so mighty
at haphazard inspires him with the like love.
The mother of Joseph, the mother of Benjaand so sweet, could He disinherit heaven of them? Easily could He have placed us in an
min, he feels nothing towards her which he atmospbere of uniform' and I will say tasteless
does not feel in the same degree for any other
inhabitant of heaven. Ah! she whom weeping love, like in all, equal for all, an ocean islandless and shoreless. He has not done it. Men
he laid on the road to Bethlehem, she remains have imagined this, not God.
there still. Both are dead. The beings whom “Men think monotony great. God finds it
in higher regions you call yet Rachel, Jacob, poor. Just take away from man his pre
have nothing in common with the hearts which ferences. Behold, he loves all things and all
burned here below with a love at once so men with identical feelings; his father no
divine and so human. I recognise them no more nor less than the generality of old men ; that unknown child quite like his own. Friends he has none; or rather you, I, a stranger, the
“Be it so. But with the persistency of the Grand Turk at need, we are his friends, in
affections you introduce sorrow into Paradise. the same degree, in the same manner. This
All whom you love, will they have a place man is not a man; I see in him arms, legs, I
there? Are you sure of finding them there? discover no heart. And if really he is alive, if
A father, a child.... it be not an automaton, I say that loving all
“I fall at thy feet, my God! I fall with a cry he loves nothing, that I care little for his
which is an act of faith. Thou wilt save them,
Thou wilt fetch them; beneath Thy fervent general tendernesses, and that I would rather be the neighbour's cat than his wife or his son.
love all hardening of heart shall melt. If it
should be otherwise ! .... My God, have “ Yet this is how men settle heaven, these
pity on me! I know that Thou lovest them;
I know that Thou wilt wipe away my tears; I are the guests with which they people it. “Oh, how differently God has made it, how
believe with all my soul that Thou wilt not differently He has made man !
wipe them away whilst narrowing my heart. * God has created the family, which man
Thou comfortest by giving; Thou takest would not have invented, which in the savage
vought away of that which is good, that state he annihilates, which in the excesses of
which Thyself hast found very good. And corrupt civilization he ceases to acknowledge,
then, behold a mystery: Thyself, O God,
from the bosom of Thine immutable felicity, which most of our philosophies dissolve. God
Thou seest those that have lost themselves. has strongly bound the sheaf, the man to his wife, the father to his child. And when with
Yet Thy Love and Thy Charity remain; Thou a word Paul would depict Roman degradation,
hast not sacrificed Thy love to Thy felicity. he writes, “Men without natural affections.'
Veiled harmonies these, but of which I hear
the far-off echo. “Yes, there are families up yonder, united
“What Thy omniscience did for Thee, Thy by indissoluble links, each loving the other
compassions will do for me. with a love more solid than earth has known.
“My love shall not die. Struck all along No selfishness narrows it, no unfaithfulness
the road, covered with wounds, not thus shall befouls it; neither does the ambition of power
I enter the kingdom of God; bleeding and stifle it, nor the passion of gold dry it up: it
maimed. The God before whom despair takes renews itself without ceasing in the worship
flight will not chase it away by dispersing to of God, and that worship quenches it not, but
the four winds the ashes of my recollections.
Indifference shall not cure me of sorrow. My makes it shine eternally like itself. Yet Jesus has said that in heaven
God has other remedies for suffering which there is no taking nor giving of women in
has just loved.
“My tendernesses will live, Lord, as Thy marriage. "Doubtless. Another condition, other rela
love, as Thy tendernesses. Thy heart, Jesus tions. Our earthly marriage has consequences
risen from the dead, is my warrant for my
hearts vitality.” which future life could not admit of. What is transitory ceases, what is immortal subsists. Now Christian love is immortal.
In the earlier pages of her book, * To convince yourself of this, admit the Madame de Gasparin says, that she only contrary for an instant. Represent to your self Abraham, that mighty individuality,”
speaks to those whom she terms “the (Oh, Madame de Gasparin !) “without Sarab,
redeemed,” those who have felt their that other individuality,” (Ob !) “80 closely guilt and their impotency, and have