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or two quarters as to the Stephanian authorship of this remarkable pamphlet. M. Feugère alludes to the suspicions that had been expressed, but only alludes to them. He simply sets them aside, and goes on to give an outline of the Discours, with remarks, and even a quotation, the whole filling together more than six octavo pages, assuming it as the production of Henri Estienne. It is, therefore, quite impossible that M. Feugère can have given even a single perusal to the volume of which he speaks so glibly, and so prettily. Yet it consists in the edition now before us (s. I. 1575) of only 95 pages in 12mo. It is, besides, by no means an uncommon book, having been, as it well deserved to be, repeatedly reprinted in France, and translated into the language of every country. To any one possessing even that modicum of acquaintance with H. Estienne's books and personal history which our prize essayist does possess, a single perusal is sufficient. The case is not even one of doubt. Henri Estienne neither did write nor could have written the · Discours Merveilleux.' The pamphlet is not, as M. Feugère thinks, a general philippic against the Queen Mother. It is a very special pleading, emerging at a particular moment, and directed to a particular object. It is directed against the unauthorised assumption of the Regency by Catherine during the interim between the death of Charles IX. and the return of his brother and successor, Henri III., from Poland. We are able, from internal evidence, to assign certainly, not only the year but the month of its composition. It was written in the early part of July, 1574. It is addressed to the burghers of Paris by a person on the spot, who possessed a minute and personal acquaintance with the situation of parties at the moment, not to say with every intrigue and turn of affairs since the accession of Charles IX. Now, in 1574, Henri Estienne had been absent not only from Paris but from France for many years. On the 16th May in that year still at Geneva. Later in the summer he set off on his first journey to Vienna, intent on quite other business than the imprisonment of the Duke of Alençon and the conspiracy (so called) of Lamole and Coconas. Henri Estienne did not visit Paris till November, 1578, or become intimate at Court till the spring of 1579. He never at any time had the minute knowledge of contemporary persons and politics which is possessed by the author of the Discours Merveilleux.' The Discours' has not the low verdeur of style of the Apologie pour Herodote,' with which M. Feugère absurdly compares it. It is, notwithstanding its invective, a state paper, lofty in tone, masterly in manner. It is written from a constitutional point of view, and by one well read in
the constitutional history of his own country. In short, it is written in the interest of the Duke of Alençon, and of that part of the noblesse which formed the nucleus of the party of the Politiques. Again, so far from displaying the passion of a Calvinist sectary, which M. Feugère attributes to it, it is difficult to make out to which religion the writer belongs, so careful is he to avoid every allusion to the subject. It is, in short, more preposterous to attribute the Discours Merveilleux' to Henri Estienne than to ascribe to him the Moyen de Parvenir,' as it is said that Charles Nodier did.
Finally, there is, though it is not mentioned by any of Henri's biographers, an explicit disclaimer of the authorship by himself. That it should have escaped notice is surprising, as it occurs in the very one of Henri's books which is most read by the French -a book which is written not in Latin but in French; and the passage in question occurs within the first few pages of the Preface. Henri is giving the reasons why he declines to follow out the comparison instituted in his tract between the Italians and French into other points than that of language. One reason is that it would be scurrilous to do so :
Ma plume n'a point accoustumé de se mettre à telles matières qui font tomber en des invectives (encore qu'aucuns m'ayent presté cette charité de me vouloir faire auteur d'une plus dangereuse, moy pouvant prouver mon alibi de cent lieues long).'—Précellence du Langage Français. Pref.
M. Feugère has actually edited a reprint of this tract, and yet in his Life of Henri Estienne has made no use of this curious personal allusion. The allusion to the ‘Discours Merveilleux' is unmistakable, and it proves two things. First, that the false ascription of the Discours' to Estienne was made at the time, and was not an after invention of bibliographers. Secondly, that already in 1579 the authorship had been not only denied, but disproved by Henri. He had evidently succeeded in removing all suspicions from himself; otherwise he could not have been received at Court with so much favour as the suspected author of so telling an attack upon the policy of the Queen Mother. Who then was the author of the · Discours Merveilleux' is a problem which we must leave to native critics, and to the next French biographer of the Estienne.
ART. III.-1. The Caxtons: a Family Picture. 1855. 2. My Novel ; or, Varieties in English Life. 1862. 3. "What will he do with it?' 1864. 4. Poems. By the Right Hon. Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton,
Bart., M.P. A new edition, revised. London, 1865. WHERE must be some deep and solid root to the persistent
Sir E. Bulwer Lytton cleaves to the conviction that an after-age will appreciate his genius better than the present, and sings his • non omnis moriar with such manful tenacity. Self-reliance, accompanied by learning, knowledge of the world, and singular industry, is not likely to be other than well-grounded ; and in this case the firmness of the roots has been tested by efforts, neither few nor feeble, to shake them.
Certainly few men of equal mark have, in achieving a high position in literature, encountered a larger amount of adverse criticism, or had less reason to thank the literary censorship for an unqualified passport to public favour than Sir Bulwer Lytton. Not, indeed, that this has hurt him much; for, of a truth, the public has been the very reverse of exacting, and has shown an unwonted constancy to a favourite of very considerable standing in her good graces. Yet, whether we regard the reception of his novels, or of his poetical works, it must be admitted that it is only from the uncritical majority of his countrymen that he has received anything approaching to unanimous applause. But
• The Achæans got to Troy, there's no denying:
Chapman's Theocritus,' Idyll vii. and Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton has striven for literary eminence with such unabated endeavour, that it was not in the nature of things that he should greatly fail of his object. A generation has passed away since he first entered the arena of literature. The titles of his earliest novels, 'Pelham,' 'Paul Clifford,'
, Eugene Aram,' start up as dreams of a remote past, so much has the century moved on, so busy and real does life seem on this side of the bridge which connects our own day with the already shadowy period of thirty years ago. If any one, however, will glance over the lists of publications in the interval, he will find scarce one year unmarked by a fresh appeal to the suffrages of his book-reading countrymen on the part of Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton. From the time of his leaving Cambridge until now it would seem as if he had been filling and emptying, and again refilling with various knowledge the peculiarly receptive
storehouses of his memory, and continually putting some fresh surprise upon the reading public by the wonderful fertility and versatility of his genius. . Add to this that the Novelist, Poet, Dramatist, Essay-writer whom we are contemplating is not a mere man of letters, incapable of playing any part upon a larger stage, but on the contrary one who has earned a place among the foremost of the literary statesmen, of whom this age has been prolific; so that it can hardly be doubted that the subject of our present remarks, when regarded with candour and without prejudice, is entitled to a high rank among the greater and finer intellects of his day, and may reasonably urge pretensions to a prominent niche in the temple of literary fame, pretensions, as it seems to us, which it is easier to sneer down than to invalidate.
Not, indeed, that we are prepared to do battle for the entire and voluminous total of Sir Bulwer Lytton's literary progeny from 1828 until now. That the whole family bears tokens of its common parentage in talent variously developed, and marked in many instances by the eccentricity of genius, it needs but a reminiscence of 'Ernest Maltravers,' • Zanoni,' • Night and Morning,' and 'Lucretia,' to convince us. That, in his young blood, the author of 'Pelham' was little disposed to be trammelled by any stereotyped rules of his art is easy to be conceived ; nor is it improbable that the whole army of criticism was only too ready to set the battle in array against so daring and ambitious an invader. In the pages of the Quarterly Review'* we trace the dissent of a master-mind from certain innovations introduced by Mr. Bulwer, which, to be sure, have been since so often repeated by other writers, that they may now claim a kind of prescriptive right, and even antiquity of precedent. But the point at issue (the admissibility or inadmissibility into a novel of persons or incidents nowise bearing on the development of the fable) was, if we are not mistaken, at a later period pleasantly settled between the author and the reviewer; nor is there any reason to suppose that the illustris anima' of a giant among critics would shrink from the approach of a great kindred spirit, if at some, we trust, far distant date a meeting between Mr. Lockhart and Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton should chance upon the Elysian shore. Originality usually disdains a trodden path; and the genius of the author of • Pelham' would seem to have been at pains to find an entirely fresh track for every one of his earlier novels. No wonder, then, if there rose up at all points critics to discuss the wisdom or judgment of each novel excursion. But with the
Quarterly Review,' No. xcvi., Dec. 1832, Zohrab the Hostage,' pp. 393-6.
earlier works of Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton it is not our purpose to deal in these pages. Such as they have seemed to the critical and the uncritical, such we are content that they should continue to seem: works confessedly teeming with beauties of style, fancy, and conception, yet works not proof against exception, nor unprovocative of that hostility which is sure to rise in conflict against the free lance of brilliant but immature genius. Our present task is the just estimation of the Bulwer Lytton of later years; the ripe and good scholar, who, in • The Caxtons,' has reproduced old humour without its grossness; who has preached in My Novel' a more practical sermon than half the divines that in our day fail to make up for their lack of the deep learning of Taylor, Beveridge, and Barrow, by any compensating knowledge of mankind; and who in “What will he do with it?' has evinced a genuine and unfeigned interest in young ambitions and aspirations, meet for one, who, taking rank among elders, feels the sympathy of every great mind for the young, and ardent, and enthusiastic.
In the Caxtonian series of novels, and those other emanations of this author's prolific brain, which we take to be akin to them, his poem of St. Stephen's,' his 'Caxtoniana,' and the collection of poems which he has gathered up and retouched, that they may represent him, as he would wish, to posterity, there is a predominating character of genial, mellow wisdom, and, better still, a pervading spirit of kindliness and gentle judgment. Indeed, in the Collected Poems' we seem to learn as much of the veteran author's mature standard from his omissions, as from what appears in the volume. The unnoticed absence of the New Timon' is as symptomatic of his intelligent grasp of the true key to the hearts of his countrymen as his open repudiation of his unfortunate 'Siamese Twins.'*. And though we share with Sir Edward a strong faith in the claims of his King Arthur' to that wider and deeper appreciation to which its remarkable beauties, its scattered pearls of poesy, its graceful episodes, and abundant learning undoubtedly entitle it, yet it were idle to feign blindness to the fact that what most damages its pretensions to the dignity of an epic, and remits it to the category of the New Timon' and “Siamese Twins,' is its covert hits at contemporary or recent statesmen and public characters, its .satiric portraits telling their own tale with bitter precision, and its importation of ephemeral matters of modern diplomacy and finesse into the serener regions of ancient and classical romance. This it is that deprives • King Arthur' of undivided favour, whilst it is the exercise of sym
* See Collected Poems,' p. 172, note. Vol. 117.-No. 234.