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Laird of Logan, who flourished in the court" Religion et Morale,” and Religious Poetry. of the Grand Monarque, and died in 1683, It would be a great mistake, however, to sup and a more plebeian humorist, M. Briolet, pose that the books comprised under these who lived in the following century. A large denominations constitute the real popular proportion of the anecdotes relating to the religious literature of France. That literaformer are licentious in the extreme.

ture forms a perfectly distinct department. There is a good deal of genuine humor, It possesses a special and independent ornot unmixed, however, with profanity, in ganization, under the direction of the clergy ; many of the compositions described in the nor was it comprehended among the objects chapter on “Discourses, Funeral Orations,” to which the Commission du Colportage was & Most of these are the productions of a charged to apply itself. The literature subso-called “ Academy of Troyes”-an associ- mitted to the Commission and described by ation of humorists just such as would have M. Nisard, though it comprises some unexcepgladdened Swift's heart to contemplate- tionable books, is for the most part of a far which was established in that city, about the lower and coarser stamp. Very many of the middle of the last century, chiefly under the books do not pretend in the least to the inspiration of the celebrated advocate J. P. devotional character ; where they make such Grosley, best known to English scholars by pretension, the devotion is generally of a his learned essay on the pretended Spanish very low and questionable type, and abounds conspiracy against Venice in 1618. Like with apocryphal histories and meaningless many similar aspirants, the academicians of legends; the moral teaching, when it seeks Troyes failed completely in their own coun- to be practical, often descends into dangertry; but, venturing to submit the fruit of ous and objectionable details; and, in a their lucubrations to the more enlightened word, the general tendency of the class is judgment of the literary salons of Paris, towards a hard and vulgar formalism. We their "Mémoires ” were at once rewarded learn, indeed, from M. Nisard that the great with a popularity the echo of which is still majority of them are discountenanced by the heard in the colportage.

clergy, although they maintain a clandestine One of the most curious samples of this popularity among the rude and superstitious species of composition is the “ Testament et peasantry, to the partial exclusion of the dernières Paroles de Michel Morin.” Morin sounder literature which the clergy seek to is described as beadle of the church of Beau- encourage. séjour in Nicardy. In the hands of the witty The Religious poetry" of the colportage

“ author he is made the Don Quixote or Friar deserves a separate article. It remained, Gerund of the age of panegyrics; and his char- with hardly an exception, the very same for acter and history are used as the vehicle of a centuries, and most of the pieces which M. most amusing caricature of the fulsome ora- Nisard describes, date from the fifteenth tory which it was the fashion of the time to lav- century, and perhaps even earlier. Not that ish upon the memory of the most commonplace there does not exist in the religious literaand even the most worthless, provided they had ture of France any poetry of more modern left wealth enough to cover their poverty of origin. On the contrary, there is no country reputation. There is a “Sermon in Pro- where it is more abundant; every diocese verbs,” too, the great merit of which consists has its own hymn book, every religious assoin stringing together in logical sequence a ciation its own collection of cantiques. But series of the most motley and unconnected none of these, although some of then, adages, so as to produce an orderly and in- especially the “Cantiques de St. Sulpice," telligible discourse. The effect is extremely possess very great merit, have succeeded in curious, and reminds one forcibly, although dislodging their old friends from their place in a different order, of the oddities of the by the winter fireside of the French peas well-known German preacher, Abraham de ant, or their hold upon his imagination and Sancta Clara, whose peculiarities Schiller his heart. Their exceeding simplicity, their has successfully imitated in the discourse highly dramatic style, and their perfect of his Capuchin in “ Wallenstein's Lager." adaptations in imagery, in allusions, and in

Two very long chapters are devoted to the illustrations, to the peasant life and the peas. books of the colportage which relate to l ant character, have been their safeguard

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through all the social, political, and religious ever may be the defects of these writers as revolutions which they have out-lived. regards taste, their moral tone is not liable

The cantiques spirituels described by M. to serious criticism. It would have been Nisard are a series of religious ballads or well if the trade had confined itself to their romances, partly scriptural, partly legendary. works, or even to those of a still more proOf the former class are the ancient drama lific writer, Ducray-Duminil, whose novels or mystery of the Nativity, the Sacrifice of fall but little short in number of those of Abraham, Joseph and his Brethren, Judith Mr. James, and whose works in general, aland Holofernes, the Prodigal: of the latter, though not quite beyond exception as rethe legend of our Lady of Liesse, of St. gards their moral tendency, are purity itself Barbara, St. Eustache, Geneviève of Bra- in comparison with the garbage of the later bant, St. Alexis, St. Hubert, Patron of the school of the fiction of the colportage. chase, and several others. * Their chief But, although these works, and such as common characteristic is extreme simplicity; these, together with many of our own recogand, although there is no great elevation, nized favorites, “Robinson Crusoe,"

"66 Telewhether moral or intellectual, in any of them, machus,” “Gil Blas,” and the Arabian they are, for the most part, marked by a Nights," have always maintained a steady purity and, a fidelity to nature which, in circulation, it is equally certain that a simihealthful effect upon the feelings, may well lar, though more clandestine, popularity was be believed to outweigh far more brilliant enjoyed by such works as the “ Decameron,” and' striking qualities.

the “ Cent Nouvelles," the “Romans,” of The last branch of the hawkers' literature Voltaire, Rousseau's “Heloise,” and “Conreviewed by M. Nisard comprises its Fiction ; fessions,” Diderot's Tales, the more disgustand we may include under the same head ing tales of Crebillon Fils, and others of the lives of celebrated robbers, sharpers, ad- more modern date, unknown in England renturers, and other Newgate heroes, which even by name, but in principles and in colorhe has placed in a different category. M. ing equally detestable. It is only necessary Nisard divides this important branch of to cast an eye over the titles of the long sehawkers' literature into two classes the an- ries enumerated by M. Nisard in a note (vol. cient and the modern. The former still i. pp. 579-581), in order to see how demormaintains an almost undisputed popularity alizing must be the tendency, and how fatal in some remote rural districts; the latter the effect of such a literature. has driven out his predecessor among the M. Nisard, as we have already observed, ouvriers and grisettes of the towns and cities, maintains a careful reserve as to the remedand is fast creeping in among the younger ial measures contemplated or adopted by the portion even of the agricultural population Commission du Colportage. We learn, howof many of the departments.

ever,

from the lecture of Cardinal Wiseman, It is true that many of the books sold by the referred to in the beginning of this article, colporteurs, and some of those not the least that its first measure, after the calling in of popular, are quite unobjectionable. For a the books for examination, was to order fully long time the tales of Madame Cottin, au- three-fourths of the whole number to be at thoress of the well-known “ Exiles of Sibe-once withdrawn from circulation. We colria,” enjoyed almost a monopoly of the mar- lect, too, from the author himself, that an ket; and more recently her popularity has attempt has been made, as yet seemingly been shared by two other lady-novelists, without success, by the publishers in whose Mesdames D'Aulnoy and Daubenton. What- hands the colportage trade has hitherto been

* It may be well to say that these romances are centered, to supply with approved and unobby no means exclusively French in their origin. jectionable books the void thus suddenly creThe very same romances—not only the same in substance, but often even identical in the very

ated ;

and he appears to hold out something forin-are found in Italian, in Spanish (where they like a hope, that he may give us, in a future form the great treasure-house from which Calderon de la Baren has drawn the material of his religious publication, an account of the new " Littéradrumas), and, above all, in German. Every one ture du Colportage,” which it is thus atof the above romances, and many more, may still tempted to inaugurate. This, no doubt, is be found in the German Volks-bücher, enumerated

one of the great social problems of the age, oy Görres aud others.

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hardly, if at all, inferior în interest to that | Colportage.,' Let any man read Mr. Mayof primary education itself; because it in- hew's brief, but pregnant, notices of the volves the success of that self-education, Coster-literature." Let him read of the which bears even more directly on the prac- sale by millions* of the “ gallows' literature" tical formation of the character of the indi- which is by far the most popular ware of our vidual, and the determination, for good or literary hawkers; of a single individual sellfor evil, at the outset, of the moral principles ing on a Saturday night two thousand such which, whether unfelt or openly avowed, are publications; of families clubbing their destined to be his guide of action through- pence to indulge this diseased curiosity; of out life. It is plain that the arbitrary en- the groups of listeners assembled even in actments of a government, or the remedial the remote villages by the scanty light of a measures of a commission, can but reach the fire and drinking in with eager ears the es. externals: they deal with the symptons citing narrative, which initiates them in the rather than with the disease. Nor can we vices of great cities ; and of the morbid atventure to hope that any real progress has traction of these publications to the

young

of been made towards its eradication, until we both sexes. The retailers of these publicashall have an opportunity of judging of the tions are, as Lord Campbell forcibly obcharacter of the new literature which it is served in bringing forward his measure for proposed to substitute, and of its suitableness the suppression of obscene literature, for the true exigencies of so important a "moral poisoners”: and we are satisfied crisis.

that the Lord Chief Justice and M. Nisard Meanwhile the subject is one in which we have both done service to the interests of ourselves have a concern far deeper and public morality in arming the law with admore practical than that arising from the ditional power to crush these abuses. mere literary or antiquarian considerations On the other hand we are bound in fairwhich it involves. Such a revelation from ness to say, that much has been done of late abroad should awaken our curiosity, or years in this country to bring excellent rather a far more earnest feeling, as to the works of instruction and entertainment condition of affairs at home. Proximus within reach of the middle and lower ardet. We have before us at this moment classes. The railway book-stall has estabseveral narratives of witchcraft, charms, and lished a place for literature by the side of singular superstitions, in various parts of the great improvement in modern locomoEngland, which would furnish a practical tion; and its contents are by no commentary on the blackest pages of the worthless or contemptible. In one way or Grand Grimoire. The English almanacs in another the demand for literary amuse for the present year contain predictions just ment will be supplied to the people, and it as detailed and announced with quite as so- is of vital importance that this supply should ber an air, as those of the “ Almanach Pro-be drawn from pure waters, and not from phétique” itself.* And, as regards its cor-, that subterranean current which is tainted rupting and demoralizing tendencies, we with the superstitions of the past and the fear that there are to be found publications vices of the present age. in our literature for the poor which

* “ To show the extent of the trade in execu unsuccessfully dispute that “ bad eminence” tion broadsheets,' I obtained returns of the nuntwith the worst dregs of the Littérature du of late, which had been sold :

ber of copies relating to the principal executions Of Rush

2,500,000 copies. * “Raphael's Prophetic Messenger" is a lite- " the Mannings

2,500,000 ral transcript of the French Prophetic Almanacs. 16 Courvoisier

1,666,000 Copestick's Prophetic and Commercial Alma

1,650,000 nac, with n less solemn pretentious display of

1,650,000 science, is equally ludicrous in its guesses at 16 Greenacre

1,666,000 the future. The death of the Emperor Nicholas ( Mayhou's London Labor and the London Pour, made sad work in the predictions for 1865,

vol. i. p. 284.)

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From The New Monthly Magazine.

in a separate form, to place in a connected FOX AT ST. ANNE'S HILL.*

narrative the relation of Mr. Fox's political When in retreat he laid his thunders by, career, and an account of his times. In that Tor lettered ease and calm Philosophy, Blest were his hours within the silent grove,

manner the great events of his life will be Where still his god-like spirit deigns to rove;

prominently set forth, and his public policy Blest by the orphan's smile, the widow's prayer, fully discussed.” Lord John Russell does not, For many a deed, long done in secret there. therefore, differ from the opinion of the There shone his lamp on Homer's hallowed public, that, these four volumes of Memorials

page, There, listening, sate the hero and the sage;

nothwithstanding, the Life and Times of Mr. And they, by virtue and by blood allied, Fox remain to be written. He accepts the Whom most he loved, and in whose arms he opinion—and the task. died.

ROGERS.

Among the political allusions in the letters

now first published, the writer's dislike to O bliss, when all in circle drawn

Mr. Pitt and his cherished contempt for
About him, heart and ear were fed
To hear him, as he lay and read

Mr. Addington, “ The Doctor,” are prominThe Tuscan poets on the lawn.

ently put forth. It is curious to see Thomas

TENNYSON. Grenville, in January, 1804, insisting, in spite A FOURTHI volume now completes Lord of Fox's demurs, on the probability of Pitt's John Russell's edition of “Memorials and returning to power, in case the Opposition Correspondence of Charles James Fox.” It succeeded in ousting the Doctor, and putting comprises the three or four last years of the himself

, Pitt, at the bead of the existing Adgreat Whig leader's life. Lord John has ministration, or one like it : all which, as a retrenched little of his correspondence with foot-note intimates, to the credit of Mr. GrenLords Grey, Lauderdale, and Holland, and ville's sagacity, was exactly what happened. General Fitzpatrick, during the period that At the same time that Fox mistrusted the elapsed between his returning to active pol- probability of any such stroke of business, he itics in 1804 and his coming into office in was forward in avowing his sorry estimate of 1806. The volume also contains the official his political rival. My opinion is, that he correspondence between Fox and Talleyrand (Pitt) is a man incapable of reposing thorough relating to the negotiation of the latter

confidence in any friend.” “My guess is that

year. To this the editor adds official letters con

Pitt will support me in some [questions) and cerned with that in 1782; the correspondence not in others, but he does not know always of Fox with Gilbert Wakefield, which has his own mind, and much less can his friends already been published; sixteen of his letters answer for him. His temper makes him to his friend (and eventually secretary) Mr. more and more in Opposition, whatever his Trotter; also previously made public; and intentions may be.”* “ You [Lauderdale] about the same number to the Duke of Port- think that the Court cannot now be forced; land, ranging from the year 1782 to 1792. remember, all I have said is that there is a • çloses with Lord Holland's well-known chance that it may; Pitt's utter incapacity to naftative of his uncle's last illness, extracted act like a man renders that chance much less

“ IF Pitt from “ Memoirs of the Whig Party.” The than it would otherwise be.” + noble editor expresses his hope, in a post- plays fair, we shall run him [Addington] very script, to be able soon to execute in some

hard indeed on my motion. .... I have degree the design which Lord Holland had not written my IF in great letters for nothing. formed, of giving a connected narrative of

.:. It is impossible not to suspect Pitt Mr. Fox's life, with extracts from his

from his ways of proceeding, and speeches. “Political employments still more

terest is so evident, that I think he will do absorbing than those of the late Lord Hol- right." | "I should write my if in rather land have hitherto prevented my doing more

smaller letters to-day,ộ but there is still an than publishing the collection made by Lord if upon the subject of P.” “He is not a Holland and Mr. Allen, with such comments man capable of acting fairly, and on a footing as I thought essential. .... I shall endeavor,

of equality with his equals.”|| I agree

with

almost all your speculations, except two:* Memorials and Correspondence of Charles James Fox. Edited by Lord John Russell. Vol.

* March 25, 1804. (To Lord Lauderdale.) IV. Bentley. 1857.

† April 9. † April 17. (To Hon. C. Grey.) ☺ April 18.

| April 19.

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1st, the possibility of Pitt's showing any evidence of the impossibility of Pitt's going mercy to the Doctor, and 2ndly, in the on with any set of Ministers who are not his danger of getting something worse than King own mere creatures and tools. If the Doctor Log. I do not think the Stork (which, by will fall in with these views, I am sure I have the

way, is Pitt's crest) would be worse, for no objection to coalescing with him,”—any reasons which we may discuss when we more than, a little while before, I, Charles

Pitt is in a strange situation, and Fox, facile princeps in the art and practice I suspect that he feels that he is so. His of Coalitions, had, or would have again, to friends will be more dissatisfied with him and coalesce with Pitt against the Doctor. his enemies fear him less every day.” † And Poor Sheridan is very rarely mentioned in

-Pitt being now in power again these letters, and then in no flattering sort. (for, as a foot-note states the matter, Lord " I will not say anything of public affairs, Moira had persuaded the Prince to prefer but Sheridan has outdone his usual outdoPitt as minister to Fox, though this was a ings,”+-a pet phrase, apparently, with Mr. secret kept from the latter, both by the Fox, whether he is intimating the eccentrici•Prince and Lord Moira)—“Few now will ties of Richard Brinsley or the asserted dispute Pitt's being a contemptible Minister. mendacity of Lord Sidmouth. Again : "The He certainly gained more in numbers by his Prince wished something to be done [in re junction with the Doctor than I thought he the King's illness], and Moira would have would, but his loss in reputation from that supported us, but I am convinced Sheridan and other causes is incalculable." I

would not ; indeed, in order to avoid being The Doctor is more superciliously treated. brought to the point, he strongly dissuaded “ Even the milk-and-water Addington," is a our moving at that time, though I suspect he phrase expressive of ne plus ultra insipidity, has since represented this matter somewhat incapacity, imbecility. “It is difficult for differently at Carlton House."! "I defer anything to be too foolish for the Doctor." the article Sheridan' till another letter, Pitt's ambiguous situation in the spring of only he is as absurd as ever, to say no 1804 is said to have this "good effect, that it worse." || A bitter passage in Lord Holmakes him (the Doctor) more and more con- land's Memoirs, though it“ names no names," temned every day; indeed the contempt, has but too manifest a destiny in its applicaboth with respect to the degree and univer- tion : “ There was, indeed, one subject relatsality of it, is beyond what was ever known.” ing to patronage on which he [Mr. Fox, on “The Doctor outdid his usual outdoings in taking office in 1806] was extremely uneasy: his lie the other day on the subject of the he thought that till he had provided for the Russian business ;"$ — a circumstance to person whom I allude to, he had left undiswhich the following passage in the Grenville charged a long arrear of obligations. That correspondence refers: “Tom asked me .... person, by very obtrusive and unreasonable what the Doctor's mysterious declaration, in conduct at the formation of the ministry, had answer to Fox's question, could possibly embarrassed, irritated, and even exasperated mean? It meant, as usual with the Doctor's him. But it was not easy, even by misconmysteries, nothing at all, and the whole as- duct, to cancel a debt of gratitude in the sertion was, as is no less usual with the mind of Mr. Fox, if he thought that he had Doctor's assertions, a lie.'ll Even. Adding- ever contracted it. He was miserable till he ton's eventual discomfiture could not please, could requite the former zealous services of by the manner and results of it, his contemp- this person.” Lord John Russell quotes the tuous overlooker. “The Doctor has chosen paragraph ; but neither here nor elsewhere a bad time for his resignation. ... . His folly in the volume has he, as some at least of the in this, as in everything else, is beyond all Whig party could surely have wished, a word conception."| Nevertheless, " the Doctor's so say about, much less for, the brilliant resignation may do great good, as furnishing Whig partisan, whose personality we have * April 27.

+ Dec. 12. here ventured to italicise and identify, not March 19, 1805. (To Lord Holland.) without something of reluctance and regret. 5 March 27. li Lord Grenville to Marquis of Buckingham,

Leaving politics and personal differences, Jan. 5, 1804.

* July 7. 9 July 6, 1805.

† August 12, 1803. March 25, 1804.

| April 17.

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