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3 From The Church Quarterly Review. rapher. He may preserve the materials MGR. DUPANLOUP.*
out of which a later writer may conceive In very early forms of art it sometimes and portray the great man's character ; he happens that the desire for completeness may contribute for the student of a period is fatal to the effect intended in the pic-one aspect of the events ; he
may illustrate ture. The too faithful artist rightly feels with new specimens and instances the that from no single point of view can the truths of ethics : but he does not give to whole of his subject be seen and ren- the world at large that help which should dered; and if the front is important, it be all men's gain from a noble life; he does not follow that the back and sides are does not set before us the character that to be ignored. A really exhaustive por- was beyond all characteristics, and beneath trait must represent the whole man; and all energy and skill in action; he does so the painter walks all round him, and not make us see, in its unity and uniqueconscientiously transfers to his paper all ness, the moral form that lived and that he sees, from north and south and wrought; he does not bear into our minds east and west
. The result may be cum- a fresh presence, to be henceforward, as brous and shapeless; it
it may recall no
were, of the privy council of our life, a known specimen of humanity; it
voice to listened for, a witness to be in the phrase of Herodotus, “like any: remembered, a rebuke for all faint-heartthing rather than a man;" but, at all edness. We may, perhaps, be able to get events, it is complete ; it leaves out noth- such an image out of the big volumes and ing; no one can ask any further questions the throng of incidents; but we must get or present any fresh facts in regard to the it for ourselves, with more expense of time subject thus displayed.
and industry and patience than most men A like method has become common
care to give to the task. And so the among biographers, with something like power of the story never comes to many the same results. It seems ungrateful to who would have had real help from a clear complain about a book so carefully elabo- and vivid picture, bold and salient and rated, and so rich in helpful thoughts, as
strong in its presentation of that which the “ Life of Bishop Dupanloup,” written was at the heart of the eventful life the by the Abbé Lagrange, and translated by
man who lived it. The first virtue of a Lady Herbert; but its true worth is seri- biographer is to see in statuesque disously impaired by the danger which is tinctness the character which he would threatening almost to destroy the
make us see; the second is to be ruthless
very conception of biography. For surely in and audacious in omissions. To borrow writing a man's life, as in painting a man's a metaphor from Mr. Browning, the biogportrait, the skill of omission is essential rapher must recognize his limitations in to the value of the work. A map is not a the selection of details just as a cabin paspicture, and annals are not biography. Asenger must remember the scanty space writer who loads page after page and allowed him as he chooses what he will chapter after chapter with details, often take with him on his voyage. It would be absolutely homogeneous and only evincing delightful to take everything he values and over again some trait already fully de- enjoys; but then – scribed and fastened in the reader's mind, may render important services to history, Alas, friend, here's the agent — is’t the name? but he fails of the true work of a biog- The captain, or whoever's master here
You see him screw his face up; what's his * 1. Vie de Mgr. Dupanloup. Par M. L'ABBe F.
cry LAGRANGE. Quatrième édition. Paris, 1884.
Ere you set foot on shipboard ? “Six feet 2. Life of Mgr. Dupanloup. By the Abbe F. LAGRANGE; translated from the French by Lady HerBERT. London, 1885. 3. Souvenirs d'Enfance et de Jeunesse. Par E. enthusiastic nature is inclined to regard
And in spite of all that a sensitive and Renan. Treizième édition. Paris, 1886.
4. Les Catholiques Libéraux. Revue des Deux as absolutely indispensable, the cabin pasMondes, 1884. 15 Août, 15 Décembre.
senger -- and the biographer - must
understand what six feet mean, through the English, if the strong and Compute and purchase store accordingly. * salient characteristics of the original had
And yet the biographer of Mgr. Dupan- defied the effort of translation, and the loup might well plead that there never was English been brackish, as it were, with a life much more difficult to bring within French. Or the conception and title of the compass of artistic treatment than | a translation might have been abandoned, his. The times through which he lived, and we might have had an English preshis continual prominence and energy, the entation of the bishop's life, based upon great variety of his gifts and of their uses, the abbé's work, and gathered out of his his restless readiness of tongue and pen, volumes; in which case the language his fights and friendships, his unhesitating might have been pure and natural Enacceptance of every task that a conspicu- glish, and the bulk of the book judiciously ous position could attract — these are retrenched. But Lady Herbert has adoptcauses which might seem to preclude all ed neither of these plans. We have neither hope of unity in the portrayal of his life. the accuracy of translation nor the atAnd it was, perhaps, impossible for any tractiveness of an independent work. one writing so near to the events quorum Phrases and sentences are here and there pars magna fuit, and writing from the omitted; it would not be too much to say standpoint of the Abbé Lagrange, to keep that, regarded as a translation, the book down in due subordination, or to compress seems quite recklessly inaccurate; but in just proportions, the details of contro- still the language in many passages is versy and policy and administration which plainly hindered and disfigured by the increase the bulk and diminish the effect influence of the French idiom. One inof these volumes. But we cannot help stance will suffice to show the extent of regretting the result; most of all for the the freedom with which the original has fear lest in the range and speed and din been treated. The Abbé Lagrange writes: and glare of the public life men will lose C'est à lui-même que nous devons ce que sight of the real greatness which was in nous allons pouvoir raconter de ses premières Mgr. Dupanloup. There have been many années. Chateaubriand a dit de ses who have been as brilliant as he upon moires,” “Si telle partie de ce travail m'a plus the stage of history; many who have attaché que telle autre, c'est ce qui regarde in the long run exercised far more effect ma jeunesse, le coin le plus ignoré de ma upon the course of affairs. But there are vie." On pourrait ajouter, et le plus révélaother traits in his life and work which
Non certes “pour remonter le cours de ses belles années”
comme Chateaubriand, seein to belong to a very rare type of char
mais dans un sentiment autrement sérieux, de acter, which look as though they came out profonde humilité et de reconnaissance, l'Abbé of that inner strength and purity which Dupanloup, en 1848, pendant une retraite qu'il lift a man at once into the very first rank, fit à Issy, se plut à écrire, sous l'ail de Dieu, and make him really worth watching and de simples notes, à l'usage de son âme, intiremembering.
tulées, Souvenirs de ce que j'ai fait de mal el de One would like to be quit, as soon as ce que Dieu m'a fait de bien. * may be, of the ungracious business of Now the corresponding passage in Lady finding fault. That task can never be less Herbert's book is this: welcome than when one deals with a “ labor of love,"such as Lady Herbert has
We owe to himself the account of his early
Chateaubriand says in his “Meachieved in translating the work of the 'moirs,” “If any portion of this work has Abbé Lagrange. But the translation suf- been more interesting to me than the other, it fers seriously from a great mistake of relates to my youth, that unknown corner of judgment. It was open to Lady Herbert |my life." With a far deeper feeling, and to translate the abbe's French quite accu- with intense humility and gratitude, the Abbé rately ; in which case no one would have Dupanloup in 1848, during a retreat at Issy, complained if the French had shown wrote some simple notes on his childhood for
the good of his own soul, and which he * Bishop Blougram's Apology. R. Browning's Poetical Works, vol. V., p. 266.
• Vie de Mgr. Dupanloup, tome i., p. 3.
headed with the words, Recollections of what I anxious to set before the mind and heart have done wrong, and of the good which God has of English readers. Let us first try to done to me.*
form some idea of the ways by which the Some comments might be made on the great Bishop of Orleans was trained for all grammar of these words; but they are his work; then let us glance at the astonquoted here only to illustrate the extreme ishing activity of his life, the ceaseless liberty which again and again is taken in and brilliant energy with which he threw dealing with the original. Instances at himself into all the manifold complexity least as marked might be multiplied to of strife and stir around him, the zeal and almost any extent: thus twenty-five lines versatility with which he took the tasks of of French at the beginning of chapter twenty men; and then let us pause to xxix., concerning the Abbé Dupanloup's look rather more steadily at those aspects grief for his mother's death, are repre- of his career which seem to yield, as we sented by eight lines of English. This is gaze at them, the gravest, highest lessons surely inconsistent with the title of a which he has to teach us. translation; and the importance of insisting on accuracy in such matters forbids Félix Antoine Philibert Dupanloup was its being left without very serious cen- born on January 3, 1802, at the village of
Saint Félix, between Annecy and ChamAt the same time there cannot be béry, and the former of these two places claimed for the English version the coun- was the scene of his childhood. He began terbalancing advantage of having got clear life with no advantages to make success from the peculiar characteristics of the or greatness likely; nay, with hindrances French: “I embrace you with all my as serious as could well beset him. All heart; » « how useful such little gifts are that helped him in his early years he towards young men;" "an eminent cate owed to the love and self-denial of his chist, the hope and ambition of all moth- mother; and in his letters and elsewhere
such expressions as these keep it is easy to see the depth of reverence the fitting sense of the original always and affection with which he owned the hovering about the reader's mind; the debt. There are graceful, loving letters French idiom is seen, as it were, out of from the young seminarist:the corner of his eye, while he is looking Bonne mère, je t'aime, je pense à toi dans at the page of English.
mon travail; je dis, c'est pour Dieu et pour Lastly (and the word is written with ma mère. . . . Adieu, ma mère, je vais aller real relish), far more care should be given à la messe de minuit; je prierai pour toi ce to the revision of the proof-sheets. " Its Dieu nouveau-né, qui eut une mère aussi et fame resounded far yond the diocese, l'aimait bien tendrement. Ton tendre fils. and was as eagerly read by the laity as by (Vol. i., p. 64.) the clergy;" | “Another admirable play She enters into the first and inmost of Sophocles, the Edipus at Colonna;'# thoughts of his life as a priest : "Mais, “ Oculi omnium in te sperant, Domine, et pour moi, vois-tu, il n'y a qu'une seule pertu das illi escam in tempore opportuno "S sonne que je désire à ma première messe,
the sight of sentences like these seri. et c'est ma mère "* (p. 86). Throughout ously interrupts the enjoyment of any all those stages of his work in which such book.
an arrangement was possible he lived with There ! the graceless and unwelcome his mother, and when he was superior of part of the critic's work is done at last, and St. Nicholas he secured for her a lodging we may turn to look at the life and char- close by, and never passed a single day acter which Lady Herbert is most rightly without going to see her. But when she
was dying, at the age of seventy, only a + Life of Mgr. Dupanloup, vol. i., p. 2. + Vol. i., p. 351.
few weeks before her son was made Bishop # Vol. i., p. 457. Travellers to Einsiedeln should be warned not to seek it, according to Lady Herbert's . Cf. Souvenirs d'enfance, E. Renan, p. 176: “Le directions, in the Black Forest (i. 93).
plus beau trait du caractère de M. Dupanloup était § Vol.i., p. 17.
l'amour qu'il avait pour sa mère."
of Orleans, he felt how far his care and stiffness and dryness of the old priest who loyalty had stayed below the level of his heard his first confession, probably often mother's self-forgetful tenderness, and came back to him as a useful and warning there are very touching words in the pages memory. At twelve and a half, having that tell of those days in his life :
been rejected at St. Séverin as too young Je bénis Dieu de ces dernières années. to be prepared for his first communion, he
found his way to St. Sulpice. His biogMais auparavant tout avait été peine. Et je ne parle pas de toutes les peines que je rapher has good reason for the words, lui donnais par ma froideur, mon indiffé- “Le voilà où Dieu l'attend; tout son averence apparente, mes duretés. Oh! qu'il faut nir allait se décider là " (tome i., p. 13). prendre garde que le prêtre n'éteigne le fils. Since the time of M. Olier the work of Ce ne peut être la volonté de Dieu. (Tome catechizing had been foremost in the care i., p. 525.)
and fame of St. Sulpice. By the elaboraAgain, as be looks back very soon after tion of catechisms and the devotion of her death, he writes:
catechists the parish had first been lifted
out of the abyss of neglect and misery and Depuis que je l'ai perdue, je vois qu'elle infidelity and vice into which it had sunk, tenait dans mon coeur et dans ma vie une and the whole scheme of catechetical place immense. Je lui donnais peu de temps ; ma vie était ailleurs ; mais il n'y avait rien instruction had been elaborated to condans ma vie et dans mon temps où elle ne fut. spicuous excellence.*
Félix Dupanloup Il y a mille choses auxquelles je m'aperçois felt at once, it may be with the dawning que je ne tenais qu'à cau:e d'elle; je les aimais sensitiveness of the future catechist, the parce que ces choses lui faisaient plaisir. height and beauty of the work that was Aujourd'hui que ma mère n'y est plus, toutes going on: “Il y avait là comme une atces choses sont mortes pour moi
. Je sens mosphère de silence, de religion, de reque dans les choses même les plus indiffé-cueillement, de docilité, de sincérité qui rentes, ma mère y était. (P. 529.)
me toucha”(p. 14). He joined the class at One may venture thus to dwell on the once, and was drawn still further into love of the mother and the son, not only sympathy and confidence by the simple for the other instances which it may recall kindliness with which he was welcomed. of great lives moved by a like force, but He tells the story very frankly and charmalso because it had an unshared power ingly in his “Entretiens sur le caté. over Félix Dupanloup. In face he was chisme," whence it is drawn by M. Lavery singularly like his mother, and many grange. Henceforward St. Sulpice, its traits of his character he drew from her. teaching, its discipline, its character, its She is said to have been“ digne de ce culte friendships, became the fashioning and filial; femme extérieurement très-simple, animating forces of his life. There he was mais belle et riche nature ; d'une culture prepared for his first communion and for ordinaire, mais avec des qualités qui ne confirmation. There he first received the l'étaient pas; une trempe énergique, une Holy Eucharist, and knew"les mystérieux sensibilité profonde, un rare bon sens, une épanchements de l'âme émue d'un enfant ardente foi.” * It is not hard to trace in dans le cæur de Jésus-Christ, qui lui the bishop's thoughts and life the reap- réserve pour ce solennel et doux moment pearance of most of these characteristics. ses plus ineffables tendresses” (p. 23).
His school-days began at Annecy; but There he was confirmed; there the thought the tokens of promise soon encouraged a of seeking, holy orders grew gradually great venture, and with very scanty means clearer and less timid in his mind; and and manifold anxiety his mother decided thence he was sent, “ with a free burse,' to take him to Paris, whither they came towards the close of 1815 to “la Petite with an aunt and a cousin towards the end Communauté," a school in close alliance of 1809, when little Félix was between seven and eight; and there he was pres- catéchismes (Paris: Lecoffre, 1874): a complete ac,
* Cf. Méthode de Saint Sulpice dans la direction des ently sent to school at the Collège Sainte-count of all the details in the system, organization, and Barbe. At about this time, when he was arrangement of the various kinds of catechisms ten or eleven years old, he had an expe from his old friend at St. Etienne, and he tells in a few
# He found at St. Sulpice a very different confessor rience which, discouraging as it seemed, graceful words the happiness that came to him after he probably bore good fruit in his later work. first went for confession to M. de Keravenant: "Je He learnt how children should not be heur et de l'entrain avec lesquels j'allai, ce jour-là,
sortis très-heureux. Je me souviens encore du bondealt with; the dreary, ill-arranged cate- faire une partie de barres au Luxembourg. Jamais je chizing at St. Etienne du Mont, and the ne m'étais senti si léger, jamais mes camarades ne
m'avaient vu si intrépide à la course, sans se douter de
ce qui, ce jour-là, m'avait rendu encore meilleur coureur Vie de Mgr. Dupanloup, i. gai.
qu'à l'ordinaire" (tome i., p. 17).
with St. Sulpice, “ destinée à chercher et " Le nom de Saint-Sulpice doit m'être à soutenir les vocations sacerdotales.” cher jusqu'au dernier soupir," he says (p. 28). There he stayed for three years himself; “ L'évêque d'Orléans est un vrai with
many troubles in them; for M. Poi- enfant de Saint-Sulpice “nul n'en loup, the superior, was young and mis- a plus avidement recueilli et plus fidèleunderstood the lad; he missed the consid- ment gardé l'esprit" (tome i. 55) adds his erateness and affection of his friends at biographer. It is probably impossible to St. Sulpice, and the happiest and perhaps enter rightly into his character and work the most fruitful hours in these years without a thorough study of the famous were those in which he was taken, with the seminary to which he owed so much. other boys of the community, to the Caté. And such a study would have elements of chisme de Persévérance at the well-loved fascinating interest; for two books have church. But it was a welcome change lately been given to the world which dewhen he was removed, according to the serve comparison, and might perhaps usual course of training, to the Seminary throw a good deal of light on one anof St. Nicholas — the seminary to which other. The first is M. Renan's “Souvesome fifteen years later he was to come nirs d'enfance et de jeunesse,” in which again, as its superior. There for three he gives us, with characteristic grace and years he worked hard, with happiness and insolence, with an unfailing power of at
But probably the most impor- traction and of repulsion, his account of tant element gained at this time in his the character and work of Issy and St. preparation for the positions to which he Sulpice. The other is M. Icard's large was afterwards called came by two friend and exhaustive volume entitled “Tradiships - one with the two brothers De tions de la Compagnie des Prêtres de Moligny, who welcomed him to their Saint-Sulpice.” Here we have a full debeautiful home at Courcelles; the other scription of the whole course of teaching with the Duc de Rohan, who, after a and training and discipline, in life and terrible sorrow, had turned his back upon thought, in mind and morals, adopted the world and was now on the verge of with the candidates for ordination; begin. his ordination to the priesthood. He ning from such simple virtues as not formed a sudden and close friendship with cro
rossing one's legs and not putting one's the young Dupanloup, who thenceforward elbows on the table, and "ne déployant was constantly at La Roche-Guyon, the pas sa serviette avant que les personnes duke's château by the Seine. Among the les plus respectables n'aient déployé la group of friends whom he met there he leur," * and going on to the highest conprobably learned lessons which stood him ceptions and means of progress, ethical, in good stead through all his subsequent intellectual, and spiritual, in the Christian work, while at the same time he came and the priestly life. The book is elabunder the wise and encouraging and help- orate and thoughtful, and, taken together ful influence of M. Borderies, afterwards with such light as M. Lagrange and M. Bishop of Versailles. To his influence he Renan, from very different quarters, çast ascribed a new beginning in his life, and upon it, might give us a vivid and valuaprobably he understood the impulse and ble insight into the real life and worth of the power which most told upon him: “Je St. Sulpice. But the inquiry would go trouvais quelqu'un qui m'aimait et qui far beyond the utmost limits of this artim'estimait; aimait et estimait ce qu'il y cle. It must suffice here to mark the avait de bon en moi, pour le rendre meil- great part which Issy and St. Sulpice had leur: il en avait l'espoir, le désir, et me le in the life of Félix Dupanloup. It was faisait sentir." * It was under these con- no little thing that he came to know at ditions that he gradually received into this time the Père de Ravignan and the himself the best characteristics of the Père Lacordaire; I but the real work of clergy of the French Church, and began to drink in the spirit which was to be d'Issy, où l'on fait les deux années de philosophie. secured for his lifelong help by the next Ces deux séminaires n'en font, à proprement parler, stage in his education — the four years qu'un seul. L'un est la suite de l'autre ; tous deux se
réunissent en certaines circonstances; la congrégation which he spent at Issy and at St. Sulpice.t qui fournit les maitres est la même.” (E. Renan,
Souvenirs d'enfance et de jeunesse, p. 200). Félix Duo
panloup was ai Issy from 1821 to 1823, at St. Sulpice • Tome i., p. 51.
Some years later he added in a from 1823 to 1825. marginal note to these words the characteristic thought: . M. Icard, Traditions, etc., p. 125; .6 C'est tout le secret de l'action sur les âmes."
+ Cf. also M. Olier's Pietas Seminarii Sancti Sul† " Le grand séminaire du diocèse de Paris, c'est le pitii (Lecoffre, 1885). Séminaire Saint-Sulpice, composé lui-même en quelque I His estimate of and relations with the latter would sorte de deux maisons, celle de Paris et la succursale reward a careful study. But, indeed, a separate article