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much for the spread of their fame in France, and, through France, in Europe. There is not another critic who spent more time, intelligence, ingenious thought, and studiousness to hasten the literary communication between country and country by celebrating in one tongue the triumph of another."



To realise the benefit which France has derived from the introduction of English ideas into our country, we must remember what was her condition at that time. Bossuet had formulated the theory of divine right which kings have over their peoples. Louis XIV. had said : L'Etat c'est moi, and had proclaimed that “all which was in France was his property." Church dogmatism had thrust itself into every form of human activity. People did not observe anything for themselves; they bowed to the authority of varied and contradictory masters; but whoever happened to have an opinion of his own was declared to be heretical, and was not merely and effectively condemned as such, deprived of all position and sent to work in the galleys, or at the very least shut up in prison, but also morally disgraced. The Faculty of Paris declared that no fact can hold good in opposition to two words from Aristotle.” As Renaudot had ventured to make a few critical remarks concerning Hippocrates, Guy Patin wished to see him “in a prison van accompanied by the executioner." The young doctor must swear his acceptance of Galien's theories, and Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood was considered a heresy.

Corneille humbly stated his readiness to condemn the Cid if it were found to sin “ against Aristotle's great and sovereign maxims." La Fontaine subjected the apologue to Quintilian; Boileau, the rules of the Art Poétique to Horatius; Racine was a scholar possessed by a ridiculous fear of receiving cane-stripes from his masters Sophocles and Euripides, who had good reasons for not bothering about him.



Great was the contrast in England! There everything was examined, everything was freely discussed. Harvey was able to discover the laws of the circulation of blood. The stoics of old

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and the doctors of the Church taught man to ignore his needs. Bacon taught man the means of satisfying those needs by the experimental method. One only triumphs over nature by submitting to her laws," and Newton had brought to light the laws of attraction when we were yet lost in Descartes' whirlwinds.

Voltaire contrasted the imaginative authors, Descartes, Malebranche, “who had made the novel of the soul,” with Locke, “ who made the history of the soul."

England's great influence was felt everywhere so far as the diffusion of scientific ideas, the introduction of a methodical spirit of observation in our intellectual habits were concerned. When, in imitation of Chambers' Cyclopædia, d'Alembert and Diderot undertook the Encyclopédie, they allowed themselves to be inspired by Bacon, " that extraordinary genius who, unable to write the history of that which was known, wrote the history of that which was to be learned.”

Swift and Daniel Defoe had carried to its furthest limit the care for utmost truth of expression. Gulliver and Robinson Crusoe relate all they have seen with such sincerity that the reader sees everything they describe and believes all they say. Voltaire asserts that Addison's style is “an excellent model in all countries." It is thus he defines his own : Only say what is necessary, and in the necessary manner.” The scientific methods learnt in England were greatly responsible for the formation of the firm, precise, simple, and concise style which characterised the eighteenth century up to the time when Rousseau's influence prevailed.

In France the great mass of the people who laboured to supply the needs of the King, the nobility, and the clergy were looked upon with contempt. Voltaire wrote a whole letter on Trade “honoured in England," and in order the better to emphasise the contrast, he dedicated his tragedy of Zaire to Falkener, a merchant, who had received him with hospitality and who became English Ambassador at the Ottoman Porte. He said to him (1733), “I am delighted to be able to tell my nation how greatly England esteems a profession which makes for the greatness of the State ; and with what superior qualities some of you represent their country at parliament and are in the ranks of the legislators.

Later David Hume and Adam Smith frequented the Physiocrats in France. The David Hume essays concerning Jealousy of Trade and Interest are well known. In the interchange of ideas which took place, it is certain that Quesnay and Adam Smith influenced one another. Economic science was the result of collaboration between French and English.

Voltaire also points out the different manner in which scholars and literary men are treated in France and in England. Newton, Director at the Mint, was buried at Westminster. Steele and Wanbruck were simultaneously comic authors and members of Parliament. “Dr. Tillotson's primacy, M. de Prior's embassy, Mr. Newton's office, Mr. Addison's ministry are only the ordinary outcome of the consideration which great men enjoy among you."

The two actresses Bracegirdle and Oldfield were buried with great pomp, while in France Adrienne Lecouvreur was secretly interred by the river side.

The Baconian spirit had penetrated even to political conceptions. When Hobbes elaborated his theory of absolutism, he did not invoke divine right. He founded the theory on a conception of mankind. Locke made the theory of the Revolution of 1688 of the limitation of kings' powers. In England people talk politics; they have opinions and they publish them. Two parties, the Whigs and the Tories, quarrel for the reins of power, but in France the question of coexisting and competing parties was not even broached. The old idea of “one faith, one king,” still held sway, and whoever resisted was considered to be an enemy

Voltaire thus describes the character of the English Government?: “ The English nation is the only one on earth which has managed to limit the powers of kings by resisting them. The civil wars of France were more cruel, longer, and more fruitful in crimes than those of England; but of all civil wars not one had freedom for its object." And he uttered this significant sentence : “ The English people is not only jealous of its liberty, it is also jealous of the liberty of others.” For this reason “the English," says he, were relentless against Louis XIV.

Voltaire analysed the English system of government; he showed how the noblemen were subject to taxes, how there was no high, middle, and lower justice. Elsewhere he speaks of the jury, the right every citizen has to have a counsel to defend him. "It is a very great and very happy prerogative, superior to so many nations, to be sure when you go to bed that you will awake next day with the same fortune as you enjoyed the previous day; that you will not be dragged from your wife's arms, separated from your children in the middle of the night, to be taken to some dungeon or some desert.”

Seven months after Voltaire's departure, at the end of October, 1729, Montesquieu came to England in Lord Chesterfield's yacht,

(1) Voltaire, Lettres philosophiques. Lettre VIII.

and remained there for about two years. When he left he wrote the Grandeur et décadence des Romains and the Esprit des lois. In the celebrated chapter on “ The Constitution of England ” he completed the theory of the separation of Powers, already formulated by Locke, Bolingbroke, and Hume. Under the double influence of Hobbes and Locke, Rousseau wrote his Contrat social, and from Locke he borrowed the two conceptions of a contract and of the sovereignty of the people. All the men who prepared the French Revolution were inspired by English thought and English history. Mirabeau and Brissot stayed in England for some time. J. L. de Lolme's classical book on The Constitution of England, first published for the French in 1771, taught the Continental nations that “individual liberty consists : 1st, in the right of property ; 2nd, in the right of personal security ; 3rd, in the right of free circulation." Those are the principles which will form the indestructible basis of the Declaration des Droits de l'Homme in 1789, and when Burke comes forward with another declaration he is merely claiming the same rights slightly altered in form.

From England the French gathered the idea of freedom in researches, through Bacon and Newton's examples ; freedom in literature and drama through the essayists, humorists, and Shakespeare; freedom in political institutions from the examples of English institutions and through the publications explaining their origins and methods.



In 1751 the Abbé Prévost translated Richardson's Clarissa Harlowe, which had been published in 1748. The novel awoke an enthusiasm of which Diderot has given some description in his Eloge de Richardson. “Thou shalt occupy,” says he, “the same shelf as Moses, Homer, Euripides, and Sophocles.” Richardson thus became a modern Homer.

His novel Clarissa Harlowe covers a space of eight months and fills eight volumes. It is a series of letters, going into all sorts of details, light impressions, relations of ceremonies, and pictures so trivial that the Abbé Prévost, author of Manon Lescaut, dared not offer them to the French readers. It is a social microscope. On that solid background is embroidered a tissue of unrealities. Richardson's style is emphatic and full of metaphors such as “the foaming waves of envy."

Grandison says: “Sweet humanity! charming sensibility! check not the kindly gush !

(1) Reflections on the French Revolution, 1790, edit. H. Froude, p. 64.

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Dew-drops of heaven (wiping away my tears, and kissing the handkerchief), dew-drops of heaven from a mind like that heaven, mild and gracious!”

Had Rousseau not read Richardson he would never have imagined La nouvelle Héloise, which appeared in 1756. It is a similar method. Julie also undertakes small household duties; in the French book also we have sermons, dissertations more eloquent and oratorical certainly, but there also we find an affectation of sensibility which stains with ridicule the entire literature of the end of the eighteenth century.

Lawrence Sterne, who remained in Paris during the Seven Years' War, still further developed the meaningless trepidations of sensibility and plastered affectation. Young's Nights were also much read, and, for a few years, Ossian was believed in, admirably presented, indeed, by Macpherson in such manner as to respond to the mood of those days.

Diderot made the theory of middle-class tragedy. He wrote the Père de famille and strove to imitate Richardson in La Religieuse and Sterne in Jacques le fataliste.

After the French Revolution the reaction continued against the reasoning and demonstrating literature over which England bad exercised such great influence during the first part of the century which had just closed. But the man who was at the head of that movement had lived in England from May 21st, 1793, to May 8th, 1800, earning his living by translating from English into French. This was Chateaubriand, who returned to France steeped in the poetry of Shakespeare, Milton, and Ossian. “A long continued habit of speaking, writing, and even thinking in English," says he, "had marked its influence on the tone and expression of my thought. I was English in manners, tastes, and even, up to a certain extent, in my thoughts." Dominated, however, by his conception of the part to be played by the Church, he sought to accommodate the writings of Shakespeare, Pope, and Dryden with Catholicism. He imitated Milton in Les Martyrs. He blamed Byron for having sought inspiration from René, but the whole romantic school is inspired by Byron. Lamartine “dressed him up in French style,” according to Stendhal when writing Le dernier Chant de Childe Harold.

Literature now becomes subjective. Lamartine, Alfred de Vigny, Alfred de Musset, Victor Hugo, each present their“ ego to the readers. That “ego" tries to be original, but all those

egos" are suffering from the same disease of pessimism. Even the joyful Alexandre Dumas, senior, tried to affect a sentimentally sad attitude, copied from Lara, Le Corsaire, Manfred.

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