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époux!” L'homme pieux et charitable le plaint, et s'éloigne pour ne point contraindre la douleur.
* L'infortuné, anéanti, prosterné contre terre, craint de relever sa tête coupable, et ne cesse de répéter qu'il l'aime, qu'il l'aimait, qu'il va la suivre. . . . Enfin il ose élever ses yeux jusqu'à ce visage insensible qu'aucun voile ne lui cache encore. Ses sanglots, ses cris, font retentir l'église. ... Malheureux qui as brisé le cœur qui n'existait que pour toi !... Il joint ses mains, pleure, s'accuse, demande à Dieu qu'un instant, un seul instant leur soit accorde ! qu'elle le revoie encore ! et puis tous deux mourir! “ Qu'elle sache que je l'aimais ! que je l'adorais !” crie-t-il en s'adressant au ciel. ... Sa tête se perd; il la regarde, il attend, il écoute. ... Le silence de la mort lui répond !... Un sombre égarement est dans ses yeux ; il étend ses bras et s'écrie: “ Ne m'entendra-t-elle donc jamais ! jamais !"-Et les voûtes de l'eglise répétèrent : JAMAIS!'
The personages in this novel are almost all historical; and the skill with which their real characters, as well as that of the gallant, superstitious, and cruel court to which they belonged, are made to serve the purposes of the author's fiction, without deviating in the slightest degree from their original and recorded peculiarities, is the more remarkable, from its rarity in works of this kind, where, as in the portraits of distinguished persons in print-shops, the name is often the only part of the original that is preserved. Madame de Tournon is here exactly what the Queen, whom she served, has painted her ;-M. de Souvré, though turned into a sentimental lover, (that common fate of all statesmen, heroes, and philosophers, that fall into the hands of French writers, and which Racine would not suffer even Achilles himself to escape), is still the same sensible and amiable man of the world who was, as history tells us, the favourite of so many kings ;-the brilliant Don John of Austria acts his part in the novel, without losing any of that splendour with which Strada and our own Hume have invested him;--and, though Madame de Souza has had the good taste not to distinguish her facts from her fancies by pedantic reference to authorities, it is still satisfactory to trace the accuracy of her allusions, and to observe how, in this wedlock between History and Fiction, she has contrived to preserve all the wild beauties of the latter, without sacrificing to them any of the masculine dignity of the former. This is particularly remarkable in the scene between Don John and the Astrologer, (a scene of considerable effect throughout), in which the secret treaty entered into by this prince with the Duc de Guise, and his project to carry off and espouse our Mary Queen of Scots, are introduced so as to give the stamp of authenticity to fiction, and make the fairy money of fancy pass current as real.
We know but two works with which this novel can properly be compared, the Princesse de Cleves of Madame la Fayette, and the Mademoiselle de Clermont of Madame de Genlis. The great merit of the former-in addition to its being the first of the kind-is that insinuating naïveté of detail, that uniform flow of events which, like monotony in music, wins more upon the ear and heart than all the transitions and surprises that the most fertile fancy can invent. The conclusion, however, is unsatisfactory :-that a lover should ever cease to love, however come mon in life, is against all the established rules of romance. The story of Mademoiselle de Clermont is one of those which young people will read from generation to generation. The charms of the style, the unity of the interest, and the association of both its pleasant and melancholy scenes with the beautiful forest and gardens of Chantilly, all combine to give it a degree of popularity which few of its most pretending competitors have attained. Without entering into any formal comparison between these two celebrated works and the novel before us, we shall merely say, that, in our opinion, it is in every respect worthy to take its station by their side.—We have more weighty matters, however, to settle with our French neighbours :--and cannot now afford to dwell longer on this light prelude.
ART. VII. Recherches sur les Bibliotheques Anciennes et Modernes jusqu'à la Fondation de la Bibliotheque Mazarine, et sur les Causes qui ont favorisé l'Accroissement successif du Nombre des Livres. Par L. C. F. Petit RADEL, Membre de l'Institut de France et de la Légion d'Honneur; Bibliothécaire Administrateur perpetuel de la Bibliotheque Mazarine. 1 Vol. Paris, 1819.
THE he title of this book has occasioned us some disappointment;
for it promises much more of general matter than actually follows: the real and true object of the author being to give an account of the Libraries of France-and particularly of that of which he is librarian.
Neither can we join with this learned person in his surprise that the number of libraries and of books, to which the French public has access, should be greater now than it was 30 years ago; when we recollect, that two-fifths of the great mansions of France were demolished during that period; that government universally constituted itself the residuary legatee of their ruins; and that, after the guillotine had ceased to coin (battre moVOL. XXXIV. NO. 68.
noie, as Barrère jocosely termed it), those who preserved their heads, lost their property. Some credit however is due to such of the rulers as, in those days, respected literature, and spared its monuments.
Four principal libraries now exist in Paris; the King's library; that founded by the cardinal Mazarine; that at St Genevieve; and that of the Arsenal; besides some others belonging to particular establishments, and dedicated to special uses. The sum total of volumes to which a public, consisting of about 700,000 persons, has access in Paris, during about five hours daily, is 1,125,437.
In the departments of France, the proportion is very different: neither does it by any means follow the ratio of the population, or the importance of the towns in which the libraries are situated. Of this we could give examples, which prove that the materials were often brought together into such strongholds as were nearest to the scene of spoliation; and have not since been distributed with a view to utility. The sum total of public libraries in France is 273: that of the volumes they contain, as far as ascertained, is 3,345,287: and thus, deducting Paris, 2,219,850 volumes are open to the daily inspection of twenty-six millions of departmental students; that is to say, eleven readers have one volume; while, in Paris, seven readers have eleven volumes; consequently the balance of volumes is eighteen to one, in favour of the capital, against the departments.
But there is redundant proof in history, that books are not learning, and that learning is not wisdom;—as well as that the soundest systems of policy and morality have flourished in countries where no libraries had been formed. Indeed we might almost say, that, in a great many cases, collections of books have been resorted to, not as the complement, but as the supplement of wisdom; and it is obvious that the same niotives may induce monarchs to form stupendous heaps of volumes, as of other things. The Spartans had few books. The Romans, when they expelled the Tarquins, and long afterwards, had no library but the books of the Sybils. There were but few volumes, we suspect, among the Barons who, at Runnamede, compelled King Jolin to sign the British Charter; and when the French themselves obtained from their monarch of the same name, his ordinances of 1355—which however were rot of much use to them, they had not yet opened a Royal library to the inspection of the curious. If books were wisdom, Asia Minor would have been more civilized than the Peloponnesus; and Pergamus would not have found a rival even in Athens : Rome, under Julius Cæsar and Augustus, wonld have
been wiser and more moral than in the days of Numa, Fabius, and Regulus. The city which contained the most renowned library of antiquity, was not either the best or the wisest of those times; for we find from Quinctilian, that Alexandrian voluptuousness was proverbial; and one of the Ptolemies, in particular, treated its inhabitants in a manner which no tyrant could have done with impunity, if their wisdoin had been proportioned to their 700,000 volumes.
We are infinitely far, however, from insinuating that books are not useful to mankind; or that libraries are establishments of which human happiness should not dread the destruction. But, in certain cases, their advantages may be all in speculation; and they may conduce to purposes widely different from those to which they are nominally devoted.
One of the great benefits which men have derived from libraries, and collections of all kinds, is the preservation of many precious documents, through ages inimical to intellectual progress. In this point of view, monastic institutions claim a large portion of our gratitude; and we must even extend our thanks to some of the most detestable sovereigns that ever have disgraced human nature. As conservatories of mental treasures, their value, in times of darkness and barbarity, was incalculable; and even in those happier days, when men are incited to explore new regions of thought, they command respect, as depôts of methodical and well-ordered references for the researches of the curions. But what in one state of society is invaluable, may at another be worthless; and the progress which the world has made, within a very few centuries, has considerably reduced the estimation which is due to such establishments. We will say more. Such is the state of knowledge at this day in Europe, that we should be inclined to suspect the nations which make the greatest parade of their public libraries, and collections of volumes, not to be those which have the most contributed to civilization. We think it not difficult to demonstrate this assertion, at least in the case before us.
The principal event which destroyed the value of great public libraries, was that which multiplied their contents, and opened the possession of what was valuable in them to a greater number of persons. By the invention of Printing, the destruction of knowledge became less probable; and the means of literary researches
classes of men, who never before aspired to such occupations. The two great ends of these storehouses of instruction were therefore more than answered by the new process; and it is somewhat remarkable, that it occurred at a time when a new inroad of Tartars, more alarm
ing perhaps than any which had preceded them, was threateniz the civilization of Europe; and the reflux of learning, from the invaded countries, gave greater value to every means by which it could be preserved.
Mr Petit Padei gives an enumeration of the number of books, or editions, pabiished in different parts of Europe, from the time when the art of printing was invented, to the end of that century. They are as follows
Before 1500. At a second period,' From 1500 to 1536. At Venice 2789' from 1500 to 1536, Paris
3056 Rome 972 they are as follows, Venice
2199 Paris 789 and show no small in- Strasbourg 1021 Strasbourg 298 crease for the time. Lyons
997 London - 31
198 Westminster 99
Rest of England 108
Constantinople 80 The art of printing is certainly, of all inventions, that which nations would cherish the most, in proportion to their civilization: Anil vet the difference between the number of books printed in England and in France, at the periods now mentioned, belongs not so much to the general progress and state of the two countries, as to the special circumstances of these particular periods. It is true that England did not enter so early upon the career of social improvement as France; and the causes are obvious. The advantayes which Nature had bestowed upon the latter country, exempted her inhabitants from severe labour, and gave them greater leisure to flock together; and thus to begin the foundation of that easy intercourse which is advantageous to the first rudiments of society. France, too, lay nearer to the centre from which learning and the arts were spread over Europe; and the direct road they must take to England, was through her dominions. But, for these reasons too-particularly the former—the civilization of England is at this day of a higher order. It is the result of more urgent necessity. Men are there drawn together by the hope of solid advantages, which, though they do not operate so early as gregarious instincts, or the prospect of mere pleasure, yet when once they are perceived and apprecia.ed, are more binding and more powerful; and the advantage which France undoubtedly had in the beginning, is now more than compensated by the superior development of intellect, which has long since been our inheritance,