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feeling for nature Frenchmen had in those days: how, instead of being overcome with a sense of the impossibility of doing justice to the infinite beauty, wisdom, and fitness that is shown in the meanest of God's works, they were employed in considering whether the subject was lofty enough for the stilts whereon they held it incumbent that an author should walk. Every one will allow that a beneficial change in this respect has taken place in French literature. Since the days when Mademoiselle Scudery, in her twelve-volumed novels, while introducing long conversations upon every conceivable subject, was content to give such graphic descriptions of scenery as the following: “ Sur les bords de l'Arax on voit des plaines, avec des collines très agréables"—since those days when philosophy was the small-talk of the Hôtel Rambouillet, and the study of man was held to be the only object worth a moment's consideration-a less artificial taste, a greater appreciation of the beauties of nature, and a power in their descriptions of calling up a picture, sometimes by a single epithet, which they very aptly term couleur locale, these qualities have been largely developed in French authors, and in none more than in Madame Sand. We shall hardly find truer pictures, finer touches, more suggestive, rich, and blood-warm sketches from nature than in her pages. Not in the book before us, indeed, but in some of those pastoral tales she has told us in a happier moment, such as “ La Mare au Diable," where the description of a pure and simple peasant life among the flocks and herds has something of the ancient Scriptural grandeur about it. Si sic omnia!
Monsieur Flaubert's talent for description lies in another direction; though he, too, has his bucolic scenes, etched with sharpness, breadth, and vigour. It is animal life, and savours of the sty, without the wholesome country air to act as an antidote. Now, what we complain of in these two writers is, that neither " holds the mirror up to nature" fairly, honestly, full-face; or shall better express it by saying that while Monsieur Flaubert's is simply a blackened mirror, Madame Sand's resembles one of those clouded and uneven ones, into which we have had the misfortune to look sometimes, and where, while we beheld our nose reflected with tolerable fidelity, the eyes and mouth were distorted, and the whole face elongated, to our intinite discomposure.
And we are discomposed when we read such a book as “ Daniella.” In Madame Sand's clouded mirror, right and wrong are almost always distorted and confused, until at last they actually seem to change places. If the book teaches anything, it is that marriage is a superfluous ceremony, with which it is well, nevertheless, to comply, sooner or later, by way of satisfying the conventional prejudices of society. Daniella is a hotblooded Italian peasant, whose principles and practice in life may be summed up briefly as--Love and the Virgin Mary. She allows her lover to seduce her, solely by making him believe (for he has some sort of conscience) that she is already impure, and not until he has consummated her ruin does she undeceive him. We hold this to be one of the most hideous conceptions that ever issued from an author's brain. It is utterly unnatural; a gross outrage on woman's whole nature; and, as coming from a woman's pen- But we will not trust ourselves to touch upon that point. Of shame, contrition, repentance, not a word: it is spoken of as a great and heroic sacrifice; the triumph over all other considerations but those of love; and the hero, after the part he has played, and on discovering this “sacrifice,” favours us with several pages in the following strain
: * Oui, je me sens, en ce moment, au-dessus de la nature humaine, c'est-à-dire hors de moi, et plus grand.
Je m'estime plus que je ne croyais pouvoir m'estimer jamais. O mon Dieu ! je vous demande de me laisser, dans l'eternité, le souvenir de l'heure où je suis !”
It has been said that nothing is so demoralising as the virtue of a vicious author. The case is one in point. It is hardly possible to imagine impiety carried further than by making a man, after the commission of a sin, glory in it, and invoke the Deity in such terms as the foregoing. Now listen to the heroine :
“ J'ai trop de bonheur pour sentir l'épine du repentir. .. Seulement, je compte avec mon juge, et je sais qu'il me fera expier mon ivresse. J'attends, donc, quelque grand châtiment en cette vie ou en l'autre, et puisque je l'aecepte d'avance, nous sommes quittes, lui et moi !"
But, observe, the châtiment never does reach her in the course of these volumes ; and having squared her account so exactly, she is able to go on sinning comfortably to the close, when, by way of satisfying everybody, she and her hero are married. There is a young English lady, of noble family, to whom Daniella is, for some time, waiting-maid. Her mistress is jealous of her; as she succeeds, where the former fails, in attracting the hero's admiration. This probable and delicate position of affairs is elucidated in certain scenes from which we learn that English young ladies are in the habit of quarrelling with their maids, and despitefully treating them, on account, and for the sake, of their “
young men!" If this were in an English novel, it would be thought very vulgar: being in a French one, it will be allowed to be absurdly unnatural. But what shall we say when the young lady, a little further on, at an evening party, finding that the hero's passion for Daniella has been declared, assures him he has nothing to boast of, as he is only succeeding several others in the possession of her waiting-maid? We know of nothing comparable to this as a French picture of English morals and manners. The gentleman who told his countrymen that the Duke of Wellington, after having had every honour heaped upon him, received his crowning glory in being nominated Lord Mayor of London, knew as much about England as Madame George Sand. We have no wish to dissect the story: let those who are so minded go to the book itself; only we cannot promise them much amusement; for, unlike many a bad French book, it is dull and wearisomely long. The story, which is written in the form of a journal, is intersected with descriptions of such well-trodden ground as Genoa, Rome, Frascati, &c., and the effect is not the less tedious, because described by one (are they Madame Sand's own views ?) who is disappointed in everything he finds in Italy, and who prefers the plains of La Mancha to the Campagna, which he apostrophises as “ Laide, trois fois laide et stupide, la steppe de Rome !" . As a work of art, this book is very inferior to many of the author's : as a picture of life, we have endeavoured to show how false, dangerous, and misleading it is. Let us turn to “ Madame Bovary.”
A more painful picture of the meurs de province than M. Flaubert's
novel could hardly be found. Alas! a true one, in some sense, we fear it also is. But do young Frenchmen really believe that there is no such thing as virtue in the world? No faithful love, no honest, lifelong affection ? or are these things, indeed, unknown in the country districts of France? We cannot think it. Human nature is much the same all the world over: it can do us no good to show us only its night side. And here is not one solitary star to light us onward through the darkness, and lead us to the thought of better things. The knife is used freely to lay bare all the sinews and arteries of a vicious provincial society, but we feel it is not the hand of the wise surgeon, probing, in the cause of humanity, all its festering secrets, but rather of the cynic philosopher, cold and curious in such matters. Bacon says that the inquiry, knowledge, and belief of truth is the sovereign good of human nature. It is not in this spirit that our Frenchman's search is made, and therefore no wonder he neither attains to the knowledge nor belief of it. We rise from a perusal of “Madame Bovary” with a heart-sickness to think that a young man
-the type of a class in France-has found life hitherto the black and bitter thing he represents it. Free from the sentimentalities of religion, which sicken us in “ Daniella,” his book at the same time offers nothing more elevated than an occasional hint of Pantheism. As to its immoral tendency, we take leave to doubt its being one half as bad as the generality of French books that
themselves. Hideous as the picture is, it is not without its stern lesson : nor does the close leave us in doubt that the author meant it, in his grim way, as such. Madame Bovary is a coquine (expressive and untranslatable); her life is such, and such is her death. The intrigues of a heartless woman cannot, indeed, be said to be very edifying ; but just because they disgust us, we think them far less dangerous in the hands of the many young girls into which both books will fall than the adventures of “Daniella, over which its author draws so insidious a gauze of sentimentality and devotion. May the day be far distant when the healthy tone of our own literature shall be infected by the malaria of either of these styles. We say this in no pharisaic spirit-many a wise and noble French book lies in our heart of hearts; but we do confess to an honest pride when we think of such names as Dickens, Thackeray, and others, after perusing two specimens of a modern French novel.
THE HISTORY OF THE NEWSPAPER PRESS.
BY ALEXANDER ANDREWS,
AUTHOR OF THE “ EIGHTEENTH CENTURY."
The British Press all over the World - Newspapers in Aboriginal Languages
English Newspapers Abroad-In Turkey, Italy, Belgium, and France The Newspaper in the Colonies and Dependencies of England - North America, Canada, the West Indies, &c., India, China, and Australasia—Mauritius, &c. &c.
At whatever part of the world the British flag waves, there flourishes in security beneath it the newspaper press. The stout, sturdy Saxon carries with him into the backwoods and the primeval forests of the antipodes or the poles his faith in the power and protection of the pressthe daring Arctic explorers find but one cardinal relief for the dulness of polar winters, and that is the newspaper that records the doings of their little world, set in a universe of ice. The emigrants who go out to colonise a new country select at once two sites--one the most favourable for the expounding of the Bible, the other the most prominent for the exhibition of their little manuscript gazette. The first party of settlers at Swan River nailed their newspaper upon a tree to be conveniently read by all. Nay, the very aborigines, who have satisfied their stupid wonder at the hard-working white men, adopt this, perhaps at first sight the strangest of their customs, and set up native organs to protect their interests, instead of the tomahawk or the scalping-knife, which have failed in the face of powder and the press. In India alone there were in 1830, in Bengal, eight native papers, and in Bombay four, two of which were not in existence in 1820. In 1839, Calcutta had nine weekly native papers, and Bombay had four. In 1839, six or eight gazettes were published in Bengalee. In the West Indies, Barbadoes had in 1840 two newspapers edited by negroes, one of whom was S. I. Prescod. In April, 1848, a newspaper called the Anglo-Maori Warder was published in New Zealand, half of it in the native language. Where the English rule is not established, but where Englishmen congregate, there, in plague-stricken towns in the East, on the burning sands of the South, by the ice-bound coasts of the North, strange in its daring, strange in its liberty, and in strong contrast to the state of things around it, is the English newspaper. The Sandwich Islands had a Gazette, established in 1836 by Mr. S. D. Mackintosh, which was, in 1839, incorporated with a
called the Polynesian. In the latter year an English paperwas started at Smyrna by Mr. W. N. Churchill, called the Manzari Shark. In 1838, two English weekly newspapers were tolerated at Canton, the oldest of which, the Canton Register, was started on the 7th November, 1827. Coming back to Europe, we find the Roman Advertiser, established by Mr. Hemans at Rome in 1846, and the Brussels Gazette, representing English interests in the English language at Brussels. In 1844, there were two English newspapers in France, Galignani's Mes
senger, appearing every morning and afternoon in Paris, and the Boulogne Journal, weekly at Boulogne.
We are getting far ahead of our subject, but, strictly speaking, our subject closed with the last chapter at the end of the last century. To write contemporary history is to stumble over prejudices and to hand down party views, so we determined to stop when we had recorded the birth and infancy of those papers which we daily read, and which more or less influence us and colour our opinions. But the subject seemed scarcely complete without a word about that wide-spread colonial press which has gone into strange places hand in hand with commercial enterprise, religious teaching, and political power: and we are in possession of a complete outline of the history of that colonial press, for the greater portion of which we are indebted to an elaborate paper read by Mr. P. L. Simmonds before the Statistical Society of London on June 21st, 1841.*
The earliest English newspaper published out of Great Britain was the Boston News Letter, which was established in 1704, and declined with the British rule, becoming extinct in 1774. This was followed in 1719 by a second paper called the Boston Gazette. In the same year Philadelphia set up a paper, the American Weekly Messenger. New York could not boast a newspaper till 1725, when the New York Gazette appeared. A
the title of which is lost, was started at Charleston in 1731 or 1732, and the Rhode Island Gazette in Newport in the
The Virginia Gazette appeared at Williamsburgh in 1736. In 1720 there were only seven papers published throughout " the plantations" in America, and in 1775 only thirty-six, which were thus distributed :-New Hampshire, one ; Massachusetts, seven ; Rhode Island, two; Connecticut, four ; New York, four ; Pennsylvania, nine ; Maryland, two ; Virginia, two ; South Carolina, three ; North Carolina, two ; Georgia, one. But, if the number of papers has increased under the rule of the Stripes and Stars, it may be doubted whether their character has been improved upon these early prints.
The first newspaper published in Canada was the Quebec Gazette, which appeared in January, 1765, only five years after the place was colonised. The second paper, the Montreal Gazette, did not appear until 1775. In 1805, Canada had only six papers, five of which were published in Lower Canada, and one at Toronto, Upper Canada ; but, in 1830, Lower Canada had thirteen, and Upper Canada nineteen. In 1840, Lower Canada possessed eleven papers (eight of which were for the British inhabitants, and three for the French) and Upper Canada twenty-eight.
Newfoundland had only four journals in 1830, but the number had increased to nine in 1840. The oldest existing papers are the Royal Gazette, started in 1805, and the Public Ledger, in 1822.
Bermuda was slow in adopting the newspaper press. Colonised in 1609, it got on without a paper, till one J. Stockdale established the Bermuda Gazette, in July, 1784. In 1840 there were only two papers.
The first paper in the Bahamas was the Royal Bahama Gazette,
* Journal of the Statistical Society.