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name of Jeremy Taylor a hallowed name in England, prevents him from being naturalised in the literatures of other lands. Montaigne is altogether French ; translate him into another language, you strip him of his quaint but picturesque and forcible style, and take from him half of his beauty and strength. There are authors who are very translateable, who are yet very inadaptable. Thus, though Montaigne was born fifty years after Rabelais, the style of Rabelais has much more flow and finish, is really a more modern style; yet the subjects which Rabelais chose, and their mode of treatment, render his works unsuitable for any atmosphere but France. In general it may be said, that the literary material that can most easily find its home everywhere, is French prose, chiefly by reason of the social universality of the French intellect, but also through the colloquial power of the French language, which makes it, from its friendly and familiar aspect, welcome, all the world over. Thus, Voltaire's • Charles the Twelfth " is as much a household book in England as ever it has been in France. There are works which from their intenso nationality cannot be relished in translation, though easily enough translated. The peculiarities belonging to the style of Junius can be rendered into another language without much loss of pungency, fervour, or energy. But Junius possesses scarcely any interest, except to those Englishmen who are familiar with tho history of England seventy or eighty years ago, not only in its greatest events, but in its minutest gossip and most trifling scandal. To any foreigner, therefore, except perhaps a ponderous gluttonous German mind aspiring to know all, both in the universe and out of it, Junius must be utterly without attraction. The “ Provincial Letters” of Pascal are nearly in the same predicament. What care the majority of English readers for the squabbles of Jesuits and Jansenists two hundred years ago ? In the ecclesiastical history and in the national recollections of the French, however, those disputes have an indestructible vitality. The only persons in England to whom “The Provincial Letters” can have

any charm, are ripe scholars, who would prefer reading them in the original. The productions of some authors have scarcely any other merit than that of style. All such it is folly to translate. La Fontaine had the genius, the rare genius for a poet, of being archly and aboundingly natural. His style is perfect ; but his productions have no merit beyond the style. Hence he is the most tedious or the most pleasing of writers, according to the subject that chance threw in his way. He had no creative strength. All his author craft consisted solely in indolently pouring out his good humour on topics that came of their own accord before him. To translate him is, therefore, to crush all the living breath and the warm blood out of him. The Italians lose immensely in translation, so much of the beauty of

every Italian book consisting in the delicious music of the Italian language itself. Occasionally the facility with which an author's works are transferred into another tongue, their literary value unimpaired, arises from their defects of style. Sismondi, with substantial merit as a writer, is exceedingly heavy and monotonous in style. His productions, wanting the usual French variety and vivacity, seem to have something of a becomingness, dignity, and force in their English dress which are not obvious in the original. Certain authors would have written with more effect in another language, than they did in their own. Wieland, fanciful, witty, epicurean, would have found French much more suitable for the expression of his ideas than German ; and Lessing, bold, earnest, direct, and energetic, could have slashed more rapidly and killingly into the heart of things if pithy English instead of unwieldy German had been his weapon. Languages have a fitness, or unfitness for rendering other languages. German gives best, the epic and dramatic poetry of the Greeks; Italian, Greek lyric poetry; French, Greek eloquence; English, Greek history and philosophy. For the translation both of Latin poetry and Latin prose, we know no language equal to the English. Italian poetry loses least in English ; Italian prose, least in French. The French cannot translate poetry; whatever its characteristics in the original, they convert it into pedantic rhetoric. Shakspeare, in the hands. of Ducis, becomes a declaimer. When the French translate poetry, they are compelled to give it in prose in order to preserve somewhat of its texture and spirit. The prose of most languages. is more rhetorical than the poetry. French poetry has the peculiarity of being more rhetorical than French

Hence it is as difficult to translate French poetry, as it is for the French to translate the poetry of other nations. For rhetoric supposes amplification, and translated rhetoric implies still farther amplification, in the cumbrousness of which all force and beauty evaporate. Most German prose works are improved by a translation into French. The Germans cannot write prose. As French. prose is better than all other prose, German is worse. Compare Madame de Staël's book on Germany with Menzel's on German Literature, which is a very favourable specimen of German prose, and the difference will at once be visible. Strange as it may seem, however, it is the imperfections of German prose which make German thinking appear so much more subtle and profound than it is. The calf seems an elephant when seen through the mist; and the common-places of the Germans often appear prodigious discoveries, because floating in a haze of cloudy words. France has produced as great, if not greater, thinkers than Germany. But they often look shallow, simply because they are so marvellously clear ; and, in the same way as, seen through the cloudless atmosphere of Egypt, the pyramids look smaller than they are. Perhaps, therefore, a German metaphysical work, when translated into French, loses rather than gains. By being improved in style, by being rendered clearer, it is shorn of all its transcendentalism; and what in the original astounded as a mystery, disgusts in the translation as a paltry mystification. Books of more substantial merit, however, especially the chief historical productions, gain by translation from German into French ; for they retain all their essential qualities, while acquiring rapidity of movement, sententiousness, and force.


Hitherto Literary Interchange, of which translation is only one of the forms, has been an affair of scholars. One of the best effects of free commerce will be, to make it an affair of nations. And as it is the articles of luxury, often pernicious, that have chiefly passed from country to country, to the exclusion of the corn that feeds and strengthens man, so it is chiefly the pruriences, the frivolities, the vulgarities of literature that have passed from one language into another. As, also, corn will henceforth be the leading article of commerce, we may rationally anticipate that nations, brought into more wise and loving intercourse with each other by the pressure of universal physical needs, will, through the more complete appreciation and sympathy thus produced, be disposed to exchange only that which is best in their literatures. The effect of this on tolerance and civilisation will be prodigious and blissful ; but it will also potently and beneficially transform the chief literatures of the world. It will teach the English to generalise, and to see the philosophic links of many isolated details ; it will teach the French to confirm and to correct their generalisation by facts ; it will teach the Germans that writing is an art like any other,—that pith, clearness, variety, and brevity are the four grand requisites of good writing, - that prolixity is inibecility, and cloudiness quackery,—that the subtlest thinkers that ever lived, the Greeks, were likewise the best writers,—and that mental incapacity is equivalent to moral defect both in individuals and nations.

New Books.


MAUPRAT. By George Sand. Translated by Matilda M. Hays. Forming

Parts V. and VI. of the Works of Sand. 16mo. E. Churton. We have selected this work, from the volumes already translated by Miss Hays, for a more extended analysis and criticism, because it seems to us to develop the strength and power of the original writer more than any work of hers that we have yet perused. Brevity is the soul of wit, but extension is the life of analysis, and if we trespass upon the reader's time, and may be, patience, at more than our usual rate, it is because the productions of this gifted author are fraught with many varied excellencies. They have the purport of an enlightened philosophy and an energetic politics: they illustrate human character with unusual force; they are constructed with peculiar grace, and written with a fine poetic feeling. Such being the case, it is our earnest duty to endeavour to help to disseminate them, and to aid a cause taken up by the translator and the bookseller, from a higher feeling than any mercenary reward.

The monstrous legends circulated as to George Sand, are beginning to fail of effect in this country, and some faint notions of her true excellence to take their place. Still there are but too many who confound her with the vilest writers, and think that she whose every sentence is an endeavour to refine the appetites, writes but to stimulate them to an inordinate indulgence. Pure, Jofty, and spirituel, she sees in some of the formal conventions of society the strongest inducements to the debasements of the nobler parts of our nature.

“ Custom hath so brazed ” many of our institutions, that the spirit of their ritual having evaporated, it becomes necessary to revise the form. With the marriage of true hearts she would not interfere ; but thinks to sanctify the bonds and connexion of two creatures, more is necessary than a parchment license sold only for the sake of the fee, and a marriage ceremony, which is but too often only a compendious conveyance of property. She sees no difference, except in price, between the conduct of the woman who sells her body for one guinea or ten thousand. The formal compliances with a literal honesty, are not, to her mind, a manifestation of the natural rectitude and honour of a true spirit. Nor will the finest breeding, nor the choicest manners, supply the place of that


genuine benevolence of soul from which they originally arose.

She is, in fact, a great Restorer; she seeks to arouse, in a society that is blased with forms, a spiritual life. Modern civilised society, when it is what is called perfected, is a great heap of pretence where the passions have no play, the emotions a false direction, and the imagination is sought to be suppressed. From this cadaverous existence strong spirits escape; some by crimes, some by talents. Some taking the direction of science, art, literature, or politics, incur the stigma, but not the avengement of such society. Others, guided by sensualities and passions, are plunged into courses of violence or craft, and while truly indicating the dictates of nature, sin, and are sinned against, most brutally. Such things cannot be, and idly pass meditative energetic spirits like George Sand : she sees the evil, deplores, and would amend it. She is a woman, and no weapon is left her but the pen. Ethical dissertation, metaphysical disquisitions, would not attract the beings she seeks to interest or subdue. She shows, as in a glass, these things, and by a fictitious narrative as regards the circumstances, she draws a true picture that pourtrays human nature as it is. By her ethical power she proves it error; by her metaphysical, she analyses the causes; by her literary art she combines and illustrates these powers; and by her spiritual and poetic temperament she gives to the production a charm that amuses, thrills, and urges on the reader who is drawn within the compass of her power.

To do all this is the office of a great writer ; how seldom it is fulfilled, the few works of fiction that survive their birth will prove. Amidst the multitudinous ocean of literature, how few and isolated are the beacons that maintain their position. Daily inroads are making en those pronounced to be the most firmly fixed ; and the stars of the heavens, worlds though they be, are as legion in comparison to those few authors, out of countless generations, who can fix the constant attention of mankind.

To write with a purpose, is now, with a thoughtless class, a term of reproach; but without such purpose as we have intimated, the author will very rapidly outlive the man. Life is a serious matter, and he who only developes the small portion of his faculties and being designed to raise or enjoy laughter, knows little of existence, and makes a sensation but for a moment. To be incapable of laughter is a gross deficiency; to be always indulging in it is a tiresome buffoonery, Sand, like all truly great writers, is mistress of the passions, and kindles the emotions in their full circle.

Mauprat combines, in our opinion, all the excellencies of which we have spoken. In its outer form, the charm of the style and the interest of the narrative is sufficient for the dullest reader. Internally, we detect an allegorical meaning which relates to more general and abstract matters. In the hero we have the savage reclaimed by kindness, and see, most exquisitely shadowed forth, the brute gradually awakened to an heroic existence. In Edmée, the female heroine, we have the

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