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tion were sacrificed, not indeed to the Louis the Fourteenth to retire to Cam. illusion of the senses, but to that of the bray ; it proved to be a decree of exile, spirit.” This friendship certainly cost for Fénelon never again left his diobim a great deal, and was the cause of cese. The actual cause of the kivg's the rupture with Bossuet. Some of displeasure has never been discovMadame Guyon's doctrines were held ered; it has been attributed to the by Bossuet and other churchmen to be liberal sentiments expressed in “ Teleheterodox, and they were condemned machus” respecting the duties of kinys with needless severity.
and their ministers; no part of “ TeleAt this distance of time the doctrines machus,” however, was published until taught by the Quietists seem harmless 1699. Another version of the story is enough, and in a more or less modified to the effect that an early sketch of the form they had always been taught work, written for the Duke of Burby Christian mystics. Quietism con- gundy, was seen by the king; if this cerned itself with such questions as the were so, is it likely Louis the Fourcommunion of the soul with God, the teenth would have giveu Fénelon perpower of prayer and of illuminating mission to publish “ Telemachus”? grace ; and it must be confessed that The first edition (1699), under the title questions of this kind need a sure in- of “ Sequel to the Fourth Book of the telligence and a sound taste in the be- Odyssey," was indeed stopped before liever to keep him from drifting into the end of the fifth book was in priul; extravagance. Madame Guyon had but if the king had seen the early not these qualities ; on the other hand sketch, he must have known what the Bossuet, with all his greatness, was book contained, in which case, we ask one of those theologians who take mat- again, would he have given Fénelon ters a little too much according to the the royal consent to publish any porstrictness of the letter. He had no tion of it? The actual cause of the sympathy with mysticism, nor with king's displeasure is unknown, and the any branch of theology that does not explanations usually given of this ocaim at action; the civic life of the be- currence are not satisfactory ; it is of liever, and not the life of the spirit, course possible that all of them are was what appealed to him. When wrong, for there is no trustworthy evionce you have gauged the limits of his dence before us. domain of thought, you find the boun- Without appearing to attach an uudary-line is drawn by the ecclesiastical due importance to these discrepancies, politician ; but thought, like poetry, we may give one or two examples. In should have no boundary-line. He a history of French literature, written had, too, the old ecclesiastical prejudice by au Englishman who has a tine against the interference of women and critical faculty and an extraordinary laymen in theological affairs ; and knowledge of his subject, we read that his controversial manner was without “ Fénelon was kuown to disapprove amenity, being indeed nearer to the of much in the actual government of harshness of Knox and Calvin than to France, and the surreptitious publithe ease and suavity of Pascal. cation of “Télémaque' completed his
While this unfortunate quarrel was disgrace.” On the same page we are in progress, Fénelon in 1695 was ap- told that he was appointed Archbishop pointed to the archbishopric of Cam- of Cambray in 1697 ; we believe the bray, a prize which no doubt he owed year which we have already mentioned, in part to the influence of Madame de 1695, is the correct one. Now in M. Maintenon, who at that time was not Paul Janet's recent biography of Fénethe least powerful of his admirers. lon, in the series of “Great French He occupied himself seriously with the Writers,” we are informed that, “In work of his diocese, coming to court the month of August, 1696, Fénelon only for about three mouths in the was requested by the king to retire 10 year, until in 1696 he was requested by Cambray, of which place he had been
made archbishop, there to await the nity, how in such a case could he judgment of Rome with regard to the afford to be maguanimous ? book • Maxims of the Saints.'" But in By way of justifying his connection the same work M. Janet tells us that with the Quietists, Fénelon wrote the " Maxims of the Saints" appeared in " Explanation of the Maxims of the 1697, so Fénelon could hardly have Saints,” which gave Bossuet and the been banished in 1696 for the displeas- rest of the hostile camp an opportunity ure caused by a book first published a of asking for a judgment from the year later. Compare this with the fol- supreme authority ; they were lowing passage from Voltaire's “ Age doubtedly confident that they could obof Louis the Fourteenth :" “ The king lain such a judgment upon the book as believed that Fénelon would instil into would crush the author. It was indeed the mind of the Duke of Burgundy condemned, but not with severity, and maxims a little austere, and principles the ecclesiastical world was filled with of government and morality which oue wonder as to what the archbishop day might become an indirect cevsure would do in the face of such a decision. of the air of grandeur and the thirst for He acted with his usual moderation and glory, the wars so lightly undertaken, good sense, and accepted, as a faithful and the taste for festivity and pleasure Catholic was bound to do, the decisiou which had characterized the reign of of the head of his Church. He read Louis the Fourteenth. . . . He wished from the pulpit his own condemnation, to converse with the new archbishop and by this simple act unexpectedly respecting his political principles. brought confusion upon his enemies, Fénelon, full of his ideas, allowed the who during the remainder of his life king to glance at some of those max. left him in peace. ims, which he developed afterwards in For twenty years Fénelon was Archthe parts of • Telemachus' where he bishop of Cambray, and during the treats of the administration of public greater part of this time had an abunaffairs, – maxims that would suit the dant popularity, not only in his own republic of Plato's imagination rather diocese, but throughout Europe. He than this actual world. After the was one of those rare men who may be conversation the king remarked that said to create a legend in their lifetime. the man with whom he had just been By the publication of “ Telemachus " discoursing had at once the loftiest in complete form in 1700, he gained at and the most chimerical mind in his once the educated public of Europe, dominions.” Is it not clear from all while the large number of translatious this that we are not in possession of made of this work brought him in touch satisfactory evidence ? Upon the with the readers of all nations. It was whole the story of Voltaire is the most placed among the classics of its kind, credible, though one cannot safely in that small number of works which accept it as final. It is not, however, to-day includes “ The Antiquary” and mere hearsay, for Voltaire says : “ The “ Gil Blas,” “ Robinson Crusoe king himself used these words to the “ The Vicar of Wakefield.” There are Duke of Burgundy, by whom some greater classics, but as these demand time afterwards they were repeated to generally a cuitivated literary sense, M. de Malezieux, who taught him they do not make so universal an apgeometry. It was from M. de Male- peal. The strict churchmen did not at zieux that I heard it, and it was con- all share in the admiration for " Telefirmed to me by Cardinal Fleury." | machus ; " Bossuet thought the work After all, we think the king would not sufficiently serious and hardly have forgiven Fénelon for holding lib- worthy of a priest. But one cannot eral sentiments, but in one way or always be preaching about the cities of another the royal self-love must have the plain ; there are times when it is been deeply wounded ; and with his well to take Greece for one's subject, peculiar conception of the kingly dig. I or even to come a little nearer home.
VOL. VI. 292
There are in French literature many country and had never doubted that portraits of the Archbishop of Cam- the best of Christians may be the best bray, the most vivid being that by of patriots, shared in the general Saint-Simon, which has been quoted so humiliation and grief. He had indeed often that we have not the courage to received the most generous treatment give it here. Saint-Simon was not a from the English general ; his crops friendly critic, yet he had felt the were spared, and mercy was given attraction of Fénelon as keenly as his where he asked for it; but to a noble greatest admirer, and he expresses it nature what are such gratifications of with singular force. He does justice self-love amid scenes of universal to that gracious presence, and in truth mourning ? After Blenheim and Rawe see the archbishop as he lived ; an millies came the death in 1712 of his aristocrat attached to the old order, yet former pupil, the Duke of Burgundy ; a Christiau gentleman in the best sense and three years later died the good of that beautiful phrase ; tall, tiin, archbishop, on the 7th of January, half Greek, half ascetic ; full of amen- 1715. He was in bis sixty-fourth year. ity, simple in his tastes, hospitable, The revenues of his see were very and a giver of alıns. He is a man of large, yet he left nothing ; during the letters through and through, and has disasters that preceded his death, be the passion for books which goes with had been a father to multitudes of such a temperament; yet his pastoral needy men and women, and thus by zeal is not lessened by this. He is a way of alms or hospitality had disposed hard worker, and leaves no duty un- of all that he had. done ; in spite of his archiepiscopal Fénelon's writings occupy many volvisitations and preachings, his daily umes, and generally reach a high standwork as organizer and conciliator, he ard of excellence. His early works still writes much, and cultivates assid. have a certain crudeness ; and until he uously his faculty of literary expres- was past forty years of age, he cannot sion. Many of his works were not be called master of his style. When published in his lifetime, and were once, however, he has gained this evideutly written from pure love of mastery, he uses his instrument with writing, for he does not appear to have admirable sureness and facility. His had a strong desire for literary fame. refinement and grace are unsurpass
The last years of his life were gloomy able, yet in spite of bis urbanity his years for his country, though Fénelon phrase is a little self-conscious. He never lost courage even in the blackest treats a great variety of subjects, for hour. France had the enemy within besides writing a prose-epic, fables, and her borders, and famine was not un. dialogues, he discourses learvedly of known there. One thinks of the king theology and metaphysics, literary critin his palace, a gloony figure wander- icism, classical literature, and sacred ing from room to room and gazing at eloquence. We have spoken of the those pictures which were to make im- fame which “ Telemachus” brought its mortal the great events of his reign. author, but of its merits we have said He had not been in truth a beneficent little. The first success of the book guide to his people, for he had not had really as much to do with politics by wise statesmanship, by foresight, as literature ; men in Europe were justice, and mercy, made his subjects seeking after a larger freedom, for they strong, and given them freedom and were coming to see the dangers insephappiness. The pursuit of glory was arable from absolute power. Whatever the passion of his life, and he had come Fénelon may have meant it to be, to find it dust and ashes ; for after all, “ Telemachus" is in truth a protest “the gods are just.” This was the against all forms of absolutism, a plea period when the victories of Marlbor- for wise goverument, moderation, and ough were doing so much to cripple liberty. The court of Louis the FourFrauce; and. Fénelon, who loved his teenth was not favorable to such iude
pendence of mind, and Fénelou is the and which we think most characteristic more eutitled to praise since he does of the author, is the admirable “Letnot appear to have studied the litera- ter to the French Academy.' The ture or politics of England. It would infallible insight of Aristotle this letter not indeed be extravagant to describe has not, but it has the polish of Plato, him as the most far-seeing French pol- which is equally precious. It is as itician of his age, for no Frenchman in pure in taste, as full of ripe literary that day saw so clearly the evils that judgments, as a work that Fénelon must result from a system of govern- greatly admired, the Greek treatise ment which prized glory too much and “ On the Sublime” usually ascribed te set no store on happiness. We may Longinus. There is in it so much bear this in mind to the credit of the charm that it ought to make a reader author, though of course it does not in forever dissatisfied with second-rate any way affect the actual literary value criticism ; and in one sense literary of the work; the artistic standard is criticism is like poetry, it is bad if it is the only satisfactory one, for it can be not excellent. Little imperfectious do applied in all ages and by all people. indeed exist in this famous letter; he "Telemachus has infinite grace ; it finds fault for instance with Molière has passages of great beauty and for using sometimes in the theatre the pathos ; it is at once a delightful ro- language of the street rather than that mance, and a noble sermon iu favor of of the drawing-room ; and this no justice and moderation. For our part doubt is superfine. His preferences we think it has too much of the nature are always Greek, whether in art or of a sermon, and sermons should never literature ; of English poetry he knows be long. The story does not obey the nothing. He would have approved of law of healthy development; it is fash- the saying of Voltaire, that no man of ioned from the outside, whereas an taste counts more than four ages in the organism, whether vegetable, animal, history of the world, – those which are or literary, is shaped from within, the associated with the names of Pericles organism and its growth being insepa- and Augustus, of Leo the Tenth, and rable. If we were compelled to read of Louis the Fourteenth, “ Gil Blas” twice a year, we should Of Fénelon's other writings we can not regard it as a hardship ; but to read here only say a word concerning the
i Telemachus once a year would be excellent treatise on “ The Existence something of an infliction. This is of God." In the earlier sections of owing to the fact that “Gil Blas” is this work, where he tries to prove that true to the laws of art and to our own the idea of deity is inherent in nature experience of life, whereas " Tele- and in the constitution of man, he machus” though written with great art argues too much, we think, after the and from a higher level, is not quite Greek and too little after the Christian true to the genius of human nature. manner. For thus he appeals to the Yet a lover of good literature would be reason, and by the reason we cannot unwise if he did not in a lifetime read apprehend deity; it is better to say “ Telemachus " four or five times. that until a mau has gone a long way The “Dialogues of the Dead” and towards perfection, and
then the “ Dialogues on Eloquence" are in rarely in moments of spiritual exaltaone respect like the “Imaginary Con- tion, he does not apprehend God at all. versations ” of Landor or the “Philo- The later sections, however, reach a sophical Dialogues ” of Renan, for the loftier height, and could have been author, though he wears a mask, con- written only by a keen and aspiring trives to talk a great deal through his thinker. puppets. Yet it is a delight to read Fénelon does not show to advantage them, for they have the most attractive in an English dress. In reading for qualities of Fénelon's writing. The example a version of “ Telemachus” work of Fénelon which we like best, ' in our own language, an Englishman
with a literary faculty must feel that it with rain from the north-east, cold and is attenuated, that it has in a small raw, with a suspicion of hail. measure the literary vice of anæmia. The good man was hard put to it to This of course is the penalty of transla- keep his shovel-hat - which, by the tion, for if you concern yourself only some token, he had bought brand-new with rendering the words, you take the only last Lammas - on his head with soul away from your author ; whereas grasp of both hands, letting his cloak if you try to express the ideas in your Aap behind him with a noise as of own manner, you give too much of pistol-shots. And the stress of weather yourself, and too little of the author. did compel the worthy pastor to screw It has not been found possible to trans- up that side of his face which did bear mute style, which of all things in the the brunt thereof, in such fashion as world is most individual. Racine in a a beholder would have deemed right literal English translation is jejune, comical, inasmuch as the eye on that while Shakespeare in French is violent, side was closed in a continual wink for almost truculent, and Miltou is nothing the better exclusion of the wet-laden less than dreary. Translations bave at wind and the salt Aecks of sea-foam various times done a great deal for the which were driviug inland, like unto revival of art and letters, and it is right overgrown flakes of snow. to remember this, even when the bald But now the path dipped from the rendering of a great classic annoys us. gale-swept uplands into the hollow, Yet while approving of a liberal senti- wherein nestled the parsonage, with ment in these matters, we think it the appurtenances thereof, to wit, a would be well if a certificate were well-stocked garilen and trim grounds, given with every soulless translation to with some six acres of good pasture. the effect that it has nothing to do with Parson Trussbit hove a deep sigh of literature.
relief as he laid his hand on the latch We have already praised Fénelon so of the gate leading to his shrubbery, much that we may here without many and he was in act to open it, when words fitly come to an end. There is suddenly he was aware of a rustling in him something of Virgil, something, noise amid the bushes to his right, as too, of Sir Philip Sidney, and of Berke- though of one pluugiug hastily into the ley. He has much of the Virgilian shrubbery out of the roadway. elegance, though it is not wedded to 'Twas a dim December eveving the supreme art of the Mantuan ; with quickly drawing ou to dusk, so that the a finer literary taste than Sidney, Féne- parson could sce nothing, but hearklon has the romance, the high-breeding, ened the more. Not that it availed; the inexpressible charm of the En- for the roar of the wind in the treeglishman, and more than a touch of his tops and the distant thunder of the surf chivalry ; and with all this he has the did swallow up all other sounds. Nor unaffected piety and quiet graces of did it profit to grope his way into the the Irish bishop. Let us not regard it shrubbery in the wake of the sound. as his least title to honor that he made So, being sore aweary, "Tush ! " quoth goodness so winning.
the parsou to himself, “'twas but Farmer Tubb's lurcher in quest of a rabbit. 'Tis a poaching brute and shall
be looked to," and with that wended From Longman's Magazine.
his way homewards. THE STRANGE ADVENTURE OF PARSON
“ Sakes alive!” cried Mistress Truss
bit, scanning her husband's plight with 'Twas blowing mighty hard over the uplifted hands and pitiful eyes ; “medowns from the sea, with ever and thinks bed would serve thee best, anon a lash of rain, which did sting Ezekiel, and a hot supper therein of the parson's windward cheek, like to a pig's pettitoes, with, perhaps, a mug of cut from a dog-whip, being, as is wont l hot spiced ale to set thee asleep. For