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joy together. In course of time they accidentally came in contact with their former owner, and this circumstance recalling to their minds their past misery, powerfully affected them. In order to remove them from the vicinity of a man whose presence awakened in them such painful recollections, and to change the scene altogether, the Spaniard carried them to Italy.
There Anna and Louisa devoted themselves with renewed eagerness to study, and their progress was astonishing. Although so closely united in body, their faces were dissimilar; the expression of their countenances were at variance; the outline of their features wholly different. Anna was fair, Louisa had raven hair. Their moral dispositions were no less diverse: Anna liked calniness and sentiment, and took delight in verses of a sweet and tender character; whilst Louisa admired the stormy days of revolution, the striking features of the new school of literature, and was charmed by enterprises marked by enthusiasm and audacity. When they read Don Quixote, Anna laughed whilst Louisa pitied the knight of the rueful countenance. In their religious opinions, Anna believed with the resignation of a Christian, Louisa was sceptical. Their studies went on rapidly: in a short time they rendered themselves thoroughly acquainted with history, literature, the fine arts, and philosophy in all its branches. In short, whatever they applied themselves to, their minds seemed at once to absorb: they knew it from beginning to end; they exhausted it to its very source. What philosophical discourses does not our author put into the mouth of these unhappy creatures ! What pseudo-profound inquiries à la Jules Janin, full of sarcastic smiles of light scorn, of ingenious comparisons, are they not made to exhibit!
During this narration, the author indulges himself in his known garrulity; he describes the Divina Comedia of Dante, discourses of Italy, is enchanted with the odes of Horace, and puts them in the lips of the helpless Anna and Louisa.
The two poor sisters having read and learned everything, begin to feel an intolerable satiety and ennui. The Spaniard wished to check them in their career of acquirement, which whilst it seemed to have no distinct object, was destroying their peculiar organization. But Louisa, la femme forte, wondering how that which they knew, could be called learning, replied to him ; “ These miserable rags of opinion, which we gather as children pick up the pieces of a broken toy, do you call these learning ?”
One day seeing Louisa amusing herself with a flower and Anna wrapt in the contemplation of the heavens, he asked the former what she was doing with that flower? “I contemplate the constitution of the heavens," said Louisa ; 6 And I," replied
the other, on being similarly questioned as to her occupation“ am amusing myself with botany.” The Spaniard was lost in wonder and admiration at this double creative power of mind, at their faculty of seeing all at once, and at their common simultaneous analysis, of subjects so sublime as astronomy and so complicated as the science of plants.
The Spaniard was relieved from his perplexing situation by the suggestion of a Russian prince residing in Italy, who advised him to distraire the sisters by introducing them into the bustle of the world, by taking them to balls, by awakening in them the seductive idea of pleasing others, by interesting them with the novelty of society, and finally by the all-powerful charm of love. In furtherance of this ingenious plan the prince gave a magnificent ball, where the infinite variety of costumes, faces and features of foreigners from all parts visiting Italy, the pomp displayed by the wealthy prince, the attractive appearance of the young people of both sexes assembled there, rendered this fête one of the most splendid which the fashionable and uniform sky of Italy ever covered, as with a panoply of gold and pearls. Anna and Louisa drew the eyes of all present upon them--no wonder—and the affair ended by the prince falling in love with the former, and the Spaniard with the latter. Now came the puzzle. How was the limit to be marked, where the sentiment of the one was to terminate and that of the other to begin? How was the individuality of the one to be separated from that of the other? For no sooner does one of the lovers declare his passion to one sister, than the other is attained by the same shaft. Thence arises jealousy, an intolerable, terrible jealousy. The lovers unable to endure so extraordinary a situation, quarrel and fight a duel. The Spaniard is wounded and falls, upon which the prince takes flight. The Spaniard being thus left without a rival, after a lingering recovery devotes all his love to Louisa, and the unhappy Anna isolates herself from her sister, though by what means the author has not thought proper to inform us. Her individuality fortunately ceases to communicate with that of her sister, just at the very moment the Spaniard would have it so, but she is consumed by a lonely love, is desolate, forsaken, and her strength gradually fails. At length when her illness has reached its height, it communicates itself to her sister, and they both expire in the arms of the Spaniard. It is true, that the celebrated Dupuytren--God knows how he got there had proposed the separation of Louisa from her sister, but the Spaniard chose rather to see them die together, than to take advantage of the life of one of them.
It would be difficult to imagine a more Aimsy composition
than this production of the Quintilian of the Littérature Extravagante. What are those pseudo-discussions of Anpa and Louisa about botany and astronomy, Dante and Horace, but the most manifest counterfeits? And in keeping with the philosophy is the whole story-the love of two men for the two halves of an unfortunate monster; the jealousy of the lovers, and the crowning conclusion by the Spaniard refusing to acquiesce in the separation. It would appear as if Jules Janju had written this in mockery of the good sense and moral feeling of his readers; or it may perhaps be more proper to say, that the living French authors have so undermined all good sense, that they themselves, in perfect good faith, offer, as something profound and wise, an absurd fiction without a single sound thought or truth in it, whilst the deluded public entirely partakes their opinion.
If more were needed to justify our censure of the Littérature Extravagante, we could multiply similar extracts almost without end, not excepting from our quotations even Balsac himself. Indeed, “ La Fille aux Yeux d'Or” of this author, one of the tales in his celebrated “ Histoire des Treize," is one of the most obscene and immoral productions that ever came before the public. Balsac in general is the novelist of the boudoir, and be most usually describes the intrigues of the fashionable world, particularly that of Paris. In this respect he stands quite apart, and enjoys a greater degree of popularity than any of his brethren. Whilst they make excursions either into history, or extravagant poetry, in political, moral or religious speculations, Balsac keeps the ground accessible to all, namely, that of domestic gossip (la chronique scandaleuse), and successfully cultivates this kind of novel, the most popular in France. In accordance with the recent political changes of his country, he introduces now and then into his novels, persons of the lowest rank, seasons his tales with liberal and philosophical discourses, and spares neither blood nor license, whilst at the same time he always paints the refined society of saloons, adventures of the ball and promenade, and keeps his readers constantly in the midst of that company to which they are pleased to look up as to a model of bon ton, and of the highest civilization. It is therefore considered as essential to good breeding and a mark of fashion, to be either in ecstasy about the firmness, or in sadness over the fall of some heroine of the Contes bruns, or the Contes drolatiques, and to be well acquainted with Madame de Bauseánt, the Baroness Musingen, Lady Brandon, the Princess de Langlais, Messrs. de Monniveaux, Ban, Guerroles, Rastignac, Henri de Marsay, and others of the notorious company of the “ Histoire des Treize." It would take too much time to review all the works of Balsac, for their number is great; but it is easy to appreciate their tendency, as all have been written under the influence of one ruling idea. They present in fact the very essence of that corrupt society, which seeks only for sensual pleasures--a society from which all generous sentiments have been driven out, and over which egotism hovers like the angel of death, pouring, from its balefui cornucopia, scepticism, infidelity, and moral degradation.
From many French authors we have selected only such as differ very much from each other, in order the more easily to present a view at once of the monstrosities respectively invented by them, and concentrated in the wild and intricate region of the Littérature Evtravagantė. These leading authors may be considered as so many sorcerers, each of whom sends forth a particular cloud over the intellectual horizon of his country, and spreads there a different kind of contagion. No wonder therefore that a union of so many clouds spreads over France a “palpable obscure," and that the combination of so many poisons produces so much phrensy. On all sides dark spectres are rising; satiety of life, hostility towards society, and a desire to destroy all sacred ties.
There have been already many youthful victims, who having learned from the novels of Sue, Hugo and others, how heavy a burthen is life in the midst of a heartless society, and how easy and sublime it is to throw off the load when it becomes intolerable, have destroyed themselves with a strange and melancholy cruelty, varying and as it were, poetizing their modes of self-destruction. Some have suffocated themselves with the fumes of charcoal ; others have poisoned themselves with prussic acid; whilst some have thrown themselves from the steeple of Notre Dame de Paris, as if to point to the source whence they drew their desperate resolution. Others have recorded in writing their sufferings up to the last moment, and the operation of the charcoal on their frames; and whilst initiating the public in their last struggle of life, seemed to wish to acquaint it with the horrible results of their terrific aberration. These experiments on the most tender members of the social body, give cause for serious reflection ; the operation of the poison has as yet manifested itself on the epidermis alone, but it is sinking every day deeper and deeper into the system.
nds withis much that the history
ART. VII.-1. Histoire des Rois et des Ducs de Bretagne. Par
Mons. De Roujoux. Paris. 1828–9. 4 vols. 8vo. 2. Memoires de l'Académie Celtique. Paris. 1807—10. 6 tom. 3. Mélanges sur les Langues, Dialectes, et Patois. Par Bottin.
Svo. Paris. 1831. There is within a few hours' sail of the south-western coast of England a part of the kingdom of France, the history of which is most closely interwoven with much that is deeply interesting in our own. It abounds with scenery of the most beautiful, as well as of the grandest kind.* Its southern division contains a people primitive, and therefore most curious in their customs; who do not speak the language of France in general, but one of the most ancient in Europe. Its antiquities, Celtic and Druidical, both in extent and number, are such as no other country can boast. Its churches contain specimens of architecture, equal in beauty to those of its sister province, Normandy. The remains of its feudal fastnesses are of such grandeur and magnificence as to astonish all who behold them. The wars, to preserve its freedom, gave rise to deeds of heroism, rarely if ever surpassed. Its history presents to our notice facts as full of interest as ever fiction feigned ; and it numbers among its warriors some of the greatest names in the records of France. And yet, notwithstanding these strong claims to our notice, if we speak of the subject, even to a tolerably well-informed Englishman, he knows but little either of the past or present condition of Britanny or the Bretons. What is the reason of this neglect we know not, but such is the fact. We shall now proceed to prove to our readers that this eulogy upon Britanny is not undeserved, and we have no doubt that they will not regret that the subject should again be placed before them. In our second number we very briefly noticed the History of Britanny by Mons. Daru; we shall in this article enter a little more at large upon the same subject, and shall touch upon some other points which could not with propriety have been introduced there.
The Breton historians are extremely anxious to satisfy themselves, and to prove satisfactorily to their readers, that their province was for a very long time perfectly independent of the crown of France; and that even for some centuries before its incorpo
* The neighbourhood of Clisson may be selected as a specimen of the former, while Concarneau and Douaruenez are unrivalled for wildness and sublimity.
+ Mr. Trollope has lately published his Travels in Britanny, but as that gentleman visited the province neither as antiquary nor historian, his book possesses but few charms. He missed indeed the places which were most worth seeing, and if he chanced to be where the historical associations were of great interest, he was either ignorant of them, or deemed them not worth notice,