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had to make an attempt opposite, where was another inn, and where we wished to pass the Sunday, in accordance with our rule of resting entirely on this day—a rule which we had not infringed for a single mile during the whole course of our journey. We were, however, much vexed at seeing the extreme unfitness of the place, even for one night, much more for a longer sojourn. I shall not dwell on the materials of our supper, (so rarely bad or deficient in France,) nor upon the state of the bedroom, which we reached along a creaking passage, with such large gaping holes in the floor, that I was literally afraid of going along it in the dark, for fear of stepping into one of them. However, notwithstanding these circumstances, had I been alone, or with only a gentleman as a companion, I should have thought it right to remain here till the Monday ; but, as it was, it seemed to me otherwise. Mrs. T. had had a long and hot journey during the week, and it was evident that neither proper rest, food, or comfort, could be obtained for her. Accordingly, the decision being left to me, I thought that in the sight of God it would be allowable for us to proceed on the ensuing morning, though much regretting the circumstances of the case.'—Trench, vol. ii. p. 212.
Among the many points in which members of the English Church are without guidance or authoritative directions, that of how to conduct themselves in respect of the religious worship in Catholic countries is one. There is, however, one plain distinction which an obedient son of the Church must always make. He will always keep aloof from the schismatical bodies who call themselves Protestant, neither being present at their services, nor employing-if in orders, and he chooses to officiate-their temples for the English services. To act otherwise is to betray her cause; to renounce the very authority on which he acts as her minister. Nothing, indeed, can be more humiliating to the English Church, nothing more subversive of her claim to be Catholic, than this identification of her with foreign Protestantism. But to tamper with the faith of Catholics, to league ourselves with bodies such as the Foreign Aid Society, whose professed aim and object is to be the authors of confusion, not of peace,
is even worse, * As if,' as it has been well said, 'it were matter of triumph, not of lamentation, that a member of • the Roman or Greek communion should throw off the great • tenets of the Faith which all Catholic Churches hold in common, 'to embrace that system of irreverence and semi-infidelity which • such teachers as we have been referring to, designate by the
name of Protestantism, but which our Liturgy comprises under 'the denomination of “ false doctrine, heresy, and schism.” Indeed, the way
in which the Protestants ever side with the infidel party in France, is one that throws into strong relief the unbelieving character of that omnigenous heresy. One of the
i British Critic, July, 1841.
most frequent subjects of congratulation in the Reports of the Foreign Aid Society is, the total desertion of the churches in many of the rural communes, such that many have been shut up, and the Priest withdrawn. This is, unhappily, too true! but this desertion of the mass is not to the profit of Protestantism (even such as it is), but of infidelity. The people forsake the church, or at least the altar, (for often there is no church,) and shun confession, for no other form of religion, but to listen lazily to the harangues of the Protestant preacher, seasoned with bitter invectives against all they have hitherto known of religion, with the same curiosity, and as much profit, as they look on at the exhibition of the mountebank.
For, notwithstanding the unmistakeable appearances of a strong religious reaction in France, it is also true that irreligion is gaining ground.
Each is making progress in a different class. In the Revolution, it was the middle and upper classes who were tainted with infidelity. These are now coming back to the Church. A glorious sight it was, and one to be thankful for, to see 3,000 persons, all men, receiving the communion at one time at Notre Dame, on Easter-day last. But, on the other hand, the Voltairian movement has not yet reached its apogee. It seems as if, like some virus, it must go through all the ranks of the social system before its force can be spent. And it has its work to accomplish yet among the lower classes. In the inferior populations, above all among the rural populations, and where the influence of Paris extends, the evil gains, the wound is still open and spreading. There atheism has still novelty and piquancy to recommend it; Voltaire and Diderot have a sale which among the upper classes they have long since ceased to have. There the infamous productions of the last century are the pamphlets of the day. 'In these districts the churches are depopulated, communions become less frequent, and, in more than one instance, the pastor, left all alone by his flock, has been reduced to pray for a community who had ceased to pray for themselves.
These, though alarming symptoms, do however present but one side of the picture. There is much to counteract_and balance this fearful growth of a new harvest of unbelief. Even in the arid desert of the banlieue of Paris may be met with little oases of Christianity; single pious parishes where the faith has been kept alive almost by miracle. In other spots, again, the most desperate village, once a mere nest of condemned
See an interesting Memoir by M. de Champagny, 'L'Eglise et ses Adversaires en 1825 et en 1845,' in the ‘Correspondant for January last ; a journal in which those who take interest in the present condition of the Church in France will find the best information, united with a very high order of thought and sentiment.
NO. XLIX.- N.S.
reprobates, has been sanctified by the zeal of a single man; some laborious and devoted curé has brought them from the cabaret to the church, from the most savage profligacy of manners to holiness. If in certain districts the churches are empty or emptying, in others new ones are being built by the zeal of the flocks. The Voltairian epidemic has not yet run its course; but there is not a single commune throughout the kingdom, where, in spite of outward appearances, the pulse of Catholic piety, if you choose to search for it, does not beat beneath the finger, and where some protest is not raised against predominant unbelief, by some act of Christian faith, secret perhaps, but indestructible.
ART. IV.-1. Lebengeschichte des Baron de la Motte Fouqué. 1840. 2. Ausgewählte Werke von Friedrich Baron de la Motte Fouqué.
1841. In returning to the life of Fouqué, we feel that we owe an apology to our readers for again troubling them to recall the view of biography on which hitherto we have proceeded. We all of us feel great difficulty in reading, still more in drawing any definite idea from, those many biographies and memoirs which inundate the press, in which every minute circumstance is related with praiseworthy precision, the details of the pedigree, infancy, childhood, boyhood, manhood, and senility of the hero. And this is because they seem meaningless. Even with all their particularity they are the history not of the individual, but of the genus. They distinguish in no respect their subject from any other man. A life is written of A. or B., and of the two or three volumes of 500 pages each, more than four-fifths will equally suit that of C. or Ď. The man's life, that which constitutes his distinctive history, lies but in the fifth. And had the writer been contented with giving us this, we should have carried off an idea ; as it is, we are overwhelmed, we grow sleepy; perhaps we wade through a volume, and give the rest up in despair. Now, in the case of Fouqué, we have been endeavouring to apply this principle. By carefully examining his life and writings, we have sought to discover that idea, which was the moving element of both, and, by laying this before the reader, with the arguments which led us to it, developed by facts, to give, what seems to us, the fairest and most useful sketch of the man himself. We argued that poetry was, according to a well-known definition, the endeavour to express some powerful and absorbing emotion, whose full expression is somehow necessarily repressed; and, in examining the life of Fouqué, we endeavoured to prove that in him this emotion was a yearning desire to express a belief in or perception of the invisible world, most difficult, nay, impossible, to express fully and perfectly, yet, at the same time, not lacking ways and means to express itself poetically or imperfectly, by analogies, contrast, irony, and the like. In this way, then, we endeavoured to show that which governed his heart, and to find, as it were, a key to many obscure passages in his life and works, hoping, at the same time, to escape the enumeration of much indistinctive matter, common to him with half the world besides. The chief ground of our argument was what we first showed must inevitably ensue, viz. that, when the absorbing emotion received due power of expression, the workings of the mind would be healthy; when checked beyond the fitting limit, troubled and distracted. We consider that we have now worked out the first part of our subject. We have represented Fouqué as suffering, filled with an eager desire to express his yearnings and emotions, yet without adequate power from either thought, sympathy, knowledge, or education, weakly in body and mind, on the brink of madness and suicide. If now, then, we can succeed in showing that, under circumstances obviously favourable to the development of such an emotion, his mind grew calm, our object will in some measure be effected.
Now, in speaking of one possessed by an emotion of this kind, seeking vent to express itself, we are speaking of nothing which is not quite conceivable in any man. Whether he be Christian or heathen, a man's heart might be filled with feeling so absorbing and powerful as to drive him to grasp at every mode of expression which came within his reach. Even this desire to give vent to certain indistinct stirrings of the heart connected with the invisible world might be found in any man, and they would be expressed more or less fully according to the circumstances in which he was thrown. As, for instance, when Plato, by the aid of the Greek language, and the imperfect mythical truths of the old world, could image forth and relieve his mind with the expression of heavenly and invisible things. But we may fairly urge that, through the Christian religion, or, to use a safer phrase, through the truths embodied and conveyed in the Catholic Church, leading us straight on to the heavenly and invisible, would alone be found the sure and satisfactory exponent of that yearning; and, when we add to this the case of one born in Christian times, we may fairly go on to assert that a mind thus possessed could not possibly find peace till it had grasped these truths.
The argument then would be reduced to this. A poet is one possessed with some deep and absorbing emotion. This must, in some way or other, and indirectly, be expressed : if not expressed, evil—if duly expressed, rest and tranquillity, result. The circumstances best adapted for expression vary with the emotion itself. This emotion may be ascertained from the phenomena of its expression or repression, viz. from its result in rest or unrest, in poetry or in distraction. If the circumstances be such as would naturally be adverse to the expression of any particular emotion, and we find accordingly unrest in the individual, there is a presumption that this emotion possesses him. Still more, if, on the other hand, we find, under circumstances favourable to the expression of such emotion,