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enter into the redoubtable controversy, whether the study of the classics, or the study of mathematics, be most likely to keep men loyal to orthodoxy. We can only remark, en passant, that though classics and mathematics are most excellent things, we apprehend that, in spite of both, local and transitory causes, the contagious influence of a few leading minds, the spirit of the times, may, for a while, carry into either university, or into any university, a temporary fashion of credulity or scepticism. And though it is unquestionably true that Oxford has chiefly signalized herself by coquetting with Rome, it must be admitted that the mathematics and science of the sister university have not sufficed to keep her alumni altogether free from it; and we suppose that, in the opposite direction (which, however, our author deems equally well guarded), there has been no immunity; there is no lack of perverts at Cambridge, to various forms of infidelity, as spiritualism, positivism, and so on. And much the same, we fear, must be said of most of the universities of our day. We, of course, do not deny the unspeakable value of the studies our author so strongly recommends; we only doubt whether he has duly considered the immense variety of causes which may temporarily breed moral infection in any community, academic or otherwise, and which can neither be simply traced to, nor obviated by, preferences for mathematics over classics, or for classics over mathematics; or, we may add, for one secular study over another.


ART. IV. - Montaigne, the Essayist. A Biography. By BAYLE

St. John. London: Chapman and Hall. We cannot take up the list of publications for a single quarter without being forcibly reminded of the impunity which literature claims for itself beyond the narrow compasses of the political geographer, without being struck with the generous disdain with which it surpasses the artificial limits of fiscal discussion. Nor can we let the observation pass without expressing a certain sense of gratification, that amid the animosities of race and faction, a single bond of union yet remains to make the whole world kin, not to be measured by lines of latitude and longitude. Cosmopolitanism is, at least, the boast of letters, and it would be no anomalous picture that should in justification of that boast represent Confucius reposing at the banquets of Plato and Xenophon, or Thomas Aquinas receiving welcome to the new Atlantis of Bacon.

The literary relation between France and England has underLiterary Relations between France and England. 89 gone a complete change since the day that Maupertius pleaded the merits of Newton, or, still more recently, since the day that Dumont expounded the oracles of Bentham. France no longer holds the position of interpreter to England. The achievements of British genius are no longer conveyed to Europe in the language of Gaul.

The monopoly of criticism which rendered Paris the arbitress of European taste has long since passed away, and English authors are far more disposed to look for a continental notoriety to the tribunals of Hamburgh and Vienna. At the same time, a juster distribution of power has brought with it a juster application of it. English literature has gained in originality as it has gained in independence. While French literature has received in compensation a far more philosophic appreciation than could have been bestowed on it by the fine gentlemen and fine ladies who, more than a century ago, spent their time in imitating the models of Voiture and Balzac, and in labouring to prove Boileau a greater critic than Horace.

We could not, perhaps, desire a better exemplification of what we have stated than the volumes we have placed at the head of this article. Mr. St. John takes up Montaigne, and waits upon his steps with sufficient cordiality to show that he at least can afford to reiterate the boast of that ancient sage, who, as Cicero tells us, when asked of what nation he was, proclaimed himself a citizen of the world, at the same time that he treats his subject with a discrimination that has, we believe, already received special acknowledgment the other side of the Channel. A writer, indeed, more generally adapted by all the advantages of education and early experience to do justice to the great creations of French intellect, it would be difficult to name at the moment; and though we may be naturally disposed to indulge in a little jealousy that such a writer should go abroad to seek materials to work on in defiance of pressing invitations at home, it is, nevertheless, with considerable satisfaction that we find him recording his intention of familiarizing by a series of works the popular mind of England with the productions of the fellow-countrymen of Rabelais and Rousseau.

There is one thing against which we would especially warn Mr. St. John in the commencement of his undertaking, and we warn him simply because we are loth that a writer of so much promise should involuntarily contract a habit which his better taste in its moments of vigilance would most certainly repudiate. We refer to an almost imperceptible inclination towards that most popular of all literary sins, book-making, the manufacture, in other words, of a given number of sheets, by a given time, on a given subject, a manufacture which, pushed to its utmost limits, threatens to renew among us all those bibliopolical abominations


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which we are accustomed to associate with the Fuidges of fiction and the Osbornes and Curls of history. It would be easy to exemplify the charge, but Mr. St. John will readily understand our meaning when we quote against him the words he has registered against Montaigne,' that, as his mind gets into play, • he sometimes sets down the most solid truths in brilliant lan

guage, and sometimes in the same tone communicates the most commonplace notions and most trivial theories. We are at a loss to understand how, except on some such principle as that we have condemned, a writer of any pretensions could in the midst of an animated discussion on the Reformation and the Revival of Letters be satisfied to tell his readers that the Republics of Italy disappeared solely on account of the corrupt neighbourhood of the Papacy, and that the prosperity of Switzerland mast be explained by its poverty.

A few slattern expressions which, as Mr. St. John has reserved the right of translation of his work, and thereby given promise that it will be translated, we should not like a foreigner to consider as the sterling coin of English phraseology, we must be hypercritical enough to notice. Such a vulgarism as the following should never have been transplanted from the Prentice's stall. * Italian cardinals of the sixteenth century much resembled in “their ways of going on Oriental kings. We protest, too, against the strange confusion of the physiological with the psychological suggested by the metonymy, - å very favourite one with Mr. St. John,-of men of the same kidney for men of the same habits or tastes. Montaigne somewhere in his Essays expresses an indifference to any other language but what is understood in the markets of Paris. We would not recommend his example for imitation. On the other hand, Mr. St. John can easily shape his expressions so as to avoid the reputation of what Montaigne calls after Zenon, a logophilus.

Montaigne's life, or rather his Essays, which embody the experience of his life and bear the same relation to his biography that Colley Cibber's Apology may be said to bear to his, is not so familiar in this country that a preliminary sketch of his career would be a work of supererogation. The various genealogical questions which Mr. St. John has handled with an industry worthy those biographers whom Rabelais represents as laboriously tracing their hero's origin to Noah,* we must pass over. Nor, we suspect, will our parsimony be regretted even by those who dissent from the poet's sneer, that

« 'Tis the most asinine employ on earth,

To hear one tell of parentage and birth.' * An heraldic absurdity realized in Andigier's work on The Origin of the French, publisbed in Paris 1676.


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His Father's Educational Theories.


Montaigne was born in his father's chateau of Montaigne, in Perigord, in the summer of the year 1533, a date which his biographers do not forget to notice as corresponding to sixty years after the discovery of printing, forty after the discovery of America, and fifteen after Luther began to preach his Reforms. Of his father it is necessary to say a few words.

He seems to have been a man of more than ordinarily eccentric proportions. Early in life he had taken part in those fierce campaigns in which the hordes of the North, headed by leaders more skilful and more unscrupulous than Alboin or Atilla, once more swept across the sunny landscapes of the Alps to ravage the homes of Italian civilization. He seems to have been present at that terrible siege, for which his son could find but a single parallel in the gloomy annals of war, when the citizens of Milan, driven to madness between the insults of Del Guasto and the perfidy of Bourbon, hurried from the precarious shelter of their grass-grown palaces to starve in wells or undergroundcellars, or to hide their outraged honour in the waters of the Olona.

The guerdons of military renown distributed with such lavish hands around him do not appear, however, to have aroused his chivalry. We soon after find him marrying and settling down at his ancestral estate, closing a career of continence so remarkable that his philosophic son has not forgotten to pay special tribute to it. But the old soldier had not yet relinquished his old habits. In all the scattered records that his son has left of his person and manners we readily trace the discipline of the camp. His face bronzed by the suns of a southern sky, reflected in its gravity the modesty and precision of his demeanour. His person, retaining the scrupulousness and neatness of the paradeground, was strong, well-knit and well-proportioned. A horror of anything approaching to effeminacy was one of his peculiar characteristics. To supply the deficiencies of nature, whether of mind or body, by a course of artificial training, was one of his peculiar crotchets. There still remained in the son's lifetime canes full of lead with which the sire was wont to exercise his arms for throwing the bar or the stone, and shoes with leaden heels to make him lighter for running or leaping. Miraculous stories of his powers of vaulting were current among the peasants of the Didoire, and, if we are to believe our only authority on the subject, many was the silken courtier from Paris or Navarre that might have seen the old man, now past threescore, throwing himself at a bound in his furred gown into the saddle, or making the tour of the table on his thumbs, or springing up the stairs three or four at a time with an agility unknown at the Louvre. A special subject of his ridicule, in spite of the stone, w ot physic, a contempt for which, inherited by his usually gr

natured representative, has supplied him with an opportunity of bequeathing to posterity all the collected raillery of antiquity, from Herodotus and Plato to Dion and Stobæus. The household of the Sieur Montaigne did not, as a matter of course, escape the influence of this philosophic devotion to rules and regulations. The son, indeed, more than once pronounces his distaste for all domestic avocation. Sallust had declared it to be a servile employment. The younger Pliny had called it a base and abject care to be left to servants. Accordingly, he made it a point not to know how his steward disbursed his revenues, how much his lacquey gave for his stuffs, how his gardener ordered his vines, or his cook dressed his meats. Not so the father. Not a disbursement was made, however small, not an account rendered, that was not duly registered in the day-book, and handed to the special care of a bailiff. In addition to this a journal was at hand under the supervision of a secretary, dedicated to the reception of remarkable occurrences, the change of a groom, the death of a child, the marriage of a tenant, the visit of a critic from Holland, or a cavalier from Pau.

This was not all, however. His travels from Italy had brought him into contact with the little Court at Navarre, where the sister of Francis was wont to flee the irksome magnificence of St. Germains to write novels in imitation of Boccacio, or sonnets in the spirit of the Encomium More. The associations acquired at Nerac were duly transplanted to the pumpkin-beds of Montaigne. Francis the First, among his other pretensions to grandeur, affected to rival the Cosmos in his patronage of letters, reared palaces for Primaticio and Il Rossi to adorn and decorate, established factories to rival the looms of Flanders, collected rare manuscripts, lavished his Tournois Sols on Greek savants and Venetian carvers, and spent the moments he could snatch from toying with the Duchess D'Estampes or arranging the next pageant, in criticising the designs of Finiguerra and Cellini, and contemplating the golden-haired madonnas of Da Vinci. Patronage had become accordingly a fashion, and the fashion set by the monarch had bitten his Perigordian subject. The house of the Bordeaux Prevot soon became as notorious as Fontainbleau or Blois. Learned strangers from across the frontier readily took their host's queer theories and bad Spanish in return for a liberty of discussion denied them by the Sorbonne.

The result of all this was, a new idiosyncrasy developed itself. The veteran became a scholar, and the combination of the two characters in one immediately displayed itself in the training of his third son. As might have been expected, the exigencies of

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