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cies to the father than to the mother, and Sainte-Beuve, although naturally who watched over him from infancy and anxious to prove a connection with the was domesticated with him till her death Doctor Jacques de Sainte - Beuve who at the advanced age of eighty-six. He figures in his 'Port Royal,' failed in carseems to have shared and encouraged rying his pedigree higher up than his this theory; for when it was the fashion to grandfather, a comptroller of taxes at celebrate mothers, when Victor Hugo and Aix. He therefore took his part bravely, Lamartine were emulously eloquent about and openly repudiated the pretension he theirs, the combined inspiration of filial was unable to make good. Not being gratitude and example could only extort noble,' he wrises, 'I did not choose to from Sainte-Beuve a meagre and solitary give myceli the air of being so.' Just so tribute to his. Coupling her with an old Béranger : aunt whom he had just seen laid in her
*Hé quoi! J'apprends que l'on critique coffin, he exclaims :
Le de qui précède mon nom.
Etes-vous de noblesse antique ? Elle m'aimait pourtant-et ma mère aussi
Moi, noble? Oh! vraiment, messieurs, non. m'aime, Et ma mère à son tour mourra.'
Je suis vilain, et très-vilain.' This contrasts strangely with the lines To adopt Sainte-Beuve's own account in which he refers to his father :
in his Autobiography Mon père ainsi sentait. Si, né dans sa mort ‘My mother without fortune, and a sister of même,
my father, who joined her, brought me up. I Ma mémoire n'eut pas son image suprême, followed my studies at the pension of M. Il m'a laissé du moins son âme et son esprit, Bleriot, at Boulogne. I had terminated the Et son goût tout entier, à chaque marge écrit.' entire course, including my rhetoric, at thirteen
and a-half. But I well knew all that was wantThe father was a man of cultivated ing in me, and I desired my mother to send me taste and (for his means) a liberal pur- to Paris, although this was a great sacrifice on chaser of books; two or three of which
account of her small means. he left covered with marginal notes, ber, 1818, and since this time, saving rare ab
'I came to Paris for the first time in Septemshowing discrimination and research. His sences, I have never ceased to inhabit it. I memory reflected honor on his descend- was put to board with M. Landry, Rue de la ant, and he was no longer present in the Cerisaie. M. Landry, formerly professor of flesh with those outward and visible Louis-le-Grand, mathematician and philosomarks of straitened circumstances which and met at it from the first his favorite friends,
pher, was a freethinker. I dined at his table, are trying to fastidiousness or wounding the academician Picard amongst others. I to self-love. The mother, on the other was treated as a big boy, as a little man.' hand, was simply a warm - hearted,
During his first year at this boarding homely, affectionate creature, who was house he was a student at the Collége hard pressed to provide for his material Charlemagne, where he gained the first wants. He is always without socks,' prize for history: during the second, he was her recorded exclamation to a fe- completed his second course of rhetomale friend. As he grew to man's estate, ric at the Collége Bourbon, where he she was sorely disquieted by his more gained the first prize for Latin verse. ambitious yearnings. She regarded literature as a precarious and unprofitable
‘But I was already emancipated. In doing trade, and never felt confident of his my philosophy under M. Damiron, I hardly be
lieved in it. Enjoying full liberty at my penposition till he was elected of the Acad- sion, because I did not abuse it, I went every emy. Instead of consulting her, as evening to the Athénée, Rue de Valois, at the Molière consulted his old woman,
Palais Royal, from seven to eight, to follow the wont to treat superciliously any opinion ural history, of MM. Magendie, Robiquet, de
courses of physiology, chemistry, and natshe ventured to express on topics not
Blainville, and hear literary lectures, &c. I lying within her peculiar province as was there presented to M. de Tracy. I had a housekeeper.
decided taste for the study of medicine. My In more than one official document, his mother came then to settle in Paris, and, lodgfather is inscribed as de Sainte-Beuve, ing with her, I followed the course of the
School (of Medicine).' but there is no proof that the noble prefix was otherwise adopted by him; it This was in June, 1823. Besides atwas clearly never used by the mother, tending medical lectures, he. (in English
phrase) walked the hospitals for nearly whether he should adopt medicine or three years; and there can be no doubt literature as a profession.
In 1827, that his anatomical studies strengthened, Dubois, the professor under whom he if they did not found or form, the marked had studied at the College Charlemagne, leaning towards materialism which he founded the 'Globe,' invited him to subsequently avowed. 'I began frankly become a contributor, and took considand bluntly by the most advanced eigh- erable pains to train him as a journalist. teenth century, by Tracy, Daunon, 'He tried me with a number of small Lamarck, and the physiology; there is articles. They are signed S. B., and it my veritable ground (fonds). It was is easy for any biographer to follow my said of Tracy that he blushed to believe, tentative beginnings. One day, Dubois and cared only to know; and the apos- said to me, “Now you know how to write, trophe placed in the mouth of the old and you can go alone." His success in savant by M. Octave Feuillet (in 'Re- this line was apparently not marked demption') breathed the true spirit of enough to decide his future career till an the school: 'How should I help believ- incident occurred, which threw a fresh ing in the immortal soul? I have touch- and preponderating influence into the ed it with my finger.' We agree with scale and speedily caused medicine to M. d'Haussonville, that it was almost a kick the beam. There are two vermatter of course that a disposition like sions. Victor Hugo's is, that one mornSainte-Beuve's should be warped bying as he was at breakfast, the sersuch pursuits. 'One must have the vant announced M. Sainte-Beuve, and soul and the intellect singularly inclined showed in a young man, a stranger, who to spiritualism not to feel an involuntary introduced himself as a neighbor and trouble in presence of the mysterious writer for the 'Globe,' ready and willing phenomena that physiological science to undertake a continuation of the reveals to our researches. When we see, articles (already commenced by another), palpitating under the dissecting-knife, on the poet's Cromwell.'* The interthe organs in which life appears to be view,' it is added, ' was a very agreeable concentrated, we may sometimes be one on both sides, and promises of a retempted to forget that the principle and newal of intercourse were exchanged.' the source of life are elsewhere.' There Sainte-Beuve disputes the accuracy of is ample proof, however, that Sainte- this circumstantial narrative. He says Beuve had too much spiritualism or that, Dubois having commissioned him poetry in his nature to adopt implicitly to review Victor Hugo's 'Odes et the hard cold doctrine of the Tracy Ballades,' he wrote (January 2nd and gth, school. At the Landry boarding-house 1827) two articles which attracted the he had formed a life-long friendship with notice of Goethe : Eustache Barbe, afterwards the 'Abbé
'I had then no acquaintance with Victor Barbe, with whom he kept up an unin- Hugo. We were near neighbors without terrupted correspondence of the most knowing it. He came to thank me for the arconfidential kind, exhibiting all the us- ticles, without finding me. The next day, or cillations of his mind on religious sub
the day after, I called on him, and found him jects. In a letter to this friend, about have been painted in lively colors in " Victor
at breakfast. This little scene, and my entrée, the time when he spoke of the eighteenth Hugo, raconté." But, it is not accurate to say century as his fonds, he writes :—'You that I came to offer to place the “Globe” ai his tell me that the Government is a power disposal. From my youth upwards I have unexercised by Ministers, which is very digne.
derstood criticism differently: modeste, mais true; and you add, Power emanating waited for people to come to me.
I have never offered myself, I have
Dating írom from God alone. Undoubtedly this
this day, began my initiation into the romantic power comes from God in the sense school of poets. Till then I was sufficiently that all comes from Him, and that antipathic, on account of the royalism and the He is the source of all; but I believe' mysticism, which I did not share. I had even
written in the “Globe" a severe article on the —and he then proceeds to show why he “Cinq Mars ” of M. de Vigny, shocked by does not believe in Right Divine.
the falsehood of its historic side. It was in this Contemporaneous with this mental struggle between faith and reason, was
* Victor Hugo, raconté par un Témoin de another intimately connected with it
same year that I left the study of medicine. lishing that they had hit upon the veriI had been élève externe at the hospital Saint table tradition of French poetry from Louis. I had a chamber there, and was regu
which the classicists had been the first lar in my attendance. Finding it easier to make my way in the career of literature, I took to stray. In thus reverting to the bards to it.'
of the olden time as the true sources of
inspiration, Sainte-Beuve, consciously or The intimacy with Victor Hugo grew unconsciously, was following in the track rapidly, and he became a welcome mem- of the leaders of the same school in ber of the coterie called Le Cénacle (the Germany, the Schlegels and Tieck, guest-chamber), composed of poets or whose views were amusingly paraphrased poetasters, painters and sculptors, who by Henri Heine. Our poetry,' he makes claimed a monopoly of French genius them say, 'is antiquated; our muse is and, taken at their word, had almost all an old woman with a distaff; our hero of them a masterpiece in preparation or no fair boy, but a shrivelled dwarf with conception. Lamartine, Alfred de Vigny, grey hair; our feelings are withered, our Alfred de Musset, David d'Angers, Louis fancy is dried up; we must refresh ourBoulanger, and the two Deschamps were selves; we must seek out the neglected of the number. They met constantly at fountains of the naïve simple poetry of Victor Hugo's, where they called one the middle ages; there the draught of another by their Christian names. In- renovation bubbles up for us.' Their deed, the tone of familiarity became so disciples, he adds, hurried off at once general and so catching, that he was to these wondrous springs, where they compelled to issue a peremptory injunc- sipped, and gulped, and swallowed with tion to prevent Madame, his wife, from such extraordinary zest, that it chanced being addressed as Adèle. A spark of to them as to the elderly waiting-woman jealousy or rivalry would occasionally who drank so much of the elixir of flash out in a sarcasm, as when Emile Des- youth on her mistress's dressing-table, champs said of a rising light, 'That poet that she not only became young again have a star! Say rather a taper (bougie).” but was turned into a little child. But they presented a united front to the Sainte-Beuve laid himself equally outer or philistine world : forming a kind open to raillery, when, instead of relying of Mutual Admiration Company (Un- on the simple touches of fancy and feeling, limited) and animated by the spirit which the graces snatched beyond the reach of originated La Camaraderie of Scribe. art, the native wood-notes wild, of the early
George Smythe (Lord Strangford) used unsophisticated poets, he adduced their to describe a scene at one of the Young irregularities to justify the licences in England breakfast-tables, to which the which the modern renovators of art and editor of a daily paper had been invited literature systematically indulged. There in the hope of enlisting his services in was a line, however, beyond which he
He was explaining how far refused to go along with the new school. his political notions agreed with theirs, The unrestrained admiration which he when one of them broke in : 'This is bestowed on their lyrical productions was all very well, but when do you intend not extended to their dramas : he was to better us?'
It may be suspected a classicist on the stage; and his sympathat the same question was put to thies were not with the party who, after Sainte-Beuve by more than one of the the first representation of Henri Trois' eager aspirants to immortality with at the Français, formed a ring in the whom he was now associated. Nor was foyer and danced round the bust of h: slow in responding to the call. Be- Racine, shouting Enfoncé Racine ! Ensides ringing the praises of the most dis- foncé Racine ! tinguished members of the school, he un- There was a suppressed bitterness in dertook a series of articles on Ronsard the smile with which Alfred de Vigny and the French poetry of the sixteenth listened to some female admirers who, century, with the avowed object of dis- when he was meditating a rivalry with covering in the older poets the (to bor- Milton, cried out in churus, 'Oh, give row M. d'Haussonville's apt expression) us more Cinq Mars; that is your line.' ancestors of the romanticists, of draw- Sainte-Beuve would have received much ing up their genealogical tree, and estab- in the same manner the compliments and
congratulations of friends on his having know not what ideal of marriage, in which the hit upon his own richest vein in criticism.
sacrament should count for nothing. He reHis destiny, he fully believed, was to
quired a Mademoiselle de Chaux, a Mademoi
selle de Lespinasse, or a Lodosska.' achieve immortality as a poet : he was burning to enter the lists with the most
He kept a journal, almost all the pages brilliant of his associates, and early in of which are dated at night, like the 1829 he came before the public with the prayers of Dr. Johnson and the poems first of his original compositions, entitled of the unhappy Kirke White.'' One * Vie, Poésies et Pensées de Joseph evening, as he was returning to his humDelorme.” This Joseph Delornie, he ble and elevated abode on the fifth story states in his autobiography, without by moonlight he caught himself murmurbeing identically himself as to bio- ing and intoning plaints which resemble
Then the long-hidden truth graphical circumstances, was faithfully yerses. his moral image.' We therefore turn broke upon him; science was not his
He read over to the “Vie’ to verify his moral image strong point : verse was. or ascertain at least what sort of moral again with candor and simplicity those image he deemed likely to conciliate melodious poetical lamentations which favor for the ‘Poésies' reflecting it.
he had once treated with mockery. Joseph Delorme, then, is a moody, * The idea of being associated with those sickly, wayward lad, who-a common- chosen beings who sing their sufferings here place thing enough in precocious boys manner, smiled on him in the depths of his
below, and of groaning harmoniously after their passes most of his time in day-dreaming. wretchedness, and set him up again a little. His place of refuge from haunting fan- Art, no doubt, went for nothing in his first atcies was the church, and he found tempts. He desired merely to tell himself his strength and comfort morning and sufferings faithfully, and to tell them in verse. evening in long prayers. His school tive ; he thought only of living as the condays were marked by displays which demned of yesterday who is to die to-morrow, betokened a brilliant career. 'If, on
and to lull himself with monotonous songs to leaving school, he had given way un
put death to sleep.' reservedly to his literary and poetical ten- To carry out this purpose of dying dencies, no doubt, we think, he would like the fabled swan, he shut himself in a have succeeded to his heart's desire; garret and passed his time between fainthe would have found in his virgin soul ing-fits and frenzies, his chief trouble sufficient energy for all; his obscure name being the occasional recurrence of would now be linked to more works reason, which, prowling round him like than one.' Unluckily the genial current a phantom, and accompanying him to of his virgin soul was stopped or frozen the abyss with a lurid glare, suggested by science. Abjuring his Christian the agreeable image of drowning with a creed, he gave himself up to the im- lantern round one's neck. piety of the eighteenth century, or Joseph retired last summer to a little vilrather to the sombre and mystic adora- lage near Meudon. He died there, some time tion of nature, which, with Diderot and in October, of a pulmonary cough, complicatHolbach, almost resembles a religion.' ed, it is believed, by an affection of the heart.
A melancholy consolation for us mingles with He would have scrupled to set foot in a
the reflection on so premature an end. If the church, and on coming home on a Sun- malady had been prolonged some time more, day evening, he would have walked a it is to be feared that he would not have waited league to throw into the hat of a pauper its effects ; at least, in reading the collection, the savings of a week. He was ready
it can scarcely be doubted that he secretly
nourished a sinister thought.' for any amount of sacrifice. He abruptly broke off his visits to a charming
In 1829, when these · Poésies' were young person with whom he might hope, published, Sainte-Beuve had outlived his at the end of some years, a suitable own analogous struggles and delusions : union.
he may have suffered from poverty or
disappointments of the heart, but, al‘But his rather rude (un peu farouche) phil- though below the middle height, he was anthropy dreaded to be permanently imprison- of strong, healthy make, especially as ed in too contracted affections, or, as has been said, in an égoïsme à deux personnes. Moreover, regards chest and lungs. It is hardly he had formed for himself a perspective of conceivable, therefore, that he should
have selected such a character for his on it. Pleasure boats, carrying laughing poetical début. This diluted mixture of friends, approach and hail him as they Byronism and Wertherism, of Chatterton pass. He smiles a pitying smile at their and Rousseau, of maudlin sentiment and lightness of heart, emblematic of human perverted imagination, has not even the folly; but resolves to wait till a wandering poor merit of novelty. It the cloud shall momentarily obscure the malady of the generation. A diseased sun. liver, a heart complaint, or a hectic
Ce sera l'heure alors..... Et quand, d'un cough, was mistaken by intense vanity
flot docile for an infallible proof of genius, and Mollement ramenés vers un retour facile morbid self-consciousness sought notori- Et poussés par le flux, ety in default of fame, at the first grave
Les joyeux promeneurs regagneront la terre,
Celui que, le matin, ils virent solitaire, check or mortification, in suicide. It was
Ils ne le verront plus.' in the height of this mania that two young men, named Lebras and Escousse, In ‘Les Rayons Jaunes' (which, he on the failure of a small piece at the says, in a note, provoked more criticisms Gaîté, put an end to their lives by char- and epigrams than any piece in the colcoal. I request,' writes Escousse, “that lection) the golden tints of evening, as the journals which announce my death he sits at his window, recall how everywill add this declaration : "Escousse thing looked yellow when he attended killed himself because he felt that his chapel as a child. But, alas! the time place was not here; because he wanted has come, when, let things look as yellow force at every step he took, before or as they would, they could not bring back behind ; because the love of glory did the trusting piety of youth. The scene not sufficiently animate his soul-if soul is the aunt's funeral :: he had."' One of the journalists who
* Le cercueil arriva, qu'on mesura de l'aune. complied with the request, retorted :
J'étais là . . . . puis, autour,, des cierges Madman, you die non pas parce que la brûlaient jaune, gloire vous manque, mais parce que vous
Des prêtres priaient bas. manques à la gloire." Beranger aggravat
Mais en vain je voulais dire l'hymne dernière :
Mon @il était sans larme et ma voix sans ed the evil by embalming their memory
prière, in a sonnet:
Car je ne croyais pas.' 'Quoi, morts tous deux ! dans cette chambre
Why the coffin on its arrival should be close Où du charbon pèse encore la vapeur !
measured with the aune, except to get a Leur vie, hélas, était à peine éclose.
rhyme for jaune, is not self-evident. The Suicide affreux ! triste objet de stupeur ! dreary future in store for him is summed Et vers le ciel, se frayant un chemin.
up in two lines :Ils sont partis en se donnant la main.' “Jamais sur mon tombeau ne jaunira la rose, Starting for heaven in the same fash
Ni le jaune souci.' ion, and probably in the same doubt about There are some verses of a later period a soul, a notary's clerk left a piece of pa- in a healthier spirit and more elevated per declaring that he quitted the world tone, as when the shade of Milton appears because, having duly calculated and con- and calls on him to lay aside vain fancies sidered, he did not think it possible for and idle plaints for the serious business him to be so great a man as Napoleon.' of life.
The best (or worst) half of Joseph Delorme's poetry is pervaded by the 'Et moi, rêvais-je alors qu'Albion en colère, same tone of feeling and of thought, if
Pareille à l'Océan qui irrite et bondit,
Loin d'elle rejetait la race impopulaire it can be called thought. In Le Du tyran qu'elle avait maudit ? Suicide,' Charles ascends a rock over
Il fallut oublier les mystiques tendresses, hanging the sea, with the view of taking a
Et les sonnets d'amour, dits à l'écho des bois, plunge into eternity. He looks round,
Il fallut, m'arrachant à mes douces tristesses,
Corps à corps combattre les rois.' prospect brightens as he gazes
Sainte-Beuve's place in the Cénacle is Vol. i., Book i., 'Vanity;' Bulwer's (Lord Dalling's)“ France.' 1834. indicated by Alfred de Musset, in his
Stanzas to Charles Nodier :