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arise from a supposed connexion with the preceding Volumes, the Publisher announces, that a New Series of the Work commenced on January last. The preceding ten Volumes may be had complete of him, or of the former Publishers.
18, St. Paul's Church Yard,
July 1; 1814.
FOR JANUARY, 1814.
Art. I. De L'Allemagne. Par Mde. La Baronne de Staël Holstein.
3 tom. 8vo. pp. xxi. 1176. Price 11. 16s. Paris, H. Nicolle, 1810. Ré-imprimé Par John Murray, Londres. 1813. THE “long-suppressed work of Mad. de Staël” has for
some months been an object of curiosity to the literary ; and we hasten, as soon as possible after its publication, to lay before our readers the history of its suppression, and an analysis of its' contents.
In 1810, the author put her work into the hands of the publisher; and shortly afterwards there appeared an edict, bearing-that no work should be printed, until it had been examined by the inquisitors of the press; that, after such examination, if the work was approved, the hook-sellers might have it printed; but that still it should be in the power of the Minister of Police to suppress it, should he judge it necessary. The work was, accordingly, submitted to
the inquisitors : they struck out divers passages, and permitted the rest to pass.
Ten thousand copies had been struck off; and the book was on the eve of publication, when General Savary, Minister of Police, sends his “gens-d'armes" to the house of Mr. Nicolle, the publisher, with orders to destroy the whole edition. At the same time Mad. de Staël receives a letter from the “police générale," politely intimating that the air of France does not seem to agree with her,' and that eight days is the very utmost that can be allowed her to make the necessary arrangements for a journey of health. "Not that she is to look for the origin of this order in the silence which she has observed in her VOL. XI.
work with respect to the Emperor. No; there is no place there good enough for him :' but the book is not French.'
It is now published as it was originally written, with the passages that were struck out by the inquisitors marked with inverted commas. • It is curious,' says she, "to shew what kind of a work may now draw down in France, the most cruel persecution on its author.' From this very persecution, however, the volumes acquire an additional interest. We naturally take the part of an injured person, of a woman and a mother, driven into exile, and experiencing that utter desolation of mind which she had so prophetically and so feelingly described.
• It is in vain,' says she, 'that the judgement would estimate impartially our native country, the affections will not be detached from it; and when we are constrained to quit it, existence seems torn up by the roots, and we become strangers to ourselves. The simplest customs, the most intimate connections, the weightiest interests, the most insignificant pleasures, -all be longed to our country, but belong to it no more. We meet no
can talk with us of former times, no one who seems to identify the past with the present: life begins again, but the flexibility of early years returns not; we world, with a heart anchanged. Thus in exile we are condemned to survive ourselves.' I. 123.
But our readers may like to some of the interdicted passages. After quoting them, any remarks on the freedom of the French press would be superfluous.
• We do not, I suppose, wish to raise round the literature of France the great wall of China, to hinder all foreign notions from penetrating to us.' I. 6.
After his death (Joseph II,) nothing of all his establishments remained. I. 58.
• The ascendancy of French manners has perhaps prepared foreigners to think Frenchmen invincible. There is but one means of resisting this ascendancy, and that is fixed national habits and manners.' I. 86.
• A lively female said, " that of all the places in the world, Paris was the one where you could most easily manage without happiness. »»* I. 101.
•Good taste in literature is, in some respects, like order under a despotic government ; we ought to consider at what price we buy it.' I. 358.
* Suppressed,' says Mde. de S., under the pretenoe that there is now so much happiness in Paris, that there can be no need of managing without it."
• A man may bring together discordant elements, but at his death they separate. I. 146.
It could not be expected that subjects thus kidnapped'-as the Poles by Frederick of Prussia-should remain faithful to the robber that called himself their sovereign.' I. 147.
Oh, France ! land of glory and of love! if ever enthusiasm should perish on thy soil, if calculation should dispose of every thing, and reason alone inspire thee with contempt of danger, of what avail then would be thy soft sky, thy fertile fields, thy brilliant geniuses ? Active intellect, and an impetuosity directed by wisdom would still indeed render thee mistress of the world ; but thou wouldst only leave there the vestiges of a sand-torrent, terrible as the waves, and arid as the desert. III. 416.
In some of these passages there is evidently too striking an allusion to the upstart nature of Napoleon's empire, and to the slavery to which Frenchmen are reduced, to be allowed to pass the inquisitorial tribunal : but, after these have all been expunged, still
, in the opinion of the Duke of Rovigo, the work is not French. Considering the meaning which his highness must affix to the word French, the book will not, on this account, be less acceptable to Englishmen.
The first thing that strikes the reader is the vagueness and generality of the title,—On Germany.' On the natural history of Germany? or the politicks of Germany? or the literature of Germany ? We will solve these questions by endeavouring to give our readers some idea of what a similar work, De l’Angleterre,' might be. The au-thor, then, after some general remarks, on the natural appearance of England, and on the manners of Englishmen and Englishwomen, would proceed to speak of England properly so called,- of London, - of society and conversation there, of the English as a conversational language,-of disdainful folly, and benevolent mediocrity,—of Scotland, - Edinburgh,Ireland,—Dublin,-English Universities,-Bell and Lancaster; --and would conclude the first part with an account of our manner of celebrating the fifth of November. The second part would bring us to literature and the arts; and, after having enquired into the cause of Voltaire's slight opinion of our literature, * we should run quickly over,-Spenser,-Milton,
• Que l'Angleterre se contente de ses grands hommes en tant de genres ; elle a assez de gloire ; le patrie du Prince Noir & de Newton peut se passer du mérite des Sophocle, des Zeuxis, des Phidias, des Timotheus, qui lui manquent encore.'
Lettre de Voltaire à l'Academie Franeçaise. We will not be guilty of translating this literary blasphemy,
Beaumont and Fletcher, - Shakespeare, - versification, poetry in general, ---classical and romantic poetry,-Englislı poetry,—taste,-and then proceed, with more circumspection and more at our leisure, to the dramatic art; epitomize and criticize Lear and Othello, Hamlet and Macbeth, Henrys the fourth, fifth, and eighth, Julius Cæsar and Cymbeline, Coriolanus and Timon, — with manifold quotations, and immense admiration : then, again, the Orphan, and Venice Preserved, the Fair Penitent, and the Gamester,--still epitomizing, quoting, and admiring : then to comedy,-acting and Mrs. Siddons,-romances,-history, criticism,--and the fine arts. The third part would comprise philosophy and morals; and here the bill of fare would run-philosophy, German, French, English philosophy, — Reid, - philosophers before and after Reid, — influence of the commonsense philosophy on the developement of the mind,-on the sciences,-on literature and the arts,-on the character of the English. Systent of utility in morals,-Paley,-scientific murals — Godwin,-Caleb Williams-love in the marriage state,-ignorance and frivolity in relation to inorals. The last part would be on religion, and would consider religion in general, and some of the principal sects in England.
A plan like this, the reader will see, where the writer seems less guided, as to the space she shall bestow upon any thing, by the relative importance of the subject, than by her own feelings at the moment, or by her ability of saying something upon it, certainly affords facilities of making a book, but does not seem highly satisfactory or philosophical. No less than a quarter of the work is occupied by analyses of, and extracts from, the German drama, while the fine arts are shut up in twenty pages, and the historians in thirteen. But we will not prejudge the book.
The first part begins with a chapter on the general appearance of Germany.' It is rather poetical than any thing else.
• The countries,' she says, through which the Rhine flows are almost every where beautiful: one might imagine this river to be the tutelary genius of Germany; its waves are pure, rapid and majestic as the life of an ancient hero : the Danube is divided into many branches; the Elbe and the Spree are easily roughened by the storm; the Rhine alone is almost unalterable. The countries that it washes are at the same time so solemn and so varied, so fertile and so so. litary, that one might be tempted to believe that it cultivates them itself, unaided by the hand of man. This river murmurs, as it passes, the high achievements of other times, and the shade of Arminius seems yet to wander on the steep and broken shore.' I. 10.