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exigencies of this character, and at present-for it is to Europeans the Abbé's argument is directed --no nation has left its poor worse than the beasts that perish. But if any thing could still further heighten our contempt for this philanthropist of the Jean Jacques Rousseau school it would be, we must give it its proper designation, the following deliberate lie.
“ What have they left you of all that he (the Deity) has given you ? Not even a drop of sea-water. They prohibit you from taking it. It belongs to the treasury : it is not yours.”
It would be a waste of our readers' time were we to go upon the crude generalities of the Abbé, such as “ Croyez ce que croit le genre humain.”—p. 148. Do so, and become Mahometan or Buddhist. This from a Churchman! But we will give the Abbé one advantage, he does speak among the duties of life respectfully of marriage.
Marriage is not an arbitrary institution. It is the physical and moral union of one man and one woman, who thus become one person ; and all injury offered to marriage, to its unity, its holiness, is a violation of natural law, a senseless rebellion against the Creator, a source of miseries and disorders innumerable."-p. 117.
These words might well cause a blush in modern legislators who degrade marriage to a civil contract to please the Unitarian; who sink it below even the polygamist Milton's notion, and deem the bare sanction of the magistrate hardly necessary for the rite. The height of Liberalism in even our distinguished Abbé scarcely mounts to this. But we cannot conclude, after giving M. L'Abbé credit on the only point on which he deserves it, without animadverting on one passage of singular strain and wondrous bearing.
“ The existence of all creatures is dependent on others. There must, in order to effect this subsistence, pass between them a constant transfusion of their being. What is life?- Receiving.-What is death ? Giving !"
Here we have a modern Liberal running round the entire circle of absurdity, and then at last fixing on the metempsychosis. Unfortunate quadrupeds ! who quiver under the blows of those wretches your masters, whose hard existence is devoted to toil, and who masticate by base and unnatural habitude only the thorn and the thistle, show your understandings to the modern Pythagoras and learn of his kindred spirit that ye err in all your notions of pain and pleasure. Your masters are only occupied in the i transfusion de l'être." For you, what is Existence?-Receiving blows :- What is Death ? - Your last kick!
To much of what this writer has to urge argument of a more serious character than the above is scarcely applicable. The “Pa. roles d'un Croyant" may be described as partaking of the same affectation of Christianity and positive democratic devotedness as the " Livre du Peuple.” The 13th chapter will amply demonstrate this. In it there are described seven kings seated on seven iron thrones gorging themselves with human blood from a skull, with blasphemies too shocking to quote, abolishing religion, together with science and reflection, nay even thought. Their next step is to excite divisions every where, to derive therefrom consolidation to the regal power. Terror is next proposed, and the executioner is pronounced the king's prime-minister. Corruption of all morality is then essayed; and lastly, the priests of the Christian faith are represented as brought over to the rulers, to make the people passively obedient to all that their magnates say and do. And all this is represented as the picture of rule and the Christian priesthood, one of which body th bé hiniself was, we will not say is, for he has anathematized himself, he is self-excommunicated. The intention, the fearful animus, the views of this writer, are perfectly appalling, and the more so because masked under terms of gentleness, and clothed with Scripture for their purpose. The fearful immorality of the liberal school in master and scholars is, we think, pretty well developed; but will it be credited that there are in the land of these writers two persons who have published their deliberate literary conviction that the Abbé does not go far enough? One of these is a woman, a worthy descendant of the Poissardes of the Revolution ; the other a philosopher. We simply recommend the lady even to continue the publication of novels which most men would blush to write, rather than venture on shielding beneath the pown this un-gowned Churchman. But with the philosopher we shall deal less sparingly. He seems one of that classe peu nombreuse, thank heaven! who think religion good, but philosophy far better. Seeing the religious aspect of the Abbé somewhat soiled, he proceeds to furbish him out with philosophy in place of religion. We do not trace any sign of the times with more alarming characters, than this disposition in the literary world to place philosophy on the throne of deposed Christianity. It is to Lerminier and writers of his class that we direct these observations, and that we may not be deemed uncandid or illiberal we adduce his own expressions. They form part of a reply to George Sand, alias Madame Dudevant, in the Revue des deux Mondes:—“ Consider it, Madame, as a fixed principle, that there is in the rear of every religion a philosophic tradition which both supports religion and exceeds it." It is the simple faith of England that religion is equal to all the present and future exigencies of man.
It is believed here that there is no philosophy, worthy the name, that contradicts Christianity when
NO. XLI. VOL. XXI.
rightly understood. Lerminier thinks a moral philosophy far superior to the Bible and more likely to effect his end; and to this he seeks to win the Romish renegade:
“ The true La Mennais in my eyes is not a marshalled democrat, who writes useful things doubtless, but which others could write like him. He is that extraordinary and fatal man that ancient Catholicism has lost, and philosophical genius must pervade more and more. He is that ultramontane theologian half-converted, whom I described in 1832. He is the revolutionary, whom I defended in 1834 against his adversaries, and whom I called with reason the only priest of Europe, (for he was still a priest,) daring to rise against the rulers and even disowning the power of the Pope. Finally, he is the author of the Book of the People, who strips off before bim Catholicism as an encumbering vestment, who notwithstanding still calls himself a Christian, and from whom I think it fair to demand what is his Christianity."
A home question: and we think it only right to state that the Christianity of the Abbé differs from any other. The Philosopher after this withering question goes on to develope that the philosophy which the Abbé ought to teach should be quite clear of the duties of existence. Different from the glorious son of Sophroniscus and our own Paley, this Philosopher counts morality a dead letter as well as religion :
“ M. La Mennais shows himself in the ' Livre du Peuple' a democrat Christian; he has (quel horreur!) if I may use the expression, stitched together a page of the catechism with a shred from the Contrat Social of Rousseau. Is this association just ? Does not the last portion of the work (the moral duties) destroy the first ? We presume this is what La Mennais means, though he says the
To exculpate M. L'Abbé from this weighty charge, we make an extract in order to prove to the philosopher's satisfaction that La Mennais is not so deeply attached to the duties of life as he supposes. Satan--for whose society the Abbé manifests considerable predilection, and who figures away in vision upon vision :-(We observe by the bye that a vision is most convenient for representing matters in that confusion and mist which distinguish the Abbé; and we have at least six rivalling even the Prophet of Mecca :)-Satan counsels the kings of the earth to arm men against their parents and brethren. " I will make them two idols, Honour and Fidelity, and a law which they shall call Passive Obedience.” After honour and fidelity are thus disposed of, together with the obedience of the subject, and assigned as the Devil's deed, we think the philosopher must indeed be acerb who can blame the Abbé as too rigorously insisting on the moral duties.
Let no one think the Abbé a common personage. We point
him fearlessly as a singular phenomenon, and we shall not feel surprised at a few more phases being yet apparent over this lunatic luminary. The ultra-Abbé has an Ate still stirring him to further strife, a deluding demon of a philosopher, a Mephistopheles urging on our aged Faustus to more mysticism and deeper blasphemy. Madame Dudevant is indignant with the unfortunate Abbé because his Christianity is not sufficiently Pantheistic; the philosopher, that he has not gone deeper into his mysteries. The juste milieu the poor Abbé cannot attain. Again, the lady and
the philosopher differ in their definition of the word People. The philosopher excludes the labouring classes from the implication, including the Bourgeoisie within the general term.
The lady is for throwing these last entirely out of the question, and the philosopher then contends that the title of the Abbé's book should be altered to the « Livre du Pauvre ou du Proletaire." We are impartial, and must say that the lady, if left to herself, would succeed in doing as much mischief as the other two. She speaks mighty slightingly of the value of philosophy.
“You tell us that philosophy is on good terms with herself, and does not much interest herself in mankind, who are not sufficiently philosopbical to feel as she does. We wish to know what this modern philosophy is, of which we here suspected the existence, and in the participation of whose benefits we should feel a degree of jealousy."
The philosopher blames the Abbé for inculcating a foi personelle without any definitions, and reasonably. The Abbé demands more of his disciples than Rome or Protestantism attempts to exact. They have each their formulary, but the Abbé does not excel in definitions. Awful bodements to the Abbé-neophyte may also be gathered from his already quoted address.
" Since the Abbé has withdrawn himself from Catholicism, he fatally pertains to philosophy, but this fatality, glorious for him, must gain ampler development.”-i, e. revolution !
We must now sum up our estimate of M. La Mennais. With much apparent earnestness but no sincerity; much of display but little sound learning ; dogmatory without knowledge, declamatory without zeal, and copious and fluent without real eloquence or vital warmth : assuming, insidious, superficial, ill-judging, inconsiderate, interested, and vain : a mere dreamer in action, and opposed to society simply because unpurchased by it:the Abbé is neither worth buying over, nor converting, nor answering-for he misleads, misapprehends, misapplies everything. Common sense would extinguish, and only idiots meddle with, this lighted firebrand, courting a purchaser. His admirers, in or out of St. Luke's, may well deem him invaluable; for, in truth,--What is he worth?
Art. VIII.-1. Waldemar den Store og hans Maend.
Digt. (Waldemar the Great and his Men. An Epic Poem.)
By B. S. Ingemann. 8vo. Kjöbenhavn. 1824. 2. Valdemar Seier. En Historisk Roman. (Waldemar the
Victorious. An Historical Novel.) By B. S. Ingemann.
3 vols. 8vo. Kjöbenhavn. 1826. 3. Masaniello. Et Sörgespil. (A Tragedy.) By B. S. Inge
8vo. Kjöbenhavn. 4. Procne. En Samling af Digte. (Progne. A Collection of
Poems.) By B. S. Ingemann. 8vo. Kjöbenhavn. Of the living poets of Denmark, perhaps of Scandinavia, Oehlenschläger enjoys the highest and widest spread European reputation; and for this he is, we apprehend, very much indebted to his mastery of the German language. Other Danish, as also many Swedish poets, are sufficiently admired to have been translated into that kindred and better known tongue; but they have been thus rendered more generally accessible by inferior writers, since it is seldom that genius will condescend to translation : consequently their works are, if not absolutely disfigured, yet disadvantageously presented to foreigners; whilst Oehlenschläger, being his own translator, appears to nearly equal advantage in both languages.
Next to Oehlenschläger ranks Ingemann; like him a poet, a dramatist, and an historical novelist; nor are we disposed to admit any great difference between their respective stations on Parpassus. Much as Oehlenschläger is extolled by continental readers and critics, his prose is tedious, and his tragedies are dramatic poems, not plays; but we must nevertheless confess that, in every thing we have seen of his, there is a delightful simplicity and a truth to nature, which always wins irresistibly, without however blinding us to the faults of his effusions as works of art.
But it is not of Oehlenschläger that we are here to speak; our chief object in naming him being at once to remind our readers that Denmark has, and ever has had, poets, and to prepare them for the description of poet now to be introduced. We do not consider Ingemann as an imitator of Oehlenschläger: he differs from him in many respects, and in some advantageously; he is more spirited and less wearisome: but nevertheless a sort of affinity, rather perhaps than similarity, exists between them. Whether this be ascribed to their common national idiosyncrasy, or to the effect produced upon both by the passion for Scandinavian antiquities, legends, poems, &c., now prevalent in Denmark, we