Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

а

7

9

men of genius have been in Paris invariably drawn towards the upper circles ;? but, in London, men of intellectual distinctions are not frequently found 3 in that society which is termed the best. ...

The modern practice of Parliament to hold its discussions at night4 has a considerable influence in diminishings the intellectual character of general society. The House of 6 Commons naturally drains off? many of the ablest and best informed of the English gentlemen: the same cause has its action upon men of letters, whom statesmen usually desire to 10 collect around them; the absence of onell conspires to effect 12 the absence of the other : our saloons are left 13 solely 14 to the uncultivated and the idle, and you seek in vain for those nightly reunions 15 of wits 16 and senators which distinguished the reign of Anne, and still give so noble a charm to the assemblies of Paris.

The respect we pay to 17 wealth absorbs the respect we should pay to genius.

to genius. Literary men have not with us 18 any fixed and settled position as men of letters. In the great game of honours, none fall to their share. 19 We may say truly with a certain political economist, “We pay best, first, those who destroy us, generals ; second, those who cheat us, politicians and quacks; third, those who amuse us,

a

1 The upper circles, la haute société_2 of intellectual distinctions, distingués par leur intelligence-3 are not......found, ne se rencontrent pas...... at night, le soir-5 has a considerable influence in diminishing, contribue beaucoup à diminuer—6 House of, Chambre des—7 drains off, absorbe—8 and best informed of, et des plus instruits parmi— has its action, influe—10 desire to, aiment à— 11 of one, de l'un—12 conspires to effect, entraine-13 left, abandonnés– 14 solely, exclusivement15 for those nightly reunions, ces réunions de tous les soirs 16 wits, beaux-esprits—17 we pay to, que nous portons à – 18 with us, chez nous

none fall to their share, aucun ne leur échoit en partage.

19

2

4

singers and musicians; and, least of all, those who instruct us.”—“I am nothing here,” said one of the most eminent men of science this country ever produced, 2 “I am forced to go abroad sometimes to preserve my

self-esteem.” A literary man with us is often forced to be proud of something else than 3 talent-proud of fortune, of connexion,4 or of birth—in order not to be looked down upon. Byron would never have set a coronet over his bed if he had not written poetry; nor the fastidious Walpole have5 affected to disdain the author if he had not known that with 6 certain circles authorship was thought to lower the gentleman, Every one knows the anecdote of a certain professor of chemistry, who, eulogising Boyle, thus concluded his panegyric: "He was a great man, a very great

a man; he was father of chemistry, and brother to the Earl of Cork!"

BULWER, “ England and the English."

DISCRETION IN GRIEF.

10

You will say, perhaps, that one thing was all to you, and your fondness of it made youll indifferent to everything else; but this, I doubt, 12 will be so far from justifying you,13 that it will prove to be your

6

7

1 Least of all, moins que tous les autres (or : en dernier lieu)-- ever produced, ait jamais produits—3 than, que de son of connexion, de ses liens de famille 5 nor......have, et......D'aurait pas—6 with, dans-

authorship was thought to lower, la qualité d'auteur était considérée comme rabaissant—8 every one, tout le monde to, de.

10 That one thing was all to you, qu'un seul objet était tout pour vous_11 your fondness of it made you, l'amour que vous y portiez vous rendait—12 I doubt, je le soupçonne-13 will be so far from justifying you, loin de vous justifier.

fault as well asl your misfortune. God Almighty gave you all the blessings of life, and you set your heart? wholly upon one, and despise or undervalue all the rest : is this His fault or yours ?3 Nay, is it not to be very unthankful to4 Heaven, as well as very

scornful to5 the rest of the world ? Is it not to say, because you have lost one thing God hath given, you thank Him for nothing. He has left, and care not? what He takes away? Is it not to say, since that one thing is gone out of the world, there then is nothing left in it which you think can deserve 8

your kindness or esteem? A friend makes me a feast, and sets all efore me that his care or kindness could provide ;10 but I set my heart upon one dish alone, 11 and if that happen to be thrown down,12 I scorn all the rest ; and though he sends for another of the same, yet I rise from the table13 in a rage, and say my friend is my enemy, and has done me the greatest wrong in the world.14 Have I

I reason or good grace in what I do? or would it become me better to eat of the rest that is before me, 15 and think no more of what had happened, and could not be remedied ?

SIR W. TEMPLE, “Essay on Eccess of Grief."

| That it will prove to be your fault as well as, constituera votre faute ainsi que— you set your heart, vous concentrez votre affection3 is this His fault or yours ? est-ce là sa faute à Lui ou la vôtre ?4 to, envers _5 scornful to, dédaigneux de—6 you thank Him for nothing, vous ne Lui savez gré de rien de ce que- and care not, et ne vous souciez pas de— there then is, etc......can deserve, il n'y reste rien que vous trouviez digne de makes me a feast, me régale10 all...... that......could provide, ...... tout ce que peut suggérer...... Jl I set, ete......alone, je m'attache à un seul plat—12 and if, ete...... down, et s'il arrive que ce plat tombe à terre-13 and though, etc...... table, il a beau en envoyer chercher un autre de la même espèce, je me lève de table-14 in the world, au monde-15 or would it, etc...... before me, ou me siérait-il mieux de manger de ce qui reste devant moi.

THE TRUE TONE OF CONVERSATION AND LETTERS.

When a woman of feeling, fancy, and accomplishmenti has learned to converse with ease and grace, from long intercourse with the most polished society, and when she writes as she speaks, she must write letters as they ought to be written, if she has acquired just as much habitual correctness as is reconcilable with the air of 3 negligence. A moment of enthusiasm, a burst of feeling, a flash of eloquence may be allowed, but the intercourse of society, either in conversation or in letters, allows no more. Though interdicted from the long-continued use of elevated language, they are not without a resource.5

There is a part of language which is disdained by the pedant or the declaimer, and which both, if they knew its difficulty, would dread: it is formed of the most familiar phrases and turns in daily use? by the generality of men, and is full of energy and vivacity, bearing upon it the mark8 of those keen feelings and strong passions from which it springs. It is the employment of such phrases which produces what may be called colloquial eloquence. Conversation and letters may be thus raised to any 10 degree of animation, without departing from 11 their character.

4

2

1 When a woman of feeling, fancy, and accomplishment, quand une femme qui a du cour, de l'imagination, et des talents from long intercourse with, par une longue fréquentation de—3 as much, etc...... the air of, un style habituellement aussi correct que le comporte un · air de—though, etc.......language, bien que l'emploi continu du langage élevé leur soit interdit–5 without a resource, sans ressources 6 it is formed of, ce langage se compose de—7 turns in daily use, tournures journellement employées —8 bearing upon it the mark, marqué comme il l'est de l'empreinte— from which it springs, où il a sa

à n'importe quel_11 without departing from, sans se dépouiller de.

source

10 to any,

Anything may be said, if it be spoken in the tone of society; the highest guests are welcome, if they come in the easy undress? of the club; the strongest metaphor appears without violence, if it is familiarly expressed ; and we the more easily catch the warmest feeling, if we perceive that it is intentionally lowered in expression, out of condescension to 4 our calmer temper. It is thus that harangues and declamations, the last proof of bad taste and bad manners in conversation, are avoided, while the fancy and the heart find the means of pouring forth all their stores.5 To meet this despised part of language in a polished dress, and producing all the effects of wit and eloquence, is a constant source of agreeable surprise. This is increased when a few bolder and higher 8 words are happily wrought' into the texture of this familiar eloquence. To find what seems so unlike author-craft in a book raises the pleasing astonishment to its highest degree.10 I once thought of illustrating my notions11 by numerous examples from 12 “La Sévigné.”* I must, some day or other, do so, though I think it 14 the resource of a bungler, who is not enough master of language to convey 15 his con

6

8

13

5

Anything, etc......spoken in, on peut dire n'importe quoi, pourvu qu'on y. donne—2 the easy undress, le négligé-—3 we, etc...... feeling, nous saisissons d'autant plus facilement le sentiment le plus chaleureux—4 out of condescension to, par déférence pour~ of pouring forth all their stores, de verser à flots tous leurs trésors 6 in a polished dress, sous une forme élégante—this is, cette sensation se trouve8 higher, plus relevés wrought, introduits-10 to find what, etc....... degree, trouv dans un livre ce qui sent si peu l'auteur porte cet agréable étonnement à son comble_11 I once, etc......notions, j'ai songé autrefois à démontrer mes idées à cet égard—12 from, tirés de 13 I must......do so, il faut que je le fasse 14 though I think it, bien que je trouve que c'est—15 to convey, faire passer.

See Biographical notice in the Appendix.

« AnteriorContinuar »