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Edward Dowden

"A man set under authority"—these words, better than any other, define Bossuet. Above him was God, represented in things spiritual by the Catholic Church, in things temporal by the French monarchy; below him were the faithful confided to his charge, and those who would lead the faithful astray from the path of obedience and tradition. Duty to what was above him, duty to those placed under him, made up the whole of Bossuet's life. To maintain, to defend, to extend the tradition he had received, was the first of duties.

The French philosophical movement—the "Illumination"—of the eighteenth century, proceeds in part from the empiricism of Locke, in part from the remarkable development of physical and natural science; it incorporated the conclusions of English deism, and advanced from deism to atheism. An intellectual centre for the movement was provided by the Encyclopédie; a social centre was found in Parisian salons.

Among the romantic poets who made themselves known between 1820 and 1830, ALFRED DE VIGNY is distinguished by the special character of his genius, and by the fact that nothing in his poetry is derived from his contemporaries. Lamartine, Hugo, and, at a later date, Musset, found models or suggestions in his writings. He, though for a time closely connected with the romantic school, really stands apart and alone.

A. DARMESTETER ET A. HATZFELD. Le XVIe Siècle en France. 1878.

FAGUET. XVIe Siècle. 1894.

SAINTE-BEUVE. Tableau historique et critique de la Poésie fr. au XVIe Siècle.

L. FEUGÈRE. Caractères et Portraits litt. du XVIe Siècle. 1859.

EGGER. L'Hellénisme en France. 1869.

LATEST MEDIÆVAL POETS—THE DRAMA

Bossuet's contemporaries esteemed him as a preacher less highly than they esteemed the Jesuit Bourdaloue. The life of LOUIS BOURDALOUE (1632-1704) is told in the words of Vinet: "He preached, confessed, consoled, and then he died." It does credit to his hearers that they valued him aright—a modest man of simple probity. He spoke, with downcast eyes and full harmonious voice, as a soul to souls; his eloquence was not that of the rhetorician; his words were grave and plain and living, and were pressed home with the force of their reality.

Buffon, whose power of wing was great, and who did not love the heat and dust of combat, soared smoothly above the philosophic strife. Born in 1707, at Montbard, in Burgundy, GEORGE-LOUIS LECLERC, created Comte de BUFFON by Louis XV., fortunate in the possession of riches, health, and serenity of heart and brain, lived in his domestic circle, apart from the coteries of Paris, pursuing with dignity and infinite patience his proper ends.

To present VICTOR HUGO in a few pages is to carve a colossus on a cherry-stone. His work dominates half a century. In the years of exile he began a new and greater career. During the closing ten years his powers had waned, but still they were extraordinary. Even with death he did not retire; posthumous publications astonished and perhaps fatigued the world.

Victor-Marie Hugo was born at Besançon on February 26, 1802, son of a distinguished military officer—

F. LOTHEISSEN. Geschichte der Französischen Litteratur im XVII. Jahrhundert. 2 vols. 1897.

A. DUPUY. Histoire de la Litt. fr. au XVIIe Siècle. 1892.

LE R. PÈRE G. LONGHAYE. Histoire de la Litt. fr. au XVIIe Siècle. 1895.

J. DEMOGEOT. Tableau de la Litt. fr. au XVIIe Siècle avant Corneille et Descartes. 1859.

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