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French Literature

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

"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.

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.

LATEST MEDIÆVAL POETS

 

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