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we no longer wish to delineate the sentiments of the human heart; we wish, if we may so speak, to sculpture them; and as by the delicacy of their nature, they escape the chisel of the Michael Angelos of literature, it becomes necessary for them to substitute sensation in the place of sentiment.

This preponderance of sensation over sentiment is one of the most remarkable effects of modern style. We do not represent as our predecessors did, hatred, anger, jealousy, love, maternal tenderness, as passions of the soul, but as passions of the body: we materialize them, believing that we thereby make them stronger; we make them brutal, supposing that we render them energetic. It was one of the rules of ancient poetry, to aid whatever purity and immateriality the passions may have, and to reject what they may have of the gross and terrestrial. It was what the ancients called purifying the passions. We do the reverse. It seems that we have no faith in sentiments which do not cause a gesture, or a physical contortion. Convulsions of the body are necessary to make us believe in the emotions of the soul. It is not only in our theatres and in our literature that we have this mania; we appreciate the passions in the world, according to the effect they produce on our health. Where they formerly endeavored to examine the heart, we are tempted to feel the pulse; we doubt the sorrows which do not make us ill, we distrust the passions which do not drive us mad; and in our pains we have recourse to the physician rather than the priest, because in spite of ourselves, and unconsciously, we believe only in the body.

We will give an example of the manner in which literature expresses this involuntary materialism, and how the painting of instinct becomes substituted by degrees in the place of the painting of the sentiments.

In the romance of Victor Hugo, entitled "Notre Dame de Paris," a poor recluse is represented as living in a hut which has only one small window. Her intellects have been partially deranged since she has lost her daughter, an infant of four years, whom the Gipsies have stolen from her. She recovers her daughter, who had narrowly escaped the scaffold, and was pursued by the sergeants-at-arms. She has concealed her in her hut, and refused to deliver her up to the executioner. The provost-marshal then orders them to pull down the hut, so that they may draw out Esmeralda from

this place of refuge where her mother thought that she was safe. It was a terrible moment; it was like that of Clytemnestra and Hecuba, when their daughters have been torn from their arms to be sacrificed on the altar.

"When the mother heard the pickaxes and levers undermining her strong-hold, she set up a horrible screaming; then she commenced to turn around in her hut with frightful quickness, like a wild beast in a cage. She said nothing more, but her eyes flashed fire. All at once she picked up a piece of pavement, laughed, and threw it with both hands at the workers; but as it was not well directed, it hit no one, and stopped at the feet of Tristan; she ground her teeth, and as the work of the demolishers seemed to advance, she retreated mechanically, and pressed her daughter more and more against the wall. All at once the recluse saw the wall shake, and heard the voice of Tristan who was encouraging the workers. Then she began to scream, and while she spoke, her voice rent the air like a saw, and stammered as if all her curses were pressed upon her lips to burst forth at at once: Ho! ho! ho! but it is too horrible. You are brigands! you are going to take away my daughter! I tell you that she is my daughter. Oh! the villains, the assassins! Help! help! fire !-they are robbing me of my child! Who then do they call the good God!' Then addressing herself to Tristan with a haggard eye and foaming mouth, like a panther, and with her hair bristling up! . . ."

We stop here. In Ovid, the metamorphosis would have already commenced; for it is no longer human grief, but the rage of a panther from which the hunter tears its young; it is no longer a woman or a mother whom we see, but a furious wild beast. Anger is changed into madness, instinct has taken the place of sentiment, the soul has yielded to the body. We turn away, repeating the beautiful line of Terence:

Homo sum, atque humani nihil a me alienum puto.




WHEN We become interested in the dying complaints of Iphigenia or Antigone, when we permit ourselves to be af fected by the groans of the wounded Philoctetes, it is not because we are led to think of our own condition, and that we feel that we would pity ourselves if we were in their situation. The emotion which we experience proceeds from a more general sentiment; it has nothing personal. The man who has never felt the attacks of physical pain, sympathizes with the sufferings of Philoctetes; the man who curses life, is affected by the regrets which Antigone expresses at quitting it. Happy or unhappy, we are all moved by the plaints of tragic heroes, and that, without there being any necessity that ourselves should have experienced their misfortunes or their passions. What renders them pleasing and attractive is that man is the sport of them. Ajax is not of our country, age or family; and his misfortunes are very different from those which we have suffered, or which we shall perhaps ever suffer it matters not; he moves us simply because he is a man, and because he suffers. We need not have any other connection or relationship with him than that.

Man is interested only in man. Nature itself pleases us only when it is animated by our emotions or by our reflections; left to itself, it languishes and loses all its charms. What we love in nature is the relation which we feel to exist between it and ourselves. The sea itself, beautiful and majestic as it is, requires the presence of man. The ocean

without vessels, attracts only half the interest, because it wants, if we may so speak, the moral movement which alone interests the soul. Compare for a moment the ocean when it is calm, and cradling on its surface the reflections of the sun, or violent and tempestuous, without a solitary vessel upon its bosom, without a man exposed to its deceitful placidity, or to its terrible fury; compare it with the ocean when, contemplating it from the top of a mountain, we perceive at a distance a sail which cuts the side of the horizon, how all becomes animated at this sight. Now we see with an indifferent eye the breaking of the waves against each other; our soul becomes absorbed in contemplating the immensity of the waters, and recovers itself a little in thinking of itself or of God. Now there is only one point upon which his eyes are fixed; it is that where man is the sport of the waves. Contemplation is changed into sight, and emotion succeeds to revery. So much interest does man add to every thing!

We will see how the ancients and the moderns have described the struggle of man with danger. We will take as an example the peril of the storm, that is to say, one of those perils in which he struggles with nature, because in struggles of this kind he exhibits a peculiar grandeur. It is true, they do not draw out all of his passions; he has not the anger and the hatred with which his enemy usually inspires him; but he has all his courage, enhanced frequently by the resignation which he derives from the involuntary respect which he feels for this nature, which, although violent and terrible, obeys nevertheless the laws which it has received from God; or it may be from the secret superiority which the soul claims for itself over those elements which are stronger than man, which do not however know their strength, while man is conscious of his weakness. Man sometimes is courageous in opposing the storm with the trust which the Christian has in God, who is master of the storm as well as of life.

The most beautiful description of a storm of which we have any record, is to be found in the Odyssey of Homer.

Neptune, being angry with Ulysses, who has left the Island of Calypso, and is about to go to his dear Ithaca, raises a terrible storm against him. "The land and the sea are covered with dark clouds; a gloomy night descends and is


spread over the waves. All the winds blow at the same time; they raise the waves in a heap and roll them with fury against the shore. Ulysses then cried out: Wretched man that I am, what will become of me! I fear that Calypso spoke the truth when she told me that, before I would reach the shores of Ithaca, my ruin would be accomplished. What lowering clouds! How agitated and troubled the sea is becoming! How the winds blow from all quarters of heaven!' He was still speaking when an immense wave broke into his vessel, and made it spin around like a whirlpool. Ulysses was compelled to let go the helm, which he was holding with both hands, and was swept out of his vessel. At the same time the violence of the storm broke his mast; and the sails and cordage were blown into the sea. Ulysses remained for a long time under the water, struggling in vain to rise above the waves. The impetuosity of the waves, and his clothes, which became saturated with water, kept him under. At last he arose, and spouted from his mouth the briny waves which were streaming from his head; then he looked around for the vessel, for he had not lost courage, although exhausted by fatigue; and struggling with all his might, he succeeded in laying hold of it. He then sat down in the middle of his half-wrecked vessel, weak and exhausted, fortunate however in having escaped death.

"The vessel floated here and there upon the sea, tossed about by the raging winds. The daughter of Cadmus, the beautiful Leucothöe, who was once a mortal, but afterwards became one of the nymphs of the sea, seeing Ulysses and his danger, was moved to pity. She took the form of a sea bird, and going out of the waves, she came and perched herself on the vessel of Ulysses. Unfortunate one,' says she, 'what have you done to the powerful Neptune, that he should seek thus to destroy you! Nevertheless you shall not perish, although he desires it much. I see that you have preserved your prudence and your courage. Do, then, what I tell you: take off your clothes and abandon your vessel to the winds; cast yourself into the sea, and swim to the shores of the Thracians: it is there that destiny wills that you should be saved. Take this girdle which is immortal, and which will preserve you from death; place it around your breast, and do not fear that you will perish. When you have reached the shore, you will throw it back into the sea, turning your

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