"the Saint Bartholemew of the privileged orders," as Burke called it. So, he has been forced (Hugo, not Burke) to put his patent in his pocket for awhile—like Mozart, who on his way through the piebald principalities of Germany used, after his father's prudent advice, to hang out his Pope's Cross in some places, and put it up in others. However, things have already taken a turn in France— in Paris, at least—and Victor Hugo may shortly exhibit his patent at his button-hole if he likes—that is, if he may not actually do so as affairs stand in that republic of a year. Matters there are getting on a reculons, and some more restorations would seem to be in the wind. Victor Hugo is prouder of his title, we believe, than of the authorship of N6tre Dame. In this he resembles Lord Byron, (who considered an old English Baron the first of dignities—even when no longer a schoolboy)—and, must we add, Sir Walter Scott? Yes; for with that healthful Cervantic mind of his—so like Chaucer's in many of its features—Scott would rather be rated as descendant or kinsman of the cattle-stealing chief of Harden, than the man who drew Jeannie Deans, and the Jewess, Balfour of Burley, and the Baron of Bradwardine. And we may remark how much Scott resembles Shakespeare, in one particular—if not in others. Both were thinking more of building houses for themselves and their families, than of that edifice of immortality which the world has inherited in their names. Shakespeare, in one of his Sonnets written after he had made money as a stage-manager, complains of the degradation and loss of respectability he endured by writing and acting plays! How unlike Milton in this respect, who put himself under a solemn course of intellectual training, before he strode prepense upon the epic stage, and challenged a renown that the world should not willingly let die! Congreve, who also made his literature a subordinate consideration, was rebuked by Voltaire for his affectation, while it was probably no affectation, but a truth of character now countenanced by loftier examples. Perhaps there is something after all in that preference for high station, and that looking back to feudal times and pretensions, if philosophy would but hunt it out. It may be these great intellects have not exhibited such tendencies for nothing.

But, as we were saying, Victor Hugo is proud of his countship; it suits his name, which has something Merovingian in it. He has long been at the head of what the French have called, by a rather loose kind of nomenclature, the romantic school of poetry, contradistinguished from the classical. His genius, certainly, like that of Scott, exhibits a strong leaning to the chivalrous period of society, and

is at home among the courts, castles, cathedrals,
and tournaments—the goblins, wizards, herald-
ries, and pageantries of the mediaeval times. It
loves the prestige of feudal nobility, and hears
ancestral voices in old historic localities. It
strikes us there is more in a name than Shake-
speare thinks. A rose called dandelion will
not smell as sweet as by its own name. We
have a fancy that a name has an influence on
character. Three names (we might easily get
more) occur to us in seeming proof of this. We
wonder if Scott, Hugo, and Thierry would have
distinguished themselves, each in his manner
and matter, if their chivalrous and medieeval
names did not prompt their pride and direct
the current of their studies. Now, there is
Dickens;—his name is plebeian. No ancestor of
his name ever rode on a freebooter's foray from
a lordly keep, or kept the lists against a Chas-
telherault, or coming from a monastery, suc-
ceeded Chilperic; and see the character of the
man's mind: despising the pomp and circum-
stance of old or modern times, and forming his
beautiful creations on little parish paupers,
Cheerybles and Tom Pinches—as if he had said
with Tennyson, of whose verse he is an ardent

Howo'er it be, it seems to me
'Tis only noblo to be good;
Kind hearts arc mora than coronets,
And simple faith than Norman blood.

We will pursue this digression no longer, but
there may be something more than fancy in it.

Coming to Victor Hugo:—he is one of the first of French lyric poets, not the first. His fame will rest less upon his NCtre Dame, a work truer to its Gothic details and the distinctives of a historic period than to human nature and probability (in this far inferior to Sir Walter Scott), less upon his dramas, which are more remarkable for a certain pomp of style and imagery, and an exaggeration of character, than for the sweet touches of humanity which make Shakespeare akin to the whole world—than upon his lyrics. Though he does not think so himself, probably; for, with a wonderful self-delusion, he fancies he could be to Shakespeare what Napoleon was to Charlemagne. But his lyric poetry gives him celebrity enough. In this he seems to run through all modes of the lyre, and be master of them. In 1822, being twenty years old, he published his Odes and Ballads. In his Odes he showed himself a legitimist—the poet of royalty and the denouncer of Napoleon. That did not hinder him, however, from worshipping the memory of the buried Emperor afterwards, and in a very little time, too! His father was a General of the Empire. But his mother was a royalist, and her sentiments early impressed

the mind of the young poet, giving one more instance of the truth of Napoleon's saying, that the mother greatly influences the character of the child. The Ballads contain some sweet pieces, breathing the simple spirit of the earlier times of knighthood and the troubadours—such as Ecoute-moi Madelaine, and LaFiancSe du Timbalier. The last is as follows. There has been a good deal said about translation—from Horace down; we think a man has the best chance of doing his victim justice who gives him as literally as possible. Horace advises a free translation; that is very good when your translator is equal to the original—a Shelley, a Coleridge, or a Hunt. But we have been much struck with a certain opinion of Chaucer's —to wit:—

"Whoso shall tellen a tale after a man,
He mustc rcherse as nigh as ever ho can,
Everich word, if it be in his charge,
All speke he never so rudely and so large;"

and so in the matters following, we ha*e observed this fine-hearted old troubadour's advice, as much as possible.

Monseigneur, le Due de Brctagne, etc.

My lord, the Duke of bold Bretagne,

Was to the battle boune afar;
From Nantz' good city to Mortagne,
He sent by mountain and the plain

Ills arriere-ban of war I

Barons were there whose blazons bold

Deck many a moated castle wall;
And famous knights in war grown old,
And squires and men-at-arms enrolled—

My true-love with them all.

To Aquitaine he went away,

One of the cymbal iers; but he
Looked quite a captain—one would say—
With such an air, in doublet gay,

All golden-seamed to see.

Since then, distracted by my fear,
I've ceaseless prayed our kind St. Bride,

To send his guardian-angel here

To watch that wandering cymballer—
For ever by his side.

I've bid our Abbot pray a prayer

For all our valiant soldiers gone,
And to repay his holy care
Fve burned three waxen tapers fair

St. Gildas' shrine upon.

Our Lady of Loretto, too,

I've promised her, right sore distressed,
To wear, this dreary absence through,
Under my 'kerchief, hid from view,

The scallop on my breast.

No token came to soothe my wo,

No absent lover's gentle gage;
To bear Love's message to and fro,
The vassal has no squire to go,

The peasant maid no page

Tc~day he will return, I trow,

Back by his noble master's side,
He is no vulgar lover now;
I lift my long-dejected brow;

My love it is my pride.

The Duke returns and brings, elate,
His torn and honoured banner here:

Maidens, come stand beneath the gate,

To see his Highness pass in state—
And my bold cymballer.

Come, see his charger harnessed gay

For this day's noble pageant, bound
Beneath his rider with a neigh,
And toss his proud head all the way,
With purple feathers crowned.

Maidens, you dress too slowly, come

To see my soldier-love advance;
His cymbals will strike gaily home,
And mingled with the rolling drum,

Make every bosom dance.

Come, see him, too, so proudly wear

The mantle by my fingers drest;
My true-love, he will look so fair,
And like a chief with lofly air.

Bear bis steel cap and crest.

A gipsy woman yesterday

Behind a pillar called mo near.
And said—may Hoaven her weird gainsay! —
There should be missed from the array

A certain cymballer I

Truce to sad thoughts!—come, come along I

I hear the war-drum close at hand;
Look at the women in a throng,
And flowers and floating flags among
Purple pavilions grand!

Now two and two the host comes by;

And first the pikemen, stout and slow;
Next, under pennons flaunting high,
Barons in cloaks of silken soy

And caps of velvet go.

Then priests in chasubles; then prance
The heralds on their steeds of white,

While on their tabards they advance

Their master's proper cognizance
Emblazoned there aright.

Next rides the Templars' dreaded van,

In Persian armour of the East;
Beneath the pike and partisan,
The trusty bowmen of Lausanne,

In buff and steel go drest.

The Duke! the Duke! his banner borne

Floats o'er his noblo cavaliers;
The captive standards battle-torn
Come next and seem to droop forlorn,—

Sisters, the Cymballers 1

She said: her eager glance was thrown
O'er all the train in trembling haste;
Then in tho careless crowd, alone,
Senseless she sank, with dying moan,
Tho Cymballers had passed!

In his Orientates, Victor Hugo exhibits most of that glowing imagery and graceful pomp of versification which particularly distinguish his writings. He says he got the inspiration of them one evening while looking at a beautiful i sunset. But if he was looking at a sunset, he should have originated Occidenlales. Passing this by, we believe that his youth, spent in Spain and familiar with the architectural remnants, literary notices and traditions of the Moorish occupation, left on his mind impressions which afterwards revealed themselves. The Orientates, in fact, only refer to European scenes and characters—in Spain and part of Turkey. When we consider that they were published before he was twenty-five years old, we must hold a high opinion of Victor Hugo's poetical genius. The sentiment of these lyrics is generally true to the scene and character of their subjects, and there is a warm glow of mingled romance and orientalism in them, which took the public after the manner of Byron's and Scott's splendid poetic fragments and narratives, in English-speaking land. But with a difference. The latter possess an irregular p0wer—a fluent energy contrasting with the sentimental polish and point of the French lyrics. It is curious that, under a general view, this poetry of the Anglo-Saxon temperament should exhibit itself in narrative and movement, while the lively, subtle Gauls should diffuse themselves in the psychological and moral affections:—one would have inferred the very contrary. At all events, Victor Hugo has set forth the sentiment of his Orientalet, in a very graceful and attractive manner—" painted and chiselled" as he says himself—making them very difficult of rendering. There is truth and simplicity in the following:—

Puisque rien ne t'arre'te en cet heureux pays, etc.

Since nought in our fair clime can woo thy stay—

Nor tho ripe yollow maize, nor palmy abodes,
Nor plenty, nor repose, nor to survey

The loving bosoms of our gentle maids
Beat at thy voice, at evening, as they go
In dancing swarm about the brown plateau-
Adieu, white man I my hands have girt for thee,

Lest he should cast thee on the stony track,
My fire-eyed desert courser, proud to see,

Pawing the ground impatient, while his back
Shines in its glossy symmetry, and seems
A dark rock polished in the rush of streams.

Still thou wilt roam :—why art thou not of thoso

Who calmly rest, to travel never won,
Beneath a roof of tiles or emerald boughs?

Who list recitals, dreamy, making none,
And from their doors, at evening, gazing far,
Long to float upward to the vesper star.

Perhaps, if it had pleased thy wandering thoughts,
One maid, young man, had called hor portion blest,

To kneel and serve tbee in our open huts,
And chanting a soft song to soothe thy rest,

Weave a light fan of greenest leaves to keep

The wayward insects from thy cherished sleep.

But thou wilt go, lone journeying night and day,
With ever watchful glance; thy horse's hoof

Striking the sparkles from the rocky way,
While on thy lance, extended high aloof,

The demons of the night will blindly hit

Their ghastly wings and rend them as they flit.

If thou return, come o'er yon far dark hill,
That seems a camel's back, and turn once more

To find my faithful hut;—remember still
Its round roof like a bee-hive, and the door,

Its only door, still opened to the sky,
Whence from afar the early swallows fly.

But shouldst thou not—ah! sometimes think upon
Our desert maids, our soft-voiced sisters gay

Who dance on the plateau at set of sun;
0, young white man, upon thy rapid way,

Pair passage-bird, remember, more than one

May hold thy memory dear, when thou art gone.

Adieu! thy path lies straight; avoid the sun That gilds the brown, but burns the white man's brow,

And our wide wastes impassable, and shun

The old and withered beldame, bending low; And those that with their white mysterious wands In tjhe dim eve make circles on the sands.

Coming back to the Morisco ground of Spain, Victor Hugo finds himself at home in a Gothic ballad.


Don Rodrigue est a la chasse, etc.

Rodrigo to the chase is gone.

But sword or corslet bears he none;

The summer's day to noon has rolled, And now, beneath the greenwood tree, On shady sward reposes he—

Reposes Don Rodrigo bold.

His heart with hate is burning sore;
He thinks upon the bastard Moor—

Mudarra bight, his brother's son— Whose brethren seven, of kindred blood, By him had died in deadly feud,

And Lara's line had left but one.

Him to encounter, band to hand,

He would have traversed Spanish land,

From Figuer to Setuval,
And one of them should surely die;—
At that same instant, riding by,

Appeared a stalwart horseman tall.

"Christian or Moor, whate'er thou be, Sir Knight, beneath the greenwood tree,

God keep thee in his hand alway"— "Now Christ bis grace and benison Be thine, Sir Knight, that wendest on—

That wendest on the public way"—

M Christian or Moor, whate'er thou be, Sir Knight, beneath the greenwood tree,

Upon the shady sward at rest, Thy name and cognizance declare; That I may know if thou dost bear

A true knight's or a felon's crest"—

"If it imports thee to be told,
Know, I am Don Rodrigo bold,
Rodrigo of De Lara's race;

My sifter Dona Sancha is,
At least the priest asserted this,
When that I got baptismal grace.

"I rest beneath the greenwood tree,
For I have travelled long to see

Bastard Mudarra near and far—
Son of the Spanish renegade—
Him who commands a ship to aid

The Moorish king, Aliatar.

"Certes, unless he shuns my wrath,
I soon should cross the caitilFs path;

He carries with him everywhere,
The dagger of my house, and on
The pommel shines an agate stone,

While sheathless hangs the blade and bare.

"Yes, by my Christian soul and faith,
No other hand shall to the death

His miscreant body doom but mine;
This is the dearest hope I hold"—
"They call thee Don Rodrigo bold—

Bodrigo of De Lara's line?

"Then listen, lord!—The youth who now
Speaks, names tbee, gazes on thy brow,

He is Mudaira and thy fate!
The judge and the avenger see 1
Now to what refugo canst thou flee?"

Rodrigo said: "thou comest late!"

"L. son of the bold renegade
Who doth command a ship to aid

The royal Moorish potentate—
I, and my dagger, and my wrong—
We three are here, we three aro strong!"—

Rodrigo said: "thou oomest late!"

"For thee, Rodrigo, far too soon.
Unless thou deem thy life a boon

Of which thou'rt weary—Dost thou quake f
Thy face is white; wretch, yield to me
Thy life, so may thy spirit be

Thy angel's in the burning lake!

"Now, with my true Toledo blade,
And the good help of God to aid—

Look on my eyes—they burn and start!—
Thy master and thy lord I stand,
And I will tear with red right hand,

Thy life from out thy beating heart!

"Yes, Dona Sancha's nephew here
Shall in thy ruddy heart's blood dear

Slake all this long-devouring thirst .
My uncle, die1 no more for thee
Days, hours, or fleeting moments be!"—

"Nephew, Mudarra, hear me first!

"Wait thee a moment, till I stand
With my good falehion in my band!"

"Delay, good uncle, shall be none
Than that from thee my brothers found;
Follow them down into the ground

Where thou didst send them first, begone!

"If to this moment, everywhere,
Fve worn my thirsty dagger bare,

Tis that I thought, and hugged the thought,
That, to avenge the renegade,
Thus, should my agate-hilted blade

Find its red scabbard in thy throat!"

It should have found it four or five stanzas back;—though the harangue is bloody and

bitter enough; and anything in the way of prolixity has had excellent epic precedent in Homer.

Victor Hugo's sentiment is very often injured by very great extravagancies and exaggerations. He has a genius for gorgeous enumerations and graphic details. He gets a heap of grand and luxuriant images, and he "glides o'er them like a golden fish." He exhibits all the French taste for dramatic effect, and his movement sometimes, compared with Byron's— for instance—or Cowper's, is that stage carriage of which Mrs. Crummles's gait, walking up the aisle, in Nicholas Nickleby, is the caricature—a pausing, pronounced advance on a measured stride. Every stanza has its pointed rounding—and this, to an American taste, may, in some instances, be thought amusing enough. In his Greek Child—a boy lying amidst the ruins of Scio, which the Turks had desolated, is addressed, and asked what he looks for or mourns for; and all the beautiful and poetical attractives of childhood are poured interrogatively out, till they are completely exhausted, and then the child—"the child of the blue eyes"—a high-stomached young rogue!—cries out—no, none of these—

Jt veux de la poudre et des ball's.

"I want powder and ball!" In another lyrio, a dervish witnesses the grief of a Pacha, and in nine stanzas sums up the probable, picturesque causes of his awful and ominous look, and you think it must be one of the finest and weightest of them, till you come to end, and find it is only

Son tigre de Nulrie est mart!

His Nubian tiger is dead 1 In another, called Mazeppa, the poet desires to say that a fated bard is like the Ukraine chief, carried in painful transit amidst perils and discomforts, till he sinks and then becomes a king—posthumously—as it were :—

11 court, il voU, U tombe Et te reitve roi!

This the poet says, in twenty-three stanzas— about one hundred and forty lines. He does not leave out a bound of the animal—a rood of the long way, or a pang of the victim— making all up into stanzas with a good point —a palpable hit, at the end of each. Byron would have put the matter into three rapid lines and a hemistich—Cowper or Moore into a couplet. These exaggerations, so incompatible with an Anglo-Saxon taste, could be easily multiplied. We are apt to smile at them; but our dramatic and sentimental neighbours of the other republic are vividly touched with them. Perhaps they laugh in turn, and deservedly, at some of our own literary complacencies. These things are, however, but the weeds—as we think them—of a rich soil, the exuberances of a glowing mind leaping, in its error^ over climax into anti-climax—making that step which, Tom Paine says, divides, at times, the sublime and the ridiculous. Victor Hugo has a crowd of countervailing beauties. The following Orienlale is picturesque and natural. An Arab is made to remember the French Sultan (Bonaparte) who sent the echoes of his name from the Pyramids and Tabor all through the East:—

Souvent Bounaberdi, Sultan des Franca d'Europe, etc .

Lo, Bounaberdi, the Frank Sultan, oft,
Wrapt in the Simoom for a mantle, standa

A giant, on a giant mount aloft,
Whence, looking o'er the ocean and the sands,

The world's two parts are in his sight, at once,

Stretched far below him in profound expanse.

Thus on the summit stands he, lone and high:
The Desert on his right bows down and playa

Its clouds of dust to charm his wandering eye;
The Ocean known ita guest of other days,

And, on the left sends up a rolling sound,

As bays about its lord a joyous hound.

And the old chieftain, as by turns he aees
The desert cloud, and hears the ocean tossed,

Dreams as a lover dreams, and shapes from these
A host, a numberless and viewless host,

Marching before his shadow—going by

Beneath the horizon's edge, eternally.

O, Bounaberdi, when to yonder height
Thou cornest to dream, look closely down and see,

Upon the howling sands, my tent of white;
I am a Bedouin Arab, poor and free;

My horse, when I shout Allah! flies and rolls

Under hia eyelids fine, two living coals I

The poem called Vocu is considered one of the most graceful of the Orientatet. Here is the wrong side of the tapestry:—


Si j'etaia la feuille que roule, etc.

Were I a leaf, swept to and fro
In the light wind's uncertain sigh,

And borne along the river's flow,
Marked by the dreamer's vacant eye—

I would all freshly flee away
From my green branch without regret,

In the keen breath of opening day,
In the soft sunset rivulet;

Beyond the river's stormy sweep,

Beyond the forest vast and gray,
Beyond the gorge so dim and deep,

My flight should be, away, away.

Beyond the she-wolfs grim retreat,
Beyond the ring-dove's forest haunt,

Beyond the plain where pilgrims meet
Three graceful palm-trees by a fount;

Beyond the rocks whence rudely go
The storms that waste the standing corn,

Beyond the lake where, bending low,
The lonely bushes seem to mourn.;

Beyond the sands where sternly goes,
With ataghan, the chieftain Moor,

And wrinkled forehead swarth, that shows
Like Ocean's in a stormy hour:

O'er Arta's mirror-pond, afar,

Swift as the feathered arrow strays,
And o'er the mount whose summits bar

Corinth's and Mykos' mutual gaze-
As by a charm attracted down,

I'd pause, in morning's early rays,
O'er Mykos, the right-angled town,

With its fair gleaming cupolas;

And to the priest's fair daughter gay,
The dark-eyed maid, I would be driven,

Who at her window sings all day,
And sports before her door at even;

There, fugitive light leaf, would I,
My wanderings done, my wishes crowned,

Alight upon her brow and lie
Mid the fair ringlets clustering round;

There, tho' but for an instant's flight,
Should I far proudlier sit, I trow,

Than all the plumage waving white
That sweeps the Sultan's starry brow.

Five years after his Orientalet, Victor Hugo published his Feuilles (VAutomne. These are of a graver and more subdued tone—treating chiefly of domestic feelings, affections, and remembrances. Some of the best and worthiest sentiments of the poet will be found in this collection. There is a household and pathetic interest in the two following lyrics, which induces us to offer them in American, in preference to others of more profound philosophy and higher pretensions.


When baby comes, tho family circle cries
With great applause: its little sparkling eyes

Brighten all bosoms in that happy place,
And saddest brows, and guiltiest, it may be,
TJnwrinkle on a sudden. but to see
That innocent glad face.

Yes, whether June has greened the sward, or whether
November draws our touching chairs together
Bound a great houaehold fire in quiet talk,
When the child comes, we feel a general cheer—
With calls and laughter, and the mother's fear,
Seeing him try to walk.

Sometimes we apeak, while stirring up the fire,
Of native land, of heaven, the poet's lyre,
Or of a soul that soars in holy trance;
Enter the infant I—Heaven and native land
And sacred hards are gone—the converse bland
Ends in a smile at once!

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