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realism of words, he resembles Villon, aspect of society, although not, perRabelais, and Regnier. His humor is haps, in the manner of Spenser, Keats, so natural that the fun seems part of or Tennyson, of Shakespeare or Brownthe things themselves, and so true that ing. Burns possessed, however, a it never disfigures reality or savors of feeling for color, for brilliant detail, a caricature. The French critic declares taste for gracefulness of movement and that it reminds him of French gaiety, for harmonious sounds, and his appreof the joviality that lurks in French ciation of the beauty of women is bewines, and also of the wit and merri- yond dispute. The poet who pleaded ment of many French writers. Neither so eloquently for liberty and equality does he forget that tears and true hu- cannot be denied a feeling for what is mor are never far apart.
great and noble in life. Wordsworth On the roads in Ayr you may often meet
and Coleridge were affected by similar merry, laughing girls. They walk in short feelings, but they regarded equality petticoats, with animated gestures. They
from the standpoint of historical phiare smaller, less poetical than English girls, losophers ; they saw it as a promise for but better proportioned and more lively. the future, they had the optimism of Their limbs are more delicately formed, the ideal. Burns was more terrestrial their step lighter, more alert. If a fat he hated inequality, and demanded farmer, sitting his horse awkwardly, passes, immediate relief. they jeer at him and laugh consumedly. It is not surprising that M. Angellier But if they see a little wounded bird, tears should find Burns one of the most come into their eyes before the merriment charming, and perhaps the most varied, has had time to fade from their counte- of love poets. He grows eloquent on The humor of Burns resembles
the subject :them. M. Angellier devotes some pages to
All phases of love are included and deproving that Burns possessed the qual-scribed. Early bashfulness, chaste confes
sions, transient dreams, felicity, anguish, ities that go to the making of a dramatist, and that, under more favorable the eager, passionate joy of secret and rare
reproaches, despair, the pain of parting, circumstances, he would very likely possession, the heavy intoxication of comhave followed in the
footsteps of monplace possession, declarations thrown Shakespeare. We confess to a certain out in passing as if by a hurried traveller, distrust of criticism of the might-have- memories long carried in the heart's blood, been order. To our mind the best professions of inconstancy and oaths of proof that Burns would never have fidelity, humility and revolt in the face of made a dramatist, great or small, Jies disdain, the worship inspired by the soul in the fact that he did not become one. and that inspired by the body, the delight Poets and others have written trage- of the beginning and the bitterness of the dies in their youth, but have failed end of love, chaste reveries and burning nevertheless to become great drama
desires, friendship that is almost love, and
love that is on the highroad to friendship, tists in their prime. Like Chaucer, the ecstasies, the trials, every shade of a like Browning, Burns had a strong deep passion in its transports and delicacy, dramatic sense ; he makes his charac-a mingling and confusion of everything ters speak to us themselves. But the poetic, refined, and brutal with which love possession of such a sense, very highly can inspire the human heart. . . . Bedeveloped, did not make Browning's trothals, desertions, separations through plays a success on the stage. We con- death or distance, farewells, returns, abclude that therein lies the true test of a sences that redden the woman's eyes, lawdrama's excellence.
ful love, adultery, the birth of children that Besides his gift of humor and of cause joy in the home, the advent of those keen observation, M. Angellier finds in no home will recognize, all the dangers, the Burns the gift of seeing the nobleness follies
, in which strong passion involves of things, the beauty that there is in life. He was sensible of the artistic The finest of the love poems are un
doubtedly those addressed to “ High- | as a frame for his passions and his toil. land Mary,” who, from a standpoint of He is the only poet among the moderns literary consequences, deserves to rank, who loved nature in the fashion of the so M. Angellier declares, with Laura ancients. His likeness must be sought and Graziella. The love that Burns among the old Greeks, who alone loved celebrates in song is the frankest, most nature with the simplicity of Burns. impersonal, most general that has ever In conclusion, M. Augellier thinks existed. It is made of pure emotion, that Burns stands apart from all other of unalloyed passion. It is the love of English poets as the veritable singer of everybody, accessible to all, the most the peasants and the poor : universal ever yet sung by a poet. He
Others have attempted to relate their restored ardent, passionate love to En
sorrows and their joys ; they have sung the glish literature.
poor. Here it is the poor themselves who He will remain the poet of young, frank,
sing. They speak on their own behalf. fresh, sincere love, happy or unhappy in They lift their heads ; they proclaim themitself, love that is only love, the love of selves prouder and happier than others. sweet-and-twenty, in which, according to They claim the right of being fully men,
often better men than those above them. Shakespeare, it is always May.
Wordsworth spoke of them like a virtuous A long chapter is devoted to Burns's optimistic pastor ; Crabbe, like a far-sighted feeling for nature, and certain fallacies and pessimistic physician. However serene that have grown up concerning it are or deep their sympathy, their counsel and corrected. To state briefly the conclu- pity have a touch of condescension. Burns sions arrived at, we may say that Burns was a peasant. If in poignant accents he turned the feelings of a peasant into their pride, their efforts, and their loves.
sung of their distress, he is also the poet of works of art. He not only contemplated nature, but he toiled at her. This rapid sketch in no way claims Fine as are his landscapes, reminding to be an exhaustive account of M. Anus of Millet's paintings, and deeply as gellier's able and sympathetic criticism his poems are penetrated with nature, of Burns. We have only roughly indihe regarded her chiefly as a background cated its lines and endeavored to emfor human activity, and thus differs phasize those parts of it likely to prove considerably from Wordsworth, Shel- attractive to British readers. For rea. ley, and Keats, of whom he is often sons stated before, we have carefully regarded as a forerunner. In his love kept ourselves in the background, and for animals he stands alone. He knew have attempted nothing more than to them well, rejoiced with them in their set before our readers as clearly as may happiness and sorrowed with them in be the point of view of the French their pain. Perhaps it is to the deep critic. The work must have cost him tenderness, the pity, the compassion, considerable care and trouble; a most and affection for all animated things formidable list of volumes, English, that Burns owes his originality in re- French, and German, consulted in the gard to nature. Wordsworth was too course of its preparation, is appended. serene, too far removed from particular Sometimes it would seem that the latest phenomena. Shelley possessed tender- editions and most trustworthy biograness, but it was vague, impersonal, phies of English writers have been elementary, applying itself rather to overlooked, but that is perhaps inevatmospheric forces than to animated itable when one is not on the spot. beings. Cowper approaches nearest Neither can we call to mind any poem Burns in this particular. Burns has by Tennyson on Mary Stuart. Can also nothing in common with the feel- M. Angellier know the drama “Queen ing for nature of our modern poets. Mary” by its title only? But where He never occupies himself with nature so much is excellent, to carp at trifles for her own sake, the characteristic is little-minded indeed ; and all lovers note of modern poetry ; he regards her of poetry owe sincere gratitude to M. Angellier for his careful, sympathetic, ancient stock of this slim rustling unand luminous study
derwood ; nothing looks older than Of him who walked in glory and in joy
Louis Philippe. The Sylvanectes, the Following his plough, along the mountain-Gaulish foresters, have so entirely disside.
SPRING IN THE WOODS OF VALOIS.
CHANTILLY is the game preserve of From The Contemporary Review. a hunter-prince, and everything about
it is ordered for the chase. Those
wide-open, grassy glades studded with “The prettiest April still wears a birch or oak-scrub are haunted by the wreath of frost !” So runs the old deer; and in those thickets of golden French proverb, proved false for once broom the heavy does prepare their by this mirific April of 1893. By the nurseries. Great, foundering, russet end of the month the heat was parched pleasants come flying by ; at every step as midsummer ; roses and strawberries a hare or a white-tailed rabbit starts up were hawked through the streets of out of the grass. At the further end of Paris ; the dust was a moving sepul- the forest, there are deep, unsightly chre, and the sunshine a burden. We thickets of mud and thorn, left darklonged for a plunge into the great for- ling amid the trim order of the place ; ests of the North. O for the cool grass for the wild boar delights in them. As and the deep glades of woods that have we walk or drive down the neat-clipt been woods for these two thousand avenues of the forest, the roads appear years ! 'Tis something to feel oneself impassable to the traveller, and we iu a Gaulish forest — though I can re- wonder at the contrast between their member older trees in Warwickshire. shoals of sand and the careful forestry But here at least, from father to son, that pares and cuts every wilding branch the succession is imposing, and the del- of the over-arching hornbeam roof. icate silver birches of Chantilly spring But the roads are bad on purpose ; from ancestors which may have shad- every spring they are ploughed afresh, owed Pharamond.
lest they lose the lightness beloved of
the horseman. At Chantilly the train put us down Every May, a beautiful fault fruson the edge of the forest. I always trates this skilful venery, for, thick as wish that we had stayed there, in the grass, thick and sweet, the lily of the little station inn, where the air is still valley springs in all the brakes and sweet with may and lilies. But we shady places. The scent of the game drove on to the town, with its neat, will not lie across these miles of blosexpensive hotels, its rows of training som. The hunters are in despair, and stables, and parched, oblong race- the deer, still deafened with the wincourse.
Tis a true French village, ter's yelp of the hounds — the deer, with its one endless winding street, who sets his back against the sturdiest pearl-grey, with a castle at the end of it. oak, and butts at the pack with his antFrom almost any point of it you see, lers, who swims the lakes, and from beyond the houses, a glint of waters his island refuge sells his life as hard and hear a rustle of woods. There is as he can — the deer, accustomed to be an indescribable airy lightness about always vanquished, beholds himself at the place, about the fresli, fine air, the last befriended by an ally more invinciloose sand of the soil, the thin green ble than water or forest oak, by the boughs of silver birch and hornbeam, sweet, innumerable white lily, innocent the smooth-trunked beechen glades as himself, that every May-time sends that are never allowed to grow into the huntsmen home. great forest trees. It is with an effort The lily that saves the deer is the of the imagination that we realize the consolation of poor women. Every morning during the brief season of its | asleep amid the trees; a turreted white blossom they are up before the dawn. castle rises out of a sedgy island, and Holding their children by the hand they appears the very palace of the Belle au are off to the innermost dells of its Bois dormant. These are the Pools of forest; and before our breakfast time Commelle — pools or lakes ? Pool is they are back at the railway stations of too small and lake too large for the Chantilly or Creil, laden with bunches good French word étang. They are of lilies, which they sell to the dusty considerable lakelets, some miles round, passengers bound by the morning mails four in a row, connected each with for London or for Brussels. Sweet each. They lie in a sheltered valley, flowers with the dew upon them, fra- almost a ravine, whose romantic chargrant posies, who would not give a acter contrasts with the rest of the forfive-penny piece for so much beauty ? est. Here the clipped and slender trees “What would you buy with your roses of Chantilly give place to an older and that is worth your roses ? " sings the more stately vegetation. The gnarled Persian poet. They would know what roots of the beeches grip the sides of to reply, these tired countrywomen of the hills with an amazing cordage, the Oise : new sabots for the goodman, spreading as far over the sandy cliff as a white communion veil for the second their boughs expand above. In the girl, a shawl for the old grandam, and a bottom of the combe, one after another galette for the children's dinner! The lie the four sister pools. The road lilies are a harvest to them, like any winds by their side through meadows other - a sweet, voluntary, unplanted of cowslips, past the bulrushes where harvest that comes three months before the swan sits on her nest, and past the the corn is yellow.
clear spaces of open water, where her The lilies were all out when we drove mate swims double on the wave. The through the wood at Chantilly. I had brink is brilliant with kingcup in a film never seen such a sight, for we had not of ladysmock. At the end of the last yet visited Compiègne, where they are pool the ground rises towards the forstill more profuse and, I think, of a est. There are some ruins ; an old larger growth. In the Hay-woods in grey mill rises by the weir. The swell Warwickshire they grow sparsely, in of the land, the grace and peace of the timid clumps ; and how proud of them lake, the sedgy foreground are exquiwe were ! But nowhere have I seen sitely tranquil. It is a picture of Vicat such a sheet of any flowers as these. Cole's — à la dixième puissance. Anemones and tulips of Florence, tall We return along the other track to jonquils of Orange, ye have at last a the Sleeping Beauty's Castle — le Chârival in the North! The whole way to teau de la Reine Blanche, as the people Commelle the glades were sweet with prefer to call it. It is no castle at all, in lilies.
fact, but a small hunting-lodge belongEvery traveller from Calais to Paris ing to the Prince de Joinville. A tradihas marked unwitting the beauty of tion runs that in 1227 the mother of St. Commelle. You remember the view Louis had a château here. Six hundred that precedes or follows (according to years later, the last of the Condés built your direction) the little station of Orry the château of to-day, with its four Coye? The rails are laid on the sum- white turrets, the exaggerated ogives of mit of a hill; the train rushes through its windows, and its steep grey roof. a delicate forest of birch. Suddenly we 'Tis the romantic Gothic of Gautier and come upon a clearing, and on the one Victor Hugo, the Gothic of 1830, more hand we see, in a wide blue vista, the poetic than antiquarian. For all its slow declining valley of the Thève, lack of science, there is an ancient placid and royal amid its mantling grace about this ideal of our grandwoods ; while, on the other side, the fathers, a scent, as it were, of dried hill breaks in a sort of precipice, and rose-leaves, and a haunting, as of an shows, deep below, a chain of lakelets old tune, “Ma Normandie," perhaps,
or “ Combien j'ai douce souvenance.” | dens of Le Notre, was a thing to wonThe mill-race rushes loud under the der at and envy. Here Henri, Duke Gothic arches. A blue lilac flowers of Montmorency, kept his court and near the hall door. It is very silent, filled his galleries with famous pictures. very peaceful, very deserted.
The He was a great patron of the arts. Castle of St. Louis would not have His wife, the “Silvie ” of the poets of seemed so old-world as this.
her time, has left her name still, like a We must make a long road home by perfume, among the avenues and parks the Table Ronde, or we shall not have of Chantilly. It was a princely life ; seen the best of the Forest of Chan- but the duke was discontented in his tilly. There is still the village to see, castle ; private wealth could not conand the castle, and the charming coun- sole him for public woes, and he joined try that stretches on either side of the in the revolt of Gaston d'Orléans. He long village street. I remember one was defeated at the head of his troops, walk we went. A row of steps leads taken prisoner, and beheaded at Tousteeply down from the market-place louse by order of Cardinal Richelieu. to the banks of the Nonette, which“ On the scaffold,” says St. Simon, runs demurely as befits its name, be-“he bequeathed one of his best pictween an overspanning arch of lofty tures to Richelieu, and another to my poplars. They quite meet at the top father." above the narrow river. But the river The duke was a near kinsman of the is richer than it looks, and, as some- Prince of Condé. Until the last, “Siltimes we a meek-faced, slender vie” had believed that Condé, powerlittle woman, mother of some amazing ful and in the king's good graces, would Hebe of a beauty, so the small Nonette intervene, and save her husband's life. supplies the sources of yon great oh. To her surprise, Condé held his peace. long sheet of artificial water, more The axe fell — and “Silvie " underthan two miles long and eighty metres stood, when the king awarded the conwide! A stone's-throw beyond the fiscated glories of Chantilly to Condé. poplar walk, it glitters, it shines, it For a hundred and fifty years,
Chandazzles in the valley, visible from the tilly continued the almost royal pleaswindows of the castle on the hill. A ure-house, the Versailles of the Princes bridge crosses the bright expanse, and of Condé. Then the great Revolution leads to a beautiful meadow caught in razed the castle to the ground. It was between the water and the forest, which not here, but some miles away — at St. rises steeply here into a long, low hill. Leu-Taverny — that the last Condé There we found a score of bloused, died in 1830. Chantilly, which had bareheaded workmen, lying on the come into the family by a violent death, grass, dreaming away their dinner left it also in a sombre and mysterious hour. Chantilly is not picturesque, but fashion. The last Prince of Condé at every turn the place is full of pic- was found one morning hanged to the tures.
handle of his casement-window. The Before we leave, we must turn round castle of Chantilly passed to the Duc by the castle, with its fine old gardens d’Aumale. In 1840 he began the labor planted by Le Notre, its vast stables of restoring it; but the Revolution of imposing as a church, its sheets of 1848 sent him into exile, and only in water out of which rises, elegantly 1872 was Chantilly restored to its rightturreted, the brand-new château of ful proprietor. Then, like a phenix, 1880, so reminiscent of the older castles the new castle began to rise swiftly of Touraine. For once there was an from its nest of ash and ruin. It is as older castle here, built by Jean Bullant like the castle of the Renaissance, from for Anne of Montmorency. The great which it descends, as a young child is constable left the splendid palace to like its illustrious ancestor.
'Tis a his son, and in 1632 Chantilly, as it princely and elegant palace, and we stood among the waters and the gar- tind no fault with it beyond its youth.