Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 10.djvu/447

This page needs to be proofread.


9. s. x. NOV. 29, 1902.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


439


decline of Greek learning and of the last period of the Italian Renaissance, roughly dated from 1494 to the sack of Rome in 1527. Temptations must, how- ever, be resisted, unless the notice could be spread over several numbers. We content ourselves ac- cordingly with announcing the beginning of a series of the utmost importance, which is destined to find many imitators, and ultimately, perhaps, to revo- lutionize the writing of history. A feature of especial interest and importance in the work con- sists of the bibliographies of the various subjects given at the close. We welcome also an index. This is, of course, indispensable. In the case of a book by many different writers it has, however, presumably, to be done from without. The volume occupies over eight hundred pages.

Mallet du Pan and the French Revolution. By

Bernard Mallet. (Longmans & Co.) A NOTEWORTHY passage of Mr. Mallet's monograph on his great-grandfather closes the seventh chapter, which deals with what is known as 'The Vienna Correspondence': "This pamphlet is full of in- struction, with its serried arguments, its command of philosophical maxim and historical analogy, its indignant eloquence. In England it would have secured for its author the posthumous fame of a Burke ; in France it has remained to this day un- noticed and unquoted." It may not be judged from this that France is less ready than England to recognize the value of logic and argument. The writer, however, though a power in France, and French in origin, was, in fact, a Swiss, and the 'Correspondence' in question, though written in French, was addressed to foreigners, and was directly opposed to everything which those con- cerned with the government of France held desirable or dear. How potent was the influence exercised by the writer France is charged with neglecting is shown by the fact that, by the agency of Bonaparte, Mallet du Pan had to leave his shelter in Berne, seeking refuge in Con- stance and Zurich, and ultimately, as the only place secure against the Corsican, in England, where a couple of years later, in 1800. he died. To men of to-day with the exception of those who have made a close study of the Revolution Mallet du Pan is the shadow of a name. He is, however, one of the most interesting figures in revolutionary history ; the most interesting, it may be, of those who counselled moderation, whom the approaching excesses of the Terror drove into reaction, and who became sage, prudent, and neglected champions of royalty. He may also be regarded as one of the first of journalists, a man who gave, when the insti- tution he founded was new, what would now be regarded as counsels of perfection.

Some knowledge of Mallet du Pan on the part of the reader must be assumed, since to give the faintest idea of his character and work is impos- sible within less than the limits of a magazine article. Cursory readers may, however, be sup- posed to know what has been said concerning him by men such as Carlyle, Sainte - Beuve, Taitie, and Hatin, the historian of the French Press. So early as 1851 appeared the ' Memoires^ et Corre- spondance de Mallet du Pan,' written With the assistance of J. L. Mallet, the son of Mallet, by A. Sayous. The ' Correspondance In^dite de Mallet du Pan avec la Cour de Vienne,' by Andre Michel, was issued in 1884, with a preface by Taine ; and many other important works, in addition to articles


in Le Correspondant, the Revue Historique, and the Edinburgh Review, treated 9f the works and the influence of this great and distinguished publiciste. The present volume by Mr. Bernard Mallet, his great-grandson, the inheritor of his literary remains, is the most important that has yet been seen, and will do more than all others to spread a knowledge in England of a man who died in England, and whose descendants, of Huguenot descent, have re- mained in this country, where they have occu- pied official positions, and been friends, kinsmen, or collaborators with our Barings, Merivales, Romillys, Mackintoshes, Hollands, Lansdownes, Ricardos, and Mills. Moderate in statement, philo- sophical in argument, and vmtten in excellent English, the book may be read with pleasure and studied with advantage, and is quite indispensable to a knowledge of the period between the out- break of the Revolution and the establishment in power of Bonaparte. Assistant of Linguet in the ' Annales Politiq'ues,' which, after the imprison- ment of that brilliant but perverse and turbulent politician, he conducted alone, editor of the ' Memoires Historiques,' and then, at the invita- tion of Panckoucke, of the Mercure de France a post which he held for nearly ten years, and only abandoned when he wasucompelled to take refuge in Switzerland Mallet cm Pan exercised a potent influence in France. After his flight he became the counsellor of foreign governments andof the French royalists, and, after his escape to England, editor of the Mercure Britannique. Very sage was the advice he gave to the German Courts, too occupied with their own schemes to listen to the words of wisdom or prudence, while the French royalists, incapable of learning from experience, treated him with ingratitude and regarded him with aversion. When at the age of forty-nine he expired in Rich- mond, at the house of Count Lally Tollendal, he was prematurely old. Government settled a pen- sion of (nominally) two hundred a year from the Civil List on his widow, and his son had a berth given him in the Audit Office of two hundred and fifty a year. Private friends assisted the family, and something approaching a public funeral was accorded. We have noticed ma.ny passages worth quoting in an admirable book which we can but warmly commend to our readers. A reproduction of the portrait of Mallet du Pan by J. F. Rigaud, R.A., is an attrac- tive feature in a valuable work.

Forster's Life of Dickens. Abridged and revised by

George Gissing. (Chapman & Hall.) BIOGRAPHIES on the scale of those supplied by John Forster, of Goldsmith first and subsequently of Charles Dickens, are calculated to defeat in part their own purpose, and to be consulted rather than read. The time has now been reached when an authoritative life of Dickens long enough to pre- sent all the particulars concerning him for which the public asks, and yet not overburdened with pictures of his surroundings, has become a necessary companion to the standard editions of the novelist's works. This requirement is supplied in the abridg- ment of Forsters monumental work which Mr. Gissing now issues. All that the general reader can seek to know concerning Dickens's career and its environment or, at least, all that it is expedient he should learn is given in a work which is a faith- ful record of a life meteoric, in a sense, but chiefly domestic and uneventful. A liberal allowance of illustrations serves to point the contrast between