Read VICTOR HUGO’S “NINETY-THREE.” of Studies in Literature, free online book, by John Morley, on

“History has its truth, Legend has its truth.  Legendary truth is of a different nature from historic truth.  Legendary truth is invention with reality for result.  For the rest, history and legend have the same aim ­to paint under the man of a day eternal humanity.”  These words from his new and latest work (i are a repetition of what Victor Hugo had already said in the introduction to his memorable Legend of the Ages.  But the occasion of their application is far more delicate.  Poetry lends itself naturally to the spacious, distant, vague, highly generalised way of present and real events.  A prose romance, on the other hand, is of necessity abundant in details, in special circumstances, in particularities of time and place.  This leaves all the more room for historic error, and historic error in a work of imagination dealing with actual and known occurrences is obviously fatal, not only to legendary truth, but to legendary beauty and poetic impressiveness.  And then the pitfalls which lie about the feet of the Frenchman who has to speak of 1793, ­the terrible year of the modern epoch!  The delirium of the Terror haunts most of the revolutionary historians, and the choicest examples in all literature of bombast, folly, emptiness, political immorality, inhumanity, formal repudiation of common sense and judgment, are to be found in the rhapsodies which men of letters, some of them men of eminence, call histories of the Revolution, or lives of this or that actor in it.

It was hardly a breach, therefore, of one’s allegiance to Hugo’s superb imaginative genius, if one had misgivings as to the result of an attempt, even in his strong hands, to combine legend with truth on a disastrous field, in which grave writers with academic solemnity had confounded truth with the falsest kind of legend.  The theme was so likely to emphasise the defects incident to his mighty qualities; so likely to provoke an exaggeration of those mannerisms of thought no less than of phrase, which though never ignoble nor paltry, yet now and then take something from the loftiness and sincerity of the writer’s work.  Wisdom, however, is justified of her children, and M. Hugo’s genius has justified his choice of a difficult and perilous subject. Quatrevingt-treize is a monument of its author’s finest gifts; and while those who are happily endowed with the capacity of taking delight in nobility and beauty of imaginative work will find themselves in possession of a new treasure, the lover of historic truth who hates to see abstractions passed off for actualities and legend erected in the place of fact escapes with his sensibilities almost unwounded.

The historic interlude at the beginning of the second volume is undoubtedly open to criticism from the political student’s point of view.  As a sketch of the Convention, the scene of its sittings, the stormful dramas that were enacted there one after another for month after month, the singular men who one after another rode triumphant upon the whirlwind for a little space, and were then mercilessly in an instant swept into outer darkness, the commoner men who cowered before the fury of the storm, and were like “smoke driven hither and thither by the wind,” and laboured hard upon a thousand schemes for human improvement, some admirable, others mere frenzy, while mobs filed in and danced mad carmagnoles before them ­all this is a magnificent masterpiece of accurate, full, and vivid description.  To the philosophy of it we venture to demur.  The mystic, supernatural view of the French Revolution, which is so popular among French writers who object to the supernatural and the mystical everywhere else, is to us a thing most incredible, most puerile, most mischievous.  People talk of ’93, as a Greek tragedian treats the Tale of Troy divine, or the terrible fortunes of the house of Atreus, as the result of dark invincible fate, as the unalterable decree of the immortal gods.  Even Victor Hugo’s strong spirit does not quite overcome the demoralising doctrine of a certain revolutionary school, though he has the poet’s excuse.  Thus, of the Convention: ­

“Minds all a prey to the wind.  But this wind was a wind of miracle and portent.  To be a member of the Convention was to be a wave of the ocean.  And this was true of its greatest.  The force of impulsion came from on high.  There was in the Convention a will, which was the will of all, and yet was the will of no one.  It was an idea, an idea resistless and without measure, which breathed in the shadow from the high heavens.  We call that the Revolution.  As this idea passed, it threw down one and raised up another; it bore away this man in the foam, and broke that man to pieces upon the rocks.  The idea knew whither it went, and drove the gulf of waters before it.  To impute the Revolution to men is as one who should impute the tide to the waves.  The revolution is an action of the Unknown....  It is a form of the abiding phenomenon that shuts us in on every side and that we call Necessity....  In presence of these climacteric catastrophes which waste and vivify civilisation, one is slow to judge detail.  To blame or praise men on account of the result, is as if one should blame or praise the figures on account of the total.  That which must pass passes, the storm that must rage rages.  The eternal serenity does not suffer from these boisterous winds.  Above revolutions truth and justice abide, as the starry heaven abides above the tempests” -189).

As a lyric passage, full of the breath of inspiration; as history, superficial and untrue; as morality, enervating and antinomian.  The author is assuredly far nearer the mark in another place when he speaks of “that immense improvisation which is the French Revolution” (i ­an improvisation of which every step can be rationally explained.

After all, this is no more than an interlude.  Victor Hugo only surveys the events of ’93 as a field for the growth of types of character.  His instinct as an artist takes him away from the Paris of ’93, where the confusion, uproar, human frenzy, leave him no background of nature, with nature’s fixity, sternness, indifference, sublimity.  This he found in La Vendée, whose vast forests grow under the pencil of this master of all the more terrible and majestic effects, into a picture hardly less sombre and mighty in its impressiveness than the memorable ocean pieces of the Toilers of the Sea.  If the waves are appalling in their agitation, their thunders, their sterility, the forest is appalling in its silence, its dimness, its rest, and the invisibleness of the thousand kinds of life to which it gives a shelter.  If the violence and calm and mercilessness of the sea penetrated the romance of eight years ago with transcendent fury, so does the stranger, more mysterious, and in a sense even the more inhuman life of the forest penetrate the romance of to-day.  From the opening chapter down to the very close, even while the interlude takes us for a little while to the Paris cafe where Danton, Robespierre, and Marat sit in angry counsel, even while we are on the sea with the royalist Marquis and Halmalo, the reader is subtly haunted by the great Vendean woods, their profundity, their mystery, their tragic and sinister beauties.

    “The forest is barbarous.

“The configuration of the land counsels man in many an act.  More than we suppose, it is his accomplice.  In the presence of certain savage landscapes, you are tempted to exonerate man and blame creation; you feel a silent challenge and incitement from nature; the desert is constantly unwholesome for conscience, especially for a conscience without light.  Conscience may be a giant; that makes a Socrates or a Jesus:  it may be a dwarf; that makes an Atreus or a Judas.  The puny conscience soon turns reptile; the twilight thickets, the brambles, the thorns, the marsh waters under branches, make for it a fatal haunting place; amid all this it undergoes the mysterious infiltration of ill suggestions.  The optical illusions, the unexplained images, the scaring hour, the scaring spot, all throw man into that kind of affright, half-religious, half-brutal, which in ordinary times engenders superstition, and in epochs of violence, savagery.  Hallucinations hold the torch that lights the path to murder.  There is something like vertigo in the brigand.  Nature with her prodigies has a double effect; she dazzles great minds, and blinds the duller soul.  When man is ignorant, when the desert offers visions, the obscurity of the solitude is added to the obscurity of the intelligence; thence in man comes the opening of abysses.  Certain rocks, certain ravines, certain thickets, certain wild openings of the evening sky through the trees, drive man towards mad or monstrous exploits.  We might almost call some places criminal” (i.

With La Vendée for background, and some savage incidents of the bloody Vendean war for external machinery, Victor Hugo has realised his conception of ’93 in three types of character:  Lantenac, the royalist marquis; Cimourdain, the puritan turned Jacobin; and Gauvain, for whom one can as yet find no short name, he belonging to the millenarian times.  Lantenac, though naturally a less original creation than the other two, is still an extremely bold and striking figure, drawn with marked firmness of hand, and presenting a thoroughly distinct and coherent conception.  It is a triumph of the poetic or artistic part of the author’s nature over the merely political part, that he should have made even his type of the old feudal order which he execrates so bitterly, a heroic, if ever so little also a diabolic, personage.  There is everything that is cruel, merciless, unflinching, in Lantenac; there is nothing that is mean or insignificant.  A gunner at sea, by inattention to the lashing of his gun, causes an accident which breaks the ship to pieces, and then he saves the lives of the crew by hazarding his own life to secure the wandering monster.  Lantenac decorates him with the cross of Saint Lewis for his gallantry, and instantly afterwards has him shot for his carelessness.  He burns homesteads and villages, fusillades men and women, and makes the war a war without quarter or grace.  Yet he is no swashbuckler of the melodramatic stage.  There is a fine reserve, a brief gravity, in the delineation of him, his clear will, his quickness, his intrepidity, his relentlessness, which make of him the incarnation of aristocratic coldness, hatred, and pride.  You might guillotine Lantenac with exquisite satisfaction, and yet he does not make us ashamed of mankind.  Into his mouth, as he walks about his dungeon, impatiently waiting to be led out to execution, Victor Hugo has put the aristocratic view of the Revolution.  Some portions of it (i-226) would fit amazingly well into M. Renan’s notions about the moral and intellectual reform of France.

If the Breton aristocrat of ’93 was fearless, intrepid, and without mercy in defence of God and the King ­and his qualities were all shared, the democrat may love to remember, by the Breton peasant, whether peasant follower or peasant leader ­the Jacobin was just as vigorous, as intrepid, as merciless in defence of his Republic.  “Pays, Patrie,” says Victor Hugo, in words which perhaps will serve to describe many a future passage in French history, “ces deux mots resument toute la guerre de Vendée; querelle de l’idee locale centre l’idee universelle; paysans contre patriotes” (i. Certainly the Jacobins were the patriots of that era, the deliverers of France from something like that process of partition which further east was consummated in this very ’93.  We do not mean the handful of odious miscreants who played fool and demon in turns in the insurrectionary Commune and elsewhere:  such men as Collot d’Herbois, or Carrier, or Panis.  The normal Jacobin was a remarkable type.  He has been excellently described by Louis Blanc as something powerful, original, sombre; half agitator and half statesman; half puritan and half monk half inquisitor and half tribune.  These words of the historian are the exact prose version of the figure of Cimourdain, the typical Jacobin of the poet.  “Cimourdain was a pure conscience, but sombre.  He had in him the absolute.  He had been a priest and that is a serious thing.  Man, like the sky, may have a dark serenity; it is enough that something should have brought night into his soul.  Priesthood had brought night into Cimourdain.  He who has been a priest is one still.  What brings night upon us may leave the stars with us.  Cimourdain was full of virtues, full of truths, but they shone in the midst of darkness” .  If the aristocrat had rigidity, so had the Jacobin.  “Cimourdain had the blind certitude of the arrow, which only sees the mark and makes for it.  In revolution, nothing so formidable as the straight line.  Cimourdain strode forward with fatality in his step.  He believed that in social genesis the very extreme point must always be solid ground, an error peculiar to minds that for reason substitute logic” .  And so forth, until the character of the Jacobin lives for us with a precision, a fulness, a naturalness, such as neither Carlyle nor Michelet nor Quinet has been able to clothe it with, though these too have the sacred illumination of genius.  Victor Hugo’s Jacobin is a poetic creation, yet the creation only lies in the vivid completeness with which the imagination of a great master has realised to itself the traits and life of an actual personality.  It is not that he has any special love for his Jacobin, but that he has the poet’s eye for types, politics apart.  He sees how much the aristocrat, slaying hip and thigh for the King, and the Jacobin, slaying hip and thigh for the Republic, resembled one another.  “Let us confess,” he says, “these two men, the Marquis and the priest [Lantenac and Cimourdain], were up to a certain point the self-same man.  The bronze mask of civil war has two profiles, one turned towards the past, the other towards the future, but as tragic the one as the other.  Lantenac was the first of these profiles, Cimourdain was the second; only the bitter rictus of Lantenac was covered with shadow and night, and on the fatal brow of Cimourdain was a gleaming of the dawn” (i.

And let us mark Victor Hugo’s signal distinction in his analysis of character.  It is not mere vigour of drawing, nor acuteness of perception, nor fire of imagination, though he has all these gifts in a singular degree, and truest of their kind.  But then Scott had them too, and yet we feel in Victor Hugo’s work a seriousness, a significance, a depth of tone, which never touches us in the work of his famous predecessor in romance, delightful as the best of that work is.  Balfour of Burley is one of Scott’s most commanding figures, and the stern Covenanter is nearly in the same plane of character as the stern heroic Jacobin.  Yet Cimourdain impresses us more profoundly.  He is as natural, as human, as readily conceivable, and yet he produces something of the subtle depth of effect which belongs to the actor in a play of Aeschylus.  Why is this?  Because Hugo makes us conscious of that tragedy of temperament, that sterner Necessity of character, that resistless compulsion of circumstance, which is the modern and positive expression for the old Destiny of the Greeks, and which in some expression or other is now an essential element in the highest presentation of human life.  Here is not the Unknown.  On the contrary, we are in the very heart of science; tragedy to the modern is not [Greek:  tuchae], but a thing of cause and effect, invariable antecedent and invariable consequent.  It is the presence of this tragic force underlying action that gives to all Hugo’s work its lofty quality, its breadth, and generality, and fills both it, and us who read, with pity and gravity and an understanding awe.

The action is this.  Cimourdain had the young Gauvain to train from his earliest childhood, and the pupil grew up with the same rigid sense of duty as the master, though temperament modified its form.  When the Revolution came, Gauvain, though a noble, took sides with the people, but he was not of the same spirit as his teacher.  “The Revolution,” says Victor Hugo, “by the side of youthful figures of giants, such as Danton, Saint-Just, and Robespierre, has young ideal figures, like Hoche and Marceau.  Gauvain was one of these figures” (i.  Cimourdain has himself named delegate from the Committee of Public Safety to the expeditionary column of which Gauvain is in command.  The warmth of affection between them was undiminished, but difference in temperament bred difference in their principles.  They represented, as the author says, with the candour of the poet, the two poles of the truth; the two sides of the inarticulate, subterranean, fatal contention of the year of the Terror.  Their arguments with one another make the situation more intelligible to the historic student, as they make the characters of the speakers more transparent for the purposes of the romance.

This is Cimourdain: ­

“Beware, there are terrible duties in life.  Do not accuse what is not responsible.  Since when has the disorder been the fault of the physician?  Yes, what marks this tremendous year is being without pity.  Why?  Because it is the great revolutionary year.  This year incarnates the revolution.  The revolution has an enemy, the old world, and to that it is pitiless, just as the surgeon has an enemy, gangrene, and is pitiless to that.  The revolution extirpates kingship in the king, aristocracy in the noble, despotism in the soldier, superstition in the priest, barbarity in the judge, in a word whatever is tyranny in whatever is tyrant.  The operation is frightful, the revolution performs it with a sure hand.  As to the quantity of sound flesh that it requires, ask Boerhave what he thinks of it.  What tumour that has to be cut out does not involve loss of blood?...  The revolution devotes itself to its fated task.  It mutilates but it saves....  It has the past in its grasp, it will not spare.  It makes in civilisation a deep incision whence shall come the safety of the human race.  You suffer?  No doubt.  How long will it last?  The time needed for the operation.  Then you will live,” etc. (i-66).

“One day,” he adds, “the Revolution will justify the Terror.”  To which Gauvain retorts thus: ­

“Fear lest the Terror be the calumny of the Revolution.  Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, are dogmas of peace and harmony.  Why give them an aspect of alarm?  What do we seek?  To win nations to the universal public.  Then why inspire fright?  Of what avail is intimidation?  It is wrong to do ill in order to do good.  You do not pull down the throne to leave the scaffold standing.  Let us hurl away crowns, let us spare heads.  The revolution is concord, not affright.  Mild ideas are ill-served by men who do not know pity.  Amnesty is for me the noblest word in human speech.  I will shed no blood save at hazard of my own....  In the fight let us be the enemies of our foes, and after the victory their brothers” (i.

These two together, Cimourdain and Gauvain, make an ideal pair of the revolutionists of ’93.  Strip each of them of the beauty of character with which the poet’s imagination has endowed them, add instead passion, violence, envy, egoism, malice; then you understand how in the very face of the foreign enemy Girondins sharpened the knife for the men of the Mountain, Hebertists screamed for the lives of Robespierrists, Robespierre struck off the head of Danton, Thermidorians crushed Robespierre.

Victor Hugo has given to this typic historical struggle of ’93 the qualities of nobleness and beauty which art requires in dealing with real themes.  Lantenac falls into the hands of the Blues, headed by Cimourdain and Gauvain, but he does so in consequence of yielding to a heroic and self-devoting impulse of humanity.  Cimourdain, true to his temperament, insists on his instant execution.  Gauvain, true also to his temperament, is seized with a thousand misgivings, and there is no more ample, original, and masterly presentation of a case of conscience, that in civil war is always common enough, than the struggle through which Gauvain passes before he can resolve to deliver Lantenac.  This pathetic debate ­“the stone of Sisyphus, which is only the quarrel of man with himself” ­turns on the loftiest, broadest, most generous motives, touching the very bases of character, and reaching far beyond the issue of ’93.  The political question is seen to be no more than a superficial aspect of the deeper moral question.  Lantenac, the representative of the old order, had performed an exploit of signal devotion.  Was it not well that one who had faith in the new order should show himself equally willing to cast away his life to save one whom self-sacrifice had transformed from the infernal Satan into the heavenly Lucifer?

“Gauvain saw in the shade the sinister smile of the sphinx.  The situation was a sort of dread crossway where the conflicting truths issued and confronted one another, and where the three supreme ideas of man stood face to face ­humanity, the family, the fatherland.  Each of the voices spoke in turn, and each in turn declared the truth.  How choose?  Each in turn seemed to hit the mark of reason and justice, and said, Do that.  Was that the thing to be done?  Yes.  No.  Reasoning counselled one thing; sentiment another; the two counsels were contradictory.  Reasoning is only reason; sentiment is often conscience; the one comes from man, the other from a loftier source.  That is why sentiment has less distinctness, and more might.  Yet what strength in the severity of reason!  Gauvain hesitated.  His perplexity was so fierce.  Two abysses opened before him:  to destroy the marquis, or to save him.  Which of these two gulfs was duty?”

The whole scene (i-219) is a masterpiece of dramatic strength, sustention, and flexibility ­only equalled by the dramatic vivacity of the scene in which Cimourdain, sitting as judge, orders the prisoner to be brought forward, to his horror sees Gauvain instead of Lantenac, and then proceeds to condemn the man whom he loves best on earth to be taken to the guillotine.

The tragedy of the story, its sombre tone, the overhanging presence of death in it, are prevented from being oppressive to us by the variety of minor situation and subordinate character with which the writer has surrounded the central figures.  No writer living is so consummate a master of landscape, and besides the forest we here have an elaborate sea-piece, full of the weird, ineffable, menacing suggestion of the sea in some of her unnumbered moods; and there is a scene of late twilight on a high solitary down over the bay of Mont Saint-Michel, to which a reader blessed with sensibility to the subtler impressions of landscape will turn again and again, as one visits again and again some actual prospect where the eye procures for the inner sense a dream of beauty and the incommensurable.  Perhaps the palm for exquisite workmanship will be popularly given, and justly given, to the episode humorously headed The Massacre of Saint Bartholomew, at the opening of the third volume.  It is the story of three little children, barely out of infancy, awaking, playing, eating, wondering, slumbering, in solitude through a summer day in an old tower.  As a rule the attempt to make infancy interesting in literature ends in maudlin failure.  But at length the painters have found an equal, or more than an equal, in an artist whose medium lends itself less easily than colour and form to the reproduction of the beauty and life of childhood.  In his poetry Victor Hugo had already shown his passing sensibility to the pathos of the beginnings of our life; witness such pieces as Chose vue un Jour de Printemps, Les Pauvres Gens, the well-known pieces in L’Annee Terrible, and a hundred other lively touches and fragments of finished loveliness and penetrating sympathy.  In prose it is a more difficult feat to collect the trivial details which make up the life of the tiny human animal into a whole that shall be impressive, finished, and beautiful.  And prose can only describe by details enumerated one by one.  This most arduous feat is accomplished in the children’s summer day in the tower, and with enchanting success.  Intensely realistic, yet the picture overflows with emotion ­not the emotion of the mother, but of the poet.  There is infinite tenderness, pathos, love, but all heightened at once and strengthened by the self-control of masculine force.  A man writing about little ones seems able to place himself outside, and thus to gain more calmness and freedom of vision than the more passionate interest or yearning of women permits to them in this field of art.  Not a detail is spared, yet the whole is full of delight and pity and humour.  Only one lyric passage is allowed to poetise and accentuate the realism of the description.  Georgette, some twenty months old, scrambles from her cradle and prattles to the sunbeam.

“What a bird says in its song, a child says in its prattle.  ’Tis the same hymn; a hymn indistinct, lisping, profound.  The child has what the bird has not, the sombre human destiny in front of it.  Hence the sadness of men as they listen, mingling with the joy of the little one as it sings.  The sublimest canticle to be heard on earth is the stammering of the human soul on the lips of infancy.  That confused chirruping of a thought, that is as yet no more than an instinct, has in it one knows not what sort of artless appeal to the eternal justice; or is it a protest uttered on the threshold before entering in, a protest meek and poignant?  This ignorance smiling at the Infinite compromises all creation in the lot that shall fall to the weak defenceless being.  Ill, if it shall come, will be an abuse of confidence.

“The child’s murmuring is more and is less than words; there are no notes, and yet it is a song; there are no syllables, and yet it is a language....  This poor stammering is a compound of what the child said when it was an angel, and of what it will say when it becomes a man.  The cradle has a Yesterday as the grave has a Morrow; the Morrow and the Yesterday mingle in that strange cooing their twofold mystery....”

“Her lips smiled, her eyes smiled, the dimples in her cheeks smiled.  There came forth in this smile a mysterious welcome of the morning.  The soul has faith in the ray.  The heavens were blue, warm was the air.  The fragile creature, without knowing anything, or recognising anything, or understanding anything, softly floating in musings which are not thought, felt itself in safety in the midst of nature, among those good trees and that guileless greenery, in the pure and peaceful landscape, amid the rustle of nests, of flowing springs, of insects, of leaves, while over all there glowed the great innocency of the sun” (i.

As an eminent man has recently written about Wordsworth’s most famous Ode, there may be some bad philosophy here, but there is assuredly some noble and touching poetry.

If the carelessness of infancy is caught with this perfection of finish, there is a tragic companion piece in the horror and gnawing anguish of the wretched woman from whom her young have been taken ­her rescue from death, her fierce yearnings for them like the yearnings of a beast, her brute-like heedlessness of her life and her body in the cruel search.

And so the poet conducts us along the strange excursive windings of the life and passion of humanity.  The same hand which draws such noble figures as Gauvain ­and the real Lanjuinais of history was fully as heroic and as noble as the imaginary Gauvain of fiction ­is equally skilful in drawing the wild Breton beggar who dwells underground among the branching tree-roots; and the monstrous Imanus, the barbarous retainer of the Lord of the Seven Forests; and Radoub, the serjeant from Paris, a man of hearty oaths, hideous, heroic, humoursome, of a bloody ingenuity in combat.  And the same hand which described the silent sundown on the sandy shore of the bay, and the mysterious darkness of the forests, and the blameless play of the little ones, gives us the prodigious animation of the night surprise at Dol, the furious conflict at La Tourgue, and, perhaps most powerful of all, the breaking loose of the gun on the deck of the Claymore.  You may say that this is only melodrama; but if we turn to the actual events of ’93, the melodrama of the romancer will seem tame compared with the melodrama of the faithful chronicler.  And so long as the narrative of melodramatic action is filled with poetry and beauty, there is no reproach in uncommon situation, in intense passion, in magnanimous or subtle motives that are not of every day.  Of Hugo’s art we may say what Dr. Newman has said of something else:  Such work is always open to criticism and it is always above it.

There is poetry and beauty, no doubt, in the common lives about us, if we look at them with imaginative and sympathetic eye, and we owe much to the art that reveals to us the tragedy of the parlour and the frockcoat, and analyses the bitterness and sorrow and high passion that may underlie a life of outer smoothness and decorum.  Still, criticism cannot accept this as the final and exclusive limitation of imaginative work.  Art is nothing if not catholic and many-sided, and it is certainly not exhausted by mere domestic possibilities.  Goethe’s fine and luminous feeling for practical life, which has given such depth of richness and wisdom to his best prose writing, fills us with a delightful sense of satisfaction and adequateness; and yet why should it not leave us with a mind eagerly open for the larger and more inventive romance, in which nature is clothed with some of that awe and might and silent contemplation of the puny destinies of man, that used to surround the conception of the supernatural?  Victor Hugo seeks strong and extraordinary effects; he is a master of terrible image, profound emotion, audacious fancy; but then these are as real, as natural, as true to fact, as the fairest reproduction of the moral poverties and meannesses of the world.  And let it be added that while he is without a rival in the dark mysterious heights of imaginative effect, he is equally a master in strokes of tenderness and the most delicate human sympathy.  His last book seems to contain pieces that surpass every other book of Hugo’s in the latter range of qualities, and not to fall at all short in the former.  And so, in the words of the man of genius who last wrote on Victor Hugo in these pages, “As we pity ourselves for the loss of poems and pictures which have perished, and left of Sappho but a fragment and of Zeuxis but a name, so are we inclined to pity the dead who died too soon to enjoy the great works we have enjoyed.  At each new glory that ’swims into our ken,’ we surely feel that it is something to have lived to see that too rise.”