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[1252] these always working geniuses, but by slow degrees, in a country that has no need of them till her railroads and canals are finished,—I need not jot down my petty impressions of the movement writers. I wish to speak of one among them, aided, honored by them, but not of them. He is to la jeune France rather the herald of a tourney, or the master of ceremonies at a patriotic festival, than a warrior for her battles, or an advocate to win her cause.

The works of M. de Vigny having come in my way, I have read quite through this thick volume.

I read, a year since, in the London and Westminster, an admirable sketch of Armand Carrel. The writer speaks particularly of the use of which Carrel's experience of practical life had been to him as an author; how it had tempered and sharpened the blade of his intellect to the Damascene perfection. It has been of like use to de Vigny, though not in equal degree.

De Vigny passed,—but for manly steadfastness, he would probably say wasted,—his best years in the army. He is now about forty; and we have in this book the flower of these best years. It is a night-blooming Cereus, for his days were passed in the duties of his profession. These duties, so tiresome and unprofitable in time of peace, were the ground in which the seed sprang up, which produced these many-leaved and calm night-flowers.

The first portion of this volume, Servitude et Grandeurs Militaires, contains an account of the way in which he received his false tendency. Cherished on the ‘wounded knees’ of his aged father, he listened to tales of the great Frederic, whom the veteran had known personally. After an excellent sketch of the

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