It is curious to notice that Chasles makes the same criticism on ‘Evangeline’ that Holmes made on Lowell's ‘Vision of Sir Launfal;’ namely, that there is in it a mixture of the artificial and the natural. The result is, we may infer, that on the whole one still thinks of it as a work of art and does not—as, for instance, with Tolstoi's ‘Cossacks’—think of all the characters as if they lived in the very next street. Yet it is in its way so charming, he finds that although as he says, ‘There is no passion in it,’ still there is a perpetual air of youth and innocence and tenderness. M. Chasles is also impressed as a Catholic with the poet's wide and liberal comprehension of the Christian ideas. It is not, he thinks, a masterpiece (Il y a loin d'evangeline à un chef-d'oeuvre ),but he points out, what time has so far vindicated, that it has qualities which guarantee to it something like immortality. When we consider that Chasles wrote at a time when all our more sub-Stantial literature seemed to him to consist of uninteresting state histories and extensive collections of the correspondence of American presidents— a time when he could write sadly: ‘All America does not yet possess a humorist’
Hung the heart of the maiden.
The calm and magical moonlight
Seemed to inundate her soul.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.