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Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 347, September, 1844   By:

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{Transcriber's note: Spellings are sometimes erratic. A few obvious misprints have been corrected, but in general the original spelling has been retained. Accents in the French phrases are inconsistent, and have not been standardised. Greek phrases have been transliterated, and are enclosed in signs autochthones gaias.}

BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No. CCCXLVII. SEPTEMBER, 1844. VOL. LVI.

CONTENTS.

M. LOUIS BLANC, 265

A NIGHT ON THE BANKS OF THE TENNESSEE, 278

THE EXECUTION OF MONTROSE, 289

THE WITCHFINDER. PART I., 297

NATURAL HISTORY OF MAN, 312

POEMS BY COVENTRY PATMORE, 331

MARSTON; OR, THE MEMOIRS OF A STATESMAN. PART XIII., 343

IT IS NO FICTION, 364

THE BURNS' FESTIVAL, 370

STANZAS FOR THE BURNS' FESTIVAL. BY DELTA, 399

EDINBURGH: WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, 45, GEORGE STREET; AND 22, PALL MALL, LONDON.

To whom all Communications (post paid) must be addressed.

SOLD BY ALL THE BOOKSELLERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

PRINTED BY BALLANTYNE AND HUGHES, EDINBURGH.

BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No. CCCXLVII. SEPTEMBER, 1844. VOL. LVI.

M. LOUIS BLANC{A}

M. Louis Blanc, a democratic journalist, with all, and perhaps more than the usual talents of the Parisian journalist with all, and more than the usual faults of one has undertaken to write the history of his country, during and since the revolution of 1830. What can we expect to be the result of such an undertaking? What can we expect from a man who sits down to a task of this description, animated with all the party virulence which gives zest to a democratic newspaper? It is not a history, but a scandal, that he will write. M. Louis Blanc has distilled the bile of journalism; he has paused over the hasty sarcasm which political animosity deals forth, not to correct, or moderate, or abate, but merely to point and envenom it. His appreciation of men, their character, their talents, their designs all bear the hue of the atrabilious journalist. There is this difference only between his history and the daily portion of envy and malignity which a democratic newspaper pours forth, that the dye is more deeply engrained. In the mind of the author, the stain of his party has become ineffaceable. Those who are pleased and the number is not few with having high names and established reputations laid at their feet, soiled, trod upon, will meet here with ample gratification. To be sure they will be occasionally required, in lieu of such as they have thrown down, to set up the bust of some democratic celebrity, whose greatness, or whose genius, they were not previously aware of. But, not to say that the justice of party requires this substitution, it is a penalty which writers of this description will invariably impose upon them. It is the common trick of the envious, and the mock magnanimity with which they seek to conceal their true nature to exalt the lowly, while they debase the exalted. Since some idol there must be, let it be one of their raising. Even while helping to raise it, they enjoy, too, the secret consciousness that it is of brittle metal.

But in the composition of a history, the spirit of party, however eager it may be, cannot always guide the pen. The mere interest of the narrative, the strangeness and peculiarity of circumstances, will claim their share of the author's mind. The politician must sometimes be absorbed in the chronicler; and so it happens with M. Louis Blanc. His narrative often interests by its details; and if it has the partiality, it has also the vivacious colouring, of a contemporary... Continue reading book >>


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