And when necessary, this literature does not hesitate to involve itself in public disagreements so as to judge or pacify them. For we are no longer in the days of bucolic songs, and it is not the muse of the nineteenth century who can say:
I am not agitated by the rods of the populace, but by the purple of kings.
Nevertheless this literature, like all the matters of humanity, presents in its very unity both its somber and its consoling aspects. In its bosom two schools have been formed which represent the dual situation where our political woes have left, respectively, their spirits, resignation and despair. Both of them recognize what a philosophy of mockery had denied: namely, the eternity of God, the immortal soul, the primordial truths and the revealed truths. But one is to be adored and one to be damned. The first sees to the very top of heaven; the second to the very depths of hell. The first places in the cradle of man an angel whom he will find again on his deathbed; the second surrounds him with its demon steps, phantoms and sinister apparitions. The first asks for his trust because he will never be alone; the second scares him by isolating him unceasingly. Both of them possess the ability to sketch gracious scenes and outline terrible figures; but the first, careful never to break one's heart, provides the most somber pictures with some kind of divine gleam; the second, careful always to sadden, spreads an infernal light into his happiest pictures. The first, in short, resembles Emmanuel, soft and strong, traversing his kingdom in a chariot of lightning and illumination; the second is proud Satan  who bore with him so many stars in his fall when he tumbled from the sky. These two twin schools, founded upon the same basis, and born, as it were, in the same cradle, seem to us, at least in European literature, to be exemplified by two illustrious geniuses, Chateaubriand and Byron.
 : Here a simple reference would not suffice to justify the title of 'Satanic school' by which a talented man once designated the school of Lord Byron.
 : At a time where all of Europe is paying stupendous homage to the genius of Lord Byron, declared a great man since the time of his death, the reader may be curious to reread here a few quotes from that remarkable article in which the Edinburgh Review, an accredited newspaper, mentioned the illustrious poet and his first efforts. Moreover, it is in precisely this tone that certain newspapers entertain us every morning or evening on the subject of the foremost talents of our era:
"The poesy of this young lord belongs to the class which neither God nor man are said to permit .... His effusions are spread over a dead flat, and can no more get above or below the level than if they were so much stagnant water. As an extenuation of this offence, the noble author is peculiarly forward in pleading minority .... He possibly means to say, 'See how a minor can write!' .... But, alas, we all remember the poetry of Cowley at ten, and Pope at twelve; and, so far from hearing with any degree of surprise that very poor verses were written by a youth from his leaving school to his leaving college inclusive, we really believe this to be the most common of all occurrences;-that it happens in the life of nine men in ten who are educated in England, and that the tenth man writes better verse than Lord Byron.
"In truth, it is this consideration only that induces us to give Lord Byron's poems a place in our Review, besides our desire to counsel him, that he do forthwith abandon poetry, and turn his talents, which are considerable, and his opportunities, which are great, to better account.
""With this view we must beg leave seriously to assure him, that the mere rhyming of the final syllable, even when accompanied by the presence of a certain number of feet; nay, although (which does not always happen) these feet should scan regularly, and have been all counted upon the fingers, is not the whole art of poetry. We would entreat him to believe that a certain portion of liveliness, somewhat of fancy, is necessary to constitute a poem; and that a poem in the present day, to be read, must contain at least one thought, even in a little degree different from the ideas of former writers, or differently expressed.
""Lord Byron should also have a care of attempting what the greatest poets have done before him, for comparisons (as he must have had occasion to see at his writing-master's) are odious.
"As to his Ossian poesy, we are not very good judges; being, in truth, so moderately skilled in that species of composition, that we should, in all probability, be criticising some bit of genuine Macpherson itself, were we to express our opinion of Lord Byron's rhapsodies.... we can so far venture an opinion in their favour, that they look very like Macpherson; and we are positive they are pretty nearly as stupid and tiresome.
"As the author has dedicated so large a part of his volume to immortalize his employments at school and college, we cannot possibly dismiss it without presenting the reader with a specimen of these ingenious effusions [the quote follows].
"But whatever judgment may be passed on the poems of this noble minor, it seems we must take them as we find them, and be content for they are the last we shall ever have from him .... whether it succeeds or not, it is highly improbable, from his situation and pursuits, that he should again condescend to become an author. Therefore, let us take what we get and be thankful. What right have we poor devils to be nice? We are well off to have got so much from a man of this lord's station .... Again we say, let us be thankful; and, with honest Sancho, bid God bless the giver, nor look the gift-horse in the mouth.
Lord Byron would deign to avenge this miserable jumble of platitudes, the perpetual topic endlessly reproduced by envious mediocrity against genius. The authors of the Edinburgh Review were compelled to recognize his talent beneath the blows of a satiric whip. The example seems good to follow; nevertheless, we will declare that we would have preferred to see Lord Byron show them the silence of contempt. If it hadn't been at the behest of his best interest, it could at least have been the advice of his dignity.
 : Several days after the news of Lord Byron's death one could still find playing, in some tawdry theater whose name escapes me, a farce of bad tone and taste in which this noble poet is cast as a character with the ridiculous name of Lord Three-Star.