« VorigeDoorgaan »
considers her first duty owed to her hus- of twenty deaths of adult males is selfband appears to Frenchwomen little short sought.* of a monster.
Of course, other causes contribute to Again, take the case of the educated this mania of self-destruction. I am conParisian lady who a few years ago deliber: vinced that artificial bringing up is one of ately shot a wretched man because he had the most potent. A French child is a libelled her. The offender died after hothouse plant, on a sudden transplanted suffering horrible agonies, but his assassin to a cold, out-of door world, an exotic was allowed to go unpunished, even un- exposed to chilling frost. blamed. As this wounan was a mother, If maternal affection, in the cases menand alleged as a motive for murder affec- tioned above, obscures the discernment of tion for her child, Frenchwomen condone right from wrong, no less does conventual the deed ; I have never yet found one who bringing up impede the judgment in dealdid not entirely approve of ber conduct. ing with cause and effect. As we have On similar grounds, Ohnet's heroine, the seen, the vast majority of French women bakeress in Serge Panine, is acquitted of persistently set their faces against the first all criminality although, as deliberately, Government that has taken in hand their she shoots her worthless son-in-law, dead. social and intellectual advanceinent. The
As I have said before, the French words of Gambetta—“Let our youths and child is a fetich ; fathers, busbands, and maidens be united by the understanding brothers mere terre-à terre humanity. In before they are joined by the hear!”—are, middle class families, whose pedigree is a indeed, now acted upon, and enormous generation or two removed from peasant strides are yearly made in female cducastock only, the infant son is called “Mon- tion. No more gifted creature lives than sieur Jean," or “ Monsieur Charles,” as our sister on the other side of La Manche. the case may be. Even his wet-nurse is Only solid instruction, a sense of moral not allowed to call her charge in swaddling responsibility and wider interests, are necesclothes by the endearing term of “ Bébé.” sary to develop her rare endowments of I have seen a household turned topsy-turvy heart and brain. Fortunately, in the first because a baby had to dine at five instead lady of France the sex is now admirably of seren o'clock with its parents. The represented. The wife of the honored one maid-of-all-work was compelled to President of the Republic, by her public leave her work, formally lay the cloth, spirit, her dignified initiative, her unsparprepare soup, fish, beefsteak, vegetables, ing devotion to duty, will do more for the cheese, and dessert for a mite of two and advancement of her countrywomen than a half ! Many and many a time have I all that has yet been effected in the way blushed for my sex on fast days and Fri- of practical reform. days, when hard worked heads of the A thorough revision of the Civil Code house have been compelled to breakfast is sorely needed. A Frenchwoman cannot and dine off eggs and potatoes, while the witness a deed, act as trustee, or fulfil the most Catholic of Catholic mothers, under office of executiix : the law still classes some pretext or other, was providing a her with idiots and minors. Like the choice beefsteak or ragout for the pam- Roman'ladies of old, she remains throughpered gourmand of eight or nine. With out life under male tutelage. A newlyus the discipline of life begins in the nur made widow becomes a stranger in her sery ; with our neighbors, in the lycée, or husband's house from the moment he during the enforced military service. Is ceases to breathe. The second wife of it to be wondered at that suicide increases any man who dies intestate, no matter if enormously in France ? A child whose he possesses millions, does not receive a whims have been systematically bumored centime from the law. Her position is from the cradle upward, naturally brooks often so intolerable that many would no restraint upon his wisbes. A girl re doubtless prefer the suttee, and have done fuses hin ; he is disappointed in his ca with it. Napoleon and his legists, when reer; he has ill-luck at cards ; le straight- drawing up the Civil Code, seemed to way purchases a pistol, and there is an think that the privilege of bearing chilend of the matter. The chronicle of the daily newspapers is sufficiently appalling ; ville, Chef du Bureau de Stntistique du Min
* See La France Economique, by A. de Fo. statistics still more so. In Paris one out istère de Finance, Paris, 1890.
dren to the State ought to satisfy, and gether. The French task-master or taskmore than satisfy feminine ambition. mistress is without bowels of compassion ;
In one matter, I ain bound to consider, thrift is fostered by the hard measures the advantage lies wholly on the side of meted out to the breadwinner. You will France. The sunniest-tempered, wittiest, find educated women in Paris working as most inventive people of Europe, are at bookkeepers from twelve to fifteen bours the same time the inost severely practical. a day, Sundays as well as week days, their Taxation is higher in France than in Eng- only holiday being half a day once a land, or even Germany. Gigantic calami- month. I have known a chambermaid in ties have allicted the country within our a hotel who during three years had never own time. The five hundred millions had a whole day to herself. Domestic sterling paid to Prussia in 1871 were fol- service is too frequently a condition which lowed by a loss at least as large, caused no Tilly Slowboy in England would acby the phylloxera. Yet the solvency and cept. In Paris, for instance, locked out the savings of the French remain phenom- of her mistress's doors at night, her attic enal. A telling calculation bas recently adjoining that of shop assistants or fellow been made by the first statistical authority servants of the other sex, an inexperienced in France. *
The Eiffel Tower weighs country giil has but one lot before her, from seven to eight million kilogram mes that of becoming fille mère, her own off(the kilogramme is 2 lbs. z oz.). Re- spring being put out to nurse and to die, constructed in silver, an · Eitfel Tower while she herself in smart hood and flying would require two additional stories in ribbons gives suck to rich women's babies order to represent the actual deposits of in the Parc Monceau. French people in the national savings Much I might say, did space perniit, banks.
concerning many points on which the adWithin the last ten years the sum of vantage is wholly on the side of France. savings has doubled. f There is no race In artistic taste, for instance, the French for wealth in France. Ambition, for the workman is immeasurably superior to the most part, is limited to a competency ; English, his love of the beautiful being for the sake of that competency, the cultivated by the opening of museums on golden mcan invoked by lsezekiah and Sunday, by the abundant statuary adornHorace, the dignity and ease arising from ing the towns, and hy the sight of noble independence, unimaginable sacrifices will cathedrals and cities obtained during the be made. The wholesome, agreeable, three years' military service. Much also bracing aspects of thrift strike the travel. might be written on the utter absence of ler at every turn. Here France is the snobbishness characterizing large sections schoolmaster of the world.
of French society, on the wholesomne diThrift, however, in France, like the rectness people are not ashamed to display Roman Janus, is a two-headed deity, the about money matters and pecuniary cirone aspect gracious, smiling; the other cumstances generally. The great drawstern as that of Necessity herself. In back to English enjoyment of French life thriftless England improvidence is petted ; is the almost universal indifference shown we may almost go so far as to say encour to the sufferings of animals. That the aged ; on the other side of the Channel, bull-fight should be tolerated in the French poverty, regarded as the outcoine of un- capital at the close of the nineteenth centhrift, is pêché mortel. “The fathers tury is a moral anachronism of no hopeful have eaten sour grapes, and the children's augury for the future. After the lesson teeth are set on edge” is a proverb of of the Commune, one might have supuniversal application in France ; "The posed that brutalizing spectacles would be laborer is worthy of his hire" a text that sternly forbidden, if only on grounds of seems to have escaped her teachers alto- expediency.
Let us now consider a point on which * L'Epargne en France, par A. de Foville, I differ widely from Mr. Hamerton. The Imprimerie Nationale, 1890.
author of French and English scems to | It is now two milliards and 800 million think that politeness and civility are all francs. But, as M. de Foville points out, a milliard is a figure not to be easily grasped
we must expect in the way of Angloby the mind, not a milliard of minutes baving French intercourse. Anything like coras yet elapsed since the Christian era ! dial friendship, much less affectionate in
timacy between the two nations, he evi- purchased by them at the price of the dently regards as wholly Utopian. But greatest efforts and most painful sacrifices. my experience—and it is now tolerably Placed by their free institutions, their litcomprehensive-points the other way. erature, science, arts, and commerce in We are no longer, to use Thackeray's ex the vanguard of progress, any conflict bepression, “magnificently hated" on the tween France and England would not only other side of the Channel. I hear that prove the greatest conceivable misfortune Eton lads, devotees of Captain Marryat, for both nations, but would retard the still look upon it as a patriotic duty to march of civilization for sereral centuries. hate and despise the French language and I am far from fearing such a catastrophe, French people. Throughout experiences yet it is clear that to aid the rapprochenow extending over many years I have ment of two nations so great and so enlightnever detected any trace of the traditional ened—is to aid the cause of progress genanimosity toward England or personal dis- erally. We must at all costs avoid petty trust of the English. By all“ sorts and quarrels and ignoble misunderstandings, conditions of men” I have ever been cor and encourage as far as possible interdially welcomed. Politics, of course, have national intercourse by means of associaaroused bitter feelings from time to time, tions, festivals, syndicates, etc. The betwhich newspapers on both sides have done ter we learn to know each other the greater their best to intensify ; yet the relations will become our mutual esteem, and from of the two countries continue to improve. esteem to friendship is but a step. It is Cheap travel has undoubtedly contributed for these reasons that I am so warm an to this result. Fifty years ago a trip to advocate of the Channel Tunnel or Bridge. Paris was the privilege of the rich and The realization of this grandiose project well-to-do; in these days it is enjoyed would do more for progress and European by the grocer's assistant and journeyman peace generally than all the triple alliances carpenter. From Hastings a workman and armaments which threaten to ruin may now spend from Saturday to Monday great nations as well as small." on the French coast for a few shillings, The writer of tbis letter has never visand large numbers avail themselves of such ited England or had commercial relations opportunities. Tens of thousands of small with English-speaking people. His views shopkeepers, clerks, and artisans visited are perfectly disinterested and candid. the Centennial Exhibition last year, re I hare often thought that an internaturning with quite altered views of France tional league of public instruction might and French character. Surely sympathy do much to improve Anglo-French relaand friendliness are more likely to arise tions. In a preliminary bistory of France under these circumstances than at any or England it ought to be made clear that former period of our history.
political, rather than national, antipathies I will here quote the opinion of a have led to wars and feuds. Even the thoughtful and instructed Frenchman, re- monumental work of Henri Martin, as tired notary and landed proprietor in the well as Marryat's novels, requires revision south-west. The passage is translated
on this score. word for word :-" The French do not at Up to the present time the great advoall know the English, a misfortune for two cate for John Bull on French shores has nations, differing assuredly in natural gifts been Charles Dickers. That wonderful and qualities, but each worthy of the pen has succeeded in making the English other's esteem. There is one important amiable in French eyes.
If Waterloo point on which both are entirely agreed, were not already clean forgotten, Picknamely, the necessity for parliamentary or wick would heal the sore. - Fortnightly representative government; hence their Review. deep attachment to Liberal institutions,
AFTER a period of comparative tran so quickly upon each other, nearer home, quillity, during which people had begun that many of us have probably forgotten to think our relations with the Chinese the “ Tientsin Massacre" of 1870, in were really becoming more sympathetic, which twenty-one foreigners, besides a we have been startled by a series of fresh good many native converts, lost their outbreaks, characterized by the old spirit lives. It will not, however, be superof hostility. As before, missionaries bave fluous to recall that atrocity ; for the been the principal objects of attack. One events which led up to it have been remission station after another has been produced, with variations, during the past menaced, or ransacked, or destroyed, twelveinonths ; and it is useful to realize from Ichang to Nanking, throughout tbe that the riot at Tientsin was not, any length of the Yangtze valley. The lay more than the late riot at Wubsüeh, a inen bave not been treated with benevo- sudden or an isolated explosion. Four lence, for at more than one place bayonets years previously it had fallen to my lot to have had to be employed to fend off the strike a note of warning in the following mob ; but it is against inissions that the terms :original attacks have been commonly directed, and it is against missionaries that
“A proclamation has been extensively the libels by which the riots are worked posted throughout Hunan and in the adja
cent provinces, denouncing their (the misup have been mainly levelled.
sionaries') interference with established Unhappily, religious persecution is no new thing in China. Tolerant and easy- to rise and. exterminate them.
customs, and calling on all loyal subjects
Beginning going up to a certain point, the Chinese admitted the propaganda under the broad eigners generally, whose specific charac
with a sweeping denunciation against forinterpretation of the early Jesuits, but op- ter is half man, half beast,' and who, alposed it directly it touched the one cult lowed by the extreme kindness of the Emwhich has a hold upon their convictions.
peror to trade at Canton, have penetrated They might have accepted Christianity, as
into every part of the empire, the they accepted Buddhism, if it would have absorbed ancestral worship; but Clement's his wrath against missionaries in the fol
writer goes on to direct the whole flood of bull sounded the destruction of the edifice
lowing terms :which Ricci and Schaal and Verbiest had
"6" Those who have come to propagate rebuilt up ; the very claim of the Pope to interfere angering ihem not less, probably, masses, print and circulate depraved compo
ligion, enticing and deluding the ignorant than the dogına he asserted. Rome, bow- sitions, daring, by their deceptive extravaever, kept a foothold : one of the churches gances, to set loose the established bonds of that has just been burned down is said to society, utterly regardless of all modesty. have been ministered in by Ricci himself, worship only Jesus, yet, being divided into
Although the adherents of the religion and Huc showed us Christian congregations Catholic and Protestants, they are continually in Szechuen. But the proselytes have railing at each other. Daughters in a been subject to periodic molestation, with family are not given in marriage, but retained the sanction, at times, of the Imperial au
for the disposition of the bishop, thus ignor. thorities, at others by merely local insti- ing the matrimonial relation.' gation. The treaty of Tientsin finally “A hundred other enormities, some legalized the propaganda. The era of with a certain foundation in fact, others official persecution was then closed ; but existing entirely in the writer's imaginapersecution has gone on all the same, un- tion, are alleged against these teachers of der the auspices of the literati ; and a a new creed ; and, in conclusion, the vilretrospective glance over the years that lage elders are exhorted to assemble the have intervened may help us to appreciate population,more clearly the conditions of the recent outbreak.
* Shanghai correspondence of the Times, Events of paramount iinportance crowd November 28, 1866.
• that the offenders may be hurled beyond the called for. Then, as now, a
wave of seas, to take their place with the strange alarm ran through the Treaty ports wherthings of creation !'"
ever foreigners were settled, and grave apTwo years later, in October 1868, an prehension for the safety of all outlying attack was made on some members of the missions was felt. Ilappily, however, Chinese Inland Mission who had recently the force of the movement seemed to exsettled in Yangchow (famous as the city pend itself with that final convulsion; or where Marco Polo once held office), about rather, perbaps, the authorities were awafifteen miles north of Chinkeang. To ex- kened to the necessity of greater precaucite popular feeling against them, the tions. Placards inciting and threatening usual system of placarding had been em hostile outbreaks were posted in various ployed. They were accused of kidnapping cities ; but the excitement gradually subchildren and boiling them up for inedi. sided. Certain terms of reparation, in. cine, of abstracting the heart and liver cluding the despatch of Chunghow on a from dead bodies, of administering to mission of apology to Paris, were exacted, Chinamen drugs and philters which turned and matters gradually resuined their northem into foreigners. Their religion, too, mal aspect. was foully abused.
As a natural conse Now, twenty years later, we find ourquence, the popuiace became excited. selves in presence of a crisis remarkably kepresentations to the Prefect were futile ; similar, originating with procladiations and the excitement rose to fever heat. A emanating from the same hotbed of remob broke into the mission premises, actionary agitation. The stock stories of maltreated the occupants who escaped with stealing children and taking out their eyes difficulty, and made a bonfire of the con to use for medicine, of the vilest immotents.
rality, of preaching tenets subversive of This proved to be only the first among social order, have been disseminated broada series of outrages that culminated in the cast. What is new is the rumor of political terrible riot at Tientsin, when the French conspiracy which has been adduced in exConsul and several French subjects, be- planation of the gravity and the synchrosides priests, sisters of mercy, and many nism of the outbreaks. Wubu, a town native inmates of the mission premises, on the Yangtze, fifty miles above Nanking, were massacred amid circumstances of enjoys the distinction of having first set horrible brutality. The excitement in the example. On the evening of Sunday, that case also had been wrought up in the the 10th of May, when two nuns attached same way.
Placards had been posted al- to the Roman Catholic mission were makleging the usual accusations of kidnapping ing their way home from a visit to a sick children for the purpose of using their convert, they were suddenly seized and eyes, breasts, and other parts of the body carried before a petty official, on the as medicine ; and an alleged kidnapper charge of having bewitched two children was brought forward, precisely as on re and rendered them dumb. Influence was cent occasions, as proof positive that the of course exerted to procure their release ; charges were true. Then, as now, there and the Chinese magistrate, with a wiswere other outbreaks between and after dom worthy of King Solomon, decided those two notable explosions. Then, as that they should be set at liberty as soon now, a connected purpose was traced, and as the spell was removed. Naturally, becommon report went so far as to fix on a fore twenty-four hours had elapsed, the man named Chen Kwo-jui as the disturb- children became tired of obeying orders ing spirit who had fired the train. From —and spoke! Such a tame conclusion, Szechuen to Nanking and up the Grand however, did not suit the views of those Canal to Tientsin, where it was alleged) who had been laying the train. Two days he had been a guest of the Governor, and later, a woman presented herself before had led the rioters in person, this man, it the mission, accompanied by a score of was said, travelled, prompting violence as ill-looking fellows, and, screaming as a he passed ; and his execution, together Chinese woman can scream, claimed her with that of the Tientsin magistrates who child, whom the missionaries had stolen, had failed, as at Yangchow, to take pre- as they had done others whose corpses cautions or to afford protection when were within the wails of the establishurgently required, was at one time loudly ment! This succeeded. A inob rapidly