of M. Briand. Egypt has been offered the boon of self-government, if it be a boon, and of so much independence as is compatible with the acceptance of Lord Milner's four cardinal points. They need submit to no hardship, to no loss of pride. But while England is ready to keep her part of the proposed agreement, Egypt repudiates indignantly what she promised. She has recognised eagerly England's acknowledgment of her independence, and still refuses to accept the reservations, which once she deemed acceptable. Meanwhile she cannot pretend to have a grievance; and no Frenchman, who bears in mind the difficulties of his country in Morocco and in Syria, should condemn the moderate policy which England pursues and intends to pursue in Egypt.

It seems all the stranger that there should be a recrudescence of the misunderstanding of England, especially among French Conservatives, at a time when English literature is being read and studied in France with an appreciation as before it was never read or studied.


Daudet himself has shown a sympathy with English letters and English writers, for which we are duly grateful. And wherever you look, you will find the same welcome revival of interest among Frenchmen in the masterpieces of our literature. In many periods of our history, from the time of Chaucer, France and England have taken hands upon

the solid ground of the arts, and the debt which either one of them incurred has been amply repaid. What we owed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the French transferred to the other side of the account in the early nineteenth century, when they based their romantic revival upon the shining examples of Byron and Sir Walter Scott. And to-day, with more eagerness and intelligence than ever, the French are discovering our masters of the literary craft. Take, for instance, their treatment of Swift. Paul Saint Victor, in a misleading essay, found nothing better to say of him than, "Swift is a great man in England; he lessens in stature at Dover. He is of no more than an ordinary height when he reaches Calais." Even Taine borrowed a somewhat violent judgment from Macaulay. And here is M. Barbeau, in an introduction to a version of Gulliver,' discoursing of Swift, not as though he were a monster, but as though he were, as indeed he was, a very great writer. Moreover, the French critics of to-day devote the same study to the literature of modern England as they do to the literature of the past. For instance, a recent book, 'Le Message de Thomas Hardy,' by M. Gérard de Catalogne, if it contains no original views, proves that the author has approached his subject in the proper spirit of research. Though M. de Catalogne takes



that buffoon, the late Oscar and death, and does not give Wilde, far too seriously, though him the credit due to his skill he accepts the gossip of Mr in telling a story and in the use T. P. O'Connor as a reasonable of the English language. Yet it authority, though he indulges was in his artistry that Hardy the habit of misprints with a himself took delight. Though freedom rare even in a French- he opposed the Puritanism man, he has mastered not only which would have put a check the works of Thomas Hardy, upon his outspokenness, though but the works of such contem- he claimed the right to express poraries as might be supposed openly what he thought, he to have influenced him. did not hold that it was his is familiar with Matthew Arnold business to preach a gospel or and John Stuart Mill; he has to set forth a plan of life. He some acquaintance with the believed that, even if it were treatises of Herbert Spencer, a proper that a novel should philosopher already forgotten point a moral, it might attain and out of date. We could its end most easily by an have wished that he had looked indirect method. "The novels," at Hardy more resolutely from he said, which have the best his own point of view. Indeed, chance of exercising a moral nowhere in his book does he influence are generally those express so genuinely charac- that were written without any teristic an an opinion as does purpose of edification." That M. Mauriac in a preface of is, indeed, true of himself and commendation. Now M. Mau- his own novels. He was proriac confesses that he has never foundly interested in the life been able to read Tess of the that he saw about him, and in D'Urbervilles' to the end. "Not the character of his puppets. that I am insensitive to this The Wessex of his creation was masterpiece," he writes. "On to him a very real place, whose the contrary, being too sensi- past was as clearly before his tive, I cannot bear the martyr- eyes as its present. When he dom which Hardy imposes upon wandered in the streets of his dear Tess. It is enough, Dorchester he saw in his mind's indeed, that mortals should be eye all those who had passed the playthings of Destiny or through them from the inof Providence! I cannot endure vasion of the Romans to our that a creator, powerful as own day. But he did not lose Hardy is, should make them sight of the present and the submit to a narrow philosophy." past. The problems which the personages of his drama faced were modern problems, though, indeed, these personages might have given them a different solution had they not carried in their veins the blood of

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M. de Catalogne, in criticising the work of Thomas Hardy, forgets too soon that Hardy was not a philosopher but an artist. He attaches too much importance to his views of life


other races and past generations. Of this M. de Catalogne is conscious. "With his contemplative temperament, his passionate curiosity, Hardy seems to me to be separated from us by years, which are centuries, by all the space which gives to romanticism a recoil from nightmare, by the resigned powerlessness to recover the fashions, the ideas, the shapes of the past. That is why, in spite of ourselves, we demand with some barrassment if really this flood of tears took its source in the human heart, if a little ink were not mixed with it, if there were not in all that much of the magnificent falsehood which has the name of Literature." Of course there was, and we think M. de Catalogne's study of Hardy would have been better had he remembered more often that Hardy was a highly conscious man of letters, whose tears (or the tears of whose puppets)

did not come all from the heart, and who had something better to be and to do than to express the transient philosophies of their hour. If M. de Catalogne had thought more constantly of the "magnificent falsehood" called literature, he would not have written towards the end of his essay : "Of Hardy, as of Taine, it might be said that he has exiled from earth all hope of heaven."

But the fact that the essay was written is interesting of itself. Knowledge is the firmest foundation of friendship, and the more clearly France and England understand each other's life and each other's literature, the less chance there will be of their misunderstanding the dangerous tangle of politics, which after all that we have done and suffered in the war should not be permitted to cause our feet to stumble in marching to our common end of peace and amity.

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"Was it storm? Our fathers faced it,
And a wilder never blew."

THERE is probably no period in our history, other than the Great War, of which more has been written than the drama, tragedy, romance-call it what you will of the Mutiny of the Bengal Army. Histories, memoirs, commentaries, biographies, in which it is a prominent feature, crowded the Victorian book-shelves. And yet, despite all that has been written, there is no succinct account intelligible to the present generation which preserves the pathos and romance of the story, while giving a historical retrospect of what happened. Indeed in this, as in all such happenings, the desks of the dead do not give up the inner secrets till long after the contemporary historian has put forth his effort.


-The Galley Slave.

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As histories there are but two books that hold the field, the semi-official History by Kaye and Malleson, which first saw the light as Kaye's 'Sepoy War,' and that of T. Rice Holmes, History of the Indian Mutiny.' To those who live to-day and who have some knowledge of military organisation, both these accounts will seem singularly wanting in any treatment of some of the essential facts, though filled with details of the sufferings and the gallantry of our people. A later history by Sir G. W. Forrest merely follows the lines of the earlier two, weaving in some new light on controversies, but not differing in treatment.

As an instance of the historians' want of conception of

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