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to the question already quoted: "Why is it so different from the Derby?''
It is different because there, as elsewhere, French society is doing what it does not care for, and what does not suit its tastes. Here, again, is the halfheartedness we have alluded to. At Epsom, or on the racecourse of Pesth (the very next best thing to it), the vast multitude is, as it were, in a monster caldron boiling over with national fun, they are "in it' with all their hearts, have plunged into it "neck and crop.'
The French man (or woman) has been told to imitate what is done somewhere else, and they do so (awkwardly on the whole), but they do not relish it, and the outcome is boredom-a boredom that so permeates all the couches sociales, that while in salon life it has generated pessimism, it superinduces contempt and disgust among the so-called "people,'' for whom the Government or the municipalities get up what they are pleased to entitle popular " fêtes. At these rejoicings nothing can exceed the weary aspect of the lounging, lazy "" masses, unless, indeed, it be that of the showily bedizened, dust-beladen, yawning groups of a retour des courses down the avenue of the Champs Elysées.
All sovereigns are hard to please. "Mme. de Maintenon" declared Louis XIV. “pas amusable." Perhaps since Le Peuple has been crowned King, all capacity of hearty, healthy enjoyment has ceased. What every individual in the whole nation is wildly seeking for is distraction," forgetfulness of self, and this eludes them. It is this restless chase after an emotion, or an interest of any description, which lies at the root of the abominations that have been, and still are (though perhaps in a less degree), disfiguring French art in every shape.
Whether on the walls of the Salon, on the boards of the various theatres, or in the pages of the last novel, or (worse) in the latest collection of poems, the two distinguishing traits are invariably violence and vice. The universal impression among the 2,000 and more paintings at the Palais de l'Industrie is of nudity and bloodshed, as in every printed narrative in the world of fiction the honor of decent people is at once provoked by the details of useless in
decency and of crimes committed à froid.
In a little work published only two years back, a French artist of high repute, Amaury Duval (M. Ingres' favorite pupil), while chronicling the events and the men of his own youthful days, and the coarseness and absence of idealism visible in all the French art of our time, draws the following parallel.
A propos to his raptured surprise over the monuments of Grecian architecture and sculpture, he writes :-" When I look back to the sensations produced in me on my first visit to Greece, to the awe-struck admiration so much grandeur and perfection inspired, and happen then to look downward at what is now around me, I ask myself to what a degree of baseness have we sunk, that men, who are seemingly in the enjoyment of their reason, can be thus led away, perverted, by what is termed La Mode. Alas! yes, there is the one word which is to excuse all! Fashion,' it is proclaimed, has inflicted a blindness so total, that absolute insanities, utterly monstrous productions, are taken into serious account, and an entire generation in France positively lays down as a law that the hideous alone is true to nature."
It may be said that Amaury Duval, who died a few weeks ago, was an old man when he published the above, but Eugène de Vogüé is a young one, a leader of the so-called Jeunes.' Let any one ponder over the bitter record he draws up in a recent number of the Revue des Deux Mondes, against the school of Disease to which belongs French art in the present time.* foreign critic has hit les jeunes harder, though he evidently did not intend or wish to do so. Speaking of the "Realism" of modern French literature, this latest of young authors says: In thus depicting human nature, they limit their field of observation to what in man is coarse, fatal, putrid (pourri), but the human animal is not all this alone. We are a duality .. there is the breath of life, the soul; and life begins where we cease to comprehend.' And further on : · Other literatures" (he is
* De la Littérature Réaliste, by Eugène Metchior de Vogué. Revue des Deux Mondes, Ist June, 1886.
alluding to the English and Russian) probe to their depths the lasting wants of humanity... the enduring long, ings of our race . . . this escapes us (the French) "entirely now.. It will be said that the works of fiction of our tongue flood the book-markets of the world. True! They are purchased from habit, and they amuse for a passing hour, perhaps; but, unless in cases exceptionally rare, the book that brings life and nourishes, that is seriously studied, read in the home centre, and helps to mould the mind of the readers-that book comes no longer from Paris. . . The ideas that fecundate men's minds, the high universal thoughts that penetrate and transform European communities, no longer emanate from the soul of France. miserable as our policy, excluded from material influence over mankind, our literature has ceased, by its own unworthiness, to hold any portion of that intellectual empire which formed in other ages our chief patrimony.
No one abroad has passed a severer judgment upon the literature of modern France than that. But, let it apply in its complete severity to the passing hour alone; there is perturbation in the French mind just now; there is disease. But, as the young writer in the Revue des Deux Mondes himself remarks at the close of his article, there is better stuff for the future to be found in the hidden reserves of the French nature. It must be hoped, for the sake of human culture, that the good taste of France will awaken erelong and turn in disgust from the loathsome aspects of the existing school; that her artistic sense will be shocked by the deformity and ugliness of the manifestations of today; for she must again acknowledge the superiority of beauty as a matter of fact, before she can revert to what was once her supremacy in the domains of thought. France has passed through trials that may well overthrow the balance of any nation's mind, but it must not be believed that the land of Pascal and Descartes, Molière, Corneille, and Lamartine, can be destined to permanently descend to forms and expressions of imagination that would make Falstaff and Dame Quickly blush.
It is probable that science will be the
saving of the French. The "little science which, Bacon says, leads to doubt," will expand into that higher, grander science which "leads to faith, or, at all events, to wondering, loving awe, and the irrepressible longing for the Infinite.
The generation of this age-the men and women of from eighteen to forty or fifty, are more or less unconscious, at any rate irresponsible. They are the outcome of pain and wrong, and the appreciation of the right-of the fair, of the just, of the fitting-has come to fail them utterly. But those who know them thoroughly have hopes of the children who are growing up out of all this confusion, and seem already in the unblurred mirror of their souls to prefer the reflection of what is plain and simple to what is complicated or distorted.
It is in them that will have to be discovered where the thought" of the race is lodged"; not in the broken fragments of a society that is crumbling away; but our purpose has been with that society and its "actualities," and, we repeat it, its worst aspects-however contradictory they may appear-hang directly to its original characteristics of dependence and doubt.
It is a very uneasy task to paint truly the society of any country; for those who are of it, living with it, and in it, will not, and those who are out of it, cannot portray it with precision. A couple of months ago there was published in Berlin a short pamphlet, vigorously characterizing the vulgar frivolous calumnies of the Nouvelle Revue, and the ante-room and servants' hall pictures by which it is sought to satisfy the cravings of a democratic public. Whoever the author may be, he speaks with the authority of one who knows from the inside what he is speaking of, and does not rely for facts either on key-hole listeners or discontented ladies' maids. But recent publications in London merit exactly the same reproaches, by their abortive attempts at painting the contemporary society (or societies) of France. Mr. Child has fallen into the same mistakes as the proprietress of the Nouvelle Revue, though with less. evident desire to abuse and vilify coûte que coûte, but in each there is the same evidence of ignorance, and, in the wild
inaccuracy of all smaller details, the same proof of second-hand information and of the certainty of the "chiel" who is taking "the notes" being a hopeless outsider.
No! the living cannot delineate their kind with living truth. You must be dead to do that, and you must have been, while you lived, "one" of those whom you describe. In the Greville Memoirs and in the Duc de Broglie's Souvenirs, you see revivified what was the society of their time, much even of what is still-that of our own. But because they possessed the real materials for reconstructing the true-truth, their lips were sealed until they themselves had forever quitted the scenes they photographed.
Out of all the various testimonies to French social life that are deluging the habitable globe, some are irrefutable (because issuing from repetition by the public press of judicial scandals, and officially authorized facts); but out of all these there emerges one circumstance of paramount interest for the English student, which is, the radical difference in the juxtaposition of Government and Society in the two centuries. In England, Government is in so far swayed, whether supported or obstructed, by the vast majority of a constituted community, in France the very smallest minority shackles, confronts, or browbeats it at every turn if hostile, or drives it, if friendly, into its worst and most fatal excesses and mistakes.
It should be distinctly noted that with us what is termed "society" never bears upon Government as an extraneous force.
The meaning of the word itself is not the same. Society with us is, in fact, one with what governs it; it is from its ranks that those who rule are chosen, and all join in furthering a common aim. Government and society are absolutely fellow-workers in England, and it is hard work, the work of the country, that unites them. Society in England reveres political power, exercises or strives to exercise it, and, whether in support or in opposition, equally regards power as the supreme goal to be attained. In France it is the contrary; society is a body setting itself aloof, and scorning the task of mere government. In England, the pressure
of the social forces becomes really and truly public opinion; in France, unfortunately, it makes itself felt through the noisy, vain, frivolous, but most mischievous, dangerous, and, alas ! still potent medium of la mode. With us, it is the mysterious emanation of the vast national aggregate that compels a Government with Brobdingnagian weight; with the French it is the flea-bites of the Lilliputians that sting and prick their rulers beyond endurance, goading them almost unto death; and the worst feature of the whole lies in the consent of the overweening majority to the assumption by so small a minority of the sovereign title of La Société nay, far more even, of "The World "'!
Most pyramids in France stand now upon their apex, with their base uplifted to the sky; and accordingly Fashion has decreed in this one country, of all others, that her High Priests shall in no way help their fellow-countrymen; they shall toil not, neither shall they spin; but, unlike the lilies of the field, they have lost claim to any superiority resting on the beauty of aspect. Beheld in no matter which of their avocations, they are decidedly unattractive, having lost the grace, the delicacy of taste, the respect for the fitness of things, the sense of decent splendor'' for which they were once so renowned. Fashion has decreed that in their utter and total uselessness shall lie exclusively their title to supremacy.
There is no more curious proof of the antagonism between the social code of the two countries than the significance in each of the term man of the world." In reality, no word can, in the English language, convey a more complete notion of superiority; for to be truly a man of the world a man must be everything else besides. He must be a politician, a diplomatist, a philosopher; well travelled and well read; a sportsman, a good talker; at home with all sorts and conditions of men, equal to every emergency; of temper not to be ruffled, and of health that never fails; a man of business, and a man of pleasure; a sound scholar and a thorough gentleman. Failing in any of these attributes, he is imperfect as a man of the world; and we instinctively recognize what Greville meant when,
speaking of Sir Robert Peel and Gladstone, he deplored in different terms that neither could ever be a man of the world; whereas in the case of Lord Palmerston, his security of success was derived exclusively from his knowledge of men and the capabilities of power that are the prerogative of a genuine man of the world. The dictum of Prince Talleyrand holds good Pour être un homme d'État il est peut-être bon de savoir mourir, mais il est indispensable de savoir vivre.'
Now to this representative of largemindedness and many-sidedness, what is set forth by the French word, homme du monde"? The utter contrary. To be to-day in France an homme du monde is to be the reverse of our man of the world." The typical homme du monde must know nothing, do nothing, be nothing. At most it may be permitted him to be musician or a painter, but only within the limits of amateur art, and of the proficiency reached by the women of his sphere. Any excellence beyond that disturbs the completeness of the type, blemishes the effacedness required, and threatens the perfection of the nullity which constitutes the sign of the divine right to reign.
All this would be of less importance were there any violent, any convinced hostility to be found to the pretensions of society' in France; any resolute contempt-contempt du fond du cœurfor such a futile enemy, but there is
none. The green dragon on Chinese
If it were not for this curious selfabandonment, things would wear a very different aspect in France; and were the educated people (and they are to be found) to come into closer contact, a larger measure of Conservatism, under no matter what particular form, would speedily show itself to be the desire of the overwhelming majority of all Frenchmen. For the moment, and in the transitional condition of public affairs in France, it is not without interest to mark where a certain national "thought is lodged" in its author.-National Review.
NAY! Let them dream their dream of perfect love;
This flower-like joy that blooms in the soft air
Of Youth's bright heart, with Hope's blue heaven above.
Breathe naught of disenchantment; do not bring
The blossoms of Eternity lie furled
In the dim kindling buds of dreams that keep
A fluttering pulse within Time's broken sleep;
And therefore to the many heights afar
BY J. A. FARRER.
THE growth of science and civilization undoubtedly widens the barrier between man and the rest of the animal creation. St. Francis, preaching to little birds and calling the swallows his sisters, belongs to a past state of thought when something like equality subsisted among all the species of creation. And in an earlier stage still it was actual superiority to himself that man recognized and worshipped in the animal, whom he often felt no difficulty in regarding as his progenitor. So little was any distinctive or essential difference recognized, that it was thought possible for a man's soul or spirit to depart from his body during sleep in the form of an animal; German mothers and nurses even to this day closing the mouths of sleeping children lest the soul should issue forth in mouse-like form, and the real dangers incurred by the mouse be incurred by the infant; and Bohemians, fearing to go to bed thirsty, lest the soul wandering forth as a mouse from the open mouth should perchance fail to find its way back again! That the spirits of the dead should in the same way go to animate other living organisms would be a further obvious inference; and thus the scruples of a Californian tribe against eating deer, lest in so doing they should eat their ancestors, may possibly explain the similar scruples of the Jews to the flesh of pigs or of the early Britons to hares.
The fundamental idea of primitive thought is the close intercommunion between all things in nature. There is no bird, beast, or fish into which gods and men may not instantaneously transform themselves at pleasure. Manabozho, the great spirit of the Red Indians, with all the attributes and desires of a man and all the powers of a sorcerer, could not only readily converse with, but readily convert himself into, any living thing he pleased. And the metamorphoses of Odin or Indra or Zeus were of a similar striking character. Their interchangeability with the animal creation is a point that connects them closely with the characteristics of NEW SERIES.-VOL. XLV., No. 2
sorcerers and magicians, and which only by a very forced construction can be interpreted, as some interpret them, as allegories of the various phases of the skies.
With the Greek or Hindu conceptions of animal forms as sometimes the embodiment of divine or human personages some of the legends of the Zulus and Andamanese afford an instructive comparison. As the Germans thought that storks were born in other parts of the world and came to Germany in the form of birds, the Zulus regard baboons as in reality transformed men. They call them Tusi's men, referring to a tribe so habitually idle that they preferred eating at other people's houses to digging for themselves. Tusi, their chief, one day led them into the wilderness, where the handles of their digging implements gradually turned into tails, their foreheads became overhanging, and their bodies assumed a covering of hair, and from that day they betook themselves to the precipices, and have had their dwelling among the rocks.
Among the Andaman islanders, till lately regarded as among the lowest savages existent, and supposed to be entirely destitute of traditions or religious ideas, the rat, the pigeon, the parrot, the crow, the fish eagle, the heron, the jungle fowl, the shark, the porpoise, and various other fish are all transformed ancestors, with a definite legend to account for the transformation in each case. A certain fish, armed with a row of poisonous barbs on its back, is a man who committed murder in a fit of jealousy; while a tree lizard retains the very name by which the victim was known as a man. The first human being of all fell into a creek and was drowned, being at once transformed into a whale, and becoming the father of all cetaceans of that class; he capsized and drowned his wife and grandchildren when they went in a boat to look for him, she being transformed into a crab and his grandchildren into iguanas. It is with this sort of mythology that Greek or Hindu mythology must be compared, if we de