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so much that I know what kind of a head he had. As a general thing, style and language are well handled in France. French writers seem like Florentine artists of the fifteenth century, unequal in genius, but equal in taste. All breathe an air of the City of the Uluses, and this is their glory. Then the French are masters of the art of constructing a book. Neither the Germans, the Saxons nor our brethren of Italy know how to put a book together like our neighbors beyond the Pyrenees. De Goncourt wrote books adorned by a style as finished as that of other Frenchmen; but notwithstanding the national evenness of fine work, he committed many extravagances. He has a great and extraordinary preference for a Japanese sort of art; he is none the less subject to a ritual like that of the ancient hieratic art; he is dazzling on account of the brilliancy of his lacquer, but like Oriental art produces better things inanimate than animate, precious as gems but without real inspiration, or true and genuine life. The Japanese style of art speaks to the sense and pleases the eye, therefore only those authors should toy with it who wish to express sensations rather than ideas.
What a love those Goncourt twins had for details!-the one who died ten years ago as well as the one who has just died. They represent in letters the Siamese twins. Neither one nor the other painted with broad sweeping strokes, both painted daintily, as in the making of miniatures or water colors. Within reach in my study I have the History of Antoinette, and the volume on French society during the Revolutionary period. Nobody can surpass in minutiæ and detail those two writers, but they did not see the infinite heaven, much less the fixed stars which are called eternal ideas. It seems impossible that a writer should treat of affairs like the reign of terror yet make one laugh on every page. It seems impossible to glance at a period like that of the Revolution and not even see those lofty thoughts which, true or not, glowed for the mind
of man. If by chance the Goncourts have a glimpse of such a thought 'tis gone like a meteor. Renan said that the de Goncourt brothers could never rise to the contemplation of a superior ideal; they saw everything with a microscope, and by searching found out many defects hidden from the serene and natural light of the understanding; these souls never penetrated the reign of the ideal. Be this as it may, an originality almost extravagant, a gallant style, a rich ornateness of language characterized these two brothers, truly exceptional even in the genius of France.
Translated for THE LIVING AGE by Minna C. Smith.
From Macmillan's Magazine. FRENCH AND ENGLISH.
Once upon a time three Frenchmen, augurs all and members of the Academy, sat them down to condemn the island, whose name is vaguely familiar and whose inhabitants hey imagine aboriginal savages. "The English," declared the first, in that gaily confident tone which is assured by ignorance, "the English are all drunkards." "Yes," murmured the second, complacently nodding his head like a Chinese toy, "the country of fog." The third flashed a smile of approval upon his colleagues, and for his share of the controversy demanded the assent of an Englishman. "Yes, we are all drunkards," agreed the Englishman, with a stout gravity, unwilling to shake their child-like credulity; and instantly the question was brushed aside, as though it had received a final, irrevocable
garding his traditional enemy with an unreasoning contempt which the slightest knowledge of the truth would dispel.
Insular prejudice on the one hand, continental obstinacy on the other, are ceaseless hindrances to an amicable approach, and, remembering our own misjudgment, we contemplate the fallacies of France in a spirit rather of curiosity than of indignation. In truth the two countries are separated by something else than the winds and the waves of the Channel. The Straits of Dover are the very begetters of mystery, and though they may be traversed in a brief two hours the voyage from either shore seems enough to obscure the keenest vision and to tangle the freest intelligence in the meshes of superstition. And if he who sets out upon the enterprise commonly returns with a trunk full of falsehoods what shall be his fate who warms his hatreds at his own fireside? His lack of adventure shall prove a constant stumbling-block to peaceful amenity; he shall sit and mumble in impenetrable ignorance; in age he shall repeat the tales wherewith the old wives beguiled his childhood. And since it is upon our side that the greater number embarks, it is upon theirs that the misunderstanding is the more wilful and desperate.
Paris, then, is suffering most acutely from Anglophobia, and one knows not to what indiscretion the madness will hurry her. The disease, old as history itself, has changed with the centuries, and so long as it sprang from an acknowledged enmity it was neither virulent nor incurable. The hatred which incites two combatants of tried courage yields easily to honorable treatment; and even when Joan of Arc died a martyr's death at Rouen, when Calais was scored on Mary's heart, when Marlborough routed the forces of the Great King, the malady was less violent than at this present day, when you must seek its causes in prejudice and catchwords. For how much folly has Albion's imagined perfidy been responsible? And it is the phrase, not the reality, that sows the
seeds of poison. grew as the infection declined, and it was already dangerous when Napoleon the Third held court at the Tuileries, and the masterpieces of Offenbach were whistled upon the Boulevards. Ridicule was then the rampant symptom, and the keenest sufferers were the authors of vaudeville and comic opera. They, in their hallucination, invented a monster such as never was seen, and dubbed him an Englishman. He was portentous indeed, this sorry child of darkness and fog. No sunshine sparkled on his dusky youth, and stern vulgarity wrapped round his middle age as with a mist. Meanwhile, as if to atone for the sourness of his temper, his fancy was loudly expressed in whiskers, red waistcoats, box-coats, and buttons big as saucers. He was an impossible mixture of Pecksniff and little Mr. Bouncer. Not the most grimly hag-ridden country in the world could, have produced him; yet he appeared like as life to a generation of sight-seers and since less than a year ago he walked the stage disguised in the trappings of a mediæval herald, it is plain that he still serves to void the spleen of the belated Parisian.
Indeed, the disease
But the last victims of Anglophobia are at once more dangerous and less amicable. It is the journalists of Paris that are now most bitterly infected with the hatred of England. In their loudly expressed loathing of the unknown country across the Channel they forget their legitimate revenge; and they would pretend to fold the German to their breast, as they long since welcomed his beer, if by the pretence they could put another insult upon the loathed island. For them the Englishman is a veritable bogey, a composite monster with the maw of the ostrich, the beak of a hawk, the claws of a tiger, the manner of a clergyman, and the cunning of an ape. This terrific creature, says the French journalist, roams up and down the world, impelled only by the lust of plunder and of blood; but he is happiest when he is robbing the honest
Frenchman of his due or cajoling the mild-mannered Belgiau (on the Congo) into the forfeiture of his ivory. Above all, this shameless hybrid is alert; if the sun never sets on his empire his eye never closes in sleep; and ever from beneath his drooping lid he espies some fresh occasion for ruin and outrage. To his impious ingenuity no limit is set. He is capable of organizing the manufacture of dynamite, and of betraying his own plot, that France may tremble for the safety of her Not long since a halfpenny print, in search of a headline, nounced the murder of the sultan, and (declared the Parisian journals) the falsehood was plainly invented by England, that monster personified, with the deliberate intent to shake the peace of Europe. Thus the Briton walks abroad, hungry in ill-doing, still cutting throats and poisoning wells with a ferocious energy unrivalled since the heroic days of giants and demi-gods.
Modern history, we are told, is but a catalogue of England's crimes, and it is pleasant to recall some more recent achievements, which have cast a lustre upon our national fame. The most brilliant opportunity arrived something more than a year ago, when France was persuaded to undertake a campaign in Madagascar. The sportsmen of England, tired of the Andes and big game, saw a chance not only of gratifying their secular enmity, but of finding an excellent quarry for their bullets. Instantly a club was formed, and the members, chartering a yacht, set sail for Madagascar. They spared neither malice nor expense; their rifles were of the newest pattern; in the pocket of each lurked a revolver, and there was none who did not carry a dagger at his hip that his victim might leave the world happy in a coup de grâce. The danger of the road added a zest to the enterprise, and though any other than a stout-hearted, unscrupulous Briton might quail before the risk of taking pot-shots at an army on the march, this gang of ruffians found comfort in the thought that a
vast bag of Frenchmen would be its reward. How our countrymen fared in their perilous adventure has never been revealed; a greater enormity soon drove this masterpiece of brutality from affrighted memory of France, and even the Figaro, whose ingenuity invented the novel sport, was too indolent to follow the career of its own puppets.
To insist that so fantastic a charge was deliberately brought against England seems like explaining a joke. Yet to be unversed in this extravagance of Anglophobia is to be wofully incredulous, and it is necessary at this point to declare that no fancy herein set forth is without its warrant. Now, the press, having solemnly urged a diplomatic intervention, having even protested with circumstance that the same plan of murder had been followed in Tonkin and Dahomey, was not slow in discovering another piece of wickedness which put the wanton sportsmen into obscurity. The resources of France were inadequate to transport her impediments from Marseilles to Madagascar, and the failure was obviously due to the devilish contrivance of Perfidious Albion. Nor was Albion on this occasion disinterested in her perfidy; by some fiendish machination she had arranged the shortcoming of France that she might twist it to profitable account. Where, indeed, could France turn in her extremity if not to that England which existed only for her discomfiture and ruin? Thus the Brinkburn was chartered and fitted out; her English captain (suspect from his blood) undertook to carry the French stores to Madagascar; and he had got no further than Malta when his ship broke down, and a miserable delay was enforced upon France's legitimate ambition. That the accident was deliberately brought about by a malicious Briton no self-respecting journalist doubted for a moment. And in truth not a link was lacking in the chain of indictment. All the world knows that France had no sufficient transport of her own, and all the world knows
that she was thus deprived of resources by the prudent villainy of England. When once this fact is recognized there is no more need of argument; it follows, as night the day, that the Brinkburn stoked her engines with the express design of breaking down, and of proving yet again that the ancient feud burned more fiercely than her own poor flickering furnace.
But earth-hunger is the worst disease wherewith England is afflicted. The smell of the soil is as blood to her nostrils, and no dry land exists that she does not covet. She has ousted France from the four quarters of the globe, yet she is not content, and a brief year ago she cast an envious eye upon the Minquiers. Now, the Minquiers, says the Parisian journalist, are the brightest jewels in France's crown, and it is no wonder that the grave serenity of an autumn day was disturbed by the awful tidings that the Union Jack was floating over the largest island of the group. This island (again it is the Parisian journalist who speaks) is called Ecréhous, and it is (or was) inhabited by one fisherman, who combined in his proper person the functions of king, parliament, and people. No sooner was the news spread abroad than France was on the alert. Deputies and senators turned to their geography-books as one man. To discover that the Minquiers lay only five miles from the French coast was the work of a moment, and forthwith the dullard might conclude that Albion was meditating a hostile descent. A boat set sail immediately for Ecréhous, and brought back the disappointing word that no flag had braved the breeze above its barren, inhospitable rocks. But the conscience of the Paris press was not thus easily put to sleep, and still in its moments of nightmare, the Union Jack waves before her, as horrible an apparition as was the Phantom Ship to the strayed mariner. Nor is it only upon the shore of the estranging sea that England would plant a sacrilegious foot; she would also wreck (if she could) the financial security of France. Some time since
there was a panic upon the Bourse, and economists looked about them for some reasonable explanation of it. But the journalist knew better than to cast his eye further than our own Foreign Office. France's financial depression was plainly the work of Lord Salisbury, and was moreover a deliberate act of political revenge. The Conservative party, in fact, affronted at the cordial alliance between France and Russia, was determined upon a reprisal. It felt for a moment that England's supremacy was threatened in the Far East, but it also knew that with the sovereignty of the sea it could direct the credit of the world. Wherefore, said Lord Salisbury, a smile of irony upon his lips, France shall suffer. The Bank of England shall forbid the French banks to renew their acceptances, and thus ruin shall be made certain. No sooner had the prime minister uttered these words than the collapse came; and it was only the never-failing cleverness of France that made the blow recoil upon Albion's intriguing head.
To cap these examples of Anglophobia would not be difficult; no day passes which does not furnish a fresh specimen of them. But, remembering with security that, should France and England ever be embroiled, it is the country, and not the newspaper, that will prove the ultimate arbiter, we may contemplate with indifference the aggression of the latter. After all the journalist, proud in the daily iteration of his name, vastly exaggerates the value of the printed word; he is eager to believe that he is swaying empires when he is achieving no more than the momentary embarrassment of an industrious minister. So wantonly is he puffed up with a sense of his importance that he confuses his professional interest with his country's honor, and having hit upon a chance policy, with the vague gesture of one playing blind hookey, he would insist in the borrowed majesty of type that Europe is in danger if his advice be not followed. But as the Figaro, that hoary-headed offender, once pointed out, France is
not exclusively peopled by journalists, and one likes to reflect that the raucous voice of England's enemies carries no further than the Boulevard. To suggest a remedy, short of hanging a journalist, is impossible, but there is consolation in the fact that the gentlemen whose business it is to quarrel with the island they could not find upon the map, influence the provinces as little as the government. They speak chiefly for themselves and their clique, yet it is none the less interesting to divine their motives.
Personal animosity counts for much, and it is a humiliating truth that France's expressed opinion of England was guided for several years by a writer whose malice is concealed as little as his ignorance This man, the ineffable Jacques St. Cère, saw an element of popularity in Anglophobia, and with the permission of the Figaro cast a daily insult upon the country whose history and politics are far beyond his ken. Happily a personal indiscretion has now compelled him to silence; but he has left his influence behind, and there are many, too indolent to discover the truth, who echo his ignorance and swell the volume of his malice. In the eyes of these gentry England has but one motive for existence, the annoyance of France; and though she is declared to employ all means for the gratification of her ambition, it is in Egypt and her colonies that she strikes the heaviest blow. Colonial jealousy, in brief, is the dominant motive of Anglophobia, and when Prince Henry of Orleans was decorated with the Legion of Honor, he received the red ribbon less because he had traversed a distant and illknown country than because his experience of the East had convinced him that English enterprise was a check to the development of French commerce. The very mention of Egypt is sufficient to arouse the ire of the journalist, and though Paris does not deign to tell us what she would accomplish if she drove her enemy from the Nile, it is plain she resents our success far more bitterly than her
own imprudence. At best, hers is the policy of the dog in the manger; and yet it is this unreasoned fury which she permits to color and to enhance her hatred of England. But again one takes comfort in the thought that the loudest voice is not always the furthest heard, and that though the journalist's signature may seem brave in Pousset's Tavern, it is but the shadow of a name in distant Marseilles.
To correct this Anglophobia, which is but a fashion adopted by the unlettered, would be unprofitable if it were not hopeless. A little knowledge might convince even the chronicler of the Boulevard that England is not a proper bogey wherewith the burgesses of France should frighten their children. But knowledge is ever beyond the reach of the journalists for whom Lord Gladstone is a personage and Sir John Morlay a distinguished philosopher; and so long as England pushes further into Africa, or dares to confer prosperity upon the khedive's dominion, so long will the newspapers of Paris declare that it is the Englishman's habit to steal all the shrimps at dinner or to sling a hammock across a railway carriage. The argument is not clear, but it is sufficient, and its recklessness is the more remarkable, since if you leave the desert region of party politics, you will find in France a sincere, and even too ardent an appreciation of England. Indeed, in the self-same city which cherishes our bitterest foes you may note all the symptoms of an active Anglomania. Between France and England there has always been an artistic exchange honorable to both countries. To estimate the debt on either side is a delicate task, but, without an onerous precision, we may say that English literature and French painting have lent the more lavishly. When Voltaire declared a loyal admiration of Congreve, Swift, and Pope, neither the poetry nor the prose of England seemed contemptible in the eyes of France. But never were we so generously applauded as to-day. Nor is it our literature