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commonwealth which is yet so full of that vigorous sap by which national prosperity may always be resuscitated. It is when I remember this that I love France and that I feel I still belong to her. In no other country does one feel so happy, so pure, and so full of energy in the presence of evil. Fighting it at close quarters, not disguising it by specious names, not yielding to it; keeping our souls at their highest level, using the words self-abnegation and devotedness in a sense that is more thorough than the meaning in which they are understood elsewhere a sense that is the highest, and that is forgotten by other nations. Of such Frenchmen I am the fellow-citizen and the sister. They were, no doubt, not the majority in that great building, but they were certainly more, many more, than the ten just men who once sufficed to save a nation. (?) God above knows their number, and it may be much greater than we believe. As for those who are worldly and frivolous, I think they are inferior to all others of the same class on earth. The contrast is great on arriving in Paris from England-the country where respect for women is proved by the complete absence of that mixed coarseness and ill-nature which is the basis of conversation in Paris. True one unfortunately gets used to it, but the first impression is the right one, and I feel it again, and I am startled and shocked by what is said and what is listened to. Decidedly in proportion as fervent and intelligent Christians are superior here to those who are to be met with in England (for the reason that here they each pursue an ideal, and the Catholic ideal is the nobler of the two), so, in proportion, those who are not fervent in religion are inferior here, for the reason that the human, political, national, perhaps even domestic ideal in England is higher and nobler, and agrees better with that natural law which links happiness and right order together. There is something disorderly in French society which does not exist in that of England.

'I know not if there is truth in these remarks-perhaps not. I do not cling to my generalisations. I know what I feel. However that may be, and whatever its defects, Paris remains a delightful place, and I believe that in the long run it is the only place that entirely suits me. How much has been said to persuade me that it is so !'

Some of these statements are surprising and unexpected, and we can only be grateful for the favourable eye with which Mrs. Craven generally views us; but there are times when her sympathy for England breaks down, as, for instance, under the very natural annoyance and discouragement of finding that though everybody is delighted to entertain and amuse and flatter her, not the closest acquaintance with prime ministers, nor endless visits to great households, will procure her that advancement for her husband for which she longs. Then she breaks forth into a little diatribe, if not against England yet against its spirit.

'Here there is always an immovable barrier, beyond which I cannot hope to find sympathy, and I have not one friend here who can or will aid me in the object which I have in heart. All this, notwithstanding

the kindness with which I meet, I might almost say the flattery offered to me, ends by chilling and irritating me. This Protestantism worries and disgusts me. The false imputations, the false witnesses against neighbours, a national crime of which England is guilty towards Catholics, wears out my patience. It weakens that which I had hoped to draw yet closer. No doubt the liberty of Catholics is respected in outward matters, and politically they have valuable rights which they freely use. But this is balanced by the atmosphere of calumny which surrounds them, and against which it is always necessary to struggle, and that is wearisome, or to endure, and that is intolerable. Besides which I can as little sympathise with the antinational tone adopted by English Catholics, and especially by converts, though what I hear of the other side justifies them to a certain degree.'

All this is very true, though we doubt if the Catholic scorn of Protestants is not equal to the Protestants' calumny of Catholics. 'No Popery' is a hideous and horrible superstition, and we are perfectly willing to acknowledge as much; but perhaps it is as well for national good feeling not to inquire into the balance on that other side. While we are on the subject of French and English, however, we must quote one delightful living scene, an amusing sharp interlude which took place at an English table, and in which we can almost hear the two Frenchmen snapping their brief sentences at each other over the heads of the English listeners with that frank and complete indifference to the opinions of the persons under discussion which is so charmingly characteristic of their nation. The scene is a small dinner-party at Holland House, and the chief talker no less a person than M. Thiers:

'It was a very small dinner-party, and the little great man talked with brilliancy as he explained the reasons why the English army was so inferior to the French. The English, he repeated frequently, have no merit but that of courage. The guests who were present did not contradict him, until M. de Pontois exclaimed with stentorian energy, "You are right no doubt, they have not military qualities; but they are the only soldiers who have beaten us." "Oh! where?" cried M. Thiers, suddenly cut short and not pleased by the remark. "Where? "said M. de Pontois. "In Spain-at Waterloo." "Ah, bah!" cried M. Thiers. "It is true they beat us, but why?" "I don't know why," answered M. de Pontois; "but the fact remains that we never beat them." "Yes, we did," said M. Thiers, "at Fontenoy."

We do not think it would occur to any two Englishmen, at whatsoever point of savagery, to discuss the inferiority of the French army at a French dinner-table in Paris or else

where; but this is one of the most distinct national differences in respect of manners.

Mrs. Bishop is very sparing in details of the wider life which Mrs. Craven lived in the midst of her days. This is about the only sketch we can find of one of the eminent persons among whom she passed her life. It seems a ridi

culously long time since Lord Palmerston was one of the greatest figures in Europe. Everything has so changed that his personality, his attitude, the effect he produced on the Continent, and the most characteristic popularity which he possessed at home, strike us with a sense of distance which is absurd when we remark how many people are still living who can recall that gay and careless figure, so English, so unlike anything traditionally known as English, so barrassing to the foreign spectator, so congenial in paradox to ourselves. Mrs. Craven's portrait of the great statesman has, with some natural mistakes, a great deal of truth in it.

'He is not a great party leader as his friends represent him to be, and as the position he holds would indicate; neither is he the evil genius which the greater part of Europe will have him to be. In fact, he is in no way a genius, and he is nothing great. His nearest approach to greatness is in his imperturbable good temper, which remains unshadowed whether he is in or out of office, beaten or triumphant, violently attacked or unduly praised. He is always the same, always ready to do justice to his adversaries, never embittered against them, never even impatient. In 1852 I was in Broadlands at the time when he resigned office under Lord John Russell's Government. I saw no traces of resentment in him; he did not say a word of recrimination or bitterness, nor did he assume affected moderation. The only perceptible difference appeared in a greater elasticity of spirits in his conversation. He was less reserved and more playful, and gave more time to society. His indifference to general opinion seems contempt for it; his taste for liberty gains for him the reputation of being revolutionary. He does not write exactly as he speaks, and it is singular that fewer rash words escape him in the heat of speech than in a despatch written at leisure. In short, he is in England generally master of his hearers, because he knows them so well, while his ignorance about foreigners is extreme; and his tolerant spirit towards his fellow-countrymen becomes coloured by the strongest prejudices when he has to do with other people. That explains some of his mistakes, and the dislike felt for him outside his own country; and yet this dislike is unjust. Notwithstanding his misconceptions, nothing is less true than that he has the wish attributed to him to revolutionise Europe for the benefit of England. He loves justice as sincerely as he hates oppression. He thinks it is for the interest of all nations that they should be governed as well as possible. He has the right to think that the political experiences of his country have been


fortunate; but he is wrong not to see that elsewhere the risks of English methods might be greater than their advantages, and that, though it is easy to mimic English institutions, it is not easy to imitate them.'

We remember the amusement and surprise with which we heard many years ago the Count de Montalembert express himself on the same subject. The cheerful Pam' of that wide and familiar English popularity, which is apt, let us allow, to become too familiar, if not vulgar, in its widest extension, was to that acutest of French critics something like a new incarnation of the devil. A certain awe was in the dislike and repugnance with which he was regarded, an emblem of ruthless national selfishness, arrogance, and unscrupulousness. Perhaps there was a certain truth in this outside judgement, and Lord Palmerston did really think no claims in the world of any importance in competition with the advantage of his own country, which was certainly the foreign view of him. However, as this is, or was, the foreign view of all English administration, sharpened in his case by a keen sense as of diabolical cleverness, promptitude, and energy, it is perhaps the less important.

The best time, according to ordinary ideas, of Mrs. Craven's life was already over when her literary career began. The publication of the Récit d'une Sour' gave a new beginning to an existence of which it might truly be said that it had comprised almost everything that society could give and all the knowledge and experience that could be acquired among the highest haunts of men. There was nobody she did not know, nothing she had not seen, few things indeed in which she had not had her share, more or less, though unfortunately without any of those great results which, humanly speaking, the world seems to have had a right to expect. But now a fresh range of new sensations and successes opened before her. She was never to be that ideal ambassadress of which perhaps in the deepest secrets of her mind she had once dreamt. But there was a new world to be conquered all the same. Even during the most brilliant period of her career it had been her greatest happiness to retire into the passionate and joyous and sad world of her youth, living it over again in the letters of the past, and carrying on from year to year a delicate work of arrangement, of selection, with the hope some time of revealing to a circle of sympathisers, wider even than those who already knew of it by personal

connexion or friendship, the delightful tender story of her brother and sister-the romance of Christian and Catholic life which was in her hands in the 'Histoire' of Alexandrine. It was her luxury to turn to this when there was an interval of special quiet, or when the interest of external life temporarily failed. But it was not till 1863, when her life was on the verge of many and great changes, that it was completed. She took it to Paris to submit it to her friends and take their advice as to its publication. Almost the only survivor of that period of romance and happiness was Count de Montalembert, the gentle Montal of Alexandrine's story, the Catholic democrat of the 'Avenir,' the champion of freedom and education, the historian of monks and saints, whose period of public life was long over, and who was now hard bound by failing health to the hardest of punishments for so active and brilliant a mind-a sick-room in the midst of the intellectual commotion of Paris. It is difficult in a few words to indicate such a character as that of Count de Montalembert-all goodness and geniality without, all keen observation, keen wit, and swift sarcastic perception within: an enthusiast, yet the acutest man of the world, with an eagle eye for every pretence, yet in sympathy with anything that was genuine and true, even when quite out of his sphere. But for the much more emotional tone natural in France which his English blood and training occasionally made a little shamefaced in him, we might have considered it a doubtful advantage to submit the wonderful ethereal romance of Albert and Alexandrine to a critic so clear and so trenchant. But he had taken his share in that romance in his youth, and was still, and until the end of his days, notwithstanding his keen sarcastic humour, the same chivalrous and romantic son of the Crusaders who had once dreamed of conjoining all the powers of Church and State in the service of freedom. So paradoxical a character is always of the highest interest to the spectator. Montalembert played the part of a critic as he might have been expected to do. He was at first strongly opposed to the publication of a book so intimately opening up the most private recesses of the heart to the public eye, with a very natural feeling which scarcely required to be intensified by the prejudices of a Frenchman against publicity. But as the beauty of the book gained upon him, Montalembert withdrew his opposition. The same effect was produced in several others to whom the manuscript was submitted. The Count de Mun

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