prove his material position, since those who which all the religious instincts of the are his chief advisers believe that he has no ouvrier gathers.

What it established, or possession beyond the grave.

what naturally flows out of its principles, is

for him a true decalogue. He admits no V.--POLITICALLY AND RELIGIOUSLY.

other ideas, or, if they exist, they are simply I place together these aspects of the cha- wrecks, débris of an older world. racter of the Paris ouvrier because in him As a matter of fact the world before the they are essentially one: what he is politi- Revolution has no interest for him, he cares cally he is religiously.

little for it, good or bad. All French history, To feel the truth of this one should be at even the story of Jeanne Darc, is for him as Paris during the Fête of the Republic, July the pagan world was to the Christian. But the 14th, the anniversary of the taking of the for the Revolution, the men of the RevoBastile by the people of Paris in 1789. In lution, the results of the Revolution, for the leaving the streets, which authority and fashion very word Revolution, he feels the devotion have combined to decorate, for the quarters that a true Mussulman feels for the city of inhabited by the working classes, one gets a Mecca and the tomb of the Prophet. glimpse of the intense devotion with which If we want to sum up the creed of the the Paris ouvrier regards the Revolution. Paris ouvrier, we might do it in this formula: Still more impressive is the contrast between “ The French Revolution is great, and the the narrow side streets and lanes and the main Paris ouvrier is its prophet.” avenues of Paris. A horticultural show in Every religion has its hypocrites and its the gallery of a coal-mine could hardly pro- martyrs, its drivellers and its heroes. M. duce a more striking effect than one of these Poulot has sufficiently exposed the violent or dark clefts festooned with wreaths and Chinese drivelling drunkards who form so large a perlanterns, and draped from end to end with centage of the pharisees and hypocrites of the beautiful tri-colour. But when the narrow the revolutionary creed; it will be interesting street is the central artery of a populous to see what that creed can make of the neighbourhood, Eastern romance could not ouvrier when there are in him the elements of produce words or images adequate to con- a hero; and I give the following story with vey the impression. All that banners, floral the more confidence because I believe there wreaths, and lanterns can effect in the hands is no population more prone to develop such of the most artistic population in the world characteristics. is accomplished. The further you penetrate During the siege of the Commune, there the more fairy-like the scene. Ten thousand was a regiment of defenders which contained lamps of all sizes and all hues hang over your three mechanics: one, the grandfather, sixtyhead and from the walls of the houses; Unity, seven years of age; another, the father, forty Peace, Work—such is the motto of the ban- years old; the third, the son, who was scarcely ner on the arch draped and crowned by sixteen. The three were evidently of the an effigy of the Republic which forms the same brood, they all had the eagle look, the entrance to the street. Halfway down, the proud aquiline profile of the born warrior; figure of the Republic again appears, bring- all had the same blue eye, dreamy, unfathoming, like another Moses, a new code of laws. able. Silent, sober, impassive, they had won The people, who form two lines, walk in an authority of which they had no idea. family groups, arm in arm, up and down the Their battalion remained three weeks outnarrow road, stop and gaze with reverence side Paris during weather in which the therat this emblematic painting, over which is mometer showed twenty degrees of frost. written the words, Espérance , Défiance. No In the end the father fell

, during a barrione pushes, no one laughs, the only break in cade fight, into the hands of the soldiers. the solemn satisfaction is the hurried move. To cover the fire of the insurgents, the Verment of some young man who passes rapidly sailles troops took the prisoner, bound his through the crowd carrying a flag and crying, wrists, and placed him in the middle of the Vive la Révolution sociale. The fourteenth of street. The defenders of the barricade July commemorates to the Paris ouvrier a stopped firing, though the soldiers sent in deliverance not unlike that of Israel when he their shot like hail. The old man turned to went out of the House of Bondage. It is a his grandson and said, “Thy father will be National Fête if ever there was one.

shot anyhow, for they kill all the prisoners. The great Revolution is the subject around Better for him to die at once. Fire straight."

The boy trembled and turned pale. "Lis* The above description refers specially to the Fête of

ten," said the grandfather : "this is the end



for all who fight to the end. All is over now. lieving in education, science, organization, Draw and die here. I swear to thee they covering, under much bonhomie, thoroughly shall never take us alive.” Then turning to selfish hearts. the insurgents he cried, “Fire, no agony for But people who believe that the pursuit of him!” They drew and the prisoner fell. For wealth or material well-being is the chief end an hour more the struggle continued, but at of man, or of societies of men, will, I trust, last the barricade was taken, and there was always find a good deal to disconcert their nothing for it but precipitate flight. Only theories in the Paris ouvrier. two remained, the grandfather and the boy. “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the Taking a revolver from the waist of one of kingdom of heaven," is a word that, perhaps, the dead, he wrung his grandson's hand and might find its true interpretation in a study then blew out his brains; the moment after of this kind; for it is a singular fact that it he had killed himself. It is a terrible story, is among those who possess no wealth, and but one has an inward consciousness of its have no wish to possess any, that the highest truth. It is the spirit of the Revolution, patriotism, the loftiest sentiments of public especially in France, intense, uncompro- duty prevail, that it is such persons who will mising, never to cease except in victory or be found to desire above all things the estabdeath.

lishment of justice, righteousness, and truth But its objects are no longer political. on the earth. It is they who can most sinParis ouvriers appear indifferent to all poli- cerely utter the prayer, “ Thy kingdom come, tical change, except an attempt to reverse Thy will be done on earth as in heaven; the Revolution itself. Even in regard to and it is this consideration which explains to such questions as getting rid of the priests, me the puzzling fact that while the Republic and of the magistrates nominated under the is established, and appears in all material Empire, they exhibit little interest. All the matters most prosperous—that while so many enthusiasm apparent is directed towards things are being done to render the material social change.

condition of the working man as easy, as prosIt would be very difficult to say how far perous, and as agreeable as possible—while the mass of working men really go. It may education up to the highest point is offered be taken for granted that the great majority, him, almost entirely at the public expense—he as everywhere, do not trouble themselves is profoundly discontented. Let any one go to supremely about anything. If they can get their political meetings or read their newseasily through the day, and extract a little papers, and the thing that will most surprise enjoyment out of life, they are satisfied. But and puzzle him will be the bitter contempt the strong social sentiment and sense of fra- always expressed for the Government and for ternity existing among Paris ouvriers render every one in authority. them like a ball of gun-cotton. It is im- But if he reflects that the only class in portant, then, to discover what is the direc- which pure idealism prevails is that which tion of thought among the intelligent, and lives careless of its material interests, unespecially what are the watchwords of those consciously obedient to the doctrine of the whose opinions are intense enough to lead Sermon on the Mount,“ Take no thought for them to form societies.

the morrow"—if he further reflects that that It must have been clear from the details I class in Paris is better acquainted with their have already given that there has been for own contemporary history than with almost many years past a growing tendency among anything else, except their particular crafts, and a great number of Paris ouvriers to regulate that therefore they are intensely alive to the their lives by what, for want of a better term, fact that history is almost completely made I

may call the principles of Benjamin Frank- up of attempts on the part of their successive lin. The ideal Dr. Franklin gave in his life Governments to thwart or turn back the tide and works is, as far as I can see, the ideal of that Revolution which is their idea of the of those who are moulding the character of kingdom of heaven- then he will begin the third Republic.

to understand, if he does not sympathize This influence is undoubtedly, very power- with it, the bitter and unrelenting conful in the present day, and may possibly be tempt the Paris ouvriers have for their successful, because it is singularly in harmony rulers. with the superficial parts of the French cha- The ouvrier is taught to believe that this racter. If so, we shall have a society of continual effort to thwart the Revolution is individuals great in all the small economies due to the unprincipled character of bour. of life, provident and saving to excess, be- geoisie politics to prefer their own material interests to every other consideration. He only idea that will touch the heart and conaccordingly regards them with the same con- science of the people—the doctrine of the tempt as the Government, and if the present Kingdom of Heaven. In exchange they offer Republic is in danger, it is on the ground what they are pleased to call "practical that it is bourgeoise.

Christianity.” This practical Christianity What the Paris ouvrier really means, let the working man finds is the accommodation him phrase it how he may, is that the prin- of Christian dogma to every kind of worldly ciples of absolute justice and truth should principle. It has therefore no attraction rule in the political and social order of France, for him. If a Francis of Assisi or a De and in the relations of all the states of Europe. Lamennais were to appear again, preaching This may be called Utopist, but all religious some nineteenth-century version of the Kingideas worth anything at all are Utopist. dom of Heaven, then and then only should

The Christianity of Europe as represented we see a religious revival conterminous with by its churches and religious societies have the populations of the great cities of France confessedly lost their hold on the working —then might we expect indeed to see a classes. May not this study of the Paris realisation of the prophecy “a nation shall be ouvrier show the reason? They have lost the born in a day.”


“ Who can abide His cold ?"
“Pray that your flight be not in the winter."

But when the harvest-tide is nigh,
When God His face has turned away, God grant His summer fill the sky,
When prayer is wingless, or her wing God grant His harvest-rays be shed,
Droops earthward like some weary thing? God grant His harvest-

moon rise red.


not hard to

[blocks in formation]

Or, the world after an Esland. By M. BETHAM-EDWARDS, AUTHOR OF “KITTY," “A WINTER WITH THE SWALLOWS," ETC. CHAP. XXXIX.-THE HEAD OF THE FAMILY. indeed so sudden, so unexpected when it IT was not likely that things should go ill came, that no proper preparations had been

with a splendid young creature like made, and Geoff lacked the good gift of Georgie, nor was it likely that matters should promptitude and organization. Every wellprosper in a household of which Geoff was intentioned step of his but made matters the head. The young master of the house worse. He had no experience either of illwas indeed not at all fitted for the responsi- ness or domestic management, and yet he bilities of his position. The event seemed imagined that everything should go smoothly,

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

that is to say in accordance with his own “No canting, if you please,” Geoff said, wishes, whereas a compromise between what determined to have his way. “ Your

wages we would have and what we can succeed in shall be sent after you and your boxes too, obtaining, is in reality the utmost to be ex- only be off, every one of you. pected in most worldly affairs. Geoff, more- “ And please, sir,” added the small houseover, was somewhat overbearing under his maid pertly, dropping a curtsey, “ Mistress new conditions of husband and father, and promised us each a new gown for the christfelt bound to command. And having some-ening:” what roughly handled the reins of domestic “And thank you kindly for the wine, sir," government it came about that he suddenly put in the suitor, catching his cue. found himself left in sole charge of the There was something preposterous in the young mother and her two-weeks old baby. whole situation—the imperiousness of the His household had not been composed with boyish head of the house, the mildness of much judgment in the first instance, and it was the offence compared with the severity of little wonder that at such a crisis no member the sentence, the absurd and uncomfortable of it should prove equal to the occasion. position into which Geoff was forcing himGeorgie being asleep one afternoon, and self. Each present was secretly predicting a everything going on as smoothly as possible, meek recall in the course of the day. But the nurse had slipped down-stairs and pro- Geoff was of quite another mood. Georgie posed a toast in honour of the young son and might wake up at any moment. Immediate heir. The world, especially the world whose steps must be taken to replace this disorderly habitation is the kitchen, is sure to find out crew. He dragged out his purse, paid the whether you are rich or no, and Geoff's ser- proffered claims to the full and once more vants had discovered long ago that he was opened the door. Not ill pleased at the the runaway heir to a fine property. Ac- turn affairs had taken, the four obeyed withcordingly, more from indifference and self- out a word, leaving Geoff master of the indulgence than from any wilful neglect, they field. made an inroad on the cellar and were sur- Embarrassed, yet triumphant, he sat down prised by the young master unbecomingly and penned a telegram to his friend, the kindly exhilarated over two bottles of wine. Now, washerwoman at Stoke Newington, bidding not one of the party, consisting of nurse, her come to his aid immediately. Next he cook, housemaid, and housemaid's hanger- wrote a note to the doctor, apprising him of on, was in a state of more than exhilaration his dilemma, and having confided both when surprised by their young master. They missives to an aged crossing-sweeper in whom were jocose and noisy, that was all; and, he had great confidence, he went up-stairs under the circumstances, there was no doubt smiling and self-satisfied. that a mild remonstrance would have been “Are you asleep?" he whispered, having the wisest course to pursue.

unclosed Georgie's door in the gentlest manBut their peals of laughter and flushed faces ner. roused him to such a pitch of indignation “No, Geoff dear,” uttered a feeble voice that he was no longer within his own control. from the alcove. “ Please ring for nurse. I

Opening the door wide, and simulating am hungry." even more wrath than he felt, he made a sign “What would you like to have ? " Geoff to them to go.

asked, not intending to let her know of the “Be off my premises,” he said, “and that little scene that had just been enacted in the without loss of time. I will have no drunk- kitchen. ards here."

“ Anything. Nurse will know what to “Wages first and warnings afterwards, give me. Only bid her make haste," was the young sir," cried the job cook, a vulgar but feeble but impatient answer. not vicious woman, not indisposed to go, as “A little arrowroot?" Geoff asked timidly. she had a month's wages due and plenty of He thought that the making of a cup of work in prospect.

arrowroot was within his capacities, an over“Come, sir,” said the nurse in a mollifying whelming sense of his responsibilities as nurse tone, thinking of her character and the and cook suddenly coming upon him. presents she was sure to have from Georgie “ That will do," was Georgie's faint reply. at the month's end, “we are only drinking Her head sank back on the pillow, for indeed the health of the son and heir, and a beautiful she ought to have had nourishment some boy he is, and may he grow up like his father time before. Geoff, glancing at his young is my prayer

wife and the tiny pink head nestled to her

« ForrigeFortsett »