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That is right, and consequently look on the future. She was that will triumph in the end, neither young nor optimistic, whatever shopkeepers say about but she was a patriot and an it. What troubles me is the intellectual. She replied to want of intelligence in our her brother as he might have former Liberals; it is like the expected, with point and force, wilful blindness of the privi- asking him, if the tree were leged class, who will give up to be judged by its fruits, nothing of all they possess, and what cause he had for hope80 prepare the way for frightful fulness? catastrophes. ... How well I This fine word of 'fraterunderstand now the fatality nity' which to all the greatof revolutionary times and the hearts seemed destined to be fearful force of attraction of the base of the new doctrine, the abyss ! Though nothing a word that my own soul is is modified in my general plan capable of understanding, what of life, yet these events have has it produced in the last exercised a prodigious influence four months ? Plundering and upon me, and have made me pillage, the enactment of the see, as it were, a new world. ancient sentence Være Victis I greatly regret, chère amie, (forgive me if my Latin is at that you are so far away from fault), the daily personal squabthis remarkable mind - move- bles in the National Assembly ; ment, which we are all watch- and as for the working-man ing. It is not as before a and father of a family, why, simple affaire de coterie be- he must go armed to protect tween people of the same their lives, and his own sav. party, or at least of the same ings. . . . Equality is also a principles : there is a doc- very fine thing to proclaim ; trine beneath it all, and per- but if it only means that every haps something more than one is to be brought to the that.
lowest depth of poverty, as “Twenty years ago M. Jouf- appears up to the present-if froy wrote an admirable thing, it only means that one side is called “The Way that Dogmas to be pulled down, without the End.' There might be an- other side being raised up; if other no less appropriate writ- it means, as has been the case ten to-day, called The Way since February last, that muscuthat Dogmas Begin.'”
lar force and strength of lungs Yes, this was highly interest to prevail over intelliing, the beginning of the new gence, and a social order created era, and his thoughts upon it; in which the first sturdy rogue but it was not reassuring to from the gutter is to count for Henriette, far away, only half- more than yourself, then, mon informed of events in Paris, pauvre ami, I can but lament and with the shadow of the the more. For this is not past always darkening her out what I hoped, but unhappily
it is the existing state of The thought of his sister's things.”
gentle love was his sole supHenriette was unanswerable. port. “Mon Dieu ! que j'ai The June massacres which fol- besoin de penser à toi !" he lowed swiftly on this letter wrote to her in those terrible were a terrible confirmation of days of July. her fears. Ernest lived through His heart was filled with a period of such sights and pity for “these poor fools, sounds and sufferings as would who are shedding their blood have tried the faith of the without so much as knowing firmest believer. His working what they want. Who could powers were shattered, his mind see such sights without mournhaunted by the hideous bar- ing for the victims, even if barities of which he was a they were the most guilty of witness, when on one occasion, men!... And guilty they are, bewildered by the continual no doubt, but not half so firing from the Jardin du Lux- guilty in my eyes as those embourg, where, as he knew, who have made Helots of no fighting was going on, he them, who have systematically made his way into the house of brutalised their human feelings, a friend whose windows over- and to serve their own selfish looked the Garden, and from interests have created a class there he beheld—things best of men who have no interest left undescribed. Unfortu- except in disorder and plunder. nately he was so misguided .. How hard it is to live as to describe them to Hen- between two parties who conriette, though he withheld de- demn us to hate them both tails of the massacres at the equally! Yet I do not despair : barricades. But even the ven- if I lived to see humanity shatgeance of excited soldiers upon tered, and France expiring, I helpless prisoners horrified him should still maintain that the less than the cold deliberate destinies of humanity are divine, cruelty of “those enlightened and that it is France who will people, those preservers of lead the march for their accomorder” (les personnes sages, plishment." les conservateurs), who for their That was a courageous word, own safety's sake encouraged and it was spoken in the faith the bloodshed, and congratu- that moves mountains. Only lated themselves upon the rising once was the idea more pernumbers of victims. To Ernest fectly expressed, and that was the brutality of coarse natures by Italy's great poet of liberty, was as nothing to this moral Carduccidepravity. He suffered acutely, and confessed to himself that “Salute, o gente umana, affaticata ! his last illusion had vanished Tutto trapassa, e nulla puo morir.
Noi troppo odiammo e sofferimmo. about the softened manners Amate! and civilisation of our time. Il mondo è bello, e santo à l'avvenir.”
Renan the critic, the ration- liberty of the Press to conquer alist, the freethinker, the future the world.” author of the Vie de Jésus,' When people babbled to him which must have made his about happiness for all, he orthodox friend M. Reinaud said calmly that “happiness shiver violently if he ever had was not the ideal end of courage to read it this Renan humanity, but perfection.” was a man of the strongest Where, then, did he place faith.
his faith? “ We are on the side of all “I think,” he said, "that believers,” he said. “The friv- our country must go through olous, the sceptical man is the a period of overthrow before only atheist.”
it can reach a stable form, All But he defined and distin- the same, the acceleration of guished his beliefs with scrupu- the humanitarian movement, lous attention to the teaching and the admirable sense of of history. Anything vague or logic in the French people, windy was contemptible in his makes me hope that we shall sight, and especially the mis- yet see that new society, which chievous rhetoric that darkens I doubt not will be more adcounsel in revolutionary times. vanced than the one which He was not so superficial as has just passed away. But to to put any faith in a political reach it we must pass through change of system.
some very hard times." "It is not a political but a He had apparently the same moral and religious revolution satisfaction in his countrymen's that is wanted,” he said. instinct for logic as the Briton
Indeed the constitution of has in his countrymen's inthe National Assembly was stinct for compromise. not calculated to encourage reasonable !” says the Frenchthe hopes of the judicious. man ere he proceeds to some “An assembly of pure nonen- suicidal extreme. “ Be sentities," he called it, “ of light sible !” says the Briton when feeble minds, with no under- from pure caution he is preparstanding of business; young ing for himself some horrible men, each thinking himself future risk. alone capable of regenerating But to each his own way, on his country. They cannot agree his own day. And God help on the simplest matters. We us all with the consequences ! must wait.
In one year Ernest seemed Like most men of science, he to grow from a brilliant young was patient. His hopes were student of philosophy into a not placed exactly in any con- mature and thoughtful man. ventional Liberal nostrum. It was a year of pain and When the control of the Press stress, and all the sorrowful was deplored, he remarked that scenes he had witnessed left “Christianity had not required their mark on his spirit. The
love of knowledge had no way Place de la Bastille was by decreased in him, but he would far the strangest, with its trees no longer have thought his twisted and torn, its houses own intellectual development burnt and demolished, and the the principal aim of life, as he wildly improvised barricades had once done. Yet he had made of upturned carriages and not been really self-centred, paving-stones ; in the middle in the incurable sense, only of it all the people, half-stunned concentrated on his studies. and half-giddy with their terHis mind was flexible, sym- rifying experiences, soldiers pathetic, alert, so that he was sleeping exhausted on the pavenever out of touch with the ment almost under their feet, minds about him. Like all the rage of the vanquished imaginative people he suffered, betraying itself under their and envied at moments the affected quietness; here and tough-fibred consciousness that there members of the pitiful could pass unhurt through the public begging alms for the accumulated anguish of Paris disabled, and linen to bandage in 1848. He was never deceived their wounds-all combined into about the populace. In that a spectacle of almost sublime month of April he said, “They confusion, but with the note are to all appearance calm and of human woe in every tone quiet. But the enthusiasm of sounding from men face to the people of Paris is beyond face with each other and their description. It is a delirium naked primitive instincts. The that nothing could resist." voice of human nature sounds
On 1st July 1848 he sent a never so clearly as in such letter to his sister, very long, moments, for all the rest of very sad, and extraordinarily life is wrapped in a veil of penetrating, a letter which it artificiality.” would be impossible to forget, So Ernest wrote, and in the in which the feeling is as in- fervour of his own deeplytense as the expression of it is stirred feelings he confided to restrained.
the sister he trusted his inHe begins, “The storm is ward convictions and most past, ma chère amie, but Paris secret hopes. is no longer recognisable.” The “I am not a Socialist. I destruction which lay all around am convinced that none of the seemed to him far less deplor- theories which profess to be able than the spirit which sur- able to reform society will vived the destruction, especi- ever attain a triumph in its ally on the conquering side. absolute form. Every new idea
“Something hard, ferocious, must clothe itself in some form and inhuman seems to have of system, a narrow partial entered both manners and lan- form, which never reaches a guage. ... The streets were practical realisation. It is not strange scenes of ruin, but the till the idea has broken this
first sheath, not till it has Terror. It is this faith in become a social dogma, that it humanity, this devotion to its develops into a universally re- perfecting, and thereby to its cognised and applied truth, happiness, that I call the new
“What can be more system- religion. It is at the spectacle atic than the policy of the of this solemn and holy appariSocial Contract And yet the tion that I desired to see you whole constitutional régime is present." nothing but this same policy, What could be finer, what drawing on towards a system. more persuasive than this ! The same thing will happen But Henriette could not adwith Socialism. At present it mire, would not be persuaded, , is narrow, inapplicable, purely and had not the least desire to Utopian, true on one side, be present. The whole thing false on the other; true in its to her was cruel unmitigated principles, false in its forms. tragedy. The accounts she The day is not far distant read in Poland of Paris, and when it will become an evident the fate of Parisians slain by and recognised law, freed from fusillades in their own streets, exaggerations and chimeras. reduced her to hopelessness. Who will have triumphed then She could not comprehend the Will it be the partisans who hopes of Ernest, or his faith in sustained the false along with the future, which to her seemed the true, and wanted to realise black as night. In vain he the impossible ? Will it be argued that she was too far the adversaries who denied the away to judge rightly, that true on account of the false, the newspapers she read were and wanted to suppress the full of wild inventions, and evolution of the new form ? some especially bitter and vinNeither the one nor the other : dictive towards the insurgents, it will be humanity that has of whom he had many good taken one step farther, and things to say. Henriette's reply won to a form more advanced to this was that her distance and right. . . . These are my from the scene enabled her to principles, chère amie. I think take a more comprehensive it is time to destroy the ex view resembling the view of clusive reign of capital, and posterity; and moreover, she to associate labour with it, was able to hear the comments but I also think that no means of other nations, the pity felt for the application of this by the friends of France, the idea have yet been found, that open rejoicing of her enemies. no system will furnish them, “Can you think what it is and that they will come forth to me to hear France pitied ?" in their completeness only from said proud Henriette. the force of things. All this To Ernest it probably apis certainly far enough away peared of little consequence from the Mountain and the what comments were made by