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and disquieting phenomenon. It is as cay than the traditions of an Eng. if the minds of men came under the lish Commonwealth or of a “glorious influence of a quickly-spreading conta- Revolution.” At the Cape the indiggion of forcible action, whether for nant Dutch kinsmen of those Repubgood or for evil purposes. In criminal lics—which are to be made into Crown science and statistics this rule is well- Colonies under military dictatorshipknown. Evidently it holds good also will, in coming years, add to a danger on political ground. At this very mo- that must necessitate the maintenance ment when the deplorable war in South in South Africa of an army out of all Africa is not yet ended—and whilst we proportion to the weaponed strength are told that "no shred of independent this country seems ready to bear or to government” is to be left to two Re. buy. publics which had both, until quite re- But that is not all. The present cently, been acknowledged by England struggle may be "muddled through." as “foreign States” and “foreign Pow- Yet a country which holds the fifth ers"-a lurid danger of new war ap- part of the inhabitable globe cannot go pears already in the Far East. It on forever on the system of muddle, if comes from that vast Chinese Empire, the Irishism of the juxtaposition of upon which the rulers of various na- these two words is allowable. The tions have fixed their eager eyes and fact is, in the absence of all system we their strong hands.
cannot well speak of a system. The outlook is a serious one. It is Here I come to a point on which an all the more serious for England, be- unpleasant duty has to be fulfilled, but cause her nearest neighbor on the other duty, nevertheless, for one who, side of the Channel is known to be whilst strongly disagreeing from a war filled with sentiments of extreme bit. policy once scathingly denounced by terness about Egypt and Fashoda, the author of the war himself, may whilst her distant rival and at heart truly say that he has the welfare of enemy, Imperial Russia, not only har- this country at heart. bors masterful designs against China, It is no use blinking facts. This South but also has crept up with military African struggle has laid bare dangerforce to the very edge of the Afghan ous rifts and flaws in England's armor. bulwark of India-much to the repeat- iring a war against a population not edly expressed alarm of the Ameer more numerous than that of a secondAbdur Rahman.
or third-rate English town-a war Without indulging in a senseless cab- which has lasted now for nearly nine alistic Abracadabra of political astrol- months-military observers abroad, hosogy, I am convinced that, out of the tile or friendly, have noted many sig. present sad war in South Africa, more nificant points. They have seen that wars will be evolved, for more than nearly the whole of the available, and one reason. The Dutch population of comparatively very small, forces of the two Republics, from whom in the England had to be employed in South name of freedom their freedom and in- Africa. They have wondered that even dependence is to be taken, will in future the little European army in India (orform a fretting sore on what is dinarily not more than 74,000 men, proudly called “the Empire" by many of whom are in hospital, in a
whose ideal seems to be dominion containing nearly 300,000,000 more the Rome of old in its de. inhabitants) had to be drafted upon. 1 This was written before the recent warlike
They have remarked that, but for the events.
help of the smart Irregular Volunteers
from the Colonies, the result of vari. force, besides being under its proper ous engagements might have turned strength, was still further weakened out somewhat different.
by volunteering from its ranks into the With the readiness never lacking in regular army. From all this the contruly brave men, foreign soldier critics clusion was drawn that, at the back of have meted out full praise to the valor warlike enthusiasm displayed in repeatedly shown by English, Welsh, street manifestations and in the wearScottish, and Irish, Australian and ing of patriotic colors, there is not a Canadian troops. At the same time corresponding willingness among the they have pointed out that, in several masses, in the midst of the greatest most important cases, it is scarcely pos- danger abroad, to bear even the light sible to say, as has been done, that "the burden of a few weeks' militia service men fought splendidly," when the real every year, in view of the possibly fact was that they had been led into necessary home defence of a fathera trap by inefficient officers, and were land, protected by the most powerful mown down by hundreds in little more fleet, and therefore so far—though not than a minute, before they had the absolutely-sheltered from direct atslightest idea where they were.
tack. Again, those foreign observers, whose The question is then asked abroad: business it is, even from the more ab- How would England fare in a war in stract and theoretical point of view of which she had to struggle against a military science, to study these things, strong military and naval Power, or have noted that nearly half a year
a combination of two such Powers passed ere such incapable leadership, say, Russia and France? Historically shown by general after general, was speaking, how would it have gone with at last superseded by one man of her at Waterloo or in the Crimea, had greater foresight and daring energy.
she not had what she cannot get nowThey were astonished, however, that namely, foreign allies, with a vast prewith such a spectacle before the world's ponderance of troops of theirs over eyes, many of those discredited officers, her own? in whom the troops could scarcely have
When storm-clouds are gathering on any further confidence, were yet left the horizon, the eye naturally looks first in their risky positions. This to other towards a near country, whose people, countries almost inconceivable proced- in a famous phrase, must be “taught ure was attributed partly to the lack manners.” The political situation there of better material in officers, partly to
merits special study under present cirthe aristocratic or plutocratic social in- cumstances. A recent stay at Paris, fluences in the army management.
where we met old friends and new acConsidering the fact that the United quaintances-among them, prominent Kingdom was nearly bared of really politicians in and out of Parliament, serviceable troops, and that both the editors, public writers, political econMilitia and the Volunteers were under- omists, distinguished scholars, scienmanned, foreign observers were much tists and leaders of various social astonished that Government not only movements, belonging to different pardid not dare to propose the introduc- ty-shades-afforded good opportunities tion of an easy Militia system such as for inquiring into the state of affairs. free Switzerland has, but that it had London is the centre of an Empire not even the courage to make the ex. stretching over the five parts of the isting law of conscription operative in world. Yet Paris, superficially at any regard to the Militia, although that rate, gives one the impression of a
more cosmopolitan character. Certain. ly the members of many different nations seem to mix better there than elsewhere. At an evening gathering arranged by our own family circle there were men and women of French, English, German, Belgian, Polish, Greek, Ottoman (“Young Turkish"), and American nationality, together with some members of the Chinese Embassy. Conversation with many persons, who have for a long time been foreign residents in France, helps in the way of supplementing or checking native opinion or forecast. The politeness, free from stiff formality, of good Parisian society will always be a charm to those who, with proper command of the country's language, know how to enter into the ways and manners of the French. On occasions like the one just mentioned much may be heard which has nothing whatever to do with the gutter Press, either in France or elsewhere, but which, for that very reason, is of highly serious import.
I found French feeling about England one of extreme bitterness-even more so than I had known before from Press reports and from private correspondence with old friends. Egypt and Fashoda are, no doubt, in the background of that hostile attitude. They form the leading motive of many variations in the furioso key. Ever since forty centuries have looked down from the Pyramids upon the army of Bonaparte, it has been assumed by Frenchmen that their country has a vested right in the Nile land. The armed overthrow of Arabi Pasha without even a declaration of war, the non-fulfilment of the promised evacuation of Egypt “within six months,” after a lapse of eighteen years, are themes on which the changes are continually rung. The reforms effected by England in Egypt since 1882 are held
to be of account. Upon the top of this ever-present antagonism has
come the bad feeling evoked by the attack upon the South African Re. public.
It cannot, I believe, be said with truth that the mass of the French take a deep interest in the fate of nations lying under the iron heel of foreign rale or threatened with oppression. Witness the remarkable suddenness with which, after a century of pro-Polish sympathies, they threw themselves into the arms of Czardom. Yet it can neither be denied that among their better-class politicians, and among the more fair-thinking section of the younger generation, a genuine sentiment in favor of the South African Re. publics is in existence. That sentiment is fed by the knowledge of a sprinkling of descendants from French Huguenots being contained in the Boer population. It is not all from jealousy and rivalry that the opposition to Eng. land has arisen in this war. Unpleasant as the truth may sound, it is a truth that the conscience of Europe-nay, of the civilized world-has spoken through the utterances of a great many “Intellectuals”—from Herbert Spencer, Alex. ander Bain, George Meredith, Walter Crane and many others, to Mommsen and Tolstoi. These men are certainly not enemies England. I know of a good many abroad who, from wellreasoned care for the best interests of this country, and for the progress and peace of the world, have deplored the threatening pressure upon the South African Republic, which, according to a former warning of the Colonial Secretary, must inevitably have "led to war, and leave behind it the embers of a strife which generations would hardly be long enough to extinguish."
Even in France, in spite of the unquestionable jealousy against this country which exists among the bulk of the nation, there are men who, from a simple sense of justice, share the opinions of many eminent Dutch, Belgian,
German, Austrian, Swiss, Scandina- also very unexpectedly, sides against vian, Hungarian, Italian spokesmen the Boers. With these two exceptions and writers. The same is the case I found French sentiment universally across the Atlantic, in spite of an “An- and absolutely, so far as my experiglo-Saxon” kinship whose formation ence went, arrayed against England. into an · alliance with England was I have gone into these details merely somewhat prematurely announced. from a wish of stating everything fairSuch a state of opinion among so many ly and truthfully, irrespective oť my cultured nations is not to be lightly own views. disregarded. The best friends of Eng- French feeling against this country land abroad feel a deep and growing has reached such a pitch that, by way concern as to the ultimate outcome of of revulsion, the hostility to Germany the war. This country is now thor- has actually, or at least apparently, oughly in the once boasted “splendid made place for an attitude of friendli. isolation." Its military power for cov- ness in a most remarkable degree. It ering vast possessions in the fifth part need not be said that quiet watchfulof our planet is looked at abroad in ness remains the same as before on the case of a great war, as being very in- other side of the Vosges among a na: sufficient.
tion, which, for many hundreds of At Paris I only found a different years, has been the incessant object of view in regard to the South African aggression, whether Royal Republican, war in the house of a well-known Par- or Imperial Governments were at the liamentarian and honorary member of head of France. the Cobden Club, whose kind hospital- From an American friend who has ity we enjoyed. He has done excellent lived in Paris for a long time, and who service in the Dreyfus case, cour- knows well what is going on among ageously setting his face against the the wealthier classes, I heard that, as prevailing intolerant madness. As to regards languages, both German and bis views about the war, M. Yves English are very much cultivated now Guyot and a few friends of his are al- by the higher middle class and the aris. most the only instances of anti-Boer tocracy. Is this a sign of an increasing sentiment. True, a solitary other in. abatement of deplorable national an, stance of the same kind I met with. It tipathies? or perhaps the reverse ? In is that of a former member of the Com- days long gone by-say, when Rabemune Government of 1871, introduced lais wrote, and still much later on-the to me after its defeat by a distin. French were not so averse from the guished German scientist, the late Dr. study of foreign tongues as they beLudwig Büchner. That ex-member of came later on. Possibly the same the Commune, for whom, years ago, I might be said of England, where cen. was glad to be able to procure turies ago the knowledge of Italian an amnesty from President Grévy was a requisite of a good education. through Louis Blanc, has held for It might be suspected that both Eng. some time past a Government lish and German are more cultivated position under the Republic. I now with a view to some future hostile much respect that gifted friend as a conflicts. Were such contingencies to free-thinking writer on philosophical arise, France would probably be somesubjects. To the surprise, however, of what better equipped in knowledge his former associates in England, he than she was before the “Terrible has written a bitter book against the Year,” as Victor Hugo called it. At the Jews as a race. In the present war he, same time I believe that among the
younger generation there are large and south, in which the number of those growing numbers who have no wish unable to read and to write was befor a repetition of dread armed encoun- tween 61 and 75, 50 per cent. of the ters, especially not on the eastern fron- population! Only the departments tier. With many of them, I think, near the German and Swiss frontiers there are really higher aspirations at -in Alsace and in the Jura—the prothe bottom of those linguistic efforts. portion of the wholly uninstructed They begin to see that the boulevards sank down to 7 or even 5 per cent. No are not the boundary of the civilized wonder that when the Man of Decem. world; that there are nations là bas ber made tour through southern whose language and literature merit France with his consort Eugenie, he attention; whose art even, in some was actually greeted by the ignorant branches, is to be admired or studied. peasantry as "the Little One" (NapoWitness the spreading Wagner cult, in leon I), “who has come back," and that remarkable contradistinction from for- his wife was acclaimed with shouts of mer riotous scenes at the attempt of “Vive Marie Louise!" He himself making some of the great composer's laughingly told this to Queen Victoria works known to a select audience at on his visit here. Sir Theodore Martin Paris.
has recorded it. Altogether, France has awakened to There is yet a great deal of dense a deep consciousness of her backward ignorance, especially among the agri. state in many branches of information. cultural masses in France. Certainly, For the furtherance of public instruc- the epublic ly tries at home to tion, especially in its primary branch, wrest from the priesthood the power the Third Republic has provided a of upholding intellectual obscurantism. yearly budget, which, compared with Unfortunately, abroad, in its foreign that of the Second Empire, is simply policy the Republican Government still enormous. It is more than ten times goes by the old monarchical tradition what it was before the war of 1870-71, of making political use of the Papacy. as may be seen by those versed in com- This is a perilous kind of double-dealparative statistics, from the Journal ing. It goes to strengthen those cleriOfficiel of April last. The present bud- calist, Orleanist, Bonapartist, antiget, leaving out the art section-which, Dreyfus and military cliques which after all, is also a natural branch of often combine against the existing public instruction-amounts to 208,154,- Commonwealth. Considering that, un163 francs. In this matter, at least, the der the present educational system, the Revolution of September 4th, 1870, has popular classes have made, at any rate, achieved a progress which reaches the some advance, I was astonished to masses, whilst so many other obsolete find in private conversation that a disand anti-democratic institutions still re- tinguished political economist repeated main unreformed, in spite of the many to me the old fallacy about people bepolitical and social upheavals France coming "pauperized” by a gratuitous has gone through during more than a system of education. It is true he becentury.
longs to the old Manchester school, Primary instruction in France is now some adherents of which are to be gratuitous, compulsory and secular. found even in France. Formerly it was different in all these Those whose memory goes back to respects. At the time of the fall of the 'fifties and 'sixties know only too Napoleon III there were many depart- well in what a state of educational ments, especially in the west and the neglect the popular masses in England