I will confess that I have a fancy to be numbered among their. So it may chance--this is my hope--that when. Thus perhaps I. My second reason is that I should like to say something about that. To-day a. Cinderella among our colonies, with a little more care--and. Mediterranean, a land of corn and wine, and in fact, as well as. Of Cyprus but few have written;. There is, further, a last argument or excuse which I will venture to. It is the fashion nowadays to say that everything is hackneyed;.
They ask in vain, on. We must make the best of. Yet what a fallacy underlies the surface meaning of these. Is not everything new to the eyes that can see and the ears. Are there not joys and wonders about us by the thousand. Oh, jaded reader, go stand in a garden as I did to-night and watch the. Listen to the last notes of the thrush that. And there, in the new-found light, look down at those pale. Or if you prefer it, stand upon them, they are only. To drop the poetical--and the ultra-practical, which is worse--and.
I think that there is still plenty to. Therefore I will try to describe a few of the things I saw. This, surely, is how I should begin, for it is bold to break away from. Still let me do so, and before we leave it, look round the station. The most common of all sights to the traveller also,. And yet how interesting. In a sense. The great arching roof, a very cave of the winds;. Then the population. They come,.
That train steams out, and those who clustered round it have melted. Some it has borne away; some, friends and. Now a new train arrives; other crowds appear, drawn from the. This time we take an active part in the play, and presently. There beneath us runs the inky Thames,. Next appear countless, sordid houses, the crowded, monotonous homes,.
They are done with. Now in their place is stretched the open English. Yet in its own way it is beautiful, all of it, as. So through these familiar things onward to the sea. In fact we find it blowing a gale, for the spray drives right. The boat did get out. If I were asked to devise a place of punishment for sinners of what I. Yes, and thither they should travel once a month. And yet there are people who like hotels. Americans, too, are very happy there. Strange it is that folk can be. Rather would I dwell--for a life. The subject is a. I think that I must have been somewhat unfortunate in my experience of.
The last time that I made. One lady, I remember, in her. The reason alleged for this. Thrice in succession,. On the present occasion we met with a somewhat similar experience. Leaving Basle in the hope and expectation of reaching Milan that. Gothard was blocked by. So in that beautiful but cold and.
Once I climbed the St. Gothard, now over thirty years ago, when a. In those far-off days there. I recollect. About half-way up the pass we slept at some village on the road. This skull and its polished appearance I remember well;. Of the scenery, however, I recall little or nothing--I do not think. When I was a "soaring human boy" my father took me up the.
Rhine by boat with the hope and expectation that my mind would be. Wearying of. But some. To return to the year , so it came about that to all intents and. Gothard was to me a new experience. Therefore I was. Yet that snow had its compensations, for in it the observer.
Then the pines vanish and are. These vanish also as the white. Suddenly it thins and. Next an enormous gulf, and in its depths a torrent. And always a sense of mountains, invisible indeed but. Now a little hut is seen and by it a blue-robed woman, signal-flag in. There, heedless of the bitter wind and weather she stands, like. We rush past her. Here I beheld an instance of true politeness. Two Italian gentlemen,. Presently the younger of the pair, giving way to some sudden. Imagine how such an expected compliment would have been received.
Next morning the police-courts would. As it was, remembering the fiery southern blood, I. But not so.
Table of contents
Could reproof have been more gentle or more effective? Beyond the tunnels to our joy the snow is much thinner, mere patches. In the kloofs also cling lumps. Down in the valley where the railway runs, begin to. So through changing scenes we. I have visited many cathedrals in various parts of the world, but I. Milan, which I now explored for the first time. I say the interior. The grand proportions of the building.
As it happened, however,. Life and death could scarcely be. Vast spaces, very dim, for it was four o'clock on a. In the far distance of the apse something. Then upon that altar itself twinkling sparks of. Along the vast nave, down the empty aisles creeps the stately,. Now quite suddenly sweet voices take up. As we draw. Others also, or may be they are acolytes, pass from time to time down. The invisible censers swing, we hear their clanking chains and. The voices chant still more sweetly. The bright-robed priests, from time to time breaking in upon the.
Great is the Church of Rome, who knows so. To all this solemn splendour there were but few spectators. The scanty. Among these one old gentleman--I should put his years at. His face was still handsome. Most noticeable, however, was the. His presence. Easy was it to guess also that this man from whom, many as they had. The whole. So farewell to Milan cathedral, its music, priests, and mystery. Farewell also to that sad old worshipper whose face I shall not see. For generations past, visitors to Italy have written about Florence. Therefore, mindful of a certain saying, I propose to leave that noble.
Here the reader will find no account of the. Still a few general remarks may be permitted; for instance on the. What a climate it is--in the month. Such was ever my fortune! Once I went. Other notable instances occur to me but I pass them. Within the space of a single month we enjoyed at Florence piercing. November, and rains whereof the tropics might be proud. When the. Florence, then indeed does the traveller think with a repentant.
Is there anything in the wind line quite so deadly cold, I wonder? To the bones it pierces, to the very marrow. Yet for. I remember noting the same phenomenon in Mexico City,. Here the sole concession of a vast majority of the. Men, I. In this case it is suspended in a kind of. There are others which strike me as far from.
I do not wish, however, to asperse this climate, against which I may. I am instructed indeed that except for certain, or. The autumns also are said to. Moreover, it is only Florence itself that is so severe. During the. At each of these villas I found the most. There I was told that the. Decidedly a villa at Fiesole, where. Yet when the winter voyager can forget the climate, what city has. Here, so pervading is its presence, history seems to press. The numberless. All the intervening. Time, appear to drop away. In our garish modernity, wearing no wedding.
Bartolommeo and Savonarola and the great Medici, and of the rest who. The effect is strange. Perhaps it. Perhaps in this case also, such as seek find, and. Why is it? Who can explain the mystery of the change? Why, when we. Simpering children in frilled dresses; young women with their nudity. But never a. Of painting and buildings is it not the same? Where has the genius. I know the fashion is to decry our.
Yet so far as my. I have said that I will not discourse upon the art treasures of. Still I may be permitted to mention two, by no means of the. Of these one. It was, I believe, one of the. The Virgin is of a somewhat modern. As for. What imagination also is comprised in the Virgin's pose. She has risen. Her robe. What under ordinary conditions would be a woman's first. Doubtless to free it with the hand that was. But no--the message has come to her--the Power has fallen. There is much else that might be said of this true masterpiece, but. The second work that struck me pre-eminently, although in a fashion.
It is by. Francesco da Sangallo, and represents in white marble the body of the. Cardinal Leonardo Buonafede, who died in , as laid out for burial. Not an attractive subject it may be thought, this corpse of an old,. Yet with what power and truth is it treated; those full,. There before us is the man as his mourners laid him upon the bier. It is a. The old monastery where this statue lies, and with it others almost as. Inhabited by a few ancient. Its interior with the halls,. This prospect is quite unlike any that I have seen in other parts of. Perhaps some of the high uplands of Mexico, with their.
The prevailing colour-note. This tone it owes chiefly, though. Let the reader visit any. There he will find those same cypresses. So grey and. Considered from above these sallows look like no bush or tree; they. Other peculiarities of that wide stretch of plain and mountain-slope. Were this England, or even Africa,. Not a note, not a beating wing, not even the white scut. So far as small fowl are concerned the explanation is.
I remember that a man in front of the cathedral offered to sell me a. They included robins, thrushes,. Needless to add of these birds the jays, which I should. What is the result? In a long walk through wooded country in. Just before that rare event I had. Probably this last little bird is now no more. No wonder. How thankful should we be for our English birds,. In the garden of. Also there were sundry stray cats, and. May St. I think that it was on the day of our visit to Certosa, where by the.
Chartreuse, that I became the proud possessor of a bronze crucifix and. These articles, with a bell which I did not purchase,. Thus they found their way into the market. They are, I. It is. Virgin, St. John and St. Mary Magdalene, at the four extremities of. My reason for mentioning these articles, however, is because of the. Why, I ask, cannot such antiques be taken as. Any churchwarden. Neville Rolfe, the British Consul at. These beautiful pierced holders are reproduced from one.
Mark's Cathedral at Venice. Their design is well worthy of the attention of any who desire to. Rolfe's excellent example, and provide an English. Unhappily it is not in the case of church-fittings only that such a. A year.
- Divine Comedy (Longfellow 1867)/Volume 1/Notes.
- Loves Great Ransom (The Orphan and the King Book 2)?
- Aphrodite - Wikiwand?
- Movies in Running - Top Gun.
- The Assassin Avenger (The Knights Templar Series Book 3);
- Retooling for the Future;
When in Florence. All were florid in execution and vulgar. It is the same everywhere in the case of brass-work. Thus some of my. Yet when gas became common, in very many cases. Yes, and this was done although the ancient chandeliers are. As a consequence they. Why do not the Arts and Crafts add the education of the taste of the. British lamp-maker to the list of their good works?
Hundreds of. Let them do as men of. So shall their generation rise up and call. Perhaps, however--I have heard as much suggested--the. One day I accepted the kind invitation of a gentleman who lives on the. The view from this farm is. This expanse is divided into hundreds of. My host's. This is done under the impression,. At any. The farmstead itself is very ancient, some parts of it dating back to. Indeed everything here is ancient.
It has a. In front of this court is a. Looking downwards I could see the ripple on the face of the pool. The well has this peculiarity also--that it can be. Another remarkable feature of the house is. Few of these wine-farms seem to be large. My host's, I gathered, is of. There is absolutely no live stock on.
As I saw it, this is the process of preparing land for vines. First a. This is the. More than twenty years ago at Pretoria in. Our host is now planting vines of a Burgundy character, setting them. These take from three. American vines are much. Not satisfied with the ample drainage provided at the roots and by the. Vines, it has been proved, are very fastidious. The other requisites to a successful cultivation of the grape. In the older vineyards below this house many olive trees grow among.
First fell a heavy rain, which was. The trees could not bear the weight, and in many instances. I noted this destruction on my walk up. On this farm the olive trees which were. The actual vintage, which of course answers to our harvest, occupies a. Here it is that the wine-farmer must show judgment and even courage. The grapes ought not to be gathered before they are ripe. But if wet. Therefore the temptation to begin the.
Once plucked the grapes are brought up to the house in hired.
When this is completed the wine is stored for a while in huge vats. There it remains for a certain period. Then it is drawn off. Italian Chianti will not travel and keep without undue alcoholic. The new wine has this weakness, not so the old. Long ago I remember my father producing from his cellar some flasks of. Italian wine, which he had imported when on his wedding tour to Rome. I never tasted better vinegar. To return my host finds that he can make a fair profit on his Chianti. Above all, it is pure grape-juice and nothing else.
On the day of my visit some men, about four or five, were employed in. This careful cleansing was preparatory. Hence the term "fiasco" used in our sense; or,. A supplementary product of the farm is olive oil, that is ground out. The raw resulting oil is divided into three grades or. This season the olive harvest was a.
As regards the profit of such vineyards, my host seemed to be of. Other experienced vine-growers, however,. Then comes the. Even in the case of a vineyard of. The item of labour in the neighbourhood of Florence is not heavy, the. They decline, however, to work in wet weather, nor are they.
The result of my investigations into the prospects of the Tuscan wine. The capital required seems too. Moreover there is. Still, for. To live beneath those sheltering. Or, at the least, what more is he likely. One bitter night at moonrise I stood near to the highest point of the. Cold and dead-coloured. Florence herself, that great city, how small she seemed at this.
Her towering palaces of huge stones were. The landscape dominates and dwarfs her. The sweeping circle of. The ancient Etruscan. Florence to complete the scene, and were she rased now to the earth as. In fact it is the old story. These hills. The scratches which we make on Nature's face. That there is nothing permanent about. Those thousand lamps that are now beginning. In the winter season, at the time of approaching night, there is. It looks so coldly solemn, so lifeless, while one by one the stars. One meets a great many funerals in Florence, all of them after. Perhaps this may be accounted for by the influenza.
Page not found
At the least I have not noticed so many of these melancholy. Very common is it, as the visitor walks down. Their very appearance indeed is ominous. Their robes are black from head to foot, covering the wearer, all but. These stretchers. Watching many of them I learned at last to know, by the way. Thereon the brethren who.
As the. It is a worthy society and their work is holy, though perhaps the. Also here is no. One day while I stood for a few minutes. Who are the greatest men in the true sense that have lived since the. The question is difficult if not impossible to. Yet three names leap to my mind, all of them oddly enough. If these stars do not shine most bright among that. Of the three Savonarola has always fascinated me the most, perhaps. We worship the crown of thorns we dare not wear. Savonarola was.
He could love and he could suffer, and. Surely this man was almost a Christ without Christ's consolations and. He only saw through a glass darkly, he only knew in. The Spirit spoke within him, but its accents were broken,. At times he believed his. At times he seems to have. See him when the trial by fire brings him face to face with a more. He had interpreted the promises. But had he not. Did he really believe that the Powers of. Heaven would alter the law of nature and keep the fire from peeling. He wavered, he hung between two opinions. Then faith. The ordeal went on so far as it was allowed to go, till.
The home of this man stands in Florence much as it was in his own day. There is the church of San Marco, an uninteresting building with the. One day I attended this. Duomo--that is, the cathedral--in order to witness a procession of the. White Brethren. Except for the colour of their garment this order is. The occasion was a great festival, and these White Brethren,. This, however, at any rate to my eye, was not the real. That was to see the thousands upon thousands of spectators. At first, however, it was in this church of San Marco that he.
Yet the convent moves one more. Here are the cloisters planted with. Upstairs too is the library. Sacrament to his company while without, the furious mob of Florentine. The day that we visited the place was very cold though bright, and for. As I discovered. Foolish as it may be to think it, a crowd disturbs their associations.
So it. The details of the convent are all known, and volumes have been. On the walls of many. When a man has. Only some. Of all these narrow, white-washed apartments, however, that once were. From the cloisters without the visitor sees. At the end of a long. The inner cell contains a copy. It is very much a work of fancy,. Very different, I imagine, was the real scene when. There they.
Then the yells of the mob, the last dread scene of death prolonged to. Even this copied painting is old now, so old that the worms are busy,. I pointed this out to the custodian, and suggested that. Doubtless he thought that it would last. The outer place is that where Savonarola sat and worked for years. Here he wrote his notes for the sermons which shook the world, his. Here hangs. Here too are kept his hair-shirt,. The curious chair in. There on the wall is his portrait, the strong, large-nosed,. One feels that the owner of this face might easily have. The flesh was trodden down, the.
Yes, and in this spot it seems to live on. His breath is about those ancient walls, his prayers, so. To some at least it is not. It is a chamber to leave with a bowed head and a humble heart. The palace of the Signoria is surmounted by a famous and beautiful. Quite near to the top of this tower the visitor,. Here for. Here too, whenever his agonies were abated, he wrote some of his. What a picture this monk must have presented as he. Bargello, up those countless stairs to lay his poor head down upon the. Below in this same palace is that gorgeous apartment known as the Hall.
When some years before Savonarola urged its. In this great chamber for the. Here then Savonarola prayed with them, counselling. What a subject for the hand of an artist! But he should be a.
Un article de Wikipédia, l'encyclopédie libre.
One day I paid a visit to the kind and fortunate possessor of a. Fiesole mountain. It is a vast building with great cool rooms, on the. The building is old indeed, for its history can be traced since the. In the garden,. Florence, wiled away the heat of a summer day by telling to each other.
Were those Arcadian tales written and published in this year. As it is. Perhaps the most beautiful thing, however, about this beautiful house. On the whole, I think that my most pleasing. It is the fashion of Englishmen to decry their own customs and. How common it is, for instance, to hear our system of. Take the. Theoretically the fashion of booking may be. Under our despised habit of labelling, on the other. Again, consider the much-vaunted warming of trains.
All I can. Then the porters. Is there a more civil being than. Compare him with the gentleman of his profession across the. Sometimes, moreover, these simply are not, the passenger must. As a specimen journey our own from Florence to Rome is one to be. First, as usual, we were penned up like sheep. Then, by. Having got. In the end. It was crowded, the habit upon most foreign. In this one there was not a seat to spare, but. We ventured to open a window in the corridor, whereon. Yet these are the people whose houses throughout their bitter.
I can only conclude that here we. The warmth in the railway. Therefore they. The end of this particular journey was as wretched as the beginning. Half-way to Rome, in conformity with my common experience, a train. Finally, instead of the scheduled time of eleven at night, we arrived. What is the chance visitor who sees it for the first time to say. Silence is best. What struck you most there? Well, for my part, everything struck me,. During the first day that I was in Rome, it rained in. No wonder that there were I forget how many tens of. But what struck me most? Well, one or two little things, for in the.
I think, the Triumphant Way. By it, we were told, the gladiators. Their "triumphant" feet must have trod upon a long-vanished wooden. Beneath this floor ran a dark passage--one can see it. That struck me--the contrast between the living men, splendid lusty. Between the one and the other was but the thickness. One wonders if they understood, if they foresaw. Perhaps, probably not, for if so they would have been unmanned, their. No, as it is with us to-day, doubtless. That he. Watching--for this hour--from above, not from below.
Then the catacombs. Who that has imagination and a heart can fail to. The smell of that hot damp air clings long about. Those narrow, tortuous passages, whole furlongs of them, and on either. On some there is a symbol, on some. I noted. Who was the girl Flora, I wonder, and what. What a life also must these poor innocents have led.
Truly these were faithful unto. Think of the scene in the catacombs of San Sebastian. It was, I. They still show the staircase where at length the. The rest can be guessed. I moved it surreptitiously,. There was the. Christian as he had been entombed, or rather his bones, sunk in a soft. Set with cement, as is very common, so that every. This, said our guide, showed that it must be the. Traditions cling long. Yet martyrs are enough and to spare in. God alone knows to-day which of them died by the common. Also, it no longer matters now that the.
I will mention one thing more out of the multitudes that I studied and. In the sculpture galleries of the. Vatican is a beautiful effigy of a woman seated in a kind of low. We were told that. Nero, the matricide. A man must be bold indeed, who dares to publish, while France is at war with Germany, sentiments like those which we quote below, and to which he gave expression in the course of a discussion on the advisability of discontinuing the study of Kant.
And here is another: Kant is blaming the gov- ernment of kings for the barbarities of war and he writes : 'the Sovereign glories in his power to dispose according to his fancy, and without tak- ing any great personal risks, of the lives of sev- eral thousands of men who are ever ready to sac- rifice themselves for a cause which is no concern of theirs. Kant is the very antithesis of de Maistre. Kant represents the spirit of eighteenth century France and of the Revolu- tion. De Maistre is already dead 'up to his throat. Before the war, Herve had preached with so much vehemence the doctrines of socialism, internationalism and anti- militarism, that he had been arrested on a charge of treason, tried and condemned to prison.
Herve is a politician, but he is nevertheless upright and sincere, and a stranger to the subtleties of polit- ical arrivistes. In this last book, he preaches the gospel of "France" with all the conviction and eloquence which formally charac- terized his preaching of the gospel of "Human- ity. In Jean Christ ophe he had judged with some severity the materialism, lack of taste, and industrialism of 3 In this first book, composed of articles which ap- peared between November, , and February, , the contrast with his former writings already comes out very strikinfily.
See especially the articles Jusqu'au hout pp. The titles of those articles indicate the spirit in which they were written. A number of teachers with socialist leanings adopted the book in their classes, but the government quickly took action, forbidding the use of it in any school within the jurisdiction of the French Republic. It is true that he had not found in the conventional artistic milieus of Paris, any response to genuine art ; but his hopes were with the people of France, the people who had produced Joan of Arc.
When the war broke out, Rolland was shocked by the passionate outcry against Germany which spontaneously arose in every quarter of the civilized world. He tried to retain his self-possession, but his too great anxiety to remain impartial led him to make such great concessions to the German point of view, that he soon appeared to many of his coun- trymen as a traitor to their cause. Even the Manifesto of the ninety-three German intellec- tuals, in which, deliberately or unintentionally, many facts damaging to Germany were passed over in silence, did not induce him to change his attitude; nor was he affected by the failure of the appeal which he addressed through Gerhard Hauptmann to the German men of letters; he still continued, after that, to sit in judgment upon the contending parties.
Few publications have stirred up more resent- ment in France, or created more misunderstand- ing, than that book. The French people cannot understand how it is that Rolland fails to under- stand. And, indeed, it is strange that so intelli- gent a man should remain impervious to all ar- guments and explanations; for he pays not the slightest attention to them; he simply ignores them and continues to re-state, — eloquently enough, it must be admitted, — the views which he has held since the beginning of the war. It seems as if the enormous success of Jean Chris- tophe had to some extent impaired his judgment, and as if he accepted in all seriousness the flat- tering assurance of some of his disciples, that he needs only to speak and the whole world will ac- cept his words as gospel.
He did not or would not realize that it lay as little in the power of the French people, as in that of the Christian socialists or of the intellec- tual elite or of any one else, to put a stop to the fighting ; unless, indeed, France was willing to yield, body and soul, to Germany. On Sep- tembei" 15th, in the article which gives the vol- ume its title, and which has so endeared him to the pacifists, he exclaimed in terms astonish- ingly naive : "Vn grand peuple ne se venge pas, il retahlit le droit": a great nation does not seek revenge, it reestablishes Right — as if that was not exactly what France was trying to do in keeping up the fight ; as if France, and England, and, later, America, had not accepted the long, wretched struggle which lasted four miserable years, precisely in order to make possible that ''Haute Cour Morale," for which the heart of Romain Rolland was yearning.
One cannot deny, of course, the lofty inspira- tion of the author of Au-dessus de la Melee, but neither can one close one's eyes to his remark- able stubbornness. More than any of his oppon- ents whom he constantly upbraids for their lack of openmindedness, he deserves the reproach of being prejudiced.
He frequently commences his articles with abuse of Germany, superabundant sympathy for the French and very high praise of their splendid courage and noble behavior; and then continues: "But. Passion for the just cause, she must have. Massis in his pamphlet Rolland contre. If one wishes to have also a poet's reaction, one will find it in the Sonate oon- tre Romain Rolland, by Jean Fontaine-Vive, in the volume Jeunesse ardent e, quoted below. Henches' A I'Ecole de la Guerre Commandant Henches kept one of the best diaries of the war; Few soldiers have felt more keenly than he the horrors of the great tragedy; few have kept themselves so completely under control.
And yet, this man who is generally so moderate even when referring to the Germans, is very severe toward Rolland. He denies him any right to speak. Holland may be right, but Rolland has no voice in the matter, because, even if he is right, he has not reached his conclusions by means of valid premisses : Rolland has not seen the war. He is like a man who, firing a rifle for the first time, would happen, by some chance, to make a bull's eye. That success would not make a shooter of him ; and his claim to dogmatize on matters of shooting would not be admissible.
The following are a few quotations from Henches: "Rolland seems to me to be giving himself airs of moral superiority and of de- tachment which are distinctly out of place in present circumstances. The thoughts of Ro- main Rolland, even if they be true, carry no more weight than a ribbon or a trinket. You must risk your life in times like these, to have a right to uphold an idea, and those who have risked only their position, or their fortune, or who strive after notoriety, we regard as noxious.
Hatred we must have : hatred of self-seekers, ha- tred of liars, hatred of profiteers of every kind. It is easy, from a safe retreat, to utter words of kindness. But if Romain Rolland had witnessed the exodus of women and children on certain September evenings in ; if he lived, as we do, among graves, he would be ashamed that he had dared to open his mouth. It may be that his ideas do not differ from our own, he is none the less guilty. We have a right to speak, he has not. Only those have a right to forgive who have suffered.
After some time the public had ceased to pay any attention whatsoever to Rolland. The din of battle has never robbed our minds of their serenity. Fight- ing intellectuals of those countries which yesterday were at war, we are impatient to renew with you intellectual and friendly relations. Intellectuals of the world, we know that those of you who share our sentiments are numberless; we know that for fifty months you have dragged out, behind the appear- ance of serene wisdom, existences as miserable as those of guilty souls.
It behooves us to set to you the solemn and good example of wise conduct. We alone in the clash of fire and steel have had the courage to retain our faith in the illuminating and civilizing power of reason. The other eleven are men of much lesser note. In July, however, Rolland wrote a manifesto himself, in the very same spirit, and in which he seems as far as ever from realizing the concrete problems which the world has to face.
He speaks of the "alliances hu- miliantes de Vesprit," of the duty of the intellectuals 24 EMOTIONAL REACTION to "point to the polar star in the turmoil of dark passions," "montrer I'etoile polaire au milieu du tourbillon des passions dans la nuit," and then hails the People of the future "one, universal, suffer- ing, stumbling but rising again," "unique, universel, qui souffre, qui tumbe et se releve.
This piece of oratory lias elicited a counter-manifesto which was published in the Figaro of July 19 by a group of patriotic writers, among whom was H. They called it "Pour le Parti de Vln- telligetice" — distinguishing thus between themselves and the "intelleetuels" whose leanmgs are towards in- ternationalism and perhaps even towards Prussian- fsni. They want to build the future on distinctly na- tional ideas, counting among these a return to the leadership of the Catholic Church.
This reply was signed not only by nationalistic and catholic writers, as Massis, Bourget and Francis Jammes, but also by men like Henri Gheon and Binet-Valmer. All these discussions when so much action is needed are some- what disconcerting. It may be interesting to recall here another mani- festo, that written by Gerhard Hauptniann, in Ger- many, who had refused ruthlessly to take the olive branch extended to him by Romain Rolland in In , shortly after the armistice, his tone had changed; "A terrible experience," he says, "has proved to us that hatred does not pay.
Relent- lessly and awfully, God's designs have triumphed over those of men. For further data relative to the RoUand contro- versy, cf. Vic, Litterature de la Guerre, i. As the conflict progressed and assumed for- midable proportions, changing its character from that of a war of nations in which national and political aims strove for mastery, to that of a world war in which great human principles were involved, it was both inevitable and imperative that the lyric and epic notes should die down. In the spring of , the more intelligent had already realized how helpless are strong emo- tions to solve great problems; that the old "cliches" had served their purpose and that it was time to discard them ; what the seriousness of the hour demanded then was a deep, clear, practical, sober apprehension of the realities of the hour.
Some men of letters soon began to make use of what had been for many years the most common medium of art, the novel. We must, however, beg leave to draw here a sharp dis- tinction between two kinds of novels dealing with the war. The one we will call War-Novel proper, in which the authors work up documents or per- sonal experiences in order to make us see more deeply the significance of war itself ; they apply the realistic theory of art which has been so well defined in Maupassant's Preface to Pierre et Jean; their aim is to rearrange facts in a manner which is more exact perhaps than reality but more indicative of the internal order of things, and with a view to bringing out more convinc- ingly than mere contingencies have done, some aspects of the war which seem to them worth emphasizing.
The other we will call War-Time-Novel; it is the novel in which the war has been used merely as a background for some storj- not necessarily connected with it. We are not concerned for the present with such War-Time-Novels, however great their ar- tistic value may be they will be dealt with at the end of Part II but only with War-Novels proper. The second fact is that in a work which purports to represent and to explain the war, the element of fiction must be reduced to a minimum.
Indeed the reading public makes so lit- tle of that distinction that it very easily regards war-novels as war-recollections ; and very rightly so when the authors have had personal experi- ence of the facts which they relate either on the firing line, or elsewhere. All three have been widely read. The first is Rene Benjamin's Gaspard This is the French soldier which the general public, especially abroad, likes to imagine — and per- fectly legitimately; Gaspards are more likely to be found in the French army than elsewhere, al- though nobody would think that all French sol- diers are Gaspards.
It 2 In , Benjamin published another book, Sous le del de France, and more recently a third: Le Major Pipe et son Pere which is discussed further on in this same chapter, and since the war still another. Grand- goujon The book was crowned bv the French Academy. Of course, in Oaspard we had not really much of war itself; we had the mobilization period, and just two episodes on the front; after the first, the wounding, nursing, and convalescence of Gaspard; after the second, his return home as a cripple.
Gaspard was still a civilian, accident- ally drawn into the war, but who had kept in the service his attitude of everyday life. For Bourru, civilian life is a dear memory only, he has become a soldier through and through, and very few pages of the book are not pictures of war, and of war of the fiercest kind in one of the worst sectors on the whole battle line.
- Economic Impacts of Immigration: The Brazilian Immigration Problem (Research Group for European Migration Problems)?
- Income Distribution and Economic Growth of Japan Under the Deflationary Economy:Theory and Evidence based on an Econometric Analysis;
- Fire In My Blood (A Gemhunter Novella Book 1)!
- Investigating Biological Systems Using Modeling: Strategies and Software;
- Oh no, there's been an error.
- Can Dreams Affect Your Life? (Victorious Christian Living Book 4).
- Source code: Class en-lemma-utf8.txt part of elasticsearch-plugin-bundle version 22.214.171.124.
Bourru, unlike Gaspard, the quick-witted shop- keeper of Montmartre, is a peasant from Bur- gundy. He possesses all the intelligence, energy and quietness of disposition of his race, but lacks the cheerfulness of Gaspard; he is hourru "a grumbler" , but as a soldier he is just as brave and good as Gaspard; and perhaps because he has not that cheerfulness to help him out in his trials he is the more admirable in his behavior. If the soldier could still be courageous in facing grim reality, no- body could expect of him, nobody, indeed, would accept as genuine, the everlasting cheerfulness of Gaspard; to expect even the good-natured grumbling of Bourru would be a great deal.
And indeed Le Feu is most depressing in tone and in its presentation of what people call the most realistic descriptions of trench warfare. Le Feu is by far the most-discussed book of the war. What aroused so much comment — praise on the one hand and criticism on the 4 Some very interesting information is given in the book about the underground warfare carried on by the sappers and miners for which topic see also La Guerre souterraine by Captain Danrit.
Two otlier books were published in by J. Jean des Vignes Rouges is the nom de plume of Cap- tain Taboureau. When the war ended, in November, , that is two years after the publication of the book, , copies of it had been sold. There are those who see in so brutal a picture a sane, even a necessary reaction against the silly opti- mism prevailing in many quarters. The stupid representation of the French soldier as thor- oughly enjoying life in the trenches — as eager for nothing save to die for his country, as charg- ing the enemy always in a state of sublime exal- tation, or, when lying wounded in the hospital, as burning with impatience to return as soon as possible to sacrifice whatever limb was left to him — seemed to them absurd, unjust, and immoral.
Thus Barbusse, they would argue, was fully jus- tified even in overdrawing the picture in order to counteract such misconceptions. But there are those on the other hand who lay stress on another aspect of the problem. The book -came out, they remark, just at the darkest period of the war, when France was finding it very difficult to keep up the spirits of her chil- dren in the terrific struggle.
It was therefore very wrong, in such an hour, to speak words of discouragement. Moreover, Barbusse has been charged with producing a book which was realistic only in the sense of "shocking," but not in the sense of "true. Further- more, the squad which Barbusse presents in his book is composed entirely of unthinking men, not one of whom is capable of grasping the meaning of the struggle.
They have sometimes characterized the book as "criminal. No secret is made, especially in the last pages of the book under consideration, of the author's disbelief in the idea of patrie. The question then arose: How was it that books much less outspoken on much less paramount issues should have been pitilessly censored while Le Feu was not? And how was it that this book belittling patriotism should have been allowed to come out just at the time when those very ideas were used by German propaganda in a desperate attempt to create a demand for peace in France?
A plausible an- swer was made repeatedly and openly: because the minister of the interior was then Malvy, who was later charged with treason; Malvy al- lowed the book to pass see the article in the New York Times already mentioned. I have passed twenty-one months in the trenches and I know what it is. As for the language of the 'poilu,' he idealizes it from certain points of view, and renders it extraordinarily vulgar at times. Malvy, Minister of the Interior in the Vivi- ani, Briand and Ribot cabinets, was reckoned one of the most astute political figures in France.
While, theoretically, he is opposed to purely national pursuits and advocates human ideals he has again-said so since the war is over. See above, end of chapter I, pages , yet in this concrete case of the Great War he believes that France is waging a just fight. In other words, unless new arguments are brought for- ward, one can only make this statement, that German propagandists may have used the book of Barbusse in a way of which he himself may have disapproved.
As far as the writer knows, Barbusse never took the trouble to answer the critics. This may be due to pride. At that time M. Clemenceau, later French Premier, charged that M. Malvy was spreading "defeatist" propaganda among the troops, and Malvy's resignation of his post as Min- ister of the Interior was announced early in August. In November, , Malvy introduced in the Chamber of Deputies a bill demanding that he be tried before the high court, and the Chamber appointed a committee of thirty-three to inquire into the merits of the case. This committee submitted its report calling for Malvy's im- peachment.
On August G, , Malvy was found giiilty of holding communication with the enemy and sentenced to five years' banishment. The sentence, however, did not carry with it civic degradation. It is that the attitude which he assumes toward the soldier is an effect of his morbid temperament. It was Barbusse, it must be remembered, who a few years before Le Feu, wrote L'Enfer , which is surely as morbid and impure a book as any man might care to handle.
There are many ways of expressing views of life which bespeak despair and disgust. Examples of this are afforded by the literatures of all ages, from Buddha and Omar-Khayyam to Leopardi, Schopenhauer, and Baudelaire. But why should Barbusse choose the most repulsive? It seems natural enough that a man of his tempera- ment should write about the heroes of the trenches whom the war had thrust upon his at- tention, in the same abnormal manner which he had adopted in describing the repulsive, though perhaps real, creatures of his former work.
It was unfortunate that the translation came out just at the time when American public opinion had to decide whether or not America should enter the war; it did not, however, affect the issue. Surely a large part of the responsibility for the regret- table popularity of Le Feu, in France as in this countiy, rests with the public. It is partly an effect of the modern craze for the sensational, the abnormal, and the morbid. One thinks nat- urally of a woman as a charming, graceful, kind creature, and one considers it the duty of "real," "true," "original" art, to represent her as willful, masculine, and cruel.
Likewise, the picture of a soldier which comes first to mind is that of a vigorous, high-minded, heroic fellow, but a book which represents him as shock- It is still more regrettable that in a somewhat bombastic preface, an American critic sliould have spoken of Bar- busse as one of "the most distinguished contemporary French writers" "notorious" would have been better , and of L'Enfer as of a "spiritual" book, one through which "a cleansing wind is running.
It is a well known fact that many repul- sive novels which have passed as French works, were of German origin, and in the spirit of an insidious prop- aganda, were intended to dishonor the name of France. The reader who looks for strong sensations in war literature because he thinks that the terrible and the sickening are inseparable from that kind of literature, need not read Barbusse's Le Feu which leaves so distinctly unpleasant an after- taste.
Let him take up at ran- 11 At the beginning of , Barbusse published an- other war-novel entitled Clarte Flammarion , which shows conclusively that he has not paid the slightest attention to all that had been said of his first war book. Indeed, in many ways, it seems to be only a new edition of Le Feu. The hero of the book is one Simon Paulin, a small clerk and a perfect Philistine, who takes life as it comes, allowing himself to be led by society as at pres- ent organized without protest or conscious reaction. The war breaks out; he is called to the colors, and an- swers the call ; he then sees and goes through all the horrors pictured in Le Feu and repictured once more in Clarte.
As he lies wounded and delirious on the field of battle, the thought comes to him that the people hav. That passivity of the peo- ple, — not only in his own country, but in all nations in- cluding Germany, — irritates him, and he dreams there- fore, of destroying all national emblems and of working towards the establishment of a Republic of the United States of the World.
But he will soon notice that although no writers who have had experience of the war, can consistently refrain from speaking of its horrors, — and this is true even of those who like Commandant Henches and the author of Lettres d'un Soldat take up their pen with the deliberate purpose of getting away from the atmosphere of war into that of serene and quieting meditation, — yet there is not one who has systematically taught that war has no redeeming features; not one who has failed to acknowledge that the war has brought out beautiful traits in human nature, and that even the humblest soldier participates in that moral uplifting which human suffering brings to every man, however lowly his station in life.
Barbusse, apparently, would have us believe that his language is that of an unprejudiced philosopher. Let us now examine the work of a man who might put forth a similar claim and with better reason ; a man who is just as anxious as Barbusse to avoid jingoistic talk. In some respects it reminds one of Le Feu. It is composed with marked artistic care ; we mean that its scenes are not mere photographic or gramophonic reproductions of picturesque or telling episodes, but are minutely and exquis- itely worked out.
The characters, too, are not merely real, they are composed of traits care- fully selected and skillfully worked up into con- sistent unities ; and the whole work, like Le Feu, answers thus perfectly to our definition of war- fiction, as an artistic rearrangement of facts with a view to bringing out, more vividly than real- ity, some aspect or other of the war. Like Bar- 12 It was awarded a Prix Goncourt in , — for when none had been awarded. But here we have reached the parting of the ways. Barbusse has rather narrow socialist or anar- chist inclinations, while Bertrand is an intellec- tual of a much broader type.
He does not, un- der pretext of doing away with all sophistry or hyproerisy, pick out as sole representatives of the soldiers men of no education whose words are mainly expressions of distress at their material privations or of revolt at the appalling slaughter which arrests in them all thought, and reduces them to the state of passive instruments of war.
Bertrand also reproduces the thoughts of the common soldiers, but the words which he quotes, even when the speaker is uneducated, do not sug- gest an utterly ignoble philosophy. When, for instance, Angielli grumblingly remarks after a fierce battle: "Ce n'est rien de mourir, mais c'est dur de ne pas manger," his philosophy and there is a world of it in that short sentence is by no means of a sordidly materialistic kind, nor is his attitude one of surly revolt against the government which demands of him military serv- ice.
But Bertrand introduces men of culture. They are the ofiScers who are allowed to con- tribute a large part to the discussion of the prob- lems which the war has raised. And, indeed, why should they not? Why should only the ig- norant have a right to speak, as in Barbusse? There is an interesting parallel drawn between the two chief figures among those officers, Lucien Fabre, a very young " Saint-Cyrien, " soldier by profession who becomes philosopher by the accident of the war, and Vaissette, "agrege de Philosophic, ancien normalien et Professeur de lycee, ' ' philosopher by profession and soldier by the accident of war.
This Vaissette who repre- sents the ' ' intellectual ' ' in the war, Bertrand has portrayed in a masterly way. Their symposiums take place after or before, and sometimes even during, an encounter. After one of the great battles, our group of philos- ophers walk to a cemetery, some distance away, to talk over the slaughter that had just taken place.
Vaissette especially "was thirsting to exchange ideas with some one in order to make his own ideas clearer to himself" p. It is interesting to notice how, all through the book, Bertrand who, before the war, had writ- ten in a cynical vein Le Jardin de Priape, and a play. La Premiere Berenice endeavors to main- tain an attitude of detachment, and eagerly seizes upon incidents calculated to convince the reader that he is not cheaply jnelding to the ever present dramatic note ; e.
Elsewhere, the dis- cussion brings to light how easily the best and most carefully laid plans may be rendered in- effectual by the accidental interference of some unthought of, and in itself unimportant event, and seems to point to the conclusion that chance is, after all, the ultimate cause of success or of defeat in battle. Yoltaire's'' pyrrhonisme de rhistoire.
This war means the bankruptcy of reason! The one thing that is certain is that religion and reason have both proved themselves unequal to the task of preventing this gigantic folly of men, I mean this mad slaugh- ter" p. Bertrand goes no further with his argumenta- tion, but the skeptic within him is compelled to yield at last. In the magnificent chapter Pa- roles avant la Bataille, we notice the first conces- sion of the "intellect" to the moral beauty of the great wave of sacrifice which the world-ca- tastrophe had favored.
Although he finds no rational explanation of what he sees, his admira- tion wrings from him the admission "qu'on pent tout obtenir de I'etre humain" p. And before we reach the end of the book, we find Bertrand adopting the metaphysical formula, "Ce qui les dirigeait tons, c'etait I'appel de la terre frangaise" p. After the last battle described in the book, we see Vaissette dying of his wounds.
The philos- opher in him is still on his guard lest his intel- lect be deceived by sentimentality, emotionalism, the hypocrisy of politics, or what not. When, at that supreme hour, he asks the stretcher-bearers for news of his fellow soldiers and officers, and receives in reply to each inquiry the same mo- notonous and tragic: "killed!
Clavel, who thus wages war on war, has found a volume of Rousseau's Confessions in the trenches, and he reads about the idyll of the Charmettes; he thinks: "this is life in- deed";. But both the content and the form would rather class it with Bertrand 's Appel du Sol. The hero— really the author as well — Lieutenant Miguel de Larreguy, is a young man full of ardor who has been long- ing for something that would make life worth living; he finds the something in the trenches. The ac- counts of actual war experiences are equal to many of the best in the best war books. The same spirit of enthusiasm for the oppor- tunities of war, with almost a mystic note added to it, is found in Ch.
Briand's novel, Le Sang There is in Marcel Berger's Le Miracle du Feu a delicate love affair interwoven with the ac- count of the first weeks of the war ; but the main interest of the work lies in the author's very keen psychological analysis of a soldier's mind. While Gaspard, Bourru de Vauquois, and the men of the squad in Le Feu, are all uneducated men who have sprung from the common people of France, Berger's hero, a sergeant named Michel, like Bertrand's, belongs to the class of the intellectuals.
But Vaissette, it will be re- membered, had always studied life in the dis- interested spirit of a philosopher and theor- ist; Michel, who is also an educated man, had used his knowledge and refinement for the at- tainment of purely selfish ends. His attitude when the war breaks out is frankly that of a cynic. He has a good position which affords him plenty of leisure, and he leads a comfortable, un-. His behavior in the heroic days of the Mame sector of Ourcq , shows how great has been the change. He is wounded ; loses one leg ; and for some time, in the hospital where he lies helpless, his old self takes hold of him again; he revolts against life.
But the gentle consolation of a loving woman dis- pels the threatening cloud, and his better self triumphs in the end. This is certainly one of the most painstaking and thorough products of literature of the war in the form of a conventional novel. It is the best presentation of that theme, moral regen- eration through suffering, which has so often been treated since in novels and in soldiers' diaries, and on the stage that it has become not only commonplace but almost exasperat- ing at times. Chignole is a young Parisian, and, — what is more significant — a child of Montmartre ; Le Goffic called him appropriately enough, "Gavroche avec des ailes.
Tlie first is Berger's definition of the skeptic's attitude towards the war, in a speecli which he puts in the mouth of Fortin, one of Micliel's fellow sol- i-ers pp. In Xadaud's book the word is applied, as a nickname, to a picturesque young aviator on account of his wonderful resourcefulness. He was just twenty when the war came with all its splendid opportunities for a youth of his type. The pilot e who is supposed to be writing the book has just raised Chignole from the rank of a me- chanic mecano to that of observer.
That means, of course, that Chignole is going to fly; and his enthusiasm, his energy, his taste for all the most extraordinary and foolhardy adven- tures, make him a figure worthy of the pen of the writer of The Three Musketeers. Chignole is at once wonderfully clever, magnificently he- roic, profoimdly touching and picturesquely ab- surd, and retains withal a delightful childlike simplicity. Chignole could best be described as the Gas- pard of aviation. Although the work was pub- lished as late as , — that is the same year as the gloomy Le Feu, — Chignole has the same spirit, the same irrepressible cheerfulness as Benjamin's hero.
The explanation lies in the fact that the extraordinary vitality and alert- ness needed for aviation work kept the men in those units from experiencing the depression to which the men in the trenches fell victims. Indeed, their foolhardi- ness won for them the reputation of being, one and all, crazy fellows! Several writers attempted that renewal.
They left the main stream of warlike events in which the real fighting soldiers are winning glory, suf- fering, conquering and dying, to explore what may be called the backwaters of the war: the very necessary, but much less glorious activities behind the lines.
Before the war he had written Coups de Griff e. Pattes de Velours, and Tendresses. More recently still, he has published Les derniers Mousquctaires, and Fraugi- pane et Cie — tolling the death of Chignole; and a biog- raphy of Guyneraer which, however, is much less elabo- rate than the one written by Henri Bordeaux.
Of the same order as Chignole, is Badigeon, aviateur, by Lieut. G , pilote ! It is a very long novel. As we have already had occasion to notice in studying Le Miracle du Feu, M. Berger has not the gift of brevity. But the work is nevertheless interesting, were it only as a document. Dar- boise is a soldier who after bedng wounded at Verdun, has recovered but is not well enough to be sent back to the front ; he must therefore join an auxiliary corps. In civil life he was an artist, a designer, and he suffers greatly at being kept at tasks which might just as well be done by the most unskilled laborers.
He is sent to Dunkirk, an industrial city and sea port in the North of France : a place absolutely devoid of interest for a man of his mentality, and which, during the war was frequently visited by German raiding aeroplanes. His life there is minutely described 1" Auxiliary troops are composed of men who are phy- sically unfit for duty on the firing line, but who are valid enough for all kinds of fatigue work. The barracks are unat- tractive ; he therefore takes some poor lodgings in town ; and from morning till evening, for the glory of France, he unloads ships, helps in the making of bread for the army, or does occasional work in some factory or other.
It is all dirty, brainless, purely manual work. There is not among his fellow soldiers a single congenial man. They are the dregs of the array, "rien que des faces d'abrutis ou de brutes, les deux grandes categories," and the officers who command them are not much better than the men. After pages, however, the pic- ture is pretty well completed, and we enter then into a regular psychological novel, or we should say rather into two novels.
The first one is the romance of his love for his family. One day, it is true, he becomes un- faithful to his wife as a consequence of the de- moralizing etfect upon him of that deadly dull locality. His wife cannot understand, and they are, for a time, estranged from each other. So great indeed are those sufferings, that he can bear them no more and he rebels against his lot and against the mil- itary authorities. He is cast into prison from which he is delivered by an attack of pneumonia. In the hospital to which he is taken, he meets a good and kind non-commissioned officer whose little romance also appears in the book who saves him from despair and reconciles him with his lot and, later, with his wife.
It is the story of the conversion of a snob to a man of courage and worth. But since the conditions under which an "auxiliaire" lives are less in- spiring than those of a soldier of the Marne, the final moral victory of Darboise is even greater than that of Michel, the hero of Le Miracle du Feu. Nevertheless the fact remains that Dar- boise will never inspire the reader with the same interest as Michel. In that respect, he remains the victim of his surroundings; for the descrip- tion of a dismal manufacturing town in war time can never have the fascination of the relation of battles and of other experiences of a soldier of the first line.
A young jour- nalist has shown a little more than contempt for England 's part in the war. One day, his duties as war correspondent take him to the British front, and later to England. He is received with cordiality, nay more, he is treated with con- sideration, and very soon he is won over by the solid, comfortable organization of the English 18 If the whole truth is to be told, it must be said that although the "will to live" and to suffer for one's coun- try is the note with which the book closes, the disquiet- ing thought thrusts itself upon one tliat the author has inserted his conclusion rather as a matter of duty than of conviction.
One cannot help noticing tliat on page he makes one of his characters say in reference to Barbusse's Le Feu: "It is the sincere cry of a man of genius, to which the heart of all France eagerly re- sponded" un genial cri de sincerite, accueilli dans touts la France avec un immense soulagement. Coutras has also written a novel of the same gloomy inspiration, Les Tribulations d'un Auanliaire The bitterness in the tone of Coutras's book has been traced by some to personal experiences of the author as a "soldat au.
When he returns to his own country, not only is he a sincere Anglophile, but he is convinced that he has "discovered" England. More than that, he develops something which savors of a certain contempt for the treatment which the French government metes out to its soldiers. Those thoughts he communicates privately to his wife. It must be confessed that Benjamin has yielded a little too readily, in this work, to his taste for satire.
It was not necessary that the representative of the French press should be represented as so vain and provincial. A more delicate satire would have been quite as effec- tive — even more so. At the same time, it was a good idea to use that scheme to familiarize the French public — who was even in in need of enlightenment upon that subject — with some aspects of the organization of the British army as compared with that of the French.
The adventures and 19 Cf. But we ought to men- tion, by title at least, some of the best collections, as Claude Farrere: Histoires de Quatorze Sol- dais; H. Bordeaux: Jeunesse Nouvelle; Contes Veridiques des tranchees,' par un groupe de Poilus; Noiweaiix Contes Veridiques, by the same, and a third collection. Sous I'Obus; Les As peints par eux-memes; since the war , the remarkable volume by Vignaud, Les Sauveiirs du Monde "contes suggeres par d 'horribles vi- sions"; A. Arnoux, Le Cabaret. One special word about Pawlowski's Signaux a I'Ennemi It is a collection of very simple stories, the 20 For Pawlowski's other works, see chapter III, sec- tion 3.
The pictures which the stories present are certainly most "plausible," and, if one may be allowed to use once more that much abused word, thor- oughly ''human. Who is the spy? Finally, but not before one of the men has been arrested as a suspect, it turns out that each time that some one goes up into the tower, a number of frightened crows take their flight from the roof into the open sky, and the Germans have need of no other signal to inform them that it is time to make a target of the tower.
War Recollections and Diaries Introductory If Bacon's definition ars homo naturae additus be accepted, the war diary must be admitted to rank much lower as a literary genre than the war novel. War literature, as we have already. The soldiers who saw some part of the war, and who were able to handle a pen, realized that truth and acted accordingly. As to the reader, the times were too serious, the subject too im- portant for him to be satisfied with anything less than the whole truth ; he would have resented as an act of bad faith any partial concealment of the soldier's ''reactions" whether good or bad, whether heroic or disheartened.
And now if the picture which we obtain from a perusal of those war recollections is on the whole a bright one, that brightness must be attributed to the inspiration which the men received from their intense patriotism and from the consciousness of the justice of their cause. France produced during the war an ample and beautiful harvest of war recollections. In this she was faithful to her ancient traditions, for it was from France that, at the dawn of Modem Civilization, came those first and fairest of epic poems which bore as their motto. And Art Roe himself attrib- utes his military writings to the inspiration of Vigny's little book.
He reminds us how clearly Vigny had stated the great problem which con- fronts all governments in this democratic age, when he wrote on the morrow of the French Revolution: "On ne pent trop hater I'epoque ou les armees seront identifiees a la nation, si elle doit acheminer au temps ou les armees ne seront plus, et oil le globe ne portera plus qu'une 21 Art Roe pseudonym for Patrice Mahon was born at Lons-le-Saulnier, Jura, in 1S65; he was a lieutenant in the French army when Pingot et moi appeared.
The admirable spirit of coopera- tion of chiefs and soldiers, which has been so often and apparently so justly praised since , finds its explanation in Art Roe's works. It is that cooperation which differentiates the French army not only from the German in which the human rights of the individual soldier seem so much neglected, but, to a very large extent from the British army also, if the reports of many Americans who have had opportunities of observing conditions during the war are to be trusted.
And this achievement is the result of much arduous, consistent and sustained thought and effort. The title Pingot et moi is a program in itself.
Pingot is the orderly' of the lieutenant who relates the story; he is a good fellow "aux bons grands yeux honnetes, aux levres volontiers souriantes"; he is moreover an excellent soldier. He enjoys nothing more than to be allowed to carry out an order in his own way, and thus he develops a very good spirit of initiative. The book does honor to the great heart of the man who wrote it. Art Roe takes up the same problem in his second book: Mon Regiment Russe He is sent on a mission to study the Russian army, and is in- terested to find how the famous general Drago- mirov has solved the problem of developing the soldier without suppressing the man.
Pingot et moi is the common an- cestor of those officers' diaries which, together with the diaries of the private soldiers, are our most important sources of documentation on the army's part in the war. During the twenty-one years that elapsed between the publication of Pingot et moi and , quite a number of offi- cers had succeeded in interesting the public in their recollections and in their years of service in the colonies.
Shakespeare, Marlowe, and the politics of France
Baratier's Epopees Africaines author killed at Verdun and Capitaine Cor- 22 The problem of the Russian officers is very different from that of the French. Art Roe has expressed that difference in the following manner: The Russian officer has to develop the personality of the soldier by drawing it out of the Russian mass, while our problem in France consists in the making of a compact, tightly knit, homo- geneous mass out of elements which are distinct and strongly individualistic p.
In both countries the end in view is the same: that, namely, of forming an army. Two other works, written by much younger officers, and dealing with the psychology and philosophy of military life, were attracting a great deal of attention on the eve of the war. The first is Psichari's L'Appel des Amies which, although it is presented in the form of a novel, is nevertheless full of personal recollec- tions.
The mystic note of those pages, in which the author exalts the profession of the soldier to the point of saying "War is divine," is very striking. Nolly is the more direct continuator of the work of Art Roe. His sjonpathetic study of the French soldier is remarkably relevant, objective and keen. There was absolute certainty in his mind after , that war could not be averted, but his confidence 23 This mystic note is even stronger in a posthumous novel of Psichari's, La Veillee du Centurion, published at the end of Take heart!
We have tried the force which you en- trusted to our care, and we vouch for its high excellence. Some day it will work wonders in order that the home of beauty and of good may abide forever. Lift up your heads! They wrote nothing, there- fore, regarding the war itself; but there were many others who, at that time, were ready to continue their work with pen as well as with sword.
Souvenirs d'un Cannonier de This work was at once recognized as one of excep- tional and lasting value, as may be judged by the fact that it ran through 53 editions before the end of the war. Its author was promptly awarded the Prix Monthyon by the French Academy. Paul Lintier was born in He was there- fore only 21 when he wrote Ma Piece. After being trained for a business career, he decided to take up law, and while still in his teens began to write.
In , he was enrolled in the 44th regiment of Artillery and was made a quarter- master in He was severely wounded on September 22nd, , but recovered and re- turned to the front as lieutenant in July, He was killed at Jeandelincourt, in March, It is indeed remarkable how, in later writers, a familiarity of even a very few weeks with the events of the war sufficed to dull the keen edge of their sensibility, so that impressions were received and registered with less conscious- ness of horror, admiration or enthusiasm.
And, the next day, when 26 That remark is true even of Lintier's second book which is a sequel to Ma Piece: viz.. Then it was the retreat day after daj", that long retreat in which they were never beaten but never al- lowed to make a stand; and it was the physical exhaustion, and the need of sleep, and the de- moralization due to days of incessant rain, and the ghastly sight of long trains of wounded, and the fixed idea, in the minds of some of the men, that they were betrayed by their chiefs.
And then, at last, it was the order to stop on the Marne, and the wave of superhuman strength that came upon the men p. But then, again, there came the vast fields of slaughter, and the harrowing tales, in the liberated villages, of the savage outrages of the Huns how they deserved the name! I had never thought that there was joy in the mere facts of breathing, of opening one's eyes to the morning light, of absorbing it, of feeling warm or cold, or even of suffering.
I thought that only certain hours in life were worth living, and I let the others go by. If I should see the end of this war, I shall know how to detain each passing hour; I shall make it a point to get out of each second of life every sensation that it can yield ; and it will be to me like the feeling of delightfully cool water passing through my fingers. I am alive! Lavisse, , was pub- lished shortly after Lintier's Ma Piece.
Moreover, Genevoix relieves by occasional flashes of healthy humor the depressing gloom of the picture of war. He relates many episodes in which cheer- fulness gets the better of exhaustion, hunger, suffering of all kinds, when the men heroically make light of the most searching and painful tests of their endurance; and we must bear in mind that this was at a time when they were not yet hardened to their new life; when they were still keenly conscious of the horrors of the war; when lying wounded on the field they would still yield occasionally to despair, crying out for their mothers, or imploring the stretcher- bearers to remove them from the field, or to kill them at once.
Genevoix gives us also the bright picture of a noble comradeship between two offi- cers, men of very different types : the Normalien Genevoix and the Saint Cyrien Porchon. The general idea which the book brings out — that book a description of the great battle of Verdun, for this began only in February, There are some good things in it, and there are some bad. There are especially bad things. Only, the bad, in war is first-class bad; it is terrible, I would like to say. One feels that one could not stand suffering all the time. One must nurse one's strength, for, after all, one hasn't so much of it that one can afford to waste it.
We are only men, aren't we, Sir? That word is suffi- cient, for it is full of terrible associations. It was there that his friend Porchon was killed February 20th, If the reader wishes to follow the author in his later war experiences, he should read his Nidts de Guerre , and All Seuil des Guiiounes Many of the letters had previously appeared in the Revue de Paris.
They are those of a young soldier who after eight months and one day of warfare, "did not return from an attack. AH his energy is gathered up in an effort to resist the temptation to moral relaxation in the midst of physical fatigue. He must be very exhausted indeed to fail to send home at least a short note whenever the opportunity presents itself; and he keeps constantly in touch, by his reading, with the great minds of the world: Spinoza, Verlaine, A.
France and the Song of Roland. He re- members music with plea. Andre Chevrillon pertinently re- marks in his preface that it was also during war- time that Marcus Aurelius wrote his immortal Meditatio7is. While Lintier moves us by the relation of striking war episodes, the anonymous author of the Letters moves us by his determined effort to get away from the somber realities of the war whenever he is off duty, and to re-temper his soul by contact with what is neither low, nor unclean, nor terrible, " J 'ai eleve mon ame a une hauteur oil les evenements n'ont pas eu prise sur elle" p.
I have made resolute vows to re- main always in communion with God" p. He neglects no opportunity of admiring na- ture, which remains ever serene and beautiful. It is remarkable, indeed, how often, in the midst of the horrors which must have been harrowing to a soul so delicate and refined, the word beauty comes under his pen. He clings to beauty, and where it is not, his painter's imagination creates it for him. Once, when a severe bombardment had driven his squad underground, and kept it there for several hours, he catches sight, through the narrow opening by which the dug-out re- ceived ventilation, of a ''beautiful tree" out- lined against the sky, the sight of which brings him comfort and renews his strength.
And beauty, again, is the last word which he uses in writing to his mother on that sixth day of April, , a few hours before he was reported missing, just before the launching of an attack the hazards of which he fully real- ized : "Whatever happens, life will not have been without its beauty" p. It would probably be difficult to find in any book a more convincing demonstration of how suffering brings out the noblest qualities of man. And our anonymous artist knows it and he is profoundly grateful for the intense suffering which taught him to know his better self: "It is paradoxical, as you say, but I have just lived the most beautiful hours of my moral life.
Be assured that there will alwaj's be beauty on earth, and that man will never be wicked enough to stamp it out. I have gathered enough experiences to fill a whole life. There is one thing that no one can take away from us, it is the treasure of the soul which we have won" p. It seems, therefore, sad beyond expression that this noble, energetic soul, after months of intense physical suffering, should be made to feel that moral heroism has its limits after all.
He man- fully refuses to acknowledge it to himself, but the iour comes when the pressure put upon him is too great, and, reading between the lines, we see that his strength is waning : ' ' Dear Mother, ' ' he writes, "after weeping tears of revolt [against the ' atrociousness of the situation'], to which I have yielded all these days, I am again able to say : Thy will be done! Why should I be sacri- ficed while others who have not my gifts are in safety?
No one who realizes the intense moral anguish that this sensitive nature had to endure, will blame him though he allowed himself to pen the following sentences at the close of a battle : ' ' Our losses have been fright- ful; those of the enemy, worse. You cannot imagine, Mother dear, what man is capable of doing to his fellow man. For five days, now, my boots have been greasy with human brains; when I walk, I crush in chests ; I am now looking upon scattered bowels; our men lean against corpses to eat their scanty rations.
The regi- ment has behaved heroically.
They all died gallantly. Two good friends of mine are among the dead. One of them had sat for one of my last portraits. I discovered his body on the battlefield that night ; white and magnificent under the moon- light. I sat beside him for a while. The beauty of things reawoke within me after a time. At last, after five days of horror, we have been withdrawn from that scene of abominations. Duty, effort" pp. He liked some of their writers, and admired their music. But at last he is driven to admit : ' ' Unfortunately, this contact with the German race has spoiled for- ever my opinion of it" p.
Commenting on the German practice of forcing French hostages to march in front of their ad- vancing columns, he had written: "If these notes should be read by any one, may they arouse in honest hearts a feeling of horror at the foul crime of those responsible for the war. There will never be enough glory to cover all this blood and shame" p. We feel that we ought here to mention, al- though very briefly, a book which in some respects may be regarded as a companion volume to Lettres d'un Soldat: Major J.
He had four times been commended for bravery. He had specialized in anti-aircraft gunnery and believed that the Zeppelin raids on Paris could have been prevented. He declares himself incapable of grasping the im- mensity of the senselessness which precipitated the conflict. His words are not inspired by anger, but rather by poignant, crushing grief. His only hope is that the horrors of the war will open the eyes of men and will serve to bring about a permanent peace.
But he is a real stoic nevertheless.