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patriotic sentiments without incurring the obligation of acting up to them.
However, what gave so great an importance to the revolution of 1877 was not merely that a new class had acceded to government in place of the one which had been ruling France for three previous generations, but also that this revolution was the first one in eighty years which had succeeded in shaking the edifice which Napoleon I. constructed, and which till then had weathered all storms successfully. During the four years that Gambetta ruled France, absolutely though irresponsibly (1878-1881), there was not a single national institution but was either threatened or actually altered in substance. Even the new republican Constitution of 1875 was menaced with a revision, and the Senate which it had instituted with abolition. The independence of the judges—which the Restoration, the Government of July, the Second Republic, and the Second Empire had respected —was destined to destruction by the introduction of removability; public instruction was turned topsy-turvy by repeated reforms which entirely changed the traditional character of the national education; the army, whose strong organization neither its crushing defeats, brought about by superiority of numbers and skill, not by bravery, had impaired, nor the reforms introduced by M. Thiers' Government had essentially altered, began to regard its future with uncertainty and misgivings since Gambetta announced the intention of exacting the three years' military service in 1878. The finances, which, thanks to M. Thiers, had been set to rights in a wonderfully short time, are now again completely entangled, the annual budget overstepping three milliards, and the floating debt amounting to the same sum—a circumstance which might give rise to serious complications at a moment of general disturbance. Above all, uncalled for and gratuitously vexatious warfare has been waged against the Church, the whole gravity of the consequences of which has not yet appeared ; for till now it is the regular clergy alone which has suffered, and on this point the majority of Frenchmen are indifferent; but the secular clergy also has been threatened by M. Paul Bert, and those who know France well—and I mean by France not Paris alone but the provinces likewise—cannot fail to apprehend that the question would be viewed in a different mood by the country, were bishops and curates to be molested.
The way in which Gambetta used his unlimited power was no less mischievous than the objects he pursued. For four years he remained an unchecked master, and he showed himself in peace the same man who during the war had made heroes or traitors of France's best generals at his pleasure, reviled the gallant troops who had done their duty so manfully, treated the enemy as a horde of barbarians, the neutrals as cowards, magnified insignificant advantages into great victories, and in short only acknowledged the spasmodic inspiration; of his caprices and passions. Now it was the enemy within that he attacked—first applying himself to purify the staff of officials from high to low, for no garde-champetre was appointed, no debit de tabac granted without being first submitted to his approval; then turning to Parliament, and forcibly annulling nearly all the Conservative elections, even a minority being deemed troublesome. Even when President of the House he lost sight of the necessity of self-control, and he was unable to moderate his own language, neither could he refrain from interrupting Conservative orators from the Speaker's seat. For if Gambetta had but few of the intellectual qualifications of a statesman, he had still less of a statesman's temperament. The former is proved by his despatches wheu Prime Minister; the latter by his attitude in the Chamber of Deputies, and, more than all, by his fall from power. Had he really changed since then, as many assert? Men rarely change at the age of forty-lqur, either morally or intellectually, and we are unable to find out anything which he has either said or done that might lead us to infer a modification either in his views or in his feelings during the ten months which have elapsed since his dismissal. But if no change had taken place, has the Republic any great reason to regret his disappearance from the scene of action, however much his untimely end and the tragic mode in which it occurred may be deplored? Is it not rather to be looked upon as a benefit? There can be no doubt whatever that, had Gambetta lived, in spite of the diminution of his authority, which had been greatly impaired during the short term of his responsible official government, he would have come into office a second time; nor can we doubt that his second government would have infallibly led to a Communist outbreak, for to this party he was especially obnoxious. The consequences of this are clear: some general or other would have put down the revolt and seized the dictatorship; the Republic might have continued to live on nominally; in reality, a military despotism would have taken its place.
For Europe likewise,—we are sorry to have to say it,—Gambetta's disappearance cannot but be an advantage. Not that he would really have succeeded, even had he been at the helm again, in bringing about a fresh war, for this his own people would never have allowed him to do; but his very presence lent a welcome pretext to those periodical warnings from Varzin by which peace is so frequently and unpleasantly disturbed, without being really imperilled. That a war of retaliation will nevertheless occur sooner or later is more than probable: only it will not be until those who witnessed the great war of 1870 have withdrawn from public life; not until France grows weary of the fireside policy she is now so intent upon, and of the mediocrity which is governing her; not until she once more confides her sovereignty to those classes which formerly ruled her, or the sons of the present parvenus have had time themselves to acquire a sort of tradition; not until what has been disorganized is again restored,—above all things the army, of which every Frenchman is well aware, albeit loth to own it, that it is far from ready at present. In other words, this century will not witness a new conflict on the banks of the Rhine; for, I repeat it, although hatred of the German is popular in France, war is unpopular, and no one has done more to make it so than M. Gambetta.
THE ART OF ROSSETTI.
THHERE are some men of whom it is the sad fortune that _|_ throughout their lives the praise and blame that they experience are given in an equally exaggerated degree; they are never free from the dust and confusion of the fierce battle which partisans raise around their work and their character, and when they die they may almost be said, in the words of that one of their number who forms the subject of this article, to—■
"Die not,—never having lived,—but cease;
As to many such, the temper of their friends, the spirit of the age in which they live, the circumstances amongst which their lot is cast, are responsible for the separateness of their lives, for the dust of praise or blame which surrounds their achievements and their failures. But for others—and these perhaps arc the nobler spirits—friendship, circumstance, and surroundings, arc less responsible than some strange peculiarities of temper and intellect, sufficiently powerful to unite with themselves a portion of the practices and theories of everyday life, and to reject without hesitation all that is incompatible. Such as these last are of the old prophetic temper; of this race have sprung those who in every generation have raised their voices in denunciation or warning of the creeds amongst which they lived. They may have no gospel to deliver; their voices may carry no message that the world can profit by. Clear messages, as George Eliot tells us, are rare in this world of to-day, but if their discontent is sufficiently genuine to affect their lives, if their personality is sufficiently strong to affect the lives of others, and if their genius is sufficiently great to proclaim itself as a thing apart, having a special and inimitable character of its own,—then, whatever may be the perversities and fantasies of such men, they arc sure to become leaders of those who share their peculiarities without possessing their power. And the resistance of the world at large to the eccentricities of any such cult has the inevitable effect of intensifying the zeal with which its eccentricities are manifested—of causing the statement of the creed to be made in cruder and cruder terms. It sometimes happens that the leader of the school, wearied by the desertion or disgusted by the shallowness of his followers, breaks with them and his old theories, and becomes like other men; but more frequently he is bound by the acts of his clientele, and what was at first a mere youthful enthusiasm, and a passionate revolt against convention, becomes the very "habit of his soul."
It is impossible at the present time, so soon after Mr. Dante Gabriel Rossetti's death, and whilst so many of his associates and relations are still alive, to discuss the question how far the peculiarities of his paintings and poetry were due to inherent personal characteristics, and how far to the surroundings and circumstances of his life; but it is almost equally difficult to deal with the question of his art without making some mention of those circumstances, for, perhaps, in no painter of modern times was the personal and the artistic life so strangely intermingled. Some note, too, must be taken of that curious association, long since famous by the title of the preRaphaelite Brotherhood, which owed its chief impulse to the overmastering influence of this artist. Those, for instance, who criticize so severely the strangeness and the mournful tendency of Rossetti's pictures when taken as a whole, and who do not scruple to attribute to the painter deliberate affectation and assumed grief for the mere sake of eccentricity or effect, would do well to take into account the circumstances of his Italian descent, his father's exile from his native land, and his own great sorrow in losing, in the first years of his wedded life, the wife to whom he was so passionately attached. An alien in race and an alien in spirit, suffering from keen private grief, and met without by an opposition to his art, which made up in personal invective what it lacked in reasonable judgment, it is perhaps little wonderful that young Rossetti, conscious as he must have been of great and original powers, isolated himself from the general public, and found a bitter consolation in giving up to dreams of the past, tho-se powers which had no longer any object in the future.
livery one knows by this time that well-worn story of the preHaphaelitc Brethren, of the fury with which they were both attacked and defended, and I do not intend to dwell upon it here; but it is worth noting that practically Rossetti was the sole head and front of the movement. Mr. Holman Hunt was a man of supreme industry, undoubted keenness of observation, and technical skill; but, though an enthusiastic disciple, he had no great original pictorial ability. What