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quest after truth? Or, as it has been asserted, is it characteristic of French thought to leap to its conclusions attracted rather by a neat formula than by an inference that takes into account all the data in a case? Here, again, the destructive critic will find new materials for his argument in the history of the affaire. In particular, he will be able to maintain that the mental trait in question is revealed in the French by circumstances which call forth strong outbursts of emotion. It is less than thirty years since the mad cry for the march to Berlin was followed by the passionate demand for a scapegoat, who, as a convicted traitor, might be made to bear the blame of the national defeat. And now, whatever may have been the complete and ultimate motive for the monstrous procedure of the war office and the staff, it is evident that Dreyfus has been sacrificed in part to the panic caused by the belief that a foreign nation was in possession of secrets of the national defense, to racial prejudice against the Jews, even to individual dislike of the curt and “unsympathetic” bearing of the young artillery captain among his comrades. Hasty thought and uncontrolled emotions have contributed to the “moral Sedan ” of this generation, as they cooperated in the physical disaster of the generation past.

Intellectual and moral factors, therefore, have mingled in the genesis of the affaire, and must alike be considered in its psychological explanation. The questions involved, moreover, are questions of national and racial, as well as of individual, psychology From these, finally, there emerge problems of an historical and philosophical nature which imply profounder issues even than the phenomena of the mental life. For no attentive observer of recent events in France can repress the conviction that the history of the last few years gives fresh token of serious disorder in the organism of the nation. There are ill nations and there are nations moribund, as we were reminded by the premier of Great Britain during our Spanish conflict of a year ago.

And the worst forms of national disease are those which, in the last analysis, are engendered by the neglect of moral law. For the principles of morality are as vital to the community as to the individual; nay, there is reason to consider them, at least in one aspect of the matter, as most directly connected with the conditions of social health. Thus there is peculiar poignancy in the query raised of late by loyal Frenchmen, as well as by disinterested but observant foreigners, as to which of the above categories more exactly covers the present condition of France. France and the French spirit are indisputably laboring under serious trouble; and the situation appears more grave in view of the prolonged continuance of their abnormal state.

It is now more than a hundred years since the revolutionary movement, in doing away with political and ecclesiastical corruption, broke down also the foundations of social order. A half century added to this period would hardly carry us back to the beginnings of the upheaval, which from that day to this, in spite of the many splendid achievements of the people, has prevented. the recovery of political stability and a normal social development. During these generations of time, once more, there have been various outbreaks of the mob spirit which have left foul blots on the history of modern progress as exemplified in the French nation. And now the history of the Dreyfus case would seem to show that in many respects the national spirit has gained but little in intellectual balance, in emotional sobriety, in moral vigor, for all the long agony it has been compelled to endure.

Is it to be concluded, then, as it has been inferred by some, that French civilization is stricken with a mortal malady, and is the world to look for a national decline rather than

recuperation from the disturbances of the past? He must needs know his France to the end who would venture a prediction concerning her future history, least of all a pessimistic prognosis of her fate. The student of her present situation will rather turn with sympathetic pleasure to those facts which give ground for a more hopeful outlook. For the spectacle of the nation prostrate before the enemies of justice, and but now regaining strength to make tardy and incomplete recompense to the victim of judicial error, has brought no pleasure to observers in other lands. On the contrary, with the exception of the traditional foes of France—and even in their case the feeling of contempt has been tempered by pity and regret—it has been sorrow that has mingled with repulsion, not rejoicing at the plight of a great nation betrayed by the misdoing of her sons. Moved by such feelings, we may dwell with satisfaction on the grounds of hope for France rather than upon the elements of danger in her recent experiences and her present state. The marvelous crusade for justice, especially as it has been furthered by the devoted labors of her intellectual leaders, the support given by the chambers and the government now in office to the movement for revision and the pardon granted by the president of the republic to the condemned, the manifest determination of the minister of war to prevent ill treatment of the officers of the army who testified in Dreyfus's behalf, even the demand for pacification and oblivion on the part of the great majority of the nation, with its dawning sentiment of pity at the thought of the outrages inflicted upon a French officer-outrages monstrons in their iniquity had he been thrice guilty of the charge -and, as we are permitted to believe, with a certain nascent realization of the imperfection of the evidence which induced the two brave members of the Rennes court-martial to vote for his acquittal—these are signs of a return to clarity of intellectual perception and a recovery from the moral distemper of the recent past. As such they reinforce the hope that a nation which has played so great a part in history, which has accomplished so much for political and intellectual liberty, which has made so important contributions to literature, to science, and to art, which in so many respects still marches among the leaders of modern civilization, may yet emerge from her difficulties into settled and vigorous social health.

The question at large involves many factors beyond the limits of the case under discussion. But if we strike the balance of the relevant facts revealed by the affaire it must be concluded that there are grounds for serious apprehension lightened by indications of an opposite kind. May these prove the truer omens of the future! May France recover to take her place again in the van of the world's progress! Such is the wish, the prayer of every impartial student of her recent history.

Altimetrory. Jr.

ART. VIII.—SIDNEY LANIER, POET LAUREATE OF

THE SOUTH.

The only absolute greatness is the greatness of personality. All else is relative. Things are insignificant compared with persons. Men are more majestic than mountains. They are grander than oceans, sublimer than starry heavens. Therefore the richest “find” in this age of marvelous discoveries is the finding of a man—a man with vision so clear that he sees the divine purpose in his creation, and with motive so pure that he bends all his being to the realization of that high purpose. Such a man was Sidney Lanier. We have titled him“ poet laureate of the South” in the settled conviction that both literary criticism and popular favor are, with strengthening tendency, inclined to crown him with this honor. His most conspicuous rival is Edgar Allen Poe. The genius of that strange man is rịcher and more intense than Lanier's. But, next to poetic passion, sanity is the poet's finest endowment. In this Poe is almost a pauper, while Lanier is a prince.

Then, also, personal character counts for much in an author. Here the contrast is scarcely less than that between animal and angel. Pure passion and robust sanity are so blended with Lanier's refined and elevated spirit that his artistic productions are the natural manifestations of the man.

His song was only living aloud,
His work, a singing with his hand.

He is a charming illustration of Milton's classic dictum that he who would "write well in laudable things ought himself to be a true poem.” Mr. Lanier's yearning after this noble ideal is embodied in his lyric of Life and Song. Hear him:

If life were caught by a clarionet,

And a wild heart, throbbing in the reed,
Should thrill its joy and trill its fret,

And utter its heart in every deed,

Then would this breathing clarionet

Type what the poet fain would be;
For none o' the singers ever yet

Has wholly lived his minstrelsy,

Or clearly sung his true, true thought,

Or utterly bodied forth his life,
Or out of life and song has wrought

The perfect one of man and wife;

Or lived and sung, that Life and Song

Might each express the other's all,
Careless if life or art were long

Since both were one, to stand or fall:

So that the wonder struck the crowd,

Who shouted it about the land:
His song was only living aloud,

His work, a singing with his hand !

That Sidney Lanier was a born poet is beyond question. His earliest known paternal ancestor was Jerome Lanier, a persecuted Huguenot who took refuge in England. He and his descendants won distinction at the courts of Queen Elizabeth, James I, and Charles I as musical composers and painters. With other colonists Thomas Lanier emigrated to America in 1716. He settled on a grant of land now occupied by the city of Richmond, Va. One of his grandsons married an aunt of George Washington. Sidney Lanier's maternal ancestors were from the land of John Knox, presumably Scotch Covenanters. Mary Anderson, his mother, was a Virginian by birth. From her father's family, for several generations, came members of the House of Burgesses. They were gifted in poetry, music, and oratory.

With such ancestry on both sides, so distinguished for deepest piety and naturally poetic and musical, heredity had an easy field in which to produce its legitimate fruitage. Sidney Lanier was just such a blossom and fruit as his family tree might have been expected to bear. Macon, Ga., enjoys the distinction of being his birthplace. His father was a lawyer, living on High Street, when, on February 3, 1842, a firstborn gladdened the home. Two immortalities began that day, one of literary fame, another of perfected human character. As the babe blossomed into childhood the boy was early prophetic of the manhood which unfolded therefrom. At the age of fourteen young Sidney was admitted into the sophomore class of Oglethorpe College, at Midway. He was graduated with honors and called to a tutorship in his alma mater. Here he

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