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lution wholly his own. He has a wider knowledge of literature and life in England and in Germany than most Frenchmen, having frequently visited both countries. Next to the breadth of his knowledge of men and things, he has indefatigable industry, and the union of these two qualities makes him one of the foremost journalists of France. M. Claretie has a pleasant wit and a sharp eye; his tastes are clean and honorable; and so the best of his chroniques in the "Temps" was sometimes not unlike one of Mr. George William Curtis's always delightful "Easy-Chair" articles, and the worst of them was always an amusing medley of judicious observation and antiquarian research. As M. Claretie's chroniques in the "Temps" were more widely quoted from than any other non-political articles of the Parisian press, it is no wonder that they have found many readers when gathered together into annual volumes. The future historian of manners and customs and fashions and ephemeral fancies will have no more trustworthy source of information than the yearly tomes of M. Claretie's "Vie à Paris." (For the instruction of the inquiring, it may be noted that M. Claretie pronounces his name "Clar-ty.")
The honor of being the most quoted writer on the "Temps" M. Claretie shared with M. Sarcey, whose criticism of the drama of the day fills the ground-floor of the "Temps "every Sunday afternoon. M. Sarcey is a graduate of the Normal School; and M. Taine and About were his classmates there. When they left the school in 1848, M. Taine was first, About third, and M. Sarcey fifth. For ten years M. Sarcey taught; then he gave up teaching and took to journalism under the guidance of his friend About. M. Sarcey has recently written a lively and instructive account of his life at the Normal School and of the constant intellectual fencing in which the brilliant band of scholars indulged. He asserts that he can always tell a graduate of the Normal School by the sincerity of his disputation, and he informs us that the scholars had declared war on two formulas only too frequently heard in debate. One of these is the assertion that the adversary is an ass, and the other impugns his motives, declaring that he is too clever to believe what he says. Whenever, therefore, any of the young debaters lost his temper and sneered at the sincerity of his opponent, the entire body arose as one man and said: "Sir, you are an ass!" And when he protested in vain, the chorus rejoined: "Then you do not believe a word of what you say." The German students have in like manner made war on two other silly formulas, which they term the apple and the spinach argument. The apple argument is the twitting of an opponent with a
change of opinion, and it is so called because an apple when accused of having changed color answered that “it is only bad fruit which remains green"; and the spinach argument is the self-congratulation on the fact that one does not think like the opponent, and it is so called because a lady once declared that she was very glad she did not like spinach, for if she did, she would eat it, and she could not bear it.
The robust sincerity thus learnt in the Normal School M. Sarcey has carried through life. M. Sarcey is honest, earnest, and devoted to his work, whether it be the exposure of an ultramontane trick or the analysis of a new play. He used to roast a priest for breakfast every morning in the "XIX Siècle," and he parboils himself every evening in one of the Parisian play-houses, all of which are as innocently free from ventilation as a Turkish bath. M. Sarcey is independent; he has never been willing to join any society or to accept any honors; more than once has he refused the cross of the Legion of Honor. His special characteristics are a robust and broad common sense and an equally broad good humor. As a dramatic critic he has attained to the highest repute; his authority, I venture to believe, is greater than was Jules Janin's-and it is assuredly founded on a firmer base. M. Sarcey has a great many qualifications for a dramatic critic, and he has in abundance the most important of all-he is very fond of the theater. He is fair, he is willing to hear both sides, the temper of his mind is judicial, and it is only when he is absolutely convinced of the guilt of the prisoner that the sword of justice falls; but when it does fall, it falls swiftly and to good purpose. M. Sarcey has sympathy with both the dramatic and the histrionic arts. He has insight into both, and he has logically coördinated a system of principles about them both. He is almost the only dramatic critic I know whose report of a performance gives a sound reason for its success or its failure. He has a habit of going at once to the heart of a play, and in telling the story of a drama he sets forth first of all the essential situation, the vital knot, the salient point where this play differs from all other plays. This is a very rare faculty. M. Vitu, for example, contents himself with a verbatim report of the plot of a play, followed by a criticism of its construction and its characters; but M. Sarcey so sets before you the situation that you are enabled to criticise for yourself and to seize at once on every point of his criticism. M. Sarcey has always refused to allow the collection of his dramatic criticisms, declaring that they are journalism and not literature. The only book about the stage he
cians do not disdain to turn a dishonest penny by the open and unblushing advocacy of all sorts of wild-cat enterprises. Indeed, the more swindling the speculation, the more lucrative is the assistance of the journalist. A French friend told me that he had heard the publisher of a Parisian daily complaining that only sound companies were being launched just then, and that of course there was little or no profit to be made out of sound companies. No puffs of this kind disfigure the Temps," which is in this, as in most respects, the cleanest and most wholesome of Parisian papers.
In another respect also is the "Temps setting a good example-its political articles are anonymous. Under the Empire the law required every article to be signed, that the courts might lay hands at once on an offending writer. The effect of this was undoubtedly to lower the tone of discussion, which tended always to leave the secure ground of argument for the quaking mo
has published is rass of personality. Both the "Temps" and the "Comédiens et "République Française" let their admirable Comédiennes," political articles speak for themselves without a series of bio- the intrusion of the personality of the writer. graphic criti- The purely artistic criticisms-literary, dracisms of the leading actors of Paris. A satire matic, or musical - still bear the signatures of M. Sarcey's on the French fondness for of the writers. office has been translated in America as "The Miseries of Fo-Hi."
The "Temps," it is to be recorded to its credit, has kept itself free from the financial scandals which disgrace most of the Parisian papers. As a rule a new paper is either started by some stock speculator or its financial columns are sold outright. Even the most of the personal organs of prominent French politi
The most widely circulated daily paper in Paris, and indeed in the world, is the "Petit Journal," which prints daily more than half a million copies. The "Petit Journal" is a tiny little four-page paper, sold for a cent. It contains a daily chronique, a few items of news, a little correspondence, a little theatrical gossip, nearly a page of advertisements, and installments of two serial stories. To these
"Le Charivari"- which was the model of "Punch," as the sub-title of that journal attests to the present day was founded more than half a century ago by Charles Philipon, the inventor of the historic likeness of Louis Philippe to a pear. The comic journalist is like unto the Irish-American immigrant who when questioned as to his politics asked anxiously, "Have ye a government ? - Thin I'm ag'in' it!" "Le Charivari was against the government of Louis Philippe, so was it against the Republic of 1848, and so would it have been against the Second Empire, if the Imperial censors had not held it bound and muzzled. Forced to turn from the manly satire of politics to the more effeminate satire of fashion and life, “Le Charivari" lost much of its influence and power. The boisterous fun of Cham and the delicate indelicacies of M. Grévin but ill made up for the loss of the roughand-ready satires of Daumier, often of a vigorous and vitriolic brutality unmatched in the history of caricature. Only too frequently both the text and the illustrations of "Le Charivari" and of its fellow comic papers "Le Journal Amusant" and "Le Petit Journal Pour Rire" bear witness to the French worship of the strange goddess. Only too frequently are they absolutely unfit for publication. M. Taine, in his "Notes on England,"
was specially struck by the total unlikeness of the English comic paper to the French in the subjects it treated and in the decency and cleanliness of the treatment. The English comic paper, like the English novel, is written to be read by the English young lady, while the French comic paper, like the French novel, is more often than not intended only for men, or for women who are willing to look at life as a coarse-grained man views it. Of course it is easy to say that just as the French novel is more artistic than the English,- I do not include the American novel with the English here, so the French comic paper is comic while the English not unfrequently is comic only in intent; but this is in reality only an aggravation of the offense. There is no sin more heinous than letting the devil have all the fun. It is to be said for "Le Charivari” that it has never speculated in pornography, and that its lapses from what we of the English stock are wont to consider as good morals, if not good taste, are accidental rather than premeditated. It remains to be noted that “Le Charivari" is a four-page daily, and for many years it was the only illustrated daily paper in the world. Its illustration or illustrations fill the most of the third page: formerly they were lithographic, but they are now produced by one of the many mechanical processes.
"It is better to do the most trifling thing in the world than to consider a half hour a trifle."
BY GEORGE W. CABLE,
Author of "Old Creole Days," "The Grandissimes," "Grande Pointe," etc.
FATHER AND SON.
UCH strange things storms do, here purifying the air, yonder treading down rich harvests, now replenishing thestreams, and now strewing shores with wrecks; here a blessing; there a calamity. See what this one had done for Marguerite! Well, what? She could not lament; she dared not rejoice. Oh! if she were Claude and Claude were she, how quickly
She wondered how many miles a day she could learn to walk if she should start out into the world on foot to find somebody, as she had heard that Bonaventure had once done to find her mother's lover. There are no Bonaventures now, she thinks, in these decayed times.
"Mamma," her speech was French,"why do we never see Bonaventure? How far is it to Grande Pointe ?"
"Ah! my child, a hundred miles; more."
"And to my uncle Rosamond's,-Rosamond Robichaux, on Bayou Terrebonne ?" "Fully as far, and almost the same journey."
There was but one thing to be done - crush Claude out of her heart.
The storm had left no wounds on Grande Pointe. Every roof was safe, even the old tobacco-shed where Bonaventure had kept school before the school-house was built. The sheltering curtains of deep forest had broken the onset of the wind, and the little cotton, corn, and tobacco fields, already harvested, were merely made a little more tattered and brown. The November air was pure, sunny, and mild, and trilled every now and then with the note of some lingering bird. A green and bosky confusion still hid house from house and masked from itself the all but motionless human life of the sleepy woods village. Only an adventitious china-tree here and there had been stripped of its golden foliage and kept only its ripened berries with the redbirds darting and fluttering around them like so many
hiccoughing Comanches about a dram-seller's tent. And here, if one must tell a thing so painful, our old friend the mocking-bird, neglecting his faithful wife and letting his home go to decay, kept dropping in, all hours of the day, tasting the berries' rank pulp, stimulating, stimulating, drowning care, you know,"Lost so many children, and the rest gone off in ungrateful forgetfulness of their old hardworking father; yes"; and ready to sing or fight, just as any other creature happened not to wish; and going home in the evening scolding and swaggering and getting to bed barely able to hang on to the roost. It would have been bad enough, even for a man; but for a bird-and a mocking-bird!
But the storm wrought a great change in one small house not in Grande Pointe, yet of it. Until the storm, ever since the day St. Pierre had returned from the little railway station where Claude had taken the cars, he had seemed as patiently resigned to the new loneliness of Bayou des Acadiens as his thatched hut, which day by day sat so silent between the edges of the dark forest and the darker stream, looking out beyond the farther bank, and far over the green waste of rushes with its swarm of blackbirds sweeping capriciously now this way and now that, and the phantom cloud-shadows passing slowly across from one far line of cypress wood to another. But since that night when the hut's solitary occupant could not sleep for the winds and for thought of Claude, there was a great difference inside. And this did not diminish; it grew. It is hard for a man to be both father and mother, and at the same time be childless. The bonds of this condition began slowly to tighten around St. Pierre's heart and then to cut into it. And so, the same day on which Claude in Vermillionville left the Beausoleils' tavern, the cabin on Bayou des Acadiens, ever in his mind's eye, was empty, and in Grande Pointe his father stood on the one low step at the closed door of Bonaventure's little frame school-house.
He had been there a full minute and had not knocked. Every movement, to-day, came only after an inward struggle. Many associations crowded his mind on this doorstep. Six years before, almost on this spot, a mere brier patch then, he and Maximian Roussel had * Copyright, 1887, by George W. Cable. All rights reserved.