A glance at the advertisements on the walls would lead at once to the same conclusions. I had seen Paris the last time at the height of the political fever. Political pamphlets, political papers were advertised on every wall, seriously encroaching on the domain of the old theatrical "posters." These have always hold their ground, but by the side of them there is an enormous development of speculative advertisements. I do not mean by this the advertisements of pushing tailors and haberdashers, as with us, though these abound also, but railway - traffic advertisements, and advertisements of sales of lands, of timber, of goods of all sorts. Take any sweep of wall allowed for advertising purposes, and you may see that these two things, pleasure and speculation, occupy nearly the whole of it. The intellectual element is nowhere, except in the shape of a few advertisements of classes for adult instruction, though these are far from being as numerous as they were twelve years ago ; the political element is equally nowhere, except in the shape of oficial ordinances, decrees, or regulations, on matters of public concernment. On this point, indeed, we should do well to take a lesson from the French. In Paris, the law is, to a great extent, really published ; with us its supposed publication is a solemn farce. The suppression of politics is equally visible in the small news-shops, which in former days would have swarmed with the cheaper democratic papers. Now, you may see there the Figaro, the Monde Ilustré ; perhaps in the priestly quarters, the Ami de la Religion,-i.e. scandalous gossip, wood cuts, and a seasoning of bigotry. For such politics as they can get, the masses evidently do not care. And, indeed, the incredible vacuity of the French newspaper never strikes one, until for a time one forgoes wholly the English one for it. At a London club or coffeehouse, if we chance to take up the Débats or the Presse, supplementing it unconsciously to ourselves with what we have read in a broad English sheet, we do not feel this emptiness, and may

or anecdote. But when there is nothing else at hand, the void becomes apparent. We see, as it were, the leaden hand of power endeavouring to crush out the brains of France; the wit and dexterity of the writer becomes almost painful, one could almost fancy a child darting to and fro under a falling steam hammer. The worthless little halfpenny papers, I may say at once, are spoken of by teachers as one of the curses of the day for children, though there is one illustrated one treating of popular science, of which I forget the name, which is said to be really good.

And yet I was in Paris, when, as my friends told me, people are beginning to talk politics again ; when certain criticisms on government measures have been allowed to pass unnoticed; when the police is less prying and troublesome. Does the ruler of France think, indeed, that he has by this time shaped the nation to his will ? One might be tempted to think so, to see the military air which has been impressed upon almost everything. Of the multiplication of barracks I have already spoken; that of soldiers is still more striking. I declare that in the Champs Élysées of a Sunday afternoon, almost every tenth man I met was a soldier. It made one's heart turn actually sick to think of the many honest men and women who must work themselves to death in order to keep all these armed men in idleness, until such time as they shall be let loose on France or on the world. Nor can I help saying that the multiplication of outlandish uniforms-Zouaves, spahis, and the like—is of itself an ominous feature. Why are Frenchmen among Frenchmen to be transmogrified into mock Mussulmen, unless it be to estrange them the more from each other? Then came the ridiculous side of the thing. Official or non-official, almost every educational establishment has now adopted a uniform. Not only is this true of the colleges, those even which consist only of day scholars (it was of old the case as to those that take boarders), but of the private schools, so that, down to the age sham soldier. Never was I more impressed with the feeling that, to be really honoured and loved, our volunteers' uniforms should be as simple, as nearly akin to civilian dress, or at least to well-known military costume, as possible,—that, to be useful and fruitful, our cadet corps should remain purely voluntary bodies,—than in wandering through the streets of Paris.

The artificiality implied in the imposed use of the uniform is apparent, indeed, everywhere in Paris among the children. It has always been the fault of French children that they were too much like little men and women. This is far more apparent now than ever. One quite sickens to see the tiny toddles that are made to flaunt in crinolines, or to strut solemnly in jackets and trousers. No freedom of movement is possible; the wee creatures think only of their clothes and of themselves ; play feebly and affectedly, cry easily, and comfort themselves in all ways as nearly as possible like the artificial used-up men and women that they are likely to grow up into. Little as was the taste of French boys at all times for physical exercise, I am told it has almost wholly died out. The school master thinks himself dispensed from all further care on the subject if he has set up on his premises the eternal, intolerable gymnastique. Even where there is space for more, nothing is done. The very game of ball, the last remnant of a healthy spontaneous exercise in the French schools, has nearly disappeared. The boys walk about and talk, generally of worse things than politics.

And I could not but think that the effects of this unhealthy education were visible in the male population. The generation which has grown into manhood since the empire, of, say from eighteen to twenty-eight, seemed to me singularly undersized. I am barely a middle-sized man in England; yet of half a dozen waiters in the hotel where I put up at first, there was only one over whose head I could not look. I was told however by one friend,—though

another—that the standard of height for the conscription, after having reached its minimum, was slightly rising again. I had not time to verify either statement. But except the picked corps of the army, a portion of the building operatives and labourers, and a sprinkling of really well-grown, handsome young men, of a type formerly very rare in France-evidently the sons of those rich malcontents of the Orleanist and Legitimist parties who have turned their backs in dudgeon upon Paris, and betaken themselves to a country life—I really saw no tall wellmade men in Paris.

Very different was it with the horses. Here the improvement is unquestionable. Amidst many screws, and certain queer suspicious-looking creatures, with wonderful action of the forelegs, and the oddest falling off of the hind-quarters, there were many really beautiful animals, both under saddle and in harness. The omnibuses are capitally horsed, as well as most of the builders' carts-only the cab-horses have grown for the most part wretchedly meagre with too much work. Yet they do what they have to do very slowly, and strangely contrast in this respect with the speed of the omnibuses. I forgot to try and solve the cause of the difference. Certain it is that the stout little Percheron cab-horse of Louis-Philippe's time has disappeared, or is so worn out as to be unrecognizable.

Wide streets, less habitable houses, under-sized men, an improved breed of horses, such seemed to me among the more obvious outward fruits of the French empire in Paris. What is there below! Anything else than what the ruler has sought to establish! From what I have heard from men unknown to each other, living in quite different parts of Paris, different in station, religion, politics, occupations, I feel perfectly satisfied that the Third Napoleon has not succeeded in reconciling one single class of the population of his vast capital,- the throbbing heart of Continental Europe,—to his rule. A feeling

-a feeling of disgust with the present, which even the deepest Christian feeling could not overcome-were what I found everywhere. It is well known that the two aristocracies of birth and of wealth, —the Legitimist and the Orleanist stand yet haughtily aloof. As to the working classes,—the very marrow as well as sinew of the French nation,so far from their having become imperialized, it is the very reverse process which is taking place. The great increase among them of republican views was attested to me by several men whose authority on the point was decisive for me. “Before 1848," said one to me who had been the representative for a great town of France, “we were but • 2,500 republicans in ; now the “ whole youth of the working classes « there are republican." Calmly and steadily, and with full faith in ultimate victory—not conspiring, but on the watch for every opportunity-these men await what they deem the inevitable future. They say openly that the republic of 1848 perished for want of republicans ; that it shall not be so in future. They entertain no delusions as to the Bonapartist fetishism which prevails among the French peasantry. But they believe, and I think justly, that the life and thought of the nation are in its towns, and that, where these lead, if they show themselves really capable of leading, the peasantry must follow.

And let me say at once, that among these men I found no jealousy, no bit terness towards England. It was the same with all, whether those who for a time had inhabited our country, or those who had been compelled to no exile from their homes ; all were alike frank and friendly towards us, as I had always known them. It was different as I had found it twenty years ago-with the more educated, the professional classes—the classes that read the papers, and do not perhaps wholly disbelieve them. With these, the occasional fierce outbursts of the Times, or some other of our newspapers, careless to distinguish between the French people and its

in the way of sarcasm or invective are always carefully reproduced by the imperialist press, have rankled and do rankle deeply.

I do not mean to dwell here upon questions of foreign politics ; but I will say that upon two points there appeared to be a thorough conviction in the minds of all,—the first, that the French occuration of Rome would cease ere long, the other, that these visits of the Kings of Prussia and Holland to the Emperor evidently portended some new rectification of the French frontier, some new revendication of territory (both words are studiously used in an article on the subject in the Presse) to the north-east. On the first point I was informed by a devout Roman Catholic of the liberal school, anxious to see an end put to the scandal of the Romish government, and speaking at first-hand from a bishop, that the Pope's disease (diabetes) is expected to carry him off in six months—the more ominous symptoms, such as the swelling of the legs, having decidedly increased of late—and that this is the opportunity which is expected to be taken by the Emperor for withdrawing his troops. I am bound to say, indeed, that the mere handing over of Rome to Italy for a capital is not the consummation which all look for. Some, who know Italy and the Roman people, cling rather to the idea of a neutral Rome, not Italian, but universalma little municipal republic, with a religious centre within it. They doubt whether Italy is yet in a condition to have a permanent capital, but rather incline to think that, when it has become so, Florence will be found to offer the best centre of political influence.

On the other point, I received information which left me no reason to doubt of what is plotting, and what, indeed, I have expected from the first. A vigorous French propagandism is being carried on both in Belgium and Rhenislı Prussia. In Belgium, although the. more intelligent classes, who know what freedom is worth, are strongly opposed to absorption, even the most vigorous

pelled to admit that it would not be diffi- to know who was to be let pass, and cult to obtain, under given circumstances, who to be further questioned. As to a vote by universal suffrage for annexa- the octroi, the sole remaining use which tion. On the one side, the manufacturers, I see in it is that of training the people whose superior skill already enables them to patience before the doors of the salle to introduce their goods into France in are opened. Those who imagine the the teeth of high duties, look forward to French to be an impatient race have the throwing open of the whole French only to watch with what exemplary market to them without tax or toll. patience they bear this process, even On the other side, the workman, who when arriving by a late night train. knows that, whilst he earns two francs But, if formalism be expiring, arbia day by his labour in his own country, trary power-the “régime de l'arbiby crossing the French frontier he may traire," as the French well express it . get three francs and his food, is easily is everywhere. As I was at Versailles, persuaded that the difference of earnings within an octroi-man's hut, in which a is that between royalty and imperialism. friend had taken shelter from a storm, The only question as to Belgium is sup- there hung placarded an "arrêté" by posed to be, Will England let France the mayor, that, inasmuch as various hold the Scheldt?. No such difficulty, thefts had taken place, which were supu indeed, occurs as to Prussia, which is posed to have been committed by wanexpected to play the part of a German dering gipsies, who professed to sell Sardinia, with the Rhenish provinces brushes and other goods, such persons for a Savoy. Nearer than all, however, were not to be admitted within the and plainly pointed to by the French town. Technically speaking, the mayor, a journals, is considered to be the absorp- who has power to take temporary tion of Luxemburg, Holland's outlying measures for public security, probably Germanic province. This, indeed, seems did not exceed his legal authority. But such a trifle that it is hardly ever dis- imagine a whole class of traders stopped cussed. But, in whatever quarter it from entering a town, not because they may take place, some acquisition of obstruct circulation, or otherwise hinder territory is looked forward to as a others, but because some of their number? counterpoise to the expected evacuation' are suspected of dishonesty. Or take; of Rome, lest the star of imperial prestige again, the following case, which dates should wax pale. Of faith in any official only a few months back, from the heart denials on any such subject, I found no of Paris. A commercial firm, of retrace or thought anywhere.

publican principles, wishing to test the Of internal politics I shall say little reality of the much-vaunted advance in either. The act of travelling in itself liberalism of the imperial government, impressed one with the feeling that the drew an old statuette of the republic age was, indeed, one of expiring formal- out of a corner, and placed it on a high ism. Passports, octroi, seem to subsist shelf in their counting-house. Not a for the sole purpose of maintaining em- fortnight elapsed before they were ployés; they have evidently no faith in honoured with a visit from the comthemselves. The simple declaration of missary of police of the quarter. “You nationality, on which an Englishman is “have seditious emblems here, which admitted, must lead visibly to a sup- “ must be put away," began the official, pression of passports for all. I had an who evidently did not even know where amusing conversation on the subject the corpus delicti might be, and vainly with a fellow passenger, a gendarme at a looked for it for some time, when they seaport, who admitted that many per- maliciously asked him to point it out, sons passed before him as English, as to till at last, raising his eyes, he suddenly whose nationality he was quite uncertain, espied it. his conclusion being that it required I have given these two cases, trifles

small official tyranny which is exercised overywhere. The weight of the leaden hand, it may be said, is felt always and by all. It comes down now seldom or never clumsily in acts of open violence and Cayenne deportations. Experience has proved that government has a far easier way of getting rid of a man of business. Just arrest him, keep him three or six months in prison, then bring him to trial, and let the public prosecutor benevolently conclude for his acquittal. He goes away innocent and ruined. Such is the rule under which every worker in France, high or low, rich or poor, has to do his daily task. The tendency, in short, seems to be, to substitute for the despotism of forms a despotism of will — for a troublesome civil bureaucracy, the arbitrariness of military rule. Free trade is inaugurated ; but a huge and for midable navy is built up. Passports are suppressed, but soldiers and gendarmes are everywhere; the Paris sergens de ville, I believe, are 10,000. And, though these, by their unvarying civility, offer, indeed, a most pleasing contrast to their predecessors, and have evidently won the confidence of the people, still they bear the sword, and, probably, are not meant, if occasion should require, to bear it in vain. Everywhere is the impress of a strong, clear will, careless of form and detail, but guided in all its operations by, I repeat it, a profound

distrust, an unappeasable dread of the people over which it has to rule.

Of some of the more hopeful elements which France seems to offer for the future, I mean to speak in another paper. Let me, however, say at once, in justice to the French people, on a point on which I have heard much of late years, that, whilst I have heard recently frequent complaints of French rudeness, from the moment of starting, to the moment of return, I, for one, met with nothing but the civility and kindliness of old days. It is true, that I travelled second-class (very respectable people in France now travel third), and frequented no aristocratic lounges. I suspect that the rudeness of which our fellow-countrymen complain when travelling in France is mostly confined to the parvenus of the imperial régime and their lacqueys. Still, I have no doubt that worse than rudeness may easily be met by those who penetrate into the less frequented rural districts. “ I assure you,” said a French working man to me, “that I know many a place where the peasant looks upon an Englishman as he would upon a wild beast, and would treat him, if he dared, as if he were such.” “And the same feeling exists towards the Prussians in the north-east," observed another. Such is the temper of those agricultural classes which are the source and mainstay of imperial power.




THERE is nothing so conservative as a of many of its most active opponents, vested interest. This is well seen in the greatest and most damning fault is the excitement and opposition called a ruthless trampling under foot of vested forth by the revised Education Code, interests. Now, there are sometimes which issued from the penetralia of the cases where the claims and rights of the Council Office, in the month of August. individual must be offered up as a sacriThat code has some faults, and, at least, fice on the altar of public weal; but,

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