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ascending over a moss-grown thatch, there a trim garden with ancestral lawns and well-loved rookery, and not far off God's acre and the church that tops the neighbouring hill. As Dyer says,
'The pleasant seat, the ruined tower,
But more than all conspicuous in the scenery of England are those astonishing hives of men, the great commercial cities, which seem to have no limit of growth. No Englishman will lightly esteem that view of the Thames in its sylvan surroundings which Scott with generous enthusiasm has described as 'an unrivalled landscape.' Easy to spoil, not easy to surpass in its historic loveliness, it yet remains. But, hard by, the river threads another scene, not so endearing, less winning soft, less amiably mild, still of far greater mark. One standing, not on Richmond Hill, but on 'bleak Hampstead's swarthy moor,' and gazing southward, may through the misty air descry below him signs of an encampment more vast than the world has ever before or elsewhere seen. It is not so much a capital of one of the nations as a congress of them all. Into it are poured with more than oriental profusion corn and wine and milk and honey, meat and fruit, spices and gold and jewels, ivory and apes and peacocks, and in short whatsoever is rare or singular or costly or needed; thither, to admire and be admired, come the haughty rulers of mankind, and as occasion offers all the men, the women, that are most representative of mental dominion, statesmen, authors, artists, masters of finance, men of science, missionaries and preachers; into the same great vortex are drawn for their various reasons those who have noble purposes to accomplish, and those who are bent on sneaking vice or reckless mischief; thither come the richest, to the great mart of spending, and thither the poorest for the chance of falling crumbs; the children of hope are there along with the forlorn and the desperate. Containing and covering this astonishing assemblage of things and thinkers are the miles of streets and squares and the boundless acreage of roofing which we call London. This more than all else in the scenery of England gives food for thought; this, for awe and wonder, not for boasting, is unique.
Art. VI.—1. Luke Delmege. By the Rev. P. A. Sheehan. London: Longmans, 1902.
2. Noblesse Americaine. Par Pierre De Coulevain. 5mc Edition. Paris: Ollendorff, 1902.
3. Eve Triumphant. By Pierre De Coulevain. Translated by Alys Hallard. London: Hutchinson, 1902.
T^here is nothing in the world so magnificent as the Anglo-Saxon race. There never has been anything so magnificent. It has shown an unparalleled power of multiplying and extending itself, its dominion is the greatest recorded in history, and it has the entire future in reversion. Its justice is proverbial; it combines spotless integrity with perfect adaptation to the requirements of trade; it uses an unprecedented quantity of soap and water. Its religion is moderate belief, not extravagant superstition; its civilisation is the only civilisation worth speaking of; it represents the triumph of practice over theory, of activity over leisure, of manufacture over art, of efficiency over culture. It has made more machines and more money than ever were made before. And if the whole world becomes Anglo-Saxon, so much the better for the world.
All the propositions here stated have become for us axiomatic by the effect of steady iteration. It is, however, no matter for surprise that certain voices of dissent should be heard among the less privileged nationalities, and, though it is unnecessary to discuss the more explicit utterances of this dissentience, one may find a certain profit in observing how the Anglo-Saxon ideal, as presented in fictitious cases, strikes those to whom it is congenitally alien. And here it is necessary to say that the fullest embodiment of that ideal is to be found in the United States. America has more population, more money, more enterprise, less tradition, more efficiency, less culture than the older branch of the race. Such, at least, would be the unhesitating verdict of all Americans, and a very considerable section of English people would endorse their views. We shall begin, therefore, by considering two novels by M. Pierre de Coulevain, who contrasts with great ability the manner of life and thought habitual to Americans with the life and thought of the admittedly decadent Latin races. It is to be understood, of course, that this decadence, however universally recognised by us Anglo-Saxons, is less perfectly clear, for example, to Frenchmen, and M. de Coulevain cannot be taken as quite convinced of it. The contrast, as he sets it forth, does not appear to him wholly to the advantage of America.
He finds the juxtaposition which is necessary for his ends in studies of international marriages. Each of his two stories is extremely slight in plot, or perhaps one should say consists rather in the developement of psychological processes than of external happenings. 'Noblesse Americaine,' the earlier and better of the two novels, introduces us to a family of Americans—Mrs. Villars, Miss Annie Villars, and Miss Clara May, cousin of Miss Villars—who come to Paris, where a relation is married to the Marquis de K6radieu. Miss Villars has just attained her majority, and is the heiress of some two millions—a sum which, stated in francs, sounds overwhelming, and is considerable in any currency. Moreover, she is wellborn, well bred, pretty, intelligent; she represents in position and personal endowment the very best that America can produce. She is free, but it has always been tolerably well understood that she is going to marry a Mr. Frank Barnett, who does his best to dissuade her from going, and pictures Europe as full of coronets, each of which presents itself to him as a kind of gilded game-trap ready to close on a great heiress. Miss Villars, however, is very sure of herself; she will go, and she will come back as she went. And since, like all American women, she has ' le culte de la volonte/ the will which she worships and confides in makes argument futile.
On the other hand, in Paris there is the Marquis d'Anguilhon, representative of one of the greatest French houses, and physically as well as morally a real representative of it. His own expenses, following on those of his progenitors, have left him reduced to a pittance of some two hundred a year. A wealthy marriage is easily open to him, but he has decided on a very different line of conduct, and is in treaty for a post on an expedition to the left bank of the Niger. His man of affairs, whom he consults about finding the money needful for a complete settlement with creditors before departure, suggests an alternative to African exploration. This alternative is, of course, Miss Villars. The intermediary proposed is the Duchesse de Blanzac, whom Jacques d'Anguilhon had adored in his boyhood. After some debate, d'Anguilhon consents to see the Duchesse on the matter. This lady, for the present purpose, may be held to represent the ideal Frenchwoman. Married young to a grand seigneur, whom she loved in spite of the difference in their age, she has been left a widow young, and has become one of the admitted leaders in the most privileged circles of the Faubourg St. Germain. As a friend of the Marquise de Keradieu, she has secured for the Villars household an entry to the most jealously guarded doors; but her influence has only been given unreservedly as a tribute to the personal qualities of Annie Villars herself. She has taken a fancy to the frank young American, and in liking her has studied her, and in studying her has liked her. Yet her first movement when Jacques d'Anguilhon makes his demand is one of repugnance—' Oh, pas cela! And when he presses for her reason, she answers that between him and Miss Villars there lacks the affinity needed for happiness in marriage, 'Vous en dela, elle en deca.' And, in explanation of her meaning, she draws a distinction which is, at least for M. de Coulevain, fundamental between the races. Dreams overstep the limit of life, heroism the limit of courage, fanaticism the limit of religion, unnatural desire the limit of wickedness. Now, the American woman, broadly speaking, never oversteps the limit of things.
'They fall short of our natural range, which borders on the ideal; we already overshoot it. If they could hear me they would protest vehemently that they were more cultivated than we. So they may be—so they are. And yet an ignorant slip of a girl, brought up behind the walls of a convent, will have flights and aspirations beyond the power of their lady-graduates: her soul will attain to heights, plunge to depths, that all their science will never help them to. There is Mme. de Keradieu, for example, living for years now in France, who knows more, and is more intelligent, than half my acquaintances; and yet there is a mass of subjects on which I could not talk to her. Directly one touches the abstract, she cannot follow. And that has a singular effect in limiting the field of intercourse.'
That is, in a rough way, M. de Coulevain's hypothesis, the underlying principle which he seeks to establish. Let a Frenchman of the best type marry an American of the best type, and he will be liable to ask for more than she can give him. She will not be able to follow him into fields of thought and emotion where he moves as a denizen. Nevertheless, Mme. de Blanzac, having laid down her views, consents to act against them. She does not like to disoblige a friend; more seriously, she is influenced by the alternation of Africa. Jacques is the last of the D'Anguilhons, and he is the only son of his mother. And so when the marriage is made, as ultimately it is made, the Duchess has made it. But by that time not only has Annie fallen in love with Jacques, but Jacques has fallen in love with Annie.
What, then, are the reasons which prevail over the determination not to succumb, originally adopted by Miss Villars —good Protestant as well as good American? First, no doubt, the attraction of a great name and position, and of Jacques himself, with his golden-brown eyes and strange resemblance to the handsome D'Anguilhon ancestor, whose portrait by Vandyck had fascinated Annie before she met the descendant. But, further, there are other reasons, which depend upon a relation between the sexes strange to her American ideas. An introductory chapter, which is neither more nor less than an essay on the American woman, is cast mainly in the form of a dialogue between Annie and Mr. Frank Barnett, her undeclared suitor. In America, says M. de Coulevain, the work of man is more remarkable than man himself. And a notable production of the American man (though M. de Coulevain does not put it quite like this) is the American woman. She is the creation of a chivalrous race, which has devoted its entire energies to money-making; she is the spending partner. The typical American woman is not Annie Villars, in whom long intimacy with her nurse, a Catholic Irish peasant, has sown a seed of mysticism, but Clara May, her cousin, a young person with dazzling complexion, robust physical equipment, and no sexual predispositions (pas de temperament); a clear head, no sentiment, plenty of fixed ideas, and among them the especial convictions that America is the finest country in the world, that one is put on earth to enjoy oneself, and that man was created to provide woman with food, dress, and attendance. She is avid of experience, wants to see and know everything; but the experiences which she desires must be external or visual. She has not the desire of her European sisters to experience passion; it is a bondage unworthy of a free woman in a free country. As for the formulae in the marriage service, with their mention of obedience and the rest, she either treats them as quaint survivals or else insists that they shall be omitted from the ceremony. Such is the type which M. de Coulevain takes to be most representative of American womanhood—perhaps wrongly, perhaps basing his observation only on the American in Paris. However, there is at least an element of truth in the picture, and Annie Villars, at all events, is presumed to have been brought up in a society where woman is not only man's equal, but a good deal more. All of this is fully realised by M. d'Anguilhon, and still more by his confederate and monitress, the Duchesse de Blanzac. And consequently