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should represent the irrespon- egoistical.
Whenever evil sible, witty, well-fed Parisian. threatened the old world or It is the ambition of the the new, France was perfectly
, modern editor to assure the certain that England had Parisian that the Boulevards hand in it,-England, whose are not the natural boundaries unchanging destiny it was to of the earth. Villemessant was kill joy and trouble peace. at once more just and more Secure in this implacable error, logical than his successors. But the French have assailed us for every day the spirit of the many years past without fear cosmopolitan is encroaching or hesitation, so that for them upon the nations, uniformity the task of rapprochement was appears a sacred virtue, and far more difficult than for us. France and England, the same But to know all is to recognise
, in method, the same in policy, that there is nothing to pardon, appear to be divided only by and England no longer appears fifty minutes of sea - sickness to the eyes that look out from and the accident of language. Calais a savage and ill-condi
For since Brest and Ports- tioned country. The gruesome mouth, France and England monster, who never took a giant are the best of friends, and you pipe from the corner of his will hear scarce a dissenti- mouth save to murmur“ Times ent voice on either side the is money,” has faded from the Channel To us the change mind of France, and the image of temper is neither abrupt nor is not likely to be recaptured. unexpected. We have always And if nothing comes of our new cherished an admiration for entente but an end to the misunFrance, even when we seemed derstandings of many years, most bitterly opposed to her will not have been made in vain. policy. She has taught us
The wisdom of the King, to many a well-remembered lesson whose courage and tact our in the arts of life and letters. new friendship with France is We have read her books and mainly due, and who proved wondered at her pictures in the two years ago in Paris that very hour of hostility. Some- the most stubborn feud might times, indeed, Englishmen have yield to a gracious amiability, forgotten in their love of has already been acclaimed, and France the loyalty which they we can do no more than chime owed to their own country, with the chorus. Of the heroic and such men as Fox and enthusiasm which came from Hazlitt carried a zeal for their Brest to Portsmouth, and neighbours to the point of caught up French and English treachery. But to France the alike, no fresh word may be friendship is new and strange. uttered. We can but welcome Though she has not disdained an alliance which may help to to study our literature, she has guarantee the peace of Europe.
, never loved our country; and But in the moment of triumph five short years ago England it is as well not to exaggerate still represented for France our achievement, and to ask in whatever was grasping and all sincerity what does the new
entente mean to England and had her wisdom got the better to France. From the point of of her feelings, she might have view of amenity, its value can discovered that Paul Jones hardly be over-estimated. It was no better than a buccaneer, is far more agreeable to live who would have been far more on good terms than on evil honest had he flown the black with our nearest neighbour. flag, and plundered whatever At last France and England craft he met. Few men have are well enough acquainted to ever been so thickly cloaked in take their pleasures in common, fancy dress. His name and to profit by a commercial not Jones; he was not interchange. The Rue de la American; he was a fearless Paix, no doubt, rivals Bond marauder, not a leader of men ; Street in satisfaction, and there and he founded nothing of is no one, either French or Eng- greater consequence than his lish, who will not cross the own fortune. His exploits off Channel with a livelier sym- the coast of Scotland were the pathy and a more comfortable exploits of a burglar, and they mind than heretofore. But we failed; he cared so little for need not incur the disappoint- the cause he espoused that he ment, which will be inevitable, if was as ready to fight for we attach too great an import- Robespierre as he had been to ance to what is, after all, noth- accept the favour of Louis XVI. ing else than a spontaneous ex- But France, carried away by pression of private friendship. her feeling, saw a hero in the The politics of feeling are ruffian, and once
more illusseldom permanent, and often trated the danger of mixing up misleading. A sudden out- sentiment with public affairs. burst of sentiment may distort In this instance no harm was the truth, or wrap the common- done. It is not of the smallest est object in an atmosphere of consequence where the ashes of romance. A few days before Paul Jones are laid, or what French and English met at opinion is held concerning his Brest, the whole of France was exploits. Nevertheless, the bending her knee before the enthusiasm which his vague shrine of Paul Jones, whose memory evoked is characterashes have been sent back to istic, and we must not look America. She did not ask who with too grave an eye upon Paul Jones was, or what he an attachment in which the achieved. She was content to heart is more deeply engaged accept the value which the than the head. The internewspapers put upon him, and change of vows, the swapping to believe for the moment that of hats, the emptying of beerhe was a valiant hero, the pots, the chanting of national saviour of his country, and the anthems, all take their part in founder of the American navy. the drama of friendship. But So she permitted his bones to when it comes to the pinch, comenter the Invalides, and she munity of interest is of greater paid what is left of him the account than them all, and if highest honour she could. And France and England play a
strong hand together in the of war and peace are arranged. Conference which will presently He made of the occasion what discuss the affairs of Morocco, he would; and if he heard it will do more to strengthen cheers where there were our alliance than the friendly cheers, if he overcharged his meetings of many squadrons. account with a too ready en
There was, however, one thusiasm, he did but act after element in the Portsmouth his kind, and, fortunately, he fêtes which must not be for- was powerless to do harm. gotten. They have introduced a new character into English At the other Portsmouth, in diplomacy. The man in the New Hampshire, the journalist's street has been permitted to opportunity was greater and do his best to ffect the fate more hazardous.
In England of nations, and thus democracy we knew what would be the has advanced another step in result of the meeting before her triumphal progress. Time Admiral Caillard set sail. The was when diplomacy was the representatives of Japan and most silent of the arts. Repre- Russia, on the other hand, sentatives of rival States met met in America to perform a in secret, and in secret dis- delicate and uncertain task. cussed the grave affairs of Their decision, had they arrived which none but they and their at one, would have affected the masters had cognisance. Now lives and fortunes of many and again a too pushing jour- thousands, and one might have nalist waylaid a document, as thought that dignity and sindid Blowitz at Berlin; but cerity should have been the breaches of confidence were essence of their proceedings. rare, and the world knew Unfortunately, the dignity and nothing of the deliberations sincerity have been all on one until their result was officially side. The demeanour of the Japannounced. This method of anese has been beyond praise. procedure was at once digni- They have shown in the Counfied and practical, and we can- cil the same energy, the same not but regret that the people reticence, which they have is attempting to usurp the hitherto displayed in the functions of diplomacy. But field. They have gravely atso long as the French Squadron tended to the serious question was in English waters, the of peace, which brought them Press and the sailors took to Portsmouth, without atthe matter in hand. At rare tempting to win over to their intervals, it is true, the dis- side the gentlemen of the Press. cussion was carried to a higher And let it not be supposed that level; but statesmen were easily the distinguished representaeclipsed by the crowd, and the tives of Russia and Japan are journalists had their own way. allowed to meet unnoticed. Portsmouth, indeed, was the When they arrived at Portsparadise of the special corre- mouth they found 120 special spondent, for whose benefit it correspondents waiting
waiting for seems that all the
pageants them. Baron Komura was by
abashed at this the street, of the hard-hearted galaxy of talent. He treated Grand Dukes. But M. Witte the correspondents with the had made his own task doubly same indifference wherewith difficult. What could he do their colleagues have been to sustain his reputation ? To treated in Manchuria. He sit in his shirt-sleeves was a told them nothing, and he happy thought. Still happier asked nothing of their favour. was it to visit the East Side M. Witte took another course. without detectives.
To give He seemed to regard the Con- away the secrets of a confidenference in the spirit of farce. tial discussion to the Press Peace with Japan appeared to might have made the fortune be not so much his object as of a less skilful diplomatist. a friendly understanding with But the guard had already been America. No sooner had this kissed, and M. Witte must ever representative of a stiff-necked rest upon his laurels. bureaucracy, which refuses to In all these antics Baron recognise the mere existence of Komura could take no part, the people, set foot on American and he still more desperately soil, than he became the wildest injured his chances of success democrat of them all. With a by insisting that the discusgesture, which has no doubt sions which take place between endeared him for ever to Mr himself and M. Witte should Chesterton, he kissed a railway be private and unreported. guard soon after his arrival. For, if we may believe the 120 It was an intrepid achievement, special correspondents, “sucand within an hour the news
is to be found not in a of it had travelled over a lasting peace, but in the apthousand wires to the utter- proval of the Press. It is most parts of the earth. We clear that Russia never entercan find only one objection to tained any doubt as to her it-its brilliance made an anti- mission.
all costs she climax inevitable. He kissed a would win the favour of railway guard! These burning America, even if she words should be graven on the compelled to violate her oath tomb of M. Witte, when-at a of secrecy by the way; and the far distant date, we trust—the dignity of Japan gave to M. common doom overtakes him. Witte and his colleagues an He, the aristocratic servant of obvious advantage. The Japthe Czar, the contemner of anese, says an eminent news. democracy, the stern enemy of paper, “have for the moment the people, kissed a railway checked, or diverted, or diminguard! To say that it won ished that full current of him an instant popularity is American sympathy which till to understate the truth. In last week flowed steadily on in a minute the evil influence of one free channel all the way Count Cassini was forgotten. to Japan herself.
There are In that one kiss the memory of here about 120 Press representaRussia's sufferings faded away, tives, of whom perhaps 100 are of the people mown down in for American journals. With
scarce an exception they were, Times'' heavy admonition, when they came, pro-Japanese. Japan is in the right of it. To-day, with scarce an excep- Baron Komura did not go to tion, they have come under Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Russian influences—not wholly, merely to hear the applause of course, but to a certain ex- of 120 Press representatives. tent. Nine-tenths of the news Even if the 120 insult him they have been able to send with one voice, it cannot injure has come from Russian sources. his cause, since peace or war Is it strange that their feeling is decided, not by the newstowards Russia is kindlier than papers, but by the ministers of before?” We quote this amazing Russia and Japan. Diplomacy pronouncement in humble ad- by journalism is at present no miration. It is a frank confes- more than a vain dream, and sion, which reveals the vices of until the dream becomes a the special correspondent in far reality we need not trouble clearer terms than the harshest our heads about the opinion of critic would dare to use. When those who, by the confession of the Press representatives went the most distinguished among to Portsmouth, they were one them, give their sympathy and all pro-Japanese. But the where they find their news. Japanese refused to give them Meanwhile, the Japanese, unthe news to which they be- deterred by pressure from outlieved themselves entitled, side, are upholding the interests while the Russians broke a of their country, and it is imsolemn pledge rather than possible that in the last resort disappoint them. And the M. Witte's patronage of the Press representatives soon en- Press should win him a single tertained a kindly feeling to- point. But there is one warnwards their benefactors. Was ing which all nations may take ever a more monstrous bargain from the proceedings at Portshinted at? Truth and honour mouth, New Hampshire: never are as nothing. You give me hold a Congress upon American news, says
soil. A country which cannot and I will sing your praises. protect two august plenipoWithhold news from me, and I tentiaries from the unwelcome will transfer the sympathy I feel attention of 120 “ representafor you to the other side. We tives of the Press” is no place cannot but be grateful for the for a diplomatic conference. cynicism which thus admits When, more than thirty years us to the innermost secrets of ago, a Congress met at Berlin, journalism, and our readers
readers the whole of Europe had an will share our surprise when interest in the result. But the we remind them that the pass- members of the Congress were age we have cited is taken not permitted to do their duty from a flagrant example of without blackmail or scandal, America's Yellow Press, but and M. de Blowitz's escapade from the stately columns of was the only blot upon a
a our own Times.'
perfectly dignified proceeding. And yet, in spite of The However, the last strongholds