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HOW HISTORY IS WRITTEN.
At a late sitting of the Chamber of "Bravo!" said the General, and turnDeputies 'M. Paul de Cassagnac quoted ing to the young man again, he shook the familiar anecdote about Marshal him warmly by the hand and added:de MacMahon and the negro. Every "Go on as you have begun!" body knows the story, for it has be Nothing, of course, could have been come classic; but, as a matter of fact, simpler or more natural. But I was it was never anything but a legend and dining that evening at Mme. Adam's that is perhaps why its authenticity is where Edmond About, who was the never questioned. I have a notion how life of those political gatherings, gave ever that the gallant Marshal in heav his version of the affair. Gambetta en may not object to having the exact was there, and Girardin, John Letruth told.
Moinue, Challamel-Lacour, Le Royer, Nobody is in a better position to do and several others to whom About told this than myself, who actually assisted, the story as follows:in a way, at the birth of this famous "Ah, ha!” says the Marshal to the bon-mot. One day about the middle of young man, "So you're the negro!" May, while the Marshal was still Presi "Yes, M. le Maréchal.” dent of the Republic, he paid an "Very well, my friend. Go on as you official visit to the school at Saint-Cyr; have begun." and after the grand review in the The success of this sally may be courtyard, he requested, according to imagined. That night at the reception custom, that the pupils who had the which followed the dinner, everybody best record should be presented to him was repeating it and the next day it by the officer in command. Among was all over Paris. It won the good them was a young negro, the son of an Marshal a reputation for artlessness African chief who had been very which contributed not a little, among friendly to France; and the boy had other things, to his defeat on the 16th been educated at Saint-Cyr, at the ex of May. Great events often spring pense of the state precisely in acknowl. from small causes. edgment of the services rendered hy Edmond About's witticisms also gave his father. Wishing to be particularly rise to a whole series of similar anecgracious in his treatment of this young dotes, which ended by completely ridman, the Marshal tapped him familiar- dling the reputation for intelligence of ly on the shoulder and said:-"Well, my the unlucky Marshal. friend, and how do you like France ?" The press took up the game and
"Very much, M. le Maréchal." played it merrily. All sorts of silly
"Have they treated you well at stories, old and new, were fathered school?"
upon MacMahon, who to do him jus“Very well, indeed, M. le Maréchal.” tice, was exactly as impassive under
“And you,” said Gen. MacMahon, the hail-storm of ridicule as he had turning to the officer, "Are you satis been in the fire of battle. But this fire fied with this lad?”
was fed with a will. Not merely the "Entirely so, M. le President! He has little illustrated papers, but the gravest been an excellent pupil-very industri- of our political journals, went into the ous, and altogether irreproachable.” business with enthusiasm. The thing *Translated for The Living Age.
was often overdone, but a legend had
been created, and the great public swal- Marshal's visit to Normandy. At lowed everything with entire credulity. Lisieux, he had, very properly, held an
Men retailed, for example, ineptitudes official reception; and a large continlike the following:
'gent of the clergy had come to pay The Marshal was one day crossing their respects, headed by a very venerthe Place des Pyramides with the Duc able ecclesiastic, the dean of all the de Broglie. “Look here, my dear duke," priests in that region. The old man, says he, “I wish you would tell me so said the papers, delivered his ad, exactly who Joan of Arc was?”
dress of welcome in a high, quavering "She was a very distinguished voice, whereupon the Head of the Frenchwoman, M. le Maréchal! She State, with a vague notion of compli. was one of the most illustrious heroines menting him upon his remarkable state in our history. She was burned alive of preservation inquired:by the English—"
"And how old are you, Mr. Dean?" "Oh come, my dear duke! You must “Ninety-five, M. le. Maréchal.” be joking!"
"Ninety-five," exclaimed the Presi“I assure you not, M. le Maréchal! It dent admiringly, “and not dead yet!" is matter of history~"
Of course the gallant general never "Don't tell me any such nonsense!” said anything of the kind. But we replied the Marshal rather sharply. “A telegraphed the tale to the Paris papers woman burned alive by the English! -our only excuse being, that we did Why, think of the talk it would have not invent it. It was brought in to us made!"
at dinner, hot and hot, by one of our It is all an old story now, and seems comrades on the high-conservative childish enough when repeated; but at press; one whose journal was among that time it was a regular method of those most devoted to the Marshal. I warfare; and pin-pricks without num- do not say that he requested us to ber made a hole in the end. All the make the anecdote public, but where more because friends as well as foes would be the charm of journalism, if took part in the little game and one can its disciples could not have a little fun be betrayed only by one's friends. I among themselves? was at that time editing the XIXe This is the way we all wrote history; Siécle, and it was my business to keep I do not know that it did Marshal de the public informed concerning the in- MacMahon much harm. Even if his numerable short trips that the Marshal reputation for artlessness had been was making all about France. There well founded, it could not have extinwere a dozen or more of us journalists guished the splendor of his military serengaged upon papers holding the most vices. It was not as a statesman that diverse opinions; but we were the best he was chosen President of the Repubof friends among ourselves, always lic. It was as a soldier pure and simwent to the same hotel, breakfasted ple, and to one and all of the nonsensiand dined together, and briskly main- cal tales concocted and circulated about tained, when on our travels, the fire of him he might have replied in the picjokes at the Marshal's expense, which turesque words of Bugeaud:enlivened the boulevards of Paris. "It is not necessary for a soldier to
One day the city papers came out have invented powder, if only he with a brand new story apropos of the knows how to use it!" Les Annales.
Emmanuel Arène. LIVING AGE. VOL. VIII. 450
LORD RUSSELL OF KILLOWEN.
The ordinary phrases of sorrow pendence of character are seen both in which are conventional on the death of his political and personal career. He every human being, become genuine started in political life as an Irish Libaud heartfelt at the passing away oferal, and an Irish Liberal he remained. the late Lord Chief Justice. No person There was little inducement to a man could resist the attractive influence of who had determined on a political caLord Russell. Of course, like the rest reer to take up this position amid the of us, he had his faults, and on not a contending forces of extreme Ulster few occasions have his rivals in the Toryism and extreme' uncompromising Law Courts winced under his tempes- Nationalism. An Irish judgeship was tuous outbursts. But these ebullitions not a great prize for a man of Lord of temper were but superficial. They Russell's intellectual power, but this were partly expressions of anger at seemed at one time to be the probable stupidity or carelessness, partly the goal of his life. Though he afterwards outcome of feelings and convictions adopted Home Rule, or rather, perhaps, that were always vehement. As was came to believe that the Home Rule said of Dr. Johnson, Lord Russell had creed which he had sentimentally held nothing of the bear about him but the had been pushed by Mr. Gladstone into skin. In a certain sense he was an in the region of practical politics, he nevtense partisan; by which we do not er associated himself with the Irish mean that he was not perfectly fair party, but held, as we have said, to his and upright on the Bench, but that he Liberal creed. His personal career was could not espouse any cause without also remarkable. He won his way espousing it with unusual earnestness. without any influence, by sheer intelNo half-and-half measures satisfied lect and force of character. Nobody him; he always attacked, always car could have supposed that an obried the war into the enemy's country, scure Irish Catholic attorney would could never put up with tepid compro become Attorney-General, Lord of mise, or the safe middle position. Had Appeal, and Chief Justice of Eng. not his religion stood in the way, we land. Yet this came to pass, and think he might have made the best pos it came honestly, without intrigue, sible Liberal leader after the retire- as the result of high talent and pow. ment of Mr. Gladstone. He had cour- erful personality. Starting from the age carried to the verge of audacity, bottom of the legal ladder, Russell fluency and dignity of speech, personal passed through both law and politics, magnetism, and untiring industry, never shrinking from the assertion of while he was undoubtedly devoted to his striking personal qualities, and yet what may be called advanced Liberal leaving no shadow of a scandal while principles—the very combination of attaching to himself the warmest requalities needed by the Liberal party. gards even of his opponents and rivals. Dis aliter visum, however, and it is as That is much to say, but it can be honan advocate and a judge rather than estly said. as a statesman that Lord Russell's As a judge, Lord Russell's tenure of name will go down to posterity.
office will always be remembered for Lord Russell's strength and inde- his passionate devotion alike to justice
and to the cause of commercial integ- address to a Lord Mayor on a public
made a strong impression on those who But it is especially for his devotion to heard it and on the great public which the cause of commercial integrity that read it. His services on the Venezuela Russell of Killowen should be remem- Commission in Paris were heartily acbered. It is needless to dwell upon knowledged by all the parties to that the numerous recent scandals in the suit. His views as to the possible commercial world. There is good rea- progress of the principle of Arbitration son to believe that in the main trade is were derived, not so much from a prostill soundly and honestly conducted. longed study of international law, as But the mania for mere speculation has from a common-sense political and unhappily grown rapidly in the last ethical insight into the social needs decade through the sudden growth of of the future. This, it seems to new opportunities for wealth, and the us, describes his general views and atresult has, undoubtedly, been injurious titude of mind as a lawyer. He was to mercantile morality. Lord Russell "learned in the law” as a Chief Justice lost no occasion for dealing severely should be, but it was his broad good with this evil. On the Bench, in the sense and feeling of equity, his brushHouse of Lords, and elsewhere he de- ing aside of quibbles and formulas, nounced fraud in the most scathing which strike one even before his legal and impressive way. His outspoken attainments. The conception of the
law as a real remedy for wrong, a whole of his judicial career. He has shield for the oppressed, and a rod for left to England a memory which can the scoundrel's back, was to Lord Rus be both respected and admired. sell a living conception governing the The Economist.
THE TALE OF THE SEXTON.
Segerstane, segsten, saxton, sacristan, 1603 canons with greater truth applies sexton, his name should proclaim our this name to the parish clerk. In truth friend the sacristarius or sacrist of the it is of the essence of the sacrist and Canon Law. But, alas! the true sac ostiarius alike that they shall be in orristarius is the clerk to whom the arch- ders, and our parish sexton from the deacon has granted the care and cus day that we first meet him in the fiftody of the sacred vessels, the ecclesi teenth century seems always a layman astical vestments, the books and the or a laywoman, and 'tis clear that the like, which are the treasures of the latter may not hold a clerkly office. Church. And he is so called from the The parish sexton in fact springs sacred things of which he has the keep from the same causes that call into being, as the place where such things are ing the churchwarden. The Canon kept is in Latin called the sacrarium, Law gives no office in the Church, not or with us the vestry. Now there is even the humblest, to any man not in with us to-day a true sacristarius in the orders, and in our cathedral churches, minor canon in certain of our Cathedral where the national custom comes not churches, on whom it lies to minister into play, the true sacrist has a proper to the care of the fabric and orna place. But in the parish churches, ments of the edifice, to provide for the where, by the national custom, the buraltar, and to order and direct the last den of repairing the nave and of furrites of the departed. But in this sense nishing the church ornaments lies on the our sexton is no sacrist. The care of shoulders of the lay folk, the wardens the ornaments and fabric of the parish as the lay folk's representatives act church is primarily for the wardens, of upon the principle that calls the tune the graveyard for the parish priest, and of the piper, and in the teeth of the he intermeddles with such but as the canonists' rules themselves act as the servant of one or other, or both of such sacrist, while they good-naturedly parties. Nor is anything at allen leave it to their and the priests' servant trusted to him by the archdeacon, nor to usurp his name. has he the care of the sacrarium.
What manner of man though was he The Church lawyer of more modern to whom the vestrymen, whose gray days again has vainly pictured him as goose feathers sped the white shower the ostiarius, the lowest of the minor of death on Towton or Tewkesbury orders, whose duty it is to open and field, paid the due number of pence "pro shut the inward and outward doors of custodia campanarum" or "for ye sex. the church, to admit the faithful, and teneship for ye halfe yere"? Perchance ward off the schismatic and infidel. that sexton of thirty years' standing, The more learned translator of our who plies the spade over Ophelia's