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only; its passage makes no overt and obvious difference to any private voter; its effects lie in the future. But let a Bill be introduced which does affect individual rights, and let it be forced through as a Money Bill, or after two years' delay, against the keen opposition of half the country. Inevitably, in such a case, the Crown must act as arbiter and moderator. Otherwise the country will be plunged into revolution; the organised party representing the interests which are against the measure can paralyse the wheels of government.

The more the Crown endeavours to keep out of politics, the more surely and irresistibly must it be drawn into their vortex. Once let passions be excited, and the Crown can no longer maintain the neutral attitude of a gilded vane. It cannot be neutral; it must make its choice between offending the high priests of superstition and tradition, on the one hand, and trampling on the liberties of half the nation on the other. It is a hard choice; but the only other organ which could have borne the brunt of it has practically vanished. The impartiality of the Crown may be the impartiality of an equal balanceholder or the impartiality of a weathercock. So long as there is some other authority to hold the balance, the Crown may maintain that lofty aloofness from political crises which everyone would desire to see preserved. But, when there is no such authority, what is there to protect the Throne from being dragged into the arena? The Justice of the King is the sole safeguard of the minority in the coming days when a permanent majority of strikers seems a probable feature of British politics. How can that justice be invoked without response? The Crown has become, by the acts of Liberals, a vital force of the near future. Except that the veto of the Crown exists, Great Britain is now in the enjoyment of a political system which has no pretensions to be scientific, reasonable, or natural. The old exaltation of the majority, in the face of a clique or a tyrant, has passed unnoticed into an exaltation of the majority as against the nation. Nature does not forgive mistakes. Least of all does she condone reckless mistakes. And this mistake, like others, will have to be paid for.



1. Lettres à Alfred de Musset et à Sainte-Beuve. Edited by S. Rocheblave. Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1897.

2. La véritable Histoire d'Elle et Lui.' By Vicomte de Spoelberch de Lovenjoul. Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1897. 3. George Sand. By Wladimir Karénine. Vols I, II.

Paris: Ollendorff, 1899.

4. Une Histoire d'Amour: George Sand et Musset. By P. Mariéton. Paris: Ollendorff, 1903.

5. Les Amants de Venise. By C. Maurras. Paris: Fontemoing, n.d.

6. George Sand et sa fille. By S. Rocheblave. Paris: Calmann-Lévy, n.d. [1905].

THE 'Letters of George Sand,' edited by her son Maurice, were a welcome and seemingly definite contribution towards our knowledge of her character and genius. But since the sixth and last volume, issued in 1884, many more letters of great importance have been brought forward, in excerpts or in whole series, accompanied by personal reminiscences and critical comment. There is a mass of correspondence, indeed, still unpublished. But Wladimir Karénine (Mme Komaroff) has made good use of her access to it; and it may well be doubted whether the comprehension of George Sand will be greatly modified by further detail. The present moment is favourable for the consideration of these additions made to the material of study. It was barely possible, for instance, to deal equitably with her relations to Alfred de Musset until the war of partisanship had subsided.

The Romantic period of French literature was preeminently lyrical and subjective. An enrichment of language and imagination; dissatisfaction with the present state of society expressed by the vivid representation of an idealised past; the desire to transcend the horizons of the eighteenth century; the boundless claim to cultivate personality and carry Rousseau and the Revolution to their logical issue-these are elements of the literature developed with more or less consciousness by the Romantic writers. George Sand, in her early days, was lyrical-to use the gentlest term-in an exuberant degree. She unloaded her bosom of perilous stuff

by public confession, without regard to consequences. Her youth, indeed, was but a stage towards the attainment of her later equilibrium. She passed from selfseeking to devoted service; she gained the deeper individuality by the loving recognition of the moral and universal order. But the unity of her whole art, of her life and art, is readily to be discerned. The balance of her qualities may shift; but the later and the earlier works are mutually illustrative. And also, whether she writes letters or literature her letters are literature-she expresses more than herself. The whole question is enlarged. She delivers credible testimony as to the state of mind and feeling in her times. Her loveadventures reveal the ideal of her contemporaries. 'All is history,' as she says; 'even novels '—and even letters. Nor is the Romantic love of 1830 mere bygone matter of antiquarian interest. The neo-Romanticism of the present is the same, or a bolder, demand for the full and free development of the individual.

The relations of George Sand and Alfred de Musset have been commonly regarded by the French as the typical romance of the nineteenth century. Be that as it may, upon the new evidence, what is clearer than ever is that, for a season, these two lovers could not endure the absence, and still less the presence, of each other. They felt the need, and found the means, to part. They feared to remember, and remembered. Each desired in the other the full and rare capacity of poetry; they, if any, should be able to commune, as it were, in the full Romantic ideal. But, otherwise, they were incompatible. 'I love you no longer, but I adore you for always,' wrote George Sand, escaping at length. 'I have found you, and need seek no more,' wrote Musset, endeavouring to break the bond. Each had much to forgive and regret; each freely took the blame, and all the blame. See if I shall not write upon her tomb that she was sincere, good and great,' he exclaims in a last letter. And, but a while before, she had sighed: Alas, my child! we love each other, that is the only sure thing between us. Time and absence have not prevented us from loving, and never will prevent. But is our life together possible?' And twenty-five years later she writes to Sainte-Beuve:


'Peace and pardon, that is the whole conclusion; but also, in the future, a ray of light upon this story.'

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The ray of light has come in the publication of the correspondence about which she was consulting SainteBeuve. Both, indeed, had told their tale while still they were alive. Each in turn had sought for an explanation why their love had met disaster; had expressed adoration and regret. But lyrical expression, the explanation afforded in the Confession d'un Enfant du Siècle,' the 'Nuits,' and the 'Lettres d'un Voyageur,' was emotion, art. And besides, chivalry and mistrust, rapture and rancour, alternated with Alfred de Musset, as we know from the Nuits' and the 'Histoire d'un Merle blanc.' The legend, adverse to George Sand, was being propagated, if not directly by himself. Upon his death, she wrote Elle et Lui.' The Vicomte de Spoelberch de Lovenjoul has published a fragment which, if only completed as it was begun during her life in Venice, had well replaced Elle et Lui.' The letters of Buloz show that, under his guidance as editor of the Revue des Deux Mondes' and friend of the two poets, she suppressed the one serious reproach she brought against herself. Paul de Musset replied in the bitter pamphlet-novel of 'Lui et Elle.' In the preface to Jean de la Roche' she proudly declared that Alfred de Musset himself should defend her, thus offering the veiled promise to publish the letters.

Of the interesting and complicated fortunes of this correspondence, till its joint appearance quite recently, it were too long to tell. Upon her own death, Paul de Musset both laboured, in the biography of his brother, to deny the extent of her influence upon him, and virulently denounced it. He sought to confirm the grave accusations brought forward in 'Lui et Elle' by two documents dictated to him by his brother. That Alfred de Musset should have morbidly cherished a growing suspicion and bitterness agrees with his character; but these documents, at least, do not bear the mark of his style. Towards the end of the century it became known in France that Dr Pagello was still alive in Venice, had said somewhat in the matter, and could say more. He was plied with visits and enquiries. His family, after his death, produced a diary or diaries. Once on a time it was the war of Gluckists and Piccinists; now it became

that of 'Sandists' and 'Mussetists,' as they labelled each other. The decisive victory was won and denied again and again. If only the letters were published! What need of publication at all? And everyone seemed to have access to them, if only he would take a side.

There was irony in the reception of the fragments offered. As often, the larger knowledge did but intensify the dispute. Some welcomed attack and defence alike; decision in any way would mitigate the interest of it all. Mme Arvède Barine, in the life of Musset,' alone remained impartial without levity. In the volumes of M. Maurras and M. Mariéton there is much show, indeed, of an unbiased representation of facts. But it is only the show. It pleases M. Maurras to displease the partisans of either. But his method, as he maintains, is that of reflection and reverie, 'the two muses of history which no archives replace.' He allows the drama to play itself on the stage of his imagination, and reports the result, which is a renewal and aggravation of the charges made by Paul de Musset. And M. Mariéton, claiming to hold a court of enquiry, approves himself a hanging judge. He inflicts the utmost penalty upon all and sundry. In his protest against Romantic love he would almost seem to regret that he cannot summon love itself, in whatever form, for condemnation. Or rather, he would join with M. Maurras in considering Romantic love as an importation from the foreigner, English and German; as a ridiculous malady, yet most pernicious to the neo-Latin and classic race of the French. It is high time to break the spell of a love-adventure which has beguiled three generations.

But MM. Maurras and Mariéton break down the open door. It is as if they chose to forget that George Sand and Alfred de Musset had forestalled them. Musset, in the Confession,' roundly denounced himself and his generation. George Sand, in Elle et Lui,' proposed to represent an historical phase of passion, with its implicit warning. The Confession' and the 'Nuits,' it is true, offer poison and antidote so mingled that, in the heady draught, the poison may possibly prevail with such as are not immune. And youth will hardly go out of its way to search for the wise counsel of George Sand in her 'Lettres à Marcie' and the six volumes of the Correspondance. That is the perennial difficulty with regard to the litera

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