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Title: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 2 - "French Literature" to "Frost, William"
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 2 - "French Literature" to "Frost, William"" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Transcriber's notes:

(1) Numbers following letters (without space) like C2 were originally
      printed in subscript. Letter subscripts are preceded by an
      underscore, like C_n.

(2) Characters following a carat (^) were printed in superscript.

(3) Side-notes were relocated to function as titles of their respective

(4) Macrons and breves above letters and dots below letters were not

(5) [root] stands for the root symbol; [alpha], [beta], etc. for greek

(6) The following typographical errors have been corrected:

    ARTICLE FRENCH LITERATURE: "Froissart had been followed as a
      chronicler by Enguerrand de Monstrelet (c. 1390-1453) and by the
      historiographers of the Burgundian court, Chastelain, already
      mentioned, whose interesting Chronique de Jacques de Lalaing is
      much the most attractive part of his work ..." 'whose' amended from

    ARTICLE FRENCH LITERATURE: "... Mesmer, St Germain and others. In
      this connexion, too, may perhaps also be mentioned most
      appropriately Restif de la Bretonne, a remarkably original and
      voluminous writer ..." 'Restif' amended from 'Bestif'.

    ARTICLE FRENCH LITERATURE: "The Anglomania which distinguished the
      time was nowhere more strongly shown than in the cast and direction
      of its philosophical speculations." 'strongly' amended from

    ARTICLE FRENCH LITERATURE: "All this literature is so far connected
      purely with the knightly and priestly orders, though it is largely
      composed and still more largely dealt in by classes of men ..."
      'literature' amended from 'literaure'.

    ARTICLE FRENCH REVOLUTION, THE: "The constitutional party in the
      legislature desired a toleration of the nonjuring clergy, the
      repeal of the laws against the relatives of the émigrés, and some
      merciful discrimination toward the émigrés themselves."
      'constitutional' amended from 'contitutional'.

    ARTICLE FRIAR: "See Fr. Cuthbert, The Friars and how they came to
      England, pp. 11-32 (1903); also F. A. Gasquet, English Monastic
      Life, pp. 234-249 (1904), where special information on all the
      English friars is conveniently brought together." 'conveniently'
      amended from 'coveniently'.

    ARTICLE FRISIAN ISLANDS: "... fine sandy beaches being formed well
      suited for sea-bathing, which attract many visitors in summer."
      'attract' amended from 'attracts'.



              ELEVENTH EDITION

            VOLUME XI, SLICE II

    French Literature to Frost, William


  FRENTANI                          FRIES, JAKOB FRIEDRICH
  FRÉRET, NICOLAS                   FRIGG
  FRESCO                            FRIMLEY
  FRESNILLO                         FRISIAN ISLANDS
  FRESNO                            FRISIANS
  FRET                              FRITH, WILLIAM POWELL
  FREUDENSTADT                      FRITILLARY
  FREUND, WILHELM                   FRITZLAR
  FREWEN, ACCEPTED                  FRIULI
  FREY                              FROBEN, JOANNES
  FREYBURG                          FROBISHER, SIR MARTIN
  FREYIA                            FROG
  FREYTAG, GUSTAV                   FROGMORE
  FRIAR                             FRÖHLICH, ABRAHAM EMANUEL
  FRIBOURG (Swiss Canton)           FROHSCHAMMER, JAKOB
  FRIBOURG (Swiss town)             FROISSART, JEAN
  FRICTION                          FROME
  FRIDAY                            FROMENTIN, EUGÈNE
  FRIEDBERG                         FROMMEL, GASTON
  FRIEDEL, CHARLES                  FRONDE, THE
  FRIEDLAND (town of Prussia)       FRONTISPIECE


  Early monuments.

  Epic poetry.

_Origins._--The history of French literature in the proper sense of the
term can hardly be said to extend farther back than the 11th century.
The actual manuscripts which we possess are seldom of older date than
the century subsequent to this. But there is no doubt that by the end at
least of the 11th century the French language, as a completely organized
medium of literary expression, was in full, varied and constant use. For
many centuries previous to this, literature had been composed in France,
or by natives of that country, using the term France in its full modern
acceptation; but until the 9th century, if not later, the written
language of France, so far as we know, was Latin; and despite the
practice of not a few literary historians, it does not seem reasonable
to notice Latin writings in a history of French literature. Such a
history properly busies itself only with the monuments of French itself
from the time when the so-called Lingua Romana Rustica assumed a
sufficiently independent form to deserve to be called a new language.
This time it is indeed impossible exactly to determine, and the period
at which literary compositions, as distinguished from mere conversation,
began to employ the new tongue is entirely unknown. As early as the 7th
century the Lingua Romana, as distinguished from Latin and from Teutonic
dialects, is mentioned, and this Lingua Romana would be of necessity
used for purposes of clerical admonition, especially in the country
districts, though we need not suppose that such addresses had a very
literary character. On the other hand, the mention, at early dates, of
certain _cantilenae_ or songs composed in the vulgar language has served
for basis to a superstructure of much ingenious argument with regard to
the highly interesting problem of the origin of the _Chansons de Geste_,
the earliest and one of the greatest literary developments of northern
French. It is sufficient in this article, where speculation would be out
of place, to mention that only two such _cantilenae_ actually exist, and
that neither is French. One of the 9th century, the "Lay of Saucourt,"
is in a Teutonic dialect; the other, the "Song of St Faron," is of the
7th century, but exists only in Latin prose, the construction and style
of which present traces of translation from a poetical and vernacular
original. As far as facts go, the most ancient monuments of the written
French language consist of a few documents of very various character,
ranging in date from the 9th to the 11th century. The oldest gives us
the oaths interchanged at Strassburg in 842 between Charles the Bald and
Louis the German. The next probably in date and the first in literary
merit is a short song celebrating the martyrdom of St Eulalia, which may
be as old as the end of the 9th century, and is certainly not younger
than the beginning of the 10th. Another, the _Life of St Leger_, in 240
octosyllabic lines, is dated by conjecture about 975. The discussion
indeed of these short and fragmentary pieces is of more philological
than literary interest, and belongs rather to the head of French
language. They are, however, evidence of the progress which, continuing
for at least four centuries, built up a literary instrument out of the
decomposed and reconstructed Latin of the Roman conquerors, blended with
a certain limited amount of contributions from the Celtic and Iberian
dialects of the original inhabitants, the Teutonic speech of the Franks,
and the Oriental tongue of the Moors who pressed upwards from Spain. But
all these foreign elements bear a very small proportion to the element
of Latin; and as Latin furnished the greater part of the vocabulary and
the grammar, so did it also furnish the principal models and helps to
literary composition. The earliest French versification is evidently
inherited from that of the Latin hymns of the church, and for a certain
time Latin originals were followed in the choice of literary forms. But
by the 11th century it is tolerably certain that dramatic attempts were
already being made in the vernacular, that lyric poetry was largely
cultivated, that laws, charters, and such-like documents were written,
and that commentators and translators busied themselves with religious
subjects and texts. The most important of the extant documents, outside
of the epics presently to be noticed, has of late been held to be the
_Life of Saint Alexis_, a poem of 625 decasyllabic lines, arranged in
five-line stanzas, each of one assonance or vowel-rhyme, which may be as
early as 1050. But the most important development of the 11th century,
and the one of which we are most certain, is that of which we have
evidence remaining in the famous _Chanson de Roland_, discovered in a
manuscript at Oxford and first published in 1837. This poem represents
the first and greatest development of French literature, the chansons de
geste (this form is now preferred to that with the plural _gestes_). The
origin of these poems has been hotly debated, and it is only recently
that the importance which they really possess has been accorded to
them,--a fact the less remarkable in that, until about 1820, the epics
of ancient France were unknown, or known only through late and
disfigured prose versions. Whether they originated in the north or the
south is a question on which there have been more than one or two
revolutions of opinion, and will probably be others still, but which
need not be dealt with here. We possess in round numbers a hundred of
these chansons. Three only of them are in Provençal. Two of these,
_Ferabras_ and _Betonnet d'Hanstonne_, are obviously adaptations of
French originals. The third, _Girartz de Rossilho_ (Gerard de
Roussillon), is undoubtedly Provençal, and is a work of great merit and
originality, but its dialect is strongly tinged with the characteristics
of the Langue d'Oïl, and its author seems to have been a native of the
debatable land between the two districts. To suppose under these
circumstances that the Provençal originals of the hundred others have
perished seems gratuitous. It is sufficient to say that the chanson de
geste, as it is now extant, is the almost exclusive property of northern
France. Nor is there much authority for a supposition that the early
French poets merely versified with amplifications the stories of
chroniclers. On the contrary, chroniclers draw largely from the
chansons, and the question of priority between _Roland_ and the
pseudo-Turpin, though a hard one to determine, seems to resolve itself
in favour of the former. At most we may suppose, with much probability,
that personal and family tradition gave a nucleus for at least the

  Chansons de Geste.

_Chansons de Geste._--Early French narrative poetry was divided by one
of its own writers, Jean Bodel, under three heads--poems relating to
French history, poems relating to ancient history, and poems of the
Arthurian cycle (_Matières de France, de Bretagne, et de Rome_). To the
first only is the term chansons de geste in strictness applicable. The
definition of it goes partly by form and partly by matter. A chanson de
geste must be written in verses either of ten or twelve syllables, the
former being the earlier. These verses have a regular caesura, which,
like the end of a line, carries with it the licence of a mute e. The
lines are arranged, not in couplets or in stanzas of equal length, but
in _laisses_ or _tirades_, consisting of any number of lines from half a
dozen to some hundreds. These are, in the earlier examples
assonanced,--that is to say, the vowel sound of the last syllables is
identical, but the consonants need not agree. Thus, for instance, the
final words of a tirade of _Amis et Amiles_ (Il. 199-206) are _erbe_,
_nouvelle_, _selles_, _nouvelles_, _traversent_, _arrestent_, _guerre_,
_cortége_. Sometimes the tirade is completed by a shorter line, and the
later chansons are regularly rhymed. As to the subject, a chanson de
geste must be concerned with some event which is, or is supposed to be,
historical and French. The tendency of the trouvères was constantly to
affiliate their heroes on a particular _geste_ or family. The three
chief _gestes_ are those of Charlemagne himself, of Doon de Mayence, and
of Garin de Monglane; but there are not a few chansons, notably those
concerning the Lorrainers, and the remarkable series sometimes called
the _Chevalier au Cygne_, and dealing with the crusades, which lie
outside these groups. By this joint definition of form and subject the
chansons de geste are separated from the romances of antiquity, from the
romances of the Round Table, which are written in octosyllabic couplets,
and from the _romans d'aventures_ or later fictitious tales, some of
which, such as _Brun de la Montaigne_, are written in pure chanson form.

  Volume and changes of early epics.

Not the least remarkable point about the chansons de geste is their vast
extent. Their number, according to the strictest definition, exceeds
100, and the length of each chanson varies from 1000 lines, or
thereabouts, to 20,000 or even 30,000. The entire mass, including, it
may be supposed, the various versions and extensions of each chanson, is
said to amount to between two and three million lines; and when, under
the second empire, the publication of the whole Carolingian cycle was
projected, it was estimated, taking the earliest versions alone, at over
300,000. The successive developments of the chansons de geste may be
illustrated by the fortunes of _Huon de Bordeaux_, one of the most
lively, varied and romantic of the older epics, and one which is
interesting from the use made of it by Shakespeare, Wieland and Weber.
In the oldest form now extant, though even this is probably not the
original, _Huon_ consists of over 10,000 lines. A subsequent version
contains 4000 more; and lastly, in the 14th century, a later poet has
amplified the legend to the extent of 30,000 lines. When this point had
been reached, _Huon_ began to be turned into prose, was with many of his
fellows published and republished during the 15th and subsequent
centuries, and retains, in the form of a roughly printed chap-book, the
favour of the country districts of France to the present day. It is not,
however, in the later versions that the special characteristics of the
chansons de geste are to be looked for. Of those which we possess, one
and one only, the _Chanson de Roland_, belongs in its present form to
the 11th century. Their date of production extends, speaking roughly,
from the 11th to the 14th century, their palmy days were the 11th and
the 12th. After this latter period the Arthurian romances, with more
complex attractions, became their rivals, and induced their authors to
make great changes in their style and subject. But for a time they
reigned supreme, and no better instance of their popularity can be given
than the fact that manuscripts of them exist, not merely in every French
dialect, but in many cases in a strange macaronic jargon of mingled
French and Italian. Two classes of persons were concerned in them. There
was the _trouvère_ who composed them, and the _jongleur_ who carried
them about in manuscript or in his memory from castle to castle and sang
them, intermixing frequent appeals to his auditory for silence,
declarations of the novelty and the strict copyright character of the
chanson, revilings of rival minstrels, and frequently requests for money
in plain words. Not a few of the manuscripts which we now possess appear
to have been actually used by the jongleur. But the names of the
authors, the trouvères who actually composed them, are in very few cases
known, those of copyists, continuators, and mere possessors of
manuscripts having been often mistaken for them.

The moral and poetical peculiarities of the older and more authentic of
these chansons are strongly marked, though perhaps not quite so strongly
as some of their encomiasts have contended, and as may appear to a
reader of the most famous of them, the _Chanson de Roland_, alone. In
that poem, indeed, war and religion are the sole motives employed, and
its motto might be two lines from another of the finest chansons
(_Aliscans_, 161-162):--

  "Dist à Bertran: 'N'avons mais nul losir,
   Tant ke vivons alons paiens ferir.'"

In Roland there is no love-making whatever, and the hero's betrothed "la
belle Aude" appears only in a casual gibe of her brother Oliver, and in
the incident of her sudden death at the news of Roland's fall. M. Léon
Gautier and others have drawn the conclusion that this stern and
masculine character was a feature of all the older chansons, and that
imitation of the Arthurian romance is the cause of its disappearance.
This seems rather a hasty inference. In _Amis et Amiles_, admittedly a
poem of old date, the parts of Bellicent and Lubias are prominent, and
the former is demonstrative enough. In _Aliscans_ the part of the
Countess Guibourc is both prominent and heroic, and is seconded by that
of Queen Blancheflor and her daughter Aelis. We might also mention
Oriabel in _Jourdans de Blaivies_ and others. But it may be admitted
that the sex which fights and counsels plays the principal part, that
love adventures are not introduced at any great length, and that the
lady usually spares her knight the trouble and possible indignities of a
long wooing. The characters of a chanson of the older style are somewhat
uniform. There is the hero who is unjustly suspected of guilt or sore
beset by Saracens, the heroine who falls in love with him, the traitor
who accuses him or delays help, who is almost always of the lineage of
Ganelon, and whose ways form a very curious study. There are friendly
paladins and subordinate traitors; there is Charlemagne (who bears
throughout the marks of the epic king common to Arthur and Agamemnon,
but is not in the earlier chanson the incapable and venal dotard which
he becomes in the later), and with Charlemagne generally the duke Naimes
of Bavaria, the one figure who is invariably wise, brave, loyal and
generous. In a few chansons there is to be added to these a very
interesting class of personages who, though of low birth or condition,
yet rescue the high-born knights from their enemies. Such are Rainoart
in _Aliscans_, Gautier in _Gaydon_, Robastre in _Gaufrey_, Varocher in
_Macaire_. These subjects, uniform rather than monotonous, are handled
with great uniformity if not monotony of style. There are constant
repetitions, and it sometimes seems, and may sometimes be the case, that
the text is a mere cento of different and repeated versions. But the
verse is generally harmonious and often stately. The recurrent
assonances of the endless tirade soon impress the ear with a grateful
music, and occasionally, and far more frequently than might be thought,
passages of high poetry, such as the magnificent _Granz doel por la mort
de Rollant_, appear to diversify the course of the story. The most
remarkable of the chansons are _Roland_, _Aliscans_, _Gerard de
Roussillon_, _Amis et Amiles_, _Raoul de Cambrai_, _Garin le Loherain_
and its sequel _Les quatre Fils Aymon_, _Les Saisnes_ (recounting the
war of Charlemagne with Witekind), and lastly, _Le Chevalier au Cygne_,
which is not a single poem but a series, dealing with the earlier
crusades. The most remarkable _group_ is that centring round William of
Orange, the historical or half-historical defender of the south of
France against Mahommedan invasion. Almost all the chansons of this
group, from the long-known _Aliscans_ to the recently printed _Chançon
de Willame_, are distinguished by an unwonted _personality_ of interest,
as well as by an intensified dose of the rugged and martial poetry which
pervades the whole class. It is noteworthy that one chanson and one
only, _Floovant_, deals with Merovingian times. But the chronology,
geography, and historic facts of nearly all are, it is hardly necessary
to say, mainly arbitrary.

_Arthurian Romances._--The second class of early French epics consists
of the Arthurian cycle, the _Matière de Bretagne_, the earliest known
compositions of which are at least a century junior to the earliest
chanson de geste, but which soon succeeded the chansons in popular
favour, and obtained a vogue both wider and far more enduring. It is not
easy to conceive a greater contrast in form, style, subject and
sentiment than is presented by the two classes. In both the religious
sentiment is prominent, but the religion of the chansons is of the
simplest, not to say of the most savage character. To pray to God and to
kill his enemies constitutes the whole duty of man. In the romances the
mystical element becomes on the contrary prominent, and furnishes, in
the Holy Grail, one of the most important features. In the Carlovingian
knight the courtesy and clemency which we have learnt to associate with
chivalry are almost entirely absent. The _gentix ber_ contradicts, jeers
at, and execrates his sovereign and his fellows with the utmost freedom.
He thinks nothing of striking his _cortoise moullier_ so that the blood
runs down her _cler vis_. If a servant or even an equal offends him, he
will throw the offender into the fire, knock his brains out, or set his
whiskers ablaze. The Arthurian knight is far more of the modern model in
these respects. But his chief difference from his predecessor is
undoubtedly in his amorous devotion to his beloved, who, if not morally
superior to Bellicent, Floripas, Esclairmonde, and the other
Carlovingian heroines, is somewhat less forward. Even in minute details
the difference is strongly marked. The romances are in octosyllabic
couplets or in prose, and their language is different from that of the
chansons, and contains much fewer of the usual epic repetitions and
stock phrases. A voluminous controversy has been held respecting the
origin of these differences, and of the story or stories which were
destined to receive such remarkable attention. Reference must be made to
the article ARTHURIAN LEGEND for the history of this controversy and for
an account of its present state. This state, however, and all subsequent
states, are likely to be rather dependent upon opinion than upon actual
knowledge. From the point of view of the general historian of literature
it may not be improper here to give a caution against the frequent use
of the word "proven" in such matters. Very little in regard to early
literature, except the literary value of the texts, is ever susceptible
of _proof_; although things may be made more or less _probable_. What we
are at present concerned with, however, is a body of verse and prose
composed in the latter part of the 12th century and later. The earliest
romances, the _Saint Graal_, the _Quête du Saint Graal_, _Joseph
d'Arimathie_ and _Merlin_ bear the names of Walter Map and Robert de
Borron. _Artus_ and part at least of _Lancelot du Lac_ (the whole of
which has been by turns attributed and denied to Walter Map) appear to
be due to unknown authors. _Tristan_ came later, and has a stronger
mixture of Celtic tradition. At the same time as Walter Map, or a little
later, Chrétien (or Chrestien) de Troyes threw the legends of the Round
Table into octosyllabic verse of a singularly spirited and picturesque
character. The chief poems attributed to him are the _Chevalier au Lyon_
(Sir Ewain of Wales), the _Chevalier à la Charette_ (one of the episodes
of _Lancelot_), _Eric et Enide_, _Tristan_ and _Percivale_. These poems,
independently of their merit, which is great, had an extensive literary
influence. They were translated by the German minnesingers, Wolfram von
Eschenbach, Gottfried of Strassburg, and others. With the romances
already referred to, which are mostly in prose, and which by recent
authorities have been put later than the verse tales which used to be
postponed to them, Chrétien's poems complete the early forms of the
Arthurian story, and supply the matter of it as it is best known to
English readers in Malory's book. Nor does that book, though far later
than the original forms, convey a very false impression of the
characteristics of the older romances. Indeed, the Arthurian knight, his
character and adventures, are so much better known than the heroes of
the Carlovingian chanson that there is less need to dwell upon them.
They had, however, as has been already pointed out, great influence upon
their rivals, and their comparative fertility of invention, the much
larger number of their _dramatis personae_, and the greater variety of
interests to which they appealed, sufficiently explain their increased
popularity. The ordinary attractions of poetry are also more largely
present in them than in the chansons; there is more description, more
life, and less of the mere chronicle. They have been accused of relaxing
morality, and there is perhaps some truth in the charge. But the change
is after all one rather of manners than of morals, and what is lost in
simplicity is gained in refinement. _Doon de Mayence_ is a late chanson,
and _Lancelot du Lac_ is an early romance. But the two beautiful scenes,
in the former between Doon and Nicolette, in the latter between
Lancelot, Galahault, Guinevere, and the Lady of Malehaut, may be
compared as instances of the attitude of the two classes of poets
towards the same subject.

_Romances of Antiquity._--There is yet a third class of early narrative
poems, differing from the two former in subject, but agreeing, sometimes
with one sometimes with the other in form. These are the classical
romances--the _Matière de Rome_--which are not much later than those of
Charlemagne and Arthur. The chief subjects with which their authors
busied themselves were the conquests of Alexander and the siege of Troy,
though other classical stories come in. The most remarkable of all is
the romance of _Alixandre_ by Lambert the Short and Alexander of Bernay.
It has been said that the excellence of the twelve-syllabled verse used
in this romance was the origin of the term alexandrine. The Trojan
romances, on the other hand, are chiefly in octosyllabic verse, and the
principal poem which treats of them is the _Roman de Troie_ of Benoit de
Sainte More. Both this poem and _Alixandre_ are attributed to the last
quarter of the 12th century. The authorities consulted for these poems
were, as may be supposed, none of the best. Dares Phrygius, Dictys
Cretensis, the pseudo-Callisthenes supplied most of them. But the
inexhaustible invention of the trouvères themselves was the chief
authority consulted. The adventures of Medea, the wanderings of
Alexander, the Trojan horse, the story of Thebes, were quite sufficient
to spur on to exertion the minds which had been accustomed to spin a
chanson of some 10,000 lines out of a casual allusion in some preceding
poem. It is needless to say that anachronisms did not disturb them. From
first to last the writers of the chansons had not in the least troubled
themselves with attention to any such matters. Charlemagne himself had
his life and exploits accommodated to the need of every poet who treats
of him, and the same is the case with the heroes of antiquity. Indeed,
Alexander is made in many respects a prototype of Charlemagne. He is
regularly knighted, he has twelve peers, he holds tournaments, he has
relations with Arthur, and comes in contact with fairies, he takes
flights in the air, dives in the sea and so forth. There is perhaps more
avowed imagination in these classical stories than in either of the
other divisions of French epic poetry. Some of their authors even
confess to the practice of fiction, while the trouvères of the chansons
invariably assert the historical character of their facts and
personages, and the authors of the Arthurian romances at least start
from facts vouched for, partly by national tradition, partly by the
authority of religion and the church. The classical romances, however,
are important in two different ways. In the first place, they connect
the early literature of France, however loosely, and with links of
however dubious authenticity, with the great history and literature of
the past. They show a certain amount of scholarship in their authors,
and in their hearers they show a capacity of taking an interest in
subjects which are not merely those directly connected with the village
or the tribe. The chansons de geste had shown the creative power and
independent character of French literature. There is, at least about the
earlier ones, nothing borrowed, traditional or scholarly. They smack of
the soil, and they rank France among the very few countries which, in
this matter of indigenous growth, have yielded more than folk-songs and
fireside tales. The Arthurian romances, less independent in origin,
exhibit a wider range of view, a greater knowledge of human nature, and
a more extensive command of the sources of poetical and romantic
interest. The classical epics superadd the only ingredient necessary to
an accomplished literature--that is to say, the knowledge of what has
been done by other peoples and other literatures already, and the
readiness to take advantage of the materials thus supplied.

_Romans d'Aventures._--These are the three earliest developments of
French literature on the great scale. They led, however, to a fourth,
which, though later in date than all except their latest forms and far
more loosely associated as a group, is so closely connected with them by
literary and social considerations that it had best be mentioned here.
This is the _roman d'aventures_, a title given to those almost avowedly
fictitious poems which connect themselves, mainly and centrally, neither
with French history, with the Round Table, nor with the heroes of
antiquity. These began to be written in the 13th century, and continued
until the prose form of fiction became generally preferred. The later
forms of the chansons de geste and the Arthurian poems might indeed be
well called romans d'aventures themselves. _Hugues Capet_, for instance,
a chanson in form and class of subject, is certainly one of this latter
kind in treatment; and there is a larger class of semi-Arthurian
romance, which so to speak branches off from the main trunk. But for
convenience sake the definition we have given is preferable. The style
and subject of these romans d'aventures are naturally extremely various.
_Guillaume de Palerme_ deals with the adventures of a Sicilian prince
who is befriended by a were-wolf; _Le Roman de l'escoufle_, with a
heroine whose ring is carried off by a sparrow-hawk (_escoufle_), like
Prince Camaralzaman's talisman; _Guy of Warwick_, with one of the most
famous of imaginary heroes; _Meraugis de Portléguez_ is a sort of branch
or offshoot of the romances of the Round Table; _Cléomadès_, the work of
the trouvère Adenès le Roi, who also rehandled the old chanson subjects
of _Ogier_ and _Berte aux grans piés_, connects itself once more with
the _Arabian Nights_ as well as with Chaucer forwards in the
introduction of a flying mechanical horse. There is, in short, no
possibility of classifying their subjects. The habit of writing in
gestes, or of necessarily connecting the new work with an older one, had
ceased to be binding, and the instinct of fiction writing was free; yet
those romans d'aventures do not rank quite as high in literary
importance as the classes which preceded them. This under-valuation
arises rather from a lack of originality and distinctness of savour than
from any shortcomings in treatment. Their versification, usually
octosyllabic, is pleasant enough; but there is not much distinctness of
character about them, and their incidents often strike the reader with
something of the sameness, but seldom with much of the naïveté, of those
of the older poems. Nevertheless some of them attained to a very high
popularity, such, for instance, as the _Partenopex de Blois_ of Denis
Pyramus, which has a motive drawn from the story of _Cupid and Psyche_
and the charming _Floire et Blanchefleur_, giving the woes of a
Christian prince and a Saracen slave-girl. With them may be connected a
certain number of early romances and fictions of various dates in prose,
none of which can vie in charm with _Aucassin et Nicolette_ (13th
century), an exquisite literary presentment of medieval sentiment in its
most delightful form.

  General characteristics of early narrative.

  Spread of literary taste.

In these classes maybe said to be summed up the literature of feudal
chivalry in France. They were all, except perhaps the last, composed by
one class of persons, the trouvères, and performed by another, the
jongleurs. The latter, indeed, sometimes presumed to compose for
himself, and was denounced as a _troveor batard_ by the indignant
members of the superior caste. They were all originally intended to be
performed in the _palais marberin_ of the baron to an audience of
knights and ladies, and, when reading became more common, to be read by
such persons. They dealt therefore chiefly, if not exclusively, with the
class to whom they were addressed. The bourgeois and the villain,
personages of political nonentity at the time of their early
composition, come in for far slighter notice, although occasionally in
the few curious instances we have mentioned, and others, persons of a
class inferior to the seigneur play an important part. The habit of
private wars and of insurrection against the sovereign supply the
motives of the chanson de geste, the love of gallantry, adventure and
foreign travel those of the romances Arthurian and miscellaneous. None
of these motives much affected the lower classes, who were, with the
early developed temper of the middle- and lower-class Frenchman, already
apt to think and speak cynically enough of tournaments, courts, crusades
and the other occupations of the nobility. The communal system was
springing up, the towns were receiving royal encouragement as a
counterpoise to the authority of the nobles. The corruptions and
maladministration of the church attracted the satire rather of the
citizens and peasantry who suffered by them, than of the nobles who had
less to fear and even something to gain. On the other hand, the gradual
spread of learning, inaccurate and ill-digested perhaps, but still
learning, not only opened up new classes of subjects, but opened them to
new classes of persons. The thousands of students who flocked to the
schools of Paris were not all princes or nobles. Hence there arose two
new classes of literature, the first consisting of the embodiment of
learning of one kind or other in the vulgar tongue. The other, one of
the most remarkable developments of sportive literature which the world
has seen, produced the second indigenous literary growth of which France
can boast, namely, the fabliaux, and the almost more remarkable work
which is an immense conglomerate of fabliaux, the great beast-epic of
the Roman de Renart.

_Fabliaux._--There are few literary products which have more originality
and at the same time more diversity than the fabliau. The epic and the
drama, even when they are independently produced, are similar in their
main characteristics all the world over. But there is nothing in
previous literature which exactly corresponds to the fabliau. It comes
nearest to the Aesopic fable and its eastern origins or parallels. But
differs from these in being less allegorical, less obviously moral
(though a moral of some sort is usually if not always enforced), and in
having a much more direct personal interest. It is in many degrees
further removed from the parable, and many degrees nearer to the novel.
The story is the first thing, the moral the second, and the latter is
never suffered to interfere with the former. These observations apply
only to the fabliaux, properly so called, but the term has been used
with considerable looseness. The collectors of those interesting pieces,
Barbazan, Méon, Le Grand d'Aussy, have included in their collections
large numbers of miscellaneous pieces such as _dits_ (rhymed
descriptions of various objects, the most famous known author of which
was Baudouin de Condé, 13th century), and _débats_ (discussions between
two persons or contrasts of the attributes of two things), sometimes
even short romances, farces and mystery plays. Not that the fable
proper--the prose classical beast-story of "Aesop"--was neglected. Marie
de France--the poetess to be mentioned again for her more strictly
poetical work--is the most literary of not a few writers who composed
what were often, after the mysterious original poet, named _Ysopets_.
Aesop, Phaedrus, Babrius were translated and imitated in Latin and in
the vernacular by this class of writer, and some of the best known of
"fablers" date from this time. The fabliau, on the other hand, according
to the best definition of it yet achieved, is "the recital, generally
comic, of a real or possible incident occurring in ordinary human life."
The comedy, it may be added, is usually of a satiric kind, and occupies
itself with every class and rank of men, from the king to the villain.
There is no limit to the variety of these lively verse-tales, which are
invariably written in eight-syllabled couplets. Now the subject is the
misadventure of two Englishmen, whose ignorance of the French language
makes them confuse donkey and lamb; now it is the fortunes of an
exceedingly foolish knight, who has an amiable and ingenious
mother-in-law; now the deserved sufferings of an avaricious or
ill-behaved priest; now the bringing of an ungrateful son to a better
mind by the wisdom of babes and sucklings. Not a few of the _Canterbury
Tales_ are taken directly from fabliaux; indeed, Chaucer, with the
possible exception of Prior, is our nearest approach to a
fabliau-writer. At the other end of Europe the prose novels of Boccaccio
and other Italian tale-tellers are largely based upon fabliaux. But
their influence in their own country was the greatest. They were the
first expression of the spirit which has since animated the most
national and popular developments of French literature. Simple and
unpretending as they are in form, the fabliaux announce not merely the
_Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles_ and the _Heptameron_, _L'Avocat Patelin_, and
_Pantagruel_, but also _L'Avare_ and the _Roman comique_, _Gil Blas_ and
_Candide_. They indeed do more than merely prophesy the spirit of these
great performances--they directly lead to them. The prose-tale and the
farce are the direct outcomes of the fabliau, and the prose-tale and the
farce once given, the novel and the comedy inevitably follow.

  Social importance of fabliaux.

The special period of fabliau composition appears to have been the 12th
and 13th centuries. It signifies on the one side the growth of a lighter
and more sportive spirit than had yet prevailed, on another the rise in
importance of other and lower orders of men than the priest and the
noble, on yet another the consciousness on the part of these lower
orders of the defects of the two privileged classes, and of the
shortcomings of the system of polity under which these privileged
classes enjoyed their privileges. There is, however, in the fabliau
proper not so very much of direct satire, this being indeed excluded by
the definition given above, and by the thoroughly artistic spirit in
which that definition is observed. The fabliaux are so numerous and so
various that it is difficult to select any as specially representative.
We may, however, mention, both as good examples and as interesting from
their subsequent history, _Le Vair Palfroi_, treated in English by Leigh
Hunt and by Peacock; _Le Vilain Mire_, the original consciously or
unconsciously followed in _Le Médecin malgré lui_; _Le Roi d'Angleterre
et le jongleur d'Éli_; _La houce partie_; _Le Sot Chevalier_, an
indecorous but extremely amusing story; _Les deux bordeors ribaus_, a
dialogue between two jongleurs of great literary interest, containing
allusions to the chansons de geste and romances most in vogue; and _Le
vilain qui conquist paradis par plait_, one of the numerous instances of
what has unnecessarily puzzled moderns, the association in medieval
times of sincere and unfeigned faith with extremely free handling of its
objects. This lightheartedness in other subjects sometimes bubbled over
into the _fatrasie_, an almost pure nonsense-piece, parent of the later

_Roman de Renart._--If the fabliaux are not remarkable for direct
satire, that element is supplied in more than compensating quantity by
an extraordinary composition which is closely related to them. _Le Roman
de Renart_, or _History of Reynard the Fox_, is a poem, or rather series
of poems, which, from the end of the 12th to the middle of the 14th
century, served the citizen poets of northern France, not merely as an
outlet for literary expression, but also as a vehicle of satirical
comment,--now on the general vices and weaknesses of humanity, now on
the usual corruptions in church and state, now on the various historical
events which occupied public attention from time to time. The enormous
popularity of the subject is shown by the long vogue which it had, and
by the empire which it exercised over generations of writers who
differed from each other widely in style and temper. Nothing can be
farther from the allegorical erudition, the political diatribes and the
sermonizing moralities of the authors of _Renart le Contre-fait_ than
the sly naïveté of the writers of the earlier branches. Yet these and a
long and unknown series of intermediate bards the fox-king pressed into
his service, and it is scarcely too much to say that, during the two
centuries of his reign, there was hardly a thought in the popular mind
which, as it rose to the surface, did not find expression in an addition
to the huge cycle of _Renart_.

We shall not deal with the controversies which have been raised as to
the origin of the poem and its central idea. The latter may have been a
travestie of real persons and actual events, or it may (and much more
probably) have been an expression of thoughts and experiences which
recur in every generation. France, the Netherlands and Germany have
contended for the honour of producing Renart; French, Flemish, German
and Latin for the honour of first describing him. It is sufficient to
say that the spirit of the work seems to be more that of the borderland
between France and Flanders than of any other district, and that,
wherever the idea may have originally arisen, it was incomparably more
fruitful in France than in any other country. The French poems which we
possess on the subject amount in all to nearly 100,000 lines,
independently of mere variations, but including the different versions
of _Renart le Contre-fait_. This vast total is divided into four
different poems. The most ancient and remarkable is that edited by Méon
under the title of _Roman du Renart_, and containing, with some
additions made by M. Chabaille, 37 branches and about 32,000 lines. It
must not, however, be supposed that this total forms a continuous poem
like the _Aeneid_ or _Paradise Lost_. Part was pretty certainly written
by Pierre de Saint-Cloud, but he was not the author of the whole. On the
contrary, the separate branches are the work of different authors,
hardly any of whom are known, and, but for their community of subject
and to some extent of treatment, might be regarded as separate poems.
The history of Renart, his victories over Isengrim, the wolf, Bruin, the
bear, and his other unfortunate rivals, his family affection, his
outwittings of King Noble the Lion and all the rest, are too well known
to need fresh description here. It is perhaps in the subsequent poems,
though they are far less known and much less amusing, that the hold
which the idea of Renart had obtained on the mind of northern France,
and the ingenious uses to which it was put, are best shown. The first of
these is _Le Couronnement Renart_, a poem of between 3000 and 4000
lines, attributed, on no grounds whatever, to the poetess Marie de
France, and describing how the hero by his ingenuity got himself crowned
king. This poem already shows signs of direct moral application and
generalizing. These are still more apparent in _Renart le Nouvel_, a
composition of some 8000 lines, finished in the year 1288 by the Fleming
Jacquemart Giélée. Here the personification, of which, in noticing the
_Roman de la rose_, we shall soon have to give extended mention, becomes
evident. Instead of or at least beside the lively personal Renart who
used to steal sausages, set Isengrim fishing with his tail, or make use
of Chanticleer's comb for a purpose for which it was certainly never
intended, we have _Renardie_, an abstraction of guile and hypocrisy,
triumphantly prevailing over other and better qualities. Lastly, as the
_Roman de la rose_ of William of Lorris is paralleled by _Renart le
Nouvel_, so its continuation by Jean de Meung is paralleled by the great
miscellany of _Renart le Contre-fait_, which, even in its existing
versions, extends to fully 50,000 lines. Here we have, besides floods of
miscellaneous erudition and discourse, political argument of the most
direct and important kind. The wrongs of the lower orders are bitterly
urged. They are almost openly incited to revolt; and it is scarcely too
much to say, as M. Lenient has said, that the closely following
Jacquerie is but a practical carrying out of the doctrines of the
anonymous satirists of _Renart le Contre-fait_, one of whom (if indeed
there was more than one) appears to have been a clerk of Troyes.

  Audefroit le Bastard.

  Thibaut de Champagne.


  Adam de la Halle.


_Early Lyric Poetry._--Side by side with these two forms of literature,
the epics and romances of the higher classes, and the fabliau, which, at
least in its original, represented rather the feelings of the lower,
there grew up a third kind, consisting of purely lyrical poetry. The
song literature of medieval France is extremely abundant and beautiful.
From the 12th to the 15th century it received constant accessions, some
signed, some anonymous, some purely popular in their character, some the
work of more learned writers, others again produced by members of the
aristocracy. Of the latter class it may fairly be said that the
catalogue of royal and noble authors boasts few if any names superior to
those of Thibaut de Champagne, king of Navarre at the beginning of the
13th century, and Charles d'Orléans, the father of Louis XII., at the
beginning of the 15th. Although much of this lyric poetry is anonymous,
the more popular part of it almost entirely so, yet M. Paulin Paris was
able to enumerate some hundreds of French chansonniers between the 11th
and the 13th century. The earliest song literature, chiefly known in the
delightful collection of Bartsch (_Altfranzösische Romanzen und
Pastourellen_), is mainly sentimental in character. The collector
divides it under the two heads of romances and pastourelles, the former
being usually the celebration of the loves of a noble knight and maiden,
and recounting how Belle Doette or Eglantine or Oriour sat at her
windows or in the tourney gallery, or embroidering silk and samite in
her chamber, with her thoughts on Gerard or Guy or Henry,--the latter
somewhat monotonous but naïve and often picturesque recitals, very often
in the first person, of the meeting of an errant knight or minstrel with
a shepherdess, and his cavalier but not always successful wooing. With
these, some of which date from the 12th century, may be contrasted, at
the other end of the medieval period, the more varied and popular
collection dating in their present form from the 15th century, and
published in 1875 by M. Gaston Paris. In both alike, making allowance
for the difference of their age and the state of the language, may be
noticed a charming lyrical faculty and great skill in the elaboration of
light and suitable metres. Especially remarkable is the abundance of
refrains of an admirably melodious kind. It is said that more than 500
of these exist. Among the lyric writers of these four centuries whose
names are known may be mentioned Audefroi le Bastard (12th century), the
author of the charming song of _Belle Idoine_, and others no way
inferior, Quesnes de Bethune, the ancestor of Sully, whose song-writing
inclines to a satirical cast in many instances, the Vidame de Chartres,
Charles d'Anjou, King John of Brienne, the châtelain de Coucy, Gace
Bruslé, Colin Muset, while not a few writers mentioned elsewhere--Guyot
de Provins, Adam de la Halle, Jean Bodel and others--were also lyrists.
But none of them, except perhaps Audefroi, can compare with Thibaut IV.
(1201-1253), who united by his possessions and ancestry a connexion with
the north and the south, and who employed the methods of both districts
but used the language of the north only. Thibaut was supposed to be the
lover of Blanche of Castile, the mother of St Louis, and a great deal of
his verse is concerned with his love for her. But while knights and
nobles were thus employing lyric poetry in courtly and sentimental
verse, lyric forms were being freely employed by others, both of high
and low birth, for more general purposes. Blanche and Thibaut themselves
came in for contemporary lampoons, and both at this time and in the
times immediately following, a cloud of writers composed light verse,
sometimes of a lyric sometimes of a narrative kind, and sometimes in a
mixture of both. By far the most remarkable of these is Ruteboeuf (a
name which is perhaps a nickname), the first of a long series of French
poets to whom in recent days the title Bohemian has been applied, who
passed their lives between gaiety and misery, and celebrated their lot
in both conditions with copious verse. Ruteboeuf is among the earliest
French writers who tell us their personal history and make personal
appeals. But he does not confine himself to these. He discusses the
history of his times, upbraids the nobles for their desertion of the
Latin empire of Constantinople, considers the expediency of crusading,
inveighs against the religious orders, and takes part in the disputes
between the pope and the king. He composes pious poetry too, and in at
least one poem takes care to distinguish between the church which he
venerates and the corrupt churchmen whom he lampoons. Besides Ruteboeuf
the most characteristic figure of his class and time (about the middle
of the 13th century) is Adam de la Halle, commonly called the Hunchback
of Arras. The earlier poems of Adam are of a sentimental character, the
later ones satirical and somewhat ill-tempered. Such, for instance, is
his invective against his native city. But his chief importance consists
in his _jeux_, the _Jeu de la feuillie_, the _Jeu de Robin et Marion_,
dramatic compositions which led the way to the regular dramatic form.
Indeed the general tendency of the 13th century is to satire, fable and
farce, even more than to serious or sentimental poetry. We should
perhaps except the _lais_, the chief of which are known under the name
of Marie de France. These lays are exclusively Breton in origin, though
not in application, and the term seems originally to have had reference
rather to the music to which they were sung than to the manner or matter
of the pieces. Some resemblance to these lays may perhaps be traced in
the genuine Breton songs published by M. Luzel. The subjects of the lais
are indifferently taken from the Arthurian cycle, from ancient story,
and from popular tradition, and, at any rate in Marie's hands, they give
occasion for some passionate, and in the modern sense really romantic,
poetry. The most famous of all is the _Lay of the Honeysuckle_,
traditionally assigned to Sir Tristram.

_Satiric and Didactic Works._--Among the direct satirists of the middle
ages, one of the earliest and foremost is Guyot de Provins, a monk of
Clairvaux and Cluny, whose _Bible_, as he calls it, contains an
elaborate satire on the time (the beginning of the 13th century), and
who was imitated by others, especially Hugues de Brégy. The same spirit
soon betrayed itself in curious travesties of the romances of chivalry,
and sometimes invades the later specimens of these romances themselves.
One of the earliest examples of this travesty is the remarkable
composition entitled _Audigier_. This poem, half fabliau and half
romance, is not so much an instance of the heroi-comic poems which
afterwards found so much favour in Italy and elsewhere, as a direct and
ferocious parody of the Carlovingian epic. The hero Audigier is a model
of cowardice and disloyalty; his father and mother, Turgibus and
Rainberge, are deformed and repulsive. The exploits of the hero himself
are coarse and hideous failures, and the whole poem can only be taken as
a counterblast to the spirit of chivalry. Elsewhere a trouvère,
prophetic of Rabelais, describes a vast battle between all the nations
of the world, the quarrel being suddenly atoned by the arrival of a holy
man bearing a huge flagon of wine. Again, we have the history of a
solemn crusade undertaken by the citizens of a country town against the
neighbouring castle. As erudition and the fancy for allegory gained
ground, satire naturally availed itself of the opportunity thus afforded
it; the disputes of Philippe le Bel with the pope and the Templars had
an immense literary influence, partly in the concluding portions of the
_Renart_, partly in the _Roman de la rose_, still to be mentioned, and
partly in other satiric allegories of which the chief is the romance of
_Fauvel_, attributed to François de Rues. The hero of this is an
allegorical personage, half man and half horse, signifying the union of
bestial degradation with human ingenuity and cunning. Fauvel (the name,
it may be worth while to recall, occurs in Langland) is a divinity in
his way. All the personages of state, from kings and popes to mendicant
friars, pay their court to him.

  Baudouin de Sebourc.

But this serious and discontented spirit betrays itself also in
compositions which are not parodies or travesties in form. One of the
latest, if not absolutely the latest (for Cuvelier's still later
_Chronique de Du Guesclin_ is only a most interesting _imitation_ of the
_chanson_ form adapted to recent events), of the chansons de geste is
_Baudouin de Sebourc_, one of the members of the great romance or cycle
of romances dealing with the crusades, and entitled Le Chevalier au
Cygne. _Baudouin de Sebourc_ dates from the early years of the 14th
century. It is strictly a chanson de geste in form, and also in the
general run of its incidents. The hero is dispossessed of his
inheritance by the agency of traitors, fights his battle with the world
and its injustice, and at last prevails over his enemy Gaufrois, who has
succeeded in obtaining the kingdom of Friesland and almost that of
France. Gaufrois has as his assistants two personages who were very
popular in the poetry of the time,--viz., the Devil, and Money. These
two sinister figures pervade the fabliaux, tales and fantastic
literature generally of the time. M. Lenient, the historian of French
satire, has well remarked that a romance as long as the _Renart_ might
be spun out of the separate short poems of this period which have the
Devil for hero, and many of which form a very interesting transition
between the fabliau and the mystery. But the Devil is in one respect a
far inferior hero to Renart. He has an adversary in the Virgin, who
constantly upsets his best-laid schemes, and who does not always treat
him quite fairly. The abuse of usury at the time, and the exactions of
the Jews and Lombards, were severely felt, and Money itself, as
personified, figures largely in the popular literature of the time.

  William of Lorris.

  Jean de Meung.

_Roman de la Rose._--A work of very different importance from all of
these, though with seeming touches of the same spirit, a work which
deserves to take rank among the most important of the middle ages, is
the _Roman de la rose_,--one of the few really remarkable books which is
the work of two authors, and that not in collaboration but in
continuation one of the other. The author of the earlier part was
Guillaume de Lorris, who lived in the first half of the 13th century;
the author of the later part was Jean de Meung, who was born about the
middle of that century, and whose part in the _Roman_ dates at least
from its extreme end. This great poem exhibits in its two parts very
different characteristics, which yet go to make up a not inharmonious
whole. It is a love poem, and yet it is satire. But both gallantry and
raillery are treated in an entirely allegorical spirit; and this
allegory, while it makes the poem tedious to hasty appetites of to-day,
was exactly what gave it its charm in the eyes of the middle ages. It
might be described as an _Ars amoris_ crossed with a _Quodlibeta_. This
mixture exactly hit the taste of the time, and continued to hit it for
two centuries and a half. When its obvious and gallant meaning was
attacked by moralists and theologians, it was easy to quote the example
of the Canticles, and to furnish esoteric explanations of the allegory.
The writers of the 16th century were never tired of quoting and
explaining it. Antoine de Baïf, indeed, gave the simple and obvious
meaning, and declared that "La rose c'est d'amours le guerdon gracieux";
but Marot, on the other hand, gives us the choice of four mystical
interpretations,--the rose being either the state of wisdom, the state
of grace, the state of eternal happiness or the Virgin herself. We
cannot here analyse this celebrated poem. It is sufficient to say that
the lover meets all sorts of obstacles in his pursuit of the rose,
though he has for a guide the metaphorical personage Bel-Accueil. The
early part, which belongs to William of Lorris, is remarkable for its
gracious and fanciful descriptions. Forty years after Lorris's death,
Jean de Meung completed it in an entirely different spirit. He keeps the
allegorical form, and indeed introduces two new personages of
importance, Nature and Faux-semblant. In the mouths of these personages
and of another, Raison, he puts the most extraordinary mixture of
erudition and satire. At one time we have the history of classical
heroes, at another theories against the hoarding of money, about
astronomy, about the duty of mankind to increase and multiply. Accounts
of the origin of loyalty, which would have cost the poet his head at
some periods of history, and even communistic ideas, are also to be
found here. In Faux-semblant we have a real creation of the theatrical
hypocrite. All this miscellaneous and apparently incongruous material in
fact explains the success of the poem. It has the one characteristic
which has at all times secured the popularity of great works of
literature. It holds the mirror up firmly and fully to its age. As we
find in Rabelais the characteristics of the Renaissance, in Montaigne
those of the sceptical reaction from Renaissance and reform alike, in
Molière those of the society of France after Richelieu had tamed and
levelled it, in Voltaire and Rousseau respectively the two aspects of
the great revolt,--so there are to be found in the _Roman de la rose_
the characteristics of the later middle age, its gallantry, its
mysticism, its economical and social troubles and problems, its
scholastic methods of thought, its naïve acceptance as science of
everything that is written, and at the same time its shrewd and
indiscriminate criticism of much that the age of criticism has accepted
without doubt or question. The _Roman de la rose_, as might be supposed,
set the example of an immense literature of allegorical poetry, which
flourished more and more until the Renaissance. Some of these poems we
have already mentioned, some will have to be considered under the head
of the 15th century. But, as usually happens in such cases and was
certain to happen in this case, the allegory which has seemed tedious to
many, even in the original, became almost intolerable in the majority of
the imitations.

  Early didactic verse.

  Artificial forms of verse.

We have observed that, at least in the later section of the _Roman de la
rose_, there is observable a tendency to import into the poem
indiscriminate erudition. This tendency is now remote from our poetical
habits; but in its own day it was only the natural result of the use of
poetry for all literary purposes. It was many centuries before prose
became recognized as the proper vehicle for instruction, and at a very
early date verse was used as well for educational and moral as for
recreative and artistic purposes. French verse was the first born of all
literary mediums in modern European speech, and the resources of ancient
learning were certainly not less accessible in France than in any other
country. Dante, in his _De vulgari eloquio_, acknowledges the excellence
of the didactic writers of the Langue d'Oïl. We have already alluded to
the _Bestiary_ of Philippe de Thaun, a Norman trouvère who lived and
wrote in England during the reign of Henry Beauclerc. Besides the
_Bestiary_, which from its dedication to Queen Adela has been
conjectured to belong to the third decade of the 12th century, Philippe
wrote also in French a _Liber de creaturis_, both works being translated
from the Latin. These works of mystical and apocryphal physics and
zoology became extremely popular in the succeeding centuries, and were
frequently imitated. A moralizing turn was also given to them, which was
much helped by the importation of several miscellanies of Oriental
origin, partly tales, partly didactic in character, the most celebrated
of which is the _Roman des sept sages_, which, under that title and the
variant of _Dolopathos_, received repeated treatment from French writers
both in prose and verse. The odd notion of an _Ovide moralisé_ used to
be ascribed to Philippe de Vitry, bishop of Meaux (1291?-1391?), a
person complimented by Petrarch, but is now assigned to a certain
Chrétien Legonais. Art, too, soon demanded exposition in verse, as well
as science. The favourite pastime of the chase was repeatedly dealt
with, notably in the _Roi Modus_ (1325), mixed prose and verse; the
_Deduits de la chasse_ (1387), of Gaston de Foix, prose; and the _Tresor
de Venerie_ of Hardouin (1394), verse. Very soon didactic verse extended
itself to all the arts and sciences. Vegetius and his military precepts
had found a home in French octosyllables as early as the 12th century;
the end of the same age saw the ceremonies of knighthood solemnly
versified, and _napes_ (maps) _du monde_ also soon appeared. At last, in
1245, Gautier of Metz translated from various Latin works into French
verse a sort of encyclopaedia, while another, incongruous but known as
_L'Image du monde_, exists from the same century. Profane knowledge was
not the only subject which exercised didactic poets at this time.
Religious handbooks and commentaries on the scriptures were common in
the 13th and following centuries, and, under the title of _Castoiements,
Enseignements_ and _Doctrinaux_, moral treatises became common. The most
famous of these, the _Castoiement d'un père à son fils_, falls under the
class, already mentioned, of works due to oriental influence, being
derived from the Indian _Panchatantra_. In the 14th century the
influence of the _Roman de la rose_ helped to render moral verse
frequent and popular. The same century, moreover, which witnessed these
developments of well-intentioned if not always judicious erudition
witnessed also a considerable change in lyrical poetry. Hitherto such
poetry had chiefly been composed in the melodious but unconstrained
forms of the romance and the pastourelle. In the 14th century the
writers of northern France subjected themselves to severer rules. In
this age arose the forms which for so long a time were to occupy French
singers,--the ballade, the rondeau, the rondel, the triolet, the chant
royal and others. These received considerable alterations as time went
on. We possess not a few _Artes poëticae_, such as that of Eustache
Deschamps at the end of the 14th century, that formerly ascribed to
Henri de Croy and now to Molinet at the end of the 15th, and that of
Thomas Sibilet in the 16th, giving particulars of them, and these
particulars show considerable changes. Thus the term rondeau, which
since Villon has been chiefly limited to a poem of 15 lines, where the
9th and 15th repeat the first words of the first, was originally applied
both to the rondel, a poem of 13 or 14 lines, where the first two are
twice repeated integrally, and to the triolet, one of 8 only, where the
first line occurs three times and the second twice. The last is an
especially popular metre, and is found where we should least expect it,
in the dialogue of the early farces, the speakers making up triolets
between them. As these three forms are closely connected, so are the
ballade and the chant royal, the latter being an extended and more
stately and difficult version of the former, and the characteristic of
both being the identity of rhyme and refrain in the several stanzas. It
is quite uncertain at what time these fashions were first cultivated,
but the earliest poets who appear to have practised them extensively
were born at the close of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th
centuries. Of these Guillaume de Machault (c. 1300-1380) is the oldest.
He has left us 80,000 verses, never yet completely printed. Eustache
Deschamps (c. 1340-c. 1410) was nearly as prolific, but more fortunate
as more meritorious, the Société des anciens Textes having at last
provided a complete edition of him. Froissart the historian (1333-1410)
was also an agreeable and prolific poet. Deschamps, the most famous as a
poet of the three, has left us nearly 1200 ballades and nearly 200
rondeaux, besides much other verse all manifesting very considerable
poetical powers. Less known but not less noteworthy, and perhaps the
earliest of all, is Jehannot de Lescurel, whose personality is obscure,
and most of whose works are lost, but whose remains are full of grace.
Froissart appears to have had many countrymen in Hainault and Brabant
who devoted themselves to the art of versification; and the _Livre des
cent ballades_ of the Marshal Boucicault (1366-1421) and his friends--c.
1390--shows that the French gentleman of the 14th century was as apt at
the ballade as his Elizabethan peer in England was at the sonnet.

  Mysteries and miracles.

_Early Drama._--Before passing to the prose writers of the middle ages,
we have to take some notice of the dramatic productions of those
times--productions of an extremely interesting character, but, like the
immense majority of medieval literature, poetic in form. The origin or
the revival of dramatic composition in France has been hotly debated,
and it has been sometimes contended that the tradition of Latin comedy
was never entirely lost, but was handed on chiefly in the convents by
adaptations of the Terentian plays, such as those of the nun Hroswitha.
There is no doubt that the mysteries (subjects taken from the sacred
writings) and miracle plays (subjects taken from the legends of the
saints and the Virgin) are of very early date. The mystery of the
_Foolish Virgins_ (partly French, partly Latin), that of _Adam_ and
perhaps that of _Daniel_, are of the 12th century, though due to unknown
authors. Jean Bodel and Ruteboeuf, already mentioned, gave, the one that
of _Saint Nicolas_ at the confines of the 12th and 13th, the other that
of _Théophile_ later in the 13th itself. But the later moralities,
soties, and farces seem to be also in part a very probable development
of the simpler and earlier forms of the fabliau and of the tenson or
jeu-parti, a poem in simple dialogue much used by both troubadours and
trouvères. The fabliau has been sufficiently dealt with already. It
chiefly supplied the subject; and some miracle-plays and farces are
little more than fabliaux thrown into dialogue. Of the jeux-partis there
are many examples, varying from very simple questions and answers to
something like regular dramatic dialogue; even short romances, such as
_Aucassin et Nicolette_, were easily susceptible of dramatization. But
the _Jeu de la feuillie_ (or _feuillée_) of Adam de la Halle seems to be
the earliest piece, profane in subject, containing something more than
mere dialogue. The poet has not indeed gone far for his subject, for he
brings in his own wife, father and friends, the interest being
complicated by the introduction of stock characters (the doctor, the
monk, the fool), and of certain fairies--personages already popular from
the later romances of chivalry. Another piece of Adam's, _Le Jeu de
Robin et Marion_, also already alluded to, is little more than a simple
throwing into action of an ordinary pastourelle with a considerable
number of songs to music. Nevertheless later criticism has seen, and not
unreasonably, in these two pieces the origin in the one case of farce,
and thus indirectly of comedy proper, in the other of comic opera.

  Profane drama.

For a long time, however, the mystery and miracle-plays remained the
staple of theatrical performance, and until the 13th century actors as
well as performers were more or less taken from the clergy. It has,
indeed, been well pointed out that the offices of the church were
themselves dramatic performances, and required little more than
development at the hands of the mystery writers. The occasional festive
outbursts, such as the Feast of Fools, that of the Boy Bishop and the
rest, helped on the development. The variety of mysteries and miracles
was very great. A single manuscript contains forty miracles of the
Virgin, averaging from 1200 to 1500 lines each, written in octosyllabic
couplets, and at least as old as the 14th century, most of them perhaps
much earlier. The mysteries proper, or plays taken from the scriptures,
are older still. Many of these are exceedingly long. There is a _Mystère
de l'Ancien Testament_, which extends to many volumes, and must have
taken weeks to act in its entirety. The _Mystère de la Passion_, though
not quite so long, took several days, and recounts the whole history of
the gospels. The best apparently of the authors of these pieces, which
are mostly anonymous, were two brothers, Arnoul and Simon Gréban
(authors of the _Actes des apôtres_, and in the first case of the
_Passion_), c. 1450, while a certain Jean Michel (d. 1493) is credited
with having continued the _Passion_ from 30,000 lines to 50,000. But
these performances, though they held their ground until the middle of
the 16th century and extended their range of subject from sacred to
profane history--legendary as in the _Destruction de Troie_,
contemporary as in the _Siège d'Orléans_--were soon rivalled by the more
profane performances of the moralities, the farces and the soties. The
palmy time of all these three kinds is the 15th century, while the
Confrérie de la Passion itself, the special performers of the sacred
drama, only obtained the licence constituting it by an ordinance of
Charles VI. in 1402. In order, however, to take in the whole of the
medieval theatre at a glance, we may anticipate a little. The
Confraternity was not itself the author or performer of the profaner
kind of dramatic performance. This latter was due to two other bodies,
the clerks of the Bazoche and the Enfans sans Souci. As the
Confraternity was chiefly composed of tradesmen and persons very similar
to Peter Quince and his associates, so the clerks of the Bazoche were
members of the legal profession of Paris, and the Enfans sans Souci were
mostly young men of family. The morality was the special property of the
first, the sotie of the second. But as the moralities were sometimes
decidedly tedious plays, though by no means brief, they were varied by
the introduction of farces, of which the jeux already mentioned were the
early germ, and of which _L'Avocat Patelin_, dated by some about 1465
and certainly about 200 years subsequent to Adam de la Halle, is the
most famous example.



The morality was the natural result on the stage of the immense literary
popularity of allegory in the _Roman de la rose_ and its imitations.
There is hardly an abstraction, a virtue, a vice, a disease, or anything
else of the kind, which does not figure in these compositions. There is
Bien Advisé and Mal Advisé, the good boy and the bad boy of nursery
stories, who fall in respectively with Faith, Reason and Humility, and
with Rashness, Luxury and Folly. There is the hero Mange-Tout, who is
invited to dinner by Banquet, and meets after dinner very unpleasant
company in Colique, Goutte and Hydropisie. Honte-de-dire-ses-Péchés
might seem an anticipation of Puritan nomenclature to an English reader
who did not remember the contemporary or even earlier _personae_ of
Langland's poem. Some of these moralities possess distinct dramatic
merit; among these is mentioned _Les Blasphémateurs_, an early and
remarkable presentation of the Don Juan story. But their general
character appears to be gravity, not to say dullness. The Enfans sans
Souci, on the other hand, were definitely satirical, and nothing if not
amusing. The chief of the society was entitled Prince des Sots, and his
crown was a hood decorated with asses' ears. The sotie was directly
satirical, and only assumed the guise of folly as a stalking-horse for
shooting wit. It was more Aristophanic than any other modern form of
comedy, and like its predecessor, it perished as a result of its
political application. Encouraged for a moment as a political engine at
the beginning of the 16th century, it was soon absolutely forbidden and
put down, and had to give place in one direction to the lampoon and the
prose pamphlet, in another to forms of comic satire more general and
vague in their scope. The farce, on the other hand, having neither moral
purpose nor political intention, was a purer work of art, enjoyed a
wider range of subject, and was in no danger of any permanent
extinction. Farcical interludes were interpolated in the mysteries
themselves; short farces introduced and rendered palatable the
moralities, while the sotie was itself but a variety of farce, and all
the kinds were sometimes combined in a sort of tetralogy. It was a short
composition, 500 verses being considered sufficient, while the morality
might run to at least 1000 verses, the miracle-play to nearly double
that number, and the mystery to some 40,000 or 50,000, or indeed to any
length that the author could find in his heart to bestow upon the
audience, or the audience in their patience to suffer from the author.
The number of persons and societies who acted these performances grew to
be very large, being estimated at more than 5000 towards the end of the
15th century. Many fantastic personages came to join the Prince des
Sots, such as the Empereur de Galilée, the Princes de l'Étrille, and des
Nouveaux Mariés, the Roi de l'Épinette, the Recteur des Fous. Of the
pieces which these societies represented one only, that of _Maître
Patelin_, is now much known; but many are almost equally amusing.
_Patelin_ itself has an immense number of versions and editions. Other
farces are too numerous to attempt to classify; they bear, however, in
their subjects, as in their manner, a remarkable resemblance to the
fabliaux, their source. Conjugal disagreements, the unpleasantness of
mothers-in-law, the shifty or, in the earlier stages, clumsy valet and
chambermaid, the mishaps of too loosely given ecclesiastics, the abuses
of relics and pardons, the extortion, violence, and sometimes cowardice
of the seigneur and the soldiery, the corruption of justice, its delays
and its pompous apparatus, supply the subjects. The treatment is rather
narrative than dramatic in most cases, as might be expected, but makes
up by the liveliness of the dialogue for the deficiency of elaborately
planned action and interest. All these forms, it will be observed, are
directly or indirectly comic. Tragedy in the middle ages is represented
only by the religious drama, except for a brief period towards the
decline of that form, when the "profane" mysteries referred to above
came to be represented. These were, however, rather "histories," in the
Elizabethan sense, than tragedies proper.

  Early chronicles.



_Prose History._--In France, as in all other countries of whose literary
developments we have any record, literature in prose is considerably
later than literature in verse. We have certain glosses or vocabularies
possibly dating as far back as the 8th or even the 7th century; we have
the Strassburg oaths, already described, of the 9th, and a commentary on
the prophet Jonas which is probably as early. In the 10th century there
are some charters and muniments in the vernacular; of the 11th the laws
of William the Conqueror are the most important document; while the
_Assises de Jérusalem_ of Godfrey of Bouillon date, though not in the
form in which we now possess them, from the same age. The 12th century
gives us certain translations of the Scriptures, and the remarkable
Arthurian romances already alluded to; and thenceforward French prose,
though long less favoured than verse, begins to grow in importance.
History, as is natural, was the first subject which gave it a really
satisfactory opportunity of developing its powers. For a time the French
chroniclers contented themselves with Latin prose or with French verse,
after the fashion of Wace and the Belgian, Philippe Mouskés (1215-1283).
These, after a fashion universal in medieval times, began from fabulous
or merely literary origins, and just as Wyntoun later carries back the
history of Scotland to the terrestrial paradise, so does Mouskés start
that of France from the rape of Helen. But soon prose chronicles, first
translated, then original, became common; the earliest of all is said to
have been that of the pseudo-Turpin, which thus recovered in prose the
language which had originally clothed it in verse, and which, to gain a
false appearance of authenticity, it had exchanged still earlier for
Latin. Then came French selections and versions from the great series of
historical compositions undertaken by the monks of St Denys, the
so-called _Grandes Chroniques de France_ from the date of 1274, when
they first took form in the hands of a monk styled Primat, to the reign
of Charles V., when they assumed the title just given. But the first
really remarkable author who used French prose as a vehicle of
historical expression is Geoffroi de Villehardouin, marshal of
Champagne, who was born rather after the middle of the 12th century, and
died in Greece in 1212. Under the title of _Conquête de Constantinoble_
Villehardouin has left us a history of the fourth crusade, which has
been accepted by all competent judges as the best picture extant of
feudal chivalry in its prime. The _Conquête de Constantinoble_ has been
well called a chanson de geste in prose, and indeed in the surprising
nature of the feats it celebrates, in the abundance of detail, and in
the vivid and picturesque poetry of the narration, it equals the very
best of the chansons. Even the repetition of the same phrases which is
characteristic of epic poetry repeats itself in this epic prose; and as
in the chansons so in Villehardouin, few motives appear but religious
fervour and the love of fighting, though neither of these excludes a
lively appetite for booty and a constant tendency to disunion and
disorder. Villehardouin was continued by Henri de Valenciennes, whose
work is less remarkable, and has more the appearance of a rhymed
chronicle thrown into prose, a process which is known to have been
actually applied in some cases. Nor is the transition from Villehardouin
to Jean de Joinville (considerable in point of time, for Joinville was
not born till ten years after Villehardouin's death) in point of
literary history immediate. The rhymed chronicles of Philippe Mouskés
and Guillaume Guiart belong to this interval; and in prose the most
remarkable works are the _Chronique de Reims_, a well-written history,
having the interesting characteristics of taking the lay and popular
side, and the great compilation edited (in the modern sense) by Baudouin
d'Avesnes (1213-1289). Joinville (? 1224-1317), whose special subject is
the Life of St Louis, is far more modern than even the half-century
which separates him from Villehardouin would lead us to suppose. There
is nothing of the knight-errant about him personally, notwithstanding
his devotion to his hero. Our Lady of the Broken Lances is far from
being his favourite saint. He is an admirable writer, but far less
simple than Villehardouin; the good King Louis tries in vain to make him
share his own rather high-flown devotion. Joinville is shrewd,
practical, there is even a touch of the Voltairean about him; but he,
unlike his predecessor, has political ideas and antiquarian curiosity,
and his descriptions are often very creditable pieces of deliberate


It is very remarkable that each of the three last centuries of feudalism
should have had one specially and extraordinarily gifted chronicler to
describe it. What Villehardouin is to the 12th and Joinville to the 13th
century, that Jean Froissart (1337-1410) is to the 14th. His picture is
the most famous as it is the most varied of the three, but it has
special drawbacks as well as special merits. French critics have indeed
been scarcely fair to Froissart, because of his early partiality to our
own nation in the great quarrel of the time, forgetting that there was
really no reason why he as a Hainaulter should take the French side. But
there is no doubt that if the duty of an historian is to take in all the
political problems of his time, Froissart certainly comes short of it.
Although the feudal state in which knights and churchmen were alone of
estimation was at the point of death, and though new orders of society
were becoming important, though the distress and confusion of a
transition state were evident to all, Froissart takes no notice of them.
Society is still to him all knights and ladies, tournaments, skirmishes
and feasts. He depicts these, not like Joinville, still less like
Villehardouin, as a sharer in them, but with the facile and picturesque
pen of a sympathizing literary onlooker. As the comparison of the
_Conquête de Constantinoble_ with a chanson de geste is inevitable, so
is that of Froissart's _Chronique_ with a roman d'aventures.

For Provençal Literature see the separate article under that heading.

_15th Century._--The 15th century holds a peculiar and somewhat disputed
position in the history of French literature, as, indeed, it does in the
history of the literature of all Europe, except Italy. It has sometimes
been regarded as the final stage of the medieval period, sometimes as
the earliest of the modern, the influence of the Renaissance in Italy
already filtering through. Others again have taken the easy step of
marking it as an age of transition. There is as usual truth in all these
views. Feudality died with Froissart and Eustache Deschamps. The modern
spirit can hardly be said to arise before Rabelais and Ronsard. Yet the
15th century, from the point of view of French literature, is much more
remarkable than its historians have been wont to confess. It has not the
strongly marked and compact originality of some periods, and it
furnishes only one name of the highest order of literary interest; but
it abounds in names of the second rank, and the very difference which
exists between their styles and characters testifies to the existence of
a large number of separate forces working in their different manners on
different persons. Its theatre we have already treated by anticipation,
and to it we shall afterwards recur. It was the palmy time of the early
French stage, and all the dramatic styles which we have enumerated then
came to perfection. Of no other kind of literature can the same be said.
The century which witnessed the invention of printing naturally devoted
itself at first more to the spreading of old literature than to the
production of new. Yet as it perfected the early drama, so it produced
the prose tale. Nor, as regards individual and single names, can the
century of Charles d'Orléans, of Alain Chartier, of Christine de Pisan,
of Coquillart, of Comines, and, above all, of Villon, be said to lack

  Christine de Pisan.

  Alain Chartier.

  Charles d'Orléans.



First among the poets of the period falls to be mentioned the shadowy
personality of Olivier Basselin. Modern criticism has attacked the
identity of the jovial miller, who was once supposed to have written and
perhaps invented the songs called _vaux de vire_, and to have also
carried on a patriotic warfare against the English. But though Jean le
Houx may have written the poems published under Basselin's name two
centuries later, it is taken as certain that an actual Olivier wrote
actual vaux de vire at the beginning of the 15th century. About
Christine de Pisan (1363-1430) and Alain Chartier (1392-c. 1430) there
is no such doubt. Christine was the daughter of an Italian astrologer
who was patronized by Charles V. She was born in Italy but brought up in
France, and she enriched the literature of her adopted country with much
learning, good sense and patriotism. She wrote history, devotional works
and poetry; and though her literary merit is not of the highest, it is
very far from despicable. Alain Chartier, best known to modern readers
by the story of _Margaret of Scotland's Kiss_, was a writer of a
somewhat similar character. In both Christine and Chartier there is a
great deal of rather heavy moralizing, and a great deal of rather
pedantic erudition. But it is only fair to remember that the intolerable
political and social evils of the day called for a good deal of
moralizing, and that it was the function of the writers of this time to
fill up as well as they could the scantily filled vessels of medieval
science and learning. A very different person is Charles d'Orléans
(1391-1465), one of the greatest of _grands seigneurs_, for he was the
father of a king of France, and heir to the duchies of Orléans and
Milan. Charles, indeed, if not a Roland or a Bayard, was an admirable
poet. He is the best-known and perhaps the best writer of the graceful
poems in which an artificial versification is strictly observed, and
helps by its recurrent lines and modulated rhymes to give to poetry
something of a musical accompaniment even without the addition of music
properly so called. His ballades are certainly inferior to those of
Villon, but his rondels are unequalled. For fully a century and a half
these forms engrossed the attention of French lyrical poets. Exercises
in them were produced in enormous numbers, and of an excellence which
has only recently obtained full recognition even in France. Charles
d'Orléans is himself sufficient proof of what can be done in them in the
way of elegance, sweetness, and grace which some have unjustly called
effeminacy. But that this effeminacy was no natural or inevitable fault
of the ballades and the rondeaux was fully proved by the most remarkable
literary figure of the 15th century in France. To François Villon
(1431-1463?), as to other great single writers, no attempt can be made
to do justice in this place. His remarkable life and character
especially lie outside our subject. But he is universally recognized as
the most important single figure of French literature before the
Renaissance. His work is very strange in form, the undoubtedly genuine
part of it consisting merely of two compositions, known as the great and
little Testament, written in stanzas of eight lines of eight syllables
each, with lyrical compositions in ballade and rondeau form
interspersed. Nothing in old French literature can compare with the best
of these, such as the "Ballade des dames du temps jadis," the "Ballade
pour sa mère," "La Grosse Margot," "Les Regrets de la belle Heaulmière,"
and others; while the whole composition is full of poetical traits of
the most extraordinary vigour, picturesqueness and pathos. Towards the
end of the century the poetical production of the time became very
large. The artificial measures already alluded to, and others far more
artificial and infinitely less beautiful, were largely practised. The
typical poet of the end of the 15th century is Guillaume Crétin (d.
1525), who distinguished himself by writing verses with punning rhymes,
verses ending with double or treble repetitions of the same sound, and
many other tasteless absurdities, in which, as Pasquier remarks, "il
perdit toute la grâce et la liberté de la composition." The other
favourite direction of the poetry of the time was a vein of allegorical
moralizing drawn from the _Roman de la rose_ through the medium of
Chartier and Christine, which produced "Castles of Love," "Temples of
Honour," and such like. The combination of these drifts in verse-writing
produced a school known in literary history, from a happy phrase of the
satirist Coquillart (_v. inf._), as the "Grands Rhétoriqueurs." The
chief of these besides Crétin were Jean Molinet (d. 1507); Jean
Meschinot (c. 1420-1491), author of the _Lunettes des princes_;
Florimond Robertet (d. 1522); Georges Chastellain (1404-1475), to be
mentioned again; and Octavien de Saint-Gelais (1466-1502), father of a
better poet than himself. Yet some of the minor poets of the time are
not to be despised. Such are Henri Baude (1430-1490), a less pedantic
writer than most, Martial d'Auvergne (1440-1508), whose principal work
is _L'Amant rendu cordelier au service de l'amour_, and others, many of
whom formed part of the poetical court which Charles d'Orléans kept up
at Blois after his release.


While the serious poetry of the age took this turn, there was no lack of
lighter and satirical verse. Villon, indeed, were it not for the depth
and pathos of his poetical sentiment, might be claimed as a poet of the
lighter order, and the patriotic diatribes against the English to which
we have alluded easily passed into satire. The political quarrels of the
latter part of the century also provoked much satirical composition. The
disputes of the Bien Public and those between Louis XI. and Charles of
Burgundy employed many pens. The most remarkable piece of the light
literature of the first is "Les Ânes Volants," a ballad on some of the
early favourites of Louis. The battles of France and Burgundy were waged
on paper between Gilles des Ormes and the above-named Georges
Chastelain, typical representatives of the two styles of 15th-century
poetry already alluded to--Des Ormes being the lighter and more graceful
writer, Chastelain a pompous and learned allegorist. The most remarkable
representative of purely light poetry outside the theatre is Guillaume
Coquillart (1421-1510), a lawyer of Champagne, who resided for the
greater part of his life in Reims. This city, like others, suffered from
the pitiless tyranny of Louis XI. The beginnings of the standing army
which Charles VII. had started were extremely unpopular, and the use to
which his son put them by no means removed this unpopularity. Coquillart
described the military man of the period in his _Monologue du gendarme
cassé_. Again, when the king entertained the idea of unifying the taxes
and laws of the different provinces, Coquillart, who was named
commissioner for this purpose, wrote on the occasion a satire called
_Les Droits nouveaux_. A certain kind of satire, much less good-tempered
than the earlier forms, became indeed common at this epoch. M. Lenient
has well pointed out that a new satirical personification dominates this
literature. It is no longer Renart with his cynical gaiety, or the
curiously travestied and almost amiable Devil of the Middle Ages. Now it
is Death as an incident ever present to the imagination, celebrated in
the thousand repetitions of the _Danse Macabre_, sculptured all over the
buildings of the time, even frequently performed on holidays and in
public. With the usual tendency to follow pattern, the idea of the
"dance" seems to have been extended, and we have a _Danse aux aveugles_
(1464) from Pierre Michaut, where the teachers are fortune, love and
death, all blind. All through the century, too, anonymous verse of the
lighter kind was written, some of it of great merit. The folk-songs
already alluded to, published by Gaston Paris, show one side of this
composition, and many of the pieces contained in M. de Montaiglon's
extensive _Recueil des anciennes poésies françaises_ exhibit others.

The 15th century was perhaps more remarkable for its achievements in
prose than in poetry. It produced, indeed, no prose writer of great
distinction, except Comines; but it witnessed serious, if not extremely
successful, efforts at prose composition. The invention of printing
finally substituted the reader for the listener, and when this
substitution has been effected, the main inducement to treat unsuitable
subjects in verse is gone. The study of the classics at first hand
contributed to the same end. As early as 1458 the university of Paris
had a Greek professor. But long before this time translations in prose
had been made. Pierre Bercheure (Bersuire) (1290-1352) had already
translated Livy. Nicholas Oresme (c. 1334-1382), the tutor of Charles
V., gave a version of certain Aristotelian works, which enriched the
language with a large number of terms, then strange enough, now
familiar. Raoul de Presles (1316-1383) turned into French the _De
civitate Dei_ of St Augustine. These writers or others composed _Le
Songe du vergier_, an elaborate discussion of the power of the pope. The
famous chancellor, Jean Charlier or Gerson (1363-1429), to whom the
_Imitation_ has among so many others been attributed, spoke constantly
and wrote often in the vulgar tongue, though he attacked the most famous
and popular work in that tongue, the _Roman de la rose_. Christine de
Pisan and Alain Chartier were at least as much prose writers as poets;
and the latter, while he, like Gerson, dealt much with the reform of the
church, used in his _Quadriloge invectif_ really forcible language for
the purpose of spurring on the nobles of France to put an end to her
sufferings and evils. These moral and didactic treatises were but
continuations of others, which for convenience sake we have hitherto
left unnoticed. Though verse was in the centuries prior to the 15th the
favourite medium for literary composition, it was by no means the only
one; and moral and educational treatises--some referred to
above--already existed in pedestrian phrase. Certain household books
(_Livres de raison_) have been preserved, some of which date as far back
as the 13th century. These contain not merely accounts, but family
chronicles, receipts and the like. Accounts of travel, especially to the
Holy Land, culminated in the famous _Voyage_ of Mandeville which, though
it has never been of so much importance in French as in English, perhaps
first took vernacular form in the French tongue. Of the 14th century, we
have a _Menagier de Paris_, intended for the instruction of a young
wife, and a large number of miscellaneous treatises of art, science and
morality, while private letters, mostly as yet unpublished, exist in
considerable numbers, and are generally of the moralizing character;
books of devotion, too, are naturally frequent.

  Early sermon-writers.


But the most important divisions of medieval energy in prose composition
are the spoken exercises of the pulpit and the bar. The beginnings of
French sermons have been much discussed, especially the question whether
St Bernard, whose discourses we possess in ancient, but doubtfully
contemporary French, pronounced them in that language or in Latin.
Towards the end of the 12th century, however, the sermons of Maurice de
Sully (1160-1196) present the first undoubted examples of homiletics in
the vernacular, and they are followed by many others--so many indeed
that the 13th century alone counts 261 sermon-writers, besides a large
body of anonymous work. These sermons were, as might indeed be expected,
chiefly cast in a somewhat scholastic form--theme, exordium,
development, example and peroration following in regular order. The
14th-century sermons, on the other hand, have as yet been little
investigated. It must, however, be remembered that this age was the most
famous of all for its scholastic illustrations, and for the early vigour
of the Dominican and Franciscan orders. With the end of the century and
the beginning of the 15th, the importance of the pulpit begins to
revive. The early years of the new age have Gerson for their
representative, while the end of the century sees the still more famous
names of Michel Menot (1450-1518), Olivier Maillard (c. 1430-1502), and
Jean Rauhn (1443-1514), all remarkable for the practice of a vigorous
and homely style of oratory, recoiling before no aid of what we should
nowadays style buffoonery, and manifesting a creditable indifference to
the indignation of principalities and powers. Louis XI. is said to have
threatened to throw Maillard into the Seine, and many instances of the
boldness of these preachers and the rough vigour of their oratory have
been preserved. Froissart had been followed as a chronicler by
Enguerrand de Monstrelet (c. 1390-1453) and by the historiographers of
the Burgundian court, Chastelain, already mentioned, whose interesting
_Chronique de Jacques de Lalaing_ is much the most attractive part of
his work, and Olivier de la Marche. The memoir and chronicle writers,
who were to be of so much importance in French literature, also begin to
be numerous at this period. Juvenal des Ursins (1388-1473), an anonymous
bourgeois de Paris (two such indeed), and the author of the _Chronique
scandaleuse_, may be mentioned as presenting the character of minute
observation and record which has distinguished the class ever since.
Jean le maire de (not _des_) Belges (1473-c. 1525) was historiographer
to Louis XII. and wrote _Illustrations des Gaules_. But Comines
(1445-1509) is no imitator of Froissart or of any one else. The last of
the quartette of great French medieval historians, he does not yield to
any of his three predecessors in originality or merit, but he is very
different from them. He fully represents the mania of the time for
statecraft, and his book has long ranked with that of Machiavelli as a
manual of the art, though he has not the absolutely non-moral character
of the Italian. His memoirs, considered merely as literature, show a
style well suited to their purport,--not, indeed, brilliant or
picturesque, but clear, terse and thoroughly well suited to the
expression of the acuteness, observation and common sense of their

  The Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles.

  Antoine de la Salle.

  Influence of the Renaissance.

But prose was not content with the domain of serious literature. It had
already long possessed a respectable position as a vehicle of romance,
and the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th centuries were
pre-eminently the time when the epics of chivalry were re-edited and
extended in prose. Few, however, of these extensions offer much literary
interest. On the other hand, the best prose of the century, and almost
the earliest which deserves the title of a satisfactory literary medium,
was employed for the telling of romances in miniature. The _Cent
Nouvelles Nouvelles_ is undoubtedly the first work of prose
belles-lettres in French, and the first, moreover, of a long and most
remarkable class of literary work in which French writers may challenge
all comers with the certainty of victory--the short prose tale of a
comic character. This remarkable work has usually been attributed, like
the somewhat similar but later _Heptaméron_, to a knot of literary
courtiers gathered round a royal personage, in this case the dauphin
Louis, afterwards Louis XI. Some evidence has recently been produced
which seems to show that this tradition, which attributed some of the
tales to Louis himself, is erroneous, but the question is still
undecided. The subjects of the _Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles_ are by no
means new. They are simply the old themes of the fabliaux treated in the
old way. The novelty is in the application of prose to such a purpose,
and in the crispness, the fluency and the elegance of the prose used.
The fortunate author or editor to whom these admirable tales have of
late been attributed is Antoine de la Salle (1398-1461), who, if this
attribution and certain others be correct, must be allowed to be one of
the most original and fertile authors of early French literature. La
Salle's one acknowledged work is the story of _Petit Jehan de Saintré_,
a short romance exhibiting great command of character and abundance of
delicate draughtsmanship. To this not only the authorship,
part-authorship or editorship of the _Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles_ has been
added; but the still more famous and important work of _L'Avocat
Patelin_ has been assigned by respectable, though of course
conjecturing, authority to the same paternity. The generosity of critics
towards La Salle has not even stopped here. A fourth masterpiece of the
period, _Les Quinze Joies de mariage_, has also been assigned to him.
This last work, like the other three, is satirical in subject, and shows
for the time a wonderful mastery of the language. Of the fifteen joys of
marriage, or, in other words, the fifteen miseries of husbands, each has
a chapter assigned to it, and each is treated with the peculiar mixture
of gravity and ridicule which it requires. All who have read the book
confess its infinite wit and the grace of its style. It is true that it
has been reproached with cruelty and with a lack of the moral sentiment.
But humanity and morality were not the strong point of the 15th century.
There is, it must be admitted, about most of its productions a lack of
poetry and a lack of imagination, produced, it may be, partly by
political and other conditions outside literature, but very observable
in it. The old forms of literature itself had lost their interest, and
new ones possessing strength to last and power to develop themselves had
not yet appeared. It was impossible, even if the taste for it had
survived, to spin out the old themes any longer. But the new forces
required some time to set to work, and to avail themselves of the
tremendous weapon which the press had put into their hands. When these
things had adjusted themselves, literature of a varied and vigorous kind
became once more possible and indeed necessary, nor did it take long to
make its appearance.

_16th Century._--In no country was the literary result of the
Renaissance more striking and more manifold than in France. The double
effect of the study of antiquity and the religious movement produced an
outburst of literary developments of the most diverse kinds, which even
the fierce and sanguinary civil dissensions of the Reformation did not
succeed in checking. While the Renaissance in Italy had mainly exhausted
its effects by the middle of the 16th century, while in Germany those
effects only paved the way for a national literature, and did not
themselves greatly contribute thereto, while in England it was not till
the extreme end of the period that a great literature was
forthcoming--in France almost the whole century was marked by the
production of capital works in every branch of literary effort. Not even
the 17th century, and certainly not the 18th, can show such a group of
prose writers and poets as is formed by Calvin, St Francis de Sales,
Montaigne, du Vair, Bodin, d'Aubigné, the authors of the _Satire
Ménippée_, Monluc, Brantôme, Pasquier, Rabelais, des Periers, Herberay
des Essarts, Amyot, Garnier, Marot, Ronsard and the rest of the
"Pléiade," and finally Regnier. These great writers are not merely
remarkable for the vigour and originality of their thoughts, the
freshness, variety and grace of their fancy, the abundance of their
learning and the solidity of their arguments in the cases where argument
is required. Their great merit is the creation of a language and a style
able to give expression to these good gifts. The foregoing account of
the medieval literature of France will have shown sufficiently that it
is not lawful to despise the literary capacities and achievements of the
older French. But the old language, with all its merits, was ill-suited
to be a vehicle for any but the simpler forms of literary composition.
Pleasant or affecting tales could be told in it with interest and
pathos. Songs of charming _naïveté_ and grace could be sung; the
requirements of the epic and the chronicle were suitably furnished. But
it was barren of the terms of art and science; it did not readily lend
itself to sustained eloquence, to impassioned poetry or to logical
discussion. It had been too long accustomed to leave these things to
Latin as their natural and legitimate exponent, and it bore marks of its
original character as a _lingua rustica_, a tongue suited for homely
conversation, for folk-lore and for ballads, rather than for the
business of the forum and the court, the speculations of the study, and
the declamation of the theatre. Efforts had indeed been made,
culminating in the heavy and tasteless erudition of the schools of
Chartier and Crétin, to supply the defect; but it was reserved for the
16th century completely to efface it. The series of prose writers from
Calvin to Montaigne, of poets from Marot to Regnier, elaborated a
language yielding to no modern tongue in beauty, richness, flexibility
and strength, a language which the reactionary purism of succeeding
generations defaced rather than improved, and the merits of which have
in still later days been triumphantly vindicated by the confession and
the practice of all the greatest writers of modern France.



  The Pléiade.

_16th-Century Poetry._--The first few years of the 16th century were
naturally occupied rather with the last developments of the medieval
forms than with the production of the new model. The clerks of the
Bazoche and the Confraternity of the Passion still produced and acted
mysteries, moralities and farces. The poets of the "Grands
Rhétoriqueurs" school still wrote elaborate allegorical poetry. Chansons
de geste, rhymed romances and fabliaux had long ceased to be written.
But the press was multiplying the contents of the former in the prose
form which they had finally assumed, and in the _Cent Nouvelles
Nouvelles_ there already existed admirable specimens of the short prose
tale. There even were signs, as in some writers already mentioned and in
Roger de Collérye, a lackpenny but light-hearted singer of the early
part of the century, of definite enfranchisement in verse. But the first
note of the new literature was sounded by Clément Marot (1496/7-1544).
The son of an elder poet, Jehan des Mares called Marot (1463-1523),
Clément at first wrote, like his father's contemporaries, allegorical
and mythological poetry, afterwards collected in a volume with a
charming title, _L'Adolescence clémentine_. It was not till he was
nearly thirty years old that his work became really remarkable. From
that time forward till his death, about twenty years afterwards, he was
much involved in the troubles and persecutions of the Huguenot party to
which he belonged; nor was the protection of Marguerite d'Angoulême, the
chief patroness of Huguenots and men of letters, always efficient. But
his troubles, so far from harming, helped his literary faculties; and
his epistles, epigrams, _blasons_ (descendants of the medieval _dits_),
and _coq-à-l'âne_ became remarkable for their easy and polished style,
their light and graceful wit, and a certain elegance which had not as
yet been even attempted in any modern tongue, though the Italian
humanists had not been far from it in some of their Latin compositions.
Around Marot arose a whole school of disciples and imitators, such as
Victor Brodeau (1470?-1540), the great authority on rondeaux, Maurice
Scève, a fertile author of blasons, Salel, Marguerite herself
(1492-1549), of whom more hereafter, and Mellin de Saint Gelais
(1491-1558). The last, son of the bishop named above, is a courtly
writer of occasional pieces, who sustained as well as he could the
_style marotique_ against Ronsard, and who has the credit of introducing
the regular sonnet into French. But the inventive vigour of the age was
so great that one school had hardly become popular before another pushed
it from its stool, and even of the Marotists just mentioned Scève and
Salel are often regarded as chief and member respectively of a Lyonnese
coterie, intermediate between the schools of Marot and of Ronsard,
containing other members of repute such as Antoine Heroët and Charles
Fontaine and claiming Louise Labé (_v. inf._) herself. Pierre de Ronsard
(1524-1585) was the chief of this latter. At first a courtier and a
diplomatist, physical disqualification made him change his career. He
began to study the classics under Jean Daurat (1508-1588), and with his
master and five other writers, Étienne Jodelle (1532-1573), Rémy Belleau
(1528-1577), Joachim du Bellay (1525-1560), Jean Antoine de Baïf
(1532-1589), and Pontus de Tyard (d. 1605, bishop of Châlons-sur-Saône),
composed the famous "Pléiade." The object of this band was to bring the
French language, in vocabulary, constructions and application, on a
level with the classical tongues by borrowings from the latter. They
would have imported the Greek licence of compound words, though the
genius of the French language is but little adapted thereto; and they
wished to reproduce in French the regular tragedy, the Pindaric and
Horatian ode, the Virgilian epic, &c. But it is an error (though one
which until recently was very common, and which perhaps requires pretty
thorough study of their work completely to extirpate it) to suppose that
they advocated or practised _indiscriminate_ borrowing. On the contrary
both in du Bellay's famous manifesto, the _Deffense et illustration de
la langue française_, and in Ronsard's own work, caution and attention
to the genius and the tradition of French are insisted upon. Being all
men of the highest talent, and not a few of them men of great genius,
they achieved much that they designed, and even where they failed
exactly to achieve it, they very often indirectly produced results as
important and more beneficial than those which they intended. Their
ideal of a separate poetical language distinct from that intended for
prose use was indeed a doubtful if not a dangerous one. But it is
certain that Marot, while setting an example of elegance and grace not
easily to be imitated, set also an example of trivial and, so to speak,
pedestrian language which was only too imitable. If France was ever to
possess a literature containing something besides fabliaux and farces,
the tongue must be enriched and strengthened. This accession of wealth
and vigour it received from Ronsard and the Ronsardists. Doubtless they
went too far and provoked to some extent the reaction which Malherbe
led. Their importations were sometimes unnecessary. It is almost
impossible to read the _Franciade_ of Ronsard, and not too easy to read
the tragedies of Jodelle and Garnier, fine as the latter are in parts.
But the best of Ronsard's sonnets and odes, the finest of du Bellay's
_Antiquités de Rome_ (translated into English by Spenser), the exquisite
_Vanneur_ of the same author, and the _Avril_ of Belleau, even the finer
passages of d'Aubigné and du Bartas, are not only admirable in
themselves, and of a kind not previously found in French literature, but
are also such things as could not have been previously found, for the
simple reason that the medium of expression was wanting. They
constructed that medium for themselves, and no force of the reaction
which they provoked was able to undo their work. Adverse criticism and
the natural course of time rejected much that they had added. The
charming diminutives they loved so much went out of fashion; their
compounds (sometimes it must be confessed, justly) had their letters of
naturalization promptly cancelled; many a gorgeous adjective, including
some which could trace their pedigree to the earliest ages of French
literature, but which bore an unfortunate likeness to the new-comers,
was proscribed. But for all that no language has ever had its destiny
influenced more powerfully and more beneficially by a small literary
clique than the language of France was influenced by the example and
disciples of that Ronsard whom for two centuries it was the fashion to
deride and decry.

  The Ronsardists.

  Du Bartas.


In a sketch such as the present it is impossible to give a separate
account of individual writers, the more important of whom will be found
treated under their own names. The effort of the "Pléiade" proper was
continued and shared by a considerable number of minor poets, some of
them, as has been already noted, belonging to different groups and
schools. Olivier de Magny (d. 1560) and Louise Labé (b. 1526) were poets
and lovers, the lady deserving far the higher rank in literature. There
is more depth of passion in the writings of "La Belle Cordière," as this
Lyonnese poetess was called, than in almost any of her contemporaries.
Jacques Tahureau (1527-1555) scarcely deserves to be called a minor
poet. There is less than the usual hyperbole in the contemporary
comparison of him to Catullus, and he reminds an Englishman of the
school represented nearly a century later by Carew, Randolph and
Suckling. The title of a part of his poem--_Mignardises amoureuses de
l'admirée_--is characteristic both of the style and of the time. Jean
Doublet (c. 1528-c. 1580), Amadis Jamyn (c. 1530-1585), and Jean de la
Taille (1540-1608) deserve mention at least as poets, but two other
writers require a longer allusion. Guillaume de Salluste, seigneur du
Bartas (1544-1590), whom Sylvester's translation, Milton's imitation,
and the copious citations of Southey's _Doctor_, have made known if not
familiar in England, was partly a disciple and partly a rival of
Ronsard. His poem of _Judith_ was eclipsed by his better-known _La
Divine Sepmaine_ or epic of the Creation. Du Bartas was a great user and
abuser of the double compounds alluded to above, but his style possesses
much stateliness, and has a peculiar solemn eloquence which he shared
with the other French Calvinists, and which was derived from the study
partly of Calvin and partly of the Bible. Théodore Agrippa d'Aubigné
(1552-1630), like du Bartas, was a Calvinist. His genius was of a more
varied character. He wrote sonnets and odes as became a Ronsardist, but
his chief poetical work is the satirical poem of _Les Tragiques_, in
which the author brands the factions, corruptions and persecutions of
the time, and in which there are to be found alexandrines of a strength,
vigour and original cadence hardly to be discovered elsewhere, save in
Corneille and Victor Hugo. Towards the end of the century, Philippe
Desportes (1546-1606) and Jean Bertaut (1552-1611), with much enfeebled
strength, but with a certain grace, continue the Ronsardizing tradition.
Among their contemporaries must be noticed Jean Passerat (1534-1602), a
writer of much wit and vigour and rather resembling Marot than Ronsard,
and Vauquelin de la Fresnaye (1536-1607), the author of a valuable _Ars
poëtica_ and of the first French satires which actually bear that title.
Jean le Houx (fl. c. 1600) continued, rewrote or invented the vaux de
vire, commonly known as the work of Olivier Basselin, and already
alluded to, while a still lighter and more eccentric verse style was
cultivated by Étienne Tabourot des Accords (1549-1590), whose epigrams
and other pieces were collected under odd titles, _Les Bigarrures, Les
Touches_, &c. A curious pair are Guy du Faur de Pibrac (1529-1584) and
Pierre Mathieu (b. 1563), authors of moral quatrains, which were learnt
by heart in the schools of the time, replacing the distichs of the
grammarian Cato, which, translated into French, had served the same
purpose in the middle ages.


The nephew of Desportes, Mathurin Regnier (1573-1613), marks the end,
and at the same time perhaps the climax, of the poetry of the century. A
descendant at once of the older Gallic spirit of Villon and Marot, in
virtue of his consummate acuteness, terseness and wit, of the school of
Ronsard by his erudition, his command of language, and his scholarship,
Regnier is perhaps the best representative of French poetry at the
critical time when it had got together all its materials, had lost none
of its native vigour and force, and had not yet submitted to the
cramping and numbing rules and restrictions which the next century
introduced. The satirical poems of Regnier, and especially the admirable
epistle to Rapin, in which he denounces and rebuts the critical dogmas
of Malherbe, are models of nervous strength, while some of the elegies
and odes contain expression not easily to be surpassed of the softer
feelings of affection and regret. No poet has had more influence on the
revival of French poetry in the last century than Regnier, and he had
imitators in his own time, the chief of whom was Courval-Sonnet (Thomas
Sonnet, sieur de Courval) (1577-1635), author of satires of some value
for the history of manners.

  Regular tragedy and comedy.



_16th-Century Drama._--The change which dramatic poetry underwent during
the 16th century was at least as remarkable as that undergone by poetry
proper. The first half of the period saw the end of the religious
mysteries, the licence of which had irritated both the parliament and
the clergy. Louis XII., at the beginning of the century, was far from
discouraging the disorderly but popular and powerful theatre in which
the Confraternity of the Passion, the clerks of the Bazoche, and the
Enfans sans souci enacted mysteries, moralities, soties and farces. He
made them, indeed, an instrument in his quarrel with the papacy, just as
Philippe le Bel had made use of the allegorical poems of Jehan de Meung
and his fellows. Under his patronage were produced the chief works of
Gringore or Gringoire (c. 1480-1547), by far the most remarkable writer
of this class of composition. His _Prince des sots_ and his _Mystère de
St Louis_ are among the best of their kind. An enormous volume of
composition of this class was produced between 1500 and 1550. One
morality by itself, _L'Homme juste et l'homme mondain_, contains some
36,000 lines. But in 1548, when the Confraternity was formally
established at the Hôtel de Bourgogne, leave to play sacred subjects was
expressly refused it. Moralities and soties dragged on under
difficulties till the end of the century, and the farce, which is
immortal, continually affected comedy. But the effect of the Renaissance
was to sweep away all other vestiges of the medieval drama, at least in
the capital. An entirely new class of subjects, entirely new modes of
treatment, and a different kind of performers were introduced. The
change naturally came from Italy. In the close relationship with that
country which France had during the early years of the century, Italian
translations of the classical masterpieces were easily imported. Soon
French translations were made afresh of the _Electra_, the _Hecuba_, the
_Iphigenia in Aulis_, and the French humanists hastened to compose
original tragedies on the classical model, especially as exhibited in
the Latin tragedian Seneca. It was impossible that the "Pléiade" should
not eagerly seize such an opportunity of carrying out its principles,
and one of its members, Jodelle (1532-1573), devoting himself mainly to
dramatic composition, fashioned at once the first tragedy, _Cléopatre_,
and the first comedy, _Eugène_, thus setting the example of the style of
composition which for two centuries and a half Frenchmen were to regard
as the highest effort of literary ambition. The amateur performance of
these dramas by Jodelle and his friends was followed by a Bacchic
procession after the manner of the ancients, which caused a great deal
of scandal, and was represented by both Catholics and Protestants as a
pagan orgy. The _Cléopâtre_ is remarkable as being the first French
tragedy, nor is it destitute of merit. It is curious that in this first
instance the curt antithetic [Greek: stichomuthia], which was so long
characteristic of French plays and plays imitated from them, and which
Butler ridicules in his _Dialogue of Cat and Puss_, already appears.
There appears also the grandiose and smooth but stilted declamation
which came rather from the imitation of Seneca than of Sophocles, and
the tradition of which was never to be lost. _Cléopâtre_ was followed by
_Didon_, which, unlike its predecessor, is entirely in alexandrines, and
observes the regular alternation of masculine and feminine rhymes.
Jodelle was followed by Jacques Grévin (1540?-1570) with a _Mort de
César_, which shows an improvement in tragic art, and two still better
comedies, _Les Ébahis_ and _La Trésorière_ by Jean de la Taille
(1540-1608), who made still further progress towards the accepted French
dramatic pattern in his _Saul furieux_ and his _Corrivaux_, Jacques, his
brother (1541-1562), and Jean de la Péruse (1529-1554), who wrote a
_Médée_. A very different poet from all these is Robert Garnier
(1545-1601). Garnier is the first tragedian who deserves a place not too
far below Rotrou, Corneille, Racine, Voltaire and Hugo, and who may be
placed in the same class with them. He chose his subjects indifferently
from classical, sacred and medieval literature. _Sédécie_, a play
dealing with the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, is held to be
his masterpiece, and _Bradamante_ deserves notice because it is the
first tragi-comedy of merit in French, and because the famous confidant
here makes his first appearance. Garnier's successor, Antoine de
Monchrétien or Montchrestien (c. 1576-1621), set the example of
dramatizing contemporary subjects. His masterpiece is _L'Écossaise_, the
first of many dramas on the fate of Mary, queen of Scots. While tragedy
thus clings closely to antique models, comedy, as might be expected in
the country of the fabliaux, is more independent. Italy had already a
comic school of some originality, and the French farce was too vigorous
and lively a production to permit of its being entirely overlooked. The
first comic writer of great merit was Pierre Larivey (c. 1550-c. 1612),
an Italian by descent. Most if not all of his plays are founded on
Italian originals, but the translations or adaptations are made with the
greatest freedom, and almost deserve the title of original works. The
style is admirable, and the skilful management of the action contrasts
strongly with the languor, the awkward adjustment, and the lack of
dramatic interest found in contemporary tragedians. Even Molière found
something to use in Larivey.

_16th-Century Prose Fiction._--Great as is the importance of the 16th
century in the history of French poetry, its importance in the history
of French prose is greater still. In poetry the middle ages could fairly
hold their own with any of the ages that have succeeded them. The epics
of chivalry, whether of the cycles of Charlemagne, Arthur, or the
classic heroes, not to mention the miscellaneous romans d'aventures,
have indeed more than held their own. Both relatively and absolutely the
_Franciade_ of the 16th century, the _Pucelle_ of the 17th, the
_Henriade_ of the 18th, cut a very poor figure beside _Roland_ and
_Percivale_, _Gerard de Roussillon_, and _Parthenopex de Blois_. The
romances, ballads and pastourelles, signed and unsigned, of medieval
France were not merely the origin, but in some respects the superiors,
of the lyric poetry which succeeded them. Thibaut de Champagne, Charles
d'Orléans and Villon need not veil their crests in any society of bards.
The charming forms of the rondel, the rondeau and the ballade have won
admiration from every competent poet and critic who has known them. The
fabliaux give something more than promise of La Fontaine, and the two
great compositions of the _Roman du Renart_ and the _Roman de la rose_,
despite their faults and their alloy, will always command the admiration
of all persons of taste and judgment who take the trouble to study them.
But while poetry had in the middle ages no reason to blush for her
French representatives, prose (always the younger and less forward
sister) had far less to boast of. With the exception of chronicles and
prose romances, no prose works of any real importance can be quoted
before the end of the 15th century, and even then the chief if not the
only place of importance must be assigned to the _Cent Nouvelles
Nouvelles_, a work of admirable prose, but necessarily light in
character, and not yet demonstrating the efficacy of the French language
as a medium of expression for serious and weighty thought. Up to the
time of the Renaissance and the consequent reformation, Latin had, as we
have already remarked, been considered the sufficient and natural organ
for this expression. In France as in other countries the disturbance in
religious thought may undoubtedly claim the glory of having repaired
this disgrace of the vulgar tongue, and of having fitted and taught it
to express whatever thoughts the theologian, the historian, the
philosopher, the politician and the savant had occasion to utter. But
the use of prose as a vehicle for lighter themes was more continuous
with the literature that preceded, and serves as a natural transition
from poetry and the drama to history and science. Among the prose
writers, therefore, of the 16th century we shall give the first place to
the novelists and romantic writers.


Among these there can be no doubt of the precedence, in every sense of
the word, of François Rabelais (c. 1490-1553), the one French writer (or
with Molière one of the two) whom critics the least inclined to
appreciate the characteristics of French literature have agreed to place
among the few greatest of the world. With an immense erudition
representing almost the whole of the knowledge of his time, with an
untiring faculty of invention, with the judgment of a philosopher, and
the common sense of a man of the world, with an observation that let no
characteristic of the time pass unobserved, and with a tenfold portion
of the special Gallic gift of good-humoured satire, Rabelais united a
height of speculation and depth of insight and a vein of poetical
imagination rarely found in any writer, but altogether portentous when
taken in conjunction with his other characteristics. His great work has
been taken for an exercise of transcendental philosophy, for a concealed
theological polemic, for an allegorical history of this and that
personage of his time, for a merely literary utterance, for an attempt
to tickle the popular ear and taste. It is all of these, and it is
none--all of them in parts, none of them in deliberate and exclusive
intention. It may perhaps be called the exposition and commentary of all
the thoughts, feelings, aspirations and knowledge of a particular time
and nation put forth in attractive literary form by a man who for once
combined the practical and the literary spirit, the power of knowledge
and the power of expression. The work of Rabelais is the mirror of the
16th century in France, reflecting at once its comeliness and its
uncomeliness, its high aspirations, its voluptuous tastes, its political
and religious dissensions, its keen criticism, its eager appetite and
hasty digestion of learning, its gleams of poetry, and its ferocity of
manners. In Rabelais we can divine the "Pléiade" and Marot, the
_Cymbalum mundi_ and Montaigne, Amyot and the _Amadis_, even Calvin and

  Des Periers.

  The Heptaméron.

It was inevitable that such extraordinary works as _Gargantua_ and
_Pantagruel_ should attract special imitators in the direction of their
outward form. It was also inevitable that this imitation should
frequently fix upon these Rabelaisian characteristics which are least
deserving of imitation, and most likely to be depraved in the hands of
imitators. It fell within the plan of the master to indulge in what has
been called _fatrasie_, the huddling together, that is to say, of a
medley of language and images which is best known to English readers in
the not always successful following of Sterne. It pleased him also to
disguise his naturally terse, strong and nervous style in a burlesque
envelope of redundant language, partly ironical, partly the result of
superfluous erudition, and partly that of a certain childish wantonness
and exuberance, which is one of his raciest and pleasantest
characteristics. In both these points he was somewhat corruptly
followed. But fortunately the romancical writers of the 16th century had
not Rabelais for their sole model, but were also influenced by the
simple and straightforward style of the _Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles_. The
joint influence gives us some admirable work. Nicholas of Troyes, a
saddler of Champagne, came too early (his _Grand Parangon des nouvelles
nouvelles_ appeared in 1536) to copy Rabelais. But Noël du Fail (d. c.
1585?), a judge at Rennes, shows the double influence in his _Propos
rustiques_ and _Contes d'Eutrapel_, both of which, especially the
former, are lively and well-written pictures of contemporary life and
thought, as the country magistrate actually saw and dealt with them. In
1558, however, appeared two works of far higher literary and social
interest. These are the _Heptaméron_ of the queen of Navarre, and the
_Contes et joyeux devis_ of Bonaventure des Periers (c. 1500-1544). Des
Periers, who was a courtier of Marguerite's, has sometimes been thought
to have had a good deal to do with the first-named work as well as with
the second, and was also the author of a curious Lucianic satire,
strongly sceptical in cast, the _Cymbalum mundi_. Indeed, not merely the
queen's prose works, but also the poems gracefully entitled _Les
Marguerites de la Marguerite_, are often attributed to the literary men
whom the sister of Francis I. gathered round her. However this may be,
some single influence of power enough to give unity and distinctness of
savour evidently presided over the composition of the _Heptaméron_.
Composed as it is on the model of Boccaccio, its tone and character are
entirely different, and few works have a more individual charm. The
_Tales_ of des Periers are shorter, simpler and more homely; there is
more wit in them and less refinement. But both works breathe, more
powerfully perhaps than any others, the peculiar mixture of cultivated
and poetical voluptuousness with a certain religiosity and a vigorous
spirit of action which characterizes the French Renaissance. Later in
time, but too closely connected with Rabelais in form and spirit to be
here omitted, came the _Moyen de parvenir_ of Béroalde de Verville
(1558?-1612?), a singular _fatrasie_, uniting wit, wisdom, learning and
indecency, and crammed with anecdotes which are always amusing though
rarely decorous.

  Amadis of Gaul.

At the same time a fresh vogue was given to the chivalric romance by
Herberay's translation of _Amadis de Gaula_. French writers have
supposed a French original for the _Amadis_ in some lost roman
d'aventures. It is of course impossible to say that this is not the
case, but there is not one tittle of evidence to show that it is. At any
rate the adventures of Amadis were prolonged in Spanish through
generation after generation of his descendants. This vast work Herberay
des Essarts in 1540 undertook to translate or retranslate, but it was
not without the assistance of several followers that the task was
completed. Southey has charged Herberay with corrupting the simplicity
of the original, a charge which does not concern us here. It is
sufficient to say that the French _Amadis_ is an excellent piece of
literary work, and that Herberay deserves no mean place among the
fathers of French prose. His book had an immense popularity; it was
translated into many foreign languages, and for some time it served as a
favourite reading book for foreigners studying French. Nor is it to be
doubted that the romancers of the Scudéry and Calprenède type in the
next century were much more influenced both for good and harm by these
Amadis romances than by any of the earlier tales of chivalry.

_16th-Century Historians._--As in the case of the tale-tellers, so in
that of the historians, the writers of the 16th century had traditions
to continue. It is doubtful indeed whether many of them can risk
comparison as artists with the great names cf Villehardouin and
Joinville, Froissart and Comines. The 16th century, however, set the
example of dividing the functions of the chronicler, setting those of
the historian proper on one side, and of the anecdote-monger and
biographer on the other. The efforts at regular history made in this
century were not of the highest value. But on the other hand the
practice of memoir-writing, in which the French were to excel every
nation in the world, and of literary correspondence, in which they were
to excel even their memoirs, was solidly founded.

One of the earliest historical writers of the century was Claude de
Seyssel (1450-1520), whose history of Louis XII. aims not unsuccessfully
at style. De Thou (1553-1617) wrote in Latin, but Bernard de Girard,
sieur du Haillan (1537-1610), composed a _Histoire de France_ on
Thucydidean principles as transmitted through the successive mediums of
Polybius, Guicciardini and Paulus Aemilius. The instance invariably
quoted, after Thierry, of du Haillan's method is his introduction, with
appropriate speeches, of two Merovingian statesmen who argue out the
relative merits of monarchy and oligarchy on the occasion of the
election of Pharamond. Besides du Haillan, la Popelinière (c.
1540-1608), who less ambitiously attempted a history of Europe during
his own time, and expended immense labour on the collection of
information and materials, deserves mention.


There is no such poverty of writers of memoirs. Robert de la Mark, du
Bellay, Marguerite de Valois (the youngest or third Marguerite, first
wife of Henri IV., 1553-1615), Villars, Tavannes, La Tour d'Auvergne,
and many others composed commentaries and autobiographies. The
well-known and very agreeable _Histoire du gentil seigneur de Bayart_
(1524) is by an anonymous "Loyal Serviteur." Vincent Carloix (fl. 1550),
the secretary of the marshal de Vielleville, composed some memoirs
abounding in detail and incident. The _Lettres_ of Cardinal d'Ossat
(1536-1604) and the _Négociations_ of Pierre Jeannin (1540-1622) have
always had a high place among documents of their kind. But there are
four collections of memoirs concerning this time which far exceed all
others in interest and importance. The turbulent dispositions of the
time, the loose dependence of the nobles and even the smaller gentry on
any single or central authority, the rapid changes of political
situations, and the singularly active appetite, both for pleasure and
for business, for learning and for war, which distinguished the French
gentleman of the 16th century, place the memoirs of François de Lanoue
(1531-1591), Blaise de Mon[t]luc (1503-1577), Agrippa d'Aubigné and
Pierre de Bourdeille[s] Brantôme (1540-1614) almost at the head of the
literature of their class. The name of Brantôme is known to all who have
the least tincture of French literature, and the works of the others are
not inferior in interest, and perhaps superior in spirit and conception,
to the _Dames Galantes_, the _Grands Capitaines_ and the _Hommes
illustres_. The commentaries of Montluc, which Henri Quatre is said to
have called the soldier's Bible, are exclusively military and deal with
affairs only. Montluc was governor in Guienne, where he repressed the
savage Huguenots of the south with a savagery worse than their own. He
was, however, a partisan of order, not of Catholicism. He hung and shot
both parties with perfect impartiality, and refused to have anything to
do with the massacre of St Bartholomew. Though he was a man of no
learning, his style is excellent, being vivid, flexible and
straightforward. Lanoue, who was a moderate in politics, has left his
principles reflected in his memoirs. D'Aubigné, so often to be
mentioned, gives the extreme Huguenot side as opposed to the royalist
partisanship of Montluc and the _via media_ of Lanoue. Brantôme, on the
other hand, is quite free from any political or religious
prepossessions, and, indeed, troubles himself very little about any such
matters. He is the shrewd and somewhat cynical observer, moving through
the crowd and taking note of its ways, its outward appearance, its
heroisms and its follies. It is really difficult to say whether the
recital of a noble deed of arms or the telling of a scandalous story
about a court lady gave him the most pleasure, and impossible to say
which he did best. Certainly he had ample material for both exercises in
the history of his time.

The branches of literature of which we have just given an account may be
fairly connected, from the historical point of view, with work of the
same kind that went before as well as with work of the same kind that
followed them. It was not so with the literature of theology, law,
politics and erudition, which the 16th century also produced, and with
which it for the first time enlarged the range of composition in the
vulgar tongue. Not only had Latin been invariably adopted as the
language of composition on such subjects, but the style of the treatises
dealing with such matters had been traditional rather than original. In
speculative philosophy or metaphysics proper even this century did not
witness a great development; perhaps, indeed, such a development was not
to be expected until the minds of men had in some degree settled down
from their agitation on more practical matters. It is not without
significance that Calvin (1509-1564) is the great figure in serious
French prose in the first half of the century, Montaigne the
corresponding figure in the second half. After Calvin and Montaigne we
expect Descartes.


_16th-Century Theologians._--In France, as in all other countries, the
Reformation was an essentially popular movement, though from special
causes, such as the absence of political homogeneity, the nobles took a
more active part both with pen and sword in it than was the case in
England. But the great textbook of the French Reformation was not the
work of any noble. Jean Calvin's _Institution of the Christian Religion_
is a book equally remarkable in matter and in form, in circumstances and
in result. It is the first really great composition in argumentative
French prose. Its severe logic and careful arrangement had as much
influence on the manner of future thought, both in France and the other
regions whither its widespread popularity carried it, as its style had
on the expression of such thought. It was the work of a man of only
seven-and-twenty, and it is impossible to exaggerate the originality of
its manner when we remember that hardly any models of French prose then
existed except tales and chronicles, which required and exhibited
totally different qualities of style. It is indeed probable that had not
the _Institution_ been first written by its author in Latin, and
afterwards translated by him, it might have had less dignity and vigour;
but it must at the same time be remembered that this process of
composition was at least equally likely, in the hands of any but a great
genius, to produce a heavy and pedantic style neither French nor Latin
in character. Something like this result was actually produced in some
of Calvin's minor works, and still more in the works of many of his
followers, whose lumbering language gained for itself, in allusion to
their exile from France, the title of "style refugié." Nevertheless, the
use of the vulgar tongue on the Protestant side, and the possession of a
work of such importance written therein, gave the Reformers an immense
advantage which their adversaries were some time in neutralizing. Even
before the _Institution_, Lefèvre d'Étaples (1455-1537) and Guillaume
Farel (1489-1565) saw and utilized the importance of the vernacular.
Calvin (1509-1564) was much helped by Pierre Viret (1511-1571), who
wrote a large number of small theological and moral dialogues, and of
satirical pamphlets, destined to captivate as well as to instruct the
lower people. The more famous Beza (Théodore de Bèze) (1519-1605) wrote
chiefly in Latin, but he composed in French an ecclesiastical history of
the Reformed churches and some translations of the Psalms. Marnix de
Sainte Aldegonde (1530-1593), a gentleman of Brabant, followed Viret as
a satirical pamphleteer on the Protestant side. On the other hand, the
Catholic champions at first affected to disdain the use of the vulgar
tongue, and their pamphleteers, when they did attempt it, were unequal
to the task. Towards the end of the century a more decent war was waged
with Philippe du Plessis Mornay (1549-1623) on the Protestant side,
whose work is at least as much directed against freethinkers and enemies
of Christianity in general as against the dogmas and discipline of Rome.
His adversary, the redoubtable Cardinal du Perron (1556-1618), who,
originally a Calvinist, went over to the other side, employed French
most vigorously in controversial works, chiefly with reference to the
eucharist. Du Perron was celebrated as the first controversialist of the
time, and obtained dialectical victories over all comers. At the same
time the bishop of Geneva, St Francis of Sales (1567-1622), supported
the Catholic side, partly by controversial works, but still more by his
devotional writings. The _Introduction to a Devout Life_, which, though
actually published early in the next century, had been written some time
previously, shares with Calvin's _Institution_ the position of the most
important theological work of the period, and is in remarkable contrast
with it in style and sentiment as well as in principles and plan. It has
indeed been accused of a certain effeminacy, the appearance of which is
in all probability mainly due to this very contrast. The 16th century
does not, like the 17th, distinguish itself by literary exercises in the
pulpit. The furious preachers of the League, and their equally violent
opponents, have no literary value.


_16th-Century Moralists and Political Writers._--The religious
dissensions and political disturbances of the time could not fail to
exert an influence on ethical and philosophical thought. Yet, as we have
said, the century was not prolific of pure philosophical speculation.
The scholastic tradition, though long sterile, still survived, and with
it the habit of composing in Latin all works in any way connected with
philosophy. The _Logic_ of Ramus in 1555 is cited as the first departure
from this rule. Other philosophical works are few, and chiefly express
the doubt and the freethinking which were characteristic of the time.
This doubt assumes the form of positive religious scepticism only in the
_Cymbalum mundi_ of Bonaventure des Periers, a remarkable series of
dialogues which excited a great storm, and ultimately drove the author
to commit suicide. The _Cymbalum mundi_ is a curious anticipation of the
18th century. The literature of doubt, however, was to receive its
principal accession in the famous essays of Michel Eyguem, seigneur de
Montaigne (1533-1592). It would be a mistake to imagine the existence of
any sceptical propaganda in this charming and popular book. Its
principle is not scepticism but egotism; and as the author was
profoundly sceptical, this quality necessarily rather than intentionally
appears. We have here to deal only very superficially with this as with
other famous books, but it cannot be doubted that it expresses the
mental attitude of the latter part of the century as completely as
Rabelais expresses the mental attitude of the early part. There is
considerably less vigour and life in this attitude. Inquiry and protest
have given way to a placid conviction that there is not much to be found
out, and that it does not much matter; the erudition though abundant is
less indiscriminate, and is taken in and given out with less gusto;
exuberant drollery has given way to quiet irony; and though neither
business nor pleasure is decried, both are regarded rather as useful
pastimes incident to the life of man than with the eager appetite of the
Renaissance. From the purely literary point of view, the style is
remarkable from its absence of pedantry In construction, and yet for its
rich vocabulary and picturesque brilliancy. The follower and imitator of
Montaigne, Pierre Charron (1541-1603), carried his master's scepticism
to a somewhat more positive degree. His principal book, _De la sagesse_,
scarcely deserves the comparative praise which Pope has given it. On the
other hand Guillaume du Vair (1556-1621), a lawyer and orator, takes the
positive rather than the negative side in morality, and regards the
vicissitudes in human affairs from the religious and theological point
of view in a series of works characterized by the special merit of the
style of great orators.

The revolutionary and innovating instinct which showed itself in the
16th century with reference to church government and doctrine spread
naturally enough to political matters. The intolerable disorder of the
religious wars naturally set the thinkers of the age speculating on the
doctrines of government in general. The favourite and general study of
antiquity helped this tendency, and the great accession of royal power
in all the monarchies of Europe invited a speculative if not a practical
reaction. The persecutions of the Protestants naturally provoked a
republican spirit among them, and the violent antipathy of the League to
the houses of Valois and Bourbon made its partisans adopt almost openly
the principles of democracy and tyrannicide.


The greatest political writer of the age is Jean Bodin (1530-1596),
whose _République_ is founded partly on speculative considerations like
the political theories of the ancients, and partly on an extended
historical inquiry. Bodin, like most lawyers who have taken the royalist
side, is for unlimited monarchy, but notwithstanding this, he condemns
religious persecution and discourages slavery. In his speculations on
the connexion between forms of government and natural causes, he serves
as a link between Aristotle and Montesquieu. On the other hand, the
causes which we have mentioned made a large number of writers adopt
opposite conclusions. Étienne de la Boétie (1530-1563), the friend of
Montaigne's youth, composed the _Contre un or Discours de la servitude
volontaire_, a protest against the monarchical theory. The boldness of
the protest and the affectionate admiration of Montaigne have given la
Boétie a much higher reputation than any extant work of his actually
deserves. The _Contre un_ is a kind of prize essay, full of empty
declamation borrowed from the ancients, and showing no grasp of the
practical conditions of politics. Not much more historically based, but
far more vigorous and original, is the _Franco-Gallia_ of François
Hotmann (1524-1590), a work which appeared both in Latin and French,
which extols the authority of the states-general, represents them as
direct successors of the political institutions of Gauls and Franks, and
maintains the right of insurrection. In the last quarter of the century
political animosity knew no bounds. The Protestants beheld a divine
instrument in Poltrot de Méré, the Catholics in Jacques Clément. The
Latin treatises of Hubert Languet (1518-1581) and Buchanan formally
vindicated--the first, like Hotmann, the right of rebellion based on an
original contract between prince and people, the second the right of
tyrannicide. Indeed, as Montaigne confesses, divine authorization for
political violence was claimed and denied by both parties according as
the possession or the expectancy of power belonged to each, and the
excesses of the preachers and pamphleteers knew no bounds.

  Satire Ménippée.

Every one, however, was not carried away. The literary merits of the
chancellor Michel de l'Hôpital (1507-1573) are not very great, but his
efforts to promote peace and moderation were unceasing. On the other
side Lanoue, with far greater literary gifts, pursued the same ends, and
pointed out the ruinous consequences of continued dissension. Du Plessis
Mornay took a part in political discussion even more important than that
which he bore in religious polemics, and was of the utmost service to
Henri Quatre in defending his cause against the League, as was also
Hurault, another author of state papers. Du Vair, already mentioned,
powerfully assisted the same cause by his successful defence of the
Salic law, the disregard of which by the Leaguer states-general was
intended to lead to the admission of the Spanish claim to the crown. But
the foremost work against the League was the famous _Satire Ménippée_
(1594), in a literary point of view one of the most remarkable of
political books. The _Ménippée_ was the work of no single author, but
was due, it is said, to the collaboration of five, Pierre Leroi, who has
the credit of the idea, Jacques Gillot, Florent Chrétien, Nicolas Rapin
(1541-1596) and Pierre Pithou (1539-1596), with some assistance in verse
from Passerat and Gilles Durand. The book is a kind of burlesque report
of the meeting of the states-general, called for the purpose of
supporting the views of the League in 1593. It gives an account of the
procession of opening, and then we have the supposed speeches of the
principal characters--the duc de Mayenne, the papal legate, the rector
of the university (a ferocious Leaguer) and others. But by far the most
remarkable is that attributed to Claude d'Aubray, the leader of the
_Tiers État_, and said to be written by Pithou, in which all the evils
of the time and the malpractices of the leaders of the League are
exposed and branded. The satire is extraordinarily bitter and yet
perfectly good-humoured. It resembles in character rather that of
Butler, who unquestionably imitated it, than any other. The style is
perfectly suited to the purpose, having got rid of almost all vestiges
of the cumbrousness of the older tongue without losing its picturesque
quaintness. It is no wonder that, as we are told by contemporaries, it
did more for Henri Quatre than all other writings in his cause. In
connexion with politics some mention of legal orators and writers may be
necessary. In 1539 the ordinance of Villers-Cotterets enjoined the
exclusive use of the French language in legal procedure. The bar and
bench of France during the century produced, however, besides those
names already mentioned in other connexions, only one deserving of
special notice, that of Étienne Pasquier (1529-1615), author of a
celebrated speech against the right of the Jesuits to take part in
public teaching. This he inserted in his great work, _Recherches de la
France_, a work dealing with almost every aspect of French history
whether political, antiquarian or literary.


_16th-Century Savants._--One more division, and only one, that of
scientific and learned writers pure and simple, remains. Much of the
work of this kind during the period was naturally done in Latin, the
vulgar tongue of the learned. But in France, as in other countries, the
study of the classics led to a vast number of translations, and it so
happened that one of the translators deserves as a prose writer a rank
among the highest. Many of the authors already mentioned contributed to
the literature of translation. Des Periers translated the Platonic
dialogue _Lysis_, la Boétie some works of Xenophon and Plutarch, du Vair
the _De corona_, the _In Ctesiphontem_ and the _Pro Milone_. Salel
attempted the _Iliad_, Belleau the false _Anacreon_, Baïf some plays of
Plautus and Terence. Besides these Lefèvre d'Étaples gave a version of
the Bible, Saliat one of Herodotus, and Louis Leroi (1510-1577), not to
be confounded with the part author of the _Ménippée_, many works of
Plato, Aristotle and other Greek writers. But while most if not all of
these translators owed the merits of their work to their originals, and
deserved, much more deserve, to be read only by those to whom those
originals are sealed, Jacques Amyot (1513-1593), bishop of Auxerre,
takes rank as a French classic by his translations of Plutarch, Longus
and Heliodorus. The admiration which Amyot excited in his own time was
immense. Montaigne declares that it was thanks to him that his
contemporaries knew how to speak and to write, and the Academy in the
next age, though not too much inclined to honour its predecessors,
ranked him as a model. His Plutarch, which had an enormous influence at
the time, and coloured perhaps more than any classic the thoughts and
writings of the 16th century, both in French and English, was then
considered his masterpiece. Nowadays perhaps, and from the purely
literary standpoint, that position would be assigned to his exquisite
version of the exquisite story of Daphnis and Chloe. It is needless to
say that absolute fidelity and exact scholarship are not the pre-eminent
merits of these versions. They are not philological exercises, but works
of art.

On the other hand, Claude Fauchet (1530-1601) in two antiquarian works,
_Antiquités gauloises et françoises_ and _L'Origine de la langue et de
la poésie française_, displays a remarkable critical faculty in sweeping
away the fables which had encumbered history. Fauchet had the (for his
time) wonderful habit of consulting manuscripts, and we owe to him
literary notices of many of the trouvères. At the same time François
Grudé, sieur de la Croix du Maine (1552-1592), and Antoine Duverdier
(1544-1600) founded the study of bibliography in France. Pasquier's
_Recherches_, already alluded to, carries out the principles of Fauchet
independently, and besides treating the history of the past in a true
critical spirit, supplies us with voluminous and invaluable information
on contemporary politics and literature. He has, moreover, the merit
which Fauchet had not, of being an excellent writer. Henri Estienne
[Stephanus] (1528-1598) also deserves notice in this place, both for
certain treatises on the French language, full of critical crotchets,
and also for his curious _Apologie pour Hérodote_, a remarkable book not
particularly easy to class. It consists partly of a defence of its
nominal subject, partly of satirical polemics on the Protestant side,
and is filled almost equally with erudition and with the buffoonery and
_fatrasie_ of the time. The book, indeed, was much too Rabelaisian to
suit the tastes of those in whose defence it was composed.

The 16th century is somewhat too early for us to speak of science, and
such science as was then composed falls for the most part outside French
literature. The famous potter, Bernard Palissy (1510-1590), however, was
not much less skilful as a fashioner of words than as a fashioner of
pots, and his description of the difficulties of his experiments in
enamelling, which lasted sixteen years, is well known. The great surgeon
Ambrose Paré (c. 1510-1590) was also a writer, and his descriptions of
his military experiences at Turin, Metz and elsewhere have all the charm
of the 16th-century memoir. The only other writers who require special
mention are Olivier de Serres (1539-1619), who composed, under the title
of _Théâtre d'agriculture_, a complete treatise on the various
operations of rural economy, and Jacques du Fouilloux (1521-1580), who
wrote on hunting (_La Vénerie_). Both became extremely popular and were
frequently reprinted.


_17th-Century Poetry._--It is not always easy or possible to make the
end or the beginning of a literary epoch synchronize exactly with
historical dates. It happens, however, that for once the beginning of
the 17th century coincides almost exactly with an entire revolution in
French literature. The change of direction and of critical standard
given by François de Malherbe (1556-1628) to poetry was to last for two
whole centuries, and to determine, not merely the language and
complexion, but also the form of French verse during the whole of that
time. Accidentally, or as a matter of logical consequence (it would not
be proper here to attempt to decide the question), poetry became almost
synonymous with drama. It is true, as we shall have to point out, that
there were, in the early part of the 17th century at least, poets,
properly so called, of no contemptible merit. But their merit, in itself
respectable, sank in comparison with the far greater merit of their
dramatic rivals. Théophile de Viau and Racan, Voiture and Saint-Amant
cannot for a moment be mentioned in the same rank with Corneille. It is
certainly curious, if it is not something more than curious, that this
decline in poetry proper should have coincided with the so-called
reforms of Malherbe. The tradition of respect for this elder and more
gifted Boileau was at one time all-powerful in France, and,
notwithstanding the Romantic movement, is still strong. In rejecting a
large number of the importations of the Ronsardists, he certainly did
good service. But it is difficult to avoid ascribing in great measure to
his influence the origin of the chief faults of modern French poetry,
and modern French in general, as compared with the older language. He
pronounced against "poetic diction" as such, forbade the overlapping
(_enjambement_) of verse, insisted that the middle pause should be of
sense as well as sound, and that rhyme must satisfy eye as well as ear.
Like Pope, he sacrificed everything to "correctness," and, unluckily for
French, the sacrifice was made at a time when no writer of an absolutely
supreme order had yet appeared in the language. With Shakespeare and
Milton, not to mention scores of writers only inferior to them, safely
garnered, Pope and his followers could do us little harm. Corneille and
Molière unfortunately came after Malherbe. Yet it would be unfair to
this writer, however badly we may think of his influence, to deny him
talent, and even a certain amount of poetical inspiration. He had not
felt his own influence, and the very influences which he despised and
proscribed produced in him much tolerable and some admirable verse,
though he is not to be named as a poet with Regnier, who had the
courage, the sense and the good taste to oppose and ridicule his
innovations. Of Malherbe's school, Honorat de Bueil, marquis de Racan
(1589-1670), and François de Maynard (1582-1646) were the most
remarkable. The former was a true poet, though not a very strong one.
Like his master, he is best when he follows the models whom that master
contemned. Perhaps more than any other poet, he set the example of the
classical alexandrine, the smooth and melodious but monotonous and
rather effeminate measure which Racine was to bring to the highest
perfection, and which his successors, while they could not improve its
smoothness, were to make more and more monotonous until the genius of
Victor Hugo once more broke up its facile polish, supplied its stiff
uniformity, and introduced vigour, variety, colour and distinctness in
the place of its feeble sameness and its pale indecision. But the
vigour, not to say the licence, of the 16th century could not thus die
all at once. In Théophile de Viau (1591-1626) the early years of the
17th century had their Villon. The later poet was almost as unfortunate
as the earlier, and almost as disreputable, but he had a great share of
poetical and not a small one of critical power. The _étoile enragée_
under which he complains that he was born was at least kind to him in
this respect; and his readers, after he had been forgotten for two
centuries, have once more done him justice. Racan and Théophile were
followed in the second quarter of the century by two schools which
sufficiently well represented the tendencies of each. The first was that
of Vincent Voiture (1598-1648), Isaac de Benserade (1612-1691), and
other poets such as Claude de Maleville (1597-1647), author of _La Belle
Matineuse_, who were connected more or less with the famous literary
coterie of the Hôtel de Rambouillet. Théophile was less worthily
succeeded by a class, it can hardly be called a school of poets, some of
whom, like Gérard Saint-Amant (1594-1660), wrote drinking songs of merit
and other light pieces; others, like Paul Scarron (1610-1660) and
Sarrasin (1603? 4? 5?-1654), devoted themselves rather to burlesque of
serious verse. Most of the great dramatic authors of the time also wrote
miscellaneous poetry, and there was even an epic school of the most
singular kind, in ridiculing and discrediting which Boileau for once did
undoubtedly good service. The _Pucelle_ of Jean Chapelain (1595-1674),
the unfortunate author who was deliberately trained and educated for a
poet, who enjoyed for some time a sort of dictatorship in French
literature on the strength of his forthcoming work, and at whom from the
day of its publication every critic of French literature has agreed to
laugh, was the most famous and perhaps the worst of these. But Georges
de Scudéry (1601-1667) wrote an _Alaric_, the Père le Moyne (1602-1671)
a _Saint Louis_, Jean Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin (1595-1676), a dramatist
and critic of some note, a _Clovis_, and Saint-Amant a _Moïse_, which
were not much better, though Théophile Gautier in his _Grotesques_ has
valiantly defended these and other contemporary versifiers. And indeed
it cannot be denied that even the epics, especially _Saint Louis_,
contain flashes of finer poetry than France was to produce for more than
a century outside of the drama. Some of the lighter poets and classes of
poetry just alluded to also produced some remarkable verse. The
_Précieuses_ of the Hôtel Rambouillet, with all their absurdities,
encouraged if they did not produce good literary work. In their society
there is no doubt that a great reformation of manners took place, if not
of morals, and that the tendency to literature elegant and polished, yet
not destitute of vigour, which marks the 17th century, was largely
developed side by side with much scandal-mongering and anecdotage. Many
of the authors whom these influences inspired, such as Voiture,
Saint-Évremond and others, have been or will be noticed. But even such
poets and wits as Antoine Baudouin de Sénecé (1643-1737), Jean de
Segrais (1624-1701), Charles Faulure de Ris, sieur de Charleval
(1612-1693), Antoine Godeau (1605-1672), Jean Ogier de Gombaud
(1590-1666), are not without interest in the history of literature;
while if Charles Cotin (1604-1682) sinks below this level and deserves
Molière's caricature of him as Trissotin in _Les Femmes savantes_,
Gilles de Ménage (1630-1692) certainly rises above it, notwithstanding
the companion satire of Vadius. Ménage's name naturally suggests the
_Ana_ which arose at this time and were long fashionable, stores of
endless gossip, sometimes providing instruction and often amusement. The
_Guirlande de Julie_, in which most of the poets of the time celebrated
Julie d'Angennes, daughter of the marquise de Rambouillet, is perhaps
the best of all such albums, and Voiture, the typical poet of the
coterie, was certainly the best writer of _vers de société_ who is known
to us. The poetical war which arose between the Uranistes, the followers
of Voiture, and the Jobistes, those of Benserade, produced reams of
sonnets, epigrams and similar verses. This habit of occasional
versification continued long. It led as a less important consequence to
the rhymed _Gazettes_ of Jean Loret (d. 1665), which recount in
octosyllabic verse of a light and lively kind the festivals and court
events of the early years of Louis XIV. It led also to perhaps the most
remarkable non-dramatic poetry of the century, the _Contes_ and _Fables_
of Jean de la Fontaine (1621-1695). No French writer is better known
than la Fontaine, and there is no need to dilate on his merits. It has
been well said that he completes Molière, and that the two together give
something to French literature which no other literature possesses. Yet
la Fontaine is after all only a writer of fabliaux, in the language and
with the manners of his own century.

All the writers we have mentioned belong more or less to the first half
of the century, and so do Valentin Conrart (1603-1675), Antoine
Furetière (1626-1688), Chapelle (Claude Emmanuel) l'Huillier
(1626-1686), and others not worth special mention. The latter half of
the century is far less productive, and the poetical quality of its
production is even lower than the quantity. In it Boileau (1636-1711) is
the chief poetical figure. Next to him can only be mentioned Madame
Deshoulières (1638-1694), Guillaume de Brébeuf (1618-1661), the
translator of Lucan, Philippe Quinault (1635-1688), the composer of
opera libretti. Boileau's satire, where it has much merit, is usually
borrowed direct from Horace. He had a certain faculty as a critic of the
slashing order, and might have profitably used it if he had written in
prose. But of his poetry it must be said, not so much that it is bad, as
that it is not, in strictness, poetry at all, and the same is generally
true of all those who followed him.






  The Academy.

_17th-Century Drama._--We have already seen how the medieval theatre was
formed, and how in the second half of the 16th century it met with a
formidable rival in the classical drama of Jodelle and Garnier. In 1588
mysteries had been prohibited, and with the prohibition of the mysteries
the Confraternity of the Passion lost the principal part of its reason
for existence. The other bodies and societies of amateur actors had
already perished, and at length the Hôtel de Bourgogne itself, the home
of the confraternity, had been handed over to a regular troop of actors,
while companies of strollers, whose life has been vividly depicted in
the _Roman comique_ of Scarron and the _Capitaine Fracasse_ of Théophile
Gautier, wandered all about the provinces. The old farce was for a time
maintained or revived by Tabarin, a remarkable figure in dramatic
history, of whom but little is known. The great dramatic author of the
first quarter of the 17th century was Alexandre Hardy (1569-1631), who
surpassed even Heywood in fecundity, and very nearly approached the
portentous productiveness of Lope de Vega. Seven hundred is put down as
the modest total of Hardy's pieces, but not much more than a twentieth
of these exist in print. From these latter we can judge Hardy. They are
hardly up to the level of the worst specimens of the contemporary
Elizabethan theatre, to which, however, they bear a certain resemblance.
Marston's _Insatiate Countess_ and the worst parts of Chapman's _Bussy
d'Ambois_ may give English readers some notion of them. Yet Hardy was
not totally devoid of merit. He imitated and adapted Spanish literature,
which was at this time to France what Italian was in the century before
and English in the century after, in the most indiscriminate manner. But
he had a considerable command of grandiloquent and melodramatic
expression, a sound theory if not a sound practice of tragic writing,
and that peculiar knowledge of theatrical art and of the taste of the
theatrical public which since his time has been the special possession
of the French playwright. It is instructive to compare the influence of
his irregular and faulty genius with that of the regular and precise
Malherbe. From Hardy to Rotrou is, in point of literary interest, a
great step, and from Rotrou to Corneille a greater. Yet the theory of
Hardy only wanted the genius of Rotrou and Corneille to produce the
latter. Jean de Rotrou (1610-1650) has been called the French Marlowe,
and there is a curious likeness and yet a curious contrast between the
two poets. The best parts of Rotrou's two best plays, _Venceslas_ and
_St Genest_, are quite beyond comparison in respect of anything that
preceded them, and the central speech of the last-named play will rank
with anything in French dramatic poetry. Contemporary with Rotrou were
other dramatic writers of considerable dramatic importance, most of them
distinguished by the faults of the Spanish school, its declamatory
rodomontade, its conceits, and its occasionally preposterous action.
Jean de Schélandre (d. 1635) has left us a remarkable work in _Tyr et
Sidon_, which exemplifies in practice, as its almost more remarkable
preface by François Ogier defends in principle, the English-Spanish
model. Théophile de Viau in _Pyrame et Thisbé_ and in _Pasiphaé_
produced a singular mixture of the classicism of Garnier and the
extravagancies of Hardy. Scudéry in _l'Amour tyrannique_ and other plays
achieved a considerable success. The _Marianne_ of Tristan (1601-1655)
and the _Sophonisbe_ of Jean de Mairet (1604-1686) are the chief pieces
of their authors. Mairet resembles Marston in something more than his
choice of subject. Another dramatic writer of some eminence is Pierre du
Ryer (1606-1648). But the fertility of France at this moment in dramatic
authors was immense; nearly 100 are enumerated in the first quarter of
the century. The early plays of Pierre Corneille (1606-1684) showed all
the faults of his contemporaries combined with merits to which none of
them except Rotrou, and Rotrou himself only in part, could lay claim.
His first play was _Mélite_, a comedy, and in _Clitandre_, a tragedy, he
soon produced what may perhaps be not inconveniently taken as the
typical piece of the school of Hardy. A full account of Corneille may be
found elsewhere. It is sufficient to say here that his importance in
French literature is quite as great in the way of influence and example
as in the way of intellectual excellence. The _Cid_ and the _Menteur_
are respectively the first examples of French tragedy and comedy which
can be called modern. But this influence and example did not at first
find many imitators. Corneille was a member of Richelieu's band of five
poets. Of the other four Rotrou alone deserves the title; the remaining
three, the prolific abbé de Boisrobert, Guillaume Colletet (whose most
valuable work, a MS. _Lives of Poets_, was never printed, and burnt by
the Communards in 1871), and Claude de Lestoile (1597-1651), are as
dramatists worthy of no notice, nor were they soon followed by others
more worthy. Yet before many years had passed the examples which
Corneille had set in tragedy and in comedy were followed up by
unquestionably the greatest comic writer, and by one who long held the
position of the greatest tragic writer of France. Beginning with mere
farces of the Italian type, and passing from these to comedies still of
an Italian character, it was in _Les Précieuses ridicules_, acted in
1659, that Molière (1622-1673), in the words of a spectator, hit at last
on "la bonne comédie." The next fifteen years comprise the whole of his
best known work, the finest expression beyond doubt of a certain class
of comedy that any literature has produced. The tragic masterpieces of
Racine (1639-1699) were not far from coinciding with the comic
masterpieces of Molière, for, with the exception of the remarkable
aftergrowth of _Esther_ and _Athalie_, they were produced chiefly
between 1667 and 1677. Both Racine and Molière fall into the class of
writers who require separate mention. Here we can only remark that both
to a certain extent committed and encouraged a fault which distinguished
much subsequent French dramatic literature. This was the too great
individualizing of one point in a character, and the making the man or
woman nothing but a blunderer, a lover, a coxcomb, a tyrant and the
like. The very titles of French plays show this influence--they are _Le
Grondeur_, _Le Joueur_, &c. The complexity of human character is
ignored. This fault distinguishes both Molière and Racine from writers
of the very highest order; and in especial it distinguishes the comedy
of Molière and the tragedy of Racine from the comedy and tragedy of
Shakespeare. In all probability this and other defects of the French
drama (which are not wholly apparent in the work of Molière and
Corneille, are shown in their most favourable light in those of Racine,
and appear in all their deformity in the successors of the latter) arise
from the rigid adoption of the Aristotelian theory of the drama with its
unities and other restrictions, especially as transmitted by Horace
through Boileau. This adoption was very much due to the influence of the
French Academy, which was founded unofficially by Conrart in 1629, which
received official standing six years later, and which continued the
tradition of Malherbe in attempting constantly to school and correct, as
the phrase went, the somewhat disorderly instincts of the early French
stage. Even the Cid was formally censured for irregularity by it. But it
is fair to say that François Hédélin, abbé d'Aubignac (1604-1676), whose
_Pratique du théâtre_ is the most wooden of the critical treatises of
the time, was not an academician. It is difficult to say whether the
subordination of all other classes of composition to the drama, which
has ever since been characteristic of French literature, was or was not
due to the predilection of Richelieu, the main protector if not exactly
the founder of the Academy, for the theatre. Among the immediate
successors and later contemporaries of the three great dramatists we do
not find any who deserve high rank as tragedians, though there are some
whose comedies are more than respectable. It is at least significant
that the restrictions imposed by the academic theory on the comic drama
were far less severe than those which tragedy had to undergo. The latter
was practically confined, in respect of sources of attraction, to the
dexterous manipulation of the unities; the interest of a plot attenuated
as much as possible, and intended to produce, instead of pity a mild
sympathy, and instead of terror a mild alarm (for the purists decided
against Corneille that "admiration was not a tragic passion"); and
lastly the composition of long tirades of smooth but monotonous verses,
arranged in couplets tipped with delicately careful rhymes. Only Thomas
Corneille (1625-1709), the inheritor of an older tradition and of a
great name, deserves to be excepted from the condemnation to be passed
on the lesser tragedians of this period. He was unfortunate in
possessing his brother's name, and in being, like him, too voluminous in
his compositions; but _Camma_, _Ariane_, _Le Comte d'Essex_, are not
tragedies to be despised. On the other hand, the names of Jean de
Campistron (1656-1723) and Nicolas Pradon (1632-1698) mainly serve to
point injurious comparisons; Joseph François Duché (1668-1704) and
Antoine La Fosse (1653-1708) are of still less importance, and
Quinault's tragedies are chiefly remarkable because he had the good
sense to give up writing them and to take to opera. The general
excellence of French comedy, on the other hand, was sufficiently
vindicated. Besides the splendid sum of Molière's work, the two great
tragedians had each, in _Le Menteur_ and _Les Plaideurs_, set a capital
example to their successors, which was fairly followed. David Augustin
de Brueys (1640-1723) and Jean Palaprat (1650-1721) brought out once
more the ever new _Advocat Patelin_ besides the capital _Grondeur_
already referred to. Quinault and Campistron wrote fair comedies.
Florent Carton Dancourt (1661-1726), Charles Rivière Dufresny (c.
1654-1724), Edmond Boursault (1638-1701), were all comic writers of
considerable merit. But the chief comic dramatist of the latter period
of the 17th century was Jean François Regnard (1655-1709), whose
_Joueur_ and _Légataire_ are comedies almost of the first rank.

  Heroic Romance.

_17th-Century Fiction._--In the department of literature which comes
between poetry and prose, that of romance-writing, the 17th century,
excepting one remarkable development, was not very fertile. It devoted
itself to so many new or changed forms of literature that it had no time
to anticipate the modern novel. Yet at the beginning of the century one
very curious form of romance-writing was diligently cultivated, and its
popularity, for the time immense, prevented the introduction of any
stronger style. It is remarkable that, as the first quarter of the 17th
century was pre-eminently the epoch of Spanish influence in France, the
distinctive satire of Cervantes should have been less imitated than the
models which Cervantes satirized. However this may be, the romances of
1600 to 1650 form a class of literature vast, isolated, and, perhaps, of
all such classes of literature most utterly obsolete and extinct. Taste,
affectation or antiquarian diligence have, at one time or another,
restored to a just, and sometimes a more than just, measure of
reputation most of the literary relics of the past. Romances of
chivalry, fabliaux, early drama, Provençal poetry, prose chronicles,
have all had, and deservedly, their rehabilitators. But _Polexandre_ and
_Cléopâtre_, _Clélie_ and the _Grand Cyrus_, have been too heavy for all
the industry and energy of literary antiquarians. As we have already
hinted, the nearest ancestry which can be found for them is the romances
of the _Amadis_ type. But the _Amadis_, and in a less degree its
followers, although long, are long in virtue of incident. The romances
of the _Clélie_ type are long in virtue of interminable discourse,
moralizing and description. Their manner is not unlike that of the
_Arcadia_ and the _Euphues_ which preceded them in England; and they
express in point of style the tendency which simultaneously manifested
itself all over Europe at this period, and whose chief exponents were
Gongora in Spain, Marini in Italy, and Lyly in England. Everybody knows
the _Carte de Tendre_ which originally appeared in _Clélie_, while most
people have heard of the shepherds and shepherdesses who figure in the
_Astrée_ of Honoré D'Urfé (1568-1625), on the borders of the Lignon; but
here general knowledge ends, and there is perhaps no reason why it
should go much further. It is sufficient to say that Madeleine de
Scudéry (1607-1701) principally devotes herself in the books above
mentioned to laborious gallantry and heroism, La Calprénède (1610-1663)
in _Cassandre et Cléopâtre_ to something which might have been the
historical novel if it had been constructed on a less preposterous
scale, and Marin le Roy de Gomberville (1600-1647) in _Polexandre_ to
moralizings and theological discussions on Jansenist principles, while
Pierre Camus, bishop of Belley (1582-1652), in _Palombe_ and others,
approached still nearer to the strictly religious story. In the latter
part of the century, the example of La Fontaine, though he himself wrote
in poetry, helped to recall the tale-tellers of France to an occupation
more worthy of them, more suitable to the genius of the literature, and
more likely to last. The reaction against the _Clélie_ school produced
first Madame de Villedieu (Cathérine Desjardins) (1632-1692), a fluent
and facile novelist, who enjoyed great but not enduring popularity. The
form which the prose tale took at this period was that of the fairy
story. Perrault (1628-1703) and Madame d'Aulnoy (d. 1705) composed
specimens of this kind which have never ceased to be popular since.
Hamilton (1646-1720), the author of the well-known _Mémoires du comte de
Gramont_, wrote similar stories of extraordinary merit in style and
ingenuity. There is yet a third class of prose writing which deserves to
be mentioned. It also may probably be traced to Spanish influence, that
is to say, to the picaresque romances which the 16th and 17th centuries
produced in Spain in large numbers. The most remarkable example of this
is the _Roman comique_ of the burlesque writer Scarron. The _Roman
bourgeois_ of Antoine Furetière (1619-1688) also deserves mention as a
collection of pictures of the life of the time, arranged in the most
desultory manner, but drawn with great vividness, observation and skill.
A remarkable writer who had great influence on Molière has also to be
mentioned in this connexion rather than in any other. This is Cyrano de
Bergerac (1619-1655), who, besides composing doubtful comedies and
tragedies, writing political pamphlets, and exercising the task of
literary criticism in objecting to Scarron's burlesques, produced in his
_Histoires comiques des états et empires de la lune et du soleil_, half
romantic and half satirical compositions, in which some have seen the
original of _Gulliver's Travels_, in which others have discovered only a
not very successful imitation of Rabelais, and which, without attempting
to decide these questions, may fairly be ranked in the same class of
fiction with the masterpieces of Swift and Rabelais, though of course at
an immense distance below them. One other work, and in literary
influence perhaps the most remarkable of its kind in the century,
remains. Madame de Lafayette, Marie de la Vergne (1634-1692), the friend
of La Rochefoucauld and of Madame de Sévigné, though she did not exactly
anticipate the modern novel, showed the way to it in her stories, the
principal of which are _Zaïde_ and still more La _Princesse de Clèves_.
The latter, though a long way from _Manon Lescaut_, _Clarissa_, or
_Tom Jones_, is a longer way still from _Polexandre_ or the _Arcadia_.
The novel becomes in it no longer a more or less fictitious chronicle,
but an attempt at least at the display of character. _La Princesse de
Clèves_ has never been one of the works widely popular out of their own
country, nor perhaps does it deserve such popularity, for it has more
grace than strength; but as an original effort in an important direction
its historical value is considerable. But with this exception, the art
of fictitious prose composition, except on a small scale, is certainly
not one in which the century excelled, nor are any of the masterpieces
which it produced to be ranked in this class.

  J. G. de Balzac and modern French prose.

_17th-Century Prose._--If, however, this was the case, it cannot be said
that French prose as a whole was unproductive at this time. On the
contrary, it was now, and only now, that it attained the strength and
perfection for which it has been so long renowned, and which has
perhaps, by a curious process of compensation, somewhat deteriorated
since the restoration of poetry proper in France. The prose Malherbe of
French literature was Jean Guez de Balzac (1594-1654). The writers of
the 17th century had practically created the literary language of prose,
but they had not created a prose style. The charm of Rabelais, of Amyot,
of Montaigne, and of the numerous writers of tales and memoirs whom we
have noticed, was a charm of exuberance, of naïveté, of picturesque
effect--in short, of a mixture of poetry and prose, rather than of prose
proper. Sixteenth-century French prose is a delightful instrument in the
hands of men and women of genius, but in the hands of those who have not
genius it is full of defects, and indeed is nearly unreadable. Now,
prose is essentially an instrument of all work. The poet who has not
genius had better not write at all; the prose writer often may and
sometimes must dispense with this qualification. He has need, therefore,
of a suitable machine to help him to perform his task, and this machine
it is the glory of Balzac to have done more than any other person to
create. He produced himself no great work, his principal writings being
letters, a few discourses and dissertations, and a work entitled _Le
Socrate chrétien_, a sort of treatise on political theology. But if the
matter of his work is not of the first importance, its manner is of a
very different value. Instead of the endless diffuseness of the
preceding century, its ill-formed or rather unformed sentences, and its
haphazard periods, we find clauses, sentences and paragraphs distinctly
planned, shaped and balanced, a cadence introduced which is rhythmical
but not metrical, and, in short, prose which is written knowingly
instead of the prose which is unwittingly talked. It has been well said
of him that he "_écrit pour écrire_"; and such a man, it is evident, if
he does nothing else, sets a valuable example to those who write because
they have something to say. Voiture seconded Balzac without much
intending to do so. His prose style, also chiefly contained in letters,
is lighter than that of his contemporary, and helped to gain for French
prose the tradition of vivacity and sparkle which it has always
possessed, as well as that of correctness and grace.

_17th-century History._--In historical composition, especially in the
department of memoirs, this period was exceedingly rich. At last there
was written, in French, an entire history of France. The author was
François Eudes de Mézeray (1610-1683), whose work, though not exhibiting
the perfection of style at which some of his contemporaries had already
arrived, and though still more or less uncritical, yet deserves the title
of history. The example was followed by a large number of writers, some
of extended works, some of histories in part. Mézeray himself is said to
have had a considerable share in the _Histoire du roi Henri le grand_ by
the archbishop Péréfixe (1605-1670); Louis Maimbourg (1610-1686) wrote
histories of the Crusades and of the League; Paul Pellisson (1624-1693)
gave a history of Louis XIV. and a more valuable _Mémoire_ in defence of
the superintendent Fouquet. Still later in the century, or at the
beginning of the next, the Père d'Orléans (1644-1698) wrote a history of
the revolutions of England, the Père Daniel (1649-1728), like d'Orléans a
Jesuit, composed a lengthy history of France and a shorter one on the
French military forces. Finally, at the end of the period, comes the
great ecclesiastical history of Claude Fleury (1640-1723), a work which
perhaps belongs more to the section of erudition than to that of history
proper. Three small treatises, however, composed by different authors
towards the middle part of the century, supply remarkable instances of
prose style in its application to history. These are the _Conjurations du
comte de Fiesque_, written by the famous Cardinal de Retz (1613-1679),
the _Conspiration de Walstein_ of Sarrasin, and the _Conjuration des
Espagnols contre Venise_, composed in 1672 by the abbé de Saint-Réal
(1639-1692), the author of various historical and critical works
deserving less notice. These three works, whose similarity of subject and
successive composition at short intervals leave little doubt that a
certain amount of intentional rivalry animated the two later authors, are
among the earliest and best examples of the monographs for which French,
in point of grace of style and lucidity of exposition, has long been the
most successful vehicle of expression among European languages. Among
other writers of history, as distinguished from memoirs, need only be
noticed Agrippa d'Aubigné, whose _Histoire universelle_ closed his long
and varied list of works, and Varillas (1624-1696), a historian chiefly
remarkable for his extreme untrustworthiness. In point of memoirs and
correspondence the period is hardly less fruitful than that which
preceded it. The _Régistres-Journaux_ of Pierre de l'Étoile (1540-1611)
consist of a diary something of the Pepys character, kept for nearly
forty years by a person in high official employment. The memoirs of Sully
(1560-1641), published under a curious title too long to quote, date also
from this time.

Henri IV. himself has left a considerable correspondence, which is not
destitute of literary merit, though not equal to the memoirs of his
wife. What are commonly called Richelieu's _Memoirs_ were probably
written to his order; his _Testament politique_ may be his own. Henri de
Rohan (1579-1638) has not memoirs of the first value. Both this and
earlier times found chronicle in the singular _Historiettes_ of Gédéon
Tallemant des Réaux (1619-1690), a collection of anecdotes, frequently
scandalous, reaching from the times of Henri IV. to those of Louis XIV.,
to which may be joined the letters of Guy Patin (1602-1676). The early
years of the latter monarch and the period of the Fronde had the
cardinal de Retz himself, than whom no one was certainly better
qualified for historian, not to mention a crowd of others, of whom we
may mention Madame de Motteville (1621-1689), Jean Hérault de Gourville
(1625-1703), Mademoiselle de Montpensier ("La Grande Mademoiselle")
(1627-1693), Conrart, Turenne and Mathieu Molé (1584-1663), François du
Val, marquis de Fontenay-Mareuil (1594-1655), Arnauld d'Andilly
(1588-1670). From this time memoirs and memoir writers were ever
multiplying. The queen of them all is Madame de Sevigné (1626-1696), on
whom, as on most of the great and better-known writers whom we have had
and shall have to mention, it is impossible here to dwell at length. The
last half of the century produced crowds of similar but inferior
writers. The memoirs of Roger de Bussy-Rabutin (1618-1693) (author of a
kind of scandalous chronicle called _Histoire amoureuse des Gaules_) and
of Madame de Maintenon (1635-1719) perhaps deserve notice above the
others. But this was in truth the style of composition in which the age
most excelled. Memoir-writing became the occupation not so much of
persons who made history, as was the case from Comines to Retz, as of
those who, having culture, leisure and opportunity of observation,
devoted themselves to the task of recording the deeds of others, and
still more of regarding the incidents of the busy, splendid and
cultivated if somewhat frivolous world of the court, in which, from the
time of Louis XIV.'s majority, the political life of the nation and
almost its whole history were centred. Many, if not most, of these
writers were women, who thus founded the celebrity of the French lady
for managing her mother-tongue, and justified by results the taste and
tendencies of the blue-stockings and précieuses of the Hôtel Rambouillet
and similar coteries. The life which these writers saw before them
furnished them with a subject to be handled with the minuteness and care
to which they had been accustomed in the ponderous romances of the
_Clélie_ type, but also with the wit and terseness hereditary in France,
and only temporarily absent in those ponderous compositions. The efforts
of Balzac and the Academy supplied a suitable language and style, and
the increasing tendency towards epigrammatic moralizing, which reached
its acme in La Rochefoucauld (1663-1680) and La Bruyère (1639-1696),
added in most cases point and attractiveness to their writings.




_17th-Century Philosophers and Theologians._--To these moralists we
might, perhaps, not inappropriately pass at once. But it seems better to
consider first the philosophical and theological developments of the
age, which must share with its historical experiences and studies the
credit of producing these writers. Philosophy proper, as we have already
had occasion to remark, had hitherto made no use of the vulgar tongue.
The 16th century had contributed a few vernacular treatises on logic, a
considerable body of political and ethical writing, and a good deal of
sceptical speculation of a more or less vague character, continued into
our present epoch by such writers as François de la Mothe le Vayer
(1588-1672), the last representative of the orthodox doubt of Montaigne
and Charron. But in metaphysics proper it had not dabbled. The 17th
century, on the contrary, was to produce in René Descartes (1596-1650),
at once a master of prose style, the greatest of French philosophers,
and one of the greatest metaphysicians, not merely of France and of the
17th century, but of all countries and times. Even before Descartes
there had been considerable and important developments of metaphysical
speculation in France. The first eminent philosopher of French birth was
Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655). Gassendi devoted himself to the maintenance
of a modernized form of the Epicurean doctrines, but he wrote mainly, if
not entirely, in Latin. Another sceptical philosopher of a less
scientific character was the physicist Gabriel Naudé (1600-1653), who,
like many others of the philosophers of the time, was accused of
atheism. But as none of these could approach Descartes in philosophical
power and originality, so also none has even a fraction of his
importance in the history of French literature. Descartes stands with
Plato, and possibly Berkeley and Malebranche, at the head of all
philosophers in respect of style; and in his case the excellence is far
more remarkable than in others, inasmuch as he had absolutely no models,
and was forced in a great degree to create the language which he used.
The _Discours de la méthode_ is not only one of the epoch-making books
of philosophy, it is also one of the epoch-making books of French style.
The tradition of his clear and perfect expression was taken up, not
merely by his philosophical disciples, but also by Blaise Pascal
(1623-1662) and the school of Port Royal, who will be noticed presently.
The very genius of the Cartesian philosophy was intimately connected
with this clearness, distinctness and severity of style; and there is
something more than a fanciful contrast between these literary
characteristics of Descartes, on the one hand, and the elaborate
splendour of Bacon, the knotty and crabbed strength of Hobbes, and the
commonplace and almost vulgar slovenliness of Locke. Of the followers of
Descartes, putting aside the Port Royalists, by far the most
distinguished, both in philosophy and in literature, is Nicolas
Malebranche (1638-1715). His _Recherche de la vérité_, admirable as it
is for its subtlety and its consecutiveness of thought, is equally
admirable for its elegance of style. Malebranche cannot indeed, like his
great master, claim absolute originality. But his excellence as a writer
is as great as, if not greater than, that of Descartes, and the
_Recherche_ remains to this day the one philosophical treatise of great
length and abstruseness which, merely as a book, is delightful to
read--not like the works of Plato and Berkeley, because of the
adventitious graces of dialogue or description, but from the purity and
grace of the language, and its admirable adjustment to the purposes of
the argument. Yet, for all this, philosophy hardly flourished in France.
It was too intimately connected with theological and ecclesiastical
questions, and especially with Jansenism, to escape suspicion and
persecution. Descartes himself was for much of his life an exile in
Holland and Sweden; and though the unquestionable orthodoxy of
Malebranche, the strongly religious cast of his works, and the
remoteness of the abstruse region in which he sojourned from that of the
controversies of the day, protected him, other followers of Descartes
were not so fortunate. Holland, indeed, became a kind of city of refuge
for students of philosophy, though even in Holland itself they were by
no means entirely safe from persecution. By far the most remarkable of
French philosophical sojourners in the Netherlands was Pierre Bayle
(1647-1706), a name not perhaps of the first rank in respect of literary
value, but certainly of the first as regards literary influence. Bayle,
after oscillating between the two confessions, nominally remained a
Protestant in religion. In philosophy he in the same manner oscillated
between Descartes and Gassendi, finally resting in an equally nominal
Cartesianism. Bayle was, in fact, both in philosophy and in religion,
merely a sceptic, with a scepticism at once like and unlike that of
Montaigne, and differenced both by temperament and by circumstance--the
scepticism of the mere student, exercised more or less in all histories,
sciences and philosophies, and intellectually unable or unwilling to
take a side. His style is hardly to be called good, being diffuse and
often inelegant. But his great dictionary, though one of the most
heterogeneous and unmethodical of compositions, exercised an enormous
influence. It may be called the Bible of the 18th century, and contains
in the germ all the desultory philosophy, the ill-ordered scepticism,
and the critical but negatively critical acuteness of the _Aufklärung_.


  Port Royal.


We have said that the philosophical, theological and moral tendencies of
the century, which produced, with the exception of its dramatic triumphs,
all its greatest literary works, are almost inextricably intermingled.
Its earliest years, however, bear in theological matters rather the
complexion of the previous century. Du Perron and St Francis of Sales
survived until nearly the end of its first quarter, and the most
remarkable works of the latter bear the dates of 1608 and later. It was
not, however, till some years had passed, till the counter-Reformation
had reconverted the largest and most powerful portion of the Huguenot
party, and till the influence of Jansenius and Descartes had time to
work, that the extraordinary outburst of Gallican theology, both in
pulpit and in press, took place. The Jansenist controversy may perhaps be
awarded the merit of provoking this, as far as writing was concerned. The
astonishing eloquence of contemporary pulpit oratory may be set down
partly to the zeal for conversion of which du Perron and de Sales had
given the example, partly to the same taste of the time which encouraged
dramatic performances, for the sermon and the tirade have much in common.
Jansenius himself, though a Dutchman by birth, passed much time in
France, and it was in France that he found most disciples. These
disciples consisted in the first place of the members of the society of
Port Royal des Champs, a coterie after the fashion of the time, but one
which devoted itself not to sonnets or madrigals but to devotional
exercises, study and the teaching of youth. This coterie early adopted
the Cartesian philosophy, and the Port Royal _Logic_ was the most
remarkable popular handbook of that school. In theology they adopted
Jansenism, and were in consequence soon at daggers drawn with the
Jesuits, according to the polemical habits of the time. The most
distinguished champions on the Jansenist side were Jean Duvergier de
Hauranne, abbé de St Cyran (1581-1643), and Antoine Arnauld (1560-1619),
but by far the most important literary results of the quarrel were the
famous _Provinciales_ of Pascal, or, to give them their proper title,
_Lettres écrites à un provincial_. Their literary importance consists,
not merely in their grace of style, but in the application to serious
discussion of the peculiarly polished and quiet irony of which Pascal is
the greatest master the world has ever seen. Up to this time controversy
had usually been conducted either in the mere bludgeon fashion of the
Scaligers and Saumaises--of which in the vernacular the Jesuit François
Garasse (1585-1631) had already contributed remarkable examples to
literary and moral controversy--or else in a dull and legal style, or
lastly under an envelope of Rabelaisian buffoonery such as survives to a
considerable extent in the _Satire Ménippée_. Pascal set the example of
combining the use of the most terribly effective weapons with good
humour, good breeding and a polished style. The example was largely
followed, and the manner of Voltaire and his followers in the 18th
century owes at least as much to Pascal as their method and matter do to
Bayle. The Jansenists, attacked and persecuted by the civil power, which
the Jesuits had contrived to interest, were finally suppressed. But the
_Provinciales_ had given them an unapproachable superiority in matter of
argument and literature. Their other literary works were inferior, though
still remarkable. Antoine Arnauld (the younger, often called "the great")
(1612-1694) and Pierre Nicole (1625-1695) managed their native language
with vigour if not exactly with grace. They maintained their orthodoxy by
writings, not merely against the Jesuits, but also against the
Protestants such as the _Perpétuité de la foi_ due to both, and the
_Apologie des Catholiques_ written by Arnauld alone. The latter, besides
being responsible for a good deal of the _Logic_ (_L'Art de penser_) to
which we have alluded, wrote also much of a _Grammaire générale_ composed
by the Port Royalists for the use of their pupils; but his principal
devotion was to theology and theological polemics. To the latter Nicole
also contributed _Les Visionnaires_, _Les Imaginaires_ and other works.
The studious recluses of Port Royal also produced a large quantity of
miscellaneous literary work, to which full justice has been done in
Sainte-Beuve's well-known volumes.



_17th-Century Preachers._--When we think of Gallican theology during the
17th century, it is always with the famous pulpit orators of the period
that thought is most busied. Nor is this unjust, for though the most
prominent of them all, Jacques Bénigne Bossuet (1627-1704) was
remarkable as a writer of matter intended to be read, not merely as a
speaker of matter intended to be heard, this double character is not
possessed by most of the orthodox theologians of the time; and even
Bossuet, great as is his genius, is more of a rhetorician than of a
philosopher or a theologian. In no quarter was the advance of culture
more remarkable in France than in the pulpit. We have already had
occasion to notice the characteristics of French pulpit eloquence in the
15th and 16th centuries. Though this was very far from destitute of
vigour and imagination, the political frenzy of the preachers, and the
habit of introducing anecdotic buffoonery, spoilt the eloquence of
Maillard and of Raulin, of Boucher and of Rose. The powerful use which
the Reformed ministers made of the pulpit stirred up their rivals; the
advance in science and classical study added weight and dignity to the
matter of their discourses. The improvement of prose style and language
provided them with a suitable instrument, and the growth of taste and
refinement purged their sermons of grossness and buffoonery, of personal
allusions, and even, as the monarchy became more absolute, of direct
political purpose. The earliest examples of this improved style were
given by St Francis de Sales and by Fenouillet, bishop of Marseilles (d.
1652); but it was not till the latter half of the century, when the
troubles of the Fronde had completely subsided, and the church was
established in the favour of Louis XIV., that the full efflorescence of
theological eloquence took place. There were at the time pulpit orators
of considerable excellence in England, and perhaps Jeremy Taylor,
assisted by the genius of the language, has wrought a vein more precious
than any which the somewhat academic methods and limitations of the
French teachers allowed them to reach. But no country has ever been able
to show a more magnificent concourse of orators, sacred or profane, than
that formed by Bossuet, Fénelon (1651-1715), Esprit Fléchier
(1632-1710), Jules Mascaron (1634-1703), Louis Bourdaloue (1632-1704),
and Jean Baptiste Massillon (1663-1742), to whom may be justly added the
Protestant divines, Jean Claude (1619-1687) and Jacques Saurin
(1677-1730). The characteristics of all these were different. Bossuet,
the earliest and certainly the greatest, was also the most universal. He
was not merely a preacher; he was, as we have said, a controversialist,
indeed somewhat too much of a controversialist, as his battle with
Fénelon proved. He was a philosophical or at least a theological
historian, and his _Discours sur l'histoire universelle_ is equally
remarkable from the point of view of theology, philosophy, history and
literature. Turning to theological politics, he wrote his _Politique
tirée de l'écriture sainte_, to theology proper his _Méditations sur les
évangiles_ and his _Élevations sur les mystères_. But his principal
work, after all, is his _Oraisons funèbres_. The funeral sermon was the
special oratorical exercise of the time. Its subject and character
invited the gorgeous if somewhat theatrical commonplaces, the display of
historical knowledge and parallel, and the moralizing analogies, in
which the age specially rejoiced. It must also be noticed, to the credit
of the preachers, that such occasions gave them an opportunity, rarely
neglected, of correcting the adulation which was but too frequently
characteristic of the period. The spirit of these compositions is fairly
reflected in the most famous and often quoted of their phrases, the
opening "Mes frères, Dieu seul est grand" of Massillon's funeral
discourse on Louis XIV.; and though panegyric is necessarily by no means
absent, it is rarely carried beyond bounds. While Bossuet made himself
chiefly remarkable in his sermons and in his writings by an almost
Hebraic grandeur and rudeness, the more special characteristics of
Christianity, largely alloyed with a Greek and Platonic spirit,
displayed themselves in Fénelon. In pure literature he is not less
remarkable than in theology, politics and morals. His practice in
matters of style was admirable, as the universally known _Télémaque_
sufficiently shows to those who know nothing else of his writing. But
his taste, both in its correctness and its audacity, is perhaps more
admirable still. Despite of Malherbe, Balzac, Boileau and the traditions
of nearly a century, he dared to speak favourably of Ronsard, and
plainly expressed his opinion that the practice of his own
contemporaries and predecessors had cramped and impoverished the French
language quite as much as they had polished or purified it. The other
doctors whom we have mentioned were more purely theological than the
accomplished archbishop of Cambray. Fléchier is somewhat more archaic in
style than Bossuet or Fénelon, and he is also more definitely a
rhetorician than either. Mascaron has the older fault of prodigal and
somewhat indiscriminate erudition. But the two latest of the series,
Bourdaloue and Massillon, had far the greatest repute in their own time
purely as orators, and perhaps deserved this preference. The difference
between the two repeated that between du Perron and de Sales.
Bourdaloue's great forte was vigorous argument and unsparing
denunciation, but he is said to have been lacking in the power of
influencing and affecting his hearers. His attraction was purely
intellectual, and it is reflected in his style, which is clear and
forcible, but destitute of warmth and colour. Massillon, on the other
hand, was remarkable for his pathos, and for his power of enlisting and
influencing the sympathies of his hearers. Of minor preachers on the
same side, Charles de la Rue, a Jesuit (1643-1725), and the Père
Cheminais (1652-1680), according to a somewhat idle form of
nomenclature, "the Racine of the pulpit," may be mentioned. The two
Protestant ministers whom we have mentioned, though inferior to their
rivals, yet deserve honourable mention among the ecclesiastical writers
of the period. Claude engaged in a controversy with Bossuet, in which
victory is claimed for the invincible eagle of Meaux. Saurin, by far the
greater preacher of the two, long continued to occupy, and indeed still
occupies, in the libraries of French Protestants, the position given to
Bossuet and Massillon on the other side.

_17th-Century Moralists._--It is not surprising that the works of
Montaigne and Charron, with the immense popularity of the former, should
have inclined the more thoughtful minds in France to moral reflection,
especially as many other influences, both direct and indirect,
contributed to produce the same result. The constant tendency of the
refinements in French prose was towards clearness, succinctness and
precision, the qualities most necessary in the moralist. The
characteristics of the prevailing philosophy, that of Descartes, pointed
in the same direction. It so happened, too, that the times were more
favourable to the thinker and writer on ethical subjects than to the
speculator in philosophy proper, in theology or in politics. Both the
former subjects exposed their cultivators, as we have seen, to the
suspicion of unorthodoxy; and to political speculation of any kind the
rule of Richelieu, and still more that of Louis XIV., were in the
highest degree unfavourable. No successors to Bodin and du Vair
appeared; and even in the domain of legal writings, which comes nearest
to that of politics, but few names of eminence are to be found.

  Pascal and pensée-writing.


  La Rochefoucauld.

  La Bruyère.

Only the name of Omer-Talon (1595-1652) really illustrates the legal
annals of France at this period on the bench, and that of Olivier Patru
(1604-1681) at the bar. Thus it happened that the interests of many
different classes of persons were concentrated upon moralizings, which
took indeed very different forms in the hands of Pascal and other grave
and serious thinkers of the Jansenist complexion in theology, and in
those of literary courtiers like Saint-Évremond (1613-1703) and La
Rochefoucauld, whose chief object was to depict the motives and
characters prominent in the brilliant and not altogether frivolous
society in which they moved. Both classes, however, were more or less
tempted by the cast of their thoughts and the genius of the language to
adopt the tersest and most epigrammatic form of expression possible, and
thus to originate the "_pensée_" in which, as its greatest later writer,
Joubert, has said, "the ambition of the author is to put a book into a
page, a page into a phrase, and a phrase into a word." The great genius
and admirable style of Pascal are certainly not less shown in his
_Pensées_ than in his _Provinciales_, though perhaps the literary form
of the former is less strikingly supreme than that of the latter. The
author is more dominated by his subject and dominates it less. Nicole, a
far inferior writer as well as thinker, has also left a considerable
number of _Pensées_, which have about them something more of the essay
and less of the aphorism. They are, however, though not comparable to
Pascal, excellent in matter and style, and go far to justify Bayle in
calling their author "l'une des plus belles plumes de l'Europe." In
sharp contrast with these thinkers, who are invariably not merely
respecters of religion but ardently and avowedly religious, who treat
morality from the point of view of the Bible and the church, there arose
side by side with them, or only a little later, a very different group
of moralists, whose writings have been as widely read, and who have had
as great a practical and literary influence as perhaps any other class
of authors. The earliest to be born and the last to die of these was
Charles de Saint-Denis, seigneur de saint-Évremond (1613-1703).
Saint-Évremond was long known rather as a conversational wit, some of
whose good things were handed about in manuscript, or surreptitiously
printed in foreign lands, than as a writer, and this is still to a
certain extent his reputation. He was at least as cynical as his still
better known contemporary La Rochefoucauld, if not more so, and he had
less intellectual force and less nobility of character. But his wit was
very great, and he set the example of the brilliant societies of the
next century. Many of Saint-Évremond's printed works are nominally works
of literary criticism, but the moralizing spirit pervades all of them.
No writer had a greater influence on Voltaire, and through Voltaire on
the whole course of French literature after him. In direct literary
value, however, no comparison can be made between Saint-Évremond and the
author of the _Sentences et maximes morales_. François, duc de la
Rochefoucauld (1613-1680), has other literary claims besides those of
this famous book. His _Mémoires_ were very favourably judged by his
contemporaries, and they are still held to deserve no little praise even
among the numerous and excellent works of the kind which that age of
memoir-writers produced. But while the _Mémoires_ thus invite
comparison, the _Maximes et sentences_ stand alone. Even allowing that
the mere publication of detached reflections in terse language was not
absolutely new, it had never been carried, perhaps has never since been
carried, to such a perfection. Beside La Rochefoucauld all other writers
are diffuse, vacillating, unfinished, rough. Not only is there in him
never a word too much, but there is never a word too little. The thought
is always fully expressed, not compressed. Frequently as the metaphor of
minting or stamping coin has been applied to the art of managing words,
it has never been applied so appropriately as to the maxims of La
Rochefoucauld. The form of them is almost beyond praise, and its
excellencies, combined with their immense and enduring popularity, have
had a very considerable share in influencing the character of subsequent
French literature. Of hardly less importance in this respect, though of
considerably less intellectual and literary individuality, was the
translator of Theophrastus and the author of the _Caractères_, La
Bruyère. Jean de la Bruyère (1645-1696), though frequently epigrammatic,
did not aim at the same incredible terseness as the author of the
_Maximes_. His plan did not, indeed, render it necessary. Both in
England and in France there had been during the whole of the century a
mania for character writing, both of the general and Theophrastic kind,
and of the historical and personal order. The latter, of which our own
Clarendon is perhaps the greatest master, abound in the French memoirs
of the period. The former, of which the naïve sketches of Earle and
Overbury are English examples, culminated in those of La Bruyère, which
are not only light and easy in manner and matter, but also in style
essentially amusing, though instructive as well. Both he and La
Rochefoucauld had an enduring effect on the literature which followed
them--an effect perhaps superior to that exercised by any other single
work in French, except the _Roman de la rose_ and the _Essais_ of

  Controversy between Ancients and Moderns.

_17th-century Savants._--Of the literature of the 17th century there
only remains to be dealt with the section of those writers who devoted
themselves to scientific pursuits or to antiquarian erudition of one
form or another. It was in this century that literary criticism of
French and in French first began to be largely composed, and after this
time we shall give it a separate heading. It was very far, however, from
attaining the excellence or observing the form which it afterwards
assumed. The institution of the Academy led to various linguistic works.
One of the earliest of these was the _Remarques_ of the Savoyard Claude
Favre de Vaugelas (1595-1650), afterwards re-edited by Thomas Corneille.
Pellisson wrote a history of the Academy itself when it had as yet but a
brief one. The famous _Examen du Cid_ was an instance of the literary
criticism of the time which was afterwards represented by René Rapin
(1621-1687), Dominique Bouhours (1628-1702) and René de Bossu
(1631-1680), while Adrien Baillet (1649-1706) has collected the largest
thesaurus of the subject in his _Jugemens des savants_. Boileau set the
example of treating such subjects in verse, and in the latter part of
the century _Reflexions_, _Discourses_, _Observations_, and the like, on
particular styles, literary forms and authors, became exceedingly
numerous. In earlier years France possessed a numerous band of classical
scholars of the first rank, such as Scaliger and Casaubon, who did not
lack followers. But all or almost all this sort of work was done in
Latin, so that it contributed little to French literature properly
so-called, though the translations from the classics of Nicolas Perrot
d'Ablancourt (1606-1664) have always taken rank among the models of
French style. On the other hand, mathematical studies were pursued by
persons of far other and far greater genius, and, taking from this time
forward a considerable position in education and literature in France,
had much influence on both. The mathematical discoveries of Pascal and
Descartes are well known. Of science proper, apart from mathematics,
France did not produce many distinguished cultivators in this century.
The philosophy of Descartes was not on the whole favourable to such
investigations, which were in the next century to be pursued with
ardour. Its tendencies found more congenial vent and are more thoroughly
exemplified in the famous quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns.
This, of Italian origin, was mainly started in France by Charles
Perrault (1628-1703), who thereby rendered much less service to
literature than by his charming fairy tales. The opposite side was taken
by Boileau, and the fight was afterwards revived by Antoine Houdar[d, t]
de la Motte (1672-1731), a writer of little learning but much talent in
various ways, and by the celebrated Madame Dacier, Anne Lefèvre
(1654-1720). The discussion was conducted, as is well known, without
very much knowledge or judgment among the disputants on the one side or
on the other. But at this very time there were in France students and
scholars of the most profound erudition. We have already mentioned
Fleury and his ecclesiastical history. But Fleury is only the last and
the most popular of a race of omnivorous and untiring scholars, whose
labours have ever since, until the modern fashion of first-hand
investigations came in, furnished the bulk of historical and scholarly
references and quotations. To this century belong le Nain de Tillemont
(1637-1698), whose enormous _Histoire des empereurs_ and _Mémoires pour
servir à l'histoire ecclésiastique_ served Gibbon and a hundred others
as quarry; Charles Dufresne, seigneur de Ducange (1614-1688), whose
well-known glossary was only one of numerous productions; Jean Mabillon
(1632-1707), one of the most voluminous of the voluminous Benedictines;
and Bernard de Montfaucon (1655-1741), chief of all authorities of the
dry-as-dust kind on classical archaeology and art.

_Opening of the 18th Century._--The beginning of the 18th century is
among the dead seasons of French literature. All the greatest men whose
names had illustrated the early reign of Louis XIV. in profane
literature passed away long before him, and the last if the least of
them, Boileau and Thomas Corneille, only survived into the very earliest
years of the new age. The political and military disasters of the last
years of the reign were accompanied by a state of things in society
unfavourable to literary development. The devotion to pure literature
and philosophy proper which Descartes and Corneille had inspired had
died out, and the devotion to physical science, to sociology, and to a
kind of free-thinking optimism which was to inspire Voltaire and the
Encyclopedists had not yet become fashionable. Fénelon and Malebranche
still survived, but they were emphatically men of the last age, as was
Massillon, though he lived till nearly the middle of the century. The
characteristic literary figures of the opening years of the period are
d'Aguesseau, Fontenelle, Saint-Simon, personages in many ways
interesting and remarkable, but purely transitional in their
characteristics. Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle (1657-1757) is, indeed,
perhaps the most typical figure of the time. He was a dramatist, a
moralist, a philosopher, physical and metaphysical, a critic, an
historian, a poet and a satirist. The manner of his works is always easy
and graceful, and their matter rarely contemptible.

  J. B. Rousseau.

  Voltaire (poetry).

_18th-Century Poetry._--The dispiriting signs shown during the 17th
century by French poetry proper received entire fulfilment in the
following age. The two poets who were most prominent at the opening of
the period were the abbé de Chaulieu (1639-1720) and the marquis de la
Fare (1644-1712), poetical or rather versifying twins who are always
quoted together. They were both men who lived to a great age, yet their
characteristics are rather those of their later than of their earlier
contemporaries. They derive on the one hand from the somewhat trifling
school of Voiture, on the other from the Bacchic sect of Saint-Amant;
and they succeed in uniting the inferior qualities of both with the
cramped and impoverished though elegant style of which Fénelon had
complained. Their compositions are as a rule lyrical, as lyrical poetry
was understood after the days of Malherbe--that is to say, quatrains of
the kind ridiculed by Molière, and Pindaric odes, which have been justly
described as made up of alexandrines after the manner of Boileau cut up
into shorter or longer lengths. They were followed, however, by the one
poet who succeeded in producing something resembling poetry in this
artificial style, J. B. Rousseau (1671-1741). Rousseau, who in some
respects was nothing so little as a religious poet, was nevertheless
strongly influenced, as Marot had been, by the Psalms of David. His
_Odes_ and his _Cantates_ are perhaps less destitute of that spirit than
the work of any other poet of the century excepting André Chénier.
Rousseau was also an extremely successful epigrammatist, having in this
respect, too, resemblances to Marot. Le Franc de Pompignan (1700-1784),
to whom Voltaire's well-known sarcasms are not altogether just, and
Louis Racine (1692-1763), who wrote pious and altogether forgotten
poems, belonged to the same poetical school; though both the style and
matter of Racine are strongly tinctured by his Port Royalist sympathies
and education. Lighter verse was represented in the 18th century by the
long-lived Saint-Aulaire (1643-1742), by Gentil Bernard (1710-1775), by
the abbé (afterwards cardinal) de Bernis (1715-1794), by Claude Joseph
Dorat (1734-1780), by Antoine Bertin (1752-1790) and by Evariste de
Parny (1753-1814), the last the most vigorous, but all somewhat
deserving the term applied to Dorat of _ver luisant du Parnasse_. The
jovial traditions of Saint-Amant begat a similar school of anacreontic
songsters, which, represented in turn by Charles François Panard
(1674-1765), Charles Collé (1709-1783), Armand Gouffé (1775-1845), and
Marc-Antoine-Madeleine Desaugiers (1772-1827), led directly to the best
of all such writers, Béranger. To this class Rouget de Lisle (1760-1836)
perhaps also belongs; though his most famous composition, the
_Marseillaise_, is of a different stamp. Nor is the account of the light
verse of the 18th century complete without reference to a long
succession of fable writers, who, in an unbroken chain, connect La
Fontaine in the 17th century with Viennet in the 19th. None of the
links, however, of this chain, with the exception of Jean Pierre Florian
(1759-1794) deserve much attention. The universal faculty of Voltaire
(1694-1778) showed itself in his poetical productions no less than in
his other works, and it is perhaps not least remarkable in verse. It is
impossible nowadays to regard the _Henriade_ as anything but a highly
successful prize poem, but the burlesque epic of _La Pucelle_,
discreditable as it may be from the moral point of view, is remarkable
enough as literature.


The epistles and satires are among the best of their kind, the verse
tales are in the same way admirable, and the epigrams, impromptus, and
short miscellaneous poems generally are the _ne plus ultra_ of verse
which is not poetry. The Anglomania of the century extended into poetry,
and the _Seasons_ of Thomson set the example of a whole library of
tedious descriptive verse, which in its turn revenged France upon
England by producing or helping to produce English poems of the Darwin
school. The first of these descriptive performances was the _Saisons_ of
Jean François de Saint-Lambert (1716-1803), identical in title with its
model, but of infinitely inferior value. Saint-Lambert was followed by
Jacques Delille (1738-1813) in _Les Jardins_, Antoine Marin le Mierre
(1723-1793) in _Les Fastes_, and Jean Antoine Roucher (1745-1794) in
_Les Mois_. Indeed, everything that could be described was seized upon
by these describers. Delille also translated the _Georgics_, and for a
time was the greatest living poet of France, the title being only
disputed by Escouchard le Brun (1729-1807), a lyrist and ode writer of
the school of J. B. Rousseau, but not destitute of energy. The only
other poets until Chénier who deserve notice are Nicolas Gilbert
(1751-1780)--the French Chatterton, or perhaps rather the French Oldham,
who died in a workhouse at twenty-nine after producing some vigorous
satires and, at the point of death, an elegy of great beauty; Jacques
Charles Louis Clinchaut de Malfilâtre (1732-1767), another short-lived
poet whose "Ode to the Sun" has a certain stateliness; and Jean Baptiste
Gresset (1709-1777), the author of _Ver-Vert_ and of other poems of the
lighter order, which are not far, if at all, below the level of
Voltaire. André Chénier (1762-1794) stands far apart from the art of his
century, though the strong chain of custom, and his early death by the
guillotine, prevented him from breaking finally through the restraints
of its language and its versification. Chénier, half a Greek by blood,
was wholly one in spirit and sentiment. The manner of his verses, the
very air which surrounds them and which they diffuse, are different from
those of the 18th century; and his poetry is probably the utmost that
its language and versification could produce. To do more, the revolution
which followed a generation after his death was required.

  Diderot (plays).

_18th-Century Drama._--The results of the cultivation of dramatic poetry
at this time were even less individually remarkable than those of the
attention paid to poetry proper. Here again the astonishing power and
literary aptitude of Voltaire gave value to his attempts in a style
which, notwithstanding that it counts Racine among its practitioners,
was none the less predestined to failure. Voltaire's own efforts in this
kind are indisputably as successful as they could be. Foreigners usually
prefer _Mahomet_ and _Zaïre_ to _Bajazet_ and _Mithridate_, though there
is no doubt that no work of Voltaire's comes up to _Polyeucte_ and
_Rodogune_, as certainly no single passage in any of his plays can
approach the best passages of _Cinna_ and _Les Horaces_. But the
remaining tragic writers of the century, with the single exception of
Crébillon _père_, are scarcely third-rate. C. Jolyot de Crébillon
(1674-1762) himself had genius, and there are to be found in his work
evidences of a spirit which had seemed to die away with _Saint-Genest_,
and was hardly to revive until _Hernani_. Of the imitators of Racine and
Voltaire, La Motte in _Inés de Castro_ was not wholly unsuccessful.
François Joseph de la Grange-Chancel (1677-1758) copied chiefly the
worst side of the author of _Britannicus_, and Bernard Joseph Saurin
(1706-1781) and Pierre-Laurent de Belloy (1727-1775) performed the same
service for Voltaire. Le Mierre and La Harpe, mentioned and to be
mentioned, were tragedians; but the _Iphigénie en Tauride_ of Guimond de
la Touche (1725-1760) deserves more special mention than anything of
theirs. There was an infinity of tragic writers and tragic plays in this
century, but hardly any others of them even deserve mention. The muse of
comedy was decidedly more happy in her devotees. Molière was a far safer
if a more difficult model than Racine, and the inexorable fashion which
had bound down tragedy to a feeble imitation of Euripides did not
similarly prescribe an undeviating adherence to Terence. Tragedy had
never been, has scarcely been since, anything but an exotic in France;
comedy was of the soil and native. Very early In the century Alain René
le Sage (1668-1747), in the admirable comedy of _Turcaret_, produced a
work not unworthy to stand by the side of all but his master's best.
Philippe Destouches (1680-1754) was also a fertile comedy writer in the
early years of the century, and in _Le Glorieux_ and _Le Philosophe
marié_ achieved considerable success. As the age went on, comedy, always
apt to lay hold of passing events, devoted itself to the great struggle
between the Philosophes and their opponents. Curiously enough, the party
which engrossed almost all the wit of France had the worst of it in this
dramatic portion of the contest, if in no other. The _Méchant_ of
Gresset and the _Métromanie_ of Alexis Piron (1689-1773) were far
superior to anything produced on the other side, and the _Philosophes_
of Charles Palissot de Montenoy (1730-1814), though scurrilous and
broadly farcical, had a great success. On the other hand, it was to a
Philosophe that the invention of a new dramatic style was due, and still
more the promulgation of certain ideas on dramatic criticism and
construction, which, after being filtered through the German mind, were
to return to France and to exercise the most powerful influence on its
dramatic productions. This was Denis Diderot (1713-1784), the most
fertile genius of the century, but also the least productive in finished
and perfect work. His chief dramas, the _Fils naturel_ and the _Père de
famille_, are certainly not great successes; the shorter plays, _Est-il
bon? est-il méchant?_ and _La Pièce et le prologue_, are better. But it
was his follower Michel Jean Sédaine (1719-1797) who, in _Le Philosophe
sans le savoir_ and other pieces, produced the best examples of the
bourgeois as opposed to the heroic drama. Diderot is sometimes credited
or discredited with the invention of the _Comédie Larmoyante_, a title
which indeed his own plays do not altogether refuse, but this special
variety seems to be, in its invention, rather the property of Pierre
Claude Nivelle de la Chaussée (1692-1754). Comedy sustained itself, and
even gained ground towards the end of the century; the _Jeune Indienne_
of Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794), if not quite worthy of its author's
brilliant talent in other paths, is noteworthy, and so is the _Billet
perdu_ of Joseph François Edouard de Corsembleu Desmahis (1722-1761),
while at the extreme limit of our present period there appears the
remarkable figure of Pierre Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-1799). The
_Mariage de Figaro_ and the _Barbier de Séville_ are well known as
having had attributed to them no mean place among the literary causes
and forerunners of the Revolution. Their dramatic and literary value
would itself have sufficed to obtain attention for them at any time,
though there can be no doubt that their popularity was mainly due to
their political appositeness. The most remarkable point about them, as
about the school of comedy of which Congreve was the chief master in
England at the beginning of the century, was the abuse and superfluity
of wit in the dialogue, indiscriminately allotted to all characters
alike. It is difficult to give particulars, but would be improper to
omit all mention, of such dramatic or quasi-dramatic work as the
libretti of operas, farces for performance at fairs and the like. French
authors of the time from Le Sage downwards usually managed these with
remarkable skill.

  J. J. Rousseau.

_18th-Century Fiction._--With prose fiction the case was altogether
different. We have seen how the short tale of a few pages had already in
the 16th century attained high if not the highest excellence; how at
three different periods the fancy for long-winded prose narration
developed itself in the prose rehandlings of the chivalric poems, in the
_Amadis_ romances, and in the portentous recitals of Gomberville and La
Calprenède; how burlesques of these romances were produced from Rabelais
to Scarron; and how at last Madame de Lafayette showed the way to
something like the novel of the day. If we add the fairy story, of which
Perrault and Madame d'Aulnoy were the chief practitioners, and a small
class of miniature romances, of which _Aucassin et Nicolette_ in the
13th, and the delightful _Jehan de Paris_ (of the 15th or 16th, in which
a king of England is patriotically sacrificed) are good representatives,
we shall have exhausted the list. The 18th century was quick to develop
the system of the author of the _Princesse de Clèves_, but it did not
abandon the cultivation of the romance, that is to say, fiction dealing
with incident and with the simpler passions, in devoting itself to the
novel, that is to say, fiction dealing with the analysis of sentiment
and character. Le Sage, its first great novelist, in his _Diable
boiteux_ and _Gil Blas_, went to Spain not merely for his subject but
also for his inspiration and manner, following the lead of the picaroon
romance of Rojas and Scarron. Like Fielding, however, whom he much
resembles, Le Sage mingled with the romance of incident the most careful
attention to character and the most lively portrayal of it, while his
style and language are such as to make his work one of the classics of
French literature. The novel of character was really founded in France
by the abbé Prévost d'Exilles (1697-1763), the author of _Cleveland_ and
of the incomparable _Manon Lescaut_. The popularity of this style was
much helped by the immense vogue in France of the works of Richardson.
Side by side with it, however, and for a time enjoying still greater
popularity, there flourished a very different school of fiction, of
which Voltaire, whose name occupies the first or all but the first place
in every branch of literature of his time, was the most brilliant
cultivator. This was a direct development of the earlier _conte_, and
consisted usually of the treatment, in a humorous, satirical, and not
always over-decent fashion, of contemporary foibles, beliefs,
philosophies and occupations. These tales are of every rank of
excellence and merit both literary and moral, and range from the
astonishing wit, grace and humour of _Candide_ and _Zadig_ to the book
which is Diderot's one hardly pardonable sin, and the similar but more
lively efforts of Crébillon _fils_ (1707-1777). These latter deeps led
in their turn to the still lower depths of La Clos and Louvet. A third
class of 18th-century fiction consists of attempts to return to the
humorous _fatrasie_ of the 16th century, attempts which were as much
influenced by Sterne as the sentimental novel was by Richardson. The
_Homme aux quarante écus_ of Voltaire has something of this character,
but the most characteristic works of the style are the _Jacques le
fataliste_ of Diderot, which shows it nearly at its best, and the
_Compère Mathieu_, sometimes attributed to Pigault-Lebrun (1753-1835),
but no doubt in reality due to Jacques du Laurens (1719-1797), which
shows it at perhaps its worst. Another remarkable story-teller was
Cazotte (1719-1792), whose _Diable amoureux_ displays much fantastic
power, and connects itself with a singular fancy of the time for occult
studies and _diablerie_, manifested later by the patronage shown to
Cagliostro, Mesmer, St Germain and others. In this connexion, too, may
perhaps also be mentioned most appropriately Restif de la Bretonne, a
remarkably original and voluminous writer, who was little noticed by his
contemporaries and successors for the best part of a century. Restif,
who was nicknamed the "Rousseau of the gutter," _Rousseau du ruisseau_,
presents to an English imagination many of the characteristics of a
non-moral Defoe. While these various schools busied themselves more or
less with real life seriously depicted or purposely travestied, the
great vogue and success of _Télémaque_ produced a certain number of
didactic works, in which moral or historical information was sought to
be conveyed under a more or less thin guise of fiction. Such was the
_Voyage du jeune Anacharsis_ of Jean Jacques Barthélemy (1716-1795);
such the _Numa Pompilius_ and _Gonzalve de Cordoue_ of Florian
(1755-1794), who also deserves notice as a writer of pastorals, fables
and short prose tales; such the _Bélisaire_ and _Les Incas_ of Jean
François Marmontel (1723-1799). Between this class and that of the novel
of sentiment may perhaps be placed _Paul et Virginie_ and _La Chaumière
indienne_; though Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737-1814) should more
properly be noticed after Rousseau and as a moralist. Diderot's
fiction-writing has already been referred to more than once, but his
_Religieuse_ deserves citation here as a powerful specimen of the novel
both of analysis and polemic; while his undoubted masterpiece, the
_Neveu de Rameau_, though very difficult to class, comes under this head
as well as under any other. There are, however, two of the novelists of
this age, and of the most remarkable, who have yet to be noticed, and
these are the author of _Marianne_ and the author of _Julie_. We do not
mention Pierre de Marivaux (1688-1763) in this connexion as the equal of
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), but merely as being in his way almost
equally original and equally remote from any suspicion of school
influence. He began with burlesque writing, and was also the author of
several comedies, of which _Les Fausses Confidences_ is the principal.
But it is in prose fiction that he really excels. He may claim to have,
at least in the opinion of his contemporaries, invented a style, though
perhaps the term _marivaudage_, which was applied to it, has a not
altogether complimentary connotation. He may claim also to have invented
the novel without a purpose, which aims simply at amusement, and at the
same time does not seek to attain that end by buffoonery or by satire.
Gray's definition of happiness, "to lie on a sofa and read endless
novels by Marivaux" (it is true that he added Crébillon), is well known,
and the production of mere pastime by means more or less harmless has
since become so well-recognized a function of the novelist that
Marivaux, as one of the earliest to discharge it, deserves notice. The
name, however, of Jean Jacques Rousseau is of far different importance.
His two great works, the _Nouvelle Héloïse_ and _Émile_, are as far as
possible from being perfect as novels. But no novels in the world have
ever had such influence as these. To a great extent this influence was
due mainly to their attractions as novels, imperfect though they may be
in this character, but it was beyond dispute also owing to the doctrines
which they contained, and which were exhibited in novel form.

Such are the principal developments of fiction during the century; but
it is remarkable that, varied as they were, and excellent as was some of
the work to which they gave rise, none of these schools was directly
very fertile in results or successors. The period with which we shall
next have to deal, that from the outbreak of the Revolution to the death
of Louis XVIII., is curiously barren of fiction of any merit. It was not
till English influence began again to assert itself in the later days of
the Restoration that the prose romance began once more to be written.

_18th-Century History._--It is not, however, in any of the departments
of _belles-lettres_ that the real eminence of the 18th century as a time
of literary production in France consists. In all serious branches of
study its accomplishments were, from a literary point of view,
remarkable, uniting as it did an extraordinary power of popular and
literary expression with an ardent spirit of inquiry, a great
speculative ability, and even a far more considerable amount of
laborious erudition than is generally supposed. The historical studies
and results of 18th-century speculation in France are of especial and
peculiar importance. There is no doubt that what is called the science
of history dates from this time, and though the beginning of it is
usually assigned to the Italian Vico, its complete indication may
perhaps with equal or greater justice be claimed by the Frenchman
Turgot. Before Turgot, however, there were great names in French
historical writing, and perhaps the greatest of all is that of Charles
Secondat de Montesquieu (1689-1755). The three principal works of this
great writer are all historical and at the same time political in
character. In the _Lettres persanes_ he handled, with wit inferior to
the wit of no other writer even in that witty age, the corruptions and
dangers of contemporary morals and politics. The literary charm of this
book--the plan of which was suggested by a work, the _Amusements sérieux
et comiques_, of Dufresny (1648-1724), a comic writer not destitute of
merit--is very great, and its plan was so popular as to lead to a
thousand imitations, of which all, except those of Voltaire and
Goldsmith, only bring out the immense superiority of the original. Few
things could be more different from this lively and popular book than
Montesquieu's next work, the _Grandeur et décadence des Romains_, in
which the same acuteness and knowledge of human nature are united with
considerable erudition, and with a weighty though perhaps somewhat
grandiloquent and rhetorical style. His third and greatest work, the
_Esprit des lois_, is again different both in style and character, and
such defects as it has are as nothing when compared with the merits of
its fertility in ideas, its splendid breadth of view, and the felicity
with which the author, in a manner unknown before, recognizes the laws
underlying complicated assemblages of fact. The style of this great work
is equal to its substance; less light than that of the _Lettres_, less
rhetorical than that of the _Grandeur des Romains_, it is still a
marvellous union of dignity and wit. Around Montesquieu, partly before
and partly after him, is a group of philosophical or at least systematic
historians, of whom the chief are Jean Baptiste Dubos (1670-1742), and
G. Bonnot de Mably (1709-1785). Dubos, whose chief work is not
historical but aesthetic (_Réflexions sur la poésie et la peinture_),
wrote a so-called _Histoire critique de l'établissement de la monarchie
française_, which is as far as possible from being in the modern sense
critical, inasmuch as, in the teeth of history, and in order to exalt
the _Tiers état_, it pretends an amicable coalition of Franks and Gauls,
and not an irruption by the former. Mably (_Observations sur l'histoire
de la France_) had a much greater influence than either of these
writers, and a decidedly mischievous one, especially at the period of
the Revolution. He, more than any one else, is responsible for the
ignorant and childish extolling of Greek and Roman institutions, and the
still more ignorant depreciation of the middle ages, which was for a
time characteristic of French politicians. Montesquieu was, as we have
said, followed by Anne Robert Jacques Turgot (1727-1781), whose writings
are few in number, and not remarkable for style, but full of original
thought. Turgot in his turn was followed by Condorcet (1743-1794), whose
tendency is somewhat more sociological than directly historical. Towards
the end of the period, too, a considerable number of philosophical
histories were written, the usual object of which was, under cover of a
kind of allegory, to satirize and attack the existing institutions and
government of France. The most famous of these was the _Histoire des
Indes_, nominally written by the Abbé Guillaume Thomas François Raynal
(1713-1796), but really the joint work of many members of the Philosophe
party, especially Diderot. Side by side with this really or nominally
philosophical school of history there existed another and less ambitious
school, which contented itself with the older and simpler view of the
science. The Abbé René de Vertot (1655-1735) belongs almost as much to
the 17th as to the 18th century; but his principal works, especially the
famous _Histoire des Chevaliers de Malte_, date from the later period,
as do also the _Révolutions romaines_. Vertot is above all things a
literary historian, and the well-known "Mon siège est fait," whether
true or not, certainly expresses his system. Of the same school, though
far more comprehensive, was the laborious Charles Rollin (1661-1741),
whose works in the original, or translated and continued in the case of
the _Histoire romaine_ by Jean Baptiste Louis Crévier (1693-1765), were
long the chief historical manuals of Europe. The president Charles Jean
François Hénault (1685-1770), and Louis Pierre Anquetil (1723-1806) were
praiseworthy writers, the first of French history, the second of that
and much else. In the same class, too, far superior as is his literary
power, must be ranked the historical works of Voltaire, _Charles XII_.,
_Pierre le Grand_, &c. A very perfect example of the historian who is
literary first of all is supplied by Claude Carloman de Rulhière
(1735-1791), whose _Révolution en Russie en 1762_ is one of the little
masterpieces of history, while his larger and posthumous work on the
last days of the Polish kingdom exhibits perhaps some of the defects of
this class of historians. Lastly must be mentioned the memoirs and
correspondence of the period, the materials of history if not history
itself. The century opened with the most famous of all these, the
memoirs of the duc de Saint-Simon (1675-1755), an extraordinary series
of pictures of the court of Louis XIV. and the Regency, written in an
unequal and incorrect style, but with something of the irregular
excellence of the great 16th-century writers, and most striking in the
sombre bitterness of its tone. The subsequent and less remarkable
memoirs of the century are so numerous that it is almost impossible to
select a few for reference, and altogether impossible to mention all. Of
those bearing on public history the memoirs of Madame de Staël (Mlle
Delaunay) (1684-1750), of Pierre Louis de Voyer, marquis d'Argenson
(1694-1757), of Charles Pinot Duclos (1704-1772), of Stephanie Félicité
de Saint-Aubin, Madame de Genlis (1746-1830), of Pierre Victor de
Bésenval (1722-1791), of Madame Campan (1752-1822) and of the cardinal
de Bernis (1715-1794), may perhaps be selected for mention; of those
bearing on literary and private history, the memoirs of Madame d'Épinay
(1726-1783), those of Mathieu Marais (1664-1737) the so-called _Mémoires
secrets_ of Louis Petit de Bachaumont (1690-1770), and the innumerable
writings having reference to Voltaire and to the Philosophe party
generally. Here, too, may be mentioned a remarkable class of literature,
consisting of purely private and almost confidential letters, which were
written at this time with very remarkable literary excellence. As
specimens may be selected those of Mademoiselle Aissé (1694-1757), which
are models of easy and unaffected tenderness, and those of Mademoiselle
de Lespinasse (1732-1776) the companion of Madame du Deffand and
afterwards of d'Alembert. These latter, in their extraordinary fervour
and passion, not merely contrast strongly with the generally languid and
frivolous gallantry of the age, but also constitute one of its most
remarkable literary monuments. It has been said of them that they "burn
the paper," and the expression is not exaggerated. Madame du Deffand's
(1697-1780) own letters, many of which were written to Horace Walpole,
are noteworthy in a very different way. Of lighter letters the charming
correspondence of Diderot with Mademoiselle Voland deserves special
mention. But the correspondence, like the memoirs of this century,
defies justice to be done to it in any cursory or limited mention. In
this connexion, however, it may be well to mention some of the most
remarkable works of the time, the _Confessions_, _Rêveries_, and
_Promenades d'un solitaire_ of Rousseau. In these works, especially in
the _Confessions_, there is not merely exhibited passion as fervid
though perhaps less unaffected than that of Mademoiselle de
Lespinasse--there appear in them two literary characteristics which, if
not entirely novel, were for the first time brought out deliberately by
powers of the first order, were for the first time made the mainspring
of literary interest, and thereby set an example which for more than a
century has been persistently followed, and which has produced some of
the finest results of modern literature. The first of these was the
elaborate and unsparing analysis and display of the motives, the
weaknesses and the failings of individual character. This process, which
Rousseau unflinchingly performed on himself, has been followed usually
in respect to fictitious characters by his successors. The other novelty
was the feeling for natural beauty and the elaborate description of it,
the credit of which latter must, it has been agreed by all impartial
critics, be assigned rather to Rousseau than to any other writer. His
influence in this direction was, however, soon taken up and continued by
Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, the connecting link between Rousseau and
Chateaubriand, some of whose works have been already alluded to. In
particular the author of _Paul et Virginie_ set himself to develop the
example of description which Rousseau had set, and his word-paintings,
though less powerful than those of his model, are more abundant, more
elaborate, and animated by a more amiable spirit.


_18th-Century Philosophy._--The Anglomania which distinguished the time
was nowhere more strongly shown than in the cast and direction of its
philosophical speculations. As Montesquieu and Voltaire had imported
into France a vivid theoretical admiration for the British constitution
and for British theories in politics, so Voltaire, Diderot and a crowd
of others popularized and continued in France the philosophical ideas of
Hobbes and Locke and even Berkeley, the theological ideas of
Bolingbroke, Shaftesbury and the English deists, and the physical
discoveries of Newton. Descartes, Frenchman and genius as he was, and
though his principles in physics and philosophy were long clung to in
the schools, was completely abandoned by the more adventurous and
progressive spirits. At no time indeed, owing to the confusion of
thought and purpose to which we have already alluded, was the word
philosophy used with greater looseness than at this time. Using it, as
we have hitherto used it, in the sense of metaphysics, the majority of
the Philosophes have very little claim to their title. There were some
who manifested, however, an aptitude for purely philosophical argument,
and one who confined himself strictly thereto. Among these the most
remarkable are Julien Offroy de la Mettrie (1709-1751) and Denis
Diderot. La Mettrie in his works _L'Homme machine_, _L'Homme plante_,
&c., applied a lively and vigorous imagination, a considerable
familiarity with physics and medicine, and a brilliant but unequal
style, to the task of advocating materialistic ideas on the constitution
of man. Diderot, in a series of early works, _Lettre sur les aveugles_,
_Promenade d'un sceptique_, _Pensées philosophiques_, &c., exhibited a
good acquaintance with philosophical history and opinion, and gave sign
in this direction, as in so many others, of a far-reaching intellect. As
in almost all his works, however, the value of the thought is extremely
unequal, while the different pieces, always written in the hottest
haste, and never duly matured or corrected, present but few specimens of
finished and polished writing. Charles Bonnet (1720-1793), a Swiss of
Geneva, wrote a large number of works, many of which are purely
scientific. Others, however, are more psychological, and these, though
advocating the materialistic philosophy generally in vogue, were
remarkable for uniting materialism with an honest adherence to
Christianity. The half mystical writer, Louis Claude de Saint-Martin
(1743-1803) also deserves notice. But the French metaphysician of the
century is undoubtedly Étienne Bonnot, abbé de Condillac (1714-1780),
almost the only writer of the time in France who succeeded in keeping
strictly to philosophy without attempting to pursue his system to its
results in ethics, politics and theology. In the _Traité des
sensations_, the _Essai sur l'origine des connaissances humaines_ and
other works Condillac elaborated and continued the imperfect
sensationalism of Locke. As his philosophical view, though perhaps more
restricted, was far more direct, consecutive and uncompromising than
that of the Englishman, so his style greatly exceeded Locke's in
clearness and elegance and as a good medium of philosophical expression.

  Voltaire (theology).

  The "System of Nature."

  Chamfort. Rivarol.

_18th-Century Theology._--To devote a section to the history of the
theological literature of the 18th century in France may seem something
of a contradiction; for, indeed, all or most of such literature was
anti-theological. The magnificent list of names which the church had been
able to claim on her side in the 17th century was exhausted before the
end of the second quarter of the 18th with Massillon, and none came to
fill their place. Very rarely has orthodoxy been so badly defended as at
this time. The literary championship of the church was entirely in the
hands of the Jesuits, and of a few disreputable literary freelances like
Élie Fréron (1719-1776) and Pierre François Guyot, abbé Desfontaines
(1685-1745). The Jesuits were learned enough, and their principal
journal, that of Trévoux, was conducted with much vigour and a great deal
of erudition. But they were in the first place discredited by the moral
taint which has always hung over Jesuitism, and in the second place by
the persecutions of the Jansenists and the Protestants, which were
attributed to their influence. But one single work on the orthodox side
has preserved the least reputation; while, on the other hand, the names
of Père Nonotte (1711-1793) and several of his fellows have been
enshrined unenviably in the imperishable ridicule of Voltaire, one only
of whose adversaries, the abbé Antoine Guénée (1717-1803), was able to
meet him in the _Lettres de quelques Juifs_ with something like his own
weapons. It has never been at all accurately decided how far what may be
called the scoffing school of Voltaire represents a direct revolt against
Christianity, and how far it was merely a kind of guerilla warfare
against the clergy. It is positively certain that Voltaire was not an
atheist, and that he did not approve of atheism. But his _Dictionnaire
philosophique_, which is typical of a vast amount of contemporary and
subsequent literature, consists of a heterogeneous assemblage of articles
directed against various points of dogma and ritual and various
characteristics of the sacred records. From the literary point of view,
it is one of the most characteristic of all Voltaire's works, though it
is perhaps not entirely his. The desultory arrangement, the light and
lively style, the extensive but not always too accurate erudition, and
the somewhat captious and quibbling objections, are intensely Voltairian.
But there is little seriousness about it, and certainly no kind of
rancorous or deep-seated hostility. With many, however, of Voltaire's
pupils and younger contemporaries the case was altered. They were
distinctively atheists and anti-supernaturalists. The atheism of Diderot,
unquestionably the greatest of them all, has been keenly debated; but in
the case of Étienne Damilaville (1723-1768), Jacques André Naigeon
(1738-1810), Paul Henri Dietrich, baron d'Holbach, and others there is no
room for doubt. By these persons a great mass of atheistic and
anti-Christian literature was composed and set afloat. The characteristic
work of this school, its last word indeed, is the famous _Système de la
nature_, attributed to Holbach (1723-1789), but known to be, in part at
least, the work of Diderot. In this remarkable work, which caps the
climax of the metaphysical materialism or rather nihilism of the century,
the atheistic position is clearly put. It made an immense sensation; and
it so fluttered not merely the orthodox but the more moderate
freethinkers, that Frederick of Prussia and Voltaire, perhaps the most
singular pair of defenders that orthodoxy ever had, actually set
themselves to refute it. Its style and argument are very unequal, as
books written in collaboration are apt to be, and especially books in
which Diderot, the paragon of inequality, had a hand. But there is an
almost entire absence of the heterogeneous assemblage of anecdotes, jokes
good and bad, scraps of accurate or inaccurate physical science, and
other incongruous matter with which the Philosophes were wont to stuff
their works; and lastly, there is in the best passages a kind of sombre
grandeur which recalls the manner as well as the matter of Lucretius. It
is perhaps well to repeat, in the case of so notorious a book, that this
criticism is of a purely literary and formal character; but there is
little doubt that the literary merits of the work considerably assisted
its didactic influence. As the Revolution approached, and the victory of
the Philosophe party was declared, there appeared for a brief space a
group of cynical and accomplished phrase-makers presenting some
similarity to that of which, a hundred years before, Saint-Évremond was
the most prominent figure. The chief of this group were Nicolas Chamfort
(1747-1794) on the republican side, and Antoine Rivarol (1753-1801) on
that of the royalists. Like the older writer to whom we have compared
them, neither can be said to have produced any one work of eminence, and
in this they stand distinguished from moralists like La Rochefoucauld.
The floating sayings, however, which are attributed to them, or which
occur here and there in their miscellaneous work, yield in no respect to
those of the most famous of their predecessors in wit and a certain kind
of wisdom, though they are frequently more personal than aphoristic.




_18th-Century Moralists and Politicians._--Not the least part, however,
of the energy of the period in thought and writing was devoted to
questions of a directly moral and political kind. With regard to
morality proper the favourite doctrine of the century was what is
commonly called the selfish theory, the only one indeed which was
suitable to the sensationalism of Condillac and the materialism of
Holbach. The pattern book of this doctrine was the _De l'esprit_ of
Claude Adrien Helvétius (1715-1771), the most amusing book perhaps which
ever pretended to the title of a solemn philosophical treatise. There is
some analogy between the principles of this work and those of the
_Système de la nature_. With the inconsistency--some would say with the
questionable honesty--which distinguished the more famous members of the
Philosophe party when their disciples spoke with what they considered
imprudent outspokenness, Voltaire and even Diderot attacked Helvétius as
the former afterwards attacked Holbach. But whatever may be the general
value of _De l'esprit_, it is full of acuteness, though that acuteness
is as desultory and disjointed as its style. As Helvétius may be taken
as the representative author of the cynical school, so perhaps Alexandre
Gérard Thomas (1732-1785) may be taken as representative of the votaries
of noble sentiment to whom we have also alluded. The works of Thomas
chiefly took the form of academic _éloges_ or formal panegyrics, and
they have all the defects, both in manner and substance, which are
associated with that style. Of yet a third school, corresponding in form
to La Rochefoucauld and La Bruyère, and possessed of some of the antique
vigour of preceding centuries, was Luc de Clapiers, marquis de
Vauvenargues (1715-1747). This writer, who died very young, has produced
maxims and reflections of considerable mental force and literary finish.
From Voltaire downwards it has been usual to compare him with Pascal,
from whom he is chiefly distinguished by a striking but somewhat empty
stoicism. Between the moralists, of whom we have taken these three as
examples, and the politicians may be placed Rousseau, who in his novels
and miscellaneous works is of the first class, in his famous _Contrat
social_ of the second. All his theories, whatever their originality and
whatever their value, were made novel and influential by the force of
their statement and the literary beauties of its form. Of direct and
avowed political writings there were few during the century, and none of
anything like the importance of the _Contrat social_, theoretical
acceptance of the established French constitution being a point of
necessity with all Frenchmen. Nevertheless it may be said that almost
the whole of the voluminous writings of the Philosophes, even of those
who, like Voltaire, were sincerely aristocratic and monarchic in
predilection, were of more or less veiled political significance. There
was one branch of political writing, moreover, which could be indulged
in without much fear. Political economy and administrative theories
received much attention. The earliest writer of eminence on these
subjects was the great engineer Sébastien le Prestre, marquis de Vauban
(1633-1707), whose _Oisivetés_ and _Dîme royale_ exhibit both great
ability and extensive observation. A more utopian economist of the same
time was Charles Irénée Castel, abbé de Saint-Pierre (1658-1743), not to
be confounded with the author of _Paul et Virginie_. Soon political
economy in the hands of François Quesnay (1694-1774) took a regular
form, and towards the middle of the century a great number of works on
questions connected with it, especially that of free trade in corn, on
which Ferdinand Galiani (1728-1787), André Morellet (1727-1819), both
abbés, and above all Turgot, distinguished themselves. Of writers on
legal subjects and of the legal profession, the century, though not less
fertile than in other directions, produced few or none of any great
importance from the literary point of view. The chief name which in this
connexion is known is that of Chancellor Henri François d'Aguesseau
(1668-1751), at the beginning of the century, an estimable writer of the
Port Royal school, who took the orthodox side in the great disputes of
the time, but failed to display any great ability therein. He was, as
became his profession, more remarkable as an orator than a writer, and
his works contain valuable testimonies to the especially perturbed and
unquiet condition of his century--a disquiet which is perhaps also its
chief literary note. There were other French magistrates, such as
Montesquieu, Hénault (1685-1770), de Brosses (1706-1773) and others, who
made considerable mark in literature; but it was usually (except in the
case of Montesquieu) in subjects not even indirectly connected with
their profession. The _Esprit des lois_ stands alone; but as an example
of work barristerial in kind, famous partly for political reasons but of
some real literary merit, we may mention the _Mémoire_ for Calas written
by J. B. J. Élie de Beaumont (1732-1786).

_18th-century Criticism and Periodical Literature._--We have said that
literary criticism assumes in this century a sufficient importance to be
treated under a separate heading. Contributions were made to it of many
different kinds and from many different points of view. Periodical
literature, the chief stimulus to its production, began more and more to
come into favour. Even in the 17th century the _Journal des savants_,
the Jesuit _Journal de Trévoux_, and other publications had set the
example of different kinds of it. Just before the Revolution the
_Gazette de France_ was in the hands of J. B. A. Suard (1734-1817), a
man who was nothing if not a literary critic. Perhaps, however, the most
remarkable contribution of the century to criticism of the periodical
kind was the _Feuilles de Grimm_, a circular sent for many years to the
German courts by Frédéric Melchior Grimm (1723-1807), the comrade of
Diderot and Rousseau, and containing a _compte rendu_ of the ways and
works of Paris, literary and artistic as well as social. These _Leaves_
not only include much excellent literary criticism by Diderot, but also
gave occasion to the incomparable _salons_ or accounts of the exhibition
of pictures from the same hand, essays which founded the art of picture
criticism, and which have hardly been surpassed since. The prize
competitions of the Academy were also a considerable stimulus to
literary criticism, though the prevailing taste in such compositions
rather inclined to elegant themes than to careful studies of analyses.
The most characteristic critic of the mid-century was the abbé Charles
Batteux (1713-1780) who illustrated a tendency of the time by beginning
with a treatise on _Les Beaux Arts réduits à un même principe_ (1746);
reduced it and others into _Principes de la littérature_ (1764) and
added in 1771 _Les Quatres Poétiques_ (Aristotle, Horace, Vida and
Boileau). Batteux is a very ingenious critic and his attempt to
conciliate "taste" and "the rules," though inadequate, is interesting.
Works on the arts in general or on special divisions of them were not
wanting, as, for instance, that of Dubos before alluded to, the _Essai
sur la peinture_ of Diderot and others. Critically annotated editions of
the great French writers also came into fashion, and were no longer
written by mere pedants. Of these Voltaire's edition of Corneille was
the most remarkable, and his annotations, united separately under the
title of _Commentaire sur Corneille_, form not the least important
portion of his works. Even older writers, looked down upon though they
were by the general taste of the day, received a share of this critical
interest. In the earlier portion of the century Nicolas
Lenglet-Dufresnoy (1674-1755) and Bernard de la Monnoye (1641-1728)
devoted their attention to Rabelais, Regnier, Villon, Marot and others.
Étienne Barbazan (1696-1770) and P. J. B. Le Grand d'Aussy (1737-1800)
gathered and brought into notice the long scattered and unknown rather
than neglected fabliaux of the middle ages. Even the chansons de geste
attracted the notice of the Comte de Caylus (1692-1765) and the Comte de
Tressan (1705-1783). The latter, in his _Bibliothèque des romans_,
worked up a large number of the old epics into a form suited to the
taste of the century. In his hands they became lively tales of the kind
suited to readers of Voltaire and Crébillon. But in this travestied form
they had considerable influence both in France and abroad. By these
publications attention was at least called to early French literature,
and when it had been once called, a more serious and appreciative study
became merely a matter of time. The method of much of the literary
criticism of the close of this period was indeed deplorable enough. Jean
François de la Harpe (1739-1803), who though a little later in time as
to most of his critical productions is perhaps its most representative
figure, shows criticism in one of its worst forms. The critic specially
abhorred by Sterne, who looked only at the stop-watch, was a kind of
prophecy of La Harpe, who lays it down distinctly that a beauty, however
beautiful, produced in spite of rules is a "monstrous beauty" and cannot
be allowed. But such a writer is a natural enough expression of an
expiring principle. The year after the death of La Harpe Sainte-Beuve
was born.


  The Encyclopédie.

_18th-Century Savants._--In science and general erudition the 18th
century in France was at first much occupied with the mathematical
studies for which the French genius is so peculiarly adapted, which the
great discoveries of Descartes had made possible and popular, and which
those of his supplanter Newton only made more popular still. Voltaire
took to himself the credit, which he fairly deserves, of first
introducing the Newtonian system into France, and it was soon widely
popular--even ladies devoting themselves to the exposition of
mathematical subjects, as in the case of Gabrielle de Breteuil, marquise
du Châtelet (1706-1749) Voltaire's "divine Émilie." Indeed ladies played
a great part in the literary and scientific activity of the century, by
actual contribution sometimes, but still more by continuing and
extending the tradition of "salons." The duchesse du Maine, Mesdames de
Lambert, de Tencin, Geoffrin, du Deffand, Necker, and above all, the
baronne d'Holbach (whose husband, however, was here the principal
personage) presided over coteries which became more and more
"philosophical." Many of the greatest mathematicians of the age, such as
de Moivre and Laplace, were French by birth, while others like Euler
belonged to French-speaking races, and wrote in French. The physical
sciences were also ardently cultivated, the impulse to them being given
partly by the generally materialistic tendency of the age, partly by the
Newtonian system, and partly also by the extended knowledge of the world
provided by the circumnavigatory voyage of Louis Antoine de Bougainville
(1729-1811), and other travels. P. L. de Moreau Maupertuis (1698-1759)
and C. M. de la Condamine (1701-1774) made long journeys for scientific
purposes and duly recorded their experiences. The former, a
mathematician and physicist of some ability but more oddity, is chiefly
known to literature by the ridicule of Voltaire in the _Diatribe du
Docteur Akakia_. Jean le Rond, called d'Alembert (1717-1783), a great
mathematician and a writer of considerable though rather academic
excellence, is principally known from his connexion with and
introduction to the _Encyclopédie_, of which more presently. Chemistry
was also assiduously cultivated, the baron d'Holbach, among others,
being a devotee thereof, and helping to advance the science to the point
where, at the conclusion of the century, it was illustrated by
Berthollet and Lavoisier. During all this devotion to science in its
modern acceptation, the older and more literary forms of erudition were
not neglected, especially by the illustrious Benedictines of the abbey
of St Maur. Dom Augustin Calmet (1672-1757) the author of the well-known
_Dictionary of the Bible_, belonged to this order, and to them also (in
particular to Dom Rivet) was due the beginning of the immense _Histoire
littéraire de la France_, a work interrupted by the Revolution and long
suspended, but diligently continued since the middle of the 19th
century. Of less orthodox names distinguished for erudition, Nicolas
Fréret (1688-1749), secretary of the Academy, is perhaps the most
remarkable. But in the consideration of the science and learning in the
18th century from a literary point of view, there is one name and one
book which require particular and, in the case of the book, somewhat
extended mention. The man is Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon
(1717-1788), the book the _Encyclopédie_. The immense _Natural History_
of Buffon, though not entirely his own, is a remarkable monument of the
union of scientific tastes with literary ability. As has happened in
many similar instances, there is in parts more literature than science
to be found in it; and from the point of view of the latter, Buffon was
far too careless in observation and far too solicitous of perfection of
style and grandiosity of view. The style of Buffon has sometimes been
made the subject of the highest eulogy, and it is at its best admirable;
but one still feels in it the fault of all serious French prose in this
century before Rousseau--the presence, that is to say, of an artificial
spirit rather than of natural variety and power. The _Encyclopédie_,
unquestionably on the whole the most important French literary
production of the century, if we except the works of Rousseau and
Voltaire, was conducted for a time by Diderot and d'Alembert, afterwards
by Diderot alone. It numbered among its contributors almost every
Frenchman of eminence in letters. It is often spoken of as if, under the
guise of an encyclopaedia, it had been merely a _plaidoyer_ against
religion, but this is entirely erroneous. Whatever anti-ecclesiastical
bent some of the articles may have, the book as a whole is simply what
it professes to be, a dictionary--that is to say, not merely an
historical and critical lexicon, like those of Bayle and Moreri (indeed
history and biography were nominally excluded), but a dictionary of
arts, sciences, trades and technical terms. Diderot himself had perhaps
the greatest faculty of any man that ever lived for the literary
treatment in a workman-like manner of the most heterogeneous and in some
cases rebellious subjects; and his untiring labour, not merely in
writing original articles, but in editing the contributions of others,
determined the character of the whole work. There is no doubt that it
had, quite independently of any theological or political influence, an
immense share in diffusing and gratifying the taste for general




  Madame de Staël.


_1789-1830--General Sketch._--The period which elapsed between the
outbreak of the Revolution and the accession of Charles X. has often
been considered a sterile one in point of literature. As far as mere
productiveness goes, this judgment is hardly correct. No class of
literature was altogether neglected during these stirring
five-and-thirty years, the political events of which have so engrossed
the attention of posterity that it has sometimes been necessary for
historians to remind us that during the height of the Terror and the
final disasters of the empire the theatres were open and the
booksellers' shops patronized. Journalism, parliamentary eloquence and
scientific writing were especially cultivated, and the former in its
modern sense may almost be said to have been created. But of the higher
products of literature the period may justly be considered to have been
somewhat barren. During the earlier part of it there is, with the
exception of André Chénier, not a single name of the first or even
second order of excellence. Towards the midst those of Chateaubriand
(1768-1848) and Madame de Staël (1766-1817) stand almost alone; and at
the close those of Courier, Béranger and Lamartine are not seconded by
any others to tell of the magnificent literary burst which was to follow
the publication of _Cromwell_. Of all departments of literature, poetry
proper was worst represented during this period. André Chénier was
silenced at its opening by the guillotine. Le Brun and Delille, favoured
by an extraordinary longevity, continued to be admired and followed. It
was the palmy time of descriptive poetry. Louis, marquis de Fontanes
(1757-1821, who deserves rather more special notice as a critic and an
official patron of literature), Castel, Boisjolin, Esmenard, Berchoux,
Ricard, Martin, Gudin, Cournaud, are names which chiefly survive as
those of the authors of scattered attempts to turn the Encyclopaedia
into verse. Charles Julien de Chênedollé (1769-1833) owes his reputation
rather to amiability, and to his association with men eminent in
different ways, such as Rivarol and Joubert, than to any real power. He
has been regarded as a precursor of Lamartine; but the resemblance is
chiefly on Lamartine's weakest side; and the stress laid on him
recently, as on Lamartine himself and even on Chénier, is part of a
passing reaction against the school of Hugo. Even more ambitiously, Luce
de Lancival, Campenon, Dumesnil and Parseval de Grand-Maison endeavoured
to write epics, and succeeded rather worse than the Chapelains and
Desmarets of the 17th century. The characteristic of all this poetry was
the description of everything in metaphor and paraphrase, and the
careful avoidance of anything like directness of expression; and the
historians of the Romantic movement have collected many instances of
this absurdity. Lamartine will be more properly noticed in the next
division. But about the same time as Lamartine, and towards the end of
the present period, there appeared a poet who may be regarded as the
last important echo of Malherbe. This was Casimir Delavigne (1793-1843),
the author of _Les Messéniennes_, a writer of very great talent, and,
according to the measure of J. B. Rousseau and Lebrun, no mean poet. It
is usual to reckon Delavigne as transitionary between the two schools,
but in strictness he must be counted with the classicists. Dramatic
poetry exhibited somewhat similar characteristics. The system of tragedy
writing had become purely mechanical, and every act, almost every scene
and situation, had its regular and appropriate business and language,
the former of which the poet was not supposed to alter at all, and the
latter only very slightly. Poinsinet, La Harpe, M. J. Chénier,
Raynouard, de Jouy, Briffaut, Baour-Lormian, all wrote in this style. Of
these Chénier (1764-1811) had some of the vigour of his brother André,
from whom he was distinguished by more popular political principles and
better fortune. On the other hand, Jean François Ducis (1733-1816), who
passes with Englishmen as a feeble reducer of Shakespeare to classical
rules, passed with his contemporaries as an introducer into French
poetry of strange and revolutionary novelties. Comedy, on the other
hand, fared better, as indeed it had always fared. Fabre d'Églantine
(1755-1794) (the companion in death of Danton), Collin d'Harleville
(1755-1806), François G. J. S. Andrieux (1759-1833), Picard, Alexandre
Duval, and Népomucène Lemercier (1771-1840) (the most vigorous of all as
a poet and a critic of mark) were the comic authors of the period, and
their works have not suffered the complete eclipse of the contemporary
tragedies which in part they also wrote. If not exactly worthy
successors of Molière, they are at any rate not unworthy children of
Beaumarchais. In romance writing there is again, until we come to Madame
de Staël, a great want of originality and even of excellence in
workmanship. The works of Madame de Genlis (1746-1830) exhibit the
tendencies of the 18th century to platitude and noble sentiment at their
worst. Madame Cottin (1770-1807), Madame de Souza (1761-1836), and
Madame de Krudener, exhibited some of the qualities of Madame de
Lafayette and more of those of Madame de Genlis. Joseph Fiévée
(1767-1839), in _Le Dot de Suzette_ and other works, showed some power
over the domestic story; but perhaps the most remarkable work in point
of originality of the time was Xavier de Maistre's (1763-1852) _Voyage
autour de ma chambre_, an attempt in quite a new style, which has been
happily followed up by other writers. Turning to history we find
comparatively little written at this period. Indeed, until quite its
close, men were too much occupied in making history to have time to
write it. There is, however, a considerable body of memoir writers,
especially in the earlier years of the period, and some great names
appear even in history proper. Many of Sismondi's (1773-1842) best works
were produced during the empire. A. G. P. Brugière, baron de Barante
(1782-1866), though his best-known works date much later, belongs
partially to this time. On the other hand, the production of
philosophical writing, especially in what we may call applied
philosophy, was considerable. The sensationalist views of Condillac were
first continued as by Destutt de Tracy (1754-1836) and Laromiguière
(1756-1837) and subsequently opposed, in consequence partly of a
religious and spiritualist revival, partly of the influence of foreign
schools of thought, especially the German and the Scotch. The chief
philosophical writers from this latter point of view were Pierre Paul
Royer Collard (1763-1845), F. P. G. Maine de Biran (1776-1824), and
Théodore Simon Jouffroy (1796-1842). Their influence on literature,
however, was altogether inferior to that of the reactionist school, of
whom Louis Gabriel, vicomte de Bonald (1754-1840), and Joseph de Maistre
(1753-1821) were the great leaders. These latter were strongly political
in their tendencies, and political philosophy received, as was natural,
a large share of the attention of the time. In continuation of the work
of the Philosophes, the most remarkable writer was Constantin François
Chasseboeuf, comte de Volney (1757-1820), whose _Ruines_ are generally
known. On the other hand, others belonging to that school, such as
Necker and Morellet, wrote from the moderate point of view against
revolutionary excesses. Of the reactionists Bonald is extremely
royalist, and carries out in his _Législations primitives_ somewhat the
same patriarchal and absolutist theories as our own Filmer, but with
infinitely greater genius. As Bonald is royalist and aristocratic, so
Maistre is the advocate of a theocracy pure and simple, with the pope
for its earthly head, and a vigorous despotism for its system of
government. Pierre Simon Ballanche (1776-1847), often mentioned in the
literary memoirs of his time, wrote among other things _Essais de
palingénésie sociale_, good in style but vague in substance. Of theology
proper there is almost necessarily little or nothing, the clergy being
in the earlier period proscribed, in the latter part kept in a strict
and somewhat discreditable subjection by the Empire. In moralizing
literature there is one work of the very highest excellence, which,
though not published till long afterwards, belongs in point of
composition to this period. This is the _Pensées_ of Joseph Joubert
(1754-1824), the most illustrious successor of Pascal and Vauvenargues,
and to be ranked perhaps above both in the literary finish of his
maxims, and certainly above Vauvenargues in the breadth and depth of
thought which they exhibit. In pure literary criticism more
particularly, Joubert, though exhibiting some inconsistencies due to his
time, is astonishingly penetrating and suggestive. Of science and
erudition the time was fruitful. At an early period of it appeared the
remarkable work of Pierre Cabanis (1757-1808), the _Rapports du physique
et du morale de l'homme_, a work in which physiology is treated from the
extreme materialist point of view but with all the liveliness and
literary excellence of the Philosophe movement at its best. Another
physiological work of great merit at this period was the _Traité de la
vie et de la mort_ of Bichat, and the example set by these works was
widely followed; while in other branches of science Laplace, Lagrange,
Haüy, Berthollet, &c., produced contributions of the highest value. From
the literary point of view, however, the chief interest of this time is
centred in two individual names, those of Chateaubriand and Madame de
Staël, and in three literary developments of a more or less novel
character, which were all of the highest importance in shaping the
course which French literature has taken since 1824. One of these
developments was the reactionary movement of Maistre and Bonald, which
in its turn largely influenced Chateaubriand, then Lamennais and
Montalembert, and was later represented in French literature in
different guises, chiefly by Louis Veuillot (1815-1883) and Mgr
Dupanloup (1802-1878). The second and third, closely connected, were the
immense advances made by parliamentary eloquence and by political
writing, the latter of which, by the hand of Paul Louis Courier
(1773-1825), contributed for the first time an undoubted masterpiece to
French literature. The influence of the two combined has since raised
journalism to even a greater pitch of power in France than in any other
country. It is in the development of these new openings for literature,
and in the cast and complexion which they gave to its matter, that the
real literary importance of the Revolutionary period consists; just as
it is in the new elements which they supplied for the treatment of such
subjects that the literary value of the authors of _René_ and _De
l'Allemagne_ mainly lies. We have already alluded to some of the
beginnings of periodical and journalistic letters in France. For some
time, in the hands of Bayle, Basnage, Des Maizeaux, Jurieu, Leclerc,
periodical literature consisted mainly of a series, more or less
disconnected, of pamphlets, with occasional extracts from forthcoming
works, critical _adversaria_ and the like. Of a more regular kind were
the often-mentioned _Journal de Trévoux_ and _Mercure de France_, and
later the _Année littéraire_ of Fréron and the like. The
_Correspondance_ of Grimm also, as we have pointed out, bore
considerable resemblance to a modern monthly review, though it was
addressed to a very few persons. Of political news there was, under a
despotism, naturally very little. 1789, however, saw a vast change in
this respect. An enormous efflorescence of periodical literature at once
took place, and a few of the numerous journals founded in that year or
soon afterwards survived for a considerable time. A whole class of
authors arose who pretended to be nothing more than journalists, while
many writers distinguished for more solid contributions to literature
took part in the movement, and not a few active politicians contributed.
Thus to the original staff of the _Moniteur_, or, as it was at first
called, _La Gazette Nationale_, La Harpe, Lacretelle, Andrieux,
Dominique Joseph Garat (1749-1833) and Pierre Ginguené (1748-1826) were
attached. Among the writers of the _Journal de Paris_ André Chénier had
been ranked. Fontanes contributed to many royalist and moderate
journals. Guizot and Morellet, representatives respectively of the 19th
and the 18th century, shared in the _Nouvelles politiques_, while
Bertin, Fievée and J. L. Geoffroy (1743-1814), a critic of peculiar
acerbity, contributed to the _Journal de l'empire_, afterwards turned
into the still existing _Journal des débats_. With Geoffroy, François
Bénoit Hoffman (1760-1828), Jean F. J. Dussault (1769-1824) and Charles
F. Dorimond, abbé de Féletz (1765-1850), constituted a quartet of
critics sometimes spoken of as "the _Débats_ four," though they were by
no means all friends. Of active politicians Marat (_L'Ami du peuple_),
Mirabeau (_Courrier de Provence_), Barère (_Journal des débats et des
décrets_), Brissot (_Patriote français_), Hébert (_Père Duchesne_),
Robespierre (_Défenseur de la constitution_), and Tallien (_La
Sentinelle_) were the most remarkable who had an intimate connexion with
journalism. On the other hand, the type of the journalist pure and
simple is Camille Desmoulins (1759-1794), one of the most brilliant, in
a literary point of view, of the short-lived celebrities of the time. Of
the same class were Pelletier, Durozoir, Loustalot, Royou. As the
immediate daily interest in politics drooped, there were formed
periodicals of a partly political and partly literary character. Such
had been the _décade philosophique_, which counted Cabanis, Chénier, and
De Tracy among its contributors, and this was followed by the _Revue
française_ at a later period, which was in its turn succeeded by the
_Revue des deux mondes_. On the other hand, parliamentary eloquence was
even more important than journalism during the early period of the
Revolution. Mirabeau naturally stands at the head of orators of this
class, and next to him may be ranked the well-known names of Malouet and
Meunier among constitutionalists; of Robespierre, Marat and Danton, the
triumvirs of the Mountain; of Maury, Cazalès and the vicomte de
Mirabeau, among the royalists; and above all of the Girondist speakers
Barnave, Vergniaud, and Lanjuinais. The last named survived to take part
in the revival of parliamentary discussion after the Restoration. But
the permanent contributions to French literature of this period of
voluminous eloquence are, as frequently happens in such cases, by no
means large. The union of the journalist and the parliamentary spirit
produced, however, in Paul Louis Courier a master of style. Courier
spent the greater part of his life, tragically cut short, in translating
the classics and studying the older writers of France, in which study he
learnt thoroughly to despise the pseudo-classicism of the 18th century.
It was not till he was past forty that he took to political writing, and
the style of his pamphlets, and their wonderful irony and vigour, at
once placed them on the level of the very best things of the kind. Along
with Courier should be mentioned Benjamin Constant (1767-1830), who,
though partly a romance writer and partly a philosophical author, was
mainly a politician and an orator, besides being fertile in articles and
pamphlets. Lamennais, like Lamartine, will best be dealt with later, and
the same may be said of Béranger; but Chateaubriand and Madame de Staël
must be noticed here. The former represents, in the influence which
changed the literature of the 18th century into the literature of the
19th, the vague spirit of unrest and "Weltschmerz," the affection for
the picturesque qualities of nature, the religious spirit occasionally
turning into mysticism, and the respect, sure to become more and more
definite and appreciative, for antiquity. He gives in short the romantic
and conservative element. Madame de Staël (1766-1817) on the other hand,
as became a daughter of Necker, retained a great deal of the Philosophe
character and the traditions of the 18th century, especially its
liberalism, its _sensibilité_, and its thirst for general information;
to which, however, she added a cosmopolitan spirit, and a readiness to
introduce into France the literary and social, as well as the political
and philosophical, peculiarities of other countries to which the 18th
century, in France at least, had been a stranger, and which
Chateaubriand himself, notwithstanding his excursions into English
literature, had been very far from feeling. She therefore contributed to
the positive and liberal side of the future movement. The absolute
literary importance of the two was very different. Madame de Staël's
early writings were of the critical kind, half aesthetic half ethical,
of which the 18th century had been fond, and which their titles,
_Lettres sur J. J. Rousseau_, _De l'influence des passions_, _De la
littérature considérée dans ses rapports avec les institutions
sociales_, sufficiently show. Her romances, _Delphine_ and _Corinne_,
had immense literary influence at the time. Still more was this the case
with _De l'Allemagne_, which practically opened up to the rising
generation in France the till then unknown treasures of literature and
philosophy, which during the most glorious half century of her literary
history Germany had, sometimes on hints taken from France herself, been
accumulating. The literary importance of Chateaubriand (1768-1848) is
far greater, while his literary influence can hardly be exaggerated.
Chateaubriand's literary father was Rousseau, and his voyage to America
helped to develop the seeds which Rousseau had sown. In _René_ and other
works of the same kind, the naturalism of Rousseau received a still
further development. But it was not in mere naturalism that
Chateaubriand was to find his most fertile and most successful theme. It
was, on the contrary, in the rehabilitation of Christianity as an
inspiring force in literature. The 18th century had used against
religion the method of ridicule; Chateaubriand, by genius rather than by
reasoning, set up against this method that of poetry and romance.
"Christianity," says he, almost in so many words, "is the most poetical
of all religions, the most attractive, the most fertile in literary,
artistic and social results." This theme he develops with the most
splendid language, and with every conceivable advantage of style, in the
_Génie du Christianisme_ and the _Martyrs_. The splendour of
imagination, the summonings of history and literature to supply
effective and touching illustrations, analogies and incidents, the rich
colouring so different from the peculiarly monotonous and grey tones of
the masters of the 18th century, and the fervid admiration for nature
which were Chateaubriand's main attractions and characteristics, could
not fail to have an enormous literary influence. Indeed he has been
acclaimed, with more reason than is usually found in such acclamations,
as the founder of comparative _and_ imaginative literary criticism in
France if not in Europe. The Romantic school acknowledged, and with
justice, its direct indebtedness to him.

_Literature since 1830._--In dealing with the last period of the history
of French literature and that which was introduced by the literary
revolution of 1830 and has continued, in phases of only partial change,
to the present day, a slight alteration of treatment is requisite. The
subdivisions of literature have lately become so numerous, and the
contributions to each have reached such an immense volume, that it is
impossible to give more than cursory notice, or indeed allusion, to most
of them. It so happens, however, that the purely literary
characteristics of this period, though of the most striking and
remarkable, are confined to a few branches of literature. The character
of the 19th century in France has hitherto been at least as strongly
marked as that of any previous period. In the middle ages men of letters
followed each other in the cultivation of certain literary forms for
long centuries. The _chanson de geste_, the Arthurian legend, the _roman
d'aventure_, the _fabliau_, the allegorical poem, the rough dramatic
_jeu_, mystery and farce, served successively as moulds into which the
thought and writing impulse of generations of authors were successively
cast, often with little attention to the suitability of form and
subject. The end of the 15th century, and still more the 16th, owing to
the vast extension of thought and knowledge then introduced, finally
broke up the old forms, and introduced the practice of treating each
subject in a manner more or less appropriate to it, and whether
appropriate or not, freely selected by the author. At the same time a
vast but somewhat indiscriminate addition was made to the actual
vocabulary of the language. The 17th and 18th centuries witnessed a
process of restriction once more to certain forms and strict imitation
of predecessors, combined with attention to purely arbitrary rules, the
cramping and impoverishing effect of this (in Fénelon's words) being
counterbalanced partly by the efforts of individual genius, and still
more by the constant and steady enlargement of the range of thought, the
choice of subjects, and the familiarity with other literature, both of
the ancient and modern world. The literary work of the 19th century and
of the great Romantic movement which began in its second quarter was to
repeat on a far larger scale the work of the 16th, to break up and
discard such literary forms as had become useless or hopelessly stiff,
to give strength, suppleness and variety to such as were retained, to
invent new ones where necessary, to enrich the language by importations,
inventions and revivals, and, above all, to bring into prominence the
principle of individualism. Authors and even books, rather than groups
and kinds, demand principal attention.

The result of this revolution is naturally most remarkable in the
_belles-lettres_ and the kindred department of history. Poetry, not
dramatic, has been revived; prose romance and literary criticism have
been brought to a perfection previously unknown; and history has
produced works more various, if not more remarkable, than at any
previous stage of the language. Of all these branches we shall therefore
endeavour to give some detailed account. But the services done to the
language were not limited to the strictly literary branches of
literature. Modern French, if it lacks, as it probably does lack, the
statuesque precision and elegance of prose style to which between 1650
and 1800 all else was sacrificed, has become a much more suitable
instrument for the accurate and copious treatment of positive and
concrete subjects. These subjects have accordingly been treated in an
abundance corresponding to that manifested in other countries, though
the literary importance of the treatment has perhaps proportionately
declined. We cannot even attempt to indicate the innumerable directions
of scientific study which this copious industry has taken, and must
confine ourselves to those which come more immediately under the
headings previously adopted. In philosophy proper France, like other
nations, has been more remarkable for attention to the historical side
of the matter than for the production of new systems; and the principal
exception among her philosophical writers, Auguste Comte (1793-1857),
besides inclining, as far as his matter went to the political and
scientific rather than to the purely philosophical side (which indeed he
regarded as antiquated), was not very remarkable merely as a man of
letters. Victor Cousin (1792-1867), on the other hand, almost a
brilliant man of letters and for a time regarded as something of a
philosophical apostle preaching "eclecticism," betook himself latterly
to biographical and other miscellaneous writing, especially on the
famous French ladies of the 17th century, and is likely to be remembered
chiefly in this department, though not to be forgotten in that of
philosophical history and criticism. The same curious declension was
observable in the much younger Hippolyte Adolphe Taine (1828-1893), who,
beginning with philosophical studies, and always maintaining a strong
tincture of philosophical determinism, applied himself later, first to
literary history and criticism in his famous _Histoire de la littérature
anglaise_ (1864), and then to history proper in his still more famous
and far more solidly based _Origines de la France contemporaine_ (1876).
To him, however, we must recur under the head of literary criticism. And
not dissimilar phenomena, not so much of inconstancy to philosophy as of
a tendency towards the applied rather than the pure branches of the
subject, are noticeable in Edgar Quinet (1803-1875), in Charles de
Rémusat (1797-1875), and in Ernest Renan (1823-1892), the first of whom
began by translating Herder while the second and third devoted
themselves early to scholastic philosophy, de Rémusat dealing with
Abelard (1845) and Anselm (1856), Renan with Averroes (1852). More
single-minded devotion to at least the historical side was shown by Jean
Philibert Damiron (1794-1862), who published in 1842 a _Cours de
philosophie_ and many minor works at different times; but the
inconstancy recurs in Jules Simon (1814-1896), who, in the earlier part
of his life a professor of philosophy and a writer of authority on the
Greek philosophers (especially in _Histoire de l'école d'Alexandrie_,
1844-1845), began before long to take an active and, towards the close
of his life-work, all but a foremost part in politics. In theology the
chief name of great literary eminence in the earlier part of the century
is that of Lamennais, of whom more presently, in the later, that of
Renan again. But Charles Forbes de Montalembert (1810-1870), an
historian with a strong theological tendency, deserves notice; and among
ecclesiastics who have been orators and writers the père Jean Baptiste
Henri Lacordaire (1802-1861), a pupil of Lamennais who returned to
orthodoxy but always kept to the Liberal side; the père Célestin Joseph
Félix (1810-1891), a Jesuit teacher and preacher of eminence; and the
père Didon (1840-1900), a very popular preacher and writer who, though
thoroughly orthodox, did not escape collision with his superiors. On the
Protestant side Athanase Coquerel (1820-1875) is the most remarkable
name. Recently Paul Sabatier (b. 1858) has displayed, especially in
dealing with Saint Francis of Assisi, much power of literary and
religious sympathy and a style somewhat modelled on that of Renan, but
less unctuous and effeminate. There are strong philosophical tendencies,
and at least a revolt against the religious as well as philosophical
ideas of the Encyclopédists, in the _Pensées_ of Joubert, while the
hybrid position characteristic of the 19th century is particularly
noticeable in Étienne Pivert de Sénancour (1770-1846), whose principal
work, _Obermann_ (1804), had an extraordinary influence on its own and
the next generation in the direction of melancholy moralizing. This tone
was notably taken up towards the other end of the century by Amiel
(q.v.), who, however, does not strictly belong to _French_ literature:
while in Ximénès Doudon (1800-1872), author of _Mélanges et lettres_
posthumously published, we find more of a return to the attitude of
Joubert--literary criticism occupying a very large part of his
reflections. Political philosophy and its kindred sciences have
naturally received a large share of attention. Towards the middle of the
century there was a great development of socialist and fanciful
theorizing on politics, with which the names of Claude Henri, comte de
Saint-Simon (1760-1825), Charles Fourier (1772-1837), Étienne Cabet
(1788-1856), and others are connected. As political economists Frédéric
Bastiat (1801-1850), L. G. L. Guilhaud de Lavergne (1809-1880), Louis
Auguste Blanqui (1805-1881), and Michel Chevalier (1806-1879) may be
noticed. In Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) France produced a
political observer of a remarkably acute, moderate and reflective
character, and Armand Carrel (1800-1836), whose life was cut short in a
duel, was a real man of letters, as well as a brilliant journalist and
an honest if rather violent party politician. The name of Jean Louis
Eugène Lerminier (1803-1857) is of wide repute for legal and
constitutional writings, and that of Henri, baron de Jomini (1779-1869)
is still more celebrated as a military historian; while that of François
Lenormant (1837-1883) holds a not dissimilar position in archaeology.
With the publications devoted to physical science proper we do not
attempt to meddle. Philology, however, demands a brief notice. In
classical studies France has till recently hardly maintained the
position which might be expected of the country of Scaliger and
Casaubon. She has, however, produced some considerable Orientalists,
such as Champollion the younger, Burnouf, Silvestre de Sacy and
Stanislas Julien. The foundation of Romance philology was due, indeed,
to the foreigners Wolf and Diez. But early in the century the curiosity
as to the older literature of France created by Barbazan, Tressan and
others continued to extend. Dominique Martin Méon (1748-1829) published
many unprinted fabliaux, gave the whole of the French _Renart_ cycle,
with the exception of _Renart le contrefait_, and edited the _Roman de
la rose_. Charles Claude Fauriel (1772-1844) and François Raynouard
(1761-1836) dealt elaborately with Provençal poetry as well as partially
with that of the trouvères; and the latter produced his comprehensive
_Lexique romane_. These examples were followed by many other writers,
who edited manuscript works and commented on them, always with zeal and
sometimes with discretion. Foremost among these must be mentioned Paulin
Paris (1800-1881) who for fifty years served the cause of old French
literature with untiring energy, great literary taste, and a pleasant
and facile pen. His selections from manuscripts, his _Romancero
français_, his editions of _Garin le Loherain_ and _Berte aus grans
piés_, and his _Romans de la table ronde_ may especially be mentioned.
Soon, too, the Benedictine _Histoire littéraire_, so long interrupted,
was resumed under M. Paris's general management, and has proceeded
nearly to the end of the 14th century. Among its contents M. Paris's
dissertations on the later _chansons de gestes_ and the early song
writers, M. Victor le Clerc's on the _fabliaux_, and M. Littré's on the
_romans d'aventures_ may be specially noticed. For some time indeed the
work of French editors was chargeable with a certain lack of critical
and philological accuracy. This reproach, however, was wiped off by the
efforts of a band of younger scholars, chiefly pupils of the École des
Chartes, with MM. Gaston Paris (1839-1903) and Paul Meyer at their head.
Of M. Paris in particular it may be said that no scholar in the subject
has ever combined literary and linguistic competence more admirably. The
Société des Anciens Textes Français was formed for the purpose of
publishing scholarly editions of inedited works, and a lexicon of the
older tongue by M. Godefroy at last supplemented, though not quite with
equal accomplishment, the admirable dictionary in which Émile Littré
(1801-1881), at the cost of a life's labour, embodied the whole
vocabulary of the classical French language. Meanwhile the period
between the middle ages proper and the 17th century has not lacked its
share of this revival of attention. To the literature between Villon and
Regnier especial attention was paid by the early Romantics, and
Sainte-Beuve's _Tableau historique et critique de la poésie et du
théâtre au seizième siècle_ was one of the manifestoes of the school.
Since the appearance of that work in 1828 editions with critical
comments of the literature of this period have constantly multiplied,
aided by the great fancy for tastefully produced works which exists
among the richer classes in France; and there are probably now few
countries in which works of old authors, whether in cheap reprints or in
_éditions de luxe_ can be more readily procured.




_The Romantic Movement._--It is time, however, to return to the literary
revolution itself, and its more purely literary results. At the
accession of Charles X. France possessed three writers, and perhaps only
three, of already remarkable eminence, if we except Chateaubriand, who
was already of a past generation. These three were Pierre Jean de
Béranger (1780-1857), Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869), and Hugues
Félicité Robert Lamennais (1782-1854). The first belongs definitely in
manner, despite his striking originality of _nuance_, to the past. He
has remnants of the old periphrases, the cumbrous mythological
allusions, the poetical "properties" of French verse. He has also the
older and somewhat narrow limitations of a French poet; foreigners are
for him mere barbarians. At the same time his extraordinary lyrical
faculty, his excellent wit, which makes him a descendant of Rabelais and
La Fontaine, and his occasional touches of pathos made him deserve and
obtain something more than successes of occasion. Béranger, moreover,
was very far from being the mere improvisatore which those who cling to
the inspirationist theory of poetry would fain see in him. His studies
in style and composition were persistent, and it was long before he
attained the firm and brilliant manner which distinguishes him.
Béranger's talent, however, was still too much a matter of individual
genius to have great literary influence, and he formed no school. It was
different with Lamartine, who was, nevertheless, like Béranger, a
typical Frenchman. The _Méditations_ and the _Harmonies_ exhibit a
remarkable transition between the old school and the new. In going
direct to nature, in borrowing from her striking outlines, vivid and
contrasted tints, harmony and variety of sound, the new poet showed
himself an innovator of the best class. In using romantic and religious
associations, and expressing them in affecting language, he was the
Chateaubriand of verse. But with all this he retained some of the vices
of the classical school. His versification, harmonious as it is, is
monotonous, and he does not venture into the bold lyrical forms which
true poetry loves. He has still the horror of the _mot propre_; he is
always spiritualizing and idealizing, and his style and thought have a
double portion of the feminine and almost flaccid softness which had
come to pass for grace in French. The last of the trio, Lamennais,
represents an altogether bolder and rougher genius. Strongly influenced
by the Catholic reaction, Lamennais also shows the strongest possible
influence of the revolutionary spirit. His earliest work, the _Essai sur
l'indifférence en matière de religion_ (1817 and 1818) was a defence of
the church on curiously unecclesiastical lines. It was written in an
ardent style, full of illustrations, and extremely ambitious in
character. The plan was partly critical and partly constructive. The
first part disposed of the 18th century; the second, adopting the theory
of papal absolutism which Joseph de Maistre had already advocated,
proceeded to base it on a supposed universal consent. The after history
of Lamennais was perhaps not an unnatural recoil from this; but it is
sufficient here to point out that in his prose, especially as afterwards
developed in the apocalyptic _Paroles d'un croyant_ (1839) are to be
discerned many of the tendencies of the Romantic school, particularly
its hardy and picturesque choice of language, and the disdain of
established and accepted methods which it professed. The signs of the
revolution itself were, as was natural, first given in periodical
literature. The feudalist affectations of Chateaubriand and the
legitimists excited a sort of aesthetic affection for Gothicism, and
Walter Scott became one of the most favourite authors in France. Soon
was started the periodical _La Muse française_, in which the names of
Hugo, Vigny, Deschamps and Madame de Girardin appear. Almost all the
writers in this periodical were eager royalists, and for some time the
battle was still fought on political grounds. There could, however, be
no special connexion between classical drama and liberalism; and the
liberal journal, the Globe, with no less a person than Sainte-Beuve
among its contributors, declared definite war against classicism in the
drama. The chief "classical" organs were the _Constitutionnel_, the
_Journal des débats_, and after a time and not exclusively, the _Revue
des deux mondes_. Soon the question became purely literary, and the
Romantic school proper was born in the famous _cénacle_ or clique in
which Hugo was chief poet, Sainte-Beuve chief critic, and Gautier,
Gérard de Nerval, the brothers Émile (1791-1871) and Antony (1800-1869),
Deschamps, Petrus Borel (1809-1859) and others were officers. Alfred de
Vigny and Alfred de Musset stand somewhat apart, and so does Charles
Nodier (1780-1844), a versatile and voluminous writer, the very variety
and number of whose works have somewhat prevented the individual
excellence of any of them from having justice done to it. The objects of
the school, which was at first violently opposed, so much so that
certain academicians actually petitioned the king to forbid the
admission of any Romantic piece at the Théâtre Français, were, briefly
stated, the burning of everything which had been adored, and the adoring
of everything which had been burnt. They would have no unities, no
arbitrary selection of subjects, no restraints on variety of
versification, no academically limited vocabulary, no considerations of
artificial beauty, and, above all, no periphrastic expression. The _mot
propre_, the calling of a spade a spade, was the great commandment of
Romanticism; but it must be allowed that what was taken away in
periphrase was made up in adjectives. Musset, who was very much of a
free-lance in the contest, maintained indeed that the _differentia_ of
the Romantic was the copious use of this part of speech. All sorts of
epithets were invented to distinguish the two parties, of which
_flamboyant_ and _grisâtre_ are perhaps the most accurate and expressive
pair--the former serving to denote the gorgeous tints and bold attempts
of the new school, the latter the grey colour and monotonous outlines of
the old. The representation of _Hernani_ in 1830 was the culmination of
the struggle, and during great part of the reign of Louis Philippe
almost all the younger men of letters in France were Romantics. The
representation of the _Lucrèce_ of François Ponsard (1814-1867) in 1846
is often quoted as the herald or sign of a classical reaction. But this
was only apparent, and signified, if it signified anything, merely that
the more juvenile excesses of the Romantics were out of date. All the
greatest men of letters of France since 1830 have been on the innovating
side, and all without exception, whether intentionally or not, have had
their work coloured by the results of the movement, and of those which
have succeeded it as developments rather than reactions.

_Drama and Poetry since 1830._--Although the immediate subject on which
the battles of Classics and Romantics arose was dramatic poetry, the
dramatic results of the movement have not been those of greatest value
or most permanent character. The principal effect in the long run has
been the introduction of a species of play called _drame_, as opposed to
regular comedy and tragedy, admitting of much freer treatment than
either of these two as previously understood in French, and lending
itself in some measure to the lengthy and disjointed action, the
multiplicity of personages, and the absence of stock characters which
characterized the English stage in its palmy days. All Victor Hugo's
dramatic works are of this class, and each, as it was produced or
published (_Cromwell_, _Hernani_, _Marion de l'Orme_, _Le Roi s'amuse_,
_Lucrèce Borgia_, _Marie Tudor_, _Ruy Blas_ and _Les Burgraves_), was a
literary event, and excited the most violent discussion--the author's
usual plan being to prefix a prose preface of a very militant character
to his work. A still more melodramatic variety of _drame_ was that
chiefly represented by Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870), whose _Henri III_
and _Antony_, to which may be added later _La Tour de Nesle_ and
_Mademoiselle de Belleisle_, were almost as much rallying points for the
early Romantics as the dramas of Hugo, despite their inferior literary
value. At the same time Alexandre Soumet (1788-1845), in _Norma_, _Une
Fête de Néron_, &c., and Casimir Delavigne in _Marino Faliero_, _Louis
XI_, &c., maintained a somewhat closer adherence to the older models.
The classical or semi-classical reaction of the last years of Louis
Philippe was represented in tragedy by Ponsard (_Lucrèce_, _Agnes de
Méranie_, _Charlotte Corday_, _Ulysse_, and several comedies), and on
the comic side, to a certain extent, by Émile Augier (1820-1889) in
_L'Aventurière_, _Le Gendre de M. Poirier_, _Le Fils de Giboyer_, &c.
During almost the whole period Eugène Scribe (1791-1861) poured forth
innumerable comedies of the vaudeville order, which, without possessing
much literary value, attained immense popularity. For the last
half-century the realist development of Romanticism has had the upper
hand in dramatic composition, its principal representatives being on the
one side Victorien Sardou (1831-1909), who in _Nos Intimes_, _La Famille
Benoîton_, _Rabagas_, _Dora_, &c., chiefly devoted himself to the
satirical treatment of manners, and Alexandre Dumas _fils_ (1824-1895),
author in 1852 of the famous _Dame aux camélias_, who in such pieces as
_Les Idées de Madame Aubray_ and _L'Étrangère_ rather busied himself
with morals and "problems," while his _Dame aux camélias_ (1852) is
sometimes ranked as the first of such things in "modern" style. Certain
isolated authors also deserve notice, such as Joseph Autran (1813-1877),
a poet and academician having some resemblance to Lamartine, whose
_Fille d'Æschyle_ created for him a dramatic reputation which he did not
attempt to follow up, and Gabriel Legouvé (b. 1807), whose _Adrienne
Lecouvreur_ was assisted to popularity by the admirable talent of
Rachel. A special variety of drama of the first literary importance has
also been cultivated in this century under the title of _scènes_ or
_proverbes_, slight dramatic sketches in which the dialogue and style
are of even more importance than the action. The best of all of these
are those of Alfred de Musset (1810-1857), whose _Il faut qu'une porte
soit ouverte ou fermée_, _On ne badine pas avec l'amour_, &c., are
models of grace and wit. Among his followers may be mentioned especially
Octave Feuillet (1821-1890). Few social dramas of the kind in modern
times have attained a greater success than _Le Monde où l'on s'ennuie_
(1868) of Édouard Pailleron (1834-1899). (See also DRAMA.)

  Victor Hugo.



In poetry proper, as in drama, Victor Hugo showed the way. In him all
the Romantic characteristics were expressed and embodied--disregard of
arbitrary critical rules, free choice of subject, variety and vigour of
metre, splendour and sonorousness of diction, abundant "local colour,"
and that irrepressible individualism which is one of the chief, though
not perhaps the chief, of the symptoms. If the careful attention to form
which is also characteristic of the movement is less apparent in him
than in some of his followers, it is not because it is absent, but
because the enthusiastic conviction with which he attacked every subject
somewhat diverts attention from it. As with the merits so with the
defects. A deficient sense of the ludicrous which characterized many of
the Romantics was strongly apparent in their leader, as was also an
equally representative grandiosity, and a fondness for the introduction
of foreign and unfamiliar words, especially proper names, which
occasionally produces an effect of burlesque. Victor Hugo's earliest
poetical works, his chiefly royalist and political _Odes_, were cast in
the older and accepted forms, but already displayed astonishing poetical
qualities. But it was in the _Ballades_ (for instance, the splendid _Pas
d'armes du roi Jean_, written in verses of three syllables) and the
_Orientales_ (of which may be taken for a sample the sixth section of
_Navarin_, a perfect torrent of outlandish terms poured forth in the
most admirable verse, or _Les Djinns_, where some of the stanzas have
lines of two syllables each) that the grand provocation was thrown to
the believers in alexandrines, careful caesuras and strictly separated
couplets. _Les Feuilles d'automne_, _Les Chants du crépuscule_, _Les
Voix intérieures_, _Les Rayons et les ombres_, the productions of the
next twenty years, were quieter in style and tone, but no less full of
poetical spirit. The Revolution of 1848, the establishment of the empire
and the poet's exile brought about a fresh determination of his genius
to lyrical subjects. _Les Châtiments_ and _La Légende des siècles_, the
one political, the other historical, reach perhaps the high-water mark
of French verse; and they were followed by the philosophical
_Contemplations_, the lighter _Chansons des rues et des bois_, the
_Année terrible_, the second _Légende des siècles_, and the later work
to be found noticed _sub nom_. We have been thus particular here because
the literary productiveness of Victor Hugo himself has been the measure
and sample of the whole literary productiveness of France on the
poetical side. At five-and-twenty he was acknowledged as a master, at
seventy-five he was a master still. His poetical influence has been
represented in three different schools, from which very few of the
poetical writers of the century can be excluded. These few we may notice
first. Alfred de Musset, a writer of great genius, felt part of the
Romantic inspiration very strongly, but was on the whole unfortunately
influenced by Byron, and partly out of wilfulness, partly from a natural
want of persevering industry and vigour, allowed himself to be careless
and even slovenly in composition. Notwithstanding this, many of his
lyrics are among the finest poems in the language, and his verse,
careless as it is, has extraordinary natural grace. Auguste Barbier
(1805-1882) whose _Iambes_ shows an extraordinary command of nervous and
masculine versification, also comes in here; and the Breton poet,
Auguste Brizeux (1803-1858), much admired by some, together with
Hégésippe Moreau, an unequal writer possessing some talent, Pierre
Dupont (1821-1870), one of much greater gifts, and Gustave Nadaud
(1820-1893), a follower of Béranger, also deserve mention. Of the school
of Lamartine rather than of Hugo are Alfred de Vigny (1799-1865) and
Victor de Laprade (1812-1887), the former a writer of little bulk and
somewhat over-fastidious, but possessing one of the most correct and
elegant styles to be found in French, with a curious restrained passion
and a complicated originality, the latter a meditative and philosophical
poet, like Vigny an admirable writer, but somewhat deficient in pith and
substance, as well as in warmth and colour. Madame Ackermann (1813-1890)
is the chief philosophical poetess of France, and this style has
recently been very popular; but for actual poetical powers, Marceline
Desbordes-Valmore (1786-1859) perhaps excelled her, though in a looser
and more sentimental fashion. The poetical schools which more directly
derive from the Romantic movement as represented by Hugo are three in
number, corresponding in point of time with the first outburst of the
movement, with the period of reaction already alluded to, and with the
closing years of the second empire. Of the first by far the most
distinguished member was Théophile Gautier (1811-1872), the most perfect
poet in point of form that France has produced. When quite a boy he
devoted himself to the study of 16th-century masters, and though he
acknowledged the supremacy of Hugo, his own talent was of an individual
order, and developed itself more or less independently. _Albertus_ alone
of his poems has much of the extravagant and grotesque character which
distinguished early romantic literature. The _Comédie de la mort_, the
_Poésies diverses_, and still more the _Émaux et camées_, display a
distinctly classical tendency--classical, that is to say, not in the
party and perverted sense, but in its true acceptation. The tendency to
the fantastic and horrible may be taken as best shown by Petrus Borel
(1809-1859), a writer of singular power almost entirely wasted. Gerard
Labrunie or de Nerval (1808-1855) adopted a manner also fantastic but
more idealistic than Borel's, and distinguished himself by his Oriental
travels and studies, and by his attention to popular ballads and
traditions, while his style has an exquisite but unaffected strangeness
hardly inferior to Gautier's. This peculiar and somewhat quintessenced
style is also remarkable in the _Gaspard de la nuit_ of Louis Bertrand
(1807-1841), a work of rhythmical prose almost unique in its character.
One famous sonnet preserves the name of Félix Arvers (1806-1850). The
two Deschamps were chiefly remarkable as translators. The next
generation produced three remarkable poets, to whom may perhaps be added
a fourth. Théodore de Banville (1823-1891), adopting the principles of
Gautier, and combining with them a considerable satiric faculty,
composed a large amount of verse, faultless in form, delicate and
exquisite in shades and colours, but so entirely neutral in moral and
political tone that it has found fewer admirers than it deserved.
Charles Marie René Leconte de Lisle (1818-1894), carrying out the
principle of ransacking foreign literature for subjects, went to Celtic,
classical or even Oriental sources for his inspiration, and despite a
science in verse not much inferior to Banville's, and a far wider range
and choice of subject, diffused an air of erudition, not to say
pedantry, over his work which disgusted some readers, and a pessimism
which displeased others, but has left poetry only inferior to that of
the greatest of his countrymen. Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), by his
choice of unpopular subjects and the terrible truth of his analysis,
revolted not a few of those who, in the words of an English critic,
cannot take pleasure in the representation if they do not take pleasure
in the thing represented, and who thus miss his extraordinary command of
the poetical appeal in sound, in imagery and in suggestion generally.
Thus, by a strange coincidence, each of the three representatives of the
second Romantic generation was for a time disappointed of his due fame.
A fourth poet of this time, Joséphin Soulary (1815-1891), produced
sonnets of rare beauty and excellence. A fifth, Louis Bouilhet
(1822-1869), an intimate friend of Flaubert, pushed even farther the
fancy for strange subjects, but showed powers in _Melænis_ and other
things. In 1866 a collection of poems, entitled after an old French
fashion _Le Parnasse contemporain_, appeared. It included contributions
by many of the poets just mentioned, but the mass of the contributors
were hitherto unknown to fame. A similar collection appeared in 1869,
and was interrupted by the German war, but continued after it, and a
third in 1876.

The first _Parnasse_ had been projected by MM. Xavier de Ricard (b.
1843) and Catulle Mendès (1841-1909) as a sort of manifesto of a school
of young poets: but its contents were largely coloured by the inclusion
among them of work by representatives of older generations--Gautier,
Laprade, Leconte de Lisle, Banville, Baudelaire and others. The
continuation, however, of the title in the later issues, rather than
anything else, led to the formation and promulgation of the idea of a
"Parnassien" or an "Impassible" school which was supposed to adopt as
its watchword the motto of "Art for Art's sake," to pay especial
attention to form, and also to aim at a certain objectivity. As a matter
of fact the greater poets and the greater poems of the Parnasse admit of
no such restrictive labelling, which can only be regarded as
mischievous, though (or very mainly because) it has been continued.
Another school, arising mainly in the later 'eighties and calling itself
that of "Symbolism," has been supposed to indicate a reaction against
Parnassianism and even against the main or Hugonic Romantic tradition
generally; with a throwing back to Lamartine and perhaps Chénier. This
idea of successive schools ("Decadents," "Naturists," "Simplists," &c.)
has even been reduced to such an _absurdum_ as the statement that
"France sees a new school of poetry every fifteen years." Those who have
studied literature sufficiently widely, and from a sufficient elevation,
know that these systematisings are always more or less delusive.
Parnassianism, symbolism and the other things are merely phases of the
Romantic movement itself--as may be proved to demonstration by the
simple process of taking, say, Hugo and Verlaine on the one hand,
Delille or Escouchard Lebrun on the other, and comparing the two first
mentioned with each other and with the older poet. The differences in
the first case will be found to be differences at most of individuality:
in the other of kind. We shall not, therefore, further refer to these
dubious classifications: but specify briefly the most remarkable poets
whom they concern, and all the older of whom, it may be observed, were
represented in the _Parnasse_ itself. Of these the most remarkable were
Sully Prudhomme (1839-1907), François Coppée (1842-1908) and Paul
Verlaine (1844-1896). The first (_Stances et poèmes_, 1865, _Vaines
Tendresses_, 1875, _Bonheur_, 1888, &c.) is a philosophical and rather
pessimistic poet who has very strongly rallied the suffrages of the
rather large present public who care for the embodiment of these
tendencies in verse; the second (_La Grève des forgerons_, 1869, _Les
Humbles_, 1872, _Contes et vers_, 1881-1887, &c.) a dealer with more
generally popular subjects in a more sentimental manner; and the third
(_Sagesse_, 1881, _Parallèlement_, 1889, _Poèmes saturniens_, including
early work, 1867-1890), by far the most original and remarkable poet of
the three, starting with Baudelaire and pushing farther the fancy for
forbidden subjects, but treating both these and others with wonderful
command of sound and image-suggestion. Verlaine in fact (he was actually
well acquainted with English) endeavoured, and to a small extent
succeeded in the endeavour, to communicate to French the vague
suggestion of visual and audible appeal which has characterized English
poetry from Blake through Coleridge. Others of the original Parnassiens
who deserve mention are Albert Glatigny (1839-1873), a Bohemian poet of
great talent who died young; Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), afterwards
chief of the Symbolists, also a true poet in his way, but somewhat
barren, and the victim of pose and trick; José Maria de Heredia
(1842-1905), a very exquisite practitioner of the sonnet but with
perhaps more art than matter in him; Henri Cazalis (1840-1909), who long
afterwards, under his name of Jean Lahor, appeared as a Symbolist
pessimist; A. Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, another eccentric but with a
spark of genius; Emmanuel des Essarts; Auguste de Châtillon (1810-1882);
Léon Dierx (b. 1838) who, after producing even less than Mallarmé,
succeeded him as Symbolist chief; Jean Aicard (b. 1848), a southern bard
of merit; and lastly Catulle Mendès himself, who has been a brilliant
writer in verse and prose ever since, and whose _Mouvement poétique
français de 1867 à 1900_ (1903), an official report largely amplified so
that it is in fact a history and dictionary of French poetry during the
century, forms an almost unique work of reference on the subject. Among
the later recruits the most specially noticeable was Armand Silvestre
(1837-1901), whose verse (_La Chanson des heures_, 1878, _Ailes d'or_,
1880, _La Chanson des étoiles_, 1885), of an ethereal beauty, was
contrasted with prose admirably written and sometimes most amusing, but
"Pantagruelist," and more, in manners and morals. This declension from
poetry to prose fiction was also noticeable in Guy de Maupassant, André
Theuriet, Anatole France and even Alphonse Daudet.

Yet another flight of poets may be grouped as those specially
representing the last quarter of the century and (whether Parnassian,
Symbolist or what not) the latest development of French poetry. Verlaine
and Mallarmé already mentioned were in a manner the leaders of these.
Perhaps something of the influence of Whitman may be detected in the
irregular verses of Gustave Kahn (b. 1859), Francis Viélé Griffin,
actually an American by birth (b. 1864), Stuart Merrill, of like origin,
and Paul Fort (b. 1872). But the whole tendency of the period has been
to relax the stringency of French prosody. Albert Samain (1859-1900), a
musical versifier enough; Jean Moréas (1856-1910) who began with a
volume called _Les Syrtes_ in 1884; Laurent Tailhade (b. 1854) and
others are more or less Symbolist, and contributed to the Symbolist
periodical (one of many such since the beginning of the Romantic
movement which would almost require an article to themselves), the
_Mercure de France_. An older man than many of these, M. Jean Richepin
(b. 1849), made for a time considerable noise with poetical work of a
colour older even than his age, and harking back somewhat to the
Jeune-France and "Bousingot" type of early Romanticism--_La Chanson des
gueux_, _Les Blasphèmes_, &c. Other writers of note are M. Paul
Déroulède (b. 1846), a violently nationalist poet; M. Maurice Bouchor
(b. 1864), who started his serious and respectable work with _Les
Symboles_ in 1888; while M. Henri de Regnier, born in the same year, has
received very high praise for work from _Lendemains_ in 1886 and other
volumes up to _Les Jeux rustiques et divins_ (1897) and _Les Médailles
d'argile_ (1900). The truth, however, perhaps is that this extraordinary
abundance of verse (for we have not mentioned a quarter of the names
which present themselves, or a twentieth part of those who figure in M.
Mendès's catalogue for the last half-century) reminds the literary
historian somewhat too much of similar phenomena in other times. There
is undoubtedly a great diffusion of poetical dexterity, and not perhaps
a small one of poetical spirit, but it requires the settling, clarifying
and distinguishing effects of time to separate the poet from the minor
poet. Still more perhaps must we look to time to decide whether the
_vers libre_ as it is called--that is to say, the verse freed from the
minute traditions of the elder prosody, admitting hiatus, neglecting to
a greater or less extent _caesura_, and sometimes relying upon mere
rhythm to the neglect of strict metre altogether--can hold its ground.
It has as yet been practised by no poet at all approaching the first
class, except Verlaine, and not by him in its extremer forms. And the
whole history of prosody and poetry teaches us that though similar
changes often come in as it were unperceived, they scarcely ever take
root in the language unless a great poet adopts them. Or rather it
should perhaps be said that when they are going to take root in the
language a great poet always does adopt them before very long.


  Balzac the younger.

_Prose Fiction since 1830._--Even more remarkable, because more
absolutely novel, was the outburst of prose fiction which followed 1830.
Madame de Lafayette, Le Sage, Marivaux, Voltaire, the Abbé Prévost,
Diderot, J. J. Rousseau, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre and Fiévée had all of
them produced work excellent in its way, and comprising in a more or
less rudimentary condition most varieties of the novel. But none of them
had, in the French phrase, made a school, and at no time had prose
fiction been composed in any considerable quantities. The immense
influence which Walter Scott exercised was perhaps the direct cause of
the attention paid to prose fiction; the facility, too, with which all
the fancies, tastes and beliefs of the time could be embodied in such
work may have had considerable importance. But it is difficult on any
theory of cause and effect to account for the appearance in less than
ten years of such a group of novelists as Hugo, Gautier, Dumas, Mérimée,
Balzac, George Sand, Jules Sandeau and Charles de Bernard, names to
which might be added others scarcely inferior. There is hardly anything
else resembling it in literature, except the great cluster of English
dramatists in the beginning of the 17th century, and of English poets at
the beginning of the 19th; and it is remarkable that the excellence of
the first group was maintained by a fresh generation--Murger, About,
Feuillet, Flaubert, Erckmann-Chatrian, Droz, Daudet, Cherbuliez and
Gaboriau, forming a company of _diadochi_ not far inferior to their
predecessors, and being themselves not unworthily succeeded almost up to
the present day. The romance-writing of France during the period has
taken two different directions--the first that of the novel of incident,
the second that of analysis and character. The first, now mainly
deserted, was that which, as was natural when Scott was the model, was
formerly most trodden; the second required the genius of George Sand and
of Balzac and the more problematical talent of Beyle to attract students
to it. The novels of Victor Hugo are novels of incident, with a strong
infusion of purpose, and considerable but rather ideal character
drawing. They are in fact lengthy prose _drames_ rather than romances
proper, and they have found no imitators. They display, however, the
powers of the master at their fullest. On the other hand, Alexandre
Dumas originally composed his novels in close imitation of Scott, and
they are much less dramatic than narrative in character, so that they
lend themselves to almost indefinite continuation, and there is often no
particular reason why they should terminate even at the end of the score
or so of volumes to which they sometimes actually extend. Of this purely
narrative kind, which hardly even attempts anything but the boldest
character drawing, the best of them, such as _Les Trois Mousquetaires_,
_Vingt ans après_, _La Reine Margot_, are probably the best specimens
extant. Dumas possesses, almost alone among novelists, the secret of
writing interminable dialogue without being tedious, and of telling the
story by it. Of something the same kind, but of a far lower stamp, are
the novels of Eugène Sue (1804-1857). Dumas and Sue were accompanied and
followed by a vast crowd of companions, independent or imitative. Alfred
de Vigny had already attempted the historical novel in _Cinq-Mars_.
Henri de La Touche (1785-1851) (_Fragoletta_), an excellent critic who
formed George Sand, but a mediocre novelist, may be mentioned: and
perhaps also Roger de Beauvoir, whose real name was Eugène Auguste Roger
de Bully (1806-1866) (_Le Chronique de Saint Georges_), and Frédéric
Soulié (_Les Mémoires du diable_) (1800-1847). Paul Féval (_La Fée des
grèves_) (1817-1877) and Amédée Achard (_Belle-Rose_) (1814-1875) are of
the same school, and some of the attempts of Jules Janin (1804-1874),
more celebrated as a critic, may also be connected with it. By degrees,
however, the taste for the novel of incident, at least of an historical
kind, died out till it was revived in another form, and with an
admixture of domestic interest, by MM. Erckmann-Chatrian. The last and
one of the most splendid instances of the old style was _Le Capitaine
Fracasse_, which Théophile Gautier began early and finished late as a
kind of _tour de force_. The last-named writer in his earlier days had
modified the incident novel in many short tales, a kind of writing for
which French has always been famous, and in which Gautier's sketches are
masterpieces. His only other long novel, _Mademoiselle de Maupin_,
belongs rather to the class of analysis. With Gautier, as a writer whose
literary characteristics even excel his purely tale-telling powers, may
be classed Prosper Mérimée (1803-1870), one of the most exquisite
19th-century masters of the language. Already, however, in 1830 the tide
was setting strongly in favour of novels of contemporary life and
manners. These were of course susceptible of extremely various
treatment. For many years Paul de Kock (1793-1871), a writer who did not
trouble himself about Classics or Romantics or any such matter,
continued the tradition of Marivaux, Crébillon _fils_, and Pigault
Lebrun (1753-1835) in a series of not very moral or polished but lively
and amusing sketches of life, principally of the bourgeois type. Later
Charles de Bernard (1804-1850) (_Gerfaut_) with infinitely greater wit,
elegance, propriety and literary skill, did the same thing for the
higher classes of French society. But the two great masters of the novel
of character and manners as opposed to that of history and incident are
Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) and Aurore Dudevant, commonly called George
Sand (1804-1876). Their influence affected the entire body of novelists
who succeeded them, with very few exceptions. At the head of these
exceptions may be placed Jules Sandeau (1811-1883), who, after writing a
certain number of novels in a less individual style, at last made for
himself a special subject in a certain kind of domestic novel, where the
passions set in motion are less boisterous than those usually preferred
by the French novelist, and reliance is mainly placed on minute
character drawing and shades of colour sober in hue but very carefully
adjusted (_Catherine_, _Mademoiselle de Penarvan_, _Mademoiselle de la
Seiglière_). In the same class of the more quiet and purely domestic
novelists may be placed X. B. Saintine (1798-1865) (_Picciola_), Madame
C. Reybaud (1802-1871) (_Clémentine_, _Le Cadet de Colobrières_), J. T.
de Saint-Germain (_Pour en épingle_, _La Feuille de coudrier_), Madame
Craven (1808-1891) (_Récit d'une soeur_, _Fleurange_). Henri Beyle
(1798-1865), who wrote under the _nom de plume_ of Stendhal and belongs
to an older generation than most of these, also stands by himself. His
chief book in the line of fiction is _La Chartreuse de Parme_, an
exceedingly powerful novel of the analytical kind, and he also composed
a considerable number of critical and miscellaneous works. Of little
influence at first (though he had great power over Mérimée) and never
master of a perfect style, he has exercised ever increasing authority as
a master of pessimist analysis. Indeed much of his work was never
published till towards the close of the century. Last among the
independents must be mentioned Henry Murger (1822-1861), the painter of
what is called Bohemian life, that is to say, the struggles,
difficulties and amusements of students, youthful artists, and men of
letters. In this peculiar style, which may perhaps be regarded as an
irregular descendant of the picaroon romance, Murger has no rival; and
he is also, though on no extensive scale, a poet of great pathos. But
with these exceptions, the influences of the two writers we have
mentioned, sometimes combined, more often separate, may be traced
throughout the whole of later novel literature. George Sand began with
books strongly tinged with the spirit of revolt against moral and social
arrangements, and she sometimes diverged into very curious paths of
pseudo-philosophy, such as was popular in the second quarter of the
century. At times, too, as in _Lucrezia Floriani_ and some other works,
she did not hesitate to draw largely on her own personal adventures and
experiences. But latterly she devoted herself rather to sketches of
country life and manners, and to novels involving bold if not very
careful sketches of character and more or less dramatic situations. She
was one of the most fertile of novelists, continuing to the end of her
long life to pour forth fiction at the rate of many volumes a year. Of
her different styles may be mentioned as fairly characteristic, _Lélia_,
_Lucrezia Floriani_, _Consuelo_, _La Mare au diable_, _La Petite
Fadette_, _François le champi_, _Mademoiselle de la Quintinie_.
Considering the shorter length of his life the productiveness of Balzac
was almost more astonishing, especially if we consider that some of his
early work was never reprinted, and that he left great stores of
fragments and unfinished sketches. He is, moreover, the most remarkable
example in literature of untiring work and determination to achieve
success despite the greatest discouragements. His early work was worse
than unsuccessful, it was positively bad. After more than a score of
unsuccessful attempts, _Les Chouans_ at last made its mark, and for
twenty years from that time the astonishing productions composing the
so-called _Comédie humaine_ were poured forth successively. The
sub-titles which Balzac imposed upon the different batches, _Scènes de
la vie parisienne_, _de la vie de province_, _de la vie intime_, &c.,
show, like the general title, a deliberate intention on the author's
part to cover the whole ground of human, at least of French life. Such
an attempt could not succeed wholly; yet the amount of success attained
is astonishing. Balzac has, however, with some justice been accused of
creating the world which he described, and his personages, wonderful as
is the accuracy and force with which many of the characteristics of
humanity are exemplified in them, are somehow not altogether human.
Since these two great novelists, many others have arisen, partly to
tread in their steps, partly to strike out independent paths. Octave
Feuillet (1821-1890), beginning his career by apprenticeship to
Alexandre Dumas and the historical novel, soon found his way in a very
different style of composition, the _roman intime_ of fashionable life,
in which, notwithstanding some grave defects, he attained much
popularity and showed remarkable skill in keeping abreast of his time.
The so-called realist side of Balzac was developed (but, as he himself
acknowledged, with a double dose of intermixed if somewhat transformed
Romanticism) by Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), who showed culture,
scholarship and a literary power over the language inferior to that of
no writer of the century. No novelist of his generation has attained a
higher literary rank than Flaubert. _Madame Bovary_ and _L'Éducation
sentimentale_ are studies of contemporary life; in _Salammbô_ and _La
Tentation de Saint Antoine_ erudition and antiquarian knowledge furnish
the subjects for the display of the highest literary skill. Of about the
same date Edmond About (1828-1885), before he abandoned novel-writing,
devoted himself chiefly to sketches of abundant but not always refined
wit (_L'Homme à l'oreille cassée_, _Le Nez d'un notaire_), and sometimes
to foreign scenes (_Tolla_, _Le Roi des montagnes_). Champfleury (Henri
Husson, 1829-1889), a prolific critic, deserves notice for stories of
the extravaganza kind. During the whole of the Second Empire one of the
most popular writers was Ernest Feydeau (1821-1873), a writer of great
ability, but morbid and affected in the choice and treatment of his
subjects (_Fanny_, _Sylvie_, _Catherine d'Overmeire_). Émile Gaboriau
(1833-1873), taking up that side of Balzac's talent which devoted itself
to inextricable mysteries, criminal trials, and the like, produced _M.
Le Coq_, _Le Crime d'Orcival_, _La Dégringolade_, &c.; and Adolphe Belot
(b. 1829) for a time endeavoured to out-Feydeau Feydeau in _La Femme de
feu_ and other works. Eugène Fromentin (1820-1876), best known as a
painter, wrote a novel, _Dominique_, which was highly appreciated by
good judges.

During the last decade of the Second Empire there arose, continuing for
varying lengths of time till nearly the end of the century, another
remarkable group of novelists, most of whom are dealt with under
separate headings, but who must receive combined treatment here; with
the warning that even more danger than in the case of the poets is
incurred by classing them in "schools." Undoubtedly, however, the
"Naturalist" tendency, starting from Balzac and continued through
Flaubert, but taking quite a new direction under some of those to be
mentioned, is in a manner dominant. Flaubert himself and Feuillet (an
exact observer of manners but an anti-Naturalist) have already been
mentioned. Victor Cherbuliez (1829-1899), a constant writer in the
_Revue des deux mondes_ on politics and other subjects, also
accomplished a long series of novels from _Le Comte Kostia_ (1863)
onwards, of which the most remarkable are that just named, _Le Roman
d'une honnête femme_ (1866), and _Meta Holdenis_ (1873). With something
of Balzac and more of Feuillet, Cherbuliez mixed with his observation of
society a dose of sentimental and popular romance which offended the
younger critics of his day, but he had solid merits. Gustave Droz (b.
1832) devoted himself chiefly to short stories sufficiently "free" in
subject (_Monsieur, madame et bébé_, _Entre nous_, &c.) but full of
fancy, excellently written, and of a delicate wit in one sense if not in
all. André Theuriet (1833-1907) began with poetry but diverged to
novels, in which the scenery of France and especially of its great
forests is used with much skill; _Le Fils Maugars_ (1879) may be
mentioned out of many as a specimen. Léon Cladel (1835-1892), whose most
remarkable work was _Les Va-nu-pieds_ (1874), had, as this title of
itself shows, Naturalist leanings; but with a quaint Romantic tendency
in prose and verse.

The Naturalists proper chiefly developed or seemed to develop one side
of Balzac, but almost entirely abandoned his Romantic element. They
aimed first at exact and almost photographic delineation of the
accidents of modern life, and secondly at still more uncompromising
non-suppression of the essential features and functions of that life
which are usually suppressed. This school may be represented in chief by
four novelists (really _three_, as two of them were brothers who wrote
together till the rather early death of one of them), Émile Zola
(1840-1903), Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897), and Edmond (1822-1897) and
Jules (1830-1870) de Goncourt. The first, of Italian extraction and
Marseillais birth, began by work of undecided kinds and was always a
critic as well as a novelist. Of this first stage _Contes à Ninon_
(1864) and _Thérèse Raquin_ (1867) deserve to be specified. But after
1870 Zola entered upon a huge scheme (suggested no doubt by the _Comédie
humaine_) of tracing the fortunes in every branch, legitimate and
illegitimate, and in every rank of society of a family, _Les
Rougon-Macquart_, and carried it out in a full score of novels during
more than as many years. He followed this with a shorter series on
places, _Paris_, _Rome_, _Lourdes_, and lastly by another of strangely
apocalyptic tone, _Fécondité_, _Travail_, _Vérité_, the last a story of
the Dreyfus case, retrospective and, as it proved, prophetic. The
extreme repulsiveness of much of his work, and the overdone detail of
almost the whole of it, caused great prejudice against him, and will
probably always prevent his being ranked among the greatest novelists;
but his power is indubitable, and in passages, if not in whole books,
does itself justice.

MM. de Goncourt, besides their work in Naturalist (they would have
preferred to call it "Impressionist") fiction, devoted themselves
especially to study and collection in the fine arts, and produced many
volumes on the historical side of these, volumes distinguished by
accurate and careful research. This quality they carried, and the elder
of them after his brother's death continued to carry, into novel-writing
(_Renée Mauperin_, _Germinie Lacerteux_, _Chérie_, &c.) with the
addition of an extraordinary care for peculiar and, as they called it,
"personal" diction. On the other hand, Alphonse Daudet (who with the
other three, Flaubert to some extent, and the Russian novelist
Turgenieff, formed a sort of _cénacle_ or literary club) mixed with some
Naturalism a far greater amount of fancy and wit than his companions
allowed themselves or could perhaps attain; and in the _Tartarin_ series
(dealing with the extravagances of his fellow-Provençaux) added not a
little to the gaiety of Europe. His other novels (_Fromont jeune et
Risler aîné_, _Jack_, _Le Nabab_, &c.), also very popular, have been
variously judged, there being something strangely like plagiarism in
some of them, and in others, in fact in most, an excessive use of that
privilege of the novelist which consists in introducing real persons
under more or less disguise. It should be observed in speaking of this
group that the Goncourts, or rather the survivor of them, left an
elaborate _Journal_ disfigured by spite and bad taste, but of much
importance for the appreciation of the personal side of French
literature during the last half of the century.

In 1880 Zola, who had by this time formed a regular school of disciples,
issued with certain of them a collection of short stories, _Les Soirées
de Médan_, which contains one of his own best things, _L'Attaque du
moulin_, and also the capital story, _Boule de suif_, by Guy de
Maupassant (1850-1893), who in the same year published poems, _Des
vers_, of very remarkable if not strictly poetical quality. Maupassant
developed during his short literary career perhaps the greatest powers
shown by any French novelist since Flaubert (his sponsor in both senses)
in a series of longer novels (_Une Vie_, _Bel Ami_, _Pierre et Jean_,
_Fort comme la mort_) and shorter stories (_Monsieur Parent_, _Les
Soeurs Rondoli_, _Le Horla_), but they were distorted by the Naturalist
pessimism and grime, and perhaps also by the brain-disease of which
their author died. M. J. K. Huysmans (b. 1848), also a contributor to
_Les Soirées de Médan_, who had begun a little earlier with _Marthe_
(1876) and other books, gave his most characteristic work in 1884 with
_Au rebours_ and in 1891 with _Là-bas_, stories of exaggerated and
"satanic" pose, decorated with perhaps the extremest achievements of the
school in mere ugliness and nastiness. Afterwards, by an obvious
reaction, he returned to Catholicism. Of about the same date as these
two are two other novelists of note, Julien Viaud ("Pierre Loti," b.
1850), a naval officer who embodied his experiences of foreign service
with a faint dose of story and character interest, and a far larger one
of elaborate description, in a series of books (_Aziyadé_, _Le Mariage
de Loti_, _Madame Chrysanthème_, &c.), and M. Paul Bourget (b. 1852), an
important critic as well as novelist who deflected the Naturalist
current into a "psychological" channel, connecting itself higher with
Stendhal, and composed in its books very popular in their way--_Cruelle
Énigme_ (1885), _Le Disciple_, _Terre promise_, _Cosmopolis_. As a
contrast or complement to Bourget's "psychological" novel may be taken
the "ethical" novel of Edouard Rod (1857-1909)--_La Vie privée de Michel
Tessier_ (1893), _Le Sens de la vie_, _Les Trois Coeurs_. Contemporary
with these as a novelist though a much older man, and occupied at
different times of his life with verse and with criticism, came Anatole
France (b. 1844), who in _Le Crime de Silvestre Bonnard_, _La Rôtisserie
de la reine Pédauque_, _Le Lys rouge_, and others, has made a kind of
novel as different from the ordinary styles as Pierre Loti's, but of far
higher appeal in its wit, its subtle fancy, and its perfect French.
Ferdinand Fabre (1830-1898) and René Bazin (b. 1853) represent the
union, not too common in the French novel, of orthodoxy in morals and
religion with literary ability. Further must be mentioned Paul Hervieu
(b. 1857), a dramatist rather than a novelist; the brothers Margueritte
(Paul, b. 1860, Victor, b. 1866), especially strong in short stories and
passages; another pair of brothers of Belgian origin writing under the
name of "J. H. Rosny"--Zolaists partly converted not to religion but to
science and a sort of non-Christian virtue; the ingenious and amusing,
if not exactly moral, brilliancy of Marcel Prévost (b. 1862); the
contorted but rather attractive style and the perverse sentiment of
Maurice Barrès (b. 1862); and, above all, the audacious and inimitable
dialogue pieces of "Gyp" (Madame de Martel, b. 1850), worthy of the best
times of French literature for gaiety, satire, acuteness and style, and
perhaps likely, with the work of Maupassant, Pierre Loti and Anatole
France, to represent the capital achievement of their particular
generation to posterity.


_Periodical Literature since 1830. Criticism._--One of the causes which
led to this extensive composition of novels was the great spread of
periodical literature in France, and the custom of including in almost
all periodicals, daily, weekly or monthly, a _feuilleton_ or instalment
of fiction. Of the contributors of these periodicals who were strictly
journalists and almost political journalists only, the most remarkable
after Carrel were his opponent in the fatal duel,--Émile de Girardin,
Lucien A. Prévost-Paradol (1829-1870), Jean Hippolyte Cartier, called de
Villemessant (1812-1879), and, above all, Louis Veuillot (1815-1883),
the most violent and unscrupulous but by no means the least gifted of
his class. The same spread of periodical literature, together with the
increasing interest in the literature of the past, led also to a very
great development of criticism. Almost all French authors of any
eminence during nearly the last century have devoted themselves more or
less to criticism of literature, of the theatre, or of art. And
sometimes, as in the case of Janin and Gautier, the comparatively
lucrative nature of journalism, and the smaller demands which it made
for labour and intellectual concentration, have diverted to
feuilleton-writing abilities which might perhaps have been better
employed. At the same time it must be remembered that from this devotion
of men of the best talents to critical work has arisen an immense
elevation of the standard of such work. Before the romantic movement in
France Diderot in that country, Lessing and some of his successors in
Germany, Hazlitt, Coleridge and Lamb in England, had been admirable
critics and reviewers. But the theory of criticism, though these men's
principles and practice had set it aside, still remained more or less
what it had been for centuries. The critic was merely the administrator
of certain hard and fast rules. There were certain recognized kinds of
literary composition; every new book was bound to class itself under one
or other of these. There were certain recognized rules for each class;
and the goodness or badness of a book consisted simply in its obedience
or disobedience to these rules. Even the kinds of admissible subjects
and the modes of admissible treatment were strictly noted and numbered.
This was especially the case in France and with regard to French
_belles-lettres_, so that, as we have seen, certain classes of
composition had been reduced to unimportant variations of a registered
pattern. The Romantic protest against this absurdity was specially loud
and completely victorious. It is said that a publisher advised the
youthful Lamartine to try "to be like somebody else" if he wished to
succeed. The Romantic standard of success was, on the contrary, to be as
individual as possible. Victor Hugo himself composed a good deal of
criticism, and in the preface to his _Orientales_ he states the critical
principles of the new school clearly. The critic, he says, has nothing
to do with the subject chosen, the colours employed, the materials used.
Is the work, judged by itself and with regard only to the ideal which
the worker had in his mind, good or bad? It will be seen that as a
legitimate corollary of this theorem the critic becomes even more of an
interpreter than of a judge. He can no longer satisfy himself or his
readers by comparing the work before him with some abstract and accepted
standard, and marking off its shortcomings. He has to reconstruct, more
or less conjecturally, the special ideal at which each of his authors
aimed, and to do this he has to study their idiosyncrasies with the
utmost care, and set them before his readers in as full and attractive a
fashion as he can manage. The first writer who thoroughly grasped this
necessity and successfully dealt with it was Charles Augustin
Sainte-Beuve (1804-1869), who has indeed identified his name with the
method of criticism just described. Sainte-Beuve's first remarkable work
(his poems and novels we may leave out of consideration) was the sketch
of 16th-century literature already alluded to, which he contributed to
the _Globe_. But it was not till later that his style of criticism
became fully developed and accentuated. During the first decade of Louis
Philippe's reign his critical papers, united under the title of
_Critiques et portraits littéraires_, show a gradual advance. During the
next ten years he was mainly occupied with his studies of the writers of
the Port Royal school. But it was during the last twenty years of his
life, when the famous _Causeries du lundi_ appeared weekly in the
columns of the _Constitutionnel_ and the _Moniteur_, that his most
remarkable productions came out. Sainte-Beuve's style of criticism
(which is the key to so much of French literature of the last
half-century that it is necessary to dwell on it at some length),
excellent and valuable as it is, lent itself to two corruptions. There
is, in the first place, in making the careful investigations into the
character and circumstances of each writer which it demands, a danger of
paying too much attention to the man and too little to his work, and of
substituting for a critical study a mere collection of personal
anecdotes and traits, especially if the author dealt with belongs to a
foreign country or a past age. The other danger is that of connecting
the genius and character of particular authors too much with their
conditions and circumstances, so as to regard them as merely so many
products of the age. These faults, and especially the latter, have been
very noticeable in many of Sainte-Beuve's successors, particularly in,
perhaps, Hippolyte Taine, who, however, besides his work on English
literature, did much of importance on French, and has been regarded as
the first critic who did thorough honour to Balzac in his own country. A
large number of other critics during the period deserve notice because,
though acting more or less on the newer system of criticism, they have
manifested considerable originality in its application. As far as merely
critical faculty goes, and still more in the power of giving literary
expression to criticism, Théophile Gautier yields to no one. His _Les
Grotesques_, an early work dealing with Villon, the earlier "Théophile"
de Viau, and other _enfants terribles_ of French literature, has served
as a model to many subsequent writers, such as Charles Monselet
(1825-1888), and Charles Asselineau (1820-1874), the affectionate
historian, in his _Bibliographie romantique_ (1872-1874), of the less
famous promoters of the Romantic movement. On the other hand, Gautier's
picture criticisms, and his short reviews of books, obituary notices,
and other things of the kind contributed to daily papers, are in point
of style among the finest of all such fugitive compositions. Jules Janin
(1804-1874), chiefly a theatrical critic, excelled in light and easy
journalism, but his work has neither weight of substance nor careful
elaboration of manner sufficient to give it permanent value. This sort
of light critical comment has become almost a speciality of the French
press, and among its numerous practitioners the names of Armand de
Pontmartin (1811-1890) (an imitator and assailant of Sainte-Beuve),
Arsène Houssaye, Pierangelo Fiorentino (1806-1864), may be mentioned.
Edmond Scherer (1815-1889) and Paul de Saint-Victor (1827-1881)
represent different sides of Sainte-Beuve's style in literary criticism,
Scherer combining with it a martinet and somewhat prudish precision,
while Saint-Victor, with great powers of appreciation, is the most
flowery and "prose-poetical" of French critics. In theatrical censure
Francisque Sarcey (1827-1899), an acute but somewhat severe and limited
judge, succeeded to the good-natured sovereignty of Janin. The criticism
of the _Revue des deux mondes_ has played a sufficiently important part
in French literature to deserve separate notice in passing. Founded in
1829, the _Revue_, after some vicissitudes, soon attained, under the
direction of the Swiss Buloz, the character of being one of the first of
European critical periodicals. Its style of criticism has, on the whole,
inclined rather to the classical side--that is, to classicism as
modified by, and possible after, the Romantic movement. Besides some of
the authors already named, its principal critical contributors were
Gustave Planche (1808-1857), an acute but somewhat truculent critic,
Saint-René Taillandier (1817-1879), and Émile Montégut (1825-1895), a
man of letters whom greater leisure would have made greater, but who
actually combined much and varied critical power with an agreeable
style. Lastly we must notice the important section of professorial or
university critics, whose critical work has taken the form either of
regular treatises or of courses of republished lectures, books somewhat
academic and rhetorical in character, but often representing an amount
of influence which has served largely to stir up attention to
literature. The most prominent name among these is that of Abel
Villemain (1790-1867), who was one of the earliest critics of the
literature of his own country to obtain a hearing out of it. Désiré
Nisard (1806-1888) was perhaps more fortunate in his dealings with Latin
than with French, and in his _History_ of the latter literature
represents too much the classical tradition, but he had dignity,
erudition and an excellent style. Alexandre Vinet (1797-1847), a Swiss
critic of considerable eminence, Saint-Marc-Girardin (1801-1873), whose
_Cours de littérature dramatique_ is his chief work, and Eugène Géruzez
(1799-1865), the author not only of an extremely useful and well-written
handbook to French literature before the Revolution, but also of other
works dealing with separate portions of the subject, must also be
mentioned. One remarkable critic, Ernest Hello (1818-1885), attracted
during his life little attention even in France, and hardly any out of
it, his work being strongly tinctured with the unpopular flavour and
colour of uncompromising "clericalism," and his extremely bad health
keeping him out of the ordinary fraternities of literary society. It
was, however, as full of idiosyncrasy as of partisanship, and is
exceedingly interesting to those who regard criticism as mainly valuable
because it gives different aspects of the same thing.

Perhaps in no branch of _belles-lettres_ did the last quarter of the
century maintain the level at which predecessors had arrived better than
in criticism; though whether this fact is connected with something of
decadence in the creative branches, is a question which may be better
posed than resolved here. A remarkable writer whose talent, approaching
genius, was spoilt by eccentricity and pose, and who belonged to a more
modern generation, Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly (1808-1889), poet, novelist
and critic, produced much of his last critical work, and corrected more,
in these later days. Not only did the critical work in various ways of
Renan, Taine, Scherer, Sarcey and others continue during parts of it,
but a new generation, hardly in this case inferior to the old, appeared.
The three chiefs of this were the already mentioned Anatole France,
Émile Faguet (b. 1847), and Ferdinand Brunetière (1849-1906), to whom
some would add Jules Lemaître (b. 1853). The last, however, though a
brilliant writer, was but an "interim" critic, beginning with poetry and
other matters, and after a time turning to yet others, while, brilliant
as he was, his criticism was often ill-informed. So too Anatole France,
after compiling four volumes of _La Vie littéraire_ in his own
inimitable style and with singular felicity of appreciation, also turned
away. The phenomenon in both cases may be associated, though it must not
be too intimately connected in the relation of cause and effect, with
the fact that both were champions and practitioners of "impressionist
criticism"--of the doctrine (unquestionably sound if not exaggerated)
that the first duty of the critic is to reproduce the effect produced on
his own mind by the author. Brunetière and Faguet, on the other hand,
are partisans of the older academic style of criticism by kind and on
principle. Faguet, besides regular volumes on each of the four great
centuries of French literature, has produced much other work--all of it
somewhat "classical" in tendency and frequently exhibiting something of
a want of comprehension of the Romantic side. Brunetière was still more
prolific on the same side but with still greater effort after system and
"science." In the books definitely called _L'Évolution des genres_, in
his _Manuel_ of French literature, and in a large number of other
volumes of collected essays he enforced with great learning and power of
argument, if with a somewhat narrow purview and with some prejudice
against writers whom he disliked, a new form of the old doctrine that
the "kind" not the individual author or book ought to be the main
subject of the critic's attention. He did not escape the consequential
danger of taking authors and books not as they are but as in relation to
the kinds which they in fact constitute and to his general views. But he
was undoubtedly at his death the first critic of France and a worthy
successor of her best.

Of others older and younger must be mentioned Paul Stapfer (b. 1840),
professor of literature, and the author of divers excellent works from
_Shakespeare et l'antiquité_ to volumes of the first value on Montaigne
and Rabelais; Paul Bourget and Edouard Rod, already noticed; Augustin
Filon (b. 1841), author of much good work on English literature and an
excellent book on Mérimée; Alexandre Beljame (1843-1906), another eminent
student of English literature, in which subject J. A. Jusserand (b.
1855), Legouis, K. A. J. Angellier (b. 1848), and others have recently
distinguished themselves; Gustave Larroumet, especially an authority on
Marivaux; Eugène Lintilhac (b. 1854); Georges Pellissier; Gustave Lanson,
author of a compact history of French literature in French; Marcel
Schwob, who had done excellent work on Villon and other subjects before
his early death; René Doumic, a frequent writer in the _Revue des deux
mondes_, who collected four volumes of _Études sur la littérature
française_ between 1895 and 1900; and the Vicomte Melchior de Vogüé (b.
1848), whose interests have been more political-philosophical than
strictly literary, but who has done much to familiarize the French public
with that Russian literature to which Mérimée had been the first to
introduce them. But the body of recent critical literature in France is
perhaps larger in actual proportion and of greater value when considered
in relation to other kinds of literature than has been the case at any
previous period.

_History since 1830._--The remarkable development of historical studies
which we have noticed as taking place under the Restoration was
accelerated and intensified in the reigns of Charles X. and Louis
Philippe. Both the scope and the method of the historian underwent a
sensible alteration. For something like 150 years historians had been
divided into two classes, those who produced elegant literary works
pleasant to read, and those who produced works of laborious erudition,
but not even intended for general perusal. The Vertots and Voltaires
were on one side, the Mabillons and Tillemonts on another. Now, although
the duty of a French historian to produce works of literary merit was
not forgotten, it was recognized as part of that duty to consult
original documents and impart original observation. At the same time, to
the merely political events which had formerly been recognized as
forming the historian's province were added the social and literary
phenomena which had long been more or less neglected. Old chronicles and
histories were re-read and re-edited; innumerable monographs on special
subjects and periods were produced, and these latter were of immense
service to romance writers at the time of the popularity of the
historical novel. Not a few of the works, for instance, which were
signed by Alexandre Dumas consist mainly of extracts or condensations
from old chronicles, or modern monographs, ingeniously united by
dialogue and varnished with a little description. History, however, had
not to wait for this second-hand popularity, and its cultivators had
fully sufficient literary talent to maintain its dignity. Sismondi, whom
we have already noticed, continued during this period his great
_Histoire des Français_, and produced his even better-known _Histoire
des républiques italiennes au moyen âge_. The brothers Thierry devoted
themselves to early French history, Amédée Thierry (1797-1873) producing
a _Histoire des Gaulois_ and other works concerning the Roman period,
and Augustin Thierry (1795-1856) the well-known history of the Norman
Conquest, the equally attractive _Récits des temps Mérovingiens_ and
other excellent works. Philippe de Ségur (1780-1873) gave a history of
the Russian campaign of Napoleon, and some other works chiefly dealing
with Russian history. The voluminous _Histoire de France_ of Henri
Martin (1810-1883) is perhaps the best and most impartial work dealing
in detail with the whole subject. A. G. P. Brugière, baron de Barante
(1782-1866), after beginning with literary criticism, turned to history,
and in his _Histoire des ducs de Bourgogne_ produced a work of capital
importance. As was to be expected, many of the most brilliant results of
this devotion to historical subjects consisted of works dealing with the
French Revolution. No series of historical events has ever perhaps
received treatment at the same time from so many different points of
view, and by writers of such varied literary excellence, among whom it
must, however, be said that the purely royalist side is hardly at all
represented. One of the earliest of these histories is that of François
Mignet (1796-1884), a sober and judicious historian of the older school,
also well known for his _Histoire de Marie Stuart_. About the same time
was begun the brilliant if not extremely trustworthy work of Adolphe
Thiers (1797-1877) on the Revolution, which established the literary
reputation of the future president of the French republic, and was at a
later period completed by the _Histoire du consulat et de l'empire_. The
downfall of the July monarchy and the early years of the empire
witnessed the publication of several works of the first importance on
this subject. Barante contributed histories of the Convention and the
Directory, but the three books of greatest note were those of Lamartine,
Jules Michelet (1798-1874), and Louis Blanc (1811-1882). Lamartine's
_Histoire des Girondins_ is written from the constitutional-republican
point of view, and is sometimes considered to have had much influence in
producing the events of 1848. It is, perhaps, rather the work of an
orator and poet than of an historian. The work of Michelet is of a more
original character. Besides his history of the Revolution, Michelet
wrote an extended history of France, and a very large number of smaller
works on historical, political and social subjects. His imaginative
powers are of the highest order, and his style stands alone in French
for its strangely broken and picturesque character, its turbid abundance
of striking images, and its somewhat sombre magnificence, qualities
which, as may easily be supposed, found full occupation in a history of
the Revolution. The work of Louis Blanc was that of a sincere but ardent
republican, and is useful from this point of view, but possesses no
extraordinary literary merit. The principal contributions to the history
of the Revolution of the third quarter of the century were those of
Quinet, Lanfrey and Taine. Edgar Quinet (1803-1875), like Louis Blanc a
devotee of the republic and an exile for its sake, brought to this one
of his latest works a mind and pen long trained to literary and
historical studies; but _La Révolution_ is not considered his best work.
P. Lanfrey devoted himself with extraordinary patience and acuteness to
the destruction of the Napoleonic legend, and the setting of the
character of Napoleon I. in a new, authentic and very far from
favourable light. And Taine, after distinguishing himself, as we have
mentioned, in literary criticism (_Histoire de la littérature
anglaise_), and attaining less success in philosophy (_De
l'intelligence_), turned in _Les Origines de la France moderne_ to an
elaborate discussion of the Revolution, its causes, character and
consequences, which excited some commotion among the more ardent
devotees of the principles of '89. To return from this group, we must
notice J. F. Michaud (1767-1839), the historian of the crusades, and
François Pierre Guillaume Guizot (1787-1874), who, like his rival
Thiers, devoted himself much to historical study. His earliest works
were literary and linguistic, but he soon turned to political history,
and for the last half-century of his long life his contributions to
historical literature were almost incessant and of the most various
character. The most important are the histories _Des Origines du
gouvernement représentatif_, _De la révolution d'Angleterre_, _De la
civilisation en France_, and latterly a _Histoire de France_, which he
was writing at the time of his death. Among minor historians of the
earlier century may be mentioned Prosper Duvergier de Hauranne
(1798-1881) (_Gouvernement parlementaire en France_), J. J. Ampère
(1800-1864) (_Histoire romaine à Rome_), Auguste Arthur Beugnot
(1797-1865) (_Destruction du paganisme d'occident_), J. O. B. de Cléron,
comte d'Haussonville (_La Réunion de la Lorraine à la France_), Achille
Tendelle de Vaulabelle (1799-1870) (_Les Deux Restaurations_). In the
last quarter of the century, under the department of history, the most
remarkable names were still those of Taine and Renan, the former being
distinguished for thought and matter, the latter for style. Indeed it
may be here proper to remark that Renan, in the kind of elaborated
semi-poetic style which has most characterized the prose of the 19th
century in all countries of Europe, takes pre-eminence among French
writers even in the estimation of critics who are not enamoured of his
substance and tone. But, under the influence of Taine to some extent and
of a general European tendency still more, France during this period
attained or recovered a considerable place for what is called
"scientific" history--the history which while, in some cases, though not
in all, not neglecting the development of style attaches itself
particularly to "the document," on the one hand, and to philosophical
arrangement on the other. The chief representative of the school was
probably Albert Sorel (1842-1906), whose various handlings of the
Revolutionary period (including an excursion into partly literary
criticism in the shape of an admirable monograph on Madame de Staël)
have established themselves once for all. In a wider sweep Ernest
Lavisse (b. 1842), who has dealt mainly with the 18th century, may hold
a similar position. Of others, older and younger, the duc de Broglie
(1821-1901), who devoted himself also to the 18th century and especially
to its secret diplomacy; Gaston Boissier (b. 1823), a classical scholar
rather than an historian proper, and one of the latest masters of the
older French academic style; Thureau-Dangin (b. 1837), a student of mid
19th-century history; Henri Houssaye (b. 1848), one of the Napoleonic
period; Gabriel Hanotaux (b. 1853), an historian of Richelieu and other
subjects, and a practical politician, may be mentioned. A large
accession has also been made to the publication of older memoirs--that
important branch of French literature from almost the whole of its
existence since the invention of prose.

_Summary and Conclusion._--We have in these last pages given such an
outline of the 19th-century literature of France as seemed convenient
for the completion of what has gone before. It has been already remarked
that the nearer approach is made to our own time the less is it possible
to give exhaustive accounts of the individual cultivators of the
different branches of literature. It may be added, perhaps, that such
exhaustiveness becomes, as we advance, less and less necessary, as well
as less and less possible. The individual poet of to-day may and does
produce work that is in itself of greater literary value than that of
the individual trouvère. As a matter of literary history his
contribution is less remarkable because of the examples he has before
him and the circumstances which he has around him. Yet we have
endeavoured to draw such a sketch of French literature from the _Chanson
de Roland_ onwards that no important development and hardly any
important partaker in such development should be left out. A few lines
may, perhaps, be now profitably given to summing up the aspects of the
whole, remembering always that, as in no case is generalization easier
than in the case of the literary aspects and tendencies of periods and
nations, so in no case is it apt to be more delusive unless corrected
and supported by ample information of fact and detail.

At the close of the 11th century and at the beginning of the 12th we
find the vulgar tongue in France not merely in fully organized use for
literary purposes, but already employed in most of the forms of poetical
writing. An immense outburst of epic and narrative verse has taken
place, and lyrical poetry, not limited as in the case of the epics to
the north of France, but extending from Roussillon to the Pas de Calais,
completes this. The 12th century adds to these earliest forms the
important development of the mystery, extends the subjects and varies
the manner of epic verse, and begins the compositions of literary prose
with the chronicles of St Denis and of Villehardouin, and the prose
romances of the Arthurian cycle. All this literature is so far connected
purely with the knightly and priestly orders, though it is largely
composed and still more largely dealt in by classes of men, trouvères
and jongleurs, who are not necessarily either knights or priests, and in
the case of the jongleurs are certainly neither. With a possible
ancestry of Romance and Teutonic _cantilenae_, Breton _lais_, and
vernacular legends, the new literature has a certain pattern and model
in Latin and for the most part ecclesiastical compositions. It has the
sacred books and the legends of the saints for examples of narrative,
the rhythm of the hymns for a guide to metre, and the ceremonies of the
church for a stimulant to dramatic performance. By degrees also, in this
12th century, forms of literature which busy themselves with the
unprivileged classes begin to be born. The fabliau takes every phase of
life for its subject; the folk-song acquires elegance and does not lose
raciness and truth. In the next century, the 13th, medieval literature
in France arrives at its prime--a prime which lasts until the first
quarter of the 14th. The early epics lose something of their savage
charms, the polished literature of Provence quickly perishes. But in the
provinces which speak the more prevailing tongue nothing is wanting to
literary development. The language itself has shaken off all its
youthful incapacities, and, though not yet well adapted for the
requirements of modern life and study, is in every way equal to the
demands made upon it by its own time. The dramatic germ contained in the
fabliau and quickened by the mystery produces the profane drama.
Ambitious works of merit in the most various kinds are published;
_Aucassin et Nicolette_ stands side by side with the _Vie de Saint
Louis_, the _Jeu de la feuillie_ with _Le Miracle de Théophile_, the
_Roman de la rose_ with the _Roman du Renart_. The earliest notes of
ballads and rondeau are heard; endeavours are made with zeal, and not
always without understanding, to naturalize the wisdom of the ancients
in France, and in the graceful tongue that France possesses. Romance in
prose and verse, drama, history, songs, satire, oratory and even
erudition, are all represented and represented worthily. Meanwhile all
nations of western Europe have come to France for their literary models
and subjects, and the greatest writers in English, German, Italian,
content themselves with adaptations of Chrétien de Troyes, of Benoit de
Sainte More, and of a hundred other known and unknown trouvères and
fabulists. But this age does not last long. The language has been put to
all the uses of which it is as yet capable; those uses in their sameness
begin to pall upon reader and hearer; and the enormous evils of the
civil and religious state reflect themselves inevitably in literature.
The old forms die out or are prolonged only in half-lifeless travesties.
The brilliant colouring of Froissart, and the graceful science of
ballade and rondeau writers like Lescurel and Deschamps, alone maintain
the literary reputation of the time. Towards the end of the 14th century
the translators and political writers import many terms of art, and
strain the language to uses for which it is as yet unhandy, though at
the beginning of the next age Charles d'Orléans by his natural grace and
the virtue of the forms he used emerges from the mass of writers.
Throughout the 15th century the process of enriching or at least
increasing the vocabulary goes on, but as yet no organizing hand appears
to direct the process. Villon stands alone in merit as in peculiarity.
But in this time dramatic literature and the literature of the floating
popular broadsheet acquire an immense extension--all or almost all the
vigour of spirit being concentrated in the rough farce and rougher
lampoon, while all the literary skill is engrossed by insipid
_rhétoriqueurs_ and pedants. Then comes the grand upheaval of the
Renaissance and the Reformation. An immense influx of science, of
thought to make the science living, of new terms to express the thought,
takes place, and a band of literary workers appear of power enough to
master and get into shape the turbid mass. Rabelais, Amyot, Calvin and
Herberay fashion French prose; Marot, Ronsard and Regnier refashion
French verse. The Pléiade introduces the drama as it is to be and the
language that is to help the drama to express itself. Montaigne for the
first time throws invention and originality into some other form than
verse or than prose fiction. But by the end of the century the tide has
receded. The work of arrangement has been but half done, and there are
no master spirits left to complete it. At this period Malherbe and
Balzac make their appearance. Unable to deal with the whole problem,
they determine to deal with part of it, and to reject a portion of the
riches of which they feel themselves unfit to be stewards. Balzac and
his successors make of French prose an instrument faultless and
admirable in precision, unequalled for the work for which it is fit, but
unfit for certain portions of the work which it was once able to
perform. Malherbe, seconded by Boileau, makes of French verse an
instrument suited only for the purposes of the drama of Euripides, or
rather of Seneca, with or without its chorus, and for a certain weakened
echo of those choruses, under the name of lyrics. No French verse of the
first merit other than dramatic is written for two whole centuries. The
drama soon comes to its acme, and during the succeeding time usually
maintains itself at a fairly high level until the death of Voltaire. But
prose lends itself to almost everything that is required of it, and
becomes constantly a more and more perfect instrument. To the highest
efforts of pathos and sublimity its vocabulary and its arrangement
likewise are still unsuited, though the great preachers of the 17th
century do their utmost with it. But for clear exposition, smooth and
agreeable narrative, sententious and pointed brevity, witty repartee, it
soon proves itself to have no superior and scarcely an equal in Europe.
In these directions practitioners of the highest skill apply it during
the 17th century, while during the 18th its powers are shown to the
utmost of their variety by Voltaire, and receive a new development at
the hands of Rousseau. Yet, on the whole, it loses during this century.
It becomes more and more unfit for any but trivial uses, and at last it
is employed for those uses only. Then occurs the Revolution, repeating
the mighty stir in men's minds which the Renaissance had given, but at
first experiencing more difficulty in breaking up the ground and once
more rendering it fertile. The faulty and incomplete genius of
Chateaubriand and Madame de Staël gives the first evidence of a new
growth, and after many years the Romantic movement completes the work.
Whether the force of that movement is now, after three-quarters of a
century, spent or not, its results remain. The poetical power of French
has been once more triumphantly proved, and its productiveness in all
branches of literature has been renewed, while in that of prose fiction
there has been almost created a new class of composition. In the process
of reform, however, not a little of the finish of French prose style has
been lost, and the language itself has been affected in something the
same way as it was affected by the less judicious innovations of the
Ronsardists. The pedantry of the Pléiade led to the preposterous
compounds of Du Bartas; the passion of the Romantics for foreign tongues
and for the _mot propre_ has loaded French with foreign terms on the one
hand and with _argot_ on the other, while it is questionable whether the
_vers libre_ is really suited to the French genius. There is, therefore,
room for new Malherbes and Balzacs, if the days for Balzacs and
Malherbes had not to all appearance passed. Should they be once more
forthcoming, they have the failure as well as the success of their
predecessors to guide them.

Finally, we may sum up even this summary. For volume and merit taken
together the product of these eight centuries of literature excels that
of any European nation, though for individual works of the supremest
excellence they may perhaps be asked in vain. No French writer is lifted
by the suffrages of other nations--the only criterion when sufficient
time has elapsed--to the level of Homer, of Shakespeare, or of Dante,
who reign alone. Of those of the authors of France who are indeed of the
thirty but attain not to the first three Rabelais and Molière alone
unite the general suffrage, and this fact roughly but surely points to
the real excellence of the literature which these men are chosen to
represent. It is great in all ways, but it is greatest on the lighter
side. The house of mirth is more suited to it than the house of
mourning. To the latter, indeed, the language of the unknown marvel who
told Roland's death, of him who gave utterance to Camilla's wrath and
despair, and of Victor Hugo, who sings how the mountain wind makes mad
the lover who cannot forget, has amply made good its title of entrance.
But for one Frenchman who can write admirably in this strain there are a
hundred who can tell the most admirable story, formulate the most
pregnant reflection, point the acutest jest. There is thus no really
great epic in French, few great tragedies, and those imperfect and in a
faulty kind, little prose like Milton's or like Jeremy Taylor's, little
verse (though more than is generally thought) like Shelley's or like
Spenser's. But there are the most delightful short tales, both in prose
and in verse, that the world has ever seen, the most polished jewelry of
reflection that has ever been wrought, songs of incomparable grace,
comedies that must make men laugh as long as they are laughing animals,
and above all such a body of narrative fiction, old and new, prose and
verse, as no other nation can show for art and for originality, for
grace of workmanship in him who fashions, and for certainty of delight
to him who reads.

  BIBLIOGRAPHY.--The most elaborate book on French literature as a whole
  is that edited by Petit de Julleville, and composed of chapters by
  different authors, _Histoire de la langue et de la littérature
  françaises_ (8 vols., Paris, 1896-1899). Unfortunately these chapters,
  some of which are of the highest excellence, are of very unequal
  value: they require connexions which are not supplied, and there is
  throughout a neglect of minor authors. The bibliographical indications
  are, however, most valuable. For a survey in a single volume Lanson's
  _Histoire_ has superseded the older but admirable manuals of Demogeot
  and Géruzez, which, however, are still worth consulting. Brunetière's
  _Manuel_ (translated into English) is very valuable with the cautions
  above given; and the large _Histoire de la langue française depuis le
  seizième siècle_ of Godefroy supplies copious and well-chosen extracts
  with much biographical information. In English there is an extensive
  _History_ by H. van Laun (3 vols., 1874, &c.); a _Short History_ by
  Saintsbury (1882; 6th ed. continued to the end of the century, 1901);
  and a _History_ by Professor Dowden (1895).

  To pass to special periods--the fountain-head of the literature of the
  middle ages is the ponderous _Histoire littéraire_ already referred
  to, which, notwithstanding that it extended to 27 quarto volumes in
  1906, and had occupied, with interruptions, 150 years in publication,
  had only reached the 14th century. Many of the monographs which it
  contains are the best authorities on their subjects, such as that of
  P. Paris on the early chansonniers, of V. Leclerc on the fabliaux, and
  of Littré on the romans d'aventures. For the history of literature
  before the 11th century, the period mainly Latin, J. J. Ampère's
  _Histoire littéraire de la France avant Charlemagne, sous Charlemagne,
  et jusqu'au onzième siècle_ is the chief authority. Léon Gautier's
  _Épopées françaises_ (5 vols., 1878-1897) contains almost everything
  known concerning the chansons de geste. P. Paris's _Romans de la table
  ronde_ was long the main authority for this subject, but very much has
  been written recently in France and elsewhere. The most important of
  the French contributions, especially those by Gaston Paris (whose
  _Histoire poétique de Charlemagne_ has been reprinted since his
  death), will be found in the periodical _Romania_, which for more than
  thirty years has been the chief receptacle of studies on old French
  literature. On the cycle of Reynard the standard work is Rothe, _Les
  Romans de Renart_. All parts of the lighter literature of old France
  are excellently treated by Lenient, _Le Satire au moyen âge_. The
  early theatre has been frequently treated by the brothers Parfaict
  (_Histoire du théâtre français_), by Fabre (_Les Clercs de la
  Bazoche_), by Leroy (_Étude sur les mystères_), by Aubertin (_Histoire
  de la langue et de la littérature française au moyen âge_). This
  latter book will be found a useful summary of the whole medieval
  period. The historical, dramatic and oratorical sections are
  especially full. On a smaller scale but of unsurpassed authority is G.
  Paris's _Littérature du moyen âge_ translated into English.

  On the 16th century an excellent handbook is that by Darmesteter and
  Hatzfeld; and the recent _Literature of the French Renaissance_ of A.
  Tilley (2 vols., 1904) is of high value. Sainte-Beuve's _Tableau_ has
  been more than once referred to. Ebert (_Entwicklungsgeschichte der
  französischen Tragödie vornehmlich im 16^ten Jahrhundert_) is the
  chief authority for dramatic matters. Essays and volumes on periods
  and sub-periods since 1600 are innumerable; but those who desire
  thorough acquaintance with the literature of these three hundred years
  should read as widely as possible in all the critical work of
  Sainte-Beuve, of Schérer, of Faguet and Brunetière--which may be
  supplemented _ad libitum_ from that of other critics mentioned above.
  The series of volumes entitled _Les grands écrivains français_, now
  pretty extensive, is generally very good, and Catulle Mendès's
  invaluable book on 19th-century poetry has been cited above. As a
  companion to the study of poetry E. Crepet's _Poètes français_ (4
  vols., 1861), an anthology with introductions by Sainte-Beuve and all
  the best critics of the day, cannot be surpassed, but to it may be
  added the later _Anthologie des poètes français du XIX^e siècle_
  (1877-1879).     (G. Sa.)

FRENCH POLISH, a liquid for polishing wood, made by dissolving shellac
in methylated spirit. There are four different tints, brown, white,
garnet and red, but the first named is that most extensively used. All
the tints are made in the same manner, with the exception of the red,
which is a mixture of the brown polish and methylated spirit with either
Saunders wood or Bismarck brown, according to the strength of colour
required. Some woods, and especially mahogany, need to be stained before
they are polished. To stain mahogany mix some bichromate of potash in
hot water according to the depth of colour required. After staining the
wood the most approved method of filling the grain is to rub in fine
plaster of Paris (wet), wiping off before it "sets." After this is dry
it should be oiled with linseed oil and thoroughly wiped off. The wood
is then ready for the polish, which is put on with a rubber made of
wadding covered with linen rag and well wetted with polish. The
polishing process has to be repeated gradually, and after the work has
hardened, the surface is smoothed down with fine glass-paper, a few
drops of linseed oil being added until the surface is sufficiently
smooth. After a day or two the surface can be cleared by using a fresh
rubber with a double layer of linen, removing the top layer when it is
getting hard and finishing off with the bottom layer.

FRENCH REVOLUTION, THE. Among the many revolutions which from time to
time have given a new direction to the political development of nations
the French Revolution stands out as at once the most dramatic in its
incidents and the most momentous in its results. This exceptional
character is, indeed, implied in the name by which it is known; for
France has experienced many revolutions both before and since that of
1789, but the name "French Revolution," or simply "the Revolution,"
without qualification, is applied to this one alone. The causes which
led to it: the gradual decay of the institutions which France had
inherited from the feudal system, the decline of the centralized
monarchy, and the immediate financial necessities that compelled the
assembling of the long neglected states-general in 1789, are dealt with
in the article on FRANCE: _History_. The successive constitutions, and
the other legal changes which resulted from it, are also discussed in
their general relation to the growth of the modern French polity in the
article FRANCE (_Law and Institutions_). The present article deals with
the progress of the Revolution itself from the convocation of the
states-general to the coup d'état of the 18th Brumaire which placed
Napoleon Bonaparte in power.

  Opening of the States-General.

The elections to the states-general of 1789 were held in unfavourable
circumstances. The failure of the harvest of 1788 and a severe winter
had caused widespread distress. The government was weak and despised,
and its agents were afraid or unwilling to quell outbreaks of disorder.
At the same time the longing for radical reform and the belief that it
would be easy were almost universal. The _cahiers_ or written
instructions given to the deputies covered well-nigh every subject of
political, social or economic interest, and demanded an amazing number
of changes. Amid this commotion the king and his ministers remained
passive. They did not even determine the question whether the estates
should act as separate bodies or deliberate collectively. On the 5th of
May the states-general were opened by Louis in the Salle des Menus
Plaisirs at Versailles. Barentin, the keeper of the seals, informed them
that they were free to determine whether they would vote by orders or
vote by head. Necker, as director-general of the finances, set forth the
condition of the treasury and proposed some small reforms. The Tiers
État (Third Estate) was dissatisfied that the question of joint or
separate deliberation should have been left open. It was aware that some
of the nobles and many of the inferior clergy agreed with it as to the
need for comprehensive reform. Joint deliberation would ensure a
majority to the reformers and therefore the abolition of privileges and
the extinction of feudal rights of property. Separate deliberation would
enable the majority among the nobles and the superior clergy to limit
reform. Hence it became the first object of the Tiers État to effect the
amalgamation of the three estates.

  Conflict between the Three Estates.

The conflict between those who desired and those who resisted
amalgamation took the form of a conflict over the verification of the
powers of the deputies. The Tiers État insisted that the deputies of all
three estates should have their powers verified in common as the first
step towards making them all members of one House. It resolved to hold
its meetings in the Salle des Menus Plaisirs, whereas the nobles and the
clergy met in smaller apartments set aside for their exclusive use. It
refrained from taking any step which might have implied that it was an
organized assembly, and persevered in regarding itself as a mere crowd
of individual members incapable of transacting business. Meanwhile the
clergy and the nobles began a separate verification of their powers.
But a few of the nobles and a great many of the clergy voted against
this procedure. On the 7th the Tiers État sent deputations to exhort the
other estates to union, while the clergy sent a deputation to it with
the proposal that each estate should name commissioners to discuss the
best method of verifying powers. The Tiers État accepted the proposal
and conferences were held, but without result. It then made another
appeal to the clergy which was almost successful. The king interposed
with a command for the renewal of the conferences. They were resumed
under the presidency of Barentin, but again to no purpose.

On the 10th of June Sieyès moved that the Tiers État should for the last
time invite the First and Second Estates to join in the verification of
powers and announce that, whether they did or not, the work of verifying
would begin forthwith. The motion was carried by an immense majority. As
there was no response, the Tiers État on the 12th named Bailly
provisional president and commenced verification. Next day three curés
of Poitou came to have their powers verified. Other clergymen followed
later. When the work of verification was over, a title had to be found
for the body thus created, which would no longer accept the style of the
Tiers État. On the 15th Sieyès proposed that they should entitle
themselves the Assembly of the known and verified representatives of the
French nation. Mirabeau, Mounier and others proposed various
appellations. But success was reserved for Legrand, an obscure deputy
who proposed the simple name of National Assembly. Withdrawing his own
motion, Sieyès adopted Legrand's suggestion, which was carried by 491
votes to 90. The Assembly went on to declare that it placed the debts of
the crown under the safeguard of the national honour and that all
existing taxes, although illegal as having been imposed without the
consent of the people, should continue to be paid until the day of

  The National Assembly.

  Oath of the Tennis Court.

By these proceedings the Tiers État and a few of the clergy declared
themselves the national legislature. Then and thereafter the National
Assembly assumed full sovereign and constituent powers. Nobles and
clergy might come in if they pleased, but it could do without them. The
king's assent to its measures would be convenient, but not necessary.
This boldness was rewarded, for on the 19th the clergy decided by a
majority of one in favour of joint verification. On the same day the
nobles voted an address to the king condemning the action of the Tiers
État. Left to himself, Louis might have been too inert for resistance.
But the queen and his brother, the count of Artois, with some of the
ministers and courtiers, urged him to make a stand. A Séance Royale was
notified for the 22nd and workmen were sent to prepare the Salle des
Menus Plaisirs for the ceremony. On the 20th Bailly and the deputies
proceeded to the hall and found it barred against their entrance.
Thereupon they adjourned to a neighbouring tennis court, where Mounier
proposed that they should swear not to separate until they had
established the constitution. With a solitary exception they swore and
the Oath of the Tennis Court became an era in French history. As the
ministers could not agree on the policy which the king should announce
in the Séance Royale, it was postponed to the 23rd. The Assembly found
shelter in the church of St Louis, where it was joined by the main body
of the clergy and by the first of the nobles.

At the Séance Royale Louis made known his will that the Estates should
deliberate apart, and declared that if they should refuse to help him he
would do by his sole authority what was necessary for the happiness of
his people. When he quitted the hall, some of the clergy and most of the
nobles retired to their separate chambers. But the rest, together with
the Tiers État, remained, and Mirabeau declared that, as they had come
by the will of the nation, force only should make them withdraw.
"Gentlemen," said Sieyès, "you are to-day what you were yesterday." With
one voice the Assembly proclaimed its adhesion to its former decrees and
the inviolability of its members. In Versailles and in Paris popular
feeling was clamorous for the Assembly and against the court. During the
next few days many of the clergy and nobles, including the archbishop
of Paris and the duke of Orleans, joined the Assembly. Louis tamely
accepted his defeat. He recalled Necker, who had resigned after the
Séance Royale. On the 27th he wrote to those clerical and noble deputies
who still held out, urging submission. By the 2nd of July the joint
verification of powers was completed. The last trace of the historic
States-General disappeared and the National Assembly was perfect. On the
same day it claimed an absolute discretion by a decree that the mandates
of the electors were not binding on its members.

  Dismissal of Necker.

Having failed in their first attempt on the Assembly, the Court party
resolved to try what force could do. A large number of troops, chiefly
foreign regiments in the service of France, were concentrated near Paris
under the command of the marshal de Broglie. On Mirabeau's motion the
Assembly voted an address to the king asking for their withdrawal. The
king replied that the troops were not meant to act against the Assembly,
but intimated his purpose of transferring the session to some provincial
town. On the same day he dismissed Necker and ordered him to quit
Versailles. These acts led to the first insurrection of Paris. The
capital had long been in a dangerous condition. Bread was dear and
employment was scarce. The measures taken to relieve distress had
allured a multitude of needy and desperate men from the surrounding
country. Among the middle class there already existed a party,
consisting of men like Danton or Camille Desmoulins, which was prepared
to go much further than any of the leaders of the Assembly. The rich
citizens were generally fund-holders, who regarded the Assembly as the
one bulwark against a public bankruptcy. The duke of Orleans, a weak and
dissolute but ambitious man, had conceived the hope of supplanting his
cousin on the throne. He strained his wealth and influence to recruit
followers and to make mischief. The gardens of his residence, the Palais
Royal, became the centre of political agitation. Ever since the
elections virtual freedom of the press and freedom of speech had
prevailed in Paris. Clubs were multiplied and pamphlets came forth every
hour. The municipal officers who were named by the Crown had little
influence with the citizens. The police were a mere handful. Of the two
line regiments quartered in the capital, one was Swiss and therefore
trusty; but the other, the Gardes Françaises, shared all the feelings of
the populace.

  Rioting in Paris.

  Fall of the Bastille, July 14, 1789.

On the 12th of July Camille Desmoulins announced the dismissal of Necker
to the crowd in the Palais Royal. Warmed by his eloquence, they sallied
into the street. Part of Broglie's troops occupied the Champs Elysées
and the Place Louis Quinze. After one or two petty encounters with the
mob they were withdrawn, either because their temper was uncertain or
because their commanders shunned responsibility. Paris was thus left to
the rioters, who seized arms wherever they could find them, broke open
the jails, burnt the octroi barriers and soon had every man's life and
goods at their discretion. Citizens with anything to lose were driven to
act for themselves. For the purpose of choosing its representatives in
the states-general the Third Estate of Paris had named 300 electors.
Their function once discharged, these men had no public character, but
they resolved that they would hold together in order to watch over the
interests of the city. After the Séance Royale the municipal authority,
conscious of its own weakness, allowed them to meet at the Hôtel de
Ville, where they proceeded to consider the formation of a civic guard.
On the 13th, when all was anarchy in Paris, they were joined by
Flesselles, Provost of the Merchants, and other municipal officers. The
project of a civic guard was then adopted. The insurrection, however,
ran its course unchecked. Crowds of deserters from the regular troops
swelled the ranks of the insurgents. They attacked the Hôtel des
Invalides and carried off all the arms which were stored there. With the
same object they assailed the Bastille. The garrison was small and
disheartened, provisions were short, and after some hours' fighting De
Launay the governor surrendered on promise of quarter. He and several of
his men were, notwithstanding, butchered by the mob before they could be
brought to the Hôtel de Ville. As all Paris was in the hands of the
insurgents, the king saw the necessity of submission. On the morning of
the 15th he entered the hall of the Assembly to announce that the troops
would be withdrawn. Immediately afterwards he dismissed his new
ministers and recalled Necker. Thereupon the princes and courtiers most
hostile to the National Assembly, the count of Artois, the prince of
Condé, the duke of Bourbon and many others, feeling themselves no longer
safe, quitted France. Their departure is known as the first emigration.

  New municipality of Paris and National Guard.

  Revolution in the provinces.

The capture of the Bastille was hailed throughout Europe as symbolizing
the fall of absolute monarchy, and the victory of the insurgents had
momentous consequences. Recognizing the 300 electors as a temporary
municipal government, the Assembly sent a deputation to confer with them
at the Hôtel de Ville, and on a sudden impulse one of these deputies,
Bailly, lately president of the Assembly, was chosen to be mayor of
Paris. The marquis Lafayette, doubly popular as a veteran of the
American War and as one of the nobles who heartily upheld the cause of
the Assembly, was chosen commandant of the new civic force,
thenceforwards known as the National Guard. On the 17th Louis himself
visited Paris and gave his sanction to the new authorities. In the
course of the following weeks the example of Paris was copied throughout
France. All the cities and towns set up new elective authorities and
organized a National Guard. At the same time the revolution spread to
the country districts. In most of the provinces the peasants rose and
stormed and burnt the houses of the _seigneurs_, taking peculiar care to
destroy their title-deeds. Some of the _seigneurs_ were murdered and the
rest were driven into the towns or across the frontier. Amid the
universal confusion the old administrative system vanished. The
intendants and sub-delegates quitted or were driven from their posts.
The old courts of justice, whether royal or feudal, ceased to act. In
many districts there was no more police, public works were suspended and
the collection of taxes became almost impossible. The insurrection of
July really ended the _ancien régime_.

  The 4th of August.

Disorder in the provinces led directly to the proceedings on the famous
night of the 4th of August. While the Assembly was considering a
declaration which might calm revolt, the vicomte de Noailles and the duc
d'Aiguillon moved that it should proclaim equality of taxation and the
suppression of feudal burdens. Other deputies rose to demand the repeal
of the game laws, the enfranchisement of such serfs as were still to be
found in France, and the abolition of tithes and of feudal courts and to
renounce all privileges, whether of classes, of cities, or of provinces.
Amid indescribable enthusiasm the Assembly passed resolution after
resolution embodying these changes. The resolutions were followed by
decrees sometimes hastily and unskilfully drawn. In vain Sieyès remarked
that in extinguishing tithes the Assembly was making a present to every
landed proprietor. In vain the king, while approving most of the
decrees, tendered some cautious criticisms of the rest. The majority did
not, indeed, design to confiscate property wholesale. They drew a
distinction between feudal claims which did and did not carry a moral
claim to compensation. But they were embarrassed by the wording of their
own decrees and forestalled by the violence of the people. The
proceedings of the 4th of August issued in a wholesale transfer of
property from one class to another without any indemnity for the losers.

  Parties in the Assembly.

The work of drafting a constitution for France had already been begun.
Parties in the Assembly were numerous and ill-defined. The Extreme
Right, who desired to keep the government as it stood, were a mere
handful. The Right who wanted to revive, as they said, the ancient
constitution, in other words, to limit the king's power by periodic
States-General of the old-fashioned sort, were more numerous and had
able chiefs in Cazalès and Maury, but strove in vain against the spirit
of the time. The Right Centre, sometimes called the Monarchiens, were a
large body and included several men of talent, notably Mounier and
Malouet, as well as many men of rank and wealth. They desired a
constitution like that of England which should reserve a large
executive power to the king, while entrusting the taxing and legislative
powers to a modern parliament. The Left or Constitutionals, known
afterwards as the Feuillants, among whom Barnave and Charles and
Alexander Lameth were conspicuous, also wished to preserve monarchy but
disdained English precedent. They were possessed with feelings then
widespread, weariness of arbitrary government, hatred of ministers and
courtiers, and distrust not so much of Louis as of those who surrounded
him and influenced his judgment. Republicans without knowing it, they
grudged every remnant of power to the Crown. The Extreme Left, still
more republican in spirit, of whom Robespierre was the most noteworthy,
were few and had little power. Mirabeau's independence of judgment
forbids us to place him in any party.

  Declaration of the Rights of Man.

  The royal veto.

The first Constitutional Committee, elected on the 14th of July, had
Mounier for its reporter. It was instructed to begin with drafting a
Declaration of the Rights of Man. Six weeks were spent by the Assembly
in discussing this document. The Committee then presented a report which
embodied the principle of two Chambers. This principle contradicted the
extreme democratic theories so much in fashion. It also offended the
self-love of most of the nobles and the clergy who were loath that a few
of their number should be erected into a House of Lords. The Assembly
rejected the principle of two Chambers by nearly 10 to 1. The question
whether the king should have a veto on legislation was next raised.
Mounier contended that he should have an absolute veto, and was
supported by Mirabeau, who had already described the unlimited power of
a single Chamber as worse than the tyranny of Constantinople. The Left
maintained that the king, as depositary of the executive, should be
wholly excluded from the legislative power. Lafayette, who imagined
himself to be copying the American constitution, proposed that the king
should have a suspensive veto. Thinking that it would be politic to
claim no more, Necker persuaded the king to intimate that he was
satisfied with Lafayette's proposal. The suspensive veto was therefore
adopted. As the king had no power of dissolution, it was an idle form.
Mounier and his friends having resigned their places in the
Constitutional Committee, it came to an end and the Assembly elected a
new Committee which represented the opinions of the Left.

  Removal of the royal family and Assembly to Paris.

Soon afterwards a fresh revolt in Paris caused the king and the Assembly
to migrate thither. The old causes of disorder were still working in
that city. The scarcity of bread was set down to conspirators against
the Revolution. Riots were frequent and persons supposed hostile to the
Assembly and the nation were murdered with impunity. The king still had
counsellors who wished for his departure as a means to regaining freedom
of action. At the end of September the Flanders regiment came to
Versailles to reinforce the Gardes du Corps. The officers of the Gardes
du Corps entertained the officers of the Flanders regiment and of the
Versailles National Guard at dinner in the palace. The king, queen and
dauphin visited the company. There followed a vehement outbreak of
loyalty. Rumour enlarged the incident into a military plot against
freedom. Those who wanted a more thorough revolution wrought up the
crowd and even respectable citizens wished to have the king among them
and amenable to their opinion. On the 5th of October a mob which had
gathered to assault the Hôtel de Ville was diverted into a march on
Versailles. Lafayette was slow to follow it and, when he arrived, took
insufficient precautions. At daybreak on the 6th some of the rioters
made their way into the palace and stormed the apartment of the queen
who escaped with difficulty. At length the National Guards arrived and
the mob was quieted by the announcement that the king had resolved to go
to Paris. The Assembly declared itself inseparable from the king's
person. Louis and his family reached Paris on the same evening and took
up their abode in the Tuileries. A little later the Assembly established
itself in the riding school of the palace. Thenceforward the king and
queen were to all intents prisoners. The Assembly itself was subject to
constant intimidation. Many members of the Right gave up the struggle
and emigrated, or at least withdrew from attendance, so that the Left
became supreme.

  Mirabeau and the court.

Mirabeau had already taken alarm at the growing violence of the
Revolution. In September he had foretold that it would not stop short of
the death of both king and queen. After the insurrection of October he
sought to communicate with them through his friend the comte de la
Marck. In a remarkable correspondence he sketched a policy for the king.
The abolition of privilege and the establishment of a parliamentary
system were, he wrote, unalterable facts which it would be madness to
dispute. But a strong executive authority was essential, and a king who
frankly adopted the Revolution might still be powerful. In order to
rally the sound part of the nation Louis should leave Paris, and, if
necessary, he should prepare for a civil war; but he should never appeal
to foreign powers. Neither the king nor the queen could grasp the wisdom
of this advice. They distrusted Mirabeau as an unscrupulous adventurer,
and were confirmed in this feeling by his demands for money. His
correspondence with the court, although secret, was suspected. The
politicians who envied his talents and believed him a rascal raised the
cry of treason. In the Assembly Mirabeau, though sometimes successful on
particular questions, never had a chance of giving effect to his policy
as a whole. Whether even he could have controlled the Revolution is
highly doubtful; but his letters and minutes drawn up for the king form
the most striking monument of his genius (see MIRABEAU and MONTMORIN DE

  The Assembly and the royal power.

  Reorganization of France.

Early in the year 1790 a dispute with England concerning the frontier in
North America induced the Spanish government to claim the help of France
under the Family Compact. This demand led the Assembly to consider in
what hands the power of concluding alliances and of making peace and war
should be placed. Mirabeau tried to keep the initiative for the king,
subject to confirmation by the Chamber. On Barnave's motion the Assembly
decreed that the legislature should have the power of war and peace and
the king a merely advisory power. Mirabeau was defeated on another point
of the highest consequence, the inclusion of ministers in the National
Assembly. His colleagues generally adhered to the principle that the
legislative and executive powers should be totally separate. The Left
assumed that, if deputies could hold office, the king would have the
means of corrupting the ablest and most influential. It was decreed that
no deputy should be minister while sitting in the House or for two years
after. Ministers excluded from the House being necessarily objects of
suspicion, the Assembly was careful to allow them the least possible
power. The old provinces were abolished, and France was divided anew
into eighty departments. Each department was subdivided into districts,
cantons and communes. The main business of administration, even the
levying of taxes, was entrusted to the elective local authorities. The
judicature was likewise made elective. The army and the navy were so
organized as to leave the king but a small share in appointing officers
and to leave the officers but scanty means of maintaining discipline.
Even the cases in which the sovereign might be deposed were foreseen and
expressly stated. Monarchy was retained, but the monarch was regarded as
a possible traitor and every precaution was taken to render him harmless
even at the cost of having no effective national government.

  Executive committees of the Assembly.

  Confiscation of church property.

  The assignats.

The distrust which the Assembly felt for the actual ministers led it to
undertake the business of government as well as the business of reform.
There were committees for all the chief departments of state, a
committee for the army, a committee for the navy, another for diplomacy,
another for finance. These committees sometimes asked the ministers for
information, but rarely took their advice. Even Necker found the
Assembly heedless of his counsels. The condition of the treasury became
worse day by day. The yield of the indirect taxes fell off through the
interruption of business, and the direct taxes were in large measure
withheld, for want of an authority to enforce payment. With some trouble
Necker induced the Assembly to sanction first a loan of 30,000,000
livres and then a loan of 80,000,000 livres. The public having shown no
eagerness to subscribe, Necker proposed that every man should be invited
to make a patriotic contribution of one-fourth of his income. This
expedient also failed. On the 10th of October 1789 Talleyrand, bishop of
Autun, proposed that the Assembly should take possession of the lands of
the church. In November the Assembly enacted that they should be at the
disposal of the nation, which would provide for the maintenance of the
clergy. Since the church lands were supposed to occupy one-fifth of
France, the Assembly thought that it had found an inexhaustible source
of public wealth. On the security of the church lands it based a paper
currency (the famous assignats). In December it ordered an issue to the
amount of 400,000,000 livres. As the revenue still declined and the
reforms enacted by the Assembly involved a heavy outlay, it recurred
again and again to this expedient. Before its dissolution the Assembly
had authorized the creation of 1,800,000,000 livres of assignats and the
depreciation of its paper had begun. Finding that he had lost all credit
with the Assembly, Necker resigned office and left France in September

  Power of the municipalities and popular clubs.

  Disaffection in the army.

Even the committees of the Assembly had far less power than the new
municipal authorities throughout France. They really governed so far as
there was any government. Often full of public spirit, they lacked
experience and in a time of peculiar difficulty had no guide save their
own discretion. They opened letters, arrested suspects, controlled the
trade in corn, and sent their National Guards on such errands as they
thought proper. The political clubs which sprang up all over the country
often presumed to act as though they were public authorities (see
JACOBINS). The revolutionary journalists, Desmoulins in his _Révolutions
de France et de Brabant_, Loustallot in his _Révolutions de Paris_,
Marat in his _Ami du peuple_, continued to feed the fire of discord.
Amid this anarchy it became a practice for the National Guards of
different districts to form federations, that is, to meet and swear
loyalty to each other and obedience to the laws made by the National
Assembly. At the suggestion of the municipality of Paris the Assembly
decreed a general federation of all France, to be held on the
anniversary of the fall of the Bastille. The ceremony took place in the
Champ de Mars (July 14, 1790) in presence of the king, the queen, the
Assembly, and an enormous concourse of spectators. It was attended by
deputations from the National Guards in every part of the kingdom, from
the regular regiments, and from the crews of the fleet. Talleyrand
celebrated Mass, and Lafayette was the first to swear fidelity to the
Assembly and the nation. In this gathering the provincial deputations
caught the revolutionary fever of Paris. Still graver was the effect
upon the regular army. It had been disaffected since the outbreak of the
Revolution. The rank and file complained of their food, their lodging
and their pay. The non-commissioned officers, often intelligent and
hard-working, were embittered by the refusal of promotion. The officers,
almost all nobles, rarely showed much concern for their men, and were
often mere courtiers and triflers. After the festival of the federation
the soldiers were drawn into the political clubs, and named regimental
committees to defend their interests. Not content with asking for
redress of grievances, they sometimes seized the regimental chest or
imprisoned their officers. In August a formidable outbreak at Nancy was
only quelled with much loss of life. Desertion became more frequent than
ever, and the officers, finding their position unbearable, began to
emigrate. Similar causes produced an even worse effect upon the navy.

  Civil constitution of the clergy.

By its rough handling of the church the Assembly brought fresh trouble
upon France. The suppression of tithe and the confiscation of church
lands had reduced the clergy to live on whatever stipend the legislature
might think fit to give them. A law of February 1790 suppressed the
religious orders not engaged in education or in works of charity, and
forbade the introduction of new ones. Monastic vows were deprived of
legal force and a pension was granted to the religious who were cast
upon the world. These measures aroused no serious discontent; but the
so-called civil constitution of the clergy went much further. Old
ecclesiastical divisions were set aside. Henceforth the diocese was to
be conterminous with the department, and the parish with the commune.
The electors of the commune were to choose the curé, the electors of the
department the bishop. Every curé was to receive at least 1200 livres
(about £50) a year. Relatively modest stipends were assigned to bishops
and archbishops. French citizens were forbidden to acknowledge any
ecclesiastical jurisdiction outside the kingdom. The Assembly not only
adopted this constitution but decreed that all beneficed ecclesiastics
should swear to its observance. As the constitution implicitly abrogated
the papal authority and entrusted the choice of bishops and curés to
electors who often were not Catholics, most of the clergy declined to
swear and lost their preferments. Their places were filled by election.
Thenceforwards the clergy were divided into hostile factions, the
Constitutionals and the Nonjurors. As the generality of Frenchmen at
that time were orthodox although not zealous Catholics, the Nonjurors
carried with them a large part of the laity. The Assembly was misled by
its Jansenist, Protestant and Free-thinking members, natural enemies of
an established church which had persecuted them to the best of its

  The Assembly, the colonies, and foreign powers.

In colonial affairs the Assembly acted with the same imprudence. Eager
to set an example of suppressing slavery, it took measures which
prepared a terrible negro insurrection in St Domingo. With regard to
foreign relations the Assembly showed itself well-meaning but
indiscreet. It protested in good faith that it desired no conquests and
aimed only at peace. Yet it laid down maxims which involved the utmost
danger of war. It held that no treaty could be binding without the
national consent. As this consent had not been given to any existing
treaty, they were all liable to be revised by the French government
without consulting the other parties. Thus the Assembly treated the
Family Compact as null and void. Similarly, when it abolished feudal
tenures in France, it ignored the fact that the rights of certain German
princes over lands in Alsace were guaranteed by the treaties of
Westphalia. It offered them compensation in money, and when this was
declined, took no heed of their protests. Again, in the papal territory
of Avignon a large number of the inhabitants declared for union with
France. The Assembly could hardly be restrained by Mirabeau from acting
upon their vote and annexing Avignon. Some time after his death it was
annexed. The other states of Europe did not admit the doctrines of the
Assembly, but peace was not broken. Foreign statesmen who flattered
themselves that France was sinking into anarchy and therefore into decay
were content to follow their respective ambitions without the dread of
French interference.

  Attempt of Louis XVI. to escape from Paris.

Deprived of authority and in fact a prisoner, Louis had for many months
acquiesced in the decrees of the Assembly however distasteful. But the
civil constitution of the clergy wounded him in his conscience as well
as in his pride. From the autumn of 1790 onwards he began to scheme for
his liberation. Himself incapable of strenuous effort, he was spurred on
by Marie Antoinette, who keenly felt her own degradation and the
curtailment of that royal prerogative which her son would one day
inherit. The king and queen failed to measure the forces which had
caused the Revolution. They ascribed all their misfortunes to the work
of a malignant faction, and believed that, if they could escape from
Paris, a display of force by friendly powers would enable them to
restore the supremacy of the crown. But no foreign ruler, not even the
emperor Leopold II., gave the king or queen any encouragement. Whatever
secrecy they might observe, the adherents of the Revolution divined
their wish to escape. When Louis tried to leave the Tuileries for St
Cloud at Easter 1791, in order to enjoy the ministrations of a nonjuring
priest, the National Guards of Paris would not let him budge. Mirabeau,
who had always dissuaded the king from seeking foreign help, died on the
2nd of April. Finally the king and queen resolved to fly to the army of
the East, which the marquis de Bouillé had in some measure kept under
discipline. Sheltered by him they could await foreign succour or a
reaction at home. On the evening of the 20th of June they escaped from
the Tuileries. Louis left behind him a declaration complaining of the
treatment which he had received and revoking his assent to all measures
which had been laid before him while under restraint. On the following
day the royal party was captured at Varennes and sent back to Paris. The
king's eldest brother, the count of Provence, who had laid his plans
much better, made his escape to Brussels and joined the _émigrés_.

It was no longer possible to pretend that the Revolution had been made
with the free consent of the king. Some Republicans called for his
deposition. Afraid to take a course which involved danger both at home
and abroad, the Assembly decreed that Louis should be suspended from his
office. The club of the Cordeliers (q.v.), led by Danton, demanded not
only his deposition but his trial. A petition to that effect having been
exposed for signature on the altar in the Champ de Mars, a disturbance
ensued and the National Guard fired on the crowd, killing a few and
wounding many. This incident afterwards became known as the massacre of
the Champ de Mars. On the other hand, the leaders of the Left, Barnave
and the Lameths, felt that they had weakened the executive power too
much. They would gladly have come to an understanding with the king and
revised the constitution so as to strengthen his prerogative. They
failed in both objects. Louis and still more Marie Antoinette regarded
them with incurable distrust. The Constitutional Act without any
material change was voted on the 3rd of September. On the 14th Louis
swore to the Constitution, thus regaining his nominal sovereignty. The
National Assembly was dissolved on the 30th. Upon Robespierre's motion
it had decreed that none of its members should be capable of sitting in
the next legislature.

  Review of the work of the National Assembly.

If we view the work of the National Assembly as a whole, we are struck
by the immense demolition which it effected. No other legislature has
ever destroyed so much in the same time. The old form of government, the
old territorial divisions, the old fiscal system, the old judicature,
the old army and navy, the old relations of Church and State, the old
law relating to property in land, all were shattered. Such a destruction
could not have been effected without the support of popular opinion.
Most of what the Assembly did had been suggested in the _cahiers_, and
many of its decrees were anticipated by actual revolt. In its
constructive work many sound maxims were embodied. It asserted the
principles of civil equality and freedom of conscience, it reformed the
criminal law, and laid down a just scheme of taxation. Not intelligence
and public spirit but political wisdom was lacking to the National
Assembly. Its members did not suspect how limited is the usefulness of
general propositions in practical life. Nor did they perceive that new
ideas can be applied only by degrees in an old world. The Constitution
of 1791 was impracticable and did not last a year. The civil
constitution of the clergy was wholly mischievous. In the attempt to
govern, the Assembly failed altogether. It left behind an empty
treasury, an undisciplined army and navy, a people debauched by safe and
successful riot.

  The Legislative Assembly.

At the elections of 1791 the party which desired to carry the Revolution
further had a success out of all keeping with its numbers. This was due
partly to a weariness of politics which had come over the majority of
French citizens, partly to downright intimidation exercised by the
Jacobin Club and by its affiliated societies throughout the kingdom. The
Legislative Assembly met on the 1st of October. It consisted of 745
members. Few were nobles, very few were clergymen, and the great body
was drawn from the middle class. The members were generally young, and,
since none had sat in the previous Assembly, they were wholly without
experience. The Right consisted of the Feuillants (q.v.). They numbered
about 160, and among them were some able men, such as Matthieu Dumas and
Bigot de Préamenau, but they were guided chiefly by persons outside the
House, because incapable of re-election, Barnave, Duport and the
Lameths. The Left consisted of the Jacobins, a term which still included
the party afterwards known as the Girondins or Girondists (q.v.)--so
termed because several of their leaders came from the region of the
Gironde in southern France. They numbered about 330. Among the extreme
Left sat Cambon, Couthon, Merlin de Thionville. The Girondins could
claim the most brilliant orators, Vergniaud, Guadet, Isnard. Inferior to
these men in talent, Brissot de Warville, a restless pamphleteer,
exerted more influence over the party which has sometimes gone by his
name. The Left as a whole was republican, although it did not care to
say so. Strong in numbers, it was reinforced by the disorderly elements
in Paris and throughout France. The remainder of the House, about 250
deputies, scarcely belonged to any definite party, but voted oftenest
with the Left, as the Left was the most powerful.

  The court and the émigrés.

The Left had three objects of enmity: first, the king, the queen and the
royal family; secondly, the _émigrés_; and thirdly, the clergy. The king
could not like the new constitution, although, if left to himself,
indolence and good nature might have rendered him passive. The queen
throughout had only one thought, to shake off the impotence and
humiliation of the crown; and for this end she still clung to the hope
of foreign succour and corresponded with Vienna. Those _émigrés_ who had
assembled in arms on the territories of the electors of Mainz and Treves
(Trier) and in the Austrian Netherlands had put themselves in the
position of public enemies. Their chiefs were the king's brothers, who
affected to consider Louis as a captive and his acts as therefore
invalid. The count of Provence gave himself the airs of a regent and
surrounded himself with a ministry. The _émigrés_ were not, however,
dangerous. They were only a few thousand strong; they had no competent
leader and no money; they were unwelcome to the rulers whose hospitality
they abused. The nonjuring clergy, although harassed by the local
authorities, kept the respect and confidence of most Catholics. No acts
of disloyalty were proved against them, and commissioners of the
National Assembly reported to its successor that their flocks only
desired to be let alone. But the anti-clerical bias of the Legislative
Assembly was too strong for such a policy.

The king's ministers, named by him and excluded from the Assembly, were
mostly persons of little mark. Montmorin gave up the portfolio of
foreign affairs on the 31st of October and was succeeded by De Lessart.
Cahier de Gerville was minister of the interior; Tarbé, minister of
finance; and Bertrand de Molleville, minister of marine. But the only
minister who influenced the course of affairs was the comte de Narbonne,
minister of war.

  The king and the nonjurors.

  Declaration of Pillnitz.

On the 9th of November the Assembly decreed that the _émigrés_ assembled
on the frontiers should be liable to the penalties of death and
confiscation unless they returned to France by the 1st of January
following. Louis did not love his brothers, and he detested their
policy, which without rendering him any service made his liberty and
even his life precarious; yet, loath to condemn them to death, he vetoed
the decree. On the 29th of November the Assembly decreed that every
nonjuring clergyman must take within eight days the civic oath,
substantially the same as the oath previously administered, on pain of
losing his pension and, if any troubles broke out, of being deported.
This decree Louis vetoed as a matter of conscience. In either case his
resistance only served to give a weapon to his enemies in the Assembly.
But foreign affairs were at this time the most critical. The armed
bodies of _émigrés_ on the territory of the Empire afforded matter of
complaint to France. The persistence of the French in refusing more than
a money compensation to the German princes who had claims in Alsace
afforded matter of complaint to the Empire. Foreign statesmen noticed
with alarm the effect of the French Revolution upon opinion in their own
countries, and they resented the endeavours of French revolutionists to
make converts there. Of these statesmen, the emperor Leopold was the
most intelligent. He had skilfully extricated himself from the
embarrassments at home and abroad left by his predecessor Joseph. He was
bound by family ties to Louis, and he was obliged, as chief of the Holy
Roman Empire, to protect the border princes. On the other hand, he
understood the weakness of the Habsburg monarchy. He knew that the
Austrian Netherlands, where he had with difficulty restored his
authority, were full of friends of the Revolution and that a French army
would be welcomed by many Belgians. He despised the weakness and the
folly of the _émigrés_ and excluded them from his councils. He earnestly
desired to avoid a war which might endanger his sister or her husband.
In August 1791 he had met Frederick William II. of Prussia at Pillnitz
near Dresden, and the two monarchs had joined in a declaration that they
considered the restoration of order and of monarchy in France an object
of interest to all sovereigns. They further declared that they would be
ready to act for this purpose in concert with the other powers. This
declaration appears to have been drawn from Leopold by pressure of
circumstances. He well knew that concerted action of the powers was
impossible, as the English government had firmly resolved not to meddle
with French affairs. After Louis had accepted the constitution, Leopold
virtually withdrew his declaration. Nevertheless it was a grave error of
judgment and contributed to the approaching war.

In France many persons desired war for various reasons. Narbonne trusted
to find in it the means of restoring a certain authority to the crown
and limiting the Revolution. He contemplated a war with Austria only.
The Girondins desired war in the hope that it would enable them to
abolish monarchy altogether. They desired a general war because they
believed that it would carry the Revolution into other countries and
make it secure in France by making it universal. The extreme Left had
the same objects, but it held that a war for those objects could not
safely be entrusted to the king and his ministers. Victory would revive
the power of the crown; defeat would be the undoing of the Revolution.
Hence Robespierre and those who thought with him desired peace. The
French nation generally had never approved of the Austrian alliance, and
regarded the Habsburgs as traditional enemies. The king and queen,
however, who looked for help from abroad and especially from Leopold,
dreaded a war with Austria and had no faith in the schemes of Narbonne.
Nor was France in a condition to wage a serious war. The constitution
was unworkable and the governing authorities were mutually hostile. The
finances remained in disorder, and assignats of the face value of
900,000,000 livres were issued by the Legislative Assembly in less than
a year. The army had been thinned by desertion and was enervated by long
indiscipline. The fortresses were in bad condition and short of

In October Leopold ordered the dispersion of the _émigrés_ who had
mustered in arms in the Austrian Netherlands. His example was followed
by the electors of Treves and Mainz. At the same time they implored the
emperor's protection, and the Austrian chancellor Kaunitz informed
Noailles the French ambassador that this protection would be given if
necessary. Narbonne demanded a credit of 20,000,000 livres, which the
Assembly granted. He made a tour of inspection in the north of France
and reported untruly to the Assembly that all was in readiness for war.
On the 14th of January 1792 the diplomatic committee reported to the
Assembly that the emperor should be required to give satisfactory
assurances before the 10th of February. The Assembly put off the term to
the 1st of March. In February Leopold concluded a defensive treaty with
Frederick William. But there was no mutual confidence between the
sovereigns, who were at that very time pursuing opposite policies with
regard to Poland. Leopold still hesitated and still hoped to avoid war.
He died on the 1st of March, and the imperial dignity became vacant. The
hereditary dominions of Austria passed to his son Francis, afterwards
the emperor Francis II., a youth of small abilities and no experience.
The real conduct of affairs fell, therefore, to the aged Kaunitz. In
France Narbonne failed to carry the king or his colleagues along with
him. The king took courage to dismiss him on the 9th of March,
whereupon the assembly testified its confidence in Narbonne. De Lessart
having incurred its anger by the tameness of his replies to Austrian
dictation, the Assembly voted his impeachment.

  War declared against Austria.

The king, seeing no other course open, formed a new ministry which was
chiefly Girondin. Roland became minister of the interior, Clavière of
finance, De Grave of war, and Lacoste of marine. Far abler and more
resolute than any of these men was Dumouriez, the new minister for
foreign affairs. A soldier by profession, he had been employed in the
secret diplomacy of Louis XV. and had thus gained a wide knowledge of
international politics. He stood aloof from parties and had no rigid
principles, but held views closely resembling those of Narbonne. He
wished for a war with Austria which should restore some influence to the
crown and make himself the arbiter of France. The king bent to
necessity, and on the 20th of April came to the Assembly with the
proposal that war should be declared against Austria. It was carried by
acclamation. Dumouriez intended to begin with an invasion of the
Austrian Netherlands. As this would awaken English jealousy, he sent
Talleyrand to London with assurances that, if victorious, the French
would annex no territory.

It was designed that the French should invade the Netherlands at three
points simultaneously. Lafayette was to march against Namur, Biron
against Mons, and Dillon against Tournay. But the first movement
disclosed the miserable state of the army. Smitten with panic, Dillon's
force fled at sight of the enemy, and Dillon, after receiving a wound
from one of his own soldiers, was murdered by the mob of Lille. Biron
was easily routed before Mons. On hearing of these disasters Lafayette
found it necessary to retreat. This shameful discomfiture quickened all
the suspicion and jealousy fermenting in France. De Grave had to resign
and was succeeded by Servan. The Austrian forces in the Netherlands
were, however, so weak that they could not take the offensive. Austria
demanded help from Prussia under the recent alliance, and the claim was
admitted. Prussia declared war against France, and the duke of Brunswick
was chosen to command the allied forces, but various causes delayed
action. Austrian and Prussian interests clashed in Poland. The Austrian
government wished to preserve a harmless neighbour. The Prussian
government desired another partition and a large tract of Polish
territory. Only after long discussion was it agreed that Prussia should
be free to act in Poland, while Austria might find compensation in
provinces conquered from France.

  Émeute of the 20th of June 1792.

A respite was thus given and something was done to improve the army.
Meantime the Assembly passed three decrees: one for the deportation of
nonjuring priests, another to suppress the king's Constitutional Guard,
and a third for the establishment of a camp of _fédérés_ near Paris.
Louis consented to sacrifice his guard, but vetoed the other decrees.
Roland having addressed to him an arrogant letter of remonstrance, the
king with the support of Dumouriez dismissed Roland, Servan and
Clavière. Dumouriez then took the ministry of war, and the other places
were filled with such men as could be had. Dumouriez, who cared only for
the successful prosecution of the war, urged the king to accept the
decrees. As Louis was obstinate, he felt that he could do no more,
resigned office on the 15th of June and went to join the army of the
north. Lafayette, who remained faithful to the constitution of 1791,
ventured on a letter of remonstrance to the Assembly. It paid no
attention, for Lafayette could no longer sway the people. The Jacobins
tried to frighten the king into accepting the decrees and recalling his
ministers. On the 20th of June the armed populace invaded the hall of
the Assembly and the royal apartments in the Tuileries. For some hours
the king and queen were in the utmost peril. With passive courage Louis
refrained from making any promise to the insurgents.

The failure of the insurrection encouraged a movement in favour of the
king. Some twenty thousand Parisians signed a petition expressing
sympathy with Louis. Addresses of like tenour poured in from the
departments and the provincial cities. Lafayette himself came to Paris
in the hope of rallying the constitutional party, but the king and
queen eluded his offers of assistance. They had always disliked and
distrusted Lafayette and the Feuillants, and preferred to rest their
hopes of deliverance on the foreigner. Lafayette returned to his troops
without having effected anything. The Girondins made a last advance to
Louis, offering to save the monarchy if he would accept them as
ministers. His refusal united all the Jacobins in the project of
overturning the monarchy by force. The ruling spirit of this new
revolution was Danton, a barrister only thirty-two years of age, who had
not sat in either Assembly, although he had been the leader of the
Cordeliers, an advanced republican club, and had a strong hold on the
common people of Paris. Danton and his friends were assisted in their
work by the fear of invasion, for the allied army was at length
mustering on the frontier. The Assembly declared the country in danger.
All the regular troops in or near Paris were sent to the front.
Volunteers and _fédérés_ were constantly arriving in Paris, and,
although most went on to join the army, the Jacobins enlisted those who
were suitable for their purpose, especially some 500 whom Barbaroux, a
Girondin, had summoned from Marseilles. At the same time the National
Guard was opened to the lowest class. Brunswick's famous declaration of
the 25th of July, announcing that the allies would enter France to
restore the royal authority and would visit the Assembly and the city of
Paris with military execution if any further outrage were offered to the
king, heated the republican spirit to fury. It was resolved to strike
the decisive blow on the 10th of August.

  Rising of the 10th of August.

On the night of the 9th a new revolutionary Commune took possession of
the hôtel de ville, and early on the morning of the 10th the insurgents
assailed the Tuileries. As the preparations of the Jacobins had been
notorious, some measures of defence had been taken. Beside a few
gentlemen in arms and a number of National Guards the palace was
garrisoned by the Swiss Guard, about 950 strong. The disparity of force
was not so great as to make resistance altogether hopeless. But Louis
let himself be persuaded into betraying his own cause and retiring with
his family under the shelter of the Assembly. The National Guards either
dispersed or fraternized with the assailants. The Swiss Guard stood
firm, and, possibly by accident, a fusillade began. The enemy were
gaining ground when the Swiss received an order from the king to cease
firing and withdraw. They were mostly shot down as they were retiring,
and of those who surrendered many were murdered in cold blood next day.
The king and queen spent long hours in a reporter's box while the
Assembly discussed their fate and the fate of the French monarchy.
Little more than a third of the deputies were present and they were
almost all Jacobins. They decreed that Louis should be suspended from
his office and that a convention should be summoned to give France a new
constitution. An executive council was formed by recalling Roland,
Clavière and Servan to office and joining with them Danton as minister
of justice, Lebrun as minister of foreign affairs, and Monge as minister
of marine.

  The revolutionary Commune of Paris.

  The September massacres.

When Lafayette heard of the insurrection in Paris he tried to rally his
troops in defence of the constitution, but they refused to follow him.
He was driven to cross the frontier and surrender himself to the
Austrians. Dumouriez was named his successor. But the new government was
still beset with danger. It had no root in law and little hold on public
opinion. It could not lean on the Assembly, a mere shrunken remnant,
whose days were numbered. It remained dependent on the power which had
set it up, the revolutionary Commune of Paris. The Commune could
therefore extort what concessions it pleased. It got the custody of the
king and his family who were imprisoned in the Temple. Having obtained
an indefinite power of arrest, it soon filled the prisons of Paris. As
the elections to the Convention were close at hand, the Commune resolved
to strike the public with terror by the slaughter of its prisoners. It
found its opportunity in the progress of invasion. On the 19th Brunswick
crossed the frontier. On the 22nd Longwy surrendered. Verdun was
invested and seemed likely to fall. On the 1st of September the Commune
decreed that on the following day the tocsin should be rung, all
able-bodied citizens convened in the Champs de Mars, and 60,000
volunteers enrolled for the defence of the country. While this assembly
was in progress gangs of assassins were sent to the prisons and began a
butchery which lasted four days and consumed 1400 victims. The Commune
addressed a circular letter to the other cities of France inviting them
to follow the example. A number of state prisoners awaiting trial at
Orleans were ordered to Paris and on the way were murdered at
Versailles. The Assembly offered a feeble resistance to these crimes.
Danton can hardly be acquitted of connivance at them. Roland hinted
disapproval, but did not venture more. He with many other Girondins had
been marked for slaughter in the original project.

  The National Convention.

  Abolition of the monarchy.

The elections to the Convention were by almost universal suffrage, but
indifference or intimidation reduced the voters to a small number. Many
who had sat in the National, and many more who had sat in the
Legislative Assembly were returned. The Convention met on the 20th of
September. Like the previous assemblies, it did not fall into
well-defined parties. The success of the Jacobins in overthrowing the
monarchy had ended their union. Thenceforwards the name of Jacobin was
confined to the smaller and more fanatical group, while the rest came to
be known as the Girondins. The Jacobins, about 100 strong, formed the
Left of the Convention, afterwards known from the raised benches on
which they sat as the Mountain (q.v.). The Girondins, numbering perhaps
180, formed the Right. The rest of the House, nearly 500 members, voted
now on one side now on the other, until in the course of the Terror they
fell under the Jacobin domination. This neutral mass is often termed the
Plain, in allusion to its seats on the floor of the House. The
Convention as a whole was Republican, if not on principle, from the
feeling that no other form of government could be established. It
decreed the abolition of monarchy on the 21st of September. A committee
was named to draft a new constitution, which was presented and decreed
in the following June, but never took effect and was superseded by a
third constitution in 1795. The actual government of France was by
committees of the Convention, but some months passed before it could be
fully organized.

  Jacobins and Girondins.

The inner history of the Convention was strange and terrible. It turned
on the successive schisms in the ruling minority. Whichever side
prevailed destroyed its adversaries only to divide afresh and renew the
strife until the victors were at length so reduced that their yoke was
shaken off and the mass of the Convention, hitherto benumbed by fear,
resumed its freedom and the government of France. The first and most
memorable of these contests was the quarrel between Jacobin and
Girondin. Both parties were republican and democratic; both wished to
complete the Revolution; both were determined to maintain the integrity
of France. But they differed in circumstances and temperament. Although
the leaders on both sides were of the middle class, the Girondins
represented the _bourgeoisie_, the Jacobins represented the populace.
The Girondins desired a speedy return to law and order; the Jacobins
thought that they could keep power only by violence. The Jacobins leant
on the revolutionary commune and the mob of Paris; the Girondins leant
on the thriving burghers of the provincial cities. Despite their smaller
number the Jacobins were victors. They were the more resolute and
unscrupulous. The Girondins numbered many orators, but not one man of
action. The Jacobins controlled the parent club with its affiliated
societies and the whole machinery of terror. The Girondins had no
organized force at their disposal. The Jacobins perpetuated in a new
form the old centralization of power to which France was accustomed. The
Girondins addressed themselves to provincials who had lost the power of
initiative. They were termed federalists by their enemies and accused,
unjustly enough, of wishing to dissolve the national unity.

Even in the first days of the Convention the feud broke out. The
Girondins condemned the September massacres and dreaded the Parisian
populace. Barbaroux accused Robespierre of aiming at a dictatorship, and
Buzot demanded a guard recruited in the departments to protect the
Convention. In October Louvet reiterated the charge against Robespierre,
and Barbaroux called for the dissolution of the Commune of Paris. But
the Girondins gained no tangible result from this wordy warfare. For a
time the question how to dispose of the king diverted the thoughts of
all parties. It was approached in a political, not in a judicial spirit.
The Jacobins desired the death of Louis, partly because they hated kings
and deemed him a traitor, partly because they wished to envenom the
Revolution, defy Europe and compromise their more temperate colleagues.
The Girondins wished to spare Louis, but were afraid of incurring the
reproach of royalism. At this critical moment the discovery of the
famous iron chest, containing papers which showed that many public men
had intrigued with the court, was disastrous for Louis. Members of the
Convention were anxious to be thought severe lest they should be thought
corrupt. Robespierre frankly demanded that Louis as a public enemy
should be put to death without form of trial. The majority shrank from
such open injustice and decreed on the 3rd of December that Louis should
be tried by the Convention.

  Trial and execution of Louis XVI.

A committee of twenty-one was chosen to frame the indictment against
Louis, and on the 11th of December he was brought to the bar for the
first time to hear the charges read. The most essential might be summed
up in the statement that he had plotted against the Constitution and
against the safety of the kingdom. On the 26th Louis appeared at the bar
a second time, and the trial began. The advocates of Louis could plead
that all his actions down to the dissolution of the National Assembly
came within the amnesty then granted, and that the Constitution had
proclaimed his person inviolable, while enacting for certain offences
the penalty of deposition which he had already undergone. Such arguments
were not likely to weigh with such a tribunal. The Mountain called for
immediate sentence of death; the Girondins desired an appeal to the
people of France. The galleries of the Convention were packed with
adherents of the Jacobins, whose fury, not confined to words, struck
terror into all who might incline towards mercy. In Paris unmistakable
signs announced a new insurrection, to be followed perhaps by new
massacres. On the question whether Louis was guilty none ventured to
give a negative vote. The motion for an appeal to the people was
rejected by 424 votes to 283. The penalty of death was adopted by 361
votes against 360 in favour of other penalties or of postponing at least
the execution of the sentence. On the 21st of January 1793 Louis was
beheaded in the Place de la Révolution, now the Place de la Concorde.

  Battle of Valmy.

Between the deposition and the death of Louis the war had run a
surprising course. Accompanied by King Frederick William, Brunswick had
entered France with 80,000 men, of whom more than half were Prussians,
the best soldiers in Europe. The disorder of France was such that many
expected a triumphal march to Paris. But the Allies had opened the
campaign late; they moved slowly; the weather broke, and sickness began
to waste their ranks. Dumouriez succeeded in rousing the spirit of the
French; he occupied the defiles of the forest of Argonne, thus causing
the enemy to lose many valuable days, and when at last they turned his
position, he retreated without loss. At Valmy on the 20th of September
the two armies came in contact. The affair was only a cannonade, but the
French stood firm and the advance of the Allies was stayed. Brunswick
had no heart for his work; the king was ill satisfied with the
Austrians, and both were alarmed by the ravages of disease among the
soldiers. Within ten days after the affair of Valmy they began their
retreat. Dumouriez, who still hoped to detach Prussia from Austria, left
them unmolested. When the enemy had quitted France, he invaded Hainaut
and defeated the Austrians at Jemappes on the 6th of November. In
Belgium a large party regarded the French as deliverers. Dumouriez
entered Brussels without further resistance, and was soon master of the
whole country. Elsewhere the French were equally successful. With a
slight force Custine assailed the electorate of Mainz. The common
people were friendly, and he had no trouble in occupying the country as
far as the Rhine. The king of Sardinia having shown a hostile temper,
Montesquiou made an easy conquest of Savoy. At the close of 1792 the
relative position of France and her enemies had been reversed. It was
seen that the French were still able to wage war, and that the
revolutionary spirit had permeated the adjoining countries, while the
old governments of Europe, jealous of one another and uncertain of the
loyalty of their subjects, were ill qualified for resistance.

  The first coalition against France.

Intoxicated with these victories, the Convention abandoned itself to the
fervour of propaganda and conquest. The river Scheldt had been closed to
commerce by various treaties to which England and Holland, neutral
powers, were parties. Without a pretence of negotiation the French
government declared on the 16th of November that the Scheldt was
thenceforwards open. On the 19th a decree of the Convention offered the
aid of France to all nations which were striving after freedom--in other
words, to the malcontents in every neighbouring state. Not long
afterwards the Convention annexed Savoy, with the consent, it should be
added, of many Savoyards. On the 15th of December the Convention decreed
that all peoples freed by its assistance should carry out a revolution
like that which had been made in France on pain of being treated as
enemies. Towards Great Britain the executive council and the Convention
behaved with singular folly. There, in spite of a growing antipathy to
the Revolution, Pitt earnestly desired to maintain peace. The conquest
of the Netherlands and the symptoms of a wish to annex that country made
his task most difficult. But the French government underrated the
strength of Great Britain, imagining that all Englishmen who desired
parliamentary reform desired revolution, and that a few democratic
societies represented the nation. When Monge announced the intention of
attacking Great Britain on behalf of the English republicans, the
British government and nation were thoroughly alarmed and roused; and
when the news of the execution of Louis XVI. was received, Chauvelin,
the French envoy, was ordered to quit England. France declared war
against England and Holland on the 1st of February and soon afterwards
against Spain. In the course of the year 1793 the Empire, the kings of
Portugal and Naples and the grand-duke of Tuscany declared war against
France. Thus was formed the first coalition.

France was not prepared to encounter so many enemies. Administrative
confusion had been heightened by the triumph of the Jacobins. Servan was
succeeded as minister of war by Pache who was incapable and dishonest.
The army of Dumouriez was left in such want that it dwindled rapidly.
The commissioners of the Convention plundered the Netherlands with so
little remorse that the people became bitterly hostile. The attempt to
enforce a revolution of the French sort on the Catholic and conservative
Belgians drove them to fury. By every unfair means the commissioners
extorted the semblance of a popular vote in favour of incorporation, and
France annexed the Netherlands. This was the last outrage. When a new
Austrian army under the prince of Coburg entered the country, Dumouriez,
who had invaded Holland, was unable to defend Belgium. On the 18th of
March he was defeated at Neerwinden, and a few days later he was driven
back to the frontier. Alike on public and personal grounds Dumouriez was
the enemy of the government. Trusting in his influence over the army he
resolved to lead it against the Convention, and, in order to secure his
rear, he negotiated with the enemy. But he could make no impression on
his soldiers, and deserted to the Austrians. Events followed a similar
course in the Rhine valley. There also the French wore out the goodwill
at first shown to them. They summoned a convention and obtained a vote
for incorporation with France. But they were unable to hold their ground
on the approach of a Prussian army. By April they had lost the country
with the exception of Mainz, which was invested. France thus lay open to
invasion from the east and the north. The Convention decreed a levy of
300,000 men.

  Rising in La Vendée.

About the same time began the first formidable uprising against the
Revolution, the War of La Vendée, the region lying to the south of the
lower Loire and facing the Atlantic. Its inhabitants differed in many
ways from the mass of the nation. Living far from large towns and busy
routes of commerce, they remained primitive in all their thoughts and
ways. The peasants had always been on friendly terms with the gentry,
and the agrarian changes made by the Revolution had not been appreciated
so highly as elsewhere. The people were ardent Catholics, who venerated
the nonjuring clergy and resented the measures taken against them. But
they remained passive until the enforcement of the decree for the levy
of 300,000 men. Caring little for the Convention and knowing nothing of
events on the northern or eastern frontier, the peasants were determined
not to serve and preferred to fight the Republic at home. When once they
had taken up arms they found gentlemen to lead and priests to exhort,
and their rebellion became Royalist and Catholic. The chiefs were drawn
from widely different classes. If Bonchamps and La Roche-jacquelin were
nobles, Stofflet was a gamekeeper and Cathelineau a mason. As the
country was favourable to guerilla warfare, and the government could not
spare regular troops from the frontiers, the rebels were usually
successful, and by the end of May had almost expelled the Republicans
from La Vendée.

  The Committee of Public Safety.

Danger without and within prompted the Convention to strengthen the
executive authority. That the executive and legislative powers ought to
be absolutely separate had been an axiom throughout the Revolution.
Ministers had always been excluded from a seat in the legislature. But
the Assemblies were suspicious of the executive and bent on absorbing
the government. They had nominated committees of their own members to
control every branch of public affairs. These committees, while reducing
the ministers to impotence, were themselves clumsy and ineffectual. It
may be said that since the first meeting of the states-general the
executive authority had been paralysed in France. The Convention in
theory maintained the separation of powers. Even Danton had been forced
to resign office when he was elected a member. But unity of government
was restored by the formation of a central committee. In January the
first Committee of General Defence was formed of members of the
committees for the several departments of state. Too large and too much
divided for strenuous labour, it was reduced in April to nine members
and re-named the Committee of Public Safety. It deliberated in secret
and had authority over the ministers; it was entrusted with the whole of
the national defence and empowered to use all the resources of the
state, and it quickly became the supreme power in the republic. Under it
the ministers were no more than head clerks. About the same time were
instituted the deputies on mission in the provinces, who could overrule
any local authority, and who corresponded regularly with the Committee.
France thus returned under new forms to its traditional government: a
despotic authority in Paris with all-powerful agents in the provinces.
Against disaffection the government was armed with formidable weapons:
the Committee of General Security and the Revolutionary Tribunal. The
Committee of General Security, first established in October 1792, was
several times remodelled. In September 1793 the Convention decreed that
its members should be nominated by the Committee of Public Safety. The
Committee of General Security had unlimited powers for the prevention or
discovery of crime against the state. The Revolutionary Tribunal was
decreed on the 10th of March. It was an extraordinary Court, destined to
try all offences against the Revolution without appeal. The jury, which
received wages, voted openly, so that condemnation was almost certain.
The director of the jury or public prosecutor was Fouquier Tinville. The
first condemnation took place on the 11th of April.

  Fall of the Girondins.

Enmity between Girondin and Jacobin grew fiercer as the perils of the
Republic increased. Danton strove to unite all partisans of the
Revolution in defence of the country; but the Girondins, detesting his
character and fearing his ambition, rejected all advances. The Commune
of Paris and the journalists who were its mouthpieces, Hébert and Marat,
aimed frankly at destroying the Girondins. In April the Girondins
carried a decree that Marat should be sent before the Revolutionary
Tribunal for incendiary writings, but his acquittal showed that a
Jacobin leader was above the law. In May they proposed that the Commune
of Paris should be dissolved, and that the _suppléants_, the persons
elected to fill vacancies occurring in the Convention, should assemble
at Bourges, where they would be safe from that violence which might be
applied to the Convention itself. Barère, who was rising into notice by
the skill with which he trimmed between parties, opposed this motion,
and carried a decree appointing a Committee of Twelve to watch over the
safety of the Convention. Then the Commune named as commandant of the
National Guard, Hanriot, a man concerned in the September massacres. It
raised an insurrection on the 31st of May. On Barère's proposal the
Convention stooped to dissolving the Committee of Twelve. The Commune,
which had hoped for the arrest of the Girondin leaders, was not
satisfied. It undertook a new and more formidable outbreak on the 2nd of
June. Enclosed by Hanriot's troops and thoroughly cowed, the Convention
decreed the arrest of the Committee of Twelve and of twenty-two
principal Girondins. They were put under confinement in their own
houses. Thus the Jacobins became all-powerful.

  Revolt of the provinces.

A tremor of revolt ran through the cities of the south which chafed
under the despotism of the Parisian mob. These cities had their own
grievances. The Jacobin clubs menaced the lives and properties of all
who were guilty of wealth or of moderate opinions, while the
representatives on mission deposed the municipal authorities and placed
their own creatures in power. At the end of April the citizens of
Marseilles closed the Jacobin club, put its chiefs on their trial and
drove out the representatives on mission. In May Lyons rose. The Jacobin
municipality was overturned, and Challier, their fiercest demagogue, was
arrested. In June the citizens of Bordeaux declared that they would not
acknowledge the authority of the Convention until the imprisoned
deputies were set free. In July Toulon rebelled. But in the north the
appeals of such Girondins as escaped from Paris were of no avail. Even
the southern uprising proved far less dangerous than might have been
expected. The peasants, who had gained more by the Revolution than any
other class, held aloof from the citizens. The citizens lacked the
qualities necessary for the successful conduct of civil war. Bordeaux
surrendered almost without waiting to be summoned. Marseilles was taken
in August and treated with great cruelty. Lyons, where the Royalists
were strong, defended itself with courage, for the trial and execution
of Challier made the townsmen hopeless of pardon. Toulon, also largely
Royalist, invited the English and Spanish admirals, Hood and Langara,
who occupied the port and garrisoned the town. At the same time the
Vendean War continued formidable. In June the insurgents took the
important town of Saumur, although they failed in an attempt upon
Nantes. At the end of July the Republicans were still unable to make any
impression upon the revolted territory.

  Disunion of the allied powers.

Thus in the summer of 1793 France seemed to be falling to pieces. It was
saved by the imbecility and disunion of the hostile powers. In the north
the French army after the treason of Dumouriez could only attempt to
cover the frontier. The Austrians were joined by British, Dutch and
Prussian forces. Had the Allies pushed straight upon Paris, they might
have ended the war. But the desire of each ally to make conquests on his
own account led them to spend time and strength in sieges. When Condé
and Valenciennes had been taken, the British went off to assail Dunkirk
and the Prussians retired into Luxemburg. In the east the Prussians and
Austrians took Mainz at the end of July, allowing the garrison to depart
on condition of not serving against the Allies for a year. Then they
invaded Alsace, but their mutual jealousy prevented them from going
farther. Thus the summer passed away without any decisive achievement of
the coalition. Meanwhile the Committee of Public Safety, inspired by
Danton, strove to rebuild the French administrative system. In July the
Committee was renewed and Danton fell out; but soon afterwards it was
reinforced by two officers, Carnot, who undertook the organization of
the army, and Prieur of the Côte d'Or, who undertook its equipment.
Administrators of the first rank, these men renovated the warlike power
of France, and enabled her to deal those crushing blows which broke up
the coalition.

  The reign of terror.

The Royalist and Girondin insurrections and the critical aspect of the
war favoured the establishment of what is known as the reign of terror.
Terrorism had prevailed more or less since the beginning of the
Revolution, but it was the work of those who desired to rule, not of the
nominal rulers. It had been lawless and rebellious. It ended by becoming
legal and official. While Danton kept power Terrorism remained
imperfect, for Danton, although unscrupulous, did not love cruelty and
kept in view a return to normal government. But soon after Danton had
ceased to be a member of the Committee of Public Safety Robespierre was
elected, and now became the most powerful man in France. Robespierre was
an acrid fanatic, and unlike Danton, who only cared to secure the
practical results of the Revolution, he had a moral and religious ideal
which he intended to force on the nation. All who rejected his ideal
were corrupt; all who resented his ascendancy were traitors. The death
of Marat, who was stabbed by Charlotte Corday (q.v.) to avenge the
Girondins, gave yet another pretext for terrible measures of repression.
In Paris the armed ruffians who had long preyed upon respectable
citizens were organized as a revolutionary army, and other revolutionary
armies were established in the provinces. Two new laws placed almost
everybody at the mercy of the government. The Law of the Maximum, passed
on the 17th of September, fixed the price of food and made it capital to
ask for more. The Law of Suspects, passed at the same time, declared
suspect every person who was of noble birth, or had held office before
the Revolution, or had any connexion with an _émigré_, or could not
produce a card of _civisme_ granted by the local authority, which had
full discretion to refuse. Any suspect might be arrested and imprisoned
until the peace or sent before the Revolutionary Tribunal. An earlier
law had established in every commune an elective committee of
surveillance. These bodies, better known as revolutionary committees,
were charged with the enforcement of the Law of Suspects. On the 10th of
October the new constitution was suspended and the government declared
revolutionary until the peace.

  Execution of the queen.

The spirit of those in power was shown by the massacres which followed
on the surrender of Lyons in that month. In Paris the slaughter of
distinguished victims began with the trial of Marie Antoinette, who was
guillotined on the 16th. Twenty-one Girondin deputies were next brought
to the bar and, with the exception of Valazé who stabbed himself, were
beheaded on the last day of October, Madame Roland and other Girondins
of note suffered later. In November the duke of Orleans, who had styled
himself Philippe Égalité, had sat in the Convention, and had voted for
the king's death, went to the scaffold. Bailly, Barnave and many others
of note followed before the end of the year. As the bloody work went on
the pretence of trial became more and more hollow, the chance of
acquittal fainter and fainter. The Revolutionary Tribunal was a mere
instrument of state. Knowing the slight foundation of its power the
government deliberately sought to destroy all whose birth, political
connexions or past career might mark them out as leaders of opposition.
At the same time it took care to show that none was so obscure or so
impotent as to be safe when its policy was to destroy.

The disastrous effects of the Terror were heightened by the financial
mismanagement of the Jacobins. Assignats were issued with such reckless
profusion that the total for the three years of the Convention has been
estimated at 7250 millions of francs. Enormous depreciation ensued and,
although penalties rising to death itself were denounced against all who
should refuse to take them at par, they fell to little more than 1% of
their nominal value. What were known as revolutionary taxes were
imposed at discretion by the representatives on mission and the local
authorities. A forced loan of 1000 millions was exacted from those
citizens who were reputed to be prosperous. Immense supplies of all
kinds were requisitioned for the armies, and were sometimes allowed to
rot unused. Anarchy and state interference having combined to check the
trade in necessaries, the government undertook to feed the people, and
spent huge sums, especially on bread for the starving inhabitants of
Paris. As no regular budget was attempted, as accounts were not kept,
and as audit was unknown, the opportunities for fraud and embezzlement
were endless. Even when due allowance has been made for the financial
disorder which the Convention inherited from previous assemblies, and
for the war which it had to wage against a formidable alliance, it
cannot be acquitted of reckless and wasteful maladministration.

  Revolutionary legislation. The new calendar.

Notwithstanding the disorder of the time, the mass of new laws produced
by the Convention was extraordinary. A new system of weights and
measures, a new currency, a new chronological era (that of the
Republic), and a new calendar were introduced (see the section
_Republican Calendar_ below). A new and elaborate system of education
was decreed. Two drafts of a complete civil code were made and, although
neither was enacted, particular changes of great moment were decreed.
Many of the new laws were stamped with the passions of the time. Such
were the laws which suppressed all the remaining bodies corporate, even
the academies, and which extinguished all manorial rights without any
indemnity to the owners. Such too were the laws which took away the
power of testation, placed natural children upon an absolute equality
with legitimate, and gave a boundless freedom of divorce. It would be
absurd, however, to dismiss all the legislative work of the Convention
as merely partisan or eccentric. Much of it was enlightened and skilful,
the product of the best minds in the assembly. To compete for power or
even to express an opinion on public affairs was dangerous, and wholly
to refrain from attendance might be construed as disaffection. Able men
who wished to be useful without hazarding their lives took refuge in the
committees where new laws were drafted and discussed. The result of
their labours was often decreed as a matter of course. Whether the
decree would be carried into effect was always uncertain.

  Overthrow of the Paris Commune. Fall of the Dantonists.

The ruling faction was still divided against itself. The Commune of
Paris, which had overthrown the Girondins, was jealous of the Committee
of Public Safety, which meant to be supreme. Robespierre, the leading
member of the committee, abhorred the chiefs of the Commune, not merely
because they conflicted with his ambition but from difference of
character. He was orderly and temperate, they were gross and debauched;
he was a deist, they were atheists. In November the Commune fitted up
Notre Dame as a temple of Reason, selected an opera girl to impersonate
the goddess, and with profane ceremony installed her in the choir. All
the churches in Paris were closed. Danton, when he felt power slipping
from his hands, had retired from public business to his native town of
Arcis-sur-Aube. When he became aware of the feud between Robespierre and
the Commune, he conceived the hope of limiting the Terror and guiding
the Revolution into a sane course. He returned to Paris and joined with
Robespierre in carrying the law of 14 Frimaire (December 4), which gave
the Committee of Public Safety absolute control over all municipal
authorities. He became the advocate of mercy, and his friend Camille
Desmoulins pleaded for the same cause in the _Vieux Cordelier_. Then the
oppressed nation took courage and began to demand pardon for the
innocent and even justice upon murderers. A sharp contest ensued between
the Dantonists and the Commune, Robespierre inclining now to this side,
now to that, for he was really a friend to neither. His friend St Just,
a younger and fiercer man, resolved to destroy both. Hébert and his
followers in despair planned a new insurrection, but they were deserted
by Hanriot, their military chief. Their doom was thus fixed. Twenty
leaders of the Commune were arrested on the 17th of March 1794 and
guillotined a week later. It was then Danton's turn. He had several
warnings, but either through over-confidence or weariness of life he
scorned to fly. On the 30th he was arrested along with his friends
Desmoulins, Delacroix, Philippeaux and Westermann. St Just read to the
Convention a report on their case pre-eminent even in that day for its
shameless disregard of truth, nay, of plausibility. Before the
Revolutionary Tribunal Danton defended himself with such energy that St
Just took means to have him silenced. Danton and his friends were
executed on the 5th of April.

  Supremacy of Robespierre.

For a moment the conflict of parties seemed at an end. None could
presume to challenge the authority of the Committee of Public Safety,
and in the committee none disputed the leadership of Robespierre.
Robespierre was at last free to establish the republic of virtue. On the
7th of May he persuaded the Convention to decree that the French people
acknowledged the existence of a Supreme Being and the immortality of the
soul. On the 4th of June he was elected president of the Convention, and
from that time forward he appeared to be dictator of France. On the 8th
the festival of the Supreme Being was solemnized, Robespierre acting as
pontiff amid the outward deference and secret jeers of his colleagues.
But Robespierre knew what a gulf parted him from almost all his
countrymen. He knew that he could be safe only by keeping power and
powerful only by making the Terror more stringent. Two days after the
festival his friend Couthon presented the crowning law of the Terror,
known as the Law of 22 Prairial. As the Revolutionary Tribunal was said
to be paralysed by forms and delays, this law abolished the defence of
prisoners by counsel and the examination of witnesses. Thenceforward the
impressions of judges and jurors were to decide the fate of the accused.
For all offences the penalty was to be death. The leave of the
Convention was no longer required for the arrest of a member. In spite
of some murmurs even this law was adopted. Its effect was fearful. The
Revolutionary Tribunal had hitherto pronounced 1200 death sentences. In
the next six weeks it pronounced 1400. With Robespierre's approval St
Just sketched at this time the plan of an ideal society in which every
man should have just enough land to maintain him; in which domestic life
should be regulated by law and all children over seven years should be
educated by the state. Pending this regeneration of society St Just
advised the rule of a dictator.

  The Revolutionary War. Republican successes.

The growing ferocity of the Terror appeared more hideous as the dangers
threatening the government receded. The surrender of Toulon in December
1793 closed the south of France to foreign enemies. The war in La Vendée
turned against the insurgents from the time when the veteran garrison of
Mainz came to reinforce the Republican army. After a severe defeat at
Cholet on the 16th of October the Royalists determined to cross the
Loire and raise Brittany and Anjou, where the Chouans, or Royalist
partisans, were already stirring. They failed in an attempt on the
little seaport of Granville and in another upon Angers. In December they
were defeated with immense loss at Le Mans and at Savenay. The rebellion
would probably have died out but for the measures of the new Republican
general Turreau, who wasted La Vendée so horribly with his "infernal
columns" that he drove the peasants to take up arms once more. Yet
Turreau's crimes were almost surpassed by Carrier, the representative on
mission at Nantes, who, finding the guillotine too slow in the
destruction of his prisoners, adopted the plan of drowning them
wholesale. In the autumn of 1793 the war against the coalition took a
turn favourable to France. The energy of Danton, the organizing skill of
Carnot, and the high spirit of the French nation, resolute at all costs
to avoid dismemberment, had well employed the respite given by the
sluggishness of the Allies. In Flanders the English were defeated at
Hondschoote (September 8) and the Austrians at Wattignies (October 15).
In the east Hoche routed the Austrians at Weissenburg and forced them to
recross the Rhine before the end of 1793. The summer of 1794 saw France
victorious on all her frontiers. Jourdan won the battle of Fleurus
(June 25), which decided the fate of the Belgian provinces. The
Prussians were driven out of the eastern departments. Against the
Spaniards and the Sardinians the French were also successful.

  Fall of Robespierre. The 9th Thermidor.

Under these circumstances government by terror could not endure.
Robespierre was not a man of action; he knew not how to form or lead a
party; he lived not with his fellows but with his own thoughts and
ambitions. He was hated and feared by most of the oligarchy. They
laughed at his religion, resented his puritanism, and felt themselves in
daily peril. His only loyal friends in the Committee of Public Safety,
Couthon and St Just, were themselves unpopular. Robespierre professed
consideration for the deputies of the Plain, who were glad to buy safety
by conforming to his will; but he could not reckon on their help in time
of danger. By degrees a coalition against Robespierre was formed in the
Mountain. It included old followers of Danton like Taillen, independent
Jacobins like Cambon, some of the worst Terrorists like Fouché, and such
a consummate time-server as Barère. In the course of July its influence
began to be felt. When St Just proposed Robespierre to the committees as
dictator, he found no response. On the 8th Thermidor (26th of July)
Robespierre addressed the Convention, deploring the invectives against
himself and the Revolutionary Tribunal and demanding the purification of
the committees and the punishment of traitors. His enemies took the
speech as a declaration of war and thwarted a proposal that it should be
circulated in the departments. Robespierre felt his ascendancy totter.
He repeated his speech with more success to the Jacobin Club. His
friends determined to strike, and Hanriot ordered the National Guards to
hold themselves in readiness. Robespierre's enemies called on the
Committee of Public Safety to arrest the traitors, but the committee was
divided. On the morning of the 9th Thermidor St Just was beginning to
speak in the Convention when Tallien cut him short. Robespierre and all
who tried to speak in his behalf were shouted down. The Plain was deaf
to Robespierre's appeal. Finally the Convention decreed the arrest of
Robespierre, of his brother Augustin, of Couthon and of St Just. But the
Commune and the Jacobin Club were on the alert. They sounded the tocsin,
mustered their partisans, and released the prisoners. The Convention
outlawed Robespierre and his friends and sent out commissioners to rally
the citizens. It named Barras, a deputy who had served in the royal
army, to lead its forces. Had Robespierre possessed Danton's energy, the
result might have been doubtful. He did nothing himself and benumbed his
followers. Without an effort Barras captured the Hôtel de Ville.
Robespierre, whose jaw had been shattered by a pistol shot, was left in
agony for the night. On the next morning he was beheaded along with his
brother, Couthon, St Just, Hanriot and seventeen more of his adherents.
On the day after seventy-one members of the Commune followed them to the
scaffold. Such was the revolution of the 9th Thermidor (27th of July
1794) which ended the Reign of Terror.

In a period of fifteen months, it has been calculated, about 17,000
persons had been executed in France under form of law. The number of
those who were shot, drowned or otherwise massacred without the pretence
of a trial can never be accurately known, but must be reckoned far
greater. The number of persons arrested and imprisoned reached hundreds
of thousands, of whom many died in their crowded and filthy jails. The
names on the list of _émigrés_ at the close of the Terror were about
150,000. Of these a small proportion had borne arms against their
country. The rest were either harmless fugitives from destruction or had
never quitted France and had been placed on the list simply in order
that they might incur the penalties of emigration. Every one of this
multitude was liable to instant death if found in French territory.
Their relatives were subjected to various pains and penalties. All the
property of those condemned to death and of _émigrés_ was confiscated.
The carnage of the Terror spread far beyond the clergy and the nobility,
beyond even the middle class, for peasants and artisans were among the
victims. It spread far beyond those who could conspire or rebel, for
bedridden old men and women and young boys and girls were often
sacrificed. It made most havoc in the flower of the nation, since every
kind of eminence marked men for death. By imbuing Frenchmen with such a
mutual hatred as nothing but the arm of despotic power could control the
Reign of Terror rendered political liberty impossible for many years.
The rule of the Terrorists made inevitable the reign of Napoleon.

  Reaction after the Terror.

The fall of Robespierre had consequences unforeseen by his destroyers.
Long kept mute by fear, the mass of the nation found a voice and
demanded a total change of government. When once the reaction against
Jacobin tyranny had begun, it was impossible to halt. Great numbers of
prisoners were set at liberty. The Commune of Paris was abolished and
the office of commandant of the National Guard was suppressed. The
Revolutionary Tribunal was reorganized, and thenceforwards condemnations
were rare. The Committees of Public Safety and General Security were
remodelled, in virtue of a law that one-fourth of their number should
retire at the end of every month and not be re-eligible until another
month had elapsed. Somewhat later the Convention declared itself to be
the only centre of authority, and executive business was parcelled out
among sixteen committees. Most of the representatives on mission were
recalled, and many office-holders were displaced. The trial of 130
prisoners sent up from Nantes led to so many terrible disclosures that
public feeling turned still more fiercely against the Jacobins; Carrier
himself was condemned and executed; and in November the Jacobin Club was
closed. In December 73 members of the Convention who had been imprisoned
for protesting against the violence done to the Girondins on the 2nd of
June 1793 were allowed to resume their seats, and gave a decisive
majority to the anti-Jacobins. Soon afterwards the law of the Maximum
was repealed. A decree was passed in February 1795 severing the
connexion of church and state and allowing general freedom of worship.
At the beginning of March those Girondin deputies who survived came back
to their places in the Convention.

  Parties in the Assembly after Thermidor.

But the return to normal life after the Jacobin domination was not
destined to be smooth or continuous. Beside the remnant of Terrorists,
such as Billaud Varennes and Collot d'Herbois, who had joined in the
revolt against Robespierre, there were in the Convention at that time
three principal factions. The so-called Independents, such as Barras and
Merlin of Douai, who were all Jacobins, but had stood aloof from the
internal conflicts of the party, hated Royalism as much as ever and
desired the continuance of the war which was essential to their power.
The Thermidorians, the immediate agents in Robespierre's overthrow, such
as Tallien, had loudly professed Jacobinism, but wanted to make their
peace with the nation. They sought for an understanding with the
Girondins and Feuillants, and some went so far as to correspond with the
exiled princes. Lastly, those members who had never been Jacobins wanted
a speedy return to legal government at home and therefore wished for
peace abroad. While bent on preserving the civil equality introduced by
the Revolution, many of these men were indifferent as between
constitutional monarchy and a republic. The government, mainly
Thermidorian, trimmed between Moderates and Independents, and for this
reason its actions were often inconsistent.

  Progress of the reaction.

The Jacobins were strong enough to carry a decree for keeping the
anniversary of the execution of Louis XVI. as a national festival. They
could count on the populace, because work was still scarce, food was
still dear, and a multitude of Parisians knew not where to find bread. A
committee having recommended the indictment of Collot d'Herbois and
three other Terrorists, there ensued the rising of the 12th Germinal
(April 1). The mob forced their way into the hall of the Convention and
remained there until the National Guards of the wealthy quarters drove
them out. By a decree of the Convention the four accused persons were
deported to Cayenne, a new mode of dealing with political offenders
almost as effective as the guillotine, while less apt to excite
compassion. The National Guard was reorganized so as to exclude the
lowest class. The property of persons executed since the 10th of March
1793 was restored to their families. The signs of reaction daily became
more unmistakable. Worshippers crowded to the churches; the _émigrés_
returned by thousands; and Anti-Jacobin outbreaks, followed by massacre,
took place in the south. The despair of the Jacobins produced a second
rising in Paris on the 1st Prairial (May 20). Again the mob invaded the
Convention, murdered a deputy named Féraud who attempted to shield the
president, and set his head on a pike. The ultra-Jacobin members took
possession and embodied their wishes in decrees. Again the hall was
cleared by the National Guards, but order was restored in Paris only by
employing regular troops, a new precedent in the history of the
Revolution. Paris was disarmed, and several leaders of the insurrection
were sentenced to death. The Revolutionary Tribunal was suppressed.
Toleration was proclaimed for all priests who would declare their
obedience to the laws of the state. Royalists began to count upon the
restoration of young Louis the Dauphin, otherwise Louis XVII.; but his
health had been ruined by persevering cruelty, and he died on the 10th
of June.

  Progress of the war.

The Thermidorian government also endeavoured to pacify the rebels of the
west. Its best adviser, Hoche, recommended an amnesty and the assurance
of religious freedom. On these terms peace was made with the Vendéans at
La Jaunaie in February and with the Chouans at La Mabilais in April.
Some of the Vendean leaders persevered in resistance until May, and even
after their submission the peace was ill observed, for the Royalists
hearkened to the solicitations of the princes and their advisers. In the
hope of rekindling the civil war a body of _émigrés_ sailed under cover
of the British fleet and landed on the peninsula of Quiberon. They were
presently hemmed in by Hoche, and all who could not make their escape to
the ships were forced to surrender at discretion (July 20). Nearly 700
were executed by court-martial. Yet the spirit of revolt lingered in the
west and broke out time after time. Against the coalition the Republic
was gloriously successful. (See FRENCH REVOLUTIONARY WARS.) In the
summer of 1794 the French invaded Spain at both ends of the Pyrenees,
and at the close of the year they made good their footing in Catalonia
and Navarre. By the beginning of 1795 the Rhine frontier had been won.
Against the king of Sardinia alone they accomplished little. At sea the
French had sustained a severe defeat from Lord Howe, and several of
their colonies had been taken by the British. But Great Britain, when
the Netherlands were lost, could do little for her allies. Even before
the close of 1794 the king of Prussia retired from any active part in
the war, and on the 5th of April 1795 he concluded with France the
treaty of Basel, which recognized her occupation of the left bank of the
Rhine. The new democratic government which the French had established in
Holland purchased peace by surrendering Dutch territory to the south of
that river. A treaty of peace between France and Spain followed in July.
The grand duke of Tuscany had been admitted to terms in February. The
coalition thus fell into ruin and France occupied a more commanding
position than in the proudest days of Louis XIV.

  Constitution of the year III. The Directory.

But this greatness was unsure so long as France remained without a
stable government. A constitutional committee was named in April. It
resolved that the constitution of 1793 was impracticable and proceeded
to frame a new one. The draft was submitted to the Convention in June.
In its final shape the constitution established a parliamentary system
of two houses: a Council of Five Hundred and a Council of Ancients, 250
in number. Members of the Five Hundred were to be at least thirty years
of age, members of the Ancients at least forty. The system of indirect
election was maintained but universal suffrage was abandoned. A moderate
qualification was required for electors in the first degree, a higher
one for electors in the second degree.

When the 750 persons necessary had been elected they were to choose the
Ancients out of their own body. A legislature was to last for three
years, and one-third of the members were to be renewed every year. The
Ancients had a suspensory veto, but no initiative in legislation. The
executive was to consist of five directors chosen by the Ancients out of
a list elected by the Five Hundred. One director was to retire every
year. The directors were aided by ministers for the various departments
of State. These ministers did not form a council and had no general
powers of government. Provision was made for the stringent control of
all local authorities by the central government. Since the separation of
powers was still deemed axiomatic, the directors had no voice in
legislation or taxation, nor could directors or ministers sit in either
house. Freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of labour
were guaranteed. Armed assemblies and even public meetings of political
societies were forbidden. Petitions were to be tendered only by
individuals or through the public authorities. The constitution was not,
however, allowed free play from the beginning. The Convention was so
unpopular that, if its members had retired into private life, they would
not have been safe and their work might have been undone. It was
therefore decreed that two-thirds of the first legislature must be
chosen out of the Convention.

  Insurrection of 13 Vendémiaire.

When the constitution was submitted to the primary assemblies, most
electors held aloof, 1,050,000 voting for and only 5,000 voting against
it. On the 23rd of September it was declared to be law. Then all the
parties which resented the limit upon freedom of election combined to
rise in Paris. The government entrusted its defence to Barras; but its
true man of action was young General Bonaparte, who could dispose of a
few thousand regular troops and a powerful artillery. The Parisians were
ill-equipped and ill-led, and on the 13th of Vendémiaire (October 5)
their insurrection was quelled almost without loss to the victors. No
further resistance was possible. The Convention dissolved itself on the
26th of October.

  Balance of parties in the new legislature.

The feeling of the nation was clearly shown in the elections. Among
those who had sat in the Convention the anti-Jacobins were generally
preferred. A leader of the old Right was sometimes chosen by many
departments at once. Owing to this circumstance, 104 places reserved to
members of the Convention were left unfilled. When the persons elected
met they had no choice but to co-opt the 104 from the Left of the
Convention. The new one-third were, as a rule, enemies of the Jacobins,
but not of the Revolution. Many had been members of the Constituent or
of the Legislative Assembly. When the new legislature was complete, the
Jacobins had a majority, although a weak one. After the Council of the
Ancients had been chosen by lot, it remained to name the directors. For
its own security the Left resolved that all five must be old members of
the Convention and regicides. The persons chosen were Rewbell, Barras,
La Révellière Lépeaux, Carnot and Letourneur. Rewbell was an able,
although unscrupulous, man of action, Barras a dissolute and shameless
adventurer, La Révellière Lépeaux the chief of a new sect, the
Theophilanthropists, and therefore a bitter foe to other religions,
especially the Catholic. Severe integrity and memorable public services
raised Carnot far above his colleagues, but he was not a statesman and
was hampered by his past. Letourneur, a harmless insignificant person,
was his admirer and follower. The division in the legislature was
reproduced in the Directory. Rewbell, Barras and La Révellière Lépeaux
had a full measure of the Jacobin spirit; Carnot and Letourneur favoured
a more temperate policy.

  Character of the Directory.

With the establishment of the Directory the Revolution might seem
closed. The nation only desired rest and the healing of its many wounds.
Those who wished to restore Louis XVIII. and the _ancien régime_ and
those who would have renewed the Reign of Terror were insignificant in
number. The possibility of foreign interference had vanished with the
failure of the coalition. Nevertheless the four years of the Directory
were a time of arbitrary government and chronic disquiet. The late
atrocities had made confidence or goodwill between parties impossible.
The same instinct of self-preservation which had led the members of the
Convention to claim so large a part in the new legislature and the whole
of the Directory impelled them to keep their predominance. As the
majority of Frenchmen wanted to be rid of them, they could achieve their
purpose only by extraordinary means. They habitually disregarded the
terms of the constitution, and, when the elections went against them,
appealed to the sword. They resolved to prolong the war as the best
expedient for prolonging their power. They were thus driven to rely upon
the armies, which also desired war and were becoming less and less civic
in temper. Other reasons influenced them in this direction. The finances
had been so thoroughly ruined that the government could not have met its
expenses without the plunder and the tribute of foreign countries. If
peace were made, the armies would return home and the directors would
have to face the exasperation of the rank and file who had lost their
livelihood, as well as the ambition of generals who could in a moment
brush them aside. Barras and Rewbell were notoriously corrupt themselves
and screened corruption in others. The patronage of the directors was
ill bestowed, and the general maladministration heightened their

  Military triumphs under the Directory. Bonaparte.

The constitutional party in the legislature desired a toleration of the
nonjuring clergy, the repeal of the laws against the relatives of the
_émigrés_, and some merciful discrimination toward the _émigrés_
themselves. The directors baffled all such endeavours. On the other
hand, the socialist conspiracy of Babeuf was easily quelled (see BABEUF,
FRANÇOIS N.). Little was done to improve the finances, and the
_assignats_ continued to fall in value. But the Directory was sustained
by the military successes of the year 1796. Hoche again pacified La
Vendée. Bonaparte's victories in Italy more than compensated for the
reverses of Jourdan and Moreau in Germany. The king of Sardinia made
peace in May, ceding Nice and Savoy to the Republic and consenting to
receive French garrisons in his Piedmontese fortresses. By the treaty of
San Ildefonso, concluded in August, Spain became the ally of France. In
October Naples made peace. In 1797 Bonaparte finished the conquest of
northern Italy and forced Austria to make the treaty of Campo Formio
(October), whereby the emperor ceded Lombardy and the Austrian
Netherlands to the Republic in exchange for Venice and undertook to urge
upon the Diet the surrender of the lands beyond the Rhine.
Notwithstanding the victory of Cape St Vincent, England was brought into
such extreme peril by the mutinies in the fleet that she offered to
acknowledge the French conquest of the Netherlands and to restore the
French colonies. The selfishness of the three directors threw away this
golden opportunity. In March and April the election of a new third of
the Councils had been held. It gave a majority to the constitutional
party. Among the directors the lot fell on Letourneur to retire, and he
was succeeded by Barthélemy, an eminent diplomatist, who allied himself
with Carnot. The political disabilities imposed upon the relatives of
_émigrés_ were repealed. Priests who would declare their submission to
the Republic were restored to their rights as citizens. It seemed likely
that peace would be made and that moderate men would gain power.

  Coup d'état of the 18th Fructidor.

Barras, Rewbell and La Révellière-Lépeaux then sought help from the
armies. Although Royalists formed but a petty fraction of the majority,
they raised the alarm that it was seeking to restore monarchy and undo
the work of the Revolution. Hoche, then in command of the army of the
Sambre and Meuse, visited Paris and sent troops. Bonaparte sent General
Augereau, who executed the _coup d'état_ of the 18th Fructidor
(September 4). The councils were purged, the elections in forty-nine
departments were cancelled, and many deputies and other men of note were
arrested. Some of them, including Barthélemy, were deported to Cayenne.
Carnot made good his escape. The two vacant places in the Directory were
filled by Merlin of Douai and François of Neufchâteau. Then the
government frankly returned to Jacobin methods. The law against the
relatives of _émigrés_ was reenacted, and military tribunals were
established to condemn _émigrés_ who should return to France. The
nonjuring priests were again persecuted. Many hundreds were either sent
to Cayenne or imprisoned in the hulks of Ré and Oleron. La Révellière
Lépeaux seized the opportunity to propagate his religion. Many churches
were turned into Theophilanthropic temples. The government strained its
power to secure the recognition of the _décadi_ as the day of public
worship and the non-observance of Sunday. Liberty of the press ceased.
Newspapers were confiscated and journalists were deported wholesale. It
was proposed to banish from France all members of the old _noblesse_.
Although the proposal was dropped, they were all declared to be
foreigners and were forced to obtain naturalization if they would enjoy
the rights of other citizens. A formal bankruptcy of the state, the
cancelling of two-thirds of the interest on the public debt, crowned the
misgovernment of this disastrous time.

In the spring of 1798 not only a new third of the legislature had to be
chosen, but the places of the members expelled by the revolution of
Fructidor had to be filled. The constitutional party had been rendered
helpless, and the mass of the electors were indifferent. But among the
Jacobins themselves there had arisen an extreme party hostile to the
directors. With the support of many who were not Jacobins but detested
the government, it bade fair to gain a majority. Before the new deputies
could take their seats the directors forced through the councils the law
of the 22nd Floréal (May 11), annulling or perverting the elections in
thirty departments and excluding forty-eight deputies by name. Even this
_coup d'état_ did not secure harmony between the executive and the
legislature. In the councils the directors were loudly charged with
corruption and misgovernment. The retirement of François of Neufchâteau
and the choice of Treilhard as his successor made no difference in the
position of the Directory.

While France was thus inwardly convulsed, its rulers were doubly bound
to husband the national strength and practise moderation towards other
states. Since December 1797 a congress had been sitting at Rastadt to
regulate the future of Germany. That it should be brought to a
successful conclusion was of the utmost import for France. But the
directors were driven by self-interest to new adventures abroad.
Bonaparte was resolved not to sink into obscurity, and the directors
were anxious to keep him as far as possible from Paris; they therefore
sanctioned the expedition to Egypt which deprived the Republic of its
best army and most renowned captain. Coveting the treasures of Bern,
they sent Brune to invade Switzerland and remodel its constitution; in
revenge for the murder of General Duphot, they sent Berthier to invade
the papal states and erect the Roman Republic; they occupied and
virtually annexed Piedmont. In all these countries they organized such
an effective pillage that the French became universally hateful. As the
armies were far below the strength required by the policy of unbounded
conquest and rapine, the first permanent law of conscription was passed
in the summer of 1798. The attempt to enforce it caused a revolt of the
peasants in the Belgian departments. The priests were made responsible
and some eight thousand were condemned in a mass to deportation,
although much the greater part escaped by the goodwill of the people.
Few soldiers were obtained by the conscription, for the government was
as weak as it was tyrannical.

  The second coalition.

Under these circumstances Nelson's victory of Aboukir (1st of August),
which gave the British full command of the Mediterranean and secluded
Bonaparte in Egypt, was the signal for a second coalition. Naples,
Austria, Russia and Turkey joined Great Britain against France.
Ferdinand of Naples, rashly taking the offensive before his allies were
ready, was defeated and forced to seek a refuge in Sicily. In January
1799 the French occupied Naples and set up the Parthenopean republic.
But the consequent dispersion of their weak forces only exposed them to
greater peril. At home the Directory was in a most critical position. In
the elections of April 1799 a large number of Jacobins gained seats. A
little later Rewbell retired. It was imperative to fill his place with a
man of ability and influence. The choice fell upon Sieyès, who had kept
aloof from office and retained not only his immeasurable self-conceit
but the respect of the public. Sieyès felt that the Directory was
bankrupt of reputation, and he intended to be far more than a mere
member of a board. He hoped to concentrate power in his own hands, to
bridle the Jacobins, and to remodel the constitution. With the help of
Barras he proceeded to rid himself of the other directors. An
irregularity having been discovered in Treilhard's election, he retired,
and his place was taken by Gohier. Merlin of Douai and La Révellière
Lépeaux were driven to resign in June. They were succeeded by Moulin and
Ducos. The three new directors were so insignificant that they could
give no trouble, but for the same reason they were of little service.

  French reverses. The Directory discredited.

Such a government was ill fitted to cope with the dangers then gathering
round France. The directors having resolved on the offensive in Germany,
the French crossed the Rhine early in March, but were defeated by the
archduke Charles at Stockach on the 25th. The congress at Rastadt, which
had sat for fifteen months without doing anything, broke up in April and
the French envoys were murdered by Austrian hussars. In Italy the allies
took the offensive with an army partly Austrian, partly Russian under
the command of Suvárov. After defeating Moreau at Cassano on the 27th of
April, he occupied Milan and Turin. The republics established by the
French in Italy were overthrown, and the French army retreating from
Naples was defeated by Suvárov on the Trebbia. Thus threatened with
invasion on her German and Italian frontiers, France was disabled by
anarchy within. The finances were in the last distress; the
anti-religious policy of the government kept many departments on the
verge of revolt; and commerce was almost suspended by the decay of roads
and the increase of bandits. There was no real political freedom, yet
none of the ease or security which enlightened despotism can bestow. The
Terrorists lifted their heads in the Council of Five Hundred. A Law of
Hostages, which was really a new Law of Suspects, and a progressive
income tax showed the temper of the majority. The Jacobin Club was
reopened and became once more the focus of disorder. The Jacobin press
renewed the licence of Hébert and Marat. Never since the outbreak of the
Revolution had the public temper been so gloomy and desponding.

In this extremity Sieyès chose as minister of police the old Terrorist
Fouché, who best understood how to deal with his brethren. Fouché closed
the Jacobin Club and deported a number of journalists. But like his
predecessors Sieyès felt that for the revolution which he meditated he
must have the help of a soldier. As his man of action he chose General
Joubert, one of the most distinguished among French officers. Joubert
was sent to restore the fortune of the war in Italy. At Novi on the 15th
of August he encountered Suvárov. He was killed at the outset of the
battle and his men were defeated. After this disaster the French held
scarcely anything south of the Alps save Genoa. The Russian and Austrian
governments then agreed to drive the enemy out of Switzerland and to
invade France from the east. At the same time Holland was assailed by
the joint forces of Great Britain and Russia. But the second coalition,
like the first, was doomed to failure by the narrow views and
conflicting interests of its members. The invasion of Switzerland was
baffled by want of concert between Austrians and Russians and by
Masséna's victory at Zürich on the 25th and 26th of September. In
October the British and the Russians were forced to evacuate Holland.
All immediate danger to France was ended, but the issue of the war was
still in suspense. The directors had been forced to recall Bonaparte
from Egypt. He anticipated their order and on the 9th of October landed
at Fréjus.

  Coup d'état of the 18th Brumaire.

Dazzled by his victories in the East the public forgot that the Egyptian
expedition was ending in calamity. It received him with an ardour which
convinced Sieyès that he was the indispensable soldier. Bonaparte was
ready to act, but at his own time and for his own ends. Since the close
of the Convention affairs at home and abroad had been tending more and
more surely to the establishment of a military dictatorship. Feeling his
powers equal to such an office he only hesitated about the means of
attainment. At first he thought of becoming a director; finally he
decided upon a partnership with Sieyès. They resolved to end the actual
government by a fresh _coup d'état_. Means were to be taken for removing
the councils from Paris to St Cloud, where pressure could more easily be
applied. Then the councils would be induced to decree a provisional
government by three consuls and the appointment of a commission to
revise the constitution. The pretext for this irregular proceeding was
to be a vast Jacobin conspiracy. Perhaps the gravest obstacles were to
be expected from the army. Of the generals, some, like Jourdan, were
honest republicans; others, like Bernadotte, believed themselves capable
of governing France. With perfect subtlety Bonaparte worked on the
feelings of all and kept his own intentions secret.

On the morning of the 18th Brumaire (November 9) the Ancients, to whom
that power belonged, decreed the transference of the councils to St
Cloud. Of the directors, Sieyès and his friend Ducos had arranged to
resign; Barras was cajoled and bribed into resigning; Gohier and
Moulins, who were intractable, found themselves imprisoned in the
Luxemburg palace and helpless. So far all had gone well. But when the
councils met at St Cloud on the following day, the majority of the Five
Hundred showed themselves bent on resistance, and even the Ancients gave
signs of wavering. When Bonaparte addressed the Ancients, he lost his
self-possession and made a deplorable figure. When he appeared among the
Five Hundred, they fell upon him with such fury that he was hardly
rescued by his officers. A motion to outlaw him was only baffled by the
audacity of the president, his brother Lucien. At length driven to
undisguised violence, he sent in his grenadiers, who turned out the
deputies. Then the Ancients passed a decree which adjourned the Councils
for three months, appointed Bonaparte, Sieyès and Ducos provisional
consuls, and named the Legislative Commission. Some tractable members of
the Five Hundred were afterwards swept up and served to give these
measures the confirmation of their House. Thus the Directory and the
Councils came to their unlamented end. A shabby compound of brute force
and imposture, the 18th Brumaire was nevertheless condoned, nay
applauded, by the French nation. Weary of revolution, men sought no more
than to be wisely and firmly governed.

  General estimate of the Revolution.

Although the French Revolution seemed to contemporaries a total break in
the history of France, it was really far otherwise. Its results were
momentous and durable in proportion as they were the outcome of causes
which had been working long. In France there had been no historic
preparation for political freedom. The desire for such freedom was in
the main confined to the upper classes. During the Revolution it was
constantly baffled. No Assembly after the states-general was freely
elected and none deliberated in freedom. After the Revolution Bonaparte
established a monarchy even more absolute than the monarchy of Louis
XIV. But the desire for uniformity, for equality and for what may be
termed civil liberty was the growth of ages, had been in many respects
nurtured by the action of the crown and its ministers, and had become
intense and general. Accordingly it determined the principal results of
the Revolution. Uniformity of laws and institutions was enforced
throughout France. The legal privileges formerly distinguishing
different classes were suppressed. An obsolete and burthensome agrarian
system was abolished. A number of large estates belonging to the crown,
the clergy and the nobles were broken up and sold at nominal prices to
men of the middle or lower class. The new jurisprudence encouraged the
multiplication of small properties. The new fiscal system taxed men
according to their means and raised no obstacle to commerce within the
national boundaries. Every calling and profession was made free to all
French citizens, and in the public service the principle of an open
career for talent was adopted. Religious disabilities vanished, and
there was well-nigh complete liberty of thought. It was because Napoleon
gave a practical form to these achievements of the Revolution and
ensured the public order necessary to their continuance that the
majority of Frenchmen endured so long the fearful sacrifices which his
policy exacted.

That a revolution largely inspired by generous and humane feeling should
have issued in such havoc and such crimes is a paradox which astounded
spectators and still perplexes the historian. Something in the cruelty
of the French Revolution may be ascribed to national character. From the
time when Burgundians and Armagnacs strove for dominion down to the last
insurrection of Paris, civil discord in France has always been cruel.
More, however, was due to the total dissolution of society which
followed the meeting of the states-general. In the course of the
Revolution we can discover no well-organized party, no governing mind.
Mirabeau had the stuff of a great statesman, and Danton was capable of
statesmanship. But these men were not followed or obeyed save by
accident or for a moment. Those who seemed to govern were usually the
sport of chance, often the victims of their colleagues. Neither
Royalists nor Feuillants nor Girondins had the instinct of government.
In the chaotic state of France all ferocious and destructive passions
found ample scope. The same conditions explain the triumph of the
Jacobins. Devoid of wisdom and virtue in the highest sense, they at
least understood how power might be seized and kept. The Reign of Terror
was the expedient of a party which knew its weakness and unpopularity.
It was not necessary either to secure the lasting benefits of the
Revolution or to save France from dismemberment; for nine Frenchmen out
of ten were agreed on both of these points and were ready to lay down
their lives for the national cause.

In the history of the French Revolution the influence which it exerted
upon the surrounding countries demands peculiar attention. The French
professed to act upon principles of universal authority, and from an
early date they began to seek converts outside their own limits. The
effect was slight upon England, which had already secured most of the
reforms desired by the French, and upon Spain, where the bulk of the
people were entirely submissive to church and king. But in the
Netherlands, in western Germany and in northern Italy, countries which
had attained a degree of civilization resembling that of France, where
the middle and lower classes had grievances and aspirations not very
different from those of the French, the effect was profound. Fear of
revolution at home was one of the motives which led continental
sovereigns to attack revolution in France. Their incoherent efforts only
confirmed the Jacobin supremacy. Wherever the victorious French extended
their dominion, they remodelled institutions in the French manner. Their
sway proved so oppressive that the very classes which had welcomed them
with most fervour soon came to long for their expulsion. But
revolutionary ideas kept their charm. Under Napoleon the essential part
of the changes made by the Republic was preserved in these countries
also. Moreover the effacement of old boundaries, the overthrow of
ancestral governments, and the invocation, however hollow, of the
sovereignty of the people, awoke national feeling which had slumbered
long and prepared the struggle for national union and independence in
the 19th century.

  See also FRANCE, sections _History_ and _Law and Institutions_. For
  the leading figures in the Revolution see their biographies under
  separate headings. Particular phases, facts, and institutions of the
  period are also separately dealt with, e.g. ASSIGNATS, CONVENTION, THE

  BIBLIOGRAPHY.--The MS. authorities for the history of the French
  Revolution are exceedingly copious. The largest collection is in the
  Archives Nationales in Paris, but an immense number of documents are
  to be found in other collections in Paris and the provinces. The
  printed materials are so abundant and varied that any brief notice of
  them must be imperfect.

  The condition of France and the state of public opinion at the
  beginning of the Revolution may be studied in the printed collections
  of _Cahiers_. The _Cahiers_ were the statements of grievances drawn up
  for the guidance of deputies to the States-General by those who had
  elected them. In every _bailliage_ and _sénéchaussée_ each estate drew
  up its own cahier and the cahiers of the Third Estate were condensed
  from separate cahiers drawn up by each parish in the district. Thus
  the cahiers of the Third Estate number many thousands, the greater
  part of which have not yet been printed. Among the collections printed
  we may mention _Les Élections et les cahiers de Paris en 1789_, by C.
  L. Chassin (4 vols., Paris, 1888); _Cahiers de plaintes et doléances
  des paroisses de la province de Maine_, by A. Bellée and V. Duchemin
  (4 vols., Le Mans, 1881-1893); _Cahiers de doléances de 1789 dans le
  département du Pas-de-Calais_, by H. Loriquet (2 vols., Arras, 1891);
  _Cahiers des paroisses et communautés du bailliage d'Autun_, by A.
  Charmasse (Autun, 1895). New collections are printed from time to
  time. A more general collection of cahiers than any above named is
  given in vols. i.-vi. of the _Archives parlementaires_. The cahiers
  must not be read in a spirit of absolute faith, as they were
  influenced by certain models circulated at the time of the elections
  and by popular excitement, but they remain an authority of the utmost
  value and a mine of information as to old France. Reference should
  also be made to the works of travellers who visited France at the
  outbreak of the Revolution. Among these Arthur Young's _Travels in
  France during the years 1787, 1788 and 1789_ (2 vols., Bury St
  Edmunds, 1792-1794) are peculiarly instructive.

  For the history of the Assemblies during the Revolution a main
  authority is their _Procès verbaux_ or Journals; those of the
  Constituent Assembly in 75 vols., those of the Legislative Assembly in
  16 vols.; those of the Convention in 74 vols., and those of the
  Councils under the Directory in 99 vols. See also the _Archives
  parlementaires_ edited by J. Mavidal and E. Laurent (Paris, 1867, and
  the following years); the _Histoire parlementaire de la Révolution_,
  by P. J. B. Buchez and P. C. Roux (Paris, 1838), and the _Histoire de
  la Révolution par deux amis de la liberté_ (Paris, 1792-1803).

  The newspapers, of which a few have been mentioned in the text, were
  numerous. They are useful chiefly as illustrating the ideas and
  passions of the time, for they give comparatively little information
  as to facts and that little is peculiarly inaccurate. The ablest of
  the Royalist journals was Mallet du Pan's _Mercure de France_.
  Pamphlets of the Revolution period number many thousands. Such
  pamphlets as Mounier's _Nouvelles Observations sur les États-Généraux
  de France_ and Sieyès's _Qu'est-ce que le Tiers État_ had a notable
  influence on opinion. The richest collections of Revolution pamphlets
  are in the Bibliothèque Nationale of Paris and in the British Museum.

  The contemporary memoirs, &c., already published are numerous and
  fresh ones are always coming forth. A few of the best known and most
  useful are, for the Constituent Assembly, the memoirs of Bailly, of
  Ferrières, of Malouet. The _Correspondence of Mirabeau with the Count
  de la Marck_, edited by Bacourt (3 vols., Paris, 1851), is especially
  valuable. Dumont's _Recollections of Mirabeau_ and the _Diary and
  Letters of Gouverneur Morris_ give the impressions of foreigners with
  peculiar advantages for observing. For the Legislative Assembly and
  the Convention the memoirs of Madame Roland, of Bertrand de
  Molleville, of Barbaroux, of Buzot, of Louvet, of Dumouriez are
  instructive. For the Directory the memoirs of Barras, of La Révellière
  Lépeaux and of Thibaudeau deserve mention. The memoirs of Lafayette
  are useful. Those of Talleyrand are singularly barren, the result, no
  doubt, of deliberate suppression. The memoirs of the marquise de La
  Rochejacquelein are important for the war of La Vendée. The most
  notable Jacobins have seldom left memoirs, but the works of
  Robespierre and St Just enable us to form a clearer conception of the
  authors. The correspondence of the count of Mercy-Argenteau, the
  imperial ambassador, with Joseph II. and Kaunitz, and the
  correspondence of Mallet du Pan with the court of Vienna, are also
  instructive. But the contemporary literature of the French Revolution
  requires to be read in an unusually critical spirit. At no other
  historical crisis have passions been more fiercely excited; at none
  have shameless disregard of truth and blind credulity been more

  Among later works based on these original materials the first place
  belongs to general histories. In French Louis Blanc's _Histoire de la
  Révolution_ (12 vols., Paris, 1847-1862), and Michelet's _Histoire de
  la Révolution Française_ (9 vols., Paris, 1847-1853), are the most
  elaborate of the older works. Michelet's book is marked by great
  eloquence and power. In H. Taine's _Origines de la France
  contemporaine_ (Paris, 1876-1894) three volumes are devoted to the
  Revolution. They show exceptional talent and industry, but their value
  is impaired by the spirit of system and by strong prepossessions. F.
  A. M. Mignet's _Histoire de la Révolution Française_ (2 vols., Paris,
  1861), short and devoid of literary charm, has the merits of learning
  and judgment and is still useful. F. A. Aulard's _Histoire politique
  de la Révolution Française_ (Paris, 1901) is a most valuable précis of
  political history, based on deep knowledge and lucidly set forth,
  although not free from bias. The volume on the Revolution in Lavisse
  and Rambaud's _Histoire générale de l'Europe_ (Paris, 1896) is the
  work of distinguished scholars using the latest information. In
  English, general histories of the Revolution are few. Carlyle's famous
  work, published in 1837, is more of a prose epic than a history,
  omitting all detail which would not heighten the imaginative effect
  and tinged by all the favourite ideas of the author. Some fifty years
  later H. M. Stephens published the first (1886) and second (1892)
  volumes of a _History of the French Revolution_. They are marked by
  solid learning and contain much information. Volume viii. of the
  _Cambridge Modern History_, published in 1904, contains a general
  survey of the Revolution.

  The most notable German work is H. von Sybel's _Geschichte der
  Revolutionszeit_ (5 vols., Stuttgart, 1853-1879). It is strongest in
  those carts which relate to international affairs and foreign policy.
  There is an English translation.

  None of the general histories of the Revolution above named is really
  satisfactory. The immense mass of material has not yet been thoroughly
  sifted; and the passions of that age still disturb the judgment of the
  historian. More successful have been the attempts to treat particular
  aspects of the Revolution.

  The foreign relations of France during the Revolution have been most
  ably unravelled by A. Sorel in _L'Europe et la Révolution Française_
  (8 vols., Paris, 1885-1904) carrying the story down to the settlement
  of Vienna. Five volumes cover the years 1789-1799.

  The financial history of the Revolution has been traced by C. Gomel,
  _Histoire financière de l'Assemblée Constituante_ (2 vols., Paris,
  1897), and R. Stourm, _Les Finances de l'Ancien Régime et de la
  Révolution_ (2 vols., Paris, 1885).

  The relations of Church and State are sketched in E. Pressensé's
  _L'Église et la Révolution Française_ (Paris, 1889).

  The general legislation of the period has been discussed by Ph.
  Sagnac, _La Législation civile de la Révolution Française_ (Paris,
  1898). The best work upon the social life of the period is the
  _Histoire de la société française sous la Révolution_, by E. and J. de
  Goncourt (Paris, 1889). For military history see A. Duruy, _L'Armée
  royale en 1789_ (Paris, 1888); E. de Hauterive, _L'Armée sous la
  Révolution, 1789-1794_ (Paris, 1894); A. Chuquet, _Les Guerres de la
  Révolution_ (Paris, 1886, &c.). See also the memoirs and biographies
  of the distinguished soldiers of the Republic and Empire, too numerous
  for citation here.

  Modern lives of the principal actors in the Revolution are numerous.
  Among the most important are _Mémoires de Mirabeau_, by L. de Montigny
  (Paris, 1834); _Les Mirabeau_, by L. de Loménie (Paris, 1889-1891); H.
  L. de Lanzac de Laborie's _Jean Joseph Mounier_ (Paris, 1889); B.
  Mallet's _Mallet du Pan and the French Revolution_ (London, 1902);
  Robinet's _Danton_ (Paris, 1889); Hamel's _Histoire de Robespierre_
  (Paris, 1865-1867) and _Histoire de St-Just_ (2 vols., Brussels,
  1860); A. Bigeon, _Sieyès_ (Paris, 1893); _Memoirs of Carnot_, by his
  son (2 vols., Paris, 1861-1864).

  For fuller information see M. Tourneux, _Les Sources bibliographiques
  de l'histoire de la Révolution Française_ (Paris, 1898, etc.), and
  _Bibliographie de l'histoire de Paris pendant la Révolution_ (Paris,
  1890, etc.).     (F. C. M.)

_French Republican Calendar._--Among the changes made during the
Revolution was the substitution of a new calendar, usually called the
revolutionary or republican calendar, for the prevailing Gregorian
system. Something of the sort had been suggested in 1785 by a certain
Riboud, and a definite scheme had been promulgated by Pierre Sylvain
Maréchal (1750-1803) in his _Almanach des honnêtes gens_ (1788). The
objects which the advocates of a new calendar had in view were to strike
a blow at the clergy and to divorce all calculations of time from the
Christian associations with which they were loaded, in short, to abolish
the Christian year; and enthusiasts were already speaking of "the first
year of liberty" and "the first year of the republic" when the national
convention took up the matter in 1793. The business of drawing up the
new calendar was entrusted to the president of the committee of public
instruction, Charles Gilbert Romme (1750-1795), who was aided in the
work by the mathematicians Gaspard Monge and Joseph Louis Lagrange, the
poet Fabre d'Églantine and others. The result of their labours was
submitted to the convention in September; it was accepted, and the new
calendar became law on the 5th of October 1793. The new arrangement was
regarded as beginning on the 22nd of September 1792, this day being
chosen because on it the republic was proclaimed and because it was in
this year the day of the autumnal equinox.

By the new calendar the year of 365 days was divided into twelve months
of thirty days each, every month being divided into three periods of ten
days, each of which were called _décades_, and the tenth, or last, day
of each decade being a day of rest. It was also proposed to divide the
day on the decimal system, but this arrangement was found to be highly
inconvenient and it was never put into practice. Five days of the 365
still remained to be dealt with, and these were set aside for national
festivals and holidays and were called _Sans-culottides_. They were to
fall at the end of the year, i.e. on the five days between the 17th and
the 21st of September inclusive, and were called the festivals of
virtue, of genius, of labour, of opinion and of rewards. A similar
course was adopted with regard to the extra day which occurred once in
every four years, but the first of these was to fall in the year III.,
i.e. in 1795, and not in 1796, the leap year in the Gregorian calendar.
This day was set apart for the festival of the Revolution and was to be
the last of the _Sans-culottides_. Each period of four years was to be
called a _Franciade_.

  |               AN II.             |     AN III.    |     AN IV.    |     AN V.    |     AN VI.    |     AN VII.    |     AN VIII.    |     AN IX.    |
  |             1793-1794            |   1794-1795.   |   1795-1796.  |  1796-1797.  |   1797-1798.  |   1798-1799.   |    1799-1800.   |   1800-1801.  |
  | 1 Vendémiaire   | 22 Sept. 1793  | 22 Sept. 1794  | 23 Sept. 1795 | 22 Sept. 1796| 22 Sept. 1797 |  22 Sept. 1798 |  23 Sept. 1799  | 23 Sept. 1800 |
  | 1 Brumaire      | 22 Oct.   "    | 22 Oct.    "   | 23 Oct.    "  | 22 Oct.    " | 22 Oct.    "  |  22 Oct.    "  |  23 Oct.    "   | 23 Oct.   "   |
  | 1 Frimaire      | 21 Nov.   "    | 21 Nov.    "   | 22 Nov.    "  | 21 Nov.    " | 21 Nov.    "  |  21 Nov.    "  |  22 Nov.    "   | 22 Nov.   "   |
  | 1 Nivôse        | 21 Déc.   "    | 21 Déc.    "   | 22 Déc.    "  | 21 Déc.    " | 21 Déc.    "  |  21 Déc.    "  |  22 Déc.    "   | 22 Déc.   "   |
  | 1 Pluviôse      | 20 Janv. 1794  | 20 Janv. 1795  | 21 Janv. 1796 | 20 Janv. 1797| 20 Janv. 1798 |  20 Janv. 1799 |  21 Janv. 1800  | 21 Janv. 1801 |
  | 1 Ventôse       | 19 Févr.  "    | 19 Févr.   "   | 20 Févr.   "  | 19 Févr.   " | 19 Fév.    "  |  19 Fév.    "  |  20 Fév.    "   | 20 Fév.   "   |
  | 1 Germinal      | 21 Mars   "    | 21 Mars    "   | 21 Mars    "  | 21 Mars    " |  1 Mars    "  |  21 Mars    "  |  22 Mars    "   | 22 Mars   "   |
  | 1 Floréal       | 20 Avr.   "    | 20 Avr.    "   | 20 Avr.    "  | 20 Avr.    " | 20 Avr.    "  |  20 Avr.    "  |  21 Avr.    "   | 21 Avr.   "   |
  | 1 Prairial      | 20 Mai    "    | 20 Mai     "   | 20 Mai     "  | 20 Mai     " | 20 Mai     "  |  20 Mai     "  |  21 Mai     "   | 21 Mai    "   |
  | 1 Messidor      | 19 Juin   "    | 19 Juin    "   | 19 Juin    "  | 19 Juin    " | 19 Juin    "  |  19 Juin    "  |  20 Juin    "   | 20 Juin   "   |
  | 1 Thermidor     | 19 Juil.  "    | 19 Juil.   "   | 19 Juil.   "  | 19 Juil.   " | 19 Juil.   "  |  19 Juil.   "  |  20 Juil.   "   | 20 Juil.  "   |
  | 1 Fructidor     | 18 Août   "    | 18 Août    "   | 18 Août    "  | 18 Août    " | 18 Août    "  |  18 Août    "  |  19 Août    "   | 19 Août   "   |
  |1 Sans-culottides| 17 Sept. 1794  | 17 Sept. 1795  | 17 Sept. 1796 | 17 Sept. 1797| 17 Sept. 1798 |  17 Sept. 1799 |  18 Sept. 1800  | 18 Sept. 1801 |
  |6       "        |                | 22  "      "   |               |              |               |  22   "     "  |                 |               |

  |                 AN X.                 |       AN XI.      |      AN XII.      |      AN XIII.     |      AN XIV.      |
  |               1801-1802.              |     1802-1803.    |     1803-1804.    |     1804-1805.    |       1805.       |
  | 1 Vendémiaire     | 23 Septembre 1801 | 23 Septembre 1802 | 24 Septembre 1803 | 23 Septembre 1804 | 23 Septembre 1805 |
  | 1 Brumaire        | 23 Octobre    "   | 23 Octobre     "  | 24 Octobre    "   | 23 Octobre    "   | 23 Octobre     "  |
  | 1 Frimaire        | 22 Novembre   "   | 22 Novembre    "  | 23 Novembre   "   | 22 Novembre   "   | 22 Novembre    "  |
  | 1 Nivôse          | 22 Décembre   "   | 22 Décembre    "  | 23 Décembre   "   | 22 Décembre   "   | 22 Décembre    "  |
  | 1 Pluviôse        | 21 Janvier   1802 | 21 Janvier   1803 | 22 Janvier   1804 | 21 Janvier   1805 |                   |
  | 1 Ventôse         | 20 Février    "   | 20 Février     "  | 21 Février    "   | 20 Février    "   |                   |
  | 1 Germinal        | 22 Mars       "   | 22 Mars        "  | 22 Mars       "   | 22 Mars       "   |                   |
  | 1 Floréal         | 21 Avril      "   | 21 Avril       "  | 21 Avril      "   | 21 Avril      "   |                   |
  | 1 Prairial        | 21 Mai        "   | 21 Mai         "  | 21 Mai        "   | 21 Mai        "   |                   |
  | 1 Messidor        | 20 Juin       "   | 20 Juin        "  | 20 Juin       "   | 20 Juin       "   |                   |
  | 1 Thermidor       | 20 Juillet    "   | 20 Juillet     "  | 20 Juillet    "   | 20 Juillet    "   |                   |
  | 1 Fructidor       | 19 Août       "   | 19 Août        "  | 19 Août       "   | 19 Août       "   |                   |
  | 1 Sans-culottides | 18 Septembre 1802 | 18 Septembre 1803 | 18 Septembre 1804 | 18 Septembre 1805 |                   |
  | 6          "      |                   | 23   "        "   |                   |                   |                   |

Some discussion took place about the nomenclature of the new divisions
of time. Eventually this work was entrusted to Fabre d'Églantine, who
gave to each month a name taken from some seasonal event therein.
Beginning with the new year on the 22nd of September the autumn months
were _Vendémiaire_, the month of vintage, _Brumaire_, the months of fog,
and _Frimaire_, the month of frost. The winter months were _Nivôse_,
the snowy, _Pluviôse_, the rainy, and _Ventôse_, the windy month; then
followed the spring months, _Germinal_, the month of buds, _Floréal_,
the month of flowers, and _Prairial_, the month of meadows; and lastly
the summer months, _Messidor_, the month of reaping, _Thermidor_, the
month of heat, and _Fructidor_, the month of fruit. To the days Fabre
d'Églantine gave names which retained the idea of their numerical order,
calling them Primedi, Duodi, &c., the last day of the ten, the day of
rest, being named Décadi. The new order was soon in force in France and
the new method was employed in all public documents, but it did not last
many years. In September 1805 it was decided to restore the Gregorian
calendar, and the republican one was officially discontinued on the 1st
of January 1806.

  It will easily be seen that the connecting link between the old and
  the new calendars is very slight indeed and that the expression of a
  date in one calendar in terms of the other is a matter of some
  difficulty. A simple method of doing this, however, is afforded by the
  table on the preceding page, which is taken from the article by J.
  Dubourdieu in _La Grande Encyclopédie_.

  Thus Robespierre was executed on 10 Thermidor An II., i.e. the 28th of
  July 1794. The insurrection of 12 Germinal An III. took place on the
  1st of April 1795. The famous 18 Brumaire An VIII. fell on the 9th of
  November 1799, and the _coup d'état_ of 18 Fructidor An V. on the 4th
  of September 1797.

  For a complete concordance of the Gregorian and the republican
  calendars see Stokvis, _Manuel d'histoire_, tome iii. (Leiden, 1889);
  also G. Villain, "Le Calendrier républicain," in _La Révolution
  Française_ for 1884-1885.     (A. W. H.*)

FRENCH REVOLUTIONARY WARS (1792-1800), the general name for the first
part of the series of French wars which went on continuously, except for
some local and temporary cessations of hostilities, from the declaration
of war against Britain in 1792 to the final overthrow of Napoleon in
1815. The most important of these cessations--viz. the peace of
1801-1803--closes the "Revolutionary" and opens the "Napoleonic" era of
land warfare, for which see NAPOLEONIC CAMPAIGNS, PENINSULAR WAR and
WATERLOO CAMPAIGN. The naval history of the period is divided somewhat
differently; the first period, treated below, is 1792-1799; for the
second, 1799-1815, see NAPOLEONIC CAMPAIGNS.

France declared war on Austria on the 20th of April 1792. But Prussia
and other powers had allied themselves with Austria in view of war, and
it was against a coalition and not a single power that France found
herself pitted, at the moment when the "emigration," the ferment of the
Revolution, and want of material and of funds had thoroughly
disorganized her army. The first engagements were singularly
disgraceful. Near Lille the French soldiers fled at sight of the
Austrian outposts, crying _Nous sommes trahis_, and murdered their
general (April 29). The commanders-in-chief of the armies that were
formed became one after another "suspects"; and before a serious action
had been fought, the three armies of Rochambeau, Lafayette and Lückner
had resolved themselves into two commanded by Dumouriez and Kellermann.
Thus the disciplined soldiers of the Allies had apparently good reason
to consider the campaign before them a military promenade. On the Rhine,
a combined army of Prussians, Austrians, Hessians and _émigrés_ under
the duke of Brunswick was formed for the invasion of France, flanked by
two smaller armies on its right and left, all three being under the
supreme command of the king of Prussia. In the Netherlands the Austrians
were to besiege Lille, and in the south the Piedmontese also took the
field. The first step, taken against Brunswick's advice, was the issue
(July 25) of a proclamation which, couched in terms in the last degree
offensive to the French nation, generated the spirit that was afterwards
to find expression in the "armed nation" of 1793-4, and sealed the fate
of Louis XVI. The duke, who was a model sovereign in his own
principality, sympathized with the constitutional side of the
Revolution, while as a soldier he had no confidence in the success of
the enterprise. After completing its preparations in the leisurely
manner of the previous generation, his army crossed the French frontier
on the 19th of August. Longwy was easily captured; and the Allies slowly
marched on to Verdun, which was more indefensible even than Longwy. The
commandant, Colonel Beaurepaire, shot himself in despair, and the place
surrendered on the 3rd of September. Brunswick now began his march on
Paris and approached the defiles of the Argonne. But Dumouriez, who had
been training his raw troops at Valenciennes in constant small
engagements, with the purpose of invading Belgium, now threw himself
into the Argonne by a rapid and daring flank march, almost under the
eyes of the Prussian advanced guard, and barred the Paris road,
summoning Kellermann to his assistance from Metz. The latter moved but
slowly, and before he arrived the northern part of the line of defence
had been forced. Dumouriez, undaunted, changed front so as to face
north, with his right wing on the Argonne and his left stretching
towards Châlons, and in this position Kellermann joined him at St
Menehould on the 19th of September.


Brunswick meanwhile had passed the northern defiles and had then swung
round to cut off Dumouriez from Châlons. At the moment when the Prussian
manoeuvre was nearly completed, Kellermann, commanding in Dumouriez's
momentary absence, advanced his left wing and took up a position between
St Menehould and Valmy. The result was the world-renowned Cannonade of
Valmy (September 20, 1792). Kellermann's infantry, nearly all regulars,
stood steady. The French artillery justified its reputation as the best
in Europe, and eventually, with no more than a half-hearted infantry
attack, the duke broke off the action and retired. This trivial
engagement was the turning-point of the campaign and a landmark in the
world's history. Ten days later, without firing another shot, the
invading army began its retreat. Dumouriez's pursuit was not seriously
pressed; he occupied himself chiefly with a series of subtle and curious
negotiations which, with the general advance of the French troops,
brought about the complete withdrawal of the enemy from the soil of


Meanwhile, the French forces in the south had driven back the
Piedmontese and had conquered Savoy and Nice. Another French success was
the daring expedition into Germany made by Custine from Alsace. Custine
captured Mainz itself on the 21st of October and penetrated as far as
Frankfurt. In the north the Austrian siege of Lille had completely
failed, and Dumouriez now resumed his interrupted scheme for the
invasion of the Netherlands. His forward movement, made as it was late
in the season, surprised the Austrians, and he disposed of enormously
superior forces. On the 6th of November he won the first great victory
of the war at Jemappes near Mons and, this time advancing boldly, he
overran the whole country from Namur to Antwerp within a month.

Such was the prelude of what is called the "Great War" in England and
the "Épopée" in France. Before going further it is necessary to
summarize the special features of the French army--in leadership,
discipline, tactics, organization and movement--which made these
campaigns the archetype of modern warfare.

  At the outbreak of the Revolution the French army, like other armies
  in Europe, was a "voluntary" long-service army, augmented to some
  extent in war by drafts of militia.

    The French army, 1792-1796.

  One of the first problems that the Constituent Assembly took upon
  itself to solve was the nationalization of this strictly royal and
  professional force, and as early as October 1789 the word
  "Conscription" was heard in its debates. But it was decreed
  nevertheless that free enlistment alone befitted a free people, and
  the regular army was left unaltered in form. However, a National Guard
  came into existence side by side with it, and the history of French
  army organization in the next few years is the history of the fusion
  of these two elements. The first step, as regards the regular army,
  was the abolition of proprietary rights, the serial numbering of
  regiments throughout the Army, and the disbandment of the _Maison du
  roi_. The next was the promotion of deserving soldiers to fill the
  numerous vacancies caused by the emigration. Along with these,
  however, there came to the surface many incompetent leaders,
  favourites in the political clubs of Paris, &c., and the old strict
  discipline became impossible owing to the frequent intervention of the
  civil authorities in matters affecting it, the denunciation of
  generals, and especially the wild words and wild behaviour of
  "Volunteer" (embodied national guard) battalions.

  When war came, it was soon found that the regulars had fallen too low
  in numbers and that the national guard demanded too high pay, to
  admit of developing the expected field strength. Arms, discipline,
  training alike were wanting to the new levies, and the repulse of
  Brunswick was effected by manoeuvring and fighting on the old lines
  and chiefly with the old army. The cry of _La patrie en danger_, after
  giving, at the crisis, the highest moral support to the troops in the
  front, dwindled away after victory, and the French government
  contented itself with the half-measures that had, apparently, sufficed
  to avert the peril. More, when the armies went into winter quarters,
  the Volunteers claimed leave of absence and went home.

  But in the spring of 1793, confronted by a far more serious peril, the
  government took strong measures. Universal liability was asserted, and
  passed into law. Yet even now whole classes obtained exemption and the
  right of substitution as usual forced the burden of service on the
  poorer classes, so that of the 100,000 men called on for the regular
  army and 200,000 for the Volunteers, only some 180,000 were actually
  raised. Desertion, generally regarded as the curse of professional
  armies, became a conspicuous vice of the defenders of the Republic,
  except at moments when a supreme crisis called forth supreme
  devotion--moments which naturally were more or less prolonged in
  proportion to the gravity of the situation. Thus, while it almost
  disappeared in the great effort of 1793-1794, when the armies
  sustained bloody reverses in distant wars of conquest, as in 1799, it
  promptly rose again to an alarming height.

    Universal service of the "Amalgam."

  While this unsatisfactory general levy was being made, defeats,
  defections and invasion in earnest came in rapid succession, and to
  deal with the almost desperate emergency, the ruthless Committee of
  Public Safety sprang into existence. "The levy is to be universal.
  Unmarried citizens and widowers without children of ages from 18 to 25
  are to be called up first," and 450,000 recruits were immediately
  obtained by this single act. The complete amalgamation of the regular
  and volunteer units was decided upon. The white uniforms of the line
  gave place to the blue of the National Guard in all arms and services.
  The titles of officers were changed, and in fact every relic of the
  old régime, save the inherited solidity of the old regular battalions,
  was swept away. This rough combination of line and volunteers
  therefore--for the "Amalgam" was not officially begun until 1794--must
  be understood when we refer to the French army of Hondschoote or of
  Wattignies. It contained, by reason of its universality and also
  because men were better off in the army than out of it--if they stayed
  at home they went in daily fear of denunciation and the
  guillotine--the best elements of the French nation. To some extent at
  any rate the political _arrivistes_ had been weeded out, and though
  the informer, here as elsewhere, struck unseen blows, the mass of the
  army gradually evolved its true leaders and obeyed them. It was,
  therefore, an army of individual citizen-soldiers of the best type,
  welded by the enemy's fire, and conscious of its own solidarity in the
  midst of the Revolutionary chaos.

  After 1794 the system underwent but little radical change until the
  end of the Revolutionary period. Its regiments grew in military value
  month by month and attained their highest level in the great campaign
  of 1796. In 1795 the French forces (now all styled National Guard)
  consisted of 531,000 men, of whom 323,000 were infantry (100
  3-battalion demi-brigades), 97,000 light infantry (30 demi-brigades),
  29,000 artillery, 20,000 engineers and 59,000 cavalry. This novel army
  developed novel fighting methods, above all in the infantry. This arm
  had just received a new drill-book, as the result of a prolonged
  controversy (see INFANTRY) between the advocates of "lines" and
  "columns," and this drill-book, while retaining the principle of the
  line, set controversy at rest by admitting battalion columns of
  attack, and movements at the "quick" (100-120 paces to the minute)
  instead of at the "slow" march (76). On these two prescriptions,
  ignoring the rest, the practical troop leaders built up the new
  tactics little by little, and almost unconsciously. The process of
  evolution cannot be stated exactly, for the officers learned to use
  and even to invent now one form, now another, according to ground and
  circumstances. But the main stream of progress is easily


  The earlier battles were fought more or less according to the
  drill-book, partly in line for fire action, partly in column for the
  bayonet attack. But line movements required the most accurate drill,
  and what was attainable after years of practice with regulars moving
  at the slow march was wholly impossible for new levies moving at 120
  paces to the minute. When, therefore, the line marched off, it broke
  up into a shapeless swarm of individual firers. This was the form, if
  form it can be called, of the tactics of 1793--"horde-tactics," as
  they have quite justly been called--and a few such experiences as that
  of Hondschoote sufficed to suggest the need of a remedy. This was
  found in keeping as many troops as possible out of the firing line.
  From 1794 onwards the latter becomes thinner and thinner, and instead
  of the drill-book form, with half the army firing in line (practically
  in hordes) and the other half in support in columns, we find the rear
  lines becoming more and more important and numerous, till at last the
  fire of the leading line (skirmishers) becomes insignificant, and the
  decision rests with the bayonets of the closed masses in rear. Indeed,
  the latter often used mixed line and column formations, which enabled
  them not only to charge, but to fire close-order volleys--absolutely
  regardless of the skirmishers in front. In other words, the bravest
  and coolest marksmen were let loose to do what damage they could, and
  the rest, massed in close order, were kept under the control of their
  officers and only exposed to the dissolving influence of the fight
  when the moment arrived to deliver, whether by fire or by shock, the
  decisive blow.

    Cavalry. Artillery. Engineers.

  The cavalry underwent little change in its organization and tactics,
  which remained as in the drill-books founded on Frederick's practice.
  But except in the case of the hussars, who were chiefly Alsatians, it
  was thoroughly disorganized by the emigration or execution of the
  nobles who had officered it, and for long it was incapable of facing
  the hostile squadrons in the open. Still, its elements were good, it
  was fairly well trained, and mounted, and not overwhelmed with
  national guard drafts, and like the other arms it duly evolved and
  obeyed new leaders.

  In artillery matters this period, 1792-1796, marks an important
  progress, due above all to Gribeauval (q.v.) and the two du Teils,
  Jean Pierre (1722-1794) and Jean (1733-1820) who were Napoleon's
  instructors. The change was chiefly in organization and equipment--the
  great tactical development of the arm was not to come until the time
  of the _Grande Armée_--and may be summarized as the transition from
  battalion guns and reserve artillery to batteries of "horse and

  The engineers, like the artillery, were a technical and non-noble
  corps. They escaped, therefore, most of the troubles of the
  Revolution--indeed the artillery and engineer officers, Napoleon and
  Carnot amongst them, were conspicuous in the political regeneration of
  France--and the engineers carried on with little change the traditions
  of Vauban and Cormontaingne (see FORTIFICATION AND SIEGECRAFT). Both
  these corps were, after the Revolution as before it, the best in
  Europe, other armies admitting their superiority and following their

  In all this the army naturally outgrew its old "linear" organization.
  Temporary divisions, called for by momentary necessities, placed under
  selected generals and released from the detailed supervision of the
  commander-in-chief, soon became, though in an irregular and haphazard
  fashion, permanent organisms, and by 1796 the divisional system had
  become practically universal. The next step, as the armies became
  fewer and larger, was the temporary grouping of divisions; this too in
  turn became permanent, and bequeathed to the military world of to-day
  both the army corps and the capable, self-reliant and enterprising
  subordinate generals, for whom the old linear organization had no

    The starting point of modern warfare.

  This subdivision of forces was intimately connected with the general
  method of making war adopted by the "New French," as their enemies
  called them. What astonished the Allies most of all was the number and
  the velocity of the Republicans. These improvised armies had in fact
  nothing to delay them. Tents were unprocurable for want of money,
  untransportable for want of the enormous number of wagons that would
  have been required, and also unnecessary, for the discomfort that
  would have caused wholesale desertion in professional armies was
  cheerfully borne by the men of 1793-1794. Supplies for armies of then
  unheard-of size could not be carried in convoys, and the French soon
  became familiar with "living on the country." Thus 1793 saw the birth
  of the modern system of war--rapidity of movement, full development of
  national strength, bivouacs and requisitions, and force, as against
  cautious manoeuvring, small professional armies, tents and full
  rations, and chicane. The first represented the decision-compelling
  spirit, the second the spirit of risking little to gain a little.
  Above all, the decision-compelling spirit was reinforced by the
  presence of the emissaries of the Committee of Public Safety, the
  "representatives on mission" who practically controlled the
  guillotine. There were civil officials with the armies of the Allies
  too, but their chief function was not to infuse desperate energy into
  the military operations, but to see that the troops did not maltreat
  civilians. Such were the fundamental principles of the "New French"
  method of warfare, from which the warfare of to-day descends in the
  direct line. But it was only after a painful period of trial and
  error, of waste and misdirection, that it became possible for the
  French army to have evolved Napoleon, and for Napoleon to evolve the
  principles and methods of war that conformed to and profited to the
  utmost by the new conditions.

  Those campaigns and battles of this army which are described in detail
  in the present article have been selected, some on account of their
  historical importance--as producing great results; others from their
  military interest--as typifying and illustrating the nature of the
  revolution undergone by the art of war in these heroic years.


The year 1793 opened disastrously for the Republic. As a consequence of
Jemappes and Valmy, France had taken the offensive both in Belgium,
which had been overrun by Dumouriez's army, and in the Rhine countries,
where Custine had preached the new gospel to the sentimental and
half-discontented Hessians and Mainzers. But the execution of Louis XVI.
raised up a host of new and determined enemies. England, Holland,
Austria, Prussia, Spain and Sardinia promptly formed the First
Coalition. England poured out money in profusion to pay and equip her
Allies' land armies, and herself began the great struggle for the
command of the sea (see _Naval Operations_, below).


In the Low Countries, while Dumouriez was beginning his proposed
invasion of Holland, Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg, the new Austrian
commander on the Lower Rhine, advanced with 42,000 men from the region
of Cologne, and drove in the various detachments that Dumouriez had
posted to cover his right. The French general thereupon abandoned his
advance into Holland, and, with what forces he could gather, turned
towards the Meuse. The two armies met at Neerwinden (q.v.) on the 18th
of March 1793. Dumouriez had only a few thousand men more than his
opponent, instead of the enormous superiority he had had at Jemappes.
Thus the enveloping attack could not be repeated, and in a battle on
equal fronts the old generalship and the old armies had the advantage.
Dumouriez was thoroughly defeated, the house of cards collapsed, and the
whole of the French forces retreated in confusion to the strong line of
border fortresses, created by Louis XIV. and Vauban.[1] Dumouriez,
witnessing the failure of his political schemes, declared against the
Republic, and after a vain attempt to induce his own army to follow his
example, fled (April 5) into the Austrian lines. The leaderless
Republicans streamed back to Valenciennes. There, however, they found a
general. Picot (comte de) Dampierre was a regimental officer of the old
army, who, in spite of his vanity and extravagance, possessed real
loyalty to the new order of things, and brilliant personal courage. At
the darkest hour he seized the reins without orders and without
reference to seniority, and began to reconstruct the force and the
spirit of the shattered army by wise administration and dithyrambic
proclamations. Moreover, he withdrew it well behind Valenciennes out of
reach of a second reverse. The region of Dunkirk and Cassel, the camp of
La Madeleine near Lille, and Bouchain were made the rallying points of
the various groups, the principal army being at the last-named. But the
blow of Neerwinden had struck deep, and the army was for long incapable
of service, what with the general distrust, the misconduct of the newer
battalions, and the discontent of the old white-coated regiments that
were left ragged and shoeless to the profit of the "patriot" corps.
"Beware of giving horses to the 'Hussars of Liberty,'" wrote Carnot,
"all these new corps are abominable."

  Assembly of the Allies.

France was in fact defenceless, and the opportunity existed for the
military promenade to Paris that the allied statesmen had imagined in
1792. But Coburg now ceased to be a purely Austrian commander, for one
by one allied contingents, with instructions that varied with the
political aims of the various governments, began to arrive. Moreover, he
had his own views as to the political situation, fearing especially to
be the cause of the queen's death as Brunswick had been of the king's,
and negotiated for a settlement. The story of these negotiations should
be read in Chuquet's _Valenciennes_--it gives the key to many mysteries
of the campaign and shows that though the revolutionary spirit had
already passed all understanding, enlightened men such as Coburg and his
chief-of-staff Mack sympathized with its first efforts and thought the
constitution of 1791 a gain to humanity. "If you come to Paris you will
find 80,000 patriots ready to die," said the French negotiators. "The
patriots could not resist the Austrian regulars," replied Coburg, "but I
do not propose to go to Paris. I desire to see a stable government, with
a chief, king or other, with whom we can treat." Soon, however, these
personal negotiations were stopped by the emperor, and the idea of
restoring order in France became little more than a pretext for a
general intrigue amongst the confederate powers, each seeking to
aggrandize itself at France's expense. "If you wish to deal with the
French," observed Dumouriez ironically to Coburg, "talk 'constitution.'
You may beat them but you cannot subdue them." And their subjugation was
becoming less and less possible as the days went on and men talked of
the partition of France as a question of the moment like the partition
of Poland--a pretension that even the émigrés resented.

Coburg's plan of campaign was limited to the objects acceptable to all
the Allies alike. He aimed at the conquest of a first-class
fortress--Lille or Valenciennes--and chiefly for this reason. War meant
to the burgher of Germany and the Netherlands a special form of _haute
politique_ with which it was neither his business nor his inclination to
meddle. He had no more compunction, therefore, in selling his worst
goods at the best price to the army commissaries than in doing so to his
ordinary customers. It followed that, owing to the distance between
Vienna and Valenciennes, and the exorbitant prices charged by carters
and horse-owners, a mere concentration of Austrian troops at the latter
place cost as much as a campaign, and the transport expenses rose to
such a figure that Coburg's first duty was to find a strong place to
serve as a market for the country-side and a depot for the supplies
purchased, and to have it as near as possible to the front to save the
hire of vehicles. As for the other governments which Coburg served as
best he could, the object of the war was material concessions, and it
would be easy to negotiate for the cession of Dunkirk and Valenciennes
when the British and Austrian colours already waved there. The Allies,
therefore, instead of following up their advantage over the French field
army and driving forward on the open Paris road, set their faces
westward, intending to capture Valenciennes, Le Quesnoy, Dunkirk and
Lille one after the other.

  Dampierre at Valenciennes.

Dampierre meanwhile grew less confident as responsibility settled upon
his shoulders. Quite unable to believe that Coburg would bury himself in
a maze of rivers and fortresses when he could scatter the French army to
the winds by a direct advance, he was disquieted and puzzled by the
Austrian investment of Condé. This was followed by skirmishes around
Valenciennes, so unfavourable to the French that their officers felt it
would be madness to venture far beyond the support of the fortress guns.
But the representatives on mission ordered Dampierre, who was
reorganizing his army at Bouchain, to advance and occupy Famars camp,
east of Valenciennes, and soon afterwards, disregarding his protests,
bade him relieve Condé at all costs. His skill, though not commensurate
with his personal courage and devotion, sufficed to give him the idea of
attacking Coburg on the right bank of the Scheldt while Clerfayt, with
the corps covering the siege of Condé, was on the left, and then to turn
against Clerfayt--in fact, to operate on interior lines--but it was far
from being adequate to the task of beating either with the disheartened
forces he commanded. On the 1st of May, while Clerfayt was held in check
by a very vigorous demonstration, Coburg's positions west of Quiévrain
were attacked by Dampierre himself. The French won some local successes
by force of numbers and surprise, but the Allies recovered themselves,
thanks chiefly to the address and skill of Colonel Mack, and drove the
Republicans in disorder to their entrenchments. Dampierre's
discouragement now became desperation, and, urged on by the
representatives (who, be it said, had exposed their own lives freely
enough in the action), he attacked Clerfayt on the 8th at Raismes. The
troops fought far better in the woods and hamlets west of the Scheldt
than they had done in the plains to the east. But in the heat of the
action Dampierre, becoming again the brilliant soldier that he had been
before responsibility stifled him, risked and lost his life in leading a
storming party, and his men retired sullenly, though this time in good
order, to Valenciennes. Two days later the French gave up the open field
and retired into Valenciennes. Dampierre's remains were by a vote of the
Convention ordered to be deposited in the Panthéon. But he was a
"ci-devant" noble, the demagogues denounced him as a traitor, and the
only honour finally paid to the man who had tided over the weeks of
greatest danger was the placing of his bust, in the strange company of
those of Brutus and Marat, in the chamber of deputies.

Another pause followed, Coburg awaiting the British contingent under the
duke of York, and the Republicans endeavouring to assimilate the
reinforcements of conscripts, for the most part "undesirables," who now
arrived. Mutiny and denunciations augmented the confusion in the French
camp. Plan of campaign there was none, save a resolution to stay at
Valenciennes in the hope of finding an opportunity of relieving Condé
and to create diversions elsewhere by expeditions from Dunkirk, Lille
and Sedan. These of course came to nothing, and before they had even
started, Coburg, resuming the offensive, had stormed the lines of Famars
(May 24), whereupon the French army retired to Bouchain, leaving not
only Condé[2] but also Valenciennes to resist as best they could. The
central point of the new positions about Bouchain was called Caesar's
Camp. Here, surrounded by streams and marshes, the French generals
thought that their troops were secure from the rush of the dreaded
Austrian cavalry, and Mack himself shared their opinion.

  Fall of Valenciennes.

Custine now took command of the abjectly dispirited army, the fourth
change of command within two months. His first task was to institute a
severe discipline, and his prestige was so great that his mere threat of
death sentences for offenders produced the desired effect. As to
operations, he wished for a concentration of all possible forces from
other parts of the frontier towards Valenciennes, even if necessary at
the cost of sacrificing his own conquest of Mainz. But after he had
induced the government to assent to this, the generals of the numerous
other armies refused to give up their troops, and on the 17th of June
the idea was abandoned in view of the growing seriousness of the Vendéan
insurrection (see VENDÉE). Custine, therefore, could do no more than
continue the work of reorganization. Military operations were few.
Coburg, who had all this time succeeded in remaining concentrated, now
found himself compelled to extend leftwards towards Flanders,[3] for
Custine had infused some energy into the scattered groups of the
Republicans in the region of Douai, Lille and Dunkirk--and during this
respite the Paris Jacobins sent to the guillotine both Custine and his
successor La Marlière before July was ended. Both were "ci-devant"
nobles and, so far as is ascertainable, neither was guilty of anything
worse than attempts to make his orders respected by, and himself popular
with, the soldiers. By this time, owing to the innumerable denunciations
and arrests, the confusion in the Army of the North was at its height,
and no further attempt was made either to relieve Valenciennes and
Condé, or to press forward from Lille and Dunkirk. Condé, starved out as
Coburg desired, capitulated on the 10th of June, and the Austrians, who
had done their work as soldiers, but were filled with pity for their
suffering and distracted enemies, marched in with food for the women and
children. Valenciennes, under the energetic General Ferrand, held out
bravely until the fire of the Allies became intolerable, and then the
civil population began to plot treachery, and to wear the Bourbon
cockade in the open street. Ferrand and the representatives with him
found themselves obliged to surrender to the duke of York, who commanded
the siege corps, on the 28th of July, after rejecting the first draft of
a capitulation sent in by the duke and threatening to continue the
defence to the bitter end. Impossible as this was known to be--for
Valenciennes seemed to have become a royalist town--Ferrand's soldierly
bearing carried the day, and honourable terms were arranged. The duke
even offered to assist the garrison in repressing disorder. Shortly
after this the wreck of the field army was forced to evacuate Caesar's
Camp after an unimportant action (Aug. 7-8) and retired on Arras. By
this they gave up the direct defence of the Paris road, but placed
themselves in a "flank position" relatively to it, and secured to
themselves the resources and reinforcements available in the region of
Dunkirk-Lille. Bouchain and Cambrai, Landrecies and Le Quesnoy, were
left to their own garrisons.

With this ended the second episode of the amazing campaign of 1793.
Military operations were few and spasmodic, on the one side because the
Allied statesmen were less concerned with the nebulous common object of
restoring order in France than with their several schemes of
aggrandisement, on the other owing to the almost incredible confusion of
France under the régime of Danton and Marat. The third episode shows
little or no change in the force and direction of the allied efforts,
but a very great change in France. Thoroughly roused by disaster and now
dominated by the furious and bloodthirsty energy of the terrorists, the
French people and armies at last set before themselves clear and
definite objects to be pursued at all costs.


Jean Nicolas Houchard, the next officer appointed to command, had been a
heavy cavalry trooper in the Seven Years' War. His face bore the scars
of wounds received at Minden, and his bravery, his stature, his bold and
fierce manner, his want of education, seemed to all to betoken the ideal
sans-culotte general. But he was nevertheless incapable of leading an
army, and knowing this, carefully conformed to the advice of his staff
officers Berthelmy and Gay-Vernon, the latter of whom, an exceptionally
capable officer, had been Custine's chief of staff and was consequently
under suspicion. At one moment, indeed, operations had to be suspended
altogether because his papers were seized by the civil authorities, and
amongst them were all the confidential memoranda and maps required for
the business of headquarters. It was the darkest hour. The Vendéans, the
people of Lyons, Marseilles and Toulon, were in open and hitherto
successful revolt. Valenciennes had fallen and Coburg's hussar parties
pressed forward into the Somme valley. Again the Allies had the decision
of the war in their own hands. Coburg, indeed, was still afraid, on
Marie Antoinette's account, of forcing the Republicans to extremities,
and on military grounds too he thought an advance on Paris hazardous.
But, hazardous or not, it would have been attempted but for the English.
The duke of York had definite orders from his government to capture
Dunkirk--at present a nest of corsairs which interfered with the Channel
trade, and in the future, it was hoped, a second Gibraltar--and after
the fall of Valenciennes and the capture of Caesar's Camp the English
and Hanoverians marched away, via Tournai and Ypres, to besiege the
coast fortress. Thereupon the king of Prussia in turn called off his
contingent for operations on the middle Rhine. Holland, too, though she
maintained her contingent in face of Lille (where it covered Flanders),
was not disposed to send it to join the imperialists in an adventure in
the heart of France. Coburg, therefore, was brought to a complete
standstill, and the scene of the decision was shifted to the district
between Lille and the coast.


Thither came Carnot, the engineer officer who was in charge of military
affairs In the Committee of Public Safety and is known to history as the
"Organizer of Victory." His views of the strategy to be pursued indicate
either a purely geographical idea of war, which does not square with his
later principles and practice, or, as is far more likely, a profound
disbelief in the capacity of the Army of the North, as it then stood, to
fight a battle, and they went no further than to recommend an inroad
into Flanders on the ground that no enemy would be encountered there.
This, however, in the event developed into an operation of almost
decisive importance, for at the moment of its inception the duke of York
was already on the march. Fighting _en route_ a very severe but
successful action (Lincelles, Aug. 18) with the French troops encamped
near Lille, the Anglo-Hanoverians entered the district--densely
intersected with canals and morasses--around Dunkirk and Bergues on the
21st and 22nd. On the right, by way of Furnes, the British moved towards
Dunkirk and invested the east front of the weak fortress, while on the
left the Hanoverian field marshal v. Freytag moved via Poperinghe on
Bergues. The French had a chain of outposts between Furnes and Bergues,
but Freytag attacked them resolutely, and the defenders, except a brave
handful who stood to cross bayonets, fled in all directions. The east
front of Bergues was invested on the 23rd, and Freytag spread out his
forces to cover the duke of York's attack on Dunkirk, his right being
opposite Bergues and his centre at Bambeke, while his left covered the
space between Roosbrugge and Ypres with a cordon of posts. Houchard was
in despair at the bad conduct of his troops. But one young general,
Jourdan, anticipating Houchard's orders, had already brought a strong
force from Lille to Cassel, whence he incessantly harried Freytag's
posts. Carnot encouraged the garrisons of Dunkirk and Bergues, and
caused the sluices to be opened. The _moral_ of the defenders rose
rapidly. Houchard prepared to bring up every available man of the Army
of the North, and only waited to make up his mind as to the direction in
which his attack should be made. The Allies themselves recognized the
extreme danger of their position. It was cut in half by the Great
Morass, stretches of which extended even to Furnes. Neither Dunkirk nor
Bergues could be completely invested owing to the inundations, and
Freytag sent a message to King George III. to the effect that if Dunkirk
did not surrender in a few days the expedition would be a complete

As for the French, they could hardly believe their good fortune.
Generals, staff officers and representatives on mission alike were eager
for a swift and crushing offensive. "'Attack' and 'attack in mass'
became the shibboleth and the catch-phrase of the camps" (Chuquet), and
fortresses and armies on other parts of the frontier were imperiously
called upon to supply large drafts for the Army of the North.
Gay-Vernon's strategical instinct found expression in a wide-ranging
movement designed to secure the absolute annihilation of the duke of
York's forces. Beginning with an attack on the Dutch posts north and
east of Lille, the army was then to press forward towards Furnes, the
left wing holding Freytag's left wing in check, and the right swinging
inwards and across the line of retreat of both allied corps. At that
moment all men were daring, and the scheme was adopted with enthusiasm.
On the 28th of August, consequently, the Dutch posts were attacked and
driven away by the mobile forces at Lille, aided by parts of the main
army from Arras. But even before they had fired their last shot the
Republicans dispersed to plunder and compromised their success. Houchard
and Gay-Vernon began to fear that their army would not emerge
successfully from the supreme test they were about to impose on it, and
from this moment the scheme of destroying the English began to give way
to the simpler and safer idea of relieving Dunkirk. The place was so
ill-equipped that after a few days' siege it was _in extremis_, and the
political importance of its preservation led not merely the civilian
representatives, but even Carnot, to implore Houchard to put an end to
the crisis at once. On the 30th, Cassel, instead of Ypres, was
designated as the point of concentration for the "mass of attack." This
surprised the representatives and Carnot as much as it surprised the
subordinate generals, all of whom thought that there would still be time
to make the détour through Ypres and to cut off the Allies' retreat
before Dunkirk fell. But Houchard and Gay-Vernon were no longer under
any illusions as to the manoeuvring power of their forces, and the
government agents wisely left them to execute their own plans.
Thirty-seven thousand men were left to watch Coburg and to secure Arras
and Douai, and the rest, 50,000 strong, assembled at Cassel. Everything
was in Houchard's favour could he but overcome the indiscipline of his
own army. The duke of York was more dangerous in appearance than in
reality--as the result must infallibly have shown had Houchard and
Gay-Vernon possessed the courage to execute the original plan--and
Freytag's covering army extended in a line of disconnected posts from
Bergues to Ypres.


Against the left and centre of this feeble cordon 40,000 men advanced in
many columns on the 6th of September. A confused outpost fight, in which
the various assailing columns dissolved into excited swarms, ended, long
after nightfall, in the orderly withdrawal of the various allied posts
to Hondschoote. The French generals were occupied the whole of next day
in sorting out their troops, who had not only completely wasted their
strength against mere outposts, but had actually consumed their rations
and used up their ammunition. On the 8th, the assailants, having more or
less recovered themselves, advanced again. They found Wallmoden (who had
succeeded Freytag, disabled on the 6th) entrenched on either side of the
village of Hondschoote, the right resting on the great morass and the
left on the village of Leysele. Here was the opportunity for the "attack
in mass" that had been so freely discussed; but Houchard was now
concerned more with the relief of Dunkirk than with the defeat of the
enemy. He sent away one division to Dunkirk, another to Bergues, and a
third towards Ypres, and left himself only some 20,000 men for the
battle. But Wallmoden had only 13,000--so great was the disproportion
between end and means in this ill-designed enterprise against Dunkirk.

[Illustration: Map of Hondschoote.

Redrawn from a map in Fortescue's _History of the British Army_, by
permission of Macmillan & Co., Ltd.]

Houchard despatched a column, guided by his staff officer Berthelmy, to
turn the Hanoverians' left, but this column lost its way in the dense
country about Loo. The centre waited motionless under the fire of the
allied guns near Hondschoote. In vain the representative Delbrel
implored the general to order the advance. Houchard was obstinate, and
ere long the natural result followed. Though Delbrel posted himself in
front of the line, conspicuous by his white horse and tricoloured sash
and plume, to steady the men, the bravest left the ranks and skirmished
forward from bush to bush, and the rest sought cover. Then the allied
commander ordered forward one regiment of Hessians, and these, advancing
at a ceremonial slow march, and firing steady rolling volleys, scattered
the Republicans before them. At this crisis Houchard uttered the fatal
word "retreat," but Delbrel overwhelmed him with reproaches and stung
him into renewed activity. He hurried away to urge forward the right
wing while Jourdan rallied the centre and led it into the fight again.
Once more Jourdan awaited in vain the order to advance, and once more
the troops broke. But at last the exasperated Delbrel rose to the
occasion. "You fear the responsibility," he cried to Jourdan; "well, I
assume it. My authority overrides the general's and I give you the
formal order to attack at once!" Then, gently, as if to soften a rebuke,
he continued, "You have forced me to speak as a superior; now I will be
your aide-de-camp," and at once hurried off to bring up the reserves
and to despatch cavalry to collect the fugitives. This incident, amongst
many, serves to show that the representatives on mission were no mere
savage marplots, as is too generally assumed. They were often wise and
able men, brave and fearless of responsibility in camp and in action.
Jourdan led on the reserves, and the men fighting in the bushes on
either side of the road heard their drums to right and left. Jourdan
fell wounded, but Delbrel headed a wild irregular bayonet charge which
checked the Hanoverians, and Houchard himself, in his true place as a
cavalry leader, came up with 500 fresh sabres and flung himself on the
Allies. The Hanoverians, magnificently disciplined troops that they
were, soon re-formed after the shock, but by this time the fugitives
collected by Delbrel's troopers, reanimated by new hopes of victory,
were returning to the front in hundreds, and a last assault on
Hondschoote met with complete success.

Hondschoote was a psychological victory. Materially, it was no more than
the crushing of an obstinate rearguard at enormous expense to the
assailants, for the duke of York was able to withdraw while there was
still time. Houchard had indeed called back the division he had sent to
Bergues, and despatched it by Loo against the enemy's rear, but the
movement was undertaken too late in the day to be useful. The struggle
was practically a front to front battle, numbers and enthusiasm on the
one side, discipline, position and steadiness on the other. Hence,
though its strategical result was merely to compel the duke of York to
give up an enterprise that he should never have undertaken, Hondschoote
established the fact that the "New French" were determined to win, at
any cost and by sheer weight and energy. It was long before they were
able to meet equal numbers with confidence, and still longer before they
could freely oppose a small corps to a larger one. But the nightmare of
defeats and surrenders was dispelled.

The influence of Houchard on the course of the operations had been
sometimes null, sometimes detrimental, and only occasionally good. The
plan and its execution were the work of Berthelmy and Gay-Vernon, the
victory itself was Jourdan's and, above all, Delbrel's. To these errors,
forgiven to a victor, Houchard added the crowning offence of failure, in
the reaction after the battle, to pursue his advantage. His enemies in
Paris became more and more powerful as the campaign continued.


Having missed the great opportunity of crushing the English, Houchard
turned his attention to the Dutch posts about Menin. As far as the
Allies were concerned Hondschoote was a mere reverse, not a disaster,
and was counterbalanced in Coburg's eyes by his own capture of Le
Quesnoy (Sept. 11). The proximity of the main body of the French to
Menin induced him to order Beaulieu's corps (hitherto at Cysoing and
linking the Dutch posts with the central group) to join the prince of
Orange there, and to ask the duke of York to do the same. But this last
meant negotiation, and before anything was settled Houchard, with the
army from Hondschoote and a contingent from Lille, had attacked the
prince at Menin and destroyed his corps (Sept. 12-13).

After this engagement, which, though it was won by immensely superior
forces, was if not an important at any rate a complete victory, Houchard
went still farther inland--leaving detachments to observe York and
replacing them by troops from the various camps as he passed along the
cordon--in the hope of dealing with Beaulieu as he had dealt with the
Dutch, and even of relieving Le Quesnoy. But in all this he failed. He
had expected to meet Beaulieu near Cysoing, but the Austrian general had
long before gone northward to assist the prince of Orange. Thus Houchard
missed his target. Worse still, one of his protective detachments
chanced to meet Beaulieu near Courtrai on the 15th, and was not only
defeated but driven in rout from Menin. Lastly, Coburg had already
captured Le Quesnoy, and had also repulsed a straggling attack of the
Landrecies, Bouchain and other French garrisons on the positions of his
covering army (12th).[4]

Houchard's offensive died away completely, and he halted his army
(45,000 strong excluding detachments) at Gaverelle, half-way between
Douai and Arras, hoping thereby to succour Bouchain, Cambrai or Arras,
whichever should prove to be Coburg's next objective. After standing
still for several days, a prey to all the conflicting rumours that
reached his ears, he came to the conclusion that Coburg was about to
join the duke of York in a second siege of Dunkirk, and began to close
on his left. But his conclusion was entirely wrong. The Allies were
closing on _their_ left inland to attack Maubeuge. Coburg drew in
Beaulieu, and even persuaded the Dutch to assist, the duke of York
undertaking for the moment to watch the whole of the Flanders cordon
from the sea to Tournai. But this concentration of force was merely
nominal, for each contingent worked in the interests of its own masters,
and, above all, the siege that was the object of the concentration was
calculated to last four weeks, i.e. gave the French four weeks unimpeded
liberty of action.

Houchard was now denounced and brought captive to Paris. Placed upon his
trial, he offered a calm and reasoned defence of his conduct, but when
the intolerable word "coward" was hurled at him by one of his judges he
wept with rage, pointing to the scars of his many wounds, and then, his
spirit broken, sank into a lethargic indifference, in which he remained
to the end. He was guillotined on the 16th of November 1793.

After Houchard's arrest, Jourdan accepted the command, though with many
misgivings, for the higher ranks were filled by officers with even less
experience than he had himself, equipment and clothing was wanting, and,
perhaps more important still, the new levies, instead of filling up the
depleted ranks of the line, were assembled in undisciplined and
half-armed hordes at various frontier camps, under elected officers who
had for the most part never undergone the least training. The field
states showed a total of 104,000 men, of whom less than a third formed
the operative army. But an enthusiasm equal to that of Hondschoote, and
similarly demanding a plain, urgent and recognizable objective, animated
it, and although Jourdan and Carnot (who was with him at Gaverelle,
where the army had now reassembled) began to study the general strategic
situation, the Committee brought them back to realities by ordering them
to relieve Maubeuge at all costs.


The Allies disposed in all of 66,000 men around the threatened fortress,
but 26,000 of these were actually employed in the siege, and the
remainder, forming the covering army, extended in an enormous semicircle
of posts facing west, south and east. Thus the Republicans, as before,
had two men to one at the point of contact (44,000 against 21,000), but
so formidable was the discipline and steadiness of manoeuvre of the old
armies that the chances were considered as no more than "rather in
favour" of the French. Not that these chances were seriously weighed
before engaging. The generals might squander their energies in the
council chamber on plans of sieges and expeditions, but in the field
they were glad enough to seize the opportunity of a battle which they
were not skilful enough to compel. It took place on the 15th and 16th of
October, and though the allied right and centre held their ground, on
their left the plateau of Wattignies (q.v.), from which the battle
derives its name, was stormed on the second day, Carnot, Jourdan and the
representatives leading the columns in person. Coburg indeed retired in
unbroken order, added to which the Maubeuge garrison had failed to
co-operate with their rescuers by a sortie,[5] and the duke of York had
hurried up with all the men he could spare from the Flanders cordon. But
the Dutch generals refused to advance beyond the Sambre, and Coburg
broke up the siege of Maubeuge and retired whence he had come, while
Jourdan, so far from pressing forward, was anxiously awaiting a
counter-attack, and entrenching himself with all possible energy. So
ended the episode of Wattignies, which, alike in its general outline and
in its details, gives a perfect picture of the character, at once
intense and spasmodic, of the "New French" warfare in the days of the

  To complete the story of '93 it remains to sketch, very briefly, the
  principal events on the eastern and southern frontiers of France.
  These present, in the main, no special features, and all that it is
  necessary to retain of them is the fact of their existence. What this
  multiplication of their tasks meant to the Committee of Public Safety
  and to Carnot in particular it is impossible to realize. It was not
  merely on the Sambre and the Scheldt, nor against one army of
  heterogeneous allies that the Republic had to fight for life, but
  against Prussians and Hessians on the Rhine, Sardinians in the Alps,
  Spaniards in the Pyrenees, and also (one might say, indeed, above all)
  against Frenchmen in Vendée, Lyons, Marseilles and Toulon.

  On the Rhine, the advance of a Prussian-Hessian army, 63,000 strong,
  rapidly drove back Custine from the Main into the valleys of the Saar
  and the Lauter. An Austrian corps under Wurmser soon afterwards
  invaded Alsace. Here, as on the northern frontier, there was a long
  period of trial and error, of denunciations and indiscipline, and of
  wholly trivial fighting, before the Republicans recovered themselves.
  But in the end the ragged enthusiasts found their true leader in
  Lazare Hoche, and, though defeated by Brunswick at Pirmasens and
  Kaiserslautern, they managed to develop almost their full strength
  against Wurmser in Alsace. On the 26th of December the latter, who had
  already undergone a series of partial reverses, was driven by main
  force from the lines of Weissenburg, after which Hoche advanced into
  the Palatinate and delivered Landau, and Pichegru moved on to
  recapture Mainz, which had surrendered in July. On the Spanish
  frontier both sides indulged in a fruitless war of posts in broken
  ground. The Italian campaign of 1793, equally unprofitable, will be
  referred to below. Far more serious than either was the insurrection
  of Vendée (q.v.) and the counter-revolution in the south of France,
  the principal incidents of which were the terrible sieges of Lyons and

  Campaign of 1794.

For 1794 Carnot planned a general advance of all the northern armies,
that of the North (Pichegru) from Dunkirk-Cassel by Ypres and Oudenarde
on Brussels, the minor Army of the Ardennes to Charleroi, and the Army
of the Moselle (Jourdan) to Liége, while between Charleroi and Lille
demonstrations were to be made against the hostile centre. He counted
upon little as regards the two armies near the Meuse, but hoped to force
on a decisive battle by the advance of the left wing towards Ypres.
Coburg, on the other side, intended, if not forced to develop his
strength on the Ypres side, to make his main effort against the French
centre about Landrecies. This produced the siege of Landrecies, which
need not concern us, a forward movement of the French to Menin and
Courtrai which resulted in the battles of Tourcoing and Tournai, and the
campaign of Fleurus, which, almost fortuitously, produced the
long-sought decision.

The first crisis was brought about by the advance of the left wing of
the Army of the North, under Souham, to Menin-Courtrai. This advance
placed Souham in the midst of the enemy's right wing, and at last
stimulated the Allies into adopting the plan that Mack had advocated, in
season and out of season, since before Neerwinden--that of _annihilating
the enemy's army_. This vigorous purpose, and the leading part in its
execution played by the duke of York and the British contingent, give
these operations, to Englishmen at any rate, a living interest which is
entirely lacking in, say, the sieges of Le Quesnoy and Landrecies. On
the other side, the "New French" armies and their leaders, without
losing the energy of 1793, had emerged from confusion and inexperience,
and the powers of the new army and the new system had begun to mature.
Thus it was a fair trial of strength between the old way and the new.

In the second week of May the left wing of the Army of the North--the
centre was towards Landrecies, and the right, fused in the Army of the
Ardennes, towards Charleroi--found itself interposed at
Menin-Courtrai-Lille between two hostile masses, the main body of the
allied right wing about Tournai and a secondary corps at Thielt.
Common-sense, therefore, dictated a converging attack for the Allies and
a series of rapid radial blows for the French. In the allied camp
common-sense had first to prevail over routine, and the emperor's first
orders were for a raid of the Thielt corps towards Ypres, which his
advisers hoped would of itself cause the French to decamp. But the duke
of York formed a very different plan, and Feldzeugmeister Clerfayt, in
command at Thielt, agreed to co-operate. Their proposal was to surround
the French on the Lys with their two corps, and by the 15th the emperor
had decided to use larger forces with the same object.

[Illustration: Sketch of French positions about Courtrai, Tourcoing &
Lille May 16th., 1794]

  Mack's "annihilation plan."

On that day Coburg himself, with 6000 men under Feldzeugmeister Kinsky
from the central (Landrecies) group, entered Tournai and took up the
general command, while another reinforcement under the archduke Charles
marched towards Orchies. Orders were promptly issued for a general
offensive. Clerfayt's corps was to be between Rousselaer and Menin on
the 16th, and the next day to force its way across the Lys at Werwick
and connect with the main army. The main army was to advance in four
columns. The first three, under the duke of York, were to move off, at
daylight on the 17th, by Dottignies, Leers and Lannoy respectively to
the line Mouscron-Tourcoing-Mouveaux. The fourth and fifth under Kinsky
and the archduke Charles were to defeat the French corps on the upper
Marque, and then, leaving Lille on their left and guaranteeing
themselves by a cordon system against being cut off from Tournai (either
by the troops just defeated or by the Lille garrison), to march rapidly
forward towards Werwick, getting touch on their right with the duke of
York and on their left with Clerfayt, and thus completing the investing
circle around Souham's and Moreau's isolated divisions. Speed was
enjoined on all. Picked volunteers to clear away the enemy's
skirmishers, and pioneers to make good difficult places on the roads,
were to precede the heads of the columns. Then came at the head of the
main body the artillery with an infantry escort. All this might have
been designed by the Japanese for the attack of some well-defined
Russian position in the war of 1904. Outpost and skirmisher resistance
was to be overpowered the instant it was offered, and the attack on the
closed bodies of the enemy was to be initiated by a heavy artillery fire
at the earliest possible moment. But in 1904 the Russians stood still,
which was the last thing that the Revolutionary armies of 1794 would or
could do. Mack's well-considered and carefully balanced combinations
failed, and doubtless helped to create the legend of his incapacity,
which finds no support either in the opinion of Coburg, the
representative of the old school, or in that of Scharnhorst, the founder
of the new.

Souham, who commanded in the temporary absence of Pichegru, had formed
his own plan. Finding himself with the major part of his forces between
York and Clerfayt, he had decided to impose upon the former by means of
a covering detachment, and to fall upon Clerfayt near Rousselaer with
the bulk of his forces. This plan, based as it was on a sound
calculation of time, space, strength and endurance, merits close
consideration, for it contains more than a trace of the essential
principles of modern strategy, yet with one vital difference, that
whereas, in the present case, the factor of the enemy's independent will
wrecked the scheme, Napoleon would have guaranteed to himself, before
and during its development, the power of executing it in spite of the
enemy. The appearance of fresh allied troops (Kinsky) on his right front
at once modified these general arrangements. Divining Coburg's
intentions from the arrival of the enemy near Pont-à-Marque and at
Lannoy, he ordered Bonnaud (Lille group, 27,000) to leave enough troops
on the upper Marque to amuse the enemy's leftmost columns, and with
every man he had left beyond this absolute minimum to attack the left
flank of the columns moving towards Tourcoing, which his weak centre
(12,000 men at Tourcoing, Mouscron and Roubaix) was to stop by frontal
defence. No rôle was as yet assigned to the principal mass (50,000 under
Moreau) about Courtrai. Vandamme's brigade was to extend along the Lys
from Menin to Werwick and beyond, to deny as long as possible the
passage to Clerfayt.

This second plan failed like the first, because the enemy's counter-will
was not controlled. All along the line Coburg's advance compelled the
French to fight as they were without any redistribution. But the French
were sufficiently elastic to adapt themselves readily to unforeseen
conditions, and on Coburg's side too the unexpected happened. When
Clerfayt appeared on the Lys above Menin, he found Werwick held. This
was an accident, for the battalion there was on its way to Menin, and
Vandamme, who had not yet received his new orders, was still far away.
But the battalion fought boldly, Clerfayt sent for his pontoons, and ere
they arrived Vandamme's leading troops managed to come up on the other
side. Thus it was not till 1 A.M. on the 18th that the first Austrian
battalions passed the Lys.

On the front of the main allied group the "annihilation plan" was
crippled at the outset by the tardiness of the archduke's (fifth or
left) column. On this the smooth working of the whole scheme depended,
for Coburg considered that he must _defeat_ Bonnaud before carrying out
his intended envelopment of the Menin-Courtrai group (the idea of
"binding" the enemy by a detachment while the main scheme proceeded had
not yet arisen). The allied general, indeed, on discovering the
backwardness of the archduke, went so far as to order all the other
columns to begin by swerving southward against Bonnaud, but these were
already too deeply committed to the original plan to execute any new

The rightmost column (Hanoverians) under von dem Bussche moved on
Mouscron, overpowering the fragmentary, if energetic, resistance of the
French advanced posts. Next on the left, Lieutenant Field Marshal Otto
moved by Leers and Watrelos, driving away a French post at Lis (near
Lannoy) on his left flank, and entered Tourcoing. But meantime a French
brigade had driven von dem Bussche away from Mouscron, so that Otto felt
compelled to keep troops at Leers and Watrelos to protect his rear,
which seriously weakened his hold on Tourcoing. The third column, led by
the duke of York, advanced from Templeuve on Lannoy, at the same time
securing its left by expelling the French from Willems. Lannoy was
stormed by the British Guards under Sir R. Abercromby with such vigour
that the cavalry which had been sent round the village to cut off the
French retreat had no time to get into position. Beyond Lannoy, the
French resistance, still disjointed, became more obstinate as the
ground favoured it more, and the duke called up the Austrians from
Willems to turn the right of the French position at Roubaix by way of a
small valley. Once again, however, the Guards dislodged the enemy before
the turning movement had taken effect. A third French position now
appeared, at Mouvaux, and this seemed so formidable that the duke halted
to rest his now weary men. The emperor himself, however, ordered the
advance to be resumed, and Mouvaux too was carried by Abercromby. It was
now nightfall, and the duke having attained his objective point prepared
to hold it against a counter attack.

Kinsky meanwhile with the fourth column had made feints opposite
Pont-à-Tressin, and had forced the passage of the Marque near Bouvines
with his main body. But Bonnaud gave ground so slowly that up to 4 P.M.
Kinsky had only progressed a few hundred paces from his crossing point.
The fifth column, which was behind time on the 16th, did not arrive at
Orchies till dawn on the 17th, and had to halt there for rest and food.
Thence, moving across country in fighting formation, the archduke made
his way to Pont-à-Marque. But he was unable to do more, before calling a
halt, than deploy his troops on the other side of the stream.

So closed the first day's operations. The "annihilation plan" had
already undergone a serious check. The archduke and Kinsky, instead of
being ready for the second part of their task, had scarcely completed
the first, and the same could be said of Clerfayt, while von dem Bussche
had definitively failed. Only the duke of York and Otto had done their
share in the centre, and they now stood at Tourcoing and Mouvaux
isolated in the midst of the enemy's main body, with no hope of support
from the other columns and no more than a chance of meeting Clerfayt.
Coburg's entire force was, without deducting losses, no more than 53,000
for a front of 18 m., and only half of the enemy's available 80,000 men
had as yet been engaged. Mack sent a staff officer, at 1 A.M., to
implore the archduke to come up to Lannoy at once, but the young prince
was asleep and his suite refused to wake him.

Matters did not, of course, present themselves in this light at Souham's
headquarters, where the generals met in an informal council. The project
of flinging Bonnaud's corps against the flank of the duke of York had
not received even a beginning of execution, and the outposts, reinforced
though they were from the main group, had everywhere been driven in. All
the subordinate leaders, moreover (except Bonnaud), sent in the most
despondent reports. "Councils of war never fight" is an old maxim,
justified in ninety-nine cases in a hundred. But this council determined
to do so, and with all possible vigour. The scheme was practically that
which Coburg's first threat had produced and his first brusque advance
had inhibited. Vandamme was to hold Clerfayt, the garrison of Lille and
a few outlying corps to occupy the archduke and Kinsky, and in the
centre Moreau and Bonnaud, with 40,000 effectives, were to attack the
Tourcoing-Mouvaux position in front and flank at dawn with all possible

  Battle of Tourcoing.

The first shots were fired on the Lys, where, it will be remembered,
Clerfayt's infantry had effected its crossing in the night. Vandamme,
who was to defend the river, had in the evening assembled his troops
(fatigued by a long march) near Menin instead of pushing on at once.
Thus only one of his battalions had taken part in the defence of Werwick
on the 17th, and the remainder were by this chance massed on the flank
of Clerfayt's subsequent line of advance. Vandamme used his advantage
well. He attacked, with perhaps 12,000 men against 21,000, the head and
the middle of Clerfayt's columns as they moved on Lincelles. Clerfayt
stopped at once, turned upon him and drove him towards Roncq and Menin.
Still, fighting in succession, rallying and fighting again, Vandamme's
regiments managed to spin out time and to commit Clerfayt deeper and
deeper to a false direction till it was too late in the day to influence
the battle elsewhere.

V. dem Bussche's column at Dottignies, shaken by the blow it had
received the day before, did nothing, and actually retreated to the
Scheldt. On the other flank, Kinsky and the archduke Charles
practically remained inactive despite repeated orders to proceed to
Lannoy, Kinsky waiting for the archduke, and the latter using up his
time and forces in elaborating a protective cordon all around his left
and rear. Both alleged that "the troops were tired," but there was a
stronger motive. It was felt that Belgium was about to be handed over to
France as the price of peace, and the generals did not see the force of
wasting soldiers on a lost cause. There remained the two centre columns,
Otto's and the duke of York's. The orders of the emperor to the duke
were that he should advance to establish communication with Clerfayt at
Lincelles. Having thus cut off the French Courtrai group, he was to
initiate a general advance to crush it, in which all the allied columns
would take part, Clerfayt, York and Otto in front, von dem Bussche on
the right flank and the archduke and Kinsky in support. These airy
schemes were destroyed at dawn on the 18th. Macdonald's brigade carried
Tourcoing at the first rush, though Otto's guns and the volleys of the
infantry checked its further progress. Malbrancq's brigade swarmed
around the duke of York's entrenchments at Mouvaux, while Bonnaud's mass
from the side of Lille passed the Marque and lapped round the flanks of
the British posts at Roubaix and Lannoy. The duke had used up his
reserves in assisting Otto, and by 8 A.M. the positions of Roubaix,
Lannoy and Mouvaux were isolated from each other. But the Allies fought
magnificently, and by now the Republicans were in confusion, excited to
the highest pitch and therefore extremely sensitive to waves of
enthusiasm or panic; and at this moment Clerfayt was nearing success,
and Vandamme fighting almost back to back with Malbrancq. Otto was able
to retire gradually, though with heavy losses, to Leers, before
Macdonald's left column was able to storm Watrelos, or Daendels'
brigade, still farther towards the Scheldt, could reach his rear. The
resistance of the Austrians gave breathing space to the English, who
held on to their positions till about 11.30, attacked again and again by
Bonnaud, and then, not without confusion, retired to join Otto at Leers.

With the retreat of the two sorely tried columns and the suspension of
Clerfayt's attack between Lincelles and Roncq, the battle of Tourcoing
ended. It was a victory of which the young French generals had reason to
be proud. The main attack was vigorously conducted, and the two-to-one
numerical superiority which the French possessed at the decisive point
is the best testimony at once to Souham's generalship and to Vandamme's
bravery. As for the Allies, those of them who took part in the battle at
all, generals and soldiers, covered themselves with glory, but the
inaction of two-thirds of Coburg's army was the bankruptcy declaration
of the old strategical system. The Allies lost, on this day, about 4000
killed and wounded and 1500 prisoners besides 60 guns. The French loss,
which was probably heavier, is not known. The duke of York defeated,
Souham at once turned his attention to Clerfayt, against whom he
directed all the forces he could gather after a day's "horde-tactics."
The Austrian commander, however, withdrew over the river unharmed. On
the 19th he was at Rousselaer and Ingelminster, 9 or 10 m. north of
Courtrai, while Coburg's forces assembled and encamped in a strong
position some 3 m. west and north-west of Tournai, the Hanoverians
remaining out in advance of the right on the Espierre.

Souham's victory, thanks to his geographical position, had merely given
him air. The Allies, except for the loss of some 5500 men, were in no
way worse off. The plan had failed, but the army as a whole had not been
defeated, while the troops of the duke of York and Otto were far too
well disciplined not to take their defeat as "all in the day's work."
Souham was still on the Lys and midway between the two allied masses,
able to strike each in turn or liable to be crushed between them in
proportion as the opposing generals calculated time, space and endurance
accurately. Souham, therefore, as early as the 19th, had decided that
until Clerfayt had been pushed back to his old positions near Thielt he
could not deal with the main body of the Allies on the side of Tournai,
and he had left Bonnaud to hold the latter while he concentrated most of
his forces towards Courtrai. This move had the desired effect, for
Clerfayt retired without a contest, and on the 21st of May Souham issued
his orders for an advance on Coburg's army, which, as he knew, had
meantime been reinforced. Vandamme alone was left to face Clerfayt, and
this time with outposts far out, at Ingelminster and Roosebeke, so as to
ensure his chief, not a few hours', but two or three days' freedom from

  Battle of Tournai.

Pichegru now returned and took up the supreme command, Souham remaining
in charge of his own and Moreau's divisions. On the extreme right, from
Pont-à-Tressin, only demonstrations were to be made; the centre, between
Baisieux and Estaimbourg, was to be the scene of the holding attack of
Bonnaud's command, while Souham, in considerably greater density,
delivered the decisive attack on the allied right by St Leger and
Warcoing. At Helchin a brigade was to guard the outer flank of the
assailants against a movement by the Hanoverians and to keep open
communication with Courtrai in case of attack from the direction of
Oudenarde. The details of the allied position were insufficiently known
owing to the multiplicity of their advanced posts and the intricate and
densely cultivated nature of the ground. The battle of Tournai opened in
the early morning of the 22nd and was long and desperately contested.
The demonstration on the French extreme right was soon recognized by the
defenders to be negligible, and the allied left wing thereupon closed on
the centre. There Bonnaud attacked with vigour, forcing back the various
advanced posts, especially on the left, where he dislodged the Allies
from Nechin. The defenders of Templeuve then fell back, and the
attacking swarms--a dissolved line of battle--fringed the brook beyond
Templeuve, on the other side of which was the Allies' main position, and
even for a moment seized Blandain. Meanwhile the French at Nechin, in
concert with the main attack, pressed on towards Ramegnies.

Macdonald's and other brigades had forced the Espierre rivulet and
driven von dem Bussche's Hanoverians partly over the Scheldt (they had a
pontoon bridge), partly southward. The main front of the Allies was
defined by the brook that flows between Templeuve and Blandain, then
between Ramegnies and Pont-à-Chin and empties into the Scheldt near the
last-named hamlet. On this front till close on nightfall a fierce battle
raged. Pichegru's main attack was still by his left, and Pont-à-Chin was
taken and retaken by French, Austrians, British and Hanoverians in turn.
Between Blandain and Pont-à-Chin Bonnaud's troops more than once entered
the line of defence. But the attack was definitively broken off at
nightfall and the Republicans withdrew slowly towards Lannoy and Leers.
They had for the first time in a fiercely contested "soldier's battle"
measured their strength, regiment for regiment, against the Allies, and
failed, but by so narrow a margin that henceforward the Army of the
North realized its own strength and solidity. The Army of the
Revolution, already superior in numbers and imbued with the
decision-compelling spirit, had at last achieved self-confidence.

But the actual decision was destined by a curious process of evolution
to be given by Jourdan's far-distant Army of the Moselle, to which we
now turn.

The Army of the Moselle had been ordered to assemble a striking force on
its left wing, without prejudicing the rest of its cordon in Lorraine,
and with this striking force to operate towards Liége and Namur. Its
first movement on Arlon, in April, was repulsed by a small Austrian
corps under Beaulieu that guarded this region. But in the beginning of
May the advance was resumed though the troops were ill-equipped and
ill-fed, and requisitions had reduced the civil population to
semi-starvation and sullen hostility. We quote Jourdan's instructions to
his advanced guard, not merely as evidence of the trivial purpose of the
march as originally planned, but still more as an illustration of the
driving power that made the troops march at all, and of the new method
of marching and subsisting them.

  Jourdan's movement on Liége.

Its commander was "to keep in mind the purpose of cutting the
communications between Luxemburg and Namur, and was therefore to throw
out strong bodies against the enemy daily and at different points, to
parry the enemy's movements by rapid marches, to prevent any transfer
of troops to Belgium, and lastly to seek an occasion for giving battle,
for cutting off his convoys and for seizing his magazines." So much for
the purpose. The method of achieving it is defined as follows. "General
Hatry, in order to attain the object of these instructions, will have
with him the minimum of wagons. He is to live at the expense of the
enemy as much as possible, and to send back into the interior of the
Republic whatever may be useful to it; he will maintain his
communications with Longwy, report every movement to me, and when
necessary to the Committee of Public Safety and to the minister of war,
maintain order and discipline, and firmly oppose every sort of pillage."
How the last of these instructions was to be reconciled with the rest,
Hatry was not informed. In fact, it was ignored. "I am far from
believing," wrote the representative on mission Gillet, "that we ought
to adopt the principles of philanthropy with which we began the war."

At the moment when, on these terms, Jourdan's advance was resumed, the
general situation east of the Scheldt was as follows: The Allies' centre
under Coburg had captured Landrecies, and now (May 4) lay around that
place, about 65,000 strong, while the left under Kaunitz (27,000) was
somewhat north of Maubeuge, with detachments south of the Sambre as far
as the Meuse. Beyond these again were the detachment of Beaulieu (8000)
near Arlon, and another, 9000 strong, around Trier. On the side of the
French, the Army of the Moselle (41,000 effectives) was in cordon
between Saargemünd and Longwy; the Army of the Ardennes (22,000) between
Beaumont and Givet; of the Army of the North, the right wing (38,000) in
the area Beaumont--Maubeuge and the centre (24,000) about Guise. In the
aggregate the allied field armies numbered 139,000 men, those of the
French 203,000. Tactically the disproportion was sufficient to give the
latter the victory, if, strategically, it could be made effective at a
given time and place. But the French had mobility as a remedy for
over-extension, and though their close massing on the extreme flanks
left no more than equal forces opposite Coburg in the centre, the latter
felt unable either to go forward or to close to one flank when on his
right the storm was brewing at Menin and Tournai, and on his left
Kaunitz reported the gathering of important masses of the French around

Thus the initiative passed over to the French, but they missed their
opportunity, as Coburg had missed his in 1793. Pichegru's right was
ordered to march on Mons, and his left to master the navigation of the
Scheldt so as to reduce the Allies to wagon-drawn supplies--the latter
an objective dear to the 18th-century general; while Jourdan's task, as
we know, was to conquer the Liége or Namur country without unduly
stripping the cordon on the Saar and the Moselle. Jourdan's orders and
original purpose were to get Beaulieu out of his way by the usual
strategical tricks, and to march through the Ardennes as rapidly as
possible, living on what supplies he could pick up from the enemy or the
inhabitants. But he had scarcely started when Beaulieu made his
existence felt by attacking a French post at Bouillon. Thereupon Jourdan
made the active enemy, instead of Namur, his first object.

The movement of the operative portion of the Army of the Moselle began
on the 21st of May from Longwy through Arlon towards Neufchâteau.
Irregular fighting, sometimes with the Austrians, sometimes with the
bitterly hostile inhabitants, marked its progress. Beaulieu was nowhere
forced into a battle. But fortune was on Jourdan's side. The Austrians
were a detachment of Coburg's army, not an independent force, and when
threatened they retired towards Ciney, drawing Jourdan after them in the
very direction in which he desired to go. On the 28th the French, after
a vain detour made in the hope of forcing Beaulieu to fight--"les
esclaves n'osent pas se mesurer avec des hommes libres," wrote Jourdan
in disgust,--reached Ciney, and there heard that the enemy had fallen
back to a strongly entrenched position on the east bank of the Meuse
near Namur. Jourdan was preparing to attack them there, when
considerations of quite another kind intervened to change his direction,
and thereby to produce the drama of Charleroi and Fleurus--which
military historians have asserted to be the foreseen result of the
initial plan.

The method of "living on the country" had failed lamentably in the
Ardennes, and Jourdan, though he had spoken of changing his line of
supply from Arlon to Carignan, then to Mézières and so on as his march
progressed, was still actually living from hand to mouth on the convoys
that arrived intermittently from his original base. When he sought to
take what he needed from the towns on the Meuse, he infringed on the
preserves of the Army of the Ardennes.[6] The advance, therefore, came
for the moment to a standstill, while Beaulieu, solicitous for the
safety of Charleroi--in which fortress he had a magazine--called up the
outlying troops left behind on the Moselle to rejoin him by way of
Bastogne. At the same moment (29th) Jourdan received new orders from
Paris--(a) to take Dinant and Charleroi and to clear the country between
the Meuse and the Sambre, and (b) to attack Namur, either by assault or
by regular siege. In the latter case the bulk of the forces were to form
a covering army beyond the place, to demonstrate towards Nivelles,
Louvain and Liége, and to serve at need as a support to the right flank
of the Ardennes Army. From these orders and from the action of the enemy
the campaign at last took a definite shape.


When the Army of the Moselle passed over to the left bank of the Meuse,
it was greeted by the distant roar of guns towards Charleroi and by news
that the Army of the Ardennes, which had already twice been defeated by
Kaunitz, was for the third time deeply and unsuccessfully engaged beyond
the Sambre. The resumption of the march again complicated the supply
question, and it was only slowly that the army advanced towards
Charleroi, sweeping the country before it and extending its right
towards Namur. But at last on the 3rd of June the concentration of parts
of three armies on the Sambre was effected. Jourdan took command of the
united force (Army of the Sambre and Meuse) with a strong hand, the
40,000 new-comers inspired fresh courage in the beaten Ardennes troops,
and in the sudden dominating enthusiasm of the moment pillaging and
straggling almost ceased. Troops that had secured bread shared it with
less fortunate comrades, and even the Liégois peasantry made free gifts
of supplies. "We must believe," says the French general staff of to-day,
"that the idea symbolized by the Tricolour, around which marched ever
these sansculottes, shoeless and hungry, unchained a mysterious force
that preceded our columns and aided the achievement of military

Friction, however, arose between Jourdan and the generals of the
Ardennes Army, to whom the representatives thought it well to give a
separate mission. This detachment of 18,000 men was followed by another,
of 16,000, to keep touch with Maubeuge. Deducting another 6000 for the
siege of Charleroi, when this should be made, the covering army destined
to fight the Imperialists dwindled to 55,000 out of 96,000 effectives.
Even now, we see, the objective was not primarily the enemy's army. The
Republican leaders desired to strike out beyond the Sambre, and as a
preliminary to capture Charleroi. They would not, however, risk the loss
of their connexion with Maubeuge before attaining the new foothold.

Meanwhile, Tourcoing and Tournai had at last convinced Coburg that
Pichegru was his most threatening opponent, and he had therefore, though
with many misgivings, decided to move towards his right, leaving the
prince of Orange with not more than 45,000 men on the side of

Jourdan crossed the Sambre on the 12th of June, practically unopposed.
Charleroi was rapidly invested and the covering army extended in a
semicircular position. For the fourth time the Allies counter-attacked
successfully, and after a severe struggle the French had to abandon
their positions and their siege works and to recross the Sambre (June
16). But the army was not beaten. On the contrary, it was only desirous
of having its revenge for a stroke of ill-fortune, due, the soldiers
said, to the fog and to the want of ammunition. The fierce threats of
St Just (who had joined the army) to _faire tomber les têtes_ if more
energy were not shown were unnecessary, and within two days the army was
advancing again. On the 18th Jourdan's columns recrossed the river and
extended around Charleroi in the same positions as before. This time,
having in view the weariness of his troops and their heavy losses on the
16th, the prince of Orange allowed the siege to proceed. His reasons for
so doing furnish an excellent illustration of the different ideas and
capacities of a professional army and a "nation in arms." "The Imperial
troops," wrote General Alvintzi, "are very fatigued. We have fought nine
times since the 10th of May, we have bivouacked constantly, and made
forced marches. Further, we are short of officers." All this, it need
hardly be pointed out, applied equally to the French.

Charleroi, garrisoned by less than 3000 men, was intimidated into
surrender (25th) when the third parallel was barely established. Thus
the object of the first operations was achieved. As to the next neither
Jourdan nor the representatives seem to have had anything further in
view than the capture of more fortresses. But within twenty-four hours
events had decided for them.

Coburg had quickly abandoned his intention of closing on his right wing,
and (after the usual difficulties with his Allies on that side) had
withdrawn 12,000 Austrians from the centre of his cordon opposite
Pichegru, and made forced marches to join the prince of Orange. On the
24th of June he had collected 52,000 men at various points round
Charleroi, and on the 25th he set out to relieve the little fortress.
But he was in complete ignorance of the state of affairs at Charleroi.
Signal guns were fired, but the woods drowned even the roar of the siege
batteries, and at last a party under Lieutenant Radetzky made its way
through the covering army and discovered that the place had fallen. The
party was destroyed on its return, but Radetzky was reserved for greater
things. He managed, though twice wounded, to rejoin Coburg with his bad
news in the midst of the battle of Fleurus.

On the 26th Jourdan's army (now some 73,000 strong) was still posted in
a semicircle of entrenched posts, 20 m. in extent, round the captured
town, pending the removal of the now unnecessary pontoon bridge at
Marchiennes and the selection of a shorter line of defence.


Coburg was still more widely extended. Inferior in numbers as he was, he
proposed to attack on an equal front, and thus gave himself, for the
attack of an entrenched position, an order of battle of three men to
every two yards of front, all reserves included. The Allies were to
attack in five columns, the prince of Orange from the west and
north-west towards Trazegnies and Monceau wood, Quasdanovich from the
north on Gosselies, Kaunitz from the north-east, the archduke Charles
from the east through Fleurus, and finally Beaulieu towards Lambusart.
The scheme was worked out in such minute detail and with so entire a
disregard of the chance of unforeseen incidents, that once he had given
the executive command to move, the Austrian general could do no more. If
every detail worked out as planned, victory would be his; if accidents
happened he could do nothing to redress them, and unless these righted
themselves (which was improbable in the case of the stiffly organized
old armies) he could only send round the order to break off the action
and retreat.

In these circumstances the battle of Fleurus is the sum rather than the
product of the various fights that took place between each allied column
and the French division that it met. The prince of Orange attacked at
earliest dawn and gradually drove in the French left wing to Courcelles,
Roux and Marchiennes, but somewhat after noon the French, under the
direction for the most part of Kléber, began a series of counterstrokes
which recovered the lost ground, and about 5, without waiting for
Coburg's instructions, the prince retired north-westward off the
battlefield. The French centre division, under Morlot, made a gradual
fighting retreat on Gosselies, followed up by the Quasdanovich column
and part of Kaunitz's force. No serious impression was made on the
defenders, chiefly because the brook west of Mellet was a serious
obstacle to the rigid order of the Allies and had to be bridged before
their guns could be got over. Kaunitz's column and Championnet's
division met on the battlefield of 1690. The French were gradually
driven in from the outlying villages to their main position between
Heppignies and Wangenies. Here the Allies, well led and taking every
advantage of ground and momentary chances, had the best of it. They
pressed the French hard, necessitated the intervention of such small
reserves as Jourdan had available, and only gave way to the defenders'
counterstroke at the moment they received Coburg's orders for a general

On the allied left wing the fighting was closer and more severe than at
any point. Beaulieu on the extreme left advanced upon Velaine and the
French positions in the woods to the south in several small groups of
all arms. Here were the divisions of the Army of the Ardennes, markedly
inferior in discipline and endurance to the rest, and only too mindful
of their four previous reverses. For six hours, more or less, they
resisted the oncoming Allies, but then, in spite of the example and the
despairing appeals of their young general Marceau, they broke and fled,
leaving Beaulieu free to combine with the archduke Charles, who carried
Fleurus after obstinate fighting, and then pressed on towards
Campinaire. Beaulieu took command of all the allied forces on this side
about noon, and from then to 5 P.M. launched a series of terrible
attacks on the French (Lefebvre's division, part of the general reserve,
and the remnant of Marceau's troops) above Campinaire and Lambusart. The
disciplined resolution of the imperial battalions, and the enthusiasm of
the French Revolutionaries, were each at their height. The Austrians
came on time after time over ground that was practically destitute of
cover. Villages, farms and fields of corn caught fire. The French grew
more and more excited--"No retreat to-day!" they called out to their
leaders, and finally, clamouring to be led against the enemy, they had
their wish. Lefebvre seized the psychological moment when the fourth
attack of the Allies had failed, and (though he did not know it) the
order to retreat had come from Coburg. The losses of the unit that
delivered it were small, for the charge exactly responded to the moral
conditions of the moment, but the proportion of killed to wounded (55 to
81) is good evidence of the intensity of the momentary conflict.

So ended the battle. Coburg had by now learned definitely that Charleroi
had surrendered, and while the issue of the battle was still
doubtful--for though the prince of Orange was beaten, Beaulieu was in
the full tide of success--he gave (towards 3 P.M.) the order for a
general retreat. This was delivered to the various commanders between 4
and 5, and these, having their men in hand even in the heat of the
engagement, were able to break off the battle without undue confusion.
The French were far too exhausted to pursue them (they had lost twice as
many men as the Allies), and their leader had practically no formed body
at hand to follow up the victory, thanks to the extraordinary
dissemination of the army.

  Tourcoing, Tournay and Fleurus represent the maximum result achievable
  under the earlier Revolutionary system of making war, and show the men
  and the leaders at the highest point of combined steadiness and
  enthusiasm they ever reached--that is, as a "Sansculotte" army.
  Fleurus was also the last great victory of the French, in point of
  time, prior to the advent of Napoleon, and may therefore be considered
  as illustrating the general conditions of warfare at one of the most
  important points in its development.

  The sequel of these battles can be told in a few words. The Austrian
  government had, it is said, long ago decided to evacuate the
  Netherlands, and Coburg retired over the Meuse, practically unpursued,
  while the duke of York's forces fell back in good order, though
  pursued by Pichegru through Flanders. The English contingent embarked
  for home, the rest retired through Holland into Hanoverian territory,
  leaving the Dutch troops to surrender to the victors. The last phase
  of the pursuit reflected great glory on Pichegru, for it was conducted
  in midwinter through a country bare of supplies and densely
  intersected with dykes and meres. The crowning incident was the
  dramatic capture of the Dutch fleet, frozen in at the Texel, by a
  handful of hussars who rode over the ice and browbeat the crews of the
  well-armed battleships into surrender. It was many years before a
  prince of Orange ruled again in the United provinces, while the
  Austrian whitecoats never again mounted guard in Brussels.

  The Rhine campaign of 1794, waged as before chiefly by the Prussians,
  was not of great importance. General v. Möllendorf won a victory at
  Kaiserslautern on the 23rd of May, but operations thereafter became
  spasmodic, and were soon complicated by Coburg's retreat over the
  Meuse. With this event the offensive of the Allies against the French
  Revolution came to an inglorious end. Poland now occupied the thoughts
  of European statesmen, and Austria began to draw her forces on to the
  east. England stopped the payment of subsidies, and Prussia made the
  Peace of Basel on the 5th of April 1795. On the Spanish frontier the
  French under General Dugommier (who was killed in the last battle)
  were successful in almost every encounter, and Spain, too, made peace.
  Only the eternal enemies, France and Austria, were left face to face
  on the Rhine, and elsewhere, of all the Allies, Sardinia alone (see
  below under _Italian Campaigns_) continued the struggle in a
  half-hearted fashion.

  The operations of 1795 on the Rhine present no feature of the
  Revolutionary Wars that other and more interesting campaigns fail to
  show. Austria had two armies on foot under the general command of
  Clerfayt, one on the upper Rhine, the other south of the Main, while
  Mainz was held by an army of imperial contingents. The French, Jourdan
  on the lower; Pichegru on the upper Rhine, had as usual superior
  numbers at their disposal. Jourdan combined a demonstrative frontal
  attack on Neuwied with an advance in force via Düsseldorf, reunited
  his wings beyond the river near Neuwied, and drove back the Austrians
  in a series of small engagements to the Main, while Pichegru passed at
  Mannheim and advanced towards the Neckar. But ere long both were
  beaten, Jourdan at Höchst and Pichegru at Mannheim, and the investment
  of Mainz had to be abandoned. This was followed by the invasion of the
  Palatinate by Clerfayt and the retreat of Jourdan to the Moselle. The
  position was further compromised by secret negotiations between
  Pichegru and the enemy for the restoration of the Bourbons. The
  meditated treason came to light early in the following year, and the
  guilty commander disappeared into the obscure ranks of the royalist
  secret agents till finally brought to justice in 1804.


The wonder of Europe now transferred itself from the drama of the French
Revolution to the equally absorbing drama of a great war on the Rhine.
"Every day, for four terrible years," wrote a German pamphleteer early
in 1796, "has surpassed the one before it in grandeur and terror, and
to-day surpasses all in dizzy sublimity." That a manoeuvre on the Lahn
should possess an interest to the peoples of Europe surpassing that of
the Reign of Terror is indeed hardly imaginable, but there was a good
reason for the tense expectancy that prevailed everywhere. France's
policy was no longer defensive. She aimed at invading and
"revolutionizing" the monarchies and principalities of old Europe, and
to this end the campaign of 1796 was to be the great and conclusive
effort. The "liberation of the oppressed" had its part in the decision,
and the glory of freeing the serf easily merged itself in the glory of
defeating the serf's masters. But a still more pressing motive for
carrying the war into the enemy's country was the fact that France and
the lands she had overrun could no longer subsist her armies. The
Directory frankly told its generals, when they complained that their men
were starving and ragged, that they would find plenty of subsistence
beyond the Rhine.

On her part, Austria, no longer fettered by allied contingents nor by
the expenses of a far distant campaign, could put forth more strength
than on former campaigns, and as war came nearer home and the citizen
saw himself threatened by "revolutionizing" and devastating armies, he
ceased to hamper or to swindle the troops. Thus the duel took place on
the grandest scale then known in the history of European armies. Apart
from the secondary theatre of Italy, the area embraced in the struggle
was a vast triangle extending from Düsseldorf to Basel and thence to
Ratisbon, and Carnot sketched the outlines in accordance with the scale
of the picture. He imagined nothing less than the union of the armies of
the Rhine and the Riviera before the walls of Vienna. Its practicability
cannot here be discussed, but it is worth contrasting the attitude of
contemporaries and of later strategical theorists towards it. The
former, with their empirical knowledge of war, merely thought it
impracticable with the available means, but the latter have condemned it
root and branch as "an operation on exterior lines."

  Jourdan and Moreau.

The scheme took shape only gradually. The first advance was made partly
in search of food, partly to disengage the Palatinate, which Clerfayt
had conquered in 1795. "If you have reason to believe that you would
find some supplies on the Lahn, hasten thither with the greater part of
your forces," wrote the Directory to Jourdan (Army of the
Sambre-and-Meuse, 72,000) on the 29th of March. He was to move at once,
before the Austrians could concentrate, and to pass the Rhine at
Düsseldorf, thereby bringing back the centre of the enemy over the
river. He was, further, to take every advantage of their want of
concentration to deliver blow after blow, and to do his utmost to break
them up completely. A fortnight later Moreau (Army of the
Rhine-and-Moselle, 78,000) was ordered to take advantage of Jourdan's
move, which would draw most of the Austrian forces to the Mainz region,
to enter the Breisgau and Suabia. "You will attack Austria at home, and
capture her magazines. You will enter a new country, the resources of
which, properly handled, should suffice for the needs of the Army of the

Jourdan, therefore, was to take upon himself the destruction of the
enemy, Moreau the invasion of South Germany. The first object of both
was to subsist their armies beyond the Rhine, the second to defeat the
armies and terrorize the populations of the empire. Under these
instructions the campaign opened. Jourdan crossed at Düsseldorf and
reached the Lahn, but the enemy concentrated against him very swiftly
and he had to retire over the river. Still, if he had not been able to
"break them up completely," he had at any rate drawn on himself the
weight of the Austrian army, and enabled Moreau to cross at Strassburg
without much difficulty.

The Austrians were now commanded by the archduke Charles, who, after all
detachments had been made, disposed of some 56,000 men. At first he
employed the bulk of this force against Jourdan, but on hearing of
Moreau's progress he returned to the Neckar country with 20,000 men,
leaving Feldzeugmeister v. Wartensleben with 36,000 to observe Jourdan.
In later years he admitted himself that his own force was far too small
to deal with Moreau, who, he probably thought, would retire after a few

  The archduke's plan.

But by now the two French generals were aiming at something more than
alternate raids and feints. Carnot had set before them the ideal of a
decisive battle as the great object. Jourdan was instructed, if the
archduke turned on Moreau, to follow him up with all speed and to bring
him to action. Moreau, too, was not retreating but advancing. The two
armies, Moreau's and the archduke's, met in a straggling and indecisive
battle at Malsch on the 9th of July, and soon afterwards Charles learned
that Jourdan had recrossed the Rhine and was driving Wartensleben before
him. He thereupon retired both armies from the Rhine valley into the
interior, hoping that at least the French would detach large forces to
besiege the river fortresses. Disappointed of this, and compelled to
face a very grave situation, he resorted to an expedient which may be
described in his own words: "to retire both armies step by step without
committing himself to a battle, and to seize the first opportunity to
unite them so as to throw himself with superior or at least equal
strength on one of the two hostile enemies." This is the ever-recurring
idea of "interior lines." It was not new, for Frederick the Great had
used similar means in similar circumstances, as had Souham at Tourcoing
and even Dampierre at Valenciennes. Nor was it differentiated, as were
Napoleon's operations in this same year, by the deliberate use of a
small containing force at one point to obtain relative superiority at
another. A general of the 18th century did not believe in the efficacy
of superior numbers--had not Frederick the Great disproved it?--and for
him operations on "interior lines" were simply successive blows at
successive targets, the efficacy of the blow in each case being
dependent chiefly on his own personal qualities and skill as a general
on the field of battle. In the present case the point to be observed is
not the expedient, which was dictated by the circumstances, but the
courage of the young general, who, unlike Wartensleben and the rest of
his generals, unlike, too, Moreau and Jourdan themselves, surmounted
difficulties instead of lamenting them.

On the other side, Carnot, of course, foresaw this possibility. He
warned the generals not to allow the enemy to "use his forces sometimes
against one, sometimes against the other, as he did in the last
campaign," and ordered them to go forward respectively into Franconia
and into the country of the upper Neckar, with a view to seeking out and
defeating the enemy's army. But the plan of operations soon grew bolder.
Jourdan was informed on the 21st of July that if he reached the Regnitz
without meeting the enemy, or if his arrival there forced the latter to
retire rapidly to the Danube, he was not to hesitate to advance to
Ratisbon and even to Passau if the disorganization of the enemy admitted
it, but in these contingencies he was to detach a force into Bohemia to
levy contributions. "We presume that the enemy is too weak to offer a
successful resistance and will have united his forces on the Danube; we
hope that our two armies will act in unison to rout him completely. Each
is, in any case, strong enough to attack by itself, and nothing is so
pernicious as slowness in war." Evidently the fear that the two Austrian
armies would unite against one of their assailants had now given place
to something like disdain.


This was due in all probability to the rapidity with which Moreau was
driving the archduke before him. After a brief stand on the Neckar at
Cannstadt, the Austrians, only 25,000 strong, fell back to the Rauhe
Alb, where they halted again, to cover their magazines at Ulm and
Günzburg, towards the end of July. Wartensleben was similarly falling
back before Jourdan, though the latter, starting considerably later than
Moreau, had not advanced so far. The details of the successive positions
occupied by Wartensleben need not be stated; all that concerns the
general development of the campaign is the fact that the hitherto
independent leader of the "Lower Rhine Army" resented the loss of his
freedom of action, and besides lamentations opposed a dull passive
resistance to all but the most formal orders of the prince. Many weeks
passed before this was overcome sufficiently for his leader even to
arrange for the contemplated combination, and in these weeks the
archduke was being driven back day by day, and the German principalities
were falling away one by one as the French advanced and preached the
revolutionary formula. In such circumstances as these--the general
facts, if not the causes, were patent enough--it was natural that the
confident Paris strategists should think chiefly of the profits of their
enterprise and ignore the fears of the generals at the front. But the
latter were justified in one important respect; their operating armies
had seriously diminished in numbers, Jourdan disposing of not more than
45,000 and Moreau of about 50,000. The archduke had now, owing to the
arrival of a few detachments from the Black Forest and elsewhere, about
34,000 men, Wartensleben almost exactly the same, and the former, for
some reason which has never been fully explained but has its
justification in psychological factors, suddenly turned and fought a
long, severe and straggling battle above Neresheim (August 11). This did
not, however, give him much respite, and on the 12th and 13th he retired
over the Danube. At this date Wartensleben was about Amberg, almost as
far away from the other army as he had been on the Rhine, owing to the
necessity of retreating round instead of through the principality of
Bayreuth, which was a Prussian possession and could therefore make its
neutrality respected.

Hitherto Charles had intended to unite his armies on the Danube against
Moreau. His later choice of Jourdan's army as the objective of his
combination grew out of circumstances and in particular out of the
brilliant reconnaissance work of a cavalry brigadier of the Lower Rhine
Army, Nauendorff. This general's reports--he was working in the country
south and south-east of Nürnberg, Wartensleben being at
Amberg--indicated first an advance of Jourdan's army from Forchheim
through Nürnberg to the _south_, and induced the archduke, on the 12th,
to begin a concentration of his own army towards Ingolstadt. This was a
purely defensive measure, but Nauendorff reported on the 13th and 14th
that the main columns of the French were swinging away to the east
against Wartensleben's front and inner flank, and on the 14th he boldly
suggested the idea that decided the campaign. "If your Royal Highness
will or can advance 12,000 men against Jourdan's rear, he is lost. We
could not have a better opportunity." When this message arrived at
headquarters the archduke had already issued orders to the same effect.
Lieutenant Field Marshal Count Latour, with 30,000 men, was to keep
Moreau occupied--another expedient of the moment, due to the very close
pressure of Moreau's advance, and the failure of the attempt to put him
out of action at Neresheim. The small remainder of the army, with a few
detachments gathered _en route_, in all about 27,000 men, began to
recross the Danube on the 14th, and slowly advanced north on a broad
front, its leader being now sure that at some point on his line he would
encounter the French, whether they were heading for Ratisbon or Amberg.
Meanwhile, the Directory had, still acting on the theory of the
archduke's weakness, ordered Moreau to combine the operations with those
of Bonaparte in Italian Tirol, and Jourdan to turn both flanks of his
immediate opponent, and thus to prevent his joining the archduke, as
well as his retreat into Bohemia. And curiously enough it was this
latter, and not Moreau's move, which suggested to the archduke that his
chance had come. The chance was, in fact, one dear to the 18th century
general, catching his opponent in the act of executing a manoeuvre. So
far from "exterior lines" being fatal to Jourdan, it was not until the
French general began to operate against Wartensleben's _inner_ flank
that the archduke's opportunity came.

  Amberg and Würzburg.

The decisive events of the campaign can be described very briefly, the
ideas that directed them having been made clear. The long thin line of
the archduke wrapped itself round Jourdan's right flank near Amberg,
while Wartensleben fought him in front. The battle (August 24) was a
series of engagements between the various columns that met; it was a
repetition in fact of Fleurus, without the intensity of fighting spirit
that redeems that battle from dulness. Success followed, not upon
bravery or even tactics, but upon the pre-existing strategical
conditions. At the end of the day the French retired, and next morning
the archduke began another wide extension to his left, hoping to head
them off. This consumed several days. In the course of it Jourdan
attempted to take advantage of his opponent's dissemination to regain
the direct road to Würzburg, but the attempt was defeated by an almost
fortuitous combination of forces at the threatened point. More
effective, indeed, than this indirect pursuit was the very active
hostility of the peasantry, who had suffered in Jourdan's advance and
retaliated so effectually during his retreat that the army became
thoroughly demoralized, both by want of food and by the strain of
incessant sniping. Defeated again at Würzburg on the 3rd of September,
Jourdan continued his retreat to the Lahn, and finally withdrew the
shattered army over the Rhine, partly by Düsseldorf, partly by Neuwied.
In the last engagement on the Lahn the young and brilliant Marceau was
mortally wounded. Far away in Bavaria, Moreau had meantime been driving
Latour from one line of resistance to another. On receiving the news of
Jourdan's reverses, however, he made a rapid and successful retreat to
Strassburg, evading the prince's army, which had ascended the Rhine
valley to head him off, in the nick of time.

This celebrated campaign is pre-eminently strategical in its character,
in that the positions and movements anterior to the battle preordained
its issue. It raised the reputation of the archduke Charles to the
highest point, and deservedly, for he wrested victory from the most
desperate circumstances by the skilful and resolute employment of his
one advantage. But this was only possible because Moreau and Jourdan
were content to accept strategical failure without seeking to redress
the balance by hard fighting. The great question of this campaign is,
why did Moreau and Jourdan fail against inferior numbers, when in Italy
Bonaparte with a similar army against a similar opponent won victory
after victory against equal and superior forces? The answer will not be
supplied by any theory of "exterior and interior lines." It lies far
deeper. So far as it is possible to summarize it in one phrase, it lies
in the fact that though the Directory meant this campaign to be the
final word on the Revolutionary War, for the nation at large this final
word had been said at Fleurus. The troops were still the nation; they no
longer fought for a cause and for bare existence, and Moreau and Jourdan
were too closely allied in ideas and sympathies with the misplaced
citizen soldiers they commanded to be able to dominate their collective
will. In default of a cause, however, soldiers will fight for a man, and
this brings us by a natural sequence of ideas to the war in Italy.


Hitherto we have ignored the operations on the Italian frontier, partly
because they were of minor importance and partly because the conditions
out of which Napoleon's first campaign arose can be best considered in
connexion with that campaign itself, from which indeed the previous
operations derive such light as they possess. It has been mentioned that
in 1792 the French overran Savoy and Nice. In 1793 the Sardinian army
and a small auxiliary corps of Austrians waged a desultory mountain
warfare against the Army of the Alps about Briançon and the Army of
Italy on the Var. That furious offensive on the part of the French,
which signalized the year 1793 elsewhere, was made impossible here by
the counter-revolution in the cities of the Midi.


In 1794, when this had been crushed, the intention of the French
government was to take the offensive against the Austro-Sardinians. The
first operation was to be the capture of Oneglia. The concentration of
large forces in the lower Rhone valley had naturally infringed upon the
areas told off for the provisioning of the Armies of the Alps
(Kellermann) and of Italy (Dumerbion); indeed, the sullen population
could hardly be induced to feed the troops suppressing the revolt, still
less the distant frontier armies. Thus the only source of supply was the
Riviera of Genoa: "Our connexion with this district is imperilled by the
corsairs of Oneglia (a Sardinian town) owing to the cessation of our
operations afloat. The army is living from hand to mouth," wrote the
younger Robespierre in September 1793. Vessels bearing supplies from
Genoa could not avoid the corsairs by taking the open sea, for there the
British fleet was supreme. Carnot therefore ordered the Army of Italy to
capture Oneglia, and 21,000 men (the rest of the 67,000 effectives were
held back for coast defence) began operations in April. The French left
moved against the enemy's positions on the main road over the Col di
Tenda, the centre towards Ponte di Nava, and the right along the
Riviera. All met with success, thanks to Masséna's bold handling of the
centre column. Not only was Oneglia captured, but also the Col di Tenda.
Napoleon Bonaparte served in these affairs on the headquarter staff.
Meantime the Army of the Alps had possessed itself of the Little St
Bernard and Mont Cenis, and the Republicans were now masters of several
routes into Piedmont (May). But the Alpine roads merely led to
fortresses, and both Carnot and Bonaparte--Napoleon had by now
captivated the younger Robespierre and become the leading spirit in
Dumerbion's army--considered that the Army of the Alps should be
weakened to the profit of the Army of Italy, and that the time had come
to disregard the feeble neutrality of Genoa, and to advance over the Col
di Tenda.

  Napoleon in 1794.

Napoleon's first suggestion for a rapid condensation of the French
cordon, and an irresistible blow on the centre of the Allies by
Tenda-Coni,[7] came to nothing owing to the waste of time in
negotiations between the generals and the distant Committee, and
meanwhile new factors came into play. The capture of the pass of
Argentera by the right wing of the Army of the Alps suggested that the
main effort should be made against the barrier fortress of Demonte, but
here again Napoleon proposed a concentration of effort on the primary
and economy of force in the secondary objective. About the same time, in
a memoir on the war in general, he laid down his most celebrated maxim:
"The principles of war are the same as those of a siege. Fire must be
concentrated on one point, and as soon as the breach is made, the
equilibrium is broken and the rest is nothing." In the domain of tactics
he was and remains the principal exponent of the art of breaking the
equilibrium, and already he imagined the solution of problems of policy
and strategy on the same lines. "Austria is the great enemy; Austria
crushed, Germany, Spain, Italy fall of themselves. We must not disperse,
but concentrate our attack." Napoleon argued that Austria could be
effectively wounded by an offensive against Piedmont, and even more
effectively by an ulterior advance from Italian soil into Germany. In
pursuance of the single aim he asked for the appointment of a single
commander-in-chief to hold sway from Bayonne to the Lake of Geneva, and
for the rejection of all schemes for "revolutionizing" Italy till after
the defeat of the arch-enemy.

Operations, however, did not after all take either of these forms. The
younger Robespierre perished with his brother in the _coup d'état_ of
9th Thermidor, the advance was suspended, and Bonaparte, amongst other
leading spirits of the Army of Italy, was arrested and imprisoned.
Profiting by this moment, Austria increased her auxiliary corps. An
Austrian general took command of the whole of the allied forces, and
pronounced a threat from the region of Cairo (where the Austrians took
their place on the left wing of the combined army) towards the Riviera.
The French, still dependent on Genoa for supplies, had to take the
offensive at once to save themselves from starvation, and the result was
the expedition of Dego, planned chiefly by Napoleon, who had been
released from prison and was at headquarters, though unemployed. The
movement began on the 17th of September; and although the Austrian
general Colloredo repulsed an attack at Dego (Sept. 21) he retreated to
Acqui, and the incipient offensive of the Allies ended abruptly.

The first months of the winter of 1794-1795 were spent in re-equipping
the troops, who stood in sore need after their rapid movements in the
mountains. For the future operations, the enforced condensation of the
army on its right wing with the object of protecting its line of supply
to Genoa and the dangers of its cramped situation on the Riviera
suggested a plan roughly resembling one already recommended by Napoleon,
who had since the affair of Dego become convinced that the way into
Italy was through the Apennines and not the Alps. The essence of this
was to anticipate the enemy by a very early and rapid advance from Vado
towards Carcare by the Ceva road, the only good road of which the French
disposed and which they significantly called the _chemin de canon_.

  Schérer and Kellermann.

The plan, however, came to nothing; the Committee, which now changed its
personnel at fixed intervals, was in consequence wavering and
non-committal, troops were withdrawn for a projected invasion of
Corsica, and in November 1794 Dumerbion was replaced by Schérer, who
assembled only 17,000 of his 54,000 effectives for field operations, and
selected as his line of advance the Col di Tenda-Coni road. Schérer,
besides being hostile to any suggestion emanating from Napoleon, was
impressed with the apparent danger to his right wing concentrated in the
narrow Riviera, which it was at this stage impossible to avert by a
sudden and early assumption of the offensive. After a brief tenure
Schérer was transferred to the Spanish frontier, but Kellermann, who now
received command of the Army of Italy in addition to his own, took the
same view as his predecessor--the view of the ordinary general. But not
even the Schérer plan was put into execution, for spring had scarcely
arrived when the prospect of renewed revolts in the south of France
practically paralysed the army.

This encouraged the enemy to deliver the blow that had so long been
feared. The combined forces, under Devins,--the Sardinians, the Austrian
auxiliary corps and the newly arrived Austrian main army,--advanced
together and forced the French right wing to evacuate Vado and the
Genoese littoral. But at this juncture the conclusion of peace with
Spain released the Pyrenees armies, and Schérer returned to the Army of
Italy at the head of reinforcements. He was faced with a difficult
situation, but he had the means wherewith to meet it, as Napoleon
promptly pointed out. Up to this, Napoleon said, the French commanded
the mountain crest, and therefore covered Savoy and Nice, and also
Oneglia, Loano and Vado, the ports of the Riviera. But now that Vado was
lost the breach was made. Genoa was cut off, and the south of France was
the only remaining resource for the army commissariat. Vado must
therefore be retaken and the line reopened to Genoa, and to do this it
was essential first to close up the over-extended cordon--and with the
greatest rapidity, lest the enemy, with the shorter line to move on,
should gather at the point of contact before the French--and to advance
on Vado. Further, knowing (as every one knew) that the king of Sardinia
was not inclined to continue the struggle indefinitely, he predicted
that this ruler would make peace once the French army had established
itself in his dominions, and for this the way into the interior, he
asserted, was the great road Savona-Ceva. But Napoleon's mind ranged
beyond the immediate future. He calculated that once the French advanced
the Austrians would seek to cover Lombardy, the Piedmontese Turin, and
this separation, already morally accomplished, it was to be the French
general's task to accentuate in fact. Next, Sardinia having been coerced
into peace, the Army of Italy would expel the Austrians from Lombardy,
and connect its operations with those of the French in South Germany by
way of Tirol. The supply question, once the soldiers had gained the rich
valley of the Po, would solve itself.


This was the essence of the first of four memoranda on this subject
prepared by Napoleon in his Paris office. The second indicated the means
of coercing Sardinia--first the Austrians were to be driven or scared
away towards Alessandria, then the French army would turn sharp to the
left, driving the Sardinians eastward and north-eastward through Ceva,
and this was to be the signal for the general invasion of Piedmont from
all sides. In the third paper he framed an elaborate plan for the
retaking of Vado, and in the fourth he summarized the contents of the
other three. Having thus cleared his own mind as to the conditions and
the solution of the problem, he did his best to secure the command for

The measures recommended by Napoleon were translated into a formal and
detailed order to recapture Vado. To Napoleon the miserable condition of
the Army of Italy was the most urgent incentive to prompt action. In
Schérer's judgment, however, the army was unfit to take the field, and
therefore _ex hypothesi_ to attack Vado, without thorough
reorganization, and it was only in November that the advance was finally
made. It culminated, thanks once more to the resolute Masséna, in the
victory of Loano (November 23-24). But Schérer thought more of the
destitution of his own army than of the fruits of success, and contented
himself with resuming possession of the Riviera.

Meanwhile the Mentor whose suggestions and personality were equally
repugnant to Schérer had undergone strange vicissitudes of
fortune--dismissal from the headquarters' staff, expulsion from the list
of general officers, and then the "whiff of grapeshot" of 13th
Vendémiaire, followed shortly by his marriage with Josephine, and his
nomination to command the Army of Italy. These events had neither shaken
his cold resolution nor disturbed his balance.

  Napoleon in command.

The Army of Italy spent the winter of 1795-1796 as before in the narrow
Riviera, while on the one side, just over the mountains, lay the
Austro-Sardinians, and on the other, out of range of the coast batteries
but ready to pounce on the supply ships, were the British frigates. On
Bonaparte's left Kellermann, with no more than 18,000, maintained a
string of posts between Lake Geneva and the Argentera as before. Of the
Army of Italy, 7000 watched the Tenda road and 20,000 men the
coast-line. There remained for active operations some 27,000 men,
ragged, famished and suffering in every way in spite of their victory of
Loano. The Sardinian and Austrian auxiliaries (Colli), 25,000 men, lay
between Mondovi and Ceva, a force strung out in the Alpine valleys
opposed Kellermann, and the main Austrian army (commanded by Beaulieu),
in widely extended cantonments between Acqui and Milan, numbered 27,000
field troops. Thus the short-lived concentration of all the allied
forces for the battle against Schérer had ended in a fresh separation.
Austria was far more concerned with Poland than with the moribund French
question, and committed as few of her troops as possible to this distant
and secondary theatre of war. As for Piedmont, "peace" was almost the
universal cry, even within the army. All this scarcely affected the
regimental spirit and discipline of the Austrian squadrons and
battalions, which had now recovered from the defeat of Loano. But they
were important factors for the new general-in-chief on the Riviera, and
formed the basis of his strategy.

Napoleon's first task was far more difficult than the writing of
memoranda. He had to grasp the reins and to prepare his troops, morally
and physically, for active work. It was not merely that a young general
with many enemies, a political favourite of the moment, had been thrust
upon the army. The army itself was in a pitiable condition. Whole
companies with their officers went plundering in search of mere food,
the horses had never received as much as half-rations for a year past,
and even the generals were half-starved. Thousands of men were
barefooted and hundreds were without arms. But in a few days he had
secured an almost incredible ascendancy over the sullen, starved,
half-clothed army.

"Soldiers," he told them, "you are famished and nearly naked. The
government owes you much, but can do nothing for you. Your patience,
your courage, do you honour, but give you no glory, no advantage. I will
lead you into the most fertile plains of the world. There you will find
great towns, rich provinces. There you will find honour, glory and
riches. Soldiers of Italy, will you be wanting in courage?"

Such words go far, and little as he was able to supply material
deficiencies--all he could do was to expel rascally contractors, sell a
captured privateer for £5000 and borrow £2500 from Genoa--he cheerfully
told the Directory on the 28th of March that "the worst was over." He
augmented his army of operations to about 40,000, at the expense of the
coast divisions, and set on foot also two small cavalry divisions,
mounted on the half-starved horses that had survived the winter. Then he
announced that the army was ready and opened the campaign.

The first plan, emanating from Paris, was that, after an expedition
towards Genoa to assist in raising a loan there, the army should march
against Beaulieu, previously neutralizing the Sardinians by the
occupation of Ceva. When Beaulieu was beaten it was thought probable
that the Piedmontese would enter into an alliance with the French
against their former comrades. A second plan, however, authorized the
general to begin by subduing the Piedmontese to the extent necessary to
bring about peace and alliance, and on this Napoleon acted. If the
present separation of the Allies continued, he proposed to overwhelm the
Sardinians first, before the Austrians could assemble from winter
quarters, and then to turn on Beaulieu. If, on the other hand, the
Austrians, before he could strike his blow, united with Colli, he
proposed to frighten them into separating again by moving on Acqui and
Alessandria. Hence Carcare, where the road from Acqui joined the
"cannon-road," was the first objective of his march, and from there he
could manoeuvre and widen the breach between the allied armies. His
scattered left wing would assist in the attack on the Sardinians as well
as it could--for the immediate attack on the Austrians its co-operation
would of course have been out of the question. In any case he grudged
every week spent in administrative preparation. The delay due to this,
as a matter of fact, allowed a new situation to develop. Beaulieu was
himself the first to move, and he moved towards Genoa instead of towards
his Allies. The gap between the two allied wings was thereby widened,
but it was no longer possible for the French to use it, for their plan
of destroying Colli _while Beaulieu was ineffective_ had collapsed.

  Opening movements.

In connexion with the Genoese loan, and to facilitate the movement of
supply convoys, a small French force had been pushed forward to Voltri.
Bonaparte ordered it back as soon as he arrived at the front, but the
alarm was given. The Austrians broke up from winter quarters at once,
and rather than lose the food supplies at Voltri, Bonaparte actually
reinforced Masséna at that place, and gave him orders to hold on as long
as possible, cautioning him only to watch his left rear (Montenotte).
But he did not abandon his purpose. Starting from the new conditions, he
devised other means, as we shall see, for reducing Beaulieu to
ineffectiveness. Meanwhile Beaulieu's plan of offensive operations, such
as they were, developed. The French advance to Voltri had not only
spurred him into activity, but convinced him that the bulk of the French
army lay east of Savona. He therefore made Voltri the objective of a
converging attack, not with the intention of destroying the French army
but with that of "cutting its communications with Genoa," and expelling
it from "the only place in the Riviera where there were sufficient ovens
to bake its bread." (Beaulieu to the Aulic Council, 15 April.) The
Sardinians and auxiliary Austrians were ordered to extend leftwards on
Dego to close the gap that Beaulieu's advance on Genoa-Voltri opened up,
which they did, though only half-heartedly and in small force, for,
unlike Beaulieu, they knew that masses of the enemy were still in the
western stretch of the Riviera. The rightmost of Beaulieu's own columns
was on the road between Acqui and Savona with orders to seize Monte
Legino as an advanced post, the others were to converge towards Voltri
from the Genoa side and the mountain passes about Campofreddo and
Sassello. The wings were therefore so far connected that Colli wrote to
Beaulieu on this day "the enemy will never dare to place himself between
our two armies." The event belied the prediction, and the proposed minor
operation against granaries and bakeries became the first act of a
decisive campaign.

On the night of the 9th of April the French were grouped as follows:
brigades under Garnier and Macquard at the Finestre and Tenda passes,
Sérurier's division and Rusca's brigade east of Garessio; Augereau's
division about Loano, Meynier's at Finale, Laharpe's at Savona with an
outpost on the Monte Legino, and Cervoni's brigade at Voltri. Masséna
was in general charge of the last-named units. The cavalry was far in
rear beyond Loano. Colli's army, excluding the troops in the valleys
that led into Dauphiné, was around Coni and Mondovi-Ceva, the latter
group connecting with Beaulieu by a detachment under Provera between
Millesimo and Carcare. Of Beaulieu's army, Argenteau's division, still
concentrating to the front in many small bodies, extended over the area
Acqui-Dego-Sassello. Vukassovich's brigade was equally extended between
Ovada and the mountain-crests above Voltri, and Pittoni's division was
grouped around Gavi and the Bocchetta, the two last units being destined
for the attack on Voltri. Farther to the rear was Sebottendorf's
division around Alessandria-Tortona.

On the afternoon of the 10th Beaulieu delivered his blow at Voltri, not,
as he anticipated, against three-quarters of the French army, but
against Cervoni's detachment. This, after a long irregular fight,
slipped away in the night to Savona. Discovering his mistake next
morning, Beaulieu sent back some of his battalions to join Argenteau.
But there was no road by which they could do so save the détour through
Acqui and Dego, and long before they arrived Argenteau's advance on
Monte Legino had forced on the crisis. On the 11th (a day behind time),
this general drove in the French outposts, but he soon came on three
battalions under Colonel Rampon, who threw himself into some old
earthworks that lay near, and said to his men, "We must win or die here,
my friends." His redoubt and his men stood the trial well, and when day
broke on the 12th Bonaparte was ready to deliver his first


The principle that guided him in the subsequent operations may be called
"superior numbers at the decisive point." Touch had been gained with the
enemy all along the long line between the Tenda and Voltri, and he
decided to concentrate swiftly upon the nearest enemy--Argenteau.
Augereau's division, or such part of it as could march at once, was
ordered to Mallare, picking up here and there on the way a few horsemen
and guns. Masséna, with 9000 men, was to send two brigades in the
direction of Carcare and Altare, and with the third to swing round
Argenteau's right and to head for Montenotte village in his rear.
Laharpe with 7000 (it had become clear that the enemy at Voltri would
not pursue their advantage) was to join Rampon, leaving only Cervoni and
two battalions in Savona. Sérurier and Rusca were to keep the Sardinians
in front of them occupied. The far-distant brigades of Garnier and
Macquard stood fast, but the cavalry drew eastward as quickly as its
condition permitted. In rain and mist on the early morning of the 12th
the French marched up from all quarters, while Argenteau's men waited in
their cold bivouacs for light enough to resume their attack on Monte
Legino. About 9 the mists cleared, and heavy fighting began, but Laharpe
held the mountain, and the vigorous Masséna with his nearest brigade
stormed forward against Argenteau's right. A few hours later, seeing
Augereau's columns heading for their line of retreat, the Austrians
retired, sharply pressed, on Dego. The threatened intervention of
Provera was checked by Augereau's presence at Carcare.

[Illustration: Sketch of the positions occupied on the night of April


Montenotte was a brilliant victory, and one can imagine its effects on
the but lately despondent soldiers of the Army of Italy, for all
imagined that Beaulieu's main body had been defeated. This was far from
being the case, however, and although the French spent the night of the
battle at Cairo-Carcare-Montenotte, midway between the allied wings,
only two-thirds of Argenteau's force, and none of the other divisions,
had been beaten, and the heaviest fighting was to come. This became
evident on the afternoon of the 13th, but meanwhile Bonaparte, eager to
begin at once the subjugation of the Piedmontese (for which purpose he
wanted to bring Sérurier and Rusca into play) sent only Laharpe's
division and a few details of Masséna's, under the latter, towards Dego.
These were to protect the main attack from interference by the forces
that had been engaged at Montenotte (presumed to be Beaulieu's main
body), the said main attack being delivered by Augereau's division,
reinforced by most of Masséna's, on the positions held by Provera. The
latter, only 1000 strong to Augereau's 9000, shut himself in the castle
of Cossaria, which he defended _à la_ Rampon against a series of furious
assaults. Not until the morning of the 14th was his surrender secured,
after his ammunition and food had been exhausted.

Argenteau also won a day's respite on the 13th, for Laharpe did not join
Masséna till late, and nothing took place opposite Dego but a little
skirmishing. During the day Bonaparte saw for himself that he had
overrated the effects of Montenotte. Beaulieu, on the other hand,
underrated them, treating it as a mishap which was more than
counterbalanced by his own success in "cutting off the French from
Genoa." He began to reconstruct his line on the front Dego-Sassello,
trusting to Colli to harry the French until the Voltri troops had
finished their détour through Acqui and rejoined Argenteau. This, of
course, presumed that Argenteau's troops were intact and Colli's able to
move, which was not the case with either. Not until the afternoon of the
14th did Beaulieu place a few extra battalions at Argenteau's disposal
"to be used only in case of extreme necessity," and order Vukassovich
from the region of Sassello to "make a diversion" against the French
right with _two_ battalions.


Thus Argenteau, already shaken, was exposed to destruction. On the 14th,
after Provera's surrender, Masséna and Laharpe, reinforced until they
had nearly a two-to-one superiority, stormed Dego and killed or captured
3000 of Argenteau's 5500 men, the remnant retreating in disorder to
Acqui. But nothing was done towards the accomplishment of the purpose of
destroying Colli on that day, save that Sérurier and Rusca began to
close in to meet the main body between Ceva and Millesimo. Moreover, the
victory at Dego had produced its usual results on the wild fighting
swarms of the Republicans, who threw themselves like hungry wolves on
the little town, without pursuing the beaten enemy or even placing a
single outpost on the Acqui road. In this state, during the early hours
of the 15th, Vukassovich's brigade,[8] marching up from Sassello,
surprised them, and they broke and fled in an instant. The whole morning
had to be spent in rallying them at Cairo, and Bonaparte had for the
second time to postpone his union with Sérurier and Rusca, who
meanwhile, isolated from one another and from the main army, were
groping forward in the mountains. A fresh assault on Dego was ordered,
and after very severe fighting, Masséna and Laharpe succeeded late in
the evening in retaking it. Vukassovich lost heavily, but retired
steadily and in order on Spigno. The killed and wounded numbered
probably about 1000 French and 1500 Austrians, out of considerably less
than 10,000 engaged on each side--a loss which contrasted very forcibly
with those suffered in other battles of the Revolutionary Wars, and by
teaching the Army of Italy to bear punishment, imbued it with
self-confidence. But again success bred disorder, and there was a second
orgy in the houses and streets of Dego which went on till late in the
morning and paralysed the whole army.

This was perhaps the crisis of the campaign. Even now it was not certain
that the Austrians had been definitively pushed aside, while it was
quite clear that Beaulieu's main body was intact and Colli was still
more an unknown quantity. But Napoleon's intention remained the same, to
attack the Piedmontese as quickly and as heavily as possible, Beaulieu
being held in check by a containing force under Masséna and Laharpe. The
remainder of the army, counting in now Rusca and Sérurier, was to move
westward towards Ceva. This disposition, while it illustrates the
Napoleonic principle of delivering a heavy blow on the selected target
and warding off interference at other points, shows also the difficulty
of rightly apportioning the available means between the offensive mass
and the defensive system, for, as it turned out, Beaulieu was already
sufficiently scared, and thought of nothing but self-defence on the line
Acqui-Ovada-Bocchetta, while the French offensive mass was very weak
compared with Colli's unbeaten and now fairly concentrated army about
Ceva and Montezemolo.

On the afternoon of the 16th the real advance was begun by Augereau's
division, reinforced by other troops. Rusca joined Augereau towards
evening, and Sérurier approached Ceva from the south. Colli's object was
now to spin out time, and having repulsed a weak attack by Augereau, and
feeling able to repeat these tactics on each successive spur of the
Apennines, he retired in the night to a new position behind the
Cursaglia. On the 17th, reassured by the absence of fighting on the Dego
side, and by the news that no enemy remained at Sassello, Bonaparte
released Masséna from Dego, leaving only Laharpe there, and brought him
over towards the right of the main body, which thus on the evening of
the 17th formed a long straggling line on both sides of Ceva, Sérurier
on the left, écheloned forward, Augereau, Joubert and Rusca in the
centre, and Masséna, partly as support, partly as flank guard, on
Augereau's right rear. Sérurier had been bidden to extend well out and
to strive to get contact with Masséna, i.e. to encircle the enemy. There
was no longer any idea of waiting to besiege Ceva, although the
artillery train had been ordered up from the Riviera by the
"cannon-road" for eventual use there. Further, the line of supply, as an
extra guarantee against interference, was changed from that of
Savona-Carcare to that of Loano-Bardinetto. When this was accomplished,
four clear days could be reckoned on with certainty in which to deal
with Colli.

  San Michele.

The latter, still expecting the Austrians to advance to his assistance,
had established his corps (not more than 12,000 muskets in all) in the
immensely strong positions of the Cursaglia, with a thin line of posts
on his left stretching towards Cherasco, whence he could communicate, by
a roundabout way, with Acqui. Opposite this position the long straggling
line of the French arrived, after many delays due to the weariness of
the troops, on the 19th. A day of irregular fighting followed,
everywhere to the advantage of the defenders. Napoleon, fighting against
time, ordered a fresh attack on the 20th, and only desisted when it
became evident that the army was exhausted, and, in particular, when
Sérurier reported frankly that without bread the soldiers would not
march. The delay thus imposed, however, enabled him to clear the
"cannon-road" of all vehicles, and to bring up the Dego detachment to
replace Masséna in the valley of the western Bormida, the latter coming
in to the main army. Further, part at any rate of the convoy service was
transferred still farther westward to the line Albenga-Garessio-Ceva.
Nelson's fleet, that had so powerfully contributed to force the French
inland, was becoming less and less innocuous. If leadership and force of
character could overcome internal friction, all the success he had hoped
for was now within the young commander's grasp.


Twenty-four thousand men, for the first time with a due proportion of
cavalry and artillery, were now disposed along Colli's front and beyond
his right flank. Colli, outnumbered by two to one and threatened with
envelopment, decided once more to retreat, and the Republicans occupied
the Cursaglia lines on the morning of the 21st without firing a shot.
But Colli halted again at Vico, half-way to Mondovi (in order, it is
said, to protect the evacuation of a small magazine he had there), and
while he was in this unfavourable situation the pursuers came on with
true Republican swiftness, lapped round his flanks and crushed him. A
few days later (27th April), the armistice of Cherasco put an end to the
campaign before the Austrians moved a single battalion to his

    The "Napoleon touch."

  The interest of the campaign being above all Napoleonic, its moral
  must be found by discovering the "Napoleon touch" that differentiated
  it from other Revolutionary campaigns. A great deal is common to all,
  on both sides. The Austrians and Sardinians worked together at least
  as effectively as the Austrians, Prussians, British and Dutch in the
  Netherlands. Revolutionary energy was common to the Army of Italy and
  to the Army of the North. Why, therefore, when the war dragged on from
  one campaign to another in the great plains of the Meuse and Rhine
  countries, did Napoleon bring about so swift a decision in these
  cramped valleys? The answer is to be found partly in the exigencies of
  the supply service, but still more in Napoleon's own personality and
  the strategy born of it. The first, as we have seen, was at the end of
  its resources when Beaulieu placed himself across the Genoa road.
  Action of some sort was the plain alternative to starvation, and at
  this point Napoleon's personality intervened. He would have no
  quarter-rations on the Riviera, but plenty and to spare beyond the
  mountains. If there were many thousand soldiers who marched unarmed
  and shoeless in the ranks, it was towards "the Promised Land" that he
  led them. He looked always to the end, and met each day as if with
  full expectation of attaining it before sunset. Strategical conditions
  and "new French" methods of war did not save Bonaparte in the two
  crises--the Dego rout and the sullen halt of the army at San
  Michele--but the personality which made the soldiers, on the way to
  Montenotte, march barefoot past a wagon-load of new boots.

  We have said that Napoleon's strategy was the result of this personal
  magnetism. Later critics evolved from his success the theory of
  "interior lines," and then accounted for it by applying the criterion
  they had evolved. Actually, the form in which the will to conquer
  found expression was in many important respects old. What, therefore,
  in the theory or its application was the product of Napoleon's own
  genius and will-power? A comparison with Souham's campaign of
  Tourcoing will enable us to answer this question. To begin with,
  Souham found himself midway between Coburg and Clerfayt almost by
  accident, and his utilization of the advantages of his position was an
  expedient for the given case. Napoleon, however, placed himself
  _deliberately_ and by fighting his way thither, in an analogous
  situation at Carcare and Cairo. Military opinion of the time
  considered it dangerous, as indeed it was, for no theory can alter the
  fact that had not Napoleon made his men fight harder and march farther
  than usual, he would have been destroyed. The effective play of forces
  on interior lines depends on the two conditions that the outer enemies
  are not so near together as to give no time for the inner mass to
  defeat one before the arrival of the other, and that they are not so
  far apart that before one can be brought to action the other has
  inflicted serious damage elsewhere.

  Neither condition was fully met at any time in the Montenotte
  campaign. On the 11th Napoleon knew that the attack on Voltri had been
  made by a part only of the Austrian forces, yet he flung his own
  masses on Montenotte. On the 13th he thought that Beaulieu's main body
  was at Dego and Colli's at Millesimo, and on this assumption had to
  exact the most extraordinary efforts from Augereau's troops at
  Cossaria. On the 19th and 20th he tried to exclude the risks of the
  Austrians' intervention, and with this the chances of a victory over
  them to follow his victory over Colli, by transferring the centre of
  gravity of his army to Ceva and Garessio, and fighting it out with
  Colli alone.

  It was not, in fact, to gain a position on interior lines--with
  respect to _two_ opponents--that Napoleon pushed his army to Carcare.
  Before the campaign began he hoped by using the "cannon-road" to
  destroy the Piedmontese _before the Austrians were in existence at
  all_ as an army. But on the news from Voltri and Monte Legino he
  swiftly "concentrated fire, made the breach, and broke the
  equilibrium" at the spot where the interests and forces of the two
  Allies converged and diverged. The hypothesis in the first case was
  that the Austrians were practically non-existent, and the whole object
  in the second was to breach the now connected front of the Allies
  ("strategic penetration") and to cause them to break up into two
  separate systems. More, having made the breach, he had the choice
  (which he had not before) of attacking _either_ the Austrians or the
  Sardinians, as every critic has pointed out. Indeed the Austrians
  offered by far the better target. But he neither wanted nor used the
  new alternative. His purpose was to crush Piedmont. "My enemies saw
  too much at once," said Napoleon. Singleness of aim and of purpose,
  the product of clear thinking and of "personality," was the
  foundation-stone of the new form of strategy.

    Relative superiority.

  In the course of subduing the Sardinians, Napoleon found himself
  placed on interior lines between two hostile masses, and another new
  idea, that of "relative superiority." reveals itself. Whereas Souham
  had been in superior force (90,000 against 70,000), Napoleon (40,000
  against 50,000) was not, and yet the Army of Italy was always placed
  in a position of relative superiority (at first about 3 to 2 and
  ultimately 2 to 1) to the immediate antagonist. "The essence of
  strategy," said Napoleon in 1797, "is, with a weaker army, always to
  have more force at the crucial point than the enemy. But this art is
  taught neither by books nor by practice; it is a matter of tact." In
  this he expressed the result of his victories on his own mind rather
  than a preconceived formula which produced those victories. But the
  idea, though undefined, and the method of practice, though imperfectly
  worked out, were in his mind from the first. As soon as he had made
  the breach, he widened it by pushing out Masséna and Laharpe on the
  one hand and Augereau on the other. This is mere common sense. But
  immediately afterwards, though preparing to throw all available forces
  against Colli, he posted Masséna and Laharpe at Dego to guard, not
  like Vandamme on the Lys against a real and pressing enemy, but
  against a _possibility_, and he only diminished the strength and
  altered the position of this containing detachment in proportion as
  the Austrian danger dwindled. Later in his career he defined this
  offensive-defensive system as "having all possible strength at the
  decisive point," and "being nowhere vulnerable," and the art of
  reconciling these two requirements, in each case as it arose, was
  always the principal secret of his generalship. At first his
  precautions (judged by events and not by the probabilities of the
  moment) were excessive, and the offensive mass small. But the latter
  was handled by a general untroubled by multiple aims and anxieties,
  and if such self-confidence was equivalent to 10,000 men on the
  battlefield, it was legitimate to detach 10,000 men to secure it.
  These 10,000 were posted 8 m. out on the dangerous flank, not almost
  back to back with the main body as Vandamme had been,[9] and although
  this distance was but little compared to those of his later campaigns,
  when he employed small armies for the same purpose, it sufficed in
  this difficult mountain country, where the covering force enjoyed the
  advantage of strong positions. Of course, if Colli had been better
  concentrated, or if Beaulieu had been more active, the calculated
  proportions between covering force and main body might have proved
  fallacious, and the system on which Napoleon's relative superiority
  rested might have broken down. But the point is that such a system,
  however rough its first model, had been imagined and put into

  This was Napoleon's individual art of war, as raiding bakeries and
  cutting communications were Beaulieu's speciality. Napoleon made the
  art into a science, and in our own time, with modern conditions of
  effective, armament and communications, it is more than possible that
  Moreaus and Jourdans will prove able to practise it with success. But
  in the old conditions it required a Napoleon. "Strategy," said Moltke,
  "is a system of expedients." But it was the intense personal force, as
  well as the genius, of Napoleon that forged these expedients into a

The first phase of the campaign satisfactorily settled, Napoleon was
free to turn his attention to the "arch-enemy" to whom he was now
considerably superior in numbers (35,000 to 25,000). The day after the
signature of the armistice of Cherasco he began preparing for a new
advance and also for the rôle of arbiter of the destinies of Italy. Many
whispers there were, even in his own army, as to the dangers of passing
on without "revolutionizing" aristocratic Genoa and monarchical
Piedmont, and of bringing Venice, the pope and the Italian princes into
the field against the French. But Bonaparte, flushed with victory, and
better informed than the malcontents of the real condition of Italy,
never hesitated. His first object was to drive out Beaulieu, his second
to push through Tirol, and his only serious restriction the chance that
the armistice with Piedmont would not result in a definitive treaty.
Beaulieu had fallen back into Lombardy, and now bordered the Po right
and left of Valenza. To achieve further progress, Napoleon had first to
cross that river, and the point and method of crossing was the immediate
problem, a problem the more difficult as Napoleon had no bridge train
and could only make use of such existing bridges as he could seize
intact.[10] If he crossed above Valenza, he would be confronted by one
river-line after another, on one of which at least Beaulieu would
probably stand to fight. But quite apart from the immediate problem,
Napoleon's intention was less to beat the Austrians than to dislodge
them. He needed a foothold in Lombardy which would make him independent
of, and even a menace to, Piedmont. If this were assured, he could for a
few weeks entirely ignore his communications with France and strike out
against Beaulieu, dethrone the king of Sardinia, or revolutionize Parma,
Modena and the papal states according to circumstances.


Milan, therefore, was his objective, and Tortona-Piacenza his route
thither. To give himself every chance, he had stipulated with the
Piedmontese authorities for the right of passing at Valenza, and he had
the satisfaction of seeing Beaulieu fall into the trap and concentrate
opposite that part of the river. The French meantime had moved to the
region Alessandria-Tortona. Thence on the 6th of May Bonaparte, with a
picked body of troops, set out for a forced march on Piacenza, and that
night the advanced guard was 30 m. on the way, at Castel San Giovanni,
and Laharpe's and the cavalry divisions at Stradella, 10 m. behind them.
Augereau was at Broni, Masséna at Sale and Sérurier near Valenza, the
whole forming a rapidly extending fan, 50 m. from point to point. If the
Piacenza detachment succeeded in crossing, the army was to follow
rapidly in its track. If, on the other hand, Beaulieu fell back to
oppose the advanced guard, the Valenza divisions would take advantage of
his absence to cross there. In either case, be it observed, the
Austrians were to be _evaded_, not brought to action.

On the morning of the 7th, the swift advanced guard under General
Dallemagne crossed at Piacenza,[11] and, hearing of this, Bonaparte
ordered every division except Sérurier's thither with all possible
speed. In the exultation of the moment he mocked at Beaulieu's
incapacity, but the old Austrian was already on the alert. This game of
manoeuvres he understood; already one of his divisions had arrived in
close proximity to Dallemagne and the others were marching eastward by
all available roads. It was not until the 8th that the French, after a
series of partial encounters, were securely established on the left bank
of the Po, and Beaulieu had given up the idea of forcing their most
advanced troops to accept battle at a disadvantage. The success of the
French was due less to their plan than to their mobility, which enabled
them first to pass the river before the Austrians (who had actually
started a day in advance of them) put in an appearance, and afterwards
to be in superior numbers at each point of contact. But the episode was
destined after all to culminate in a great event, which Napoleon himself
indicated as the turning-point of his life. "Vendémiaire and even
Montenotte did not make me think myself a superior being. It was after
Lodi that the idea came to me.... That first kindled the spark of
boundless ambition."


The idea of a battle having been given up, Beaulieu retired to the Adda,
and most of his troops were safely beyond it before the French arrived
near Lodi, but he felt it necessary to leave a strong rearguard on the
river opposite that place to cover the reassembly of his columns after
their scattered march. On the afternoon of the 10th of May, Bonaparte,
with Dallemagne, Masséna and Augereau, came up and seized the town. But
200 yds. of open ground had to be passed from the town gate to the
bridge, and the bridge itself was another 250 in length. A few hundred
yards beyond it stood the Austrians, 9000 strong with 14 guns. Napoleon
brought up all his guns to prevent the enemy from destroying the bridge.
Then sending all his cavalry to turn the enemy's right by a ford above
the town, he waited two hours, employing the time in cannonading the
Austrian lines, resting his advanced infantry and closing up Masséna's
and Augereau's divisions. Finally he gave the order to Dallemagne's 4000
grenadiers, who were drawn up under cover of the town wall, to rush the
bridge. As the column, not more than thirty men broad, made its
appearance, it was met by the concentrated fire of the Austrian guns,
and half way across the bridge it checked, but Bonaparte himself and
Masséna rushed forward, the courage of the soldiers revived, and, while
some jumped off the bridge and scrambled forward in the shallow water,
the remainder stormed on, passed through the guns and drove back the
infantry. This was, in bare outline, the astounding passage of the
Bridge of Lodi. It was not till after the battle that Napoleon realized
that only a rearguard was in front of him. When he launched his 4000
grenadiers he thought that on the other side there were four or five
times that number of the enemy. No wonder, then, that after the event he
recognized in himself the flash of genius, the courage to risk
everything, and the "tact" which, independent of, and indeed contrary to
all reasoned calculations, told him that the moment had come for
"breaking the equilibrium." Lodi was a tactical success in the highest
sense, in that the principles of his tactics rested on psychology--on
the "sublime" part of the art of war as Saxe had called it long ago. The
spirit produced the form, and Lodi was the prototype of the Napoleonic
battle--contact, manoeuvre, preparation, and finally the well-timed,
massed and unhesitating assault. The absence of strategical results
mattered little. Many months elapsed before this bold assertion of
superiority ceased to decide the battles of France and Austria.


Next day, still under the vivid tactical impressions of the Bridge of
Lodi, he postponed his occupation of the Milanese and set off in pursuit
of Beaulieu, but the latter was now out of reach, and during the next
few days the French divisions were installed at various points in the
area Pavia-Milan-Pizzighetone, facing outwards in all dangerous
directions, with a central reserve at Milan. Thus secured, Bonaparte
turned his attention to political and military administration. This took
the form of exacting from the neighbouring princes money, supplies and
objects of art, and the once famished Army of Italy revelled in its
opportunity. Now, however, the Directory, suspicious of the too
successful and too sanguine young general, ordered him to turn over the
command in Upper Italy to Kellermann, and to take an expeditionary corps
himself into the heart of the Peninsula, there to preach the Republic
and the overthrow of princes. Napoleon absolutely refused, and offered
his resignation. In the end (partly by bribery) he prevailed, but the
incident reawakened his desire to close with Beaulieu. This indeed he
could now do with a free hand, since not only had the Milanese been
effectively occupied, but also the treaty with Sardinia had been

But no sooner had he resumed the advance than it was interrupted by a
rising of the peasantry in his rear. The exactions of the French had in
a few days generated sparks of discontent which it was easy for the
priests and the nobles to fan into open flames. Milan and Pavia as well
as the countryside broke into insurrection, and at the latter place the
mob forced the French commandant to surrender. Bonaparte acted swiftly
and ruthlessly. Bringing back a small portion of the army with him, he
punished Milan on the 25th, sacked and burned Binasco on the 26th, and
on the evening of the latter day, while his cavalry swept the open
country, he broke his way into Pavia with 1500 men and beat down all
resistance. Napoleon's cruelty was never purposeless. He deported
several scores of hostages to France, executed most of the mob leaders,
and shot the French officer who had surrendered. In addition, he gave
his 1500 men three hours' leave to pillage. Then, as swiftly as they had
come, they returned to the army on the Oglio. From this river Napoleon
advanced to the banks of the Mincio, where the remainder of the Italian
campaign was fought out, both sides contemptuously disregarding Venetian

It centred on the fortress of Mantua, which Beaulieu, too weak to keep
the field, and dislodged from the Mincio in the action of Borghetto (May
30), strongly garrisoned before retiring into Tirol. Beaulieu was soon
afterwards replaced by Dagobert Siegmund, count von Wurmser (b. 1724),
who brought considerable reinforcements from Germany.

At this point, mindful of the narrow escape he had had of losing his
command, Bonaparte thought it well to begin the resettlement of Italy.
The scheme for co-operating with Moreau on the Danube was indefinitely
postponed, and the Army of Italy (now reinforced from the Army of the
Alps and counting 42,000 effectives) was again disposed in a protective
"zone of manoeuvre," with a strong central reserve. Over 8000 men,
however, garrisoned the fortresses of Piedmont and Lombardy, and the
effective blockade of Mantua and political expeditions into the heart of
the Peninsula soon used up the whole of this reserve.

Moreover, no siege artillery was available until the Austrians in the
citadel of Milan capitulated, and thus it was not till the 18th of July
that the first parallel was begun. Almost at the same moment Wurmser
began his advance from Trent with 55,000 men to relieve Mantua.

  Siege of Mantua.

The protective system on which his attack would fall in the first
instance was now as follows:--Augereau (6000) about Legnago, Despinoy
(8000) south-east of Verona, Masséna (13,000) at Verona and Peschiera,
with outposts on the Monte Baldo and at La Corona, Sauret (4500) at Salo
and Gavardo. Sérurier (12,000) was besieging Mantua, and the only
central reserve was the cavalry (2000) under Kilmaine. The main road to
Milan passed by Brescia. Sauret's brigade, therefore, was practically a
detached post on the line of communication, and on the main defensive
front less than 30,000 men were disposed at various points between La
Corona and Legnago (30 m. apart), and at a distance of 15 to 20 m. from
Mantua. The strength of such a disposition depended on the fighting
power and handiness of the troops, who in each case would be called upon
to act as a rearguard to gain time. Yet the lie of the country scarcely
permitted a closer grouping, unless indeed Bonaparte fell back on the
old-time device of a "circumvallation," and shut himself up, with the
supplies necessary for the calculated duration of the siege, in an
impregnable ring of earthworks round Mantua. This, however, he could not
have done even if he had wished, for the wave of revolt radiating from
Milan had made accumulations of food impossible, and the lakes above and
below the fortress, besides being extremely unhealthy, would have
extended the perimeter of the circumvallation so greatly that the
available forces would not suffice to man it. It was not in this, but in
the absence of an important central reserve that Bonaparte's disposition
is open to criticism, which indeed could impugn the scheme in its
entirety, as overtaxing the available resources, more easily than it
could attack its details.

[Illustration: Operations around Mantua 1796-7.

Positions of the night of 2-3 August 1796 shown approximately.]

  If Bonaparte has occasionally been criticized for his defensive
  measures, Wurmser's attack procedure has received almost universal
  condemnation, as to the justice of which it may be pointed out[12]
  that the object of the expedition was not to win a battle by falling
  on the disunited French with a well-concentrated army, but to
  overpower one, any one, of the corps covering the siege, and to press
  straight forward to the relief of Mantua, i.e. to the destruction of
  Bonaparte's batteries and the levelling of his trench work. The old
  principle that a battle was a grave event of doubtful issue was
  reinforced in the actual case by Beaulieu's late experiences of French
  élan, and as a temporary victory at one point would suffice for the
  purpose in hand, there was every incentive to multiply the points of
  contact. The soundness of Wurmser's plan was proved by the event. New
  ideas and new forces, undiscernible to a man of seventy-two years of
  age, obliterated his achievement by surpassing it, but such as it
  was--a limited use of force for a limited object--the venture
  undeniably succeeded.

The Austrians formed three corps, one (Quasdanovich, 18,000 men)
marching round the west side of the Lake of Garda on Gavardo, Salo and
the Brescia road, the second (under Wurmser, about 30,000) moving
directly down the Adige, and the third (Davidovich, 6000) making a
détour by the Brenta valley and heading for Verona by Vicenza.

On the 29th Quasdanovich attacked Sauret at Salo, drove him towards
Desenzano, and pushed on to Gavardo and thence into Brescia. Wurmser
expelled Masséna's advanced guard from La Corona, and captured in
succession the Monte Baldo and Rivoli posts. The Brenta column
approached Verona with little or no fighting. News of this column led
Napoleon early in the day to close up Despinoy, Masséna and Kilmaine at
Castelnuovo, and to order Augereau from Legnago to advance on Montebello
(19 m. east of Verona) against Davidovich's left rear. But after these
orders had been despatched came the news of Sauret's defeat, and this
moment was one of the most anxious in Napoleon's career. He could not
make up his mind to give up the siege of Mantua, but he hurried Augereau
back to the Mincio, and sent order after order to the officers on the
lines of communication to send all convoys by the Cremona instead of by
the Brescia road. More, he had the baggage, the treasure and the sick
set in motion at once for Marcaria, and wrote to Sérurier a despatch
which included the words "perhaps we shall recover ourselves ... but I
must take serious measures for a retreat." On the 30th he wrote: "The
enemy have broken through our line in three places ... Sauret has
evacuated Salo ... and the enemy has captured Brescia. You see that our
communications with Milan and Verona are cut." The reports that came to
him during the morning of the 30th enabled him to place the main body of
the enemy opposite Masséna, and this, without in the least alleviating
the gravity of the situation, helped to make his course less doubtful.
Augereau was ordered to hold the line of the Molinella, in case
Davidovich's attack, the least-known factor, should after all prove to
be serious; Masséna to reconnoitre a road from Peschiera through
Castiglione towards Orzinovi, and to stand fast at Castelnuovo opposite
Wurmser as long as he could. Sauret and Despinoy were concentrated at
Desenzano with orders on the 31st to clear the main line of retreat and
to recapture Brescia. The Austrian movements were merely the
continuation of those of the 29th. Quasdanovich wheeled inwards, his
right finally resting on Montechiaro and his left on Salo. Wurmser drove
back Masséna to the west side of the Mincio. Davidovich made a slight

  Relief of Mantua.

In the late evening Bonaparte held a council of war at Roverbella. The
proceedings of this council are unknown, but it at any rate enabled
Napoleon to see clearly and to act. Hitherto he had been covering the
siege of Mantua with various detachments, the defeat of any one of which
might be fatal to the enterprise. Thus, when he had lost his main line
of retreat, he could assemble no more than 8000 men at Desenzano to win
it back. Now, however, he made up his mind that the siege could not be
continued, and bitter as the decision must have been, it gave him
freedom. At this moment of crisis the instincts of the great captain
came into play, and showed the way to a victory that would more than
counterbalance the now inevitable failure. Sérurier was ordered to spike
the 140 siege guns that had been so welcome a few days before, and,
after sending part of his force to Augereau, to establish himself with
the rest at Marcaria on the Cremona road. The field forces were to be
used on interior lines. On the 31st Sauret, Despinoy, Augereau and
Kilmaine advanced westward against Quasdanovich. The first two found the
Austrians at Salo and Lonato and drove them back, while with Augereau
and the cavalry Bonaparte himself made a forced march on Brescia, never
halting night or day till he reached the town and recovered his depots.
Meantime Sérurier had retired (night of July 31), Masséna had gradually
drawn in towards Lonato, and Wurmser's advanced guard triumphantly
entered the fortress (August 1).

  Lonato and Castiglione.

The Austrian general now formed the plan of crushing Bonaparte between
Quasdanovich and his own main body. But meantime Quasdanovich had
evacuated Brescia under the threat of Bonaparte's advance and was now
fighting a long irregular action with Despinoy and Sauret about Gavardo
and Salo, and Bonaparte, having missed his expected target, had brought
Augereau by another severe march back to Montechiaro on the Chiese.
Masséna was now assembled between Lonato and Ponte San Marco, and
Sérurier was retiring quietly on Marcaria. Wurmser's main body, weakened
by the detachment sent to Mantua, crossed the Mincio about Valeggio and
Goito on the 2nd, and penetrated as far as Castiglione, whence Masséna's
rearguard was expelled. But a renewed advance of Quasdanovich, ordered
by Wurmser, which drove Sauret and Despinoy back on Brescia and Lonato,
in the end only placed a strong detachment of the Austrians within
striking distance of Masséna, who on the 3rd attacked it, front to
front, and by sheer fighting destroyed it, while at the same time
Augereau recaptured Castiglione from Wurmser. On the 4th Sauret and
Despinoy pressed back Quasdanovich beyond Salo and Gavardo. One of the
Austrian columns, finding itself isolated and unable to retreat with the
others, turned back to break its way through to Wurmser, and was
annihilated by Masséna in the neighbourhood of Lonato. On this day
Augereau fought his way towards Solferino, and Wurmser, thinking rightly
or wrongly that he could not now retire to the Mincio without a battle,
drew up his whole force, close on 30,000 men, in the plain between
Solferino and Medole. The finale may be described in very few words.
Bonaparte, convinced that no more was to be feared from Quasdanovich,
and seeing that Wurmser meant to fight, called in Despinoy's division to
the main body and sent orders to Sérurier, then far distant on the
Cremona road, to march against the left flank of the Austrians. On the
5th the battle of Castiglione was fought. Closely contested in the first
hours of the frontal attack till Sérurier's arrival decided the day, it
ended in the retreat of the Austrians over the Mincio and into Tirol
whence they had come.

  Thus the new way had failed to keep back Wurmser, and the old had
  failed to crush Napoleon. Each was the result of its own conditions.
  In former wars a commander threatened as Napoleon was, would have
  fallen back at once to the Adda, abandoning the siege in such good
  time that he would have been able to bring off his siege artillery.
  Instead of this Bonaparte hesitated long enough to lose it, which,
  according to accepted canons was a waste, and held his ground, which
  was, by the same rules, sheer madness. But Revolutionary discipline
  was not firm enough to stand a retreat. Once it turned back, the army
  would have streamed away to Milan and perhaps to the Alps (cf. 1799),
  and the only alternative to complete dissolution therefore was

  As to the manner of this fighting, even the principle of "relative
  superiority" failed him so long as he was endeavouring to cover the
  siege and again when his chief care was to protect his new line of
  retreat and to clear his old. In this period, viz. up to his return
  from Brescia on the 2nd of August, the only "mass" he collected
  delivered a blow in the air, while the covering detachments had to
  fight hard for bare existence. Once released from its trammels, the
  Napoleonic principle had fair play. He stood between Wurmser and
  Quasdanovich, ready to fight either or both. The latter was crushed,
  thanks to local superiority and the resolute leading of Masséna, but
  at Castiglione Wurmser actually outnumbered his opponent till the last
  of Napoleon's precautionary dispositions had been given up, and
  Sérurier brought back from the "alternative line of retreat" to the
  battlefield. The moral is, again, that it was not the mere fact of
  being on interior lines that gave Napoleon the victory, but his
  "tact," his fine appreciation of the chances in his favour, measured
  in terms of time, space, attacking force and containing power. All
  these factors were greatly influenced by the ground, which favoured
  the swarms and columns of the French and deprived the brilliant
  Austrian cavalry of its power to act. But of far greater importance
  was the mobility that Napoleon's personal force imparted to the
  French. Napoleon himself rode five horses to death in three days, and
  Augereau's division marched from Roverbella to Brescia and back to
  Montechiaro, a total distance of nearly 50 m., in about thirty-six
  hours. This indeed was the foundation of his "relative superiority,"
  for every hour saved in the time of marching meant more freedom to
  destroy one corps before the rest could overwhelm the covering
  detachments and come to its assistance.

  Wurmser's plan for the relief of Mantua, suited to its purpose,
  succeeded. But when he made his objective the French field army, he
  had to take his own army as he found it, disposed for an altogether
  different purpose. A properly, combined attack of convergent columns
  framed _ab initio_ by a good staff officer, such as Mack, might indeed
  have given good results. But the success of such a plan depends
  principally on the assailant's original possession of the initiative,
  and not on the chances of his being able to win it over to his own
  side when operations, as here, are already in progress. When the time
  came to improvise such a plan, the initiative had passed over to
  Napoleon, and the plan was foredoomed.

By the end of the second week in August the blockade of Mantua had been
resumed, without siege guns. But still under the impression of a great
victory gained, Bonaparte was planning a long forward stride. He thought
that by advancing past Mantua directly on Trieste and thence onwards to
the Semmering he could impose a peace on the emperor. The Directory,
however, which had by now focussed its attention on the German campaign,
ordered him to pass through Tirol and to co-operate with Moreau, and
this plan, Bonaparte, though protesting against an Alpine venture being
made so late in the year, prepared to execute, drawing in reinforcements
and collecting great quantities of supplies in boats on the Adige and
Lake Garda. Wurmser was thought to have posted his main body near Trent,
and to have detached one division to Bassano "to cover Trieste." The
French advanced northward on the 2nd, in three disconnected columns
(precisely as Wurmser had done in the reverse direction at the end of
July)--Masséna (13,000) from Rivoli to Ala, Augereau (9000) from Verona
by hill roads, keeping on his right rear, Vaubois (11,000) round the
Lake of Garda by Riva and Torbole. Sahuguet's division (8000) remained
before Mantua. The French divisions successfully combined and drove the
enemy before them to Trent.

There, however, they missed their target. Wurmser had already drawn over
the bulk of his army (22,000) into the Val Sugana, whence, with the
Bassano division as his advanced guard, he intended once more to relieve
Mantua, while Davidovich with 13,000 (excluding detachments) was to hold
Tirol against any attempt of Bonaparte to join forces with Moreau.

Thus Austria was preparing to hazard a second (as in the event she
hazarded a third and a fourth) highly trained and expensive professional
army in the struggle for the preservation of a fortress, and we must
conclude that there were weighty reasons which actuated so notoriously
cautious a body as the Council of War in making this unconditional
venture. While Mantua stood, Napoleon, for all his energy and
sanguineness, could not press forward into Friuli and Carniola, and
immunity from a Republican visitation was above all else important for
the Vienna statesmen, governing as they did more or less discontented
and heterogeneous populations that had not felt the pressure of war for
a century and more. The Austrians, so far as is known, desired no more
than to hold their own. They no longer possessed the superiority of
_moral_ that guarantees victory to one side when both are materially
equal. There was therefore nothing to be gained, commensurate with the
risk involved, by fighting a battle in the open field. _In Italien siegt
nicht die Kavallerie_ was an old saying in the Austrian army, and
therefore the Austrians could not hope to win a victory of the first
magnitude. The only practicable alternative was to strengthen Mantua as
opportunities offered themselves, and to prolong the passive resistance
as much as possible. Napoleon's own practice in providing for secondary
theatres of war was to economize forces and to delay a decision, and the
fault of the Austrians, viewed from a purely military standpoint, was
that they squandered, instead of economizing, their forces to gain time.
If we neglect pure theory, and regard strategy as the handmaiden of
statesmanship--which fundamentally it is--we cannot condemn the Vienna
authorities unless it be first proved that they grossly exaggerated the
possible results of Bonaparte's threatened irruption. And if their
capacity for judging the political situation be admitted, it naturally
follows that their object was to preserve Mantua _at all costs_--which
object Wurmser, though invariably defeated in action, did in fact


When Masséna entered Trent on the morning of the 5th of September,
Napoleon became aware that the force in his front was a mere detachment,
and news soon came in that Wurmser was in the Val Sugana about Primolano
and at Bassano. This move he supposed to be intended to cover Trieste,
being influenced by his own hopes of advancing in that direction, and
underestimating the importance, to the Austrians, of preserving Mantua.
He therefore informed the Directory that he could not proceed with the
Tirol scheme, and spent one more day in driving Davidovich well away
from Trent. Then, leaving Vaubois to watch him, Napoleon marched
Augereau and Masséna, with a rapidity he scarcely ever surpassed, into
the Val Sugana. Wurmser's rearguard was attacked and defeated again and
again, and Wurmser himself felt compelled to stand and fight, in the
hope of checking the pursuit before going forward into the plains. Half
his army had already reached Montebello on the Verona road, and with the
rear half he posted himself at Bassano, where on the 8th he was attacked
and defeated with heavy losses. Then began a strategic pursuit or
general chase, and in this the mobility of the French should have
finished the work so well begun by their tactics.

But Napoleon directed the pursuers so as to cut off Wurmser from
Trieste, not from Mantua. Masséna followed up the Austrians to Vicenza,
while Augereau hurried towards Padua, and it was not until late on the
9th that Bonaparte realized that his opponent was heading for Mantua via
Legnago. On the 10th Masséna crossed the Adige at Ronco, while Augereau
from Padua reached Montagnara. Sahuguet from Mantua and Kilmaine from
Verona joined forces at Castellaro on the 11th, with orders to interpose
between Wurmser and the fortress. Wurmser meantime had halted for a day
at Legnago, to restore order, and had then resumed his march. It was
almost too late, for in the evening, after having to push aside the head
of Masséna's column at Cerea, he had only reached Nogara, some miles
short of Castellaro, and close upon his rear was Augereau, who reached
Legnago that night. On the 12th, eluding Sahuguet by a detour to the
southward, he reached Mantua, with all the columns of the French, weary
as most of them were, in hot pursuit. After an attempt to keep the open
field, defeated in a general action on the 15th, the relieving force was
merged in the garrison, now some 28,000 in all. So ended the episode of
Bassano, the most brilliant feature of which as usual was the marching
power of the French infantry. This time it sufficed to redeem even
strategical misconceptions and misdirections. Between the 5th and the
11th, besides fighting three actions, Masséna had marched 100 m. and
Augereau 114.

Feldzeugmeister Alvintzi was now appointed to command a new army of
relief. This time the mere distribution of the troops imposed a
concentric advance of separate columns, for practically the whole of the
fresh forces available were in Carniola, the Military Frontier, &c.,
while Davidovich was still in Tirol. Alvintzi's intention was to
assemble his new army (29,000) in Friuli, and to move on Bassano, which
was to be occupied on the 4th of November. Meantime Davidovich (18,000)
was to capture Trent, and the two columns were to connect by the Val
Sugana. All being well, Alvintzi and Davidovich, still separate, were
then to converge on the Adige between Verona and Legnago. Wurmser was to
co-operate by vigorous sorties. At this time Napoleon's protective
system was as follows: Kilmaine (9000) investing Mantua, Vaubois
(10,000) at Trent, and Masséna (9000) at Bassano and Treviso, Augereau
(9000) and Macquard (3000) at Verona and Villafranca constituting, for
the first time in these operations, important mobile reserves. Hearing
of Alvintzi's approach in good time, he meant first to drive back
Davidovich, then with Augereau, Masséna, Macquard and 3000 of Vaubois's
force to fall upon Alvintzi, who, he calculated, would at this stage
have reached Bassano, and finally to send back a large force through the
Val Sugana to attack Davidovich. This plan practically failed.


Instead of advancing, Vaubois was driven steadily backward. By the 6th,
Davidovich had fought his way almost to Roveredo, and Alvintzi had
reached Bassano and was there successfully repelling the attacks of
Masséna and Augereau. That night Napoleon drew back to Vicenza. On the
7th Davidovich drove in Vaubois to Corona and Rivoli, and Alvintzi came
within 5 m. of Vicenza. Napoleon watched carefully for an opportunity to
strike out, and on the 8th massed his troops closely around the central
point of Verona. On the 9th, to give himself air, he ordered Masséna to
join Vaubois, and to drive back Davidovich at all costs. But before this
order was executed, reports came in to the effect that Davidovich had
suspended his advance. The 10th and 11th were spent by both sides in
relative inaction, the French waiting on events and opportunities, the
Austrians resting after their prolonged exertions. Then, on the
afternoon of the 11th, being informed that Alvintzi was approaching,
Napoleon decided to attack him. On the 12th the advanced guard of
Alvintzi's army was furiously assailed in the position of Caldiero. But
the troops in rear came up rapidly, and by 4 P.M. the French were
defeated all along the line and in retreat on Verona. Napoleon's
situation was now indeed precarious. He was on "interior lines," it is
true, but he had neither the force nor the space necessary for the
delivery of rapid radial blows. Alvintzi was in superior numbers, as the
battle of Caldiero had proved, and at any moment Davidovich, who had
twice Vaubois's force, might advance to the attack of Rivoli. The
reserves had proved insufficient, and Kilmaine had to be called up from
Mantua, which was thus for the third time freed from the blockaders.
Again the alternatives were retreat, in whatever order was possible to
Republican armies, and beating the nearest enemy at any sacrifice.
Napoleon chose the latter, though it was not until the evening of the
14th that he actually issued the fateful order.

The Austrians, too, had selected the 15th as the date of their final
advance on Verona, Davidovich from the north, Alvintzi via Zevio from
the south. But Napoleon was no longer there; leaving Vaubois to hold
Davidovich as best he might, and posting only 3000 men in Verona, he had
collected the rest of his small army between Albaro and Ronco. His plan
seems to have been to cross the Adige well in rear of the Austrians, to
march north on to the Verona-Vicenza highway, and there, supplying
himself from their convoys, to fight to the last. On the 15th he had
written to the Directory, "The weakness and the exhaustion of the army
causes me to fear the worst. We are perhaps on the eve of losing Italy."
In this extremity of danger the troops passed the Adige in three columns
near Ronco and Albaredo, and marched forward along the dikes, with deep
marshes and pools on either hand. If Napoleon's intention was to reach
the dry open ground of S. Bonifacio in rear of the Austrians, it was not
realized, for the Austrian army, instead of being at the gates of
Verona, was still between Caldiero and S. Bonifacio, heading, as we
know, for Zevio. Thus Alvintzi was able, easily and swiftly, to wheel to
the south.


The battle of Arcola almost defies description. The first day passed in
a series of resultless encounters between the heads of the columns as
they met on the dikes. In the evening Bonaparte withdrew over the Adige,
expecting at every moment to be summoned to Vaubois's aid. But
Davidovich remained inactive, and on the 16th the French again crossed
the river. Masséna from Ronco advanced on Porcile, driving the Austrians
along the causeway thither, but on the side of Arcola, Alvintzi had
deployed a considerable part of his forces on the edge of the marshes,
within musket shot of the causeway by which Bonaparte and Augereau had
to pass, along the Austrian front, to reach the bridge of Arcola. In
these circumstances the second day's battle was more murderous and no
more decisive than the first, and again the French retreated to Ronco.
But Davidovich again stood still, and with incredible obstinacy
Bonaparte ordered a third assault for the 17th, using indeed more
tactical expedients than before, but calculating chiefly on the fighting
powers of his men and on the exhaustion of the enemy. Masséna again
advanced on Porcile, Robert's brigade on Arcola, but the rest, under
Augereau, were to pass the Alpone near its confluence with the Adige,
and joining various small bodies which passed the main stream lower
down, to storm forward on dry ground to Arcola. The Austrians, however,
themselves advanced from Arcola, overwhelmed Robert's brigade on the
causeway and almost reached Ronco. This was perhaps the crisis of the
battle, for Augereau's force was now on the other side of the stream,
and Masséna, with his back to the new danger, was approaching Porcile.
But the fire of a deployed regiment stopped the head of the Austrian
column; Masséna, turning about, cut into its flank on the dike; and
Augereau, gathering force, was approaching Arcola from the south. The
bridge and the village were evacuated soon afterwards, and Masséna and
Augereau began to extend in the plain beyond. But the Austrians still
sullenly resisted. It was at this moment that Bonaparte secured victory
by a mere ruse, but a ruse which would have been unprofitable and
ridiculous had it not been based on his fine sense of the moral
conditions. Both sides were nearly fought out, and he sent a few
trumpeters to the rear of the Austrian army to sound the charge. They
did so, and in a few minutes the Austrians were streaming back to S.
Bonifacio. This ended the drama of Arcola, which more than any other
episode of these wars, perhaps of any wars in modern history, centres on
the personality of the hero. It is said that the French fought without
spirit on the first day, and yet on the second and third Bonaparte had
so thoroughly imbued them with his own will to conquer that in the end
they prevailed over an enemy nearly twice their own strength.

The climax was reached just in time, for on the 17th Vaubois was
completely defeated at Rivoli and withdrew to Peschiera, leaving the
Verona and Mantua roads completely open to Davidovich. But on the 19th
Napoleon turned upon him, and combining the forces of Vaubois, Masséna
and Augereau against him, drove him back to Trent. Meantime Alvintzi
returned from Vicenza to San Bonifacio and Caldiero (November 21st), and
Bonaparte at once stopped the pursuit of Davidovich. On the return of
the French main body to Verona, Alvintzi finally withdrew, Wurmser, who
had emerged from Mantua on the 23rd, was driven in again, and this
epilogue of the great struggle came to a feeble end because neither side
was now capable of prolonging the crisis.

Alvintzi renewed his advance in January 1797 with all the forces that
could be assembled for a last attempt to save Mantua. At this time 8000
men under Sérurier blockaded Mantua, Masséna (9000) was at Verona,
Joubert (Vaubois's successor) at Rivoli with 10,000, Augereau at Legnago
with 9000. In reserve were Rey's division (4000) between Brescia and
Montechiaro, and Victor's brigade at Goito and Castelnuovo. On the other
side, Alvintzi had 9000 men under Provera at Padua, 6000 under Bayalic
at Bassano, and he himself with 28,000 men stood in the Tirol about
Trent. This time he intended to make his principal effort on the Rivoli
side. Provera was to capture Legnago on the 9th of January, and Bayalic
Verona on the 12th, while the main army was to deliver its blow against
the Rivoli position on the 13th.


The first marches of this scheme were duly carried out, and several days
elapsed before Napoleon was able to discern the direction of the real
attack. Augereau fell back, skirmishing a little, as Provera's and
Bayalic's advance developed. On the 11th, when the latter was nearing
Verona, Alvintzi's leading troops appeared in front of the Rivoli
position. On the 12th Bayalic with a weak force (he had sent
reinforcements to Alvintzi by the Val Pantena) made an unsuccessful
attack on Verona, Provera, farther south, remaining inactive. On the
13th Napoleon, still in doubt, launched Masséna's division against
Bayalic, who was driven back to San Bonifacio; but at the same time
definite news came from Joubert that Alvintzi's main army was in front
of La Corona. From this point begins the decisive, though by no means
the most intense or dramatic, struggle of the campaign. Once he felt
sure of the situation Napoleon acted promptly. Joubert was ordered to
hold on to Rivoli at all costs. Rey was brought up by a forced march to
Castelnuovo, where Victor joined him, and ahead of them both Masséna was
hurried on to Rivoli. Napoleon himself joined Joubert on the night of
the 13th. There he saw the watch-fires of the enemy in a semicircle
around him, for Alvintzi, thinking that he had only to deal with one
division, had begun a widespread enveloping attack. The horns of this
attack were as yet so far distant that Napoleon, instead of extending on
an equal front, only spread out a few regiments to gain an hour or two
and to keep the ground for Masséna and Rey, and on the morning of
January 14th, with 10,000 men in hand against 26,000, he fell upon the
central columns of the enemy as they advanced up the steep broken slopes
of the foreground. The fighting was severe, but Bonaparte had the
advantage. Masséna arrived at 9 A.M., and a little later the column of
Quasdanovich, which had moved along the Adige and was now attempting to
gain a foothold on the plateau in rear of Joubert, was crushed by the
converging fire of Joubert's right brigade and by Masséna's guns, their
rout being completed by the charge of a handful of cavalry under
Lasalle. The right horn of Alvintzi's attack, when at last it swung in
upon Napoleon's rear, was caught between Masséna and the advancing
troops of Rey and annihilated, and even before this the dispirited
Austrians were in full retreat. A last alarm, caused by the appearance
of a French infantry regiment in their rear (this had crossed the lake
in boats from Salo), completed their demoralization, and though less
than 2000 had been killed and wounded, some 12,000 Austrian prisoners
were left in the hands of the victors. Rivoli was indeed a moral
triumph. After the ordeal of Arcola, the victory of the French was a
foregone conclusion at each point of contact. Napoleon hesitated, or
rather refrained from striking, so long as his information was
incomplete, but he knew now from experience that his covering
detachment, if well led, could not only hold its own without assistance
until it had gained the necessary information, but could still give the
rest of the army time to act upon it. Then, when the centre of gravity
had been ascertained, the French divisions hurried thither, caught the
enemy in the act of manoeuvring and broke them up. And if that
confidence in success which made all this possible needs a special
illustration, it may be found in Napoleon's sending Murat's regiment
over the lake to place a mere two thousand bayonets across the line of
retreat of a whole army. Alvintzi's manoeuvre was faulty neither
strategically in the first instance nor tactically as regards the
project of enveloping Joubert on the 14th. It failed because Joubert and
his men were better soldiers than his own, and because a French division
could move twice as fast as an Austrian, and from these two factors a
new form of war was evolved, the essence of which was that, for a given
time and in a given area, a small force of the French should engage and
hold a much larger force of the enemy.

  The remaining operations can be very briefly summarized. Provera,
  still advancing on Mantua, joined hands there with Wurmser, and for a
  time held Sérurier at a disadvantage. But hearing of this, Napoleon
  sent back Masséna from the field of Rivoli, and that general, with
  Augereau and Sérurier, not only forced Wurmser to retire again into
  the fortress, but compelled Provera to lay down his arms. On the 2nd
  of February 1797, after a long and honourable defence, Mantua, and
  with it what was left of Wurmser's army, surrendered.


  The campaign of 1797, which ended the war of the First Coalition, was
  the brilliant sequel of these hard-won victories. Austria had decided
  to save Mantua at all costs, and had lost her armies in the attempt, a
  loss which was not compensated by the "strategic" victories of the
  archduke. Thus the Republican "visitation" of Carinthia and Carniola
  was one swift march--politically glorious, if dangerous from a purely
  military standpoint--of Napoleon's army to the Semmering. The
  archduke, who was called thither from Germany, could do no more than
  fight a few rearguard actions, and make threats against Napoleon's
  rear, which the latter, with his usual "tact," ignored. On the Rhine,
  as in 1795 and 1796, the armies of the Sambre-and-Meuse (Hoche) and
  the Rhine-and-Moselle (Moreau) were opposed by the armies of the Lower
  Rhine (Werneck) and of the Upper Rhine (Latour). Moreau crossed the
  river near Strassburg and fought a series of minor actions. Hoche,
  like his predecessors, crossed at Düsseldorf and Neuwied and fought
  his way to the Lahn, where for the last time in the history of these
  wars, there was an irregular widespread battle. But Hoche, in this his
  last campaign, displayed the brilliant energy of his first, and
  delivered the "series of incessant blows" that Carnot had urged upon
  Jourdan the year before. Werneck was driven with ever-increasing
  losses from the lower Lahn to Wetzlar and Giessen. Thence, pressed
  hard by the French left wing under Championnet, he retired on the
  Nidda, only to find that Hoche's right had swung completely round him.
  Nothing but the news of the armistice of Leoben saved him from
  envelopment and surrender. This general armistice was signed by
  Bonaparte, on his own authority and to the intense chagrin of the
  Directory and of Hoche, on the 18th of April, and was the basis of the
  peace of Campo Formio.


  Within the scope of this article, yet far more important from its
  political and personal than from its general military interest, comes
  the expedition of Napoleon to Egypt and its sequel (see also EGYPT:
  _History_; NAPOLEON, &c.). A very brief summary must here suffice.
  Napoleon left Toulon on the 19th of May 1798, at the same time as his
  army (40,000 strong in 400 transports) embarked secretly at various
  ports. Nelson's fleet was completely evaded, and, capturing Malta _en
  route_, the armada reached the coast of Egypt on the 1st of July. The
  republicans stormed Alexandria on the 2nd. Between Embabeh and Gizeh,
  on the left bank of the Nile, 60,000 Mamelukes were defeated and
  scattered on the 21st (battle of the Pyramids), the French for the
  most part marching and fighting in the chequer of infantry squares
  that afterwards became the classical formation for desert warfare.
  While his lieutenants pursued the more important groups of the enemy,
  Napoleon entered Cairo in triumph, and proceeded to organize Egypt as
  a French protectorate. Meantime Nelson, though too late to head off
  the expedition, had annihilated the squadron of Admiral Brueys. This
  blow severed the army from the home country, and destroyed all hope of
  reinforcements. But to eject the French already in Egypt, military
  invasion of that country was necessary. The first attempts at this
  were made in September by the Turks as overlords of Egypt.
  Napoleon--after suppressing a revolt in Cairo--marched into Syria to
  meet them, and captured El Arish and Jaffa (at the latter place the
  prisoners, whom he could afford neither to feed, to release, nor to
  guard, were shot by his order). But he was brought to a standstill
  (March 17-May 20) before the half-defensible fortifications of Acre,
  held by a Turkish garrison and animated by the leadership of Sir W.
  Sidney Smith (q.v.). In May, though meantime a Turkish relieving army
  had been severely beaten in the battle of Mount Tabor (April 16,
  1799), Napoleon gave up his enterprise, and returned to Egypt, where
  he won a last victory in annihilating at Aboukir, with 6000 of his own
  men, a Turkish army 18,000 strong that had landed there (July 25,
  1799). With this crowning tactical success to set against the Syrian
  reverses, he handed over the command to Kléber and returned to France
  (August 22) to ride the storm in a new _coup d'état_, the "18th
  Brumaire." Kléber, attacked by the English and Turks, concluded the
  convention of El Arish (January 27, 1800), whereby he secured free
  transport for the army back to France. But this convention was
  disavowed by the British government, and Kléber prepared to hold his
  ground. On the 20th of March 1800 he thoroughly defeated the Turkish
  army at Heliopolis and recovered Cairo, and French influence was once
  more in the ascendant in Egypt, when its director was murdered by a
  fanatic on the 14th of June, the day of Marengo. Kléber's successor,
  the incompetent Menou, fell an easy victim to the British
  expeditionary force under Sir Ralph Abercromby in 1801. The British
  forced their way ashore at Aboukir on the 8th of March. On the 21st,
  Abercromby won a decisive battle, and himself fell in the hour of
  victory (see ALEXANDRIA: _Battle of 1801_). His successor, General
  Hely Hutchinson, slowly followed up this advantage, and received the
  surrender of Cairo in July and of Alexandria in August, the débris of
  the French army being given free passage back to France. Meantime a
  mixed force of British and native troops from India, under Sir David
  Baird, had landed at Kosseir and marched across the desert to Cairo.


In the autumn of 1798, while Napoleon's Egyptian expedition was in
progress, and the Directory was endeavouring at home to reduce the
importance and the predominance of the army and its leaders, the powers
of Europe once more allied themselves, not now against the principles of
the Republic, but against the treaty of Campo Formio. Russia, Austria,
England, Turkey, Portugal, Naples and the Pope formed the Second
Coalition. The war began with an advance into the Roman States by a
worthless and ill-behaved Neapolitan army (commanded, much against his
will, by Mack), which the French troops under Championnet destroyed with
ease. Championnet then revolutionized Naples. After this unimportant
prelude the curtain rose on a general European war. The Directory which
now had at its command neither numbers nor enthusiasm, prepared as best
it could to meet the storm. Four armies, numbering only 160,000, were
set on foot, in Holland (Brune, 24,000); on the Upper Rhine (Jourdan,
46,000); in Switzerland, which had been militarily occupied in 1798
(Masséna, 30,000); and in upper Italy (Schérer, 60,000). In addition
there was Championnet's army, now commanded by Macdonald, in southern
Italy. All these forces the Directory ordered, in January and February
1799, to assume the offensive.


Jourdan, in the Constance and Schaffhausen region, had only 40,000 men
against the archduke Charles's 80,000, and was soon brought to a
standstill and driven back on Stokach. The archduke had won these
preliminary successes with seven-eighths of his army acting as one
concentrated mass. But as he had only encountered a portion of Jourdan's
army, he became uneasy as to his flanks, checked his bold advance, and
ordered a reconnaissance in force. This practically extended his army
while Jourdan was closing his, and thus the French began the battle of
Stokach (March 25) in superior numbers, and it was not until late in the
day that the archduke brought up sufficient strength (60,000) to win a
victory. This was a battle of the "strategic" type, a widespread
straggling combat in which each side took fifteen hours to inflict a
loss of 12% on the other, and which ended in Jourdan accepting defeat
and drawing off, unpursued by the magnificent Austrian cavalry, though
these counted five times as many sabres as the French.

The French secondary army in Switzerland was in the hands of the bold
and active Masséna. The forces of both sides in the Alpine region were,
from a military point of view, mere flank guards to the main armies on
the Rhine and the Adige. But unrest, amounting to civil war, among the
Swiss and Grison peoples tempted both governments to give these flank
guards considerable strength.[13]

  Masséna in Switzerland.

The Austrians in the Vorarlberg and Grisons were under Hotze, who had
13,000 men at Bregenz, and 7000 commanded by Auffenberg around Chur,
with, between them, 5000 men at Feldkirch and a post of 1000 in the
strong position of the Luziensteig near Mayenfeld. Masséna's available
force was about 20,000, and he used almost the whole of it against
Auffenberg. The Rhine was crossed by his principal column near
Mayenfeld, and the Luziensteig stormed (March 6), while a second column
from the Zürich side descended upon Disentis and captured its defenders.
In three days, thanks to Masséna's energy and the ardent attacking
spirit of his men, Auffenberg's division was broken up, Oudinot
meanwhile holding off Hotze by a hard-fought combat at Feldkirch (March
7). But a second attack on Feldkirch made on the 23rd by Masséna with
15,000 men was repulsed and the advance of his left wing came to a

Behind Auffenberg and Hotze was Bellegarde in Tirol with some 47,000
men. Most of these were stationed north of Innsbruck and Landeck,
probably as a sort of strategic reserve to the archduke. The rest, with
the assistance of the Tirolese themselves, were to ward off irruptions
from Italy. Here the French offensive was entrusted to two columns, one
from Masséna's command under Lecourbe, the other from the Army of Italy
under Dessolle. Simultaneously with Masséna, Lecourbe marched from
Bellinzona with 10,000 men, by the San Bernadino pass into the Splügen
valley, and thence over the Julier pass into the upper Engadine. A small
Austrian force under Major-General Loudon attacked him near Zernetz, but
was after three days of rapid manoeuvres and bold tactics driven back to
Martinsbrück, with considerable losses, especially in prisoners. But ere
long the country people flew to arms, and Lecourbe found himself between
two fires, the levies occupying Zernetz and Loudon's regulars
Martinsbrück. But though he had only some 5000 of his original force
left, he was not disconcerted, and, by driving back the levies into the
high valleys whence they had come, and constantly threatening Loudon,
he was able to maintain himself and to wait for Dessolles. The latter,
moving up the Valtelline, by now fought his way to the Stelvio pass, but
beyond it the defile of Tauffers (S.W. of Glurns) was entrenched by
Loudon, who thus occupied a position midway between the two French
columns, while his irregulars beset all the passes and ways giving
access to the Vintschgau and the lower Engadine. In this situation the
French should have been destroyed in detail. But as usual their speed
and dash gave them the advantage in every manoeuvre and at every point
of contact.

  Lecourbe and Dessolles in Tirol.

On the 25th Lecourbe and Dessolles attacked Loudon at Nauders in the
Engadine and Tauffers in the Vintschgau respectively. At Nauders the
French passed round the flanks of the defence by scrambling along the
high mountain crests adjacent, while at Tauffers the assailants, only
4500 strong, descended into a deep ravine, debouched unnoticed in the
Austrians' rear, and captured 6000 men and 16 guns. The Austrian leader
with a couple of companies made his way through Glurns to Nauders, and
there, finding himself headed off by Lecourbe, he took to the mountains.
His corps, like Auffenberg's, was annihilated.

This ended the French general offensive. Jourdan had been defeated by
the archduke and forced or induced to retire over the Rhine. Masséna was
at a standstill before the strong position of Feldkirch, and the
Austrians of Hotze were still massed at Bregenz, but the Grisons were
revolutionized, two strong bodies of Austrians numbering in all about
20,000 men had been destroyed, and Lecourbe and Dessolles had advanced
far into Tirol. A pause followed. The Austrians in the mountains needed
time to concentrate and to recover from their astonishment. The archduke
fell ill, and the Vienna war council forbade his army to advance lest
Tirol should be "uncovered," though Bellegarde and Hotze still disposed
of numbers equal to those of Masséna and Lecourbe. Masséna succeeded
Jourdan in general command on the French side and promptly collected all
available forces of both armies in the hilly non-Alpine country between
Basel, Zürich and Schaffhausen, thereby directly barring the roads into
France (Berne-Neuchâtel-Pontarlier and Basel-Besançon) which the
Austrians appeared to desire to conquer. The protection of Alsace and
the Vosges was left to the fortresses. There was no suggestion, it would
appear, that the Rhine between Basel and Schaffhausen was a flank
position sufficient of itself to bar Alsace to the enemy.

It is now time to turn to events in Italy, where the Coalition intended
to put forth its principal efforts. At the beginning of March the French
had 80,000 men in Upper Italy and some 35,000 in the heart of the
Peninsula, the latter engaged chiefly in supporting newly-founded
republics. Of the former, 53,000 formed the field army on the Mincio
under Schérer. The Austrians, commanded by Kray, numbered in all 84,000,
but detachments reduced this figure to 67,000, of whom, moreover, 15,000
had not yet arrived when operations began. They were to be joined by a
Russian contingent under the celebrated Suvárov, who was to command the
whole on arrival, and whose extraordinary personality gives the campaign
its special interest. Kray himself was a resolute soldier, and when the
French, obeying the general order to advance, crossed the Adige, he
defeated them in a severely fought battle at Magnano near Verona (March
5), the French losing 4000 killed and wounded and 4500 taken, out of
41,000. The Austrians lost some 3800 killed and wounded and 1500
prisoners, out of 46,000 engaged. The war, however, was undertaken not
to annihilate, but to evict the French, and, probably under orders from
Vienna, Kray allowed the beaten enemy to depart.


Suvárov appeared with 17,000 Russians on the 4th of April. His first
step was to set Russian officers to teach the Austrian troops--whose
feelings can be imagined--how to attack with the bayonet, his next to
order the whole army forward. The Allies broke camp on the 17th, 18th
and 19th of April, and on the 20th, after a forced march of close on 30
m., they passed the Chiese. Brescia had a French garrison, but Suvárov
soon cowed it into surrender by threats of a massacre, which no one
doubted that he would carry into execution. At the same time,
dissatisfied with the marching of the Austrian infantry, he sent the
following characteristic reproof to their commander: "The march was in
the service of the Kaiser. Fair weather is for my lady's chamber, for
dandies, for sluggards. He who dares to cavil against his high duty
(_der Grosssprecher wider den hohen Dienst_) is, as an egoist, instantly
to vacate his command. Whoever is in bad health can stay behind. The
so-called reasoners (_raisonneurs_) do no army any good...." One day
later, under this unrelenting pressure, the advanced posts of the Allies
reached Cremona and the main body the Oglio. The pace became slower in
the following days, as many bridges had to be made, and meanwhile
Moreau, Schérer's successor, prepared with a mere 20,000 men to defend
Lodi, Cassano and Lecco on the Adda. On the 26th the Russian hero
attacked him all along the line. The moral supremacy had passed over to
the Allies. Melas, under Suvárov's stern orders, flung his battalions
regardless of losses against the strong position of Cassano. The story
of 1796 repeated itself with the rôles reversed. The passage was
carried, and the French rearguard under Sérurier was surrounded and
captured by an inferior corps of Austrians. The Austrians (the Russians
at Lecco were hardly engaged) lost 6000 men, but they took 7000
prisoners, and in all Moreau's little army lost half its numbers and
retreated in many disconnected bodies to the Ticino, and thence to
Alessandria. Everywhere the Italians turned against the French, mindful
of the exactions of their commissaries. The strange Cossack cavalry that
western Europe had never yet seen entered Milan on the 29th of April,
eleven days after passing the Mincio, and next day the city received
with enthusiasm the old field marshal, whose exploits against the Turks
had long invested him with a halo of romance and legend. Here, for the
moment, his offensive culminated. He desired to pass into Switzerland
and to unite his own, the archduke's, Hotze's and Bellegarde's armies in
one powerful mass. But the emperor would not permit the execution of
this scheme until all the fortresses held by the enemy in Upper Italy
should have been captured. In any case, Macdonald's army in southern
Italy, cut off from France by the rapidity of Suvárov's onslaught, and
now returning with all speed to join Moreau by force or evasion, had
still to be dealt with.

Suvárov's mobile army, originally 90,000 strong, had now dwindled, by
reason of losses and detachments for sieges, to half that number, and
serious differences arose between the Vienna government and himself. If
he offended the pride of the Austrian army, he was at least respected as
a leader who gave it victories, but in Vienna he was regarded as a
madman who had to be kept within bounds. But at last, when he was
becoming thoroughly exasperated by this treatment, Macdonald came within
striking distance and the active campaign recommenced. In the second
week of June, Moreau, who had retired into the Apennines about Gavi,
advanced with the intention of drawing upon himself troops that would
otherwise have been employed against Macdonald. He succeeded, for
Suvárov with his usual rapidity collected 40,000 men at Alessandria,
only to learn that Macdonald with 35,000 men was coming up on the Parma
road. When this news arrived, Macdonald had already engaged an Austrian
detachment at Modena and driven it back, and Suvárov found himself
between Moreau and Macdonald with barely enough men under his hand to
enable him to play the game of "interior lines." But at the crisis the
rough energetic warrior who despised "raisonneurs," displayed
generalship of the first order, and taking in hand all his scattered
detachments, he manoeuvred them in the Napoleonic fashion.

  The Trebbia.

On the 14th Macdonald was calculated to be between Modena, Reggio and
Carpi, but his destination was uncertain. Would he continue to hug the
Apennines to join Moreau, or would he strike out northwards against
Kray, who with 20,000 men was besieging Mantua? From Alessandria it is
four marches to Piacenza and nine to Mantua, while from Reggio these
places are four and two marches respectively. Piacenza, therefore, was
the crucial point if Macdonald continued westward, while, in the other
case, nothing could save Kray but the energetic conduct of
Hohenzollern's detachment, which was posted near Reggio. This latter,
however, was soon forced over the Po, and Ott, advancing from Cremona to
join it, found himself sharply pressed in turn. The field marshal had
hoped that Ott and Hohenzollern together would be able to win him time
to assemble at Parma, where he could bring on a battle whichever way the
French took. But on receipt of Ott's report he was convinced that
Macdonald had chosen the western route, and ordering Ott to delay the
French as long as possible by stubborn rearguard actions and to put a
garrison into Piacenza under a general who was to hold out "on peril of
his life and honour," he collected what forces were ready to move and
hurried towards Piacenza, the rest being left to watch Moreau. He
arrived just in time. When after three forced marches the main body
(only 26,000 strong) reached Castel San Giovanni, Ott had been driven
out of Piacenza, but the two joined forces safely. Both Suvárov and
Macdonald spent the 17th in closing up and deploying for battle. The
respective forces were Allies 30,000, French 35,000. Suvárov believed
the enemy to be only 26,000 strong, and chiefly raw Italian regiments,
but his temperament would not have allowed him to stand still even had
he known his inferiority. He had already issued one of his peculiar
battle-orders, which began with the words, "The hostile army will be
taken prisoners" and continued with directions to the Cossacks to spare
the surrendered enemy. But Macdonald too was full of energy, and
believed still that he could annihilate Ott before the field marshal's
arrival. Thus the battle of the Trebbia (June 17-19) was fought by both
sides in the spirit of the offensive. It was one of the severest
struggles in the Republican wars, and it ended in Macdonald's retreat
with a loss of 15,000 men--probably 6000 in the battle and 9000 killed
and prisoners when and after the equilibrium was broken--for Suvárov,
unlike other generals, had the necessary surplus of energy after all the
demands made upon him by a great battle, to order and to direct an
effective pursuit. The Allies lost about 7000. Macdonald retreated to
Parma and Modena, harassed by the peasantry, and finally recrossed the
Apennines and made his way to Genoa. The battle of the Trebbia is one of
the most clearly-defined examples in military history of the result of
moral force--it was a matter not merely of energetic leading on the
battlefield, but far more of educating the troops beforehand to meet the
strain, of ingraining in the soldier the determination to win at all
costs. "It was not," says Clausewitz, "a case of losing the key of the
position, of turning a flank or breaking a centre, of a mistimed cavalry
charge or a lost battery ... it is a pure trial of strength and expense
of force, and victory is the sinking of the balance, if ever so
slightly, in favour of one side. And we mean not merely physical, but
even more moral forces."

To return now to the Alpine region, where the French offensive had
culminated at the end of March. Their defeated left was behind the Rhine
in the northern part of Switzerland, the half-victorious centre athwart
the Rhine between Mayenfeld and Chur, and their wholly victorious right
far within Tirol between Glurns, Nauders and Landeck. But neither the
centre nor the right could maintain itself. The forward impulse given by
Suvárov spread along the whole Austrian front from left to right.
Dessolles' column (now under Loison) was forced back to Chiavenna.
Bellegarde drove Lecourbe from position to position towards the Rhine
during April. There Lecourbe added to the remnant of his expeditionary
column the outlying bodies of Masséna's right wing, but even so he had
only 8000 men against Bellegarde's 17,000, and he was now exposed to the
attack of Hotze's 25,000 as well. The Luziensteig fell to Hotze and Chur
to Bellegarde, but the defenders managed to escape from the converging
Austrian columns into the valley of the Reuss. Having thus reconquered
all the lost ground and forced the French into the interior of
Switzerland, Bellegarde and Hotze parted company, the former marching
with the greater part of his forces to join Suvárov, the latter moving
to his right to reinforce the archduke. Only a chain of posts was left
in the Rhine Valley between Disentis and Feldkirch. The archduke's
operations now recommenced.

  Action of Zürich.

Charles and Hotze stood, about the 15th of May, at opposite ends of the
lake of Constance. The two together numbered about 88,000 men, but both
had sent away numerous detachments to the flanks, and the main bodies
dwindled to 35,000 for the archduke and 20,000 for Hotze. Masséna, with
45,000 men in all, retired slowly from the Rhine to the Thur. The
archduke crossed the Rhine at Stein, Hotze at Balzers, and each then
cautiously felt his way towards the other. Their active opponent
attempted to take advantage of their separation, and an irregular fight
took place in the Thur valley (May 25), but Masséna, finding Hotze close
on his right flank, retired without attempting to force a decision. On
the 27th, having joined forces, the Austrians dislodged Masséna from his
new position on the Töss without difficulty, and this process was
repeated from time to time in the next few days, until at last Masséna
halted in the position he had prepared for defence at Zürich. He had
still but 25,000 of his 45,000 men in hand, for he maintained numerous
small detachments on his right, behind the Zürcher See and the Wallen
See, and on his left towards Basel. These 25,000 occupied an entrenched
position 5 m. in length; against which the Austrians, detaching as usual
many posts to protect their flanks and rear, deployed only 42,000 men,
of whom 8000 were sent on a wide turning movement and 8000 held in
reserve 4 m. in rear of the battlefield. Thus the frontal attack was
made with forces not much greater than those of the defence and it
failed accordingly (June 4). But Masséna, fearing perhaps to strain the
loyalty of the Swiss to their French-made constitution by exposing their
town to assault and sack, retired on the 5th.

He did not fall back far, for his outposts still bordered the Limmat and
the Linth, while his main body stood in the valley of the Aar between
Baden and Lucerne. The archduke pressed Masséna as little as he had
pressed Jourdan after Stokach (though in this case he had less to gain
by pursuit), and awaited the arrival of a second Russian army, 30,000
strong, under Korsákov, before resuming the advance, meantime throwing
out covering detachments towards Basel, where Masséna had a division.
Thus for two months operations, elsewhere than in Italy, were at a
standstill, while Masséna drew in reinforcements and organized the
fractions of his forces in Alsace as a skeleton army, and the Austrians
distributed arms to the peasantry of South Germany.

In the end, under pressure from Paris, it was Masséna who resumed active
movements. Towards the middle of August, Lecourbe, who formed a loose
right wing of the French army in the Reuss valley, was reinforced to a
strength of 25,000 men, and pounced upon the extended left wing of the
enemy, which had stretched itself, to keep pace with Suvárov, as far
westward as the St Gothard. The movement began on the 14th, and in two
days the Austrians were driven back from the St Gothard and the Furka to
the line of the Linth, with the loss of 8000 men and many guns. At the
same time an attempt to take advantage of Masséna's momentary weakness
by forcing the Aar at Döttingen near its mouth failed completely (August
16-17). Only 200 men guarded the point of passage, but the Austrian
engineers had neglected to make a proper examination of the river, and
unlike the French, the Austrian generals had no authority to waste their
expensive battalions in forcing the passage in boats. No one regarded
this war as a struggle for existence, and no one but Suvárov possessed
the iron strength of character to send thousands of men to death for the
realization of a diplomatic success--for ordinary men, the object of the
Coalition was to upset the treaty of Campo Formio. This was the end of
the archduke's campaign in Switzerland. Though he would have preferred
to continue it, the Vienna government desired him to return to Germany.
An Anglo-Russian expedition was about to land in Holland,[14] and the
French were assembling fresh forces on the Rhine, and, with the double
object of preventing an invasion of South Germany and of inducing the
French to augment their forces in Alsace at the expense of those in
Holland, the archduke left affairs in Switzerland to Hotze and Korsákov,
and marched away with 35,000 men to join the detachment of Sztarray
(20,000) that he had placed in the Black Forest before entering
Switzerland. His new campaign never rose above the level of a war of
posts and of manoeuvres about Mannheim and Philippsburg. In the latter
stage of it Lecourbe commanded the French and obtained a slight

  Suvárov ordered to Switzerland.

Suvárov's last exploit in Italy coincided in time, but in no other
respect, with the skirmish at Döttingen. Returning swiftly from the
battlefield of the Trebbia, he began to drive back Moreau to the
Riviera. At this point Joubert succeeded to the command on the French
side, and against the advice of his generals, gave battle. Equally
against the advice of his own subordinates, the field marshal accepted
it, and won his last great victory at Novi on the 13th of August,
Joubert being killed. This was followed by another rapid march against a
new French "Army of the Alps" (Championnet) which had entered Italy by
way of the Mont Cenis. But immediately after this he left all further
operations in Italy to Melas with 60,000 men and himself with the
Russians and an Austrian corps marched away, via Varese, for the St
Gothard to combine operations against Masséna with Hotze and Korsákov.
It was with a heavy heart that he left the scene of his battles, in
which the force of his personality had carried the old-fashioned
"linear" armies for the last time to complete victory. In the early
summer he had himself suggested, eagerly and almost angrily, the
concentration of his own and the archduke's armies in Switzerland with a
view, not to conquering that country, but to forcing Jourdan and Masséna
into a grand decisive battle. But, as we have seen, the Vienna
government would not release him until the last Italian fortress had
been reoccupied, and when finally he received the order that a little
while before he had so ardently desired, it was too late. The archduke
had already left Switzerland, and he was committed to a resultless
warfare in the high mountains, with an army which was a mere detachment
and in the hope of co-operating with two other detachments far away on
the other side of Switzerland. As for the reasons which led to the issue
of such an order, it can only be said that the bad feeling known to
exist between the Austrians and Russians induced England to recommend,
as the first essential of further operations, the separate concentration
of the troops of each nationality under their own generals. Still
stranger was the reason which induced the tsar to give his consent. It
was alleged that the Russians would be healthier in Switzerland than the
men of the southern plains! From such premises as these the Allied
diplomats evolved a new plan of campaign, by which the Anglo-Russians
under the duke of York were to reconquer Holland and Belgium, the
Archduke Charles to operate on the Middle Rhine, Suvárov in Switzerland
and Melas in Piedmont--a plan destitute of every merit but that of

  Battle of Zürich.

It is often said that it is the duty of a commander to resign rather
than undertake an operation which he believes to be faulty. So, however,
Suvárov did not understand it. In the simplicity of his loyalty to the
formal order of his sovereign he prepared to carry out his instructions
to the letter. Masséna's command (77,000 men) was distributed, at the
beginning of September, along an enormous S, from the Simplon, through
the St Gothard and Glarus, and along the Linth, the Züricher See and the
Limmat to Basel. Opposite the lower point of this S, Suvárov (28,000)
was about to advance. Hotze's corps (25,000 Austrians), extending from
Utznach by Chur to Disentis, formed a thin line roughly parallel to the
lower curve of the S, Korsákov's Russians (30,000) were opposite the
centre at Zürich, while Nauendorff with a small Austrian corps at
Waldshut faced the extreme upper point. Thus the only completely safe
way in which Suvárov could reach the Zürich region was by skirting the
lower curve of the S, under protection of Hotze. But this detour would
be long and painful, and the ardent old man preferred to cross the
mountains once for all at the St Gothard, and to follow the valley of
the Reuss to Altdorf and Schwyz--i.e. to strike vertically upward to
the centre of the S--and to force his way through the French cordon to
Zürich, and if events, so far as concerned his own corps, belied his
optimism, they at any rate justified his choice of the shortest route.
For, aware of the danger gathering in his rear, Masséna gathered up all
his forces within reach towards his centre, leaving Lecourbe to defend
the St Gothard and the Reuss valley and Soult on the Linth. On the 24th
he forced the passage of the Limmat at Dietikon. On the 25th, in the
second battle of Zürich, he completely routed Korsákov, who lost 8000
killed and wounded, large numbers of prisoners and 100 guns. All along
the line the Allies fell back, one corps after another, at the moment
when Suvárov was approaching the foot of the St Gothard.

  Suvárov in the Alps.

On the 21st the field marshal's headquarters were at Bellinzona, where
he made the final preparations. Expecting to be four days _en route_
before he could reach the nearest friendly magazine, he took his trains
with him, which inevitably augmented the difficulties of the expedition.
On the 24th Airolo was taken, but when the far greater task of storming
the pass itself presented itself before them, even the stolid Russians
were terrified, and only the passionate protests of the old man, who
reproached his "children" with deserting their father in his extremity,
induced them to face the danger. At last after twelve hours' fighting,
the summit was reached. The same evening Suvárov pushed on to
Hospenthal, while a flanking column from Disentis made its way towards
Amsteg over the Crispalt. Lecourbe was threatened in rear and pressed in
front, and his engineers, to hold off the Disentis column, had broken
the Devil's Bridge. Discovering this, he left the road, threw his guns
into the river and made his way by fords and water-meadows to Göschenen,
where by a furious attack he cleared the Disentis troops off his line of
retreat. His rearguard meantime held the ruined Devil's Bridge. This
point and the tunnel leading to it, called the Urner Loch, the Russians
attempted to force, with the most terrible losses, battalion after
battalion crowding into the tunnel and pushing the foremost ranks into
the chasm left by the broken bridge. But at last a ford was discovered
and the bridge, cleared by a turning movement, was repaired. More broken
bridges lay beyond, but at last Suvárov joined the Disentis column near
Göschenen. When Altdorf was reached, however, Suvárov found not only
Lecourbe in a threatening position, but an entire absence of boats on
the Lake of the Four Cantons. It was impossible (in those days the
Axenstrasse did not exist) to take an army along the precipitous eastern
shore, and thus passing through one trial after another, each more
severe than the last, the Russians, men and horses and pack animals in
an interminable single file, ventured on the path leading over the
Kinzig pass into the Muotta Thal. The passage lasted three days, the
leading troops losing men and horses over the precipices, the rearguard
from the fire of the enemy, now in pursuit. And at last, on arrival in
the Muotta Thal, the field marshal received definite information that
Korsákov's army was no longer in existence. Yet even so it was long
before he could make up his mind to retreat, and the pursuers gathered
on all sides. Fighting, sometimes severe, and never altogether ceasing,
went on day after day as the Allied column, now reduced to 15,000 men,
struggled on over one pass after another, but at last it reached Ilanz
on the Vorder Rhine (October 8). The Archduke Charles meanwhile had, on
hearing of the disaster of Zürich, brought over a corps from the Neckar,
and for some time negotiations were made for a fresh combined operation
against Masséna. But these came to nothing, for the archduke and Suvárov
could not agree, either as to their own relations or as to the plan to
be pursued. Practically, Suvárov's retreat from Altdorf to Ilanz closed
the campaign. It was his last active service, and formed a gloomy but
grand climax to the career of the greatest soldier who ever wore the
Russian uniform.


The disasters of 1799 sealed the fate of the Directory, and placed
Bonaparte, who returned from Egypt with the prestige of a recent
victory, in his natural place as civil and military head of France. In
the course of the campaign the field strength of the French had been
gradually augmented, and in spite of losses now numbered 227,000 at the
front. These were divided into the Army of Batavia, Brune (25,000), the
Army of the Rhine, Moreau (146,000), the Army of Italy, Masséna
(56,000), and, in addition, there were some 100,000 in garrisons and
depots in France.

Most of these field armies were in a miserable condition owing to the
losses and fatigues of the last campaign. The treasury was empty and
credit exhausted, and worse still--for spirit and enthusiasm, as in
1794, would have remedied material deficiencies--the conscripts obtained
under Jourdan's law of 1798 (see CONSCRIPTION) came to their regiments
most unwillingly. Most of them, indeed, deserted on the way to join the
colours. A large draft sent to the Army of Italy arrived with 310 men
instead of 10,250, and after a few such experiences, the First Consul
decided that the untrained men were to be assembled in the fortresses of
the interior and afterwards sent to the active battalions in numerous
small drafts, which they could more easily assimilate. Besides
accomplishing the immense task of reorganizing existing forces, he
created new ones, including the Consular Guard, and carried out at this
moment of crisis two such far-reaching reforms as the replacement of the
civilian drivers of the artillery by soldiers, and of the hired teams by
horses belonging to the state, and the permanent grouping of divisions
in army corps.

  The Army of Reserve.

As early as the 25th of January 1800 the First Consul provided for the
assembly of all available forces in the interior in an "Army of
Reserve." He reserved to himself the command of this army,[15] which
gradually came into being as the pacification of Vendée and the return
of some of Brune's troops from Holland set free the necessary nucleus
troops. The conscription law was stringently reenforced, and impassioned
calls were made for volunteers (the latter, be it said, did not produce
five hundred useful men). The district of Dijon, partly as being central
with respect to the Rhine and Italian Armies, partly as being convenient
for supply purposes, was selected as the zone of assembly. Chabran's
division was formed from some depleted corps of the Army of Italy and
from the depots of those in Egypt. Chambarlhac's, chiefly of young
soldiers, lost 5% of its numbers on the way to Dijon from desertion--a
loss which appeared slight and even satisfactory after the wholesale
_débandade_ of the winter months. Lechi's Italian legion was newly
formed from Italian refugees. Boudet's division was originally assembled
from some of the southern garrison towns, but the units composing it
were frequently changed up to the beginning of May. The cavalry was
deficient in saddles, and many of its units were new formations. The
Consular Guard of course was a _corps d'élite_, and this and two and a
half infantry divisions and a cavalry brigade coming from the veteran
"Army of the West" formed the real backbone of the army. Most of the
newer units were not even armed till they had left Dijon for the front.

Such was the first constitution of the Army of Reserve. We can scarcely
imagine one which required more accurate and detailed staff work to
assemble it--correspondence with the district commanders, with the
adjutant-generals of the various armies, and orders to the civil
authorities on the lines of march, to the troops themselves and to the
arsenals and magazines. No one but Napoleon, even aided by a Berthier,
could have achieved so great a task in six weeks, and the great captain,
himself doing the work that nowadays is apportioned amongst a crowd of
administrative staff officers, still found time to administer France's
affairs at home and abroad, and to think out a general plan of campaign
that embraced Moreau's, Masséna's and his own armies.

The Army of the Rhine, by far the strongest and best equipped, lay on
the upper Rhine. The small and worn-out Army of Italy was watching the
Alps and the Apennines from Mont Blanc to Genoa. Between them
Switzerland, secured by the victory of Zürich, offered a starting-point
for a turning movement on either side--this year the advantage of the
flank position was recognized and acted upon. The Army of Reserve was
assembling around Dijon, within 200 m. of either theatre of war. The
general plan was that the Army of Reserve should march through
Switzerland to close on the right wing of the Army of the Rhine. Thus
supported to whatever degree might prove to be necessary, Moreau was to
force the passage of the Rhine about Schaffhausen, to push back the
Austrians rapidly beyond the Lech, and then, if they took the offensive
in turn, to hold them in check for ten or twelve days. During this
period of guaranteed freedom the decisive movement was to be made. The
Army of Reserve, augmented by one large corps of the Army of the Rhine,
was to descend by the Splügen (alternatively by the St Gothard and even
by Tirol) into the plains of Lombardy. Magazines were to be established
at Zürich and Lucerne (not at Chur, lest the plan should become obvious
from the beginning), and all likely routes reconnoitred in advance. The
Army of Italy was at first to maintain a strict defensive, then to
occupy the Austrians until the entry of the Reserve Army into Italy was
assured, and finally to manoeuvre to join it.

[Illustration: Map of Italian Campaigns 1794-1800.]

Moreau, however, owing to want of horses for his pontoon train and also
because of the character of the Rhine above Basel, preferred to cross
below that place, especially as in Alsace there were considerably
greater supply facilities than in a country which had already been
fought over and stripped bare. With the greatest reluctance Bonaparte
let him have his way, and giving up the idea of using the Splügen and
the St Gothard, began to turn his attention to the more westerly passes,
the St Bernard and the Simplon. It was not merely Moreau's scruples that
led to this essential modification in the scheme. At the beginning of
April the enemy took the offensive against Masséna. On the 8th Melas's
right wing dislodged the French from the Mont Cenis, and most of the
troops that had then reached Dijon were shifted southward to be ready
for emergencies. By the 25th Berthier reported that Masséna was
seriously attacked and that he might have to be supported by the
shortest route. Bonaparte's resolution was already taken. He waited no
longer for Moreau (who indeed so far from volunteering assistance,
actually demanded it for himself). Convinced from the paucity of news
that Masséna's army was closely pressed and probably severed from
France, and feeling also that the Austrians were deeply committed to
their struggle with the Army of Italy, he told Berthier to march with
40,000 men at once by way of the St Bernard unless otherwise advised.
Berthier protested that he had only 25,000 effectives, and the equipment
and armament was still far from complete--as indeed it remained to the
end--but the troops marched, though their very means of existence were
precarious from the time of leaving Geneva to the time of reaching
Milan, for nothing could extort supplies and money from the sullen

  Napoleon's plan of campaign.

At the beginning of May the First Consul learned of the serious plight
of the Army of Italy. Masséna with his right wing was shut up in Genoa,
Suchet with the left wing driven back to the Var. Meanwhile Moreau had
won a preliminary victory at Stokach, and the Army of Reserve had begun
its movement to Geneva. With these data the plan of campaign took a
clear shape at last--Masséna to resist as long as possible; Suchet to
resume the offensive, if he could do so, towards Turin; the Army of
Reserve to pass the Alps and to debouch into Piedmont by Aosta; the Army
of the Rhine to send a strong force into Italy by the St Gothard. The
First Consul left Paris on the 6th of May. Berthier went forward to
Geneva, and still farther on the route magazines were established at
Villeneuve and St-Pierre. Gradually, and with immense efforts, the
leading troops of the long column[16] were passed over the St Bernard,
drawing their artillery on sledges, on the 15th and succeeding days.
Driving away small posts of the Austrian army, the advance guard entered
Aosta on the 16th and Châtillon on the 18th and the alarm was given.
Melas, committed as he was to his Riviera campaign, began to look to his
right rear, but he was far from suspecting the seriousness of his
opponent's purpose.


Infinitely more dangerous for the French than the small detachment that
Melas opposed to them, or even the actual crossing of the pass, was the
unexpected stopping power of the little fort of Bard. The advanced guard
of the French appeared before it on the 19th, and after three wasted
days the infantry managed to find a difficult mountain by-way and to
pass round the obstacle. Ivrea was occupied on the 23rd, and Napoleon
hoped to assemble the whole army there by the 27th. But except for a few
guns that with infinite precautions were smuggled one by one through the
streets of Bard, the whole of the artillery, as well as a detachment
(under Chabran) to besiege the fort, had to be left behind. Bard
surrendered on the 2nd of June, having delayed the infantry of the
French army for four days and the artillery for a fortnight.

The military situation in the last week of May, as it presented itself
to the First Consul at Ivrea, was this. The Army of Italy under Masséna
was closely besieged in Genoa, where provisions were running short, and
the population so hostile that the French general placed his field
artillery to sweep the streets. But Masséna was no ordinary general, and
the First Consul knew that while Masséna lived the garrison would resist
to the last extremity. Suchet was defending Nice and the Var by vigorous
minor operations. The Army of Reserve, the centre of which had reached
at Ivrea the edge of the Italian plains, consisted of four weak army
corps under Victor, Duhesme, Lannes and Murat. There were still to be
added to this small army of 34,000 effectives, Turreau's division, which
had passed over the Mont Cenis and was now in the valley of the Dora
Riparia, Moncey's corps of the Army of the Rhine, which had at last been
extorted from Moreau and was due to pass the St Gothard before the end
of May, Chabran's division left to besiege Bard, and a small force under
Béthencourt, which was to cross the Simplon and to descend by Arona
(this place proved in the event a second Bard and immobilized
Béthencourt until after the decisive battle). Thus it was only the
simplest part of Napoleon's task to concentrate half of his army at
Ivrea, and he had yet to bring in the rest. The problem was to
reconcile the necessity for time, which he wanted to ensure the maximum
force being brought over the Alps, with the necessity for haste, in view
of the impending fall of Genoa and the probability that once this
conquest was achieved, Melas would bring back his 100,000 men into the
Milanese to deal with the Army of Reserve. As early as the 14th of May
he had informed Moncey that from Ivrea the Army of Reserve would move on
Milan. On the 25th of May, in response to Berthier's request for
guidance, the First Consul ordered Lannes (advanced guard) to push out
on the Turin road, "in order to deceive the enemy and to obtain news of
Turreau," and Duhesme's and Murat's corps to proceed along the Milan
road. On the 27th, after Lannes had on the 26th defeated an Austrian
column near Chivasso, the main body was already advancing on Vercelli.

    The march to Milan.

  Very few of Napoleon's acts of generalship have been more criticized
  than this resolution to march on Milan, which abandoned Genoa to its
  fate and gave Melas a week's leisure to assemble his scattered forces.
  The account of his motives he dictated at St Helena (_Nap.
  Correspondence_, v. 30, pp. 375-377), in itself an unconvincing appeal
  to the rules of strategy as laid down by the theorists--which rules
  his own practice throughout transcended--gives, when closely examined,
  some at least of the necessary clues. He says in effect that by
  advancing directly on Turin he would have "risked a battle against
  equal forces without an assured line of retreat, Bard being still
  uncaptured." It is indeed strange to find Napoleon shrinking before
  _equal_ forces of the enemy, even if we admit without comment that it
  was more difficult to pass Bard the second time than the first. The
  only incentive to go towards Turin was the chance of partial victories
  over the disconnected Austrian corps that would be met in that
  direction, and this he deliberately set aside. Having done so, for
  reasons that will appear in the sequel, he could only defend it by
  saying in effect that he might have been defeated--which was true, but
  not the Napoleonic principle of war. Of the alternatives, one was to
  hasten to Genoa; this in Napoleon's eyes would have been playing the
  enemy's game, for they would have concentrated at Alessandria, facing
  west "in their natural position." It is equally obvious that thus the
  enemy would have played _his_ game, supposing that this was to relieve
  Genoa, and the implication is that it was not. The third course, which
  Napoleon took, and in this memorandum defended, gave his army the
  enemy's depots at Milan, of which it unquestionably stood in sore
  need, and the reinforcement of Moncey's 15,000 men from the Rhine,
  while at the same time Moncey's route offered an "assured line of
  retreat" by the Simplon[17] and the St Gothard. He would in fact make
  for himself there a "natural position" without forfeiting the
  advantage of being in Melas's rear. Once possessed of Milan, Napoleon
  says, he could have engaged Melas with a light heart and with
  confidence in the greatest possible results of a victory, whether the
  Austrians sought to force their way back to the east by the right or
  the left bank of the Po, and he adds that if the French passed on and
  concentrated south of the Po there would be no danger to the Milan-St
  Gothard line of retreat, as this was secured by the rivers Ticino and
  Sesia. In this last, as we shall see, he is shielding an undeniable
  mistake, but considering for the moment only the movement to Milan, we
  are justified in assuming that his object was not the relief of Genoa,
  but the most thorough defeat of Melas's field army, to which end,
  putting all sentiment aside, he treated the hard-pressed Masséna as a
  "containing force" to keep Melas occupied during the strategical
  deployment of the Army of Reserve. In the beginning he had told
  Masséna that he would "disengage" him, even if he had to go as far
  east as Trent to find a way into Italy. From the first, then, no
  direct relief was intended, and when, on hearing bad news from the
  Riviera, he altered his route to the more westerly passes, it was
  probably because he felt that Masséna's containing power was almost
  exhausted, and that the passage and reassembly of the Reserve Army
  must be brought about in the minimum time and by the shortest way. But
  the object was still the defeat of Melas, and for this, as the
  Austrians possessed an enormous numerical superiority, the assembly of
  all forces, including Moncey's, was indispensable. One essential
  condition of this was that the points of passage used should be out of
  reach of the enemy. The more westerly the passes chosen, the more
  dangerous was the whole operation--in fact the Mont Cenis column never
  reached him at all--and though his expressed objections to the St
  Bernard line seem, as we have said, to be written after the event, to
  disarm his critics, there is no doubt that at the time he disliked it.
  It was a _pis aller_ forced upon him by Moreau's delay and Masséna's
  extremity, and from the moment at which he arrived at Milan he did, as
  a fact, abandon it altogether in favour of the St Gothard. Lastly, so
  strongly was he impressed with the necessity of completing the
  deployment of all his forces, that though he found the Austrians on
  the Turin side much scattered and could justifiably expect a series of
  rapid partial victories, Napoleon let them go, and devoted his whole
  energy to creating for himself a "natural" position about Milan. If he
  sinned, at any rate he sinned handsomely, and except that he went to
  Milan by Vercelli instead of by Lausanne and Domodossola[18] (on the
  safe side of the mountains), his march is logistically beyond cavil.

Napoleon's immediate purpose, then, was to reassemble the Army of
Reserve in a zone of manoeuvre about Milan. This was carried out in the
first days of June. Lannes at Chivasso stood ready to ward off a flank
attack until the main army had filed past on the Vercelli road, then
leaving a small force to combine with Turreau (whose column had not been
able to advance into the plain) in demonstrations towards Turin, he
moved off, still acting as right flank guard to the army, in the
direction of Pavia. The main body meanwhile, headed by Murat, advanced
on Milan by way of Vercelli and Magenta, forcing the passage of the
Ticino on the 31st of May at Turbigo and Buffalora. On the same day the
other divisions closed up to the Ticino,[19] and faithful to his
principles Napoleon had an examination made of the little fortress of
Novara, intending to occupy it as a _place du moment_ to help in
securing his zone of manoeuvre. On the morning of the 2nd of June Murat
occupied Milan, and in the evening of the same day the headquarters
entered the great city, the Austrian detachment under Vukassovich (the
flying right wing of Melas's general cordon system in Piedmont) retiring
to the Adda. Duhesme's corps forced that river at Lodi, and pressed on
with orders to organize Crema and if possible Orzinovi as temporary
fortresses. Lechi's Italians were sent towards Bergamo and Brescia.
Lannes meantime had passed Vercelli, and on the evening of the 2nd his
cavalry reached Pavia, where, as at Milan, immense stores of food,
equipment and warlike stores were seized.

Napoleon was now safe in his "natural" position, and barred one of the
two main lines of retreat open to the Austrians. But his ambitions went
further, and he intended to cross the Po and to establish himself on the
other likewise, thus establishing across the plain a complete barrage
between Melas and Mantua. Here his end outranged his means, as we shall
see. But he gave himself every chance that rapidity could afford him,
and the moment that some sort of a "zone of manoeuvre" had been secured
between the Ticino and the Oglio, he pushed on his main body--or rather
what was left after the protective system had been provided for--to the
Po. He would not wait even for his guns, which had at last emerged from
the Bard defile and were ordered to come to Milan by a safe and
circuitous route along the foot of the Alps.

  Melas's movements.

At this point the action of the enemy began to make itself felt. Melas
had not gained the successes that he had expected in Piedmont and on the
Riviera, thanks to Masséna's obstinacy and to Suchet's brilliant defence
of the Var. These operations had led him very far afield, and the
protection of his over-long line of communications had caused him to
weaken his large army by throwing off many detachments to watch the
Alpine valleys on his right rear. One of these successfully opposed
Turreau in the valley of the Dora Riparia, but another had been severely
handled by Lannes at Chivasso, and a third (Vukassovich) found itself,
as we know, directly in the path of the French as they moved from Ivrea
to Milan, and was driven far to the eastward. He was further handicapped
by the necessity of supporting Ott before Genoa and Elsnitz on the Var,
and hearing of Lannes's bold advance on Chivasso and of the presence of
a French column with artillery (Turreau) west of Turin, he assumed that
the latter represented the main body of the Army of Reserve--in so far
indeed as he believed in the existence of that army at all.[20] Next,
when Lannes moved away towards Pavia, Melas thought for a moment that
fate had delivered his enemy into his hands, and began to collect such
troops as were at hand at Turin with a view to cutting off the retreat
of the French on Ivrea while Vukassovich held them in front. It was only
when news came of Moncey's arrival in Italy and of Vukassovich's
fighting retreat on Brescia that the magnitude and purpose of the French
column that had penetrated by Ivrea became evident. Melas promptly
decided to give up his western enterprises, and to concentrate at
Alessandria, preparatory to breaking his way through the network of
small columns--as the disseminated Army of Reserve still appeared to
be--which threatened to bar his retreat. But orders circulated so slowly
that he had to wait in Turin till the 8th of June for Elsnitz, whose
retreat was, moreover, sharply followed up and made exceedingly costly
by the enterprising Suchet. Ott, too, in spite of orders to give up the
siege of Genoa at once and to march with all speed to hold the
Alessandria-Piacenza road, waited two days to secure the prize, and
agreed (June 4) to allow Masséna's army to go free and to join Suchet.
And lastly, the cavalry of O'Reilly, sent on ahead from Alessandria to
the Stradella defile, reached that point only to encounter the French.
The barrage was complete, and it remained for Melas to break it with the
mass that he was assembling, with all these misfortunes and delays,
about Alessandria. His chances of doing so were anything but desperate.

On the 5th of June Murat, with his own corps and part of Duhesme's, had
moved on Piacenza, and stormed the bridge-head there. Duhesme with one
of his divisions pushed out on Crema and Orzinovi and also towards
Pizzighetone. Moncey's leading regiments approached Milan, and Berthier
thereupon sent on Victor's corps to support Murat and Lannes. Meantime
the half abandoned line of operations, Ivrea-Vercelli, was briskly
attacked by the Austrians, who had still detachments on the side of
Turin, waiting for Elsnitz to rejoin, and the French artillery train was
once more checked. On the 6th Lannes from Pavia, crossing the Po at San
Cipriano, encountered and defeated a large force, (O'Reilly's column),
and barred the Alessandria-Parma main road. Opposite Piacenza Murat had
to spend the day in gathering material for his passage, as the pontoon
bridge had been cut by the retreating garrison of the bridge-head. On
the eastern border of the "zone of manoeuvre" Duhesme's various columns
moved out towards Brescia and Cremona, pushing back Vukassovich.
Meantime the last divisions of the Army of Reserve (two of Moncey's
excepted) were hurried towards Lannes's point of passage, as Murat had
not yet secured Piacenza. On the 7th, while Duhesme continued to push
back Vukassovich and seized Cremona, Murat at last captured Piacenza,
finding there immense magazines. Meantime the army, division by
division, passed over, slowly owing to a sudden flood, near Belgiojoso,
and Lannes's advanced guard was ordered to open communication with Murat
along the main road Stradella-Piacenza. "Moments are precious" said the
First Consul. He was aware that Elsnitz was retreating before Suchet,
that Melas had left Turin for Alessandria, and that heavy forces of the
enemy were at or east of Tortona. He knew, too, that Murat had been
engaged with certain regiments recently before Genoa and (wrongly)
assumed O'Reilly's column, beaten by Lannes at San Cipriano, to have
come from the same quarter. Whether this meant the deliverance or the
surrender of Genoa he did not yet know, but it was certain that
Masséna's holding action was over, and that Melas was gathering up his
forces to recover his communications. Hence Napoleon's great object was
concentration. "Twenty thousand men at Stradella," in his own words, was
the goal of his efforts, and with the accomplishment of this purpose the
campaign enters on a new phase.

  Napoleon's dispositions.


On the 8th of June, Lannes's corps was across, Victor following as
quickly as the flood would allow. Murat was at Piacenza, but the road
between Lannes and Murat was not known to be clear, and the First Consul
made the establishment of the connexion, and the construction of a
third point of passage midway between the other two, the principal
objects of the day's work. The army now being disseminated between the
Alps, the Apennines, the Ticino and the Chiese, it was of vital
importance to connect up the various parts into a well-balanced system.
But the Napoleon of 1800 solved the problem that lay at the root of his
strategy, "concentrate, but be vulnerable nowhere," in a way that
compares unfavourably indeed with the methods of the Napoleon of 1806.
Duhesme was still absent at Cremona. Lechi was far away in the Brescia
country, Béthencourt detained at Arona. Moncey with about 15,000 men had
to cover an area of 40 m. square around Milan, which constituted the
original zone of manoeuvre, and if Melas chose to break through the
flimsy cordon of outposts on this side (the risk of which was the motive
for detaching Moncey at all) instead of at the Stradella, it would take
Moncey two days to concentrate his force on any battlefield within the
area named, and even then he would be outnumbered by two to one. As for
the main body at the Stradella, its position was wisely chosen, for the
ground was too cramped for the deployment of the superior force that
Melas might bring up, but the strategy that set before itself as an
object 20,000 men at the decisive point out of 50,000 available, is, to
say the least, imperfect. The most serious feature in all this was the
injudicious order to Lannes to send forward his advanced guard, and to
attack whatever enemy he met with on the road to Voghera. The First
Consul, in fact, calculated that Melas could not assemble 20,000 men at
Alessandria before the 12th of June, and he told Lannes that if he met
the Austrians towards Voghera, they could not be more than 10,000
strong. A later order betrays some anxiety as to the exactitude of these
assumptions, warns Lannes not to let himself be surprised, indicates his
line of retreat, and, instead of ordering him to advance on Voghera,
authorizes him to attack any corps that presented itself at Stradella.
But all this came too late. Acting on the earlier order Lannes fought
the battle of Montebello on the 9th. This was a very severe running
fight, beginning east of Casteggio and ending at Montebello, in which
the French drove the Austrians from several successive positions, and
which culminated in a savage fight at close quarters about Montebello
itself. The singular feature of the battle is the disproportion between
the losses on either side--French, 500 out of 12,000 engaged; Austrians,
2100 killed and wounded and 2100 prisoners out of 14,000. These figures
are most conclusive evidence of the intensity of the French military
spirit in those days. One of the two divisions (Watrin's) was indeed a
veteran organization, but the other, Chambarlhac's, was formed of young
troops and was the same that, in the march to Dijon, had congratulated
itself that only 5% of its men had deserted. On the other side the
soldiers fought for "the honour of their arms"--not even with the
courage of despair, for they were ignorant of the "strategic barrage"
set in front of them by Napoleon, and the loss of their communications
had not as yet lessened their daily rations by an ounce.

Meanwhile, Napoleon had issued orders for the main body to stand fast,
and for the detachments to take up their definitive covering positions.
Duhesme's corps was directed, from its eastern foray, to Piacenza, to
join the main body. Moncey was to provide for the defence of the Ticino
line, Lechi to form a "flying camp" in the region of Orzinovi-Brescia
and Cremona, and another mixed brigade was to control the Austrians in
Pizzighetone and in the citadel of Piacenza. On the other side of the
Po, between Piacenza and Montebello, was the main body (Lannes, Murat
and part of Victor's and Duhesme's corps), and a flank guard was
stationed near Pavia, with orders to keep on the right of the army as it
advanced (this is the first and only hint of any intention to go
westward) and to fall back fighting should Melas come on by the left
bank. One division was to be always a day's march behind the army on the
right bank, and a flotilla was to ascend the Po, to facilitate the
speedy reinforcement of the flank guard. Farther to the north was a
small column on the road Milan-Vercelli. All the protective troops,
except the division of the main body detailed as an eventual support
for the flank guard, was to be found by Moncey's corps (which had
besides to watch the Austrians in the citadel of Milan) and Chabran's
and Lechi's weak commands. On this same day Bonaparte tells the Minister
of War, Carnot, that Moncey has only brought half the expected
reinforcements and that half of these are unreliable. As to the result
of the impending contest Napoleon counts greatly upon the union of
18,000 men under Masséna and Suchet to crush Melas against the
"strategic barrage" of the Army of Reserve, by one or other bank of the
Po, and he seems equally confident of the result in either case. If
Genoa had held out three days more, he says, it would have been easy to
count the number of Melas's men who escaped. The exact significance of
this last notion is difficult to establish, and all that could be
written about it would be merely conjectural. But it is interesting to
note that, without admitting it, Napoleon felt that his "barrage" might
not stand before the flood. The details of the orders of the 9th to the
main body (written before the news of Montebello arrived at
headquarters) tend to the closest possible concentration of the main
body towards Casteggio, in view of a decisive battle on the 12th or

[Illustration: Map.]

  Napoleon's advance.

But another idea had begun to form itself in his mind. Still believing
that Melas would attack him on the Stradella side, and hastening his
preparations to meet this, he began to allow for the contingency of
Melas giving up or failing in his attempt to re-establish his
communication with the Mantovese, and retiring on Genoa, which was now
in his hands and could be provisioned and reinforced by sea. On the 10th
Napoleon ordered reserve ammunition to be sent from Pavia, giving
Serravalle, which is south of Novi, as its probable destination. But
this was surmise, and of the facts he knew nothing. Would the enemy move
east on the Stradella, north-east on the Ticino or south on Genoa? Such
reports as were available indicated no important movements whatever,
which happened to be true, but could hardly appear so to the French
headquarters. On the 11th, though he thereby forfeited the
reinforcements coming up from Duhesme's corps at Cremona, Napoleon
ordered the main body to advance to the Scrivia. Lapoype's division (the
right flank guard), which was observing the Austrian posts towards
Casale, was called to the south bank of the Po, the zone around Milan
was stripped so bare of troops that there was no escort for the
prisoners taken at Montebello, while information sent by Chabran (now
moving up from Ivrea) as to the construction of bridges at Casale (this
was a feint made by Melas on the 10th) passed unheeded. The crisis was
at hand, and, clutching at the reports collected by Lapoype as to the
quietude of the Austrians toward Valenza and Casale, Bonaparte and
Berthier strained every nerve to bring up more men to the Voghera side
in the hope of preventing the prey from slipping away to Genoa.

On the 12th, consequently, the army (the _ordre de bataille_ of which
had been considerably modified on the 11th) moved to the Scrivia, Lannes
halting at Castelnuovo, Desaix (who had just joined the army from Egypt)
at Pontecurone, Victor at Tortona with Murat's cavalry in front towards
Alessandria. Lapoype's division, from the left bank of the Po, was
marching in all haste to join Desaix. Moncey, Duhesme, Lechi and Chabran
were absent. The latter represented almost exactly half of Berthier's
command (30,000 out of 58,000), and even the concentration of 28,000 men
on the Scrivia had only been obtained by practically giving up the
"barrage" on the left bank of the Po. Even now the enemy showed nothing
but a rearguard, and the old questions reappeared in a new and acute
form. Was Melas still in Alessandria? Was he marching on Valenza and
Casale to cross the Po? or to Acqui against Suchet, or to Genoa to base
himself on the British fleet? As to the first, why had he given up his
chances of fighting on one of the few cavalry battlegrounds in north
Italy--the plain of Marengo--since he could not stay in Alessandria for
any indefinite time? The second question had been answered in the
negative by Lapoype, but his latest information was thirty-six hours
old. As for the other questions, no answer whatever was forthcoming, and
the only course open was to postpone decisive measures and to send
forward the cavalry, supported by infantry, to gain information.


On the 13th, therefore, Murat, Lannes and Victor advanced into the plain
of Marengo, traversed it without difficulty and carrying the villages
held by the Austrian rearguard, established themselves for the night
within a mile of the fortress. But meanwhile Napoleon, informed we may
suppose of their progress, had taken a step that was fraught with the
gravest consequences. He had, as we know, no intention of forcing on a
decision until his reconnaissance produced the information on which to
base it, and he had therefore kept back three divisions under Desaix at
Pontecurone. But as the day wore on without incident, he began to fear
that the reconnaissance would be profitless, and unwilling to give Melas
any further start, he sent out these divisions right and left to find
and to hold the enemy, whichever way the latter had gone. At noon Desaix
with one division was despatched southward to Rivalta to head off Melas
from Genoa and at 9 A.M. on the 14th,[21] Lapoype was sent back over the
Po to hold the Austrians should they be advancing from Valenza towards
the Ticino. Thus there remained in hand only 21,000 men when at last, in
the forenoon of the 14th the whole of Melas's army, more than 40,000
strong, moved out of Alessandria, not southward nor northward, but due
west into the plain of Marengo (q.v.). The extraordinary battle that
followed is described elsewhere. The outline of it is simple enough. The
Austrians advanced slowly and in the face of the most resolute
opposition, until their attack had gathered weight, and at last they
were carrying all before them, when Desaix returned from beyond Rivalta
and initiated a series of counterstrokes. These were brilliantly
successful, and gave the French not only local victory but the supreme
self-confidence that, next day, enabled them to extort from Melas an
agreement to evacuate all Lombardy as far as the Mincio. And though in
this way the chief prize, Melas's army, escaped after all, Marengo was
the birthday of the First Empire.

One more blow, however, was required before the Second Coalition
collapsed, and it was delivered by Moreau. We have seen that he had
crossed the upper Rhine and defeated Kray at Stokach. This was followed
by other partial victories, and Kray then retired to Ulm, where he
reassembled his forces, hitherto scattered in a long weak line from the
Neckar to Schaffhausen. Moreau continued his advance, extending his
forces up to and over the Danube below Ulm, and winning several combats,
of which the most important was that of Höchstädt, fought on the famous
battlegrounds of 1703 and 1704, and memorable for the death of La Tour
d'Auvergne, the "First Grenadier of France" (June 19). Finding himself
in danger of envelopment, Kray now retired, swiftly and skilfully,
across the front of the advancing French, and reached Ingolstadt in
safety. Thence he retreated over the Inn, Moreau following him to the
edge of that river, and an armistice put an end for the moment to
further operations.

This not resulting in a treaty of peace, the war was resumed both in
Italy and in Germany. The Army of Reserve and the Army of Italy, after
being fused into one, under Masséna's command, were divided again into a
fighting army under Brune, who opposed the Austrians (Bellegarde) on the
Mincio, and a political army under Murat, which re-established French
influence in the Peninsula. The former, extending on a wide front as
usual, won a few strategical successes without tactical victory, the
only incidents of which worth recording are the gallant fight of
Dupont's division, which had become isolated during a manoeuvre, at
Pozzolo on the Mincio (December 25) and the descent of a corps under
Macdonald from the Grisons by way of the Splügen, an achievement far
surpassing Napoleon's and even Suvárov's exploits, in that it was made
after the winter snows had set in.


In Germany the war for a moment reached the sublime. Kray had been
displaced in command by the young archduke John, who ordered the
denunciation of the armistice and a general advance. His plan, or that
of his advisers, was to cross the lower Inn, out of reach of Moreau's
principal mass, and then to swing round the French flank until a
complete chain was drawn across their rear. But during the development
of the manoeuvre, Moreau also moved, and by rapid marching made good the
time he had lost in concentrating his over-dispersed forces. The weather
was appalling, snow and rain succeeding one another until the roads were
almost impassable. On the 2nd of December the Austrians were brought to
a standstill, but the inherent mobility of the Revolutionary armies
enabled them to surmount all difficulties, and thanks to the respite
afforded him by the archduke's halt, Moreau was able to see clearly into
the enemy's plans and dispositions. On the 3rd of December, while the
Austrians in many disconnected columns were struggling through the dark
and muddy forest paths about Hohenlinden, Moreau struck the decisive
blow. While Ney and Grouchy held fast the head of the Austrian main
column at Hohenlinden, Richepanse's corps was directed on its left
flank. In the forest Richepanse unexpectedly met a subsidiary Austrian
column which actually cut his column in two. But profiting by the
momentary confusion he drew off that part of his forces which had passed
beyond the point of contact and continued his march, striking the flank
of the archduke's main column, most of which had not succeeded in
deploying opposite Ney, at the village of Mattempost. First the baggage
train and then the artillery park fell into his hands, and lastly he
reached the rear of the troops engaged opposite Hohenlinden, whereupon
the Austrian main body practically dissolved. The rear of Richepanse's
corps, after disengaging itself from the Austrian column it had met in
the earlier part of the day, arrived at Mattempost in time to head off
thousands of fugitives who had escaped from the carnage at Hohenlinden.
The other columns of the unfortunate army were first checked and then
driven back by the French divisions they met, which, moving more swiftly
and fighting better in the broken ground and the woods, were able to
combine two brigades against one wherever a fight developed. On this
disastrous day the Austrians lost 20,000 men, 12,000 of them being
prisoners, and 90 guns.

Marengo and Hohenlinden decided the war of the Second Coalition as
Rivoli had decided that of the First, and the Revolutionary Wars came to
an end with the armistice of Steyer (December 25, 1800) and the treaty
of Lunéville (February 9, 1801). But only the first act of the great
drama was accomplished. After a short respite Europe entered upon the
Napoleonic Wars.

  BIBLIOGRAPHY.--By far the most important modern works are A. Chuquet's
  _Guerres de la Révolution_ (11 monographs forming together a complete
  history of the campaigns of 1792-93), and the publications of the
  French General Staff. The latter appear first, as a rule, in the
  official "Revue d'histoire" and are then republished in separate
  volumes, of which every year adds to the number. V. Dupuis' _L'Armée
  du nord 1793_; Coutanceau's _L'Armée du nord 1794_; J. Colin's
  _Éducation militaire de Napoléon_ and _Campagne de 1793 en Alsace_;
  and C. de Cugnac's _Campagne de l'armée de réserve 1800_ may be
  specially named. Among other works of importance the principal are C.
  von B(inder)-K(rieglstein), _Geist und Stoff im Kriege_ (Vienna,
  1896); E. Gachot's works on Masséna's career (containing invaluable
  evidence though written in a somewhat rhetorical style); Ritter von
  Angeli, _Erzherzog Karl_ (Vienna, 1896); F. N. Maude, _Evolution of
  Modern Strategy_; G. A. Furse, _Marengo and Hohenlinden_; C. von
  Clausewitz, _Feldzug 1796 in Italien_ and _Feldzug 1799_ (French
  translations); H. Bonnal, _De Rosbach à Ulm_; Krebs and Moris,
  _Campagnes dans les Alpes_ (Paris, 1891-1895); Yorck von Wartenburg,
  _Napoleon als Feldherr_ (English and French translations); F. Bouvier,
  _Bonaparte en Italie 1796_; Kuhl, _Bonaparte's erster Feldzug_; J. W.
  Fortescue, _Hist. of the British Army_, vol. iv.; G. D. v.
  Scharnhorst, _Ursache des Glücks der Franzosen 1793-1794_ (reprinted
  in A. Weiss's _Short German Military Readings_, London, 1892); E.
  D'Hauterive, _L'Armée sous la Révolution_; C. Rousset, _Les
  Volontaires_; Max Jähns, _Das französische Heer_; Shadwell, _Mountain
  Warfare_; works of Colonel Camon (_Guerre Napoléonienne_, &c.);
  Austrian War Office, Krieg gegen die franz. Revolution 1792-1797
  (Vienna, 1905); Archduke Charles, _Grundsätze der Strategie_ (1796
  campaign in Germany), and _Gesch. des Feldzuges 1799 in Deutschl. und
  der Schweiz_; v. Zeissberg, _Erzherzog Karl_; the old history called
  _Victoires et conquêtes des Français_ (27 volumes, Paris, 1817-1825);
  M. Hartmann, _Anteil der Russen am Feldzug 1799 in der Schweiz_
  (Zürich, 1892); Danélewski-Miliutin, _Der Krieg Russlands gegen
  Frankreich unter Paul I._ (Munich, 1858); German General Staff,
  "Napoleons Feldzug 1796-1797" (Suppl. _Mil. Wochenblatt_, 1889), and
  _Pirmasens und Kaiserslautern_ ("Kriegsgesch. Einzelschriften," 1893).
       (C. F. A.)


The naval side of the wars arising out of the French Revolution was
marked by unity, and even by simplicity. France had but one serious
enemy, Great Britain, and Great Britain had but one purpose, to beat
down France. Other states were drawn into the strife, but it was as the
allies, the enemies and at times the victims, of the two dominating
powers. The field of battle was the whole expanse of the ocean and the
landlocked seas. The weapons, the methods and the results were the same.
When a general survey of the whole struggle is taken, its unity is
manifest. The Revolution produced a profound alteration in the
government of France, but none in the final purposes of its policy. To
secure for France its so-called "natural limits"--the Rhine, the Alps,
the Pyrenees and the ocean; to protect both flanks by reducing Holland
on the north and Spain on the south to submission; to confirm the mighty
power thus constituted, by the subjugation of Great Britain, were the
objects of the Republic and of Napoleon, as they had been of Louis XIV.
The naval war, like the war on land, is here considered in the first of
its two phases--the Revolutionary (1792-99). (For the Napoleonic phase

The Revolutionary war began in April 1792. In the September of that year
Admiral Truguet sailed from Toulon to co-operate with the French troops
operating against the Austrians and their allies in northern Italy. In
December Latouche Tréville was sent with another squadron to cow the
Bourbon rulers of Naples. The extreme feebleness of their opponents
alone saved the French from disaster. Mutinies, which began within ten
days of the storming of the Bastille (14th of July 1789), had
disorganized their navy, and the effects of these disorders continued to
be felt so long as the war lasted. In February 1793 war broke out with
Great Britain and Holland. In March Spain was added to the list of the
powers against which France declared war. Her resources at sea were
wholly inadequate to meet the coalition she had provoked. The Convention
did indeed order that fifty-two ships of the line should be commissioned
in the Channel, but it was not able in fact to do more than send out a
few diminutive and ill-appointed squadrons, manned by mutinous crews,
which kept close to the coast. The British navy was in excellent order,
but the many calls made on it for the protection of world-wide commerce
and colonial possessions caused the operations in the Channel to be
somewhat languid. Lord Howe cruised in search of the enemy without being
able to bring them to action. The severe blockade which in the later
stages of the war kept the British fleet permanently outside of Brest
was not enforced in the earlier stages. Lord Howe preferred to save his
fleet from the wear and tear of perpetual cruising by maintaining his
headquarters at St Helens, and keeping watch on the French ports by
frigates. The French thus secured a freedom of movement which in the
course of 1794 enabled them to cover the arrival of a great convoy laden
with food from America (see FIRST OF JUNE, BATTLE OF). This great effort
was followed by a long period of languor. Its internal defects compelled
the French fleet in the Channel to play a very poor part till the last
days of 1796. Squadrons were indeed sent a short way to sea, but their
inefficiency was conspicuously displayed when, on the 17th of June 1795,
a much superior number of their line of battle ships failed to do any
harm to the small force of Cornwallis, and when on the 22nd of the same
month they fled in disorder before Lord Bridport at the Isle de Groix.

Operations of a more decisive character had in the meantime taken place
both in the Mediterranean and in the West Indies. In April 1793 the
first detachment of a British fleet, which was finally raised to a
strength of 21 sail of the line, under the command of Lord Hood, sailed
for the Mediterranean. By August the admiral was off Toulon, acting in
combination with a Spanish naval force. France was torn by the
contentions of Jacobins and Girondins, and its dissensions led to the
surrender of the great arsenal to the British admiral and his Spanish
colleague Don Juan de Lángara, on the 27th of August. The allies were
joined later by a contingent from Naples. But the military forces were
insufficient to hold the land defences against the army collected to
expel them. High ground commanding the anchorage was occupied by the
besieging force, and on the 18th of December 1793 the allies retired.
They carried away or destroyed thirty-three French vessels, of which
thirteen were of the line. But partly through the inefficiency and
partly through the ill-will of the Spaniards, who were indisposed to
cripple the French, whom they considered as their only possible allies
against Great Britain, the destruction was not so complete as had been
intended. Twenty-five ships, of which eighteen were of the line, were
left to serve as the nucleus of an active fleet in later years. Fourteen
thousand of the inhabitants fled with the allies to escape the vengeance
of the victorious Jacobins. Their sufferings, and the ferocious massacre
perpetrated on those who remained behind by the conquerors, form one of
the blackest pages of the French Revolution. The Spanish fleet took no
further part in the war. Lord Hood now turned to the occupation of
Corsica, where the intervention of the British fleet was invited by the
patriotic party headed by Pascual Paoli. The French ships left at Toulon
were refitted and came to sea in the spring of 1794, but Admiral Martin
who commanded them did not feel justified in giving battle, and his
sorties were mere demonstrations. From the 25th of January 1794 till
November 1796 the British fleet in the Mediterranean was mainly occupied
in and about Corsica, securing the island, watching Toulon and
co-operating with the allied Austrians and Piedmontese in northern
Italy. It did much to hamper the coastwise communications of the French.
But neither Lord Hood, who went home at the end of 1794, nor his
indolent successor Hotham, was able to deliver an effective blow at the
Toulon squadron. The second of these officers fought two confused
actions with Admiral Martin in the Gulf of Lyons on the 16th of March
and the 12th of July 1795, but though three French ships were cut off
and captured, the baffling winds and the placid disposition of Hotham
united to prevent decisive results. A new spirit was introduced into the
command of the British fleet when Sir John Jervis, afterwards Earl Saint
Vincent, succeeded Hotham in November 1795.

Jervis came to the Mediterranean with a high reputation, which had been
much enhanced by his recent command in the West Indies. In every war
with France it was the natural policy of the British government to
seize on its enemy's colonial possessions, not only because of their
intrinsic value, but because they were the headquarters of active
privateers. The occupation of the little fishing stations of St Pierre
and Miquelon (14th May 1793) and of Pondicherry in the East Indies (23rd
Aug. 1793) were almost formal measures taken at the beginning of every
war. But the French West Indian islands possessed intrinsic strength
which rendered their occupation a service of difficulty and hazard. In
1793 they were torn by dissensions, the result of the revolution in the
mother country. Tobago was occupied in April, and the French part of the
great island of San Domingo was partially thrown into British hands by
the Creoles, who were threatened by their insurgent slaves. During 1794
a lively series of operations, in which there were some marked
alternations of fortune, took place in and about Martinique and
Guadaloupe. The British squadron, and the contingent of troops it
carried, after a first repulse, occupied them both in March and April,
together with Santa Lucia. A vigorous counter-attack was carried out by
the Terrorist Victor Hugues with ability and ferocity. Guadaloupe and
Santa Lucia were recovered in August. Yet on the whole the British
government was successful in its policy of destroying the French naval
power in distant seas. The seaborne commerce of the Republic was

The naval supremacy of Great Britain was limited, and was for a time
menaced, in consequence of the advance of the French armies on land. The
invasion of Holland in 1794 led to the downfall of the house of Orange,
and the establishment of the Batavian Republic. War with Great Britain
under French dictation followed in January 1795. In that year a British
expedition under the command of Admiral Keith Elphinstone (afterwards
Lord Keith) occupied the Dutch colony at the Cape (August-September) and
their trading station in Malacca. The British colonial empire was again
extended, and the command of the sea by its fleet confirmed. But the
necessity to maintain a blockading force in the German Ocean imposed a
fresh strain on its naval resources, and the hostility of Holland closed
a most important route to British commerce in Europe. In 1795 Spain made
peace with France at Basel, and in September 1796 re-entered the war as
her ally. The Spanish navy was most inefficient, but it required to be
watched and therefore increased the heavy strain on the British fleet.
At the same time the rapid advance of the French arms in Italy began to
close the ports of the peninsula to Great Britain. Its ships were for a
time withdrawn from the Mediterranean. Poor as it was in quality, the
Spanish fleet was numerous. It was able to facilitate the movements of
French squadrons sent to harass British commerce in the Atlantic, and a
concentration of forces became necessary.

It was the more important because the cherished French scheme for an
attack on the heart of the British empire began to take shape. While
Spain occupied one part of the British fleet to the south, and Holland
another in the north, a French expedition, which was to have been aided
by a Dutch expedition from the Texel, was prepared at Brest. The Dutch
were confined to harbour by the vigilant blockade of Admiral Duncan,
afterwards Lord Camperdown. But in December 1796 a French fleet
commanded by Admiral Morard de Galle, carrying 13,000 troops under
General Hoche, was allowed to sail from Brest for Ireland, by the slack
management of the blockade under Admiral Colpoys. Being ill-fitted,
ill-manned and exposed to constant bad weather the French ships were
scattered. Some reached their destination, Bantry Bay, only to be driven
out again by north-easterly gales. The expedition finally returned after
much suffering, and in fragments, to Brest. Yet the year 1797 was one of
extreme trial to Great Britain. The victory of Sir John Jervis over the
Spaniards near Cape Saint Vincent on the 14th of February (see SAINT
VINCENT, BATTLE OF) disposed of the Spanish fleet. In the autumn of the
year the Dutch, having put to sea, were defeated at Camperdown by
Admiral Duncan on the 11th of October. Admiral Duncan had the more
numerous force, sixteen ships to fifteen, and they were on the average
heavier. Attacking from windward he broke through the enemy's line and
concentrated on his rear and centre. Eight line of battleships and two
frigates were taken, but the good gunnery and steady resistance of the
Dutch made the victory costly. Between these two battles the British
fleet was for a time menaced in its very existence by a succession of
mutinies, the result of much neglect of the undoubted grievances of the
sailors. The victory of Camperdown, completing what the victory of Cape
Saint Vincent had begun, seemed to put Great Britain beyond fear of
invasion. But the government of the Republic was intent on renewing the
attempt. The successes of Napoleon at the head of the army of Italy had
reduced Austria to sign the peace of Campo Formio, on the 17th of
October 1797, and he was appointed commander of the new army of
invasion. It was still thought necessary to maintain the bulk of the
British fleet in European waters, within call in the ocean. The
Mediterranean was left free to the French, whose squadrons cruised in
the Levant, where the Republic had become possessed of the Ionian
Islands by the plunder of Venice. The absence of a British force in the
Mediterranean offered to the government of the French Republic an
alternative to an invasion of Great Britain or Ireland, which promised
to be less hazardous and equally effective. It was induced largely by
the persuasion of Napoleon himself, and the wish of the politicians who
were very willing to see him employed at a distance. The expedition to
Egypt under his command sailed on the 19th of May 1798, having for its
immediate purpose the occupation of the Nile valley, and for its
ultimate aim an attack on Great Britain "from behind" in India (see
NILE, BATTLE OF THE). The British fleet re-entered the Mediterranean to
pursue and baffle Napoleon. The destruction of the French squadron at
the anchorage of Aboukir on the 1st of August gave it the complete
command of the sea. A second invasion of Ireland on a smaller scale was
attempted and to some extent carried out, while the great attack by
Egypt was in progress. One French squadron of four frigates carrying
1150 soldiers under General Humbert succeeded in sailing from Rochefort
on the 6th of August. On the 22nd Humbert was landed at Killala Bay, but
after making a vigorous raid he was compelled to surrender at
Ballinamuck on the 8th of September. Eight days after his surrender,
another French squadron of one sail of the line and eight frigates
carrying 3000 troops, sailed from Brest under Commodore Bompart to
support Humbert. It was watched and pursued by frigates, and on the 12th
of October was overtaken and destroyed by a superior British force
commanded by Sir John Borlase Warren, near Tory Island.

From the close of 1798 till the _coup d'état_ of the 18th Brumaire (9th
November) 1799, which established Napoleon as First Consul and master of
France, the French navy had only one object--to reinforce and relieve
the army cut off in Egypt by the battle of the Nile. The relief of the
French garrison in Malta was a subordinate part of the main purpose. But
the supremacy of the British navy was by this time so firmly founded
that neither Egypt nor Malta could be reached except by small ships
which ran the blockade. On the 25th of April, Admiral Bruix did indeed
leave Brest, after baffling the blockading fleet of Lord Bridport, which
was sent on a wild-goose chase to the south of Ireland by means of a
despatch sent out to be captured and to deceive. Admiral Bruix succeeded
in reaching Toulon, and his presence in the Mediterranean caused some
disturbance. But, though his twenty-five sail of the line formed the
best-manned fleet which the French had sent to sea during the war, and
though he escaped being brought to battle, he did not venture to steer
for the eastern Mediterranean. On the 13th of August he was back at
Brest, bringing with him a Spanish squadron carried off as a hostage for
the fidelity of the government at Madrid to its disastrous alliance with
France. On the day on which Bruix re-entered Brest, the 13th of August
1799, a combined Russian and British expedition sailed from the Downs to
attack the French army of occupation in the Batavian Republic. The
military operations were unsuccessful, and terminated in the withdrawal
of the allies. But the naval part was well executed. Vice-admiral
Mitchell forced the entrance to the Texel, and on the 30th of August
received the surrender of the remainder of the Dutch fleet--thirteen
vessels in the Nieuwe Diep--the sailors having refused to fight for the
republic. In spite of the failure on land, the expedition did much to
confirm the naval supremacy of Great Britain by the entire suppression
of the most seamanlike of the forces opposed to it.

  Authorities.--Chevalier, _Histoire de la marine française sous la
  première République_ (Paris, 1886); James's _Naval History_ (London,
  1837); Captain Mahan, _Influence of Sea Power upon the French
  Revolution and the Empire_ (London, 1892). The French schemes of
  invasion are exhaustively dealt with in Captain E. Desbrière's
  _Projets et tentatives de débarquements aux Îles Britanniques_ (Paris,
  1900, &c.).     (D. H.)


  [1] For the following operations see map in SPANISH SUCCESSION WAR.

  [2] Coburg refrained from a regular siege of Condé. He wished to gain
    possession of the fortress in a defensible state, intending to use it
    as his own depot later in the year. He therefore reduced it by
    famine. During the siege of Valenciennes the Allies appear to have
    been supplied from Mons.

  [3] Henceforth to the end of 1794 both armies were more or less "in
    cordon," the cordon possessing greater or less density at any
    particular moment or place, according to the immediate intentions of
    the respective commanders and the general military situation.

  [4] In the course of this the column from Bouchain, 4500 strong, was
    caught in the open at Avesnes-le-Sec by 5 squadrons of the allied
    cavalry and literally annihilated.

  [5] One of the generals at Maubeuge, Chancel, was guillotined.

  [6] Each of the fifteen armies on foot had been allotted certain
    departments as supply areas, Jourdan's being of course far away in

  [7] Liguria was not at this period thought of, even by Napoleon, as
    anything more than a supply area.

  [8] Vukassovich had received Beaulieu's order to demonstrate with two
    battalions, and also appeals for help from Argenteau. He therefore
    brought most of his troops with him.

  [9] We have seen that after Tourcoing, taught by experience, Souham
    posted Vandamme's covering force 14 or 15 m. out. But Napoleon's
    disposition was in advance of experience.

  [10] The proposed alliance with the Sardinians came to nothing. The
    kings of Sardinia had always made their alliance with either Austria
    or France conditional on cessions of conquered territory. But,
    according to Thiers, the Directory only desired to conquer the
    Milanese to restore it to Austria in return for the definitive
    cession of the Austrian Netherlands. If this be so, Napoleon's
    proclamations of "freedom for Italy" were, if not a mere political
    expedient, at any rate no more than an expression of his own desires
    which he was not powerful enough to enforce.

  [11] On entering the territory of the duke of Parma Bonaparte
    imposed, besides other contributions, the surrender of twenty famous
    pictures, and thus began a practice which for many years enriched the
    Louvre and only ceased with the capture of Paris in 1814.

  [12] See C. von B.-K., _Geist und Stoff_, pp. 449-451.

  [13] The assumption by later critics (Clausewitz even included) that
    the "flank position" held by these forces relatively to the main
    armies in Italy and Germany was their _raison d'être_ is unsupported
    by contemporary evidence.

  [14] For this expedition, which was repulsed by Brune in the battle
    of Castricum, see Fortescue's _Hist. of the British Army_, vol. iv.,
    and Sachot's _Brune en Hollande_.

  [15] He afterwards appointed Berthier to command the Army of Reserve,
    but himself accompanied it and directed it, using Berthier as chief
    of staff.

  [16] Only one division of the main body used the Little St Bernard.

  [17] When he made his decision he was unaware that Béthencourt had
    been held up at Arona.

  [18] This may be accounted for by the fact that Napoleon's mind was
    not yet definitively made up when his advanced guard had already
    begun to climb the St Bernard (12th). Napoleon's instructions for
    Moncey were written on the 14th. The magazines, too, had to be
    provided and placed before it was known whether Moreau's detachment
    would be forthcoming.

  [19] Six guns had by now passed Fort Bard and four of these were with
    Murat and Duhesme, two with Lannes.

  [20] It is supposed that the foreign spies at Dijon sent word to
    their various employers that the Army was a bogy. In fact a great
    part of it never entered Dijon at all, and the troops reviewed there
    by Bonaparte were only conscripts and details. By the time that the
    veteran divisions from the west and Paris arrived, either the spies
    had been ejected or their news was sent off too late to be of use.

  [21] On the strength of a report, false as it turned out, that the
    Austrian rearguard had broken the bridges of the Bormida.

FRENCH WEST AFRICA (_L'Afrique occidentale française_), the common
designation of the following colonies of France:--(1) Senegal, (2) Upper
Senegal and Niger, (3) Guinea, (4) the Ivory Coast, (5) Dahomey; of the
territory of Mauretania, and of a large portion of the Sahara. The area
is estimated at nearly 2,000,000 sq. m., of which more than half is
Saharan territory. The countries thus grouped under the common
designation French West Africa comprise the greater part of the
continent west of the Niger delta (which is British territory) and south
of the tropic of Cancer. It embraces the upper and middle course of the
Niger, the whole of the basin of the Senegal and the south-western part
of the Sahara. Its most northern point on the coast is Cape Blanco, and
it includes Cape Verde, the most westerly point of Africa. Along the
Guinea coast the French possessions are separated from one another by
colonies of Great Britain and other powers, but in the interior they
unite not only with one another but with the hinterlands of Algeria and
the French Congo.

[Illustration: Map of French West Africa and Adjacent Territories.]

In physical characteristics French West Africa presents three types: (1)
a dense forest region succeeding a narrow coast belt greatly broken by
lagoons; (2) moderately elevated and fertile plateaus, generally below
2000 ft., such as the region enclosed in the great bend of the Niger;
(3) north of the Senegal and Niger, the desert lands forming part of the
Sahara (q.v.). The most elevated districts are Futa Jallon, whence rise
the Senegal, Gambia and Niger, and Gon--both massifs along the
south-western edge of the plateau lands, containing heights of 5000 to
6000 ft. or more. Among the chief towns are Timbuktu and Jenné on the
Niger, Porto Novo in Dahomey, and St Louis and Dakar in Senegal, Dakar
being an important naval and commercial port. The inhabitants are for
the most part typical Negroes, with in Senegal and in the Sahara an
admixture of Berber and Arab tribes. In the upper Senegal and Futa
Jallon large numbers of the inhabitants are Fula. The total population
of French West Africa is estimated at about 13,000,000. The European
inhabitants number about 12,000.

The French possessions in West Africa have grown by the extension inland
of coast colonies, each having an independent origin. They were first
brought under one general government in 1895, when they were placed
under the supervision of the governor of Senegal, whose title was
altered to meet the new situation. Between that date and 1905 various
changes in the areas and administrations of the different colonies were
made, involving the disappearance of the protectorates and military
territories known as French Sudan and dependent on Senegal. These were
partly absorbed in the coast colonies, whilst the central portion became
the colony of Upper Senegal and Niger. At the same time the central
government was freed from the direct administration of the Senegal and
Niger countries (Decrees of Oct. 1902 and Oct. 1904). Over the whole of
French West Africa is a governor-general, whose headquarters are at
Dakar.[1] He is assisted by a government council, composed of high
functionaries, including the lieutenant-governors of all colonies under
his control. The central government, like all other French colonial
administrations, is responsible, not to the colonists, but to the home
government, and its constitution is alterable at will by presidential
decree save in matters on which the chambers have expressly legislated.
To it is confided financial control over the colonies, responsibility
for the public debt, the direction of the departments of education and
agriculture, and the carrying out of works of general utility. It alone
communicates with the home authorities. Its expenses are met by the
duties levied on goods and vessels entering and leaving any port of
French West Africa. It may make advances to the colonies under its care,
and may, in case of need, demand from them contributions to the central
exchequer. The administration of justice is centralized and uniform for
all French West Africa. The court of appeal sits at Dakar. There is also
a uniform system of land registration adopted in 1906 and based on that
in force in Australia. Subject to the limitations indicated the five
colonies enjoy autonomy. The territory of Mauretania is administered by
a civil commissioner under the direct control of the governor-general.
The colony of Senegal is represented in the French parliament by one

Since the changes in administration effected in 1895 the commerce of
French West Africa has shown a steady growth, the volume of external
trade increasing in the ten years 1895-1904 from £3,151,094 to
£6,238,091. In 1907 the value of the trade was £7,097,000; of this 53%
was with France. Apart from military expenditure, about £600,000 a year,
which is borne by France, French West Africa is self-supporting. The
general budget for 1906 balanced at £1,356,000. There is a public debt
of some £11,000,000, mainly incurred for works of general utility.

  boundaries east of the Niger see SAHARA and NIGERIA. For the
  constitutional connexion between the colonies and France see FRANCE:
  _Colonies_. An account of the economic situation of the colonies is
  given by G. François in _Le Gouvernement général de l'Afrique
  occidentale française_ (Paris, 1908). Consult also the annual _Report
  on the Trade, Agriculture, &c. of French West Africa_ issued by the
  British foreign office. A map of French West Africa by A. Meunier and
  E. Barralier (6 sheets on the scale 1:2,000,000) was published in
  Paris, 1903.


  [1] The organization of the new government was largely the work of E.
    N. Roume (b. 1858), governor-general 1902-1907, an able and energetic
    official, formerly director of Asian affairs at the colonial

FRENTANI, one of the ancient Samnite tribes which formed an independent
community on the east coast of Italy. They entered the Roman alliance
after their capital, Frentrum, was taken by the Romans in 305 or 304 B.C.
(Livy ix. 16. 45). This town either changed its name or perished some
time after the middle of the 3rd century B.C., when it was issuing coins
of its own with an Oscan legend. The town Larinum, which belonged to the
same people (Pliny, _Nat. Hist._ iii. 103), became latinized before 200
B.C., as its coins of that epoch bear a legend--LARINOR(VM)--which cannot
reasonably be treated as anything but Latin. Several Oscan inscriptions
survive from the neighbourhood of Vasto (anc. _Histonium_), which was in
the Frentane area.

  On the forms of the name, and for further details see R. S. Conway,
  _Italic Dialects_, p. 206 ff and p. 212: for the coins id. No.

FREPPEL, CHARLES ÉMILE (1827-1891), French bishop and politician, was
born at Oberehnheim (Obernai), Alsace, on the 1st of June 1827. He was
ordained priest in 1849 and for a short time taught history at the
seminary of Strassburg, where he had previously received his clerical
training. In 1854 he was appointed professor of theology at the
Sorbonne, and became known as a successful preacher. He went to Rome in
1869, at the instance of Pius IX., to assist in the steps preparatory to
the promulgation of the dogma of papal infallibility. He was consecrated
bishop of Angers in 1870. During the Franco-German war Freppel organized
a body of priests to minister to the French prisoners in Germany, and
penned an eloquent protest to the emperor William I. against the
annexation of Alsace-Lorraine. In 1880 he was elected deputy for Brest
and continued to represent it until his death. Being the only priest in
the Chamber of Deputies since the death of Dupanloup, he became the
chief parliamentary champion of the Church, and, though no orator, was a
frequent speaker. On all ecclesiastical affairs Freppel voted with the
Royalist and Catholic party, yet on questions in which French colonial
prestige was involved, such as the expedition to Tunis, Tong-King,
Madagascar (1881, 1883-85), he supported the government of the day. He
always remained a staunch Royalist and went so far as to oppose Leo
XIII.'s policy of conciliating the Republic. He died at Angers on the
12th of December 1891. Freppel's historical and theological works form
30 vols., the best known of which are: _Les Pères apostoliques et leur
époque_ (1859); _Les Apologistes chrétiens au II^e siècle_ (2 vols.,
1860); _Saint Irénée et l'éloquence chrétienne dans la Gaule aux deux
premiers siècles_ (1861); _Tertullien_ (2 vols., 1863); _Saint Cyprien
et l'Église d'Afrique_ (1864); _Clément d'Alexandrie_ (1865); _Origène_
(2 vols., 1867).

  There are interesting lives by E. Cornut (Paris, 1893) and F.
  Charpentier (Angers, 1904).

FRERE, SIR HENRY BARTLE EDWARD (1815-1884), British administrator, born
at Clydach in Brecknockshire, on the 29th of March 1815, was the son of
Edward Frere, a member of an old east county family, and a nephew of
John Hookham Frere, of _Anti-Jacobin_ and _Aristophanes_ fame. After
leaving Haileybury, Bartle Frere was appointed a writer in the Bombay
civil service in 1834, and went out to India by way of Egypt, crossing
the Red Sea in an open boat from Kosseir to Mokha, and sailing thence to
Bombay in an Arab dhow. Having passed his examination in the native
languages, he was appointed assistant collector at Poona in 1835. There
he did valuable work and was in 1842 chosen as private secretary to Sir
George Arthur, governor of Bombay. Two years later he became political
resident at the court of the rajah of Satara, where he did much to
benefit the country by the development of its communications. On the
rajah's death in 1848 he administered the province both before and after
its formal annexation in 1849. In 1850 he was appointed chief
commissioner of Sind, and took ample advantage of the opportunities
afforded him of developing the province. He pensioned off the
dispossessed amirs, improved the harbour at Karachi, where he also
established municipal buildings, a museum and barracks, instituted
fairs, multiplied roads, canals and schools.

Returning to India in 1857 after a well-earned rest, Frere was greeted
at Karachi with news of the mutiny. His rule had been so successful that
he felt he could answer for the internal peace of his province. He
therefore sent his only European regiment to Multan, thus securing that
strong fortress against the rebels, and sent further detachments to aid
Sir John Lawrence in the Punjab. The 178 British soldiers who remained
in Sind proved sufficient to extinguish such insignificant outbreaks as
occurred. His services were fully recognized by the Indian authorities,
and he received the thanks of both houses of parliament and was made
K.C.B. He became a member of the viceroy's council in 1859, and was
especially serviceable in financial matters. In 1862 he was appointed
governor of Bombay, where he effected great improvements, such as the
demolition of the old ramparts, and the erection of handsome public
offices upon a portion of the space, the inauguration of the university
buildings and the improvement of the harbour. He established the Deccan
College at Poona, as well as a college for instructing natives in civil
engineering. The prosperity--due to the American Civil War--which
rendered these developments possible brought in its train a speculative
mania, which led eventually to the disastrous failure of the Bombay Bank
(1866), an affair in which, from neglecting to exercise such means of
control as he possessed, Frere incurred severe and not wholly undeserved
censure. In 1867 he returned to England, was made G.C.S.I., and received
honorary degrees from Oxford and Cambridge; he was also appointed a
member of the Indian council.

In 1872 he was sent by the foreign office to Zanzibar to negotiate a
treaty with the sultan, Seyyid Burghash, for the suppression of the
slave traffic. In 1875 he accompanied the prince of Wales to Egypt and
India. The tour was beyond expectation successful, and to Frere, from
Queen Victoria downwards, came acknowledgments of the service he had
rendered in piloting the expedition. He was asked by Lord Beaconsfield
to choose between being made a baronet or G.C.B. He chose the former,
but the queen bestowed both honours upon him. But the greatest service
that Frere undertook on behalf of his country was to be attempted not in
Asia, but in Africa. Sir Bartle landed at Cape Town as high commissioner
of South Africa on the 31st of March 1877. He had been chosen by Lord
Carnarvon in the previous October as the statesman most capable of
carrying his scheme of confederation into effect, and within two years
it was hoped that he would be the first governor of the South African
Dominion. He went out in harmony with the aims and enthusiasm of his
chief, "hoping to crown by one great constructive effort the work of a
bright and noble life." In this hope he was disappointed. As he stated
at the close of his high commissionership, a great mistake seemed to
have been made in trying to hasten what could only result from natural
growth, and the state of South Africa during Frere's tenure of office
was inimical to such growth.

Discord or a policy of blind drifting seemed to be the alternatives
presented to Frere upon his arrival at the Cape. He chose the former as
the less dangerous, and the first year of his sway was marked by a
Kaffir war on the one hand and by a rupture with the Cape
(Molteno-Merriman) ministry on the other. The Transkei Kaffirs were
subjugated early in 1878 by General Thesiger (the 2nd Lord Chelmsford)
and a small force of regular and colonial troops. The constitutional
difficulty was solved by Frere dismissing his obstructive cabinet and
entrusting the formation of a ministry to Mr (afterwards Sir) Gordon
Sprigg. Frere emerged successfully from a year of crisis, but the
advantage was more than counterbalanced by the resignation of Lord
Carnarvon early in 1878, at a time when Frere required the steadiest and
most unflinching support. He had reached the conclusion that there was a
widespread insurgent spirit pervading the natives, which had its focus
and strength in the celibate military organization of Cetywayo and in
the prestige which impunity for the outrages he had committed had gained
for the Zulu king in the native mind. That organization and that evil
prestige must be put an end to, if possible by moral pressure, but
otherwise by force. Frere reiterated these views to the colonial office,
where they found a general acceptance. When, however, Frere undertook
the responsibility of forwarding, in December 1878, an ultimatum to
Cetywayo, the home government abruptly discovered that a native war in
South Africa was inopportune and raised difficulties about
reinforcements. Having entrusted to Lord Chelmsford the enforcement of
the British demands, Frere's immediate responsibility ceased. On the
11th of January 1879 the British troops crossed the Tugela, and fourteen
days later the disaster of Isandhlwana was reported; and Frere, attacked
and censured in the House of Commons, was but feebly defended by the
government. Lord Beaconsfield, it appears, supported Frere; the majority
of the cabinet were inclined to recall him. The result was the
unsatisfactory compromise by which he was censured and begged to stay
on. Frere wrote an elaborate justification of his conduct, which was
adversely commented on by the colonial secretary (Sir Michael Hicks
Beach), who "did not see why Frere should take notice of attacks; and as
to the war, all African wars had been unpopular." Frere's rejoinder was
that no other sufficient answer had been made to his critics, and that
he wished to place one on record. "Few may now agree with my view as to
the necessity of the suppression of the Zulu rebellion. Few, I fear, in
this generation. But unless my countrymen are much changed, they will
some day do me justice. I shall not leave a name to be permanently

The Zulu trouble and the disaffection that was brewing in the Transvaal
reacted upon each other in the most disastrous manner. Frere had borne
no part in the actual annexation of the Transvaal, which was announced
by Sir Theophilus Shepstone a few days after the high commissioner's
arrival at Cape Town. The delay in giving the country a constitution
afforded a pretext for agitation to the malcontent Boers, a rapidly
increasing minority, while the reverse at Isandhlwana had lowered
British prestige. Owing to the Kaffir and Zulu wars Sir Bartle had
hitherto been unable to give his undivided attention to the state of
things in the Transvaal. In April 1879 he was at last able to visit that
province, and the conviction was forced upon him that the government had
been unsatisfactory in many ways. The country was very unsettled. A
large camp, numbering 4000 disaffected Boers, had been formed near
Pretoria, and they were terrorizing the country. Frere visited them
unarmed and practically alone. Even yet all might have been well, for he
won the Boers' respect and liking. On the condition that the Boers
dispersed, Frere undertook to present their complaints to the British
government, and to urge the fulfilment of the promises that had been
made to them. They parted with mutual good feeling, and the Boers did
eventually disperse--on the very day upon which Frere received the
telegram announcing the government's censure. He returned to Cape Town,
and his journey back was in the nature of a triumph. But bad news
awaited him at Government House--on the 1st of June 1879 the prince
imperial had met his death in Zululand--and a few hours later Frere
heard that the government of the Transvaal and Natal, together with the
high commissionership in the eastern part of South Africa, had been
transferred from him to Sir Garnet Wolseley.

When Gladstone's ministry came into office in the spring of 1880, Lord
Kimberley had no intention of recalling Frere. In June, however, a
section of the Liberal party memorialized Gladstone to remove him, and
the prime minister weakly complied (1st August 1880). Upon his return
Frere replied to the charges relating to his conduct respecting
Afghanistan as well as South Africa, previously preferred in Gladstone's
Midlothian speeches, and was preparing a fuller vindication when he died
at Wimbledon from the effect of a severe chill on the 29th of May 1884.
He was buried in St Paul's, and in 1888 a statue of Frere upon the
Thames embankment was unveiled by the prince of Wales. Frere edited the
works of his uncle, Hookham Frere, and the popular story-book, _Old
Deccan Days_, written by his daughter, Mary Frere. He was three times
president of the Royal Asiatic Society.

  His _Life and Correspondence_, by John Martineau, was published in
  1895. For the South African anti-confederation view, see P. A.
  Molteno's _Life and Times of Sir John Charles Molteno_ (2 vols.,
  London 1900). See also SOUTH AFRICA: _History_.

FRERE, JOHN HOOKHAM (1769-1846), English diplomatist and author, was
born in London on the 21st of May 1769. His father, John Frere, a
gentleman of a good Suffolk family, had been educated at Caius College,
Cambridge, and would have been senior wrangler in 1763 but for the
redoubtable competition of Paley; his mother, daughter of John Hookham,
a rich London merchant, was a lady of no small culture, accustomed to
amuse her leisure with verse-writing. His father's sister Eleanor, who
married Sir John Fenn (1739-1794), the learned editor of the _Paston
Letters_, wrote various educational works for children under the
pseudonyms "Mrs Lovechild" and "Mrs Teachwell." Young Frere was sent to
Eton in 1785, and there began an intimacy with Canning which greatly
affected his after life. From Eton he went to his father's college at
Cambridge, and graduated B.A. in 1792 and M.A. in 1795. He entered
public service in the foreign office under Lord Grenville, and sat from
1796 to 1802 as member of parliament for the close borough of West Looe
in Cornwall.

From his boyhood he had been a warm admirer of Pitt, and along with
Canning he entered heart and soul into the defence of his government,
and contributed freely to the pages of the _Anti-Jacobin_, edited by
Gifford. He contributed, in collaboration with Canning, "The Loves of
the Triangles," a clever parody of Darwin's "Loves of the Plants," "The
Needy Knife-Grinder" and "The Rovers." On Canning's removal to the board
of trade in 1799 he succeeded him as under-secretary of state; in
October 1800 he was appointed envoy extraordinary and plenipotentiary to
Lisbon; and in September 1802 he was transferred to Madrid, where he
remained for two years. He was recalled on account of a personal
disagreement he had with the duke of Alcudia, but the ministry showed
its approval of his action by a pension of £1700 a year. He was made a
member of the privy council in 1805; in 1807 he was appointed
plenipotentiary at Berlin, but the mission was abandoned, and Frere was
again sent to Spain in 1808 as plenipotentiary to the Central Junta. The
condition of Spain rendered his position a very responsible and
difficult one. When Napoleon began to advance on Madrid it became a
matter of supreme importance to decide whether Sir John Moore, who was
then in the north of Spain, should endeavour to anticipate the
occupation of the capital or merely make good his retreat, and if he did
retreat whether he should do so by Portgual or by Galicia. Frere was
strongly of opinion that the bolder was the better course, and he urged
his views on Sir John Moore with an urgent and fearless persistency that
on one occasion at least overstepped the limits of his commission. After
the disastrous retreat to Corunna, the public accused Frere of having by
his advice endangered the British army, and though no direct censure was
passed upon his conduct by the government, he was recalled, and the
marquess of Wellesley was appointed in his place.

Thus ended Frere's public life. He afterwards refused to undertake an
embassy to St Petersburg, and twice declined the honour of a peerage. In
1816 he married Elizabeth Jemima, dowager countess of Erroll, and in
1820, on account of her failing health, he went with her to the
Mediterranean. There he finally settled in Malta, and though he
afterwards visited England more than once, the rest of his life was for
the most part spent in the island of his choice. In quiet retirement he
devoted himself to literature, studied his favourite Greek authors, and
taught himself Hebrew and Maltese. His hospitality was well known to
many an English guest, and his charities and courtesies endeared him to
his Maltese neighbours. He died at the Pietà Valetta on the 7th of
January 1846. Frere's literary reputation now rests entirely upon his
spirited verse translations of Aristophanes, which remain in many ways
unrivalled. The principles according to which he conducted his task were
elucidated in an article on Mitchell's _Aristophanes_, which he
contributed to _The Quarterly Review_, vol. xxiii. The translations of
_The Acharnians_, _The Knights_, _The Birds_, and _The Frogs_ were
privately printed, and were first brought into general notice by Sir G.
Cornewall Lewis in the _Classical Museum_ for 1847. They were followed
some time after by _Theognis Restitutus, or the personal history of the
poet Theognis, reduced from an analysis of his existing fragments_. In
1817 he published a mock-heroic Arthurian poem entitled _Prospectus and
Specimen of an intended National Work, by William and Robert
Whistlecraft, of Stowmarket in Suffolk, Harness and Collar Makers,
intended to comprise the most interesting particulars relating to King
Arthur and his Round Table_. William Tennant in _Anster Fair_ had used
the _ottava rima_ as a vehicle for semi-burlesque poetry five years
earlier, but Frere's experiment is interesting because Byron borrowed
from it the measure that he brought to perfection in _Don Juan_.

  Frere's complete works were published in 1871, with a memoir by his
  nephews, W. E. and Sir Bartle Frere, and reached a second edition in
  1874. Compare also Gabrielle Festing, _J. H. Frere and his Friends_

FRÈRE, PIERRE ÉDOUARD (1819-1886), French painter, studied under
Delaroche, entered the École des Beaux-Arts in 1836 and exhibited first
at the Salon in 1843. The marked sentimental tendency of his art makes
us wonder at Ruskin's enthusiastic eulogy which finds in Frère's work
"the depth of Wordsworth, the grace of Reynolds, and the holiness of
Angelico." What we can admire in his work is his accomplished
craftsmanship and the intimacy and tender homeliness of his conception.
Among his chief works are the two paintings, "Going to School" and
"Coming from School," "The Little Glutton" (his first exhibited picture)
and "_L'Exercice_" (Mr Astor's collection). A journey to Egypt in 1860
resulted in a small series of Orientalist subjects, but the majority of
Frère's paintings deal with the life of the kitchen, the workshop, the
dwellings of the humble, and mainly with the pleasures and little
troubles of the young, which the artist brings before us with humour and
sympathy. He was one of the most popular painters of domestic genre in
the middle of the 19th century.

FRÈRE-ORBAN, HUBERT JOSEPH WALTHER (1812-1896), Belgian statesman, was
born at Liége on the 24th of April 1812. His family name was Frère, to
which on his marriage he added his wife's name of Orban. After studying
law in Paris, he practised as a barrister at Liége, took a prominent
part in the Liberal movement, and in June 1847 was returned to the
Chamber as member for Liége. In August of the same year he was appointed
minister of public works in the Rogier cabinet, and from 1848 to 1852
was minister of finance. He founded the Banque Nationale and the Caisse
d'Épargne, abolished the newspaper tax, reduced the postage, and
modified the customs duties as a preliminary to a decided free-trade
policy. The Liberalism of the cabinet, in which Frère-Orban exercised an
influence hardly inferior to that of Rogier, was, however, distasteful
to Napoleon III. Frère-Orban, to facilitate the negotiations for a new
commercial treaty, conceded to France a law of copyright, which proved
highly unpopular in Belgium, and he resigned office, soon followed by
the rest of the cabinet. His work _La Mainmorte et la charité_
(1854-1857), published under the pseudonym of "Jean van Damme,"
contributed greatly to restore his party to power in 1857, when he again
became minister of finance. He now embodied his free-trade principles in
commercial treaties with England and France, and abolished the _octroi_
duties and the tolls on the national roads. He resigned in 1861 on the
gold question, but soon resumed office, and in 1868 succeeded Rogier as
prime minister. In 1869 he defeated the attempt of France to gain
control of the Luxemburg railways, but, despite this service to his
country, fell from power at the elections of 1870. He returned to office
in 1878 as president of the council and foreign minister. He provoked
the bitter opposition of the Clerical party by his law of 1879
establishing secular primary education, and in 1880 went so far as to
break off diplomatic relations with the Vatican. He next found himself
at variance with the Radicals, whose leader, Janson, moved the
introduction of universal suffrage. Frère-Orban, while rejecting the
proposal, conceded an extension of the franchise (1883); but the
hostility of the Radicals, and the discontent caused by a financial
crisis, overthrew the government at the elections of 1884. Frère-Orban
continued to take an active part in politics as leader of the Liberal
opposition till 1894, when he failed to secure re-election. He died at
Brussels on the 2nd of January 1896. Besides the work above mentioned,
he published _La Question monétaire_ (1874); _La Question monétaire en
Belgique_ in 1889; _Échange de vues entre MM. Frère-Orban et E. de
Laveleye_ (1890); and _La Révision constitutionnelle en Belgique et ses
conséquences_ (1894). He was also the author of numerous pamphlets,
among which may be mentioned his last work, _La Situation présente_

FRÉRET, NICOLAS (1688-1749), French scholar, was born at Paris on the
15th of February 1688. His father was _procureur_ to the parlement of
Paris, and destined him to the profession of the law. His first tutors
were the historian Charles Rollin and Father Desmolets (1677-1760).
Amongst his early studies history, chronology and mythology held a
prominent place. To please his father he studied law and began to
practise at the bar; but the force of his genius soon carried him into
his own path. At nineteen he was admitted to a society of learned men
before whom he read memoirs on the religion of the Greeks, on the
worship of Bacchus, of Ceres, of Cybele and of Apollo. He was hardly
twenty-six years of age when he was admitted as pupil to the Academy of
Inscriptions. One of the first memoirs which he read was a learned and
critical discourse, _Sur l'origine des Francs_ (1714). He maintained
that the Franks were a league of South German tribes and not, according
to the legend then almost universally received, a nation of free men
deriving from Greece or Troy, who had kept their civilization intact in
the heart of a barbarous country. These sensible views excited great
indignation in the Abbé Vertot, who denounced Fréret to the government
as a libeller of the monarchy. A _lettre de cachet_ was issued, and
Fréret was sent to the Bastille. During his three months of confinement
he devoted himself to the study of the works of Xenophon, the fruit of
which appeared later in his memoir on the _Cyropaedia_. From the time of
his liberation in March 1715 his life was uneventful. In January 1716 he
was received associate of the Academy of Inscriptions, and in December
1742 he was made perpetual secretary. He worked without intermission
for the interests of the Academy, not even claiming any property in his
own writings, which were printed in the _Recueil de l'académie des
inscriptions_. The list of his memoirs, many of them posthumous,
occupies four columns of the _Nouvelle Biographie générale_. They treat
of history, chronology, geography, mythology and religion. Throughout he
appears as the keen, learned and original critic; examining into the
comparative value of documents, distinguishing between the mythical and
the historical, and separating traditions with an historical element
from pure fables and legends. He rejected the extreme pretensions of the
chronology of Egypt and China, and at the same time controverted the
scheme of Sir Isaac Newton as too limited. He investigated the mythology
not only of the Greeks, but of the Celts, the Germans, the Chinese and
the Indians. He was a vigorous opponent of the theory that the stories
of mythology may be referred to historic originals. He also suggested
that Greek mythology owed much to the Phoenicians and Egyptians. He was
one of the first scholars of Europe to undertake the study of the
Chinese language; and in this he was engaged at the time of his
committal to the Bastille. He died in Paris on the 8th of March 1749.

  Long after his death several works of an atheistic character were
  falsely attributed to him, and were long believed to be his. The most
  famous of these spurious works are the _Examen critique des
  apologistes de la religion chrétienne_ (1766), and the _Lettre de
  Thrasybule à Leucippe_, printed in London about 1768. A very defective
  and inaccurate edition of Fréret's works was published in 1796-1799. A
  new and complete edition was projected by Champollion-Figeac, but of
  this only the first volume appeared (1825). It contains a life of
  Fréret. His manuscripts, after passing through many hands, were
  deposited in the library of the Institute. The best account of his
  works is "Examen critique des ouvrages composés par Fréret" in C. A.
  Walckenaer's _Recueil des notices_, &c. (1841-1850). See also
  Quérard's _France littéraire_.

FRÉRON, ÉLIE CATHERINE (1719-1776), French critic and controversialist,
was born at Quimper in 1719. He was educated by the Jesuits, and made
such rapid progress in his studies that before the age of twenty he was
appointed professor at the college of Louis-le-Grand. He became a
contributor to the _Observations sur les écrits modernes_ of the abbé
Guyot Desfontaines. The very fact of his collaboration with
Desfontaines, one of Voltaire's bitterest enemies, was sufficient to
arouse the latter's hostility, and although Fréron had begun his career
as one of his admirers, his attitude towards Voltaire soon changed.
Fréron in 1746 founded a similar journal of his own, entitled _Lettres
de la Comtesse de_.... It was suppressed in 1749, but he immediately
replaced it by _Lettres sur quelques écrits de ce temps_, which, with
the exception of a short suspension in 1752, on account of an attack on
the character of Voltaire, was continued till 1754, when it was
succeeded by the more ambitious _Année littéraire_. His death at Paris
on the 10th of March 1776 is said to have been hastened by the temporary
suppression of this journal. Fréron is now remembered solely for his
attacks on Voltaire and the Encyclopaedists, and by the retaliations
they provoked on the part of Voltaire, who, besides attacking him in
epigrams, and even incidentally in some of his tragedies, directed
against him a virulent satire, _Le Pauvre diable_, and made him the
principal personage in a comedy _L'Écossaise_, in which the journal of
Fréron is designated _L'Âne littéraire_. A further attack on Fréron
entitled _Anecdotes sur Fréron_ ... (1760), published anonymously, is
generally attributed to Voltaire.

  Fréron was the author of _Ode sur la bataille de Fontenoy_ (1745);
  _Histoire de Marie Stuart_ (1742, 2 vols.); and _Histoire de l'empire
  d'Allemagne_, (1771, 8 vols.). See Ch. Nisard, _Les Ennemis de
  Voltaire_ (1853); Despois, _Journalistes et journaux du XVIII^e
  siècle_; Barthélemy, _Les confessions de Fréron_: Ch. Monselet,
  _Fréron, ou l'illustre critique_ (1864); _Fréron, sa vie, souvenirs_,
  &c. (1876).

FRÉRON, LOUIS MARIE STANISLAS (1754-1802), French revolutionist, son of
the preceding, was born at Paris on the 17th of August 1754. His name
was, on the death of his father, attached to _L'Année littéraire_, which
was continued till 1790 and edited successively by the abbés G. M. Royou
and J. L. Geoffroy. On the outbreak of the revolution Fréron, who was a
schoolfellow of Robespierre and Camille Desmoulins, established the
violent journal _L'Orateur du peuple_. Commissioned, along with Barras
in 1793, to establish the authority of the convention at Marseilles and
Toulon, he distinguished himself in the atrocity of his reprisals, but
both afterwards joined the Thermidoriens, and Fréron became the leader
of the _jeunesse dorée_ and of the Thermidorian reaction. He brought
about the accusation of Fouquier-Tinville, and of J. B. Carrier, the
deportation of B. Barère, and the arrest of the last _Montagnards_. He
made his paper the official journal of the reactionists, and being sent
by the Directory on a mission of peace to Marseilles he published in
1796 _Mémoire historique sur la réaction royale et sur les malheurs du
midi_. He was elected to the council of the Five Hundred, but not
allowed to take his seat. Failing as suitor for the hand of Pauline
Bonaparte, one of Napoleon's sisters, he went in 1799 as commissioner to
Santo Domingo and died there in 1802. General V. M. Leclerc, who had
married Pauline Bonaparte, also received a command in Santo Domingo in
1801, and died in the same year as his former rival.

FRESCO (Ital. for _cool_, "fresh"), a term introduced into English, both
generally (as in such phrases as _al fresco_, "in the fresh air"), and
more especially as a technical term for a sort of mural painting on
plaster. In the latter sense the Italians distinguished painting _a
secco_ (when the plaster had been allowed to dry) from _a fresco_ (when
it was newly laid and still wet). The nature and history of
fresco-painting is dealt with in the article PAINTING.

FRESCOBALDI, GIROLAMO (1583-1644), Italian musical composer, was born in
1583 at Ferrara. Little is known of his life except that he studied
music under Alessandro Milleville, and owed his first reputation to his
beautiful voice. He was organist at St Peter's in Rome from 1608 to
1628. According to Baini no less than 30,000 people flocked to St
Peter's on his first appearance there. On the 20th of November 1628 he
went to live in Florence, becoming organist to the duke. From December
1633 to March 1643 he was again organist at St Peter's. But in the last
year of his life he was organist in the parish church of San Lorenzo in
Monte. He died on the 2nd of March 1644, being buried at Rome in the
Church of the Twelve Apostles. Frescobaldi also excelled as a teacher,
Frohberger being the most distinguished of his pupils. Frescobaldi's
compositions show the consummate art of the early Italian school, and
his works for the organ more especially are full of the finest devices
of fugal treatment. He also wrote numerous vocal compositions, such as
canzone, motets, hymns, &c., a collection of madrigals for five voices
(Antwerp, 1608) being among the earliest of his published works.

FRESENIUS, KARL REMIGIUS (1818-1897), German chemist, was born at
Frankfort-on-Main on the 28th of December 1818. After spending some time
in a pharmacy in his native town, he entered Bonn University in 1840,
and a year later migrated to Giessen, where he acted as assistant in
Liebig's laboratory, and in 1843 became assistant professor. In 1845 he
was appointed to the chair of chemistry, physics and technology at the
Wiesbaden Agricultural Institution, and three years later he became the
first director of the chemical laboratory which he induced the Nassau
government to establish at that place. Under his care this laboratory
continuously increased in size and popularity, a school of pharmacy
being added in 1862 (though given up in 1877) and an agricultural
research laboratory in 1868. Apart from his administrative duties
Fresenius occupied himself almost exclusively with analytical chemistry,
and the fullness and accuracy of his text-books on that subject (of
which that on qualitative analysis first appeared in 1841 and that on
quantitative in 1846) soon rendered them standard works. Many of his
original papers were published in the _Zeitschrift für analytische
Chemie_, which he founded in 1862 and continued to edit till his death.
He died suddenly at Wiesbaden on the 11th of June 1897. In 1881 he
handed over the directorship of the agricultural research station to his
son, Remigius Heinrich Fresenius (b. 1847), who was trained under H.
Kolbe at Leipzig. Another son, Theodor Wilhelm Fresenius (b. 1856), was
educated at Strassburg and occupied various positions in the Wiesbaden

FRESHWATER, a watering place in the Isle of Wight, England, 12 m. W. by
S. of Newport by rail. Pop.(1901) 3306. It is a scattered township lying
on the peninsula west of the river Var, which forms the western
extremity of the island. The portion known as Freshwater Gate fronts the
English Channel from the strip of low-lying coast interposed between the
cliffs of the peninsula and those of the main part of the island. The
peninsula rises to 397 ft. in Headon Hill, and the cliffs are
magnificent. The western promontory is flanked on the north by the
picturesque Alum Bay, and the lofty detached rocks known as the Needles
lie off it. Farringford House in the parish was for some time the home
of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who is commemorated by a tablet in All Saints'
church and by a great cross on the high downs above the town. There are
golf links on the downs.

FRESNEL, AUGUSTIN JEAN (1788-1827), French physicist, the son of an
architect, was born at Broglie (Eure) on the 10th of May 1788. His early
progress in learning was slow, and when eight years old he was still
unable to read. At the age of thirteen he entered the École Centrale in
Caen, and at sixteen and a half the École Polytechnique, where he
acquitted himself with distinction. Thence he went to the École des
Ponts et Chaussées. He served as an engineer successively in the
departments of Vendée, Drôme and Ille-et-Villaine; but his espousal of
the cause of the Bourbons in 1814 occasioned, on Napoleon's reaccession
to power, the loss of his appointment. On the second restoration he
obtained a post as engineer in Paris, where much of his life from that
time was spent. His researches in optics, continued until his death,
appear to have been begun about the year 1814, when he prepared a paper
on the aberration of light, which, however, was not published. In 1818
he read a memoir on diffraction for which in the ensuing year he
received the prize of the Académie des Sciences at Paris. He was in 1823
unanimously elected a member of the academy, and in 1825 he became a
member of the Royal Society of London, which in 1827, at the time of his
last illness, awarded him the Rumford medal. In 1819 he was nominated a
commissioner of lighthouses, for which he was the first to construct
compound lenses as substitutes for mirrors. He died of consumption at
Ville-d'Avray, near Paris, on the 14th of July 1827.

The undulatory theory of light, first founded upon experimental
demonstration by Thomas Young, was extended to a large class of optical
phenomena, and permanently established by his brilliant discoveries and
mathematical deductions. By the use of two plane mirrors of metal,
forming with each other an angle of nearly 180°, he avoided the
diffraction caused in the experiment of F. M. Grimaldi (1618-1663) on
interference by the employment of apertures for the transmission of the
light, and was thus enabled in the most conclusive manner to account for
the phenomena of interference in accordance with the undulatory theory.
With D. F. J. Arago he studied the laws of the interference of polarized
rays. Circularly polarized light he obtained by means of a rhomb of
glass, known as "Fresnel's rhomb," having obtuse angles of 126°, and
acute angles of 54°. His labours in the cause of optical science
received during his lifetime only scant public recognition, and some of
his papers were not printed by the Académie des Sciences till many years
after his decease. But, as he wrote to Young in 1824, in him "that
sensibility, or that vanity, which people call love of glory" had been
blunted. "All the compliments," he says, "that I have received from
Arago, Laplace and Biot never gave me so much pleasure as the discovery
of a theoretic truth, or the confirmation of a calculation by

  See Duleau, "Notice sur Fresnel," _Revue ency._ t. xxxix.; Arago,
  _OEuvres complètes_, t. i.; and Dr G. Peacock, _Miscellaneous Works of
  Thomas Young_, vol. i.

FRESNILLO, a town of the state of Zacatecas, Mexico, 37 m. N.W. of the
city of Zacatecas on a branch of the Santiago river. Pop. (1900) 6309.
It stands on a fertile plain between the Santa Cruz and Zacatecas
ranges, about 7700 ft. above sea-level, has a temperate climate, and is
surrounded by an agricultural district producing Indian corn and wheat.
It is a clean, well-built town, whose chief distinction is its school
of mines founded in 1853. Fresnillo has large amalgam works for the
reduction of silver ores. Its silver mines, located in the neighbouring
Proaño hill, were discovered in 1569, and were for a time among the most
productive in Mexico. Since 1833, when their richest deposits were
reached, the output has greatly decreased. There is a station near on
the Mexican Central railway.

FRESNO, a city and the county-seat of Fresno county, California, U.S.A.,
situated in the San Joaquin valley (altitude about 300 ft.) near the
geographical centre of the state. Pop. (1880) 1112; (1890) 10,818;
(1900) 12,470, of whom 3299 were foreign-born and 1279 were Asiatics;
(1910 census) 24,892. The city is served by the Southern Pacific and the
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé railways. The county is mainly a vast
expanse of naturally arid plains and mountains. The valley is the scene
of an extensive irrigation system, water being brought (first in
1872-1876) from King's river, 20 m. distant; in 1905 500 sq. m. were
irrigated. Fresno is in a rich farming country, producing grains and
fruit, and is the only place in America where Smyrna figs have been
grown with success; it is the centre of the finest raisin country of the
state, and has extensive vineyards and wine-making establishments. The
city's principal manufacture is preserved (dried) fruits, particularly
raisins; the value of the fruits thus preserved in 1905 was $6,942,440,
being 70.5% of the total value of the factory product in that year
($9,849,001). In 1900-1905 the factory product increased 257.9%, a ratio
of increase greater than that of any other city in the state. In the
mountains, lumbering and mining are important industries; lumber is
carried from Shaver in the mountains to Clovis on the plains by a
V-shaped flume 42 m. long, the waste water from which is ditched for
irrigation. The petroleum field of the county is one of the richest in
California. Fresno is the business and shipping centre of its county and
of the surrounding region. The county was organized in 1856. In 1872 the
railway went through, and Fresno was laid out and incorporated. It
became the county-seat in 1874 and was chartered as a city in 1885.

FRESNOY, CHARLES ALPHONSE DU (1611-1665), French painter and writer on
his art, was born in Paris, son of an apothecary. He was destined for
the medical profession, and well educated in Latin and Greek; but,
having a natural propensity for the fine arts, he would not apply to his
intended vocation, and was allowed to learn the rudiments of design
under Perrier and Vouet. At the age of twenty-one he went off to Rome,
with no resources; he drew ruins and architectural subjects. After two
years thus spent he re-encountered his old fellow-student Pierre
Mignard, and by his aid obtained some amelioration of his professional
prospects. He studied Raphael and the antique, went in 1633 to Venice,
and in 1656 returned to France. During two years he was now employed in
painting altar-pieces in the château of Raincy, landscapes, &c. His
death was caused by an attack of apoplexy followed by palsy; he expired
at Villiers le Bel, near Paris. He never married. His pictorial works
are few; they are correct in drawing, with something of the Caracci in
design, and of Titian in colouring, but wanting fire and expression, and
insufficient to keep his name in any eminent repute. He is remembered
now almost entirely as a writer rather than painter. His Latin poem, _De
arte graphica_, was written during his Italian sojourn, and embodied his
observations on the art of painting; it may be termed a critical
treatise on the practice of the art, with general advice to students.
The precepts are sound according to the standard of his time; the
poetical merits slender enough. The Latin style is formed chiefly on
Lucretius and Horace. This poem was first published by Mignard, and has
been translated into several languages. In 1684 it was turned into
French by Roger de Piles; Dryden translated the work into English prose;
and a rendering into verse by Mason followed, to which Sir Joshua
Reynolds added some annotations.

FRET. (1) (From O. Eng. _fretan_, a word common in various forms to
Teutonic languages; cf. Ger. _fressen_, to eat greedily), properly to
devour, hence to gnaw, so used of the slow corroding action of
chemicals, water, &c., and hence, figuratively, to chafe or irritate.
Possibly connected with this word, in sense of rubbing, is the use of
"fret" for a bar on the fingerboard of a banjo, guitar, or similar
musical instruments to mark the fingering. (2) (Of doubtful origin;
possibly from the O. Eng. _frætive_, ornaments, but its use is
paralleled by the Fr. _frette_, trellis or lattice), network, a term
used in heraldry for an interlaced figure, but best known as applied to
the decoration used by the Greeks in their temples and vases: the Greek
fret consists of a series of narrow bands of different lengths, placed
at right angles to one another, and of great variety of design. It is an
ornament which owes its origin to woven fabrics, and is found on the
ceilings of the Egyptian tombs at Benihasan, Siout and elsewhere. In
Greek work it was painted on the abacus of the Doric capital and
probably on the architraves of their temples; when employed by the
Romans it was generally carved; the Propylaea of the temple at Damascus
and the temple at Atil being examples of the 2nd century. It was carved
in large dimensions on some of the Mexican temples, as for instance on
the palace at Mitla with other decorative bands, all of which would seem
to have been reproductions of woven patterns, and had therefore an
independent origin. It is found in China and Japan, and in the latter
country when painted on lacquer is employed as a fret-diaper, the bands
not being at right angles to one another but forming acute and obtuse
angles. In old English writers a wider signification was given to it, as
it was applied to raised patterns in plaster oh roofs or ceilings, which
were not confined to the geometrical fret but extended to the modelling
of flowers, leaves and fruit; in such cases the decoration was known as
fret-work. In France the fret is better known as the "meander."

FREUDENSTADT, a town of Germany, in the kingdom of Württemberg, on the
right bank of the Murg, 40 m. S.W. from Stuttgart, on the railway to
Hochdorf. Pop. 7000. It has a Protestant and a Roman Catholic church,
some small manufactures of cloth, furniture, knives, nails and glass,
and is frequented as a climatic health resort. It was founded in 1599 by
Protestant refugees from Salzburg.

FREUND, WILHELM (1806-1894), German philologist and lexicographer, was
born at Kempen in the grand duchy of Posen on the 27th of January 1806.
He studied at Berlin, Breslau and Halle, and was for twenty years
chiefly engaged in private tuition. From 1855-1870 he was director of
the Jewish school at Gleiwitz in Silesia, and subsequently retired to
Breslau, where he died on the 4th of June 1894. Although chiefly known
for his philological labours, Freund took an important part in the
movement for the emancipation of his Prussian co-religionists, and the
_Judengesetz_ of 1847 was in great measure the result of his efforts.
The work by which he is best known is his _Wörterbuch der lateinischen
Sprache_ (1834-1845), practically the basis of all Latin-English
dictionaries. His _Wie studiert man klassische Philologie?_ (6th ed.,
1903) and _Triennium philologicum_ (2nd ed., 1878-1885) are valuable
aids to the classical student.

FREWEN, ACCEPTED (1588-1664), archbishop of York, was born at Northiam,
in Sussex, and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where in 1612 he
became a fellow. In 1617 and 1621 the college allowed him to act as
chaplain to Sir John Digby, ambassador in Spain. At Madrid he preached a
sermon which pleased Prince Charles, afterwards Charles I., and the
latter on his accession appointed Frewen one of his chaplains. In 1625
he became canon of Canterbury and vice-president of Magdalen College,
and in the following year he was elected president. He was
vice-chancellor of the university in 1628 and 1629, and again in 1638
and 1639. It was mainly by his instrumentality that the university plate
was sent to the king at York in 1642. Two years later he was consecrated
bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, and resigned his presidentship.
Parliament declared his estates forfeited for treason in 1652, and
Cromwell afterwards set a price on his head. The proclamations, however,
designated him Stephen Frewen, and he was consequently able to escape
into France. At the Restoration he reappeared in public, and in 1660 he
was consecrated archbishop of York. In 1661 he acted as chairman of the
Savoy conference.

FREY (Old Norse, Freyr) son of Njord, one of the chief deities in the
northern pantheon and the national god of the Swedes. He is the god of
fruitfulness, the giver of sunshine and rain, and thus the source of all
prosperity. (See TEUTONIC PEOPLES, _ad fin._)

FREYBURG [FREYBURG AN DER UNSTRUT], a town of Germany, in Prussian
Saxony, in an undulating vine-clad country on the Unstrut, 6 m. N. from
Naumberg-on-the-Saale, on the railway to Artern. Pop. 3200. It has a
parish church, a mixture of Gothic and Romanesque architecture, with a
handsome tower. It is, however, as being the "Mecca" of the German
gymnastic societies that Freyburg is best known. Here Friedrich Ludwig
Jahn (1778-1852), the father of German gymnastic exercises, lies buried.
Over his grave is built the Turnhalle, with a statue of the "master,"
while hard by it the Jahn Museum in Romanesque style, erected in 1903.
Freyburg produces sparkling wine of good quality and has some other
small manufactures. On a hill commanding the town is the castle of
Neuenburg, built originally in 1062 by Louis the Leaper, count in
Thuringia, but in its present form mainly the work of the dukes of

FREYCINET, CHARLES LOUIS DE SAULCES DE (1828-   ), French statesman, was
born at Foix on the 14th of November 1828. He was educated at the École
Polytechnique, and entered the government service as a mining engineer.
In 1858 he was appointed traffic manager to the Compagnie de chemins de
fer du Midi, a post in which he gave proof of his remarkable talent for
organization, and in 1862 returned to the engineering service (in which
he attained in 1886 the rank of inspector-general). He was sent on a
number of special scientific missions, among which may be mentioned one
to England, on which he wrote a notable _Mémoire sur le travail des
femmes et des enfants dans les manufactures de l'Angleterre_ (1867). On
the establishment of the Third Republic in September 1870, he offered
his services to Gambetta, was appointed prefect of the department of
Tarn-et-Garronne, and in October became chief of the military cabinet.
It was mainly his powers of organization that enabled Gambetta to raise
army after army to oppose the invading Germans. He showed himself a
strategist of no mean order; but the policy of dictating operations to
the generals in the field was not attended with happy results. The
friction between him and General d'Aurelle de Paladines resulted in the
loss of the advantage temporarily gained at Orleans, and he was
responsible for the campaign in the east, which ended in the destruction
of Bourbaki's army. In 1871 he published a defence of his administration
under the title of _La Guerre en province pendant le siège de Paris._ He
entered the Senate in 1876 as a follower of Gambetta, and in December
1877 became minister of public works in the Dufaure cabinet. He carried
a great scheme for the gradual acquisition of the railways by the state
and the construction of new lines at a cost of three milliards, and for
the development of the canal system at a further cost of one milliard.
He retained his post in the ministry of Waddington, whom he succeeded in
December 1879 as president of the council and minister for foreign
affairs. He passed an amnesty for the Communists, but in attempting to
steer a middle course on the question of the religious associations,
lost the support of Gambetta, and resigned in September 1880. In January
1882 he again became president of the council and minister for foreign
affairs. His refusal to join England in the bombardment of Alexandria
was the death-knell of French influence in Egypt. He attempted to
compromise by occupying the Isthmus of Suez, but the vote of credit was
rejected in the Chamber by 417 votes to 75, and the ministry resigned.
He returned to office in April 1885 as foreign minister in the Brisson
cabinet, and retained that post when, in January 1886, he succeeded to
the premiership. He came into power with an ambitious programme of
internal reform; but except that he settled the question of the exiled
pretenders, his successes were won chiefly in the sphere of colonial
extension. In spite of his unrivalled skill as a parliamentary
tactician, he failed to keep his party together, and was defeated on 3rd
December 1886. In the following year, after two unsuccessful attempts
to construct new ministries he stood for the presidency of the
republic; but the radicals, to whom his opportunism was distasteful,
turned the scale against him by transferring the votes to M. Sadi

In April 1888 he became minister of war in the Floquet cabinet--the
first civilian since 1848 to hold that office. His services to France in
this capacity were the crowning achievement of his life, and he enjoyed
the conspicuous honour of holding his office without a break for five
years through as many successive administrations--those of Floquet and
Tirard, his own fourth ministry (March 1890-February 1892), and the
Loubet and Ribot ministries. To him were due the introduction of the
three-years' service and the establishment of a general staff, a supreme
council of war, and the army commands. His premiership was marked by
heated debates on the clerical question, and it was a hostile vote on
his Bill against the religious associations that caused the fall of his
cabinet. He failed to clear himself entirely of complicity in the Panama
scandals, and in January 1893 resigned the ministry of war. In November
1898 he once more became minister of war in the Dupuy cabinet, but
resigned office on 6th May 1899. He has published, besides the works
already mentioned, _Traité de mécanique rationnelle_ (1858); _De
l'analyse infinitésimale_ (1860, revised ed., 1881); _Des pentes
économiques en chemin de fer_ (1861); _Emploi des eaux d'égout en
agriculture_ (1869); _Principes de l'assainissement des villes and
Traité d'assainissement industriel_ (1870); _Essai sur la philosophie
des sciences_ (1896); _La Question d'Égypte_ (1905); besides some
remarkable "Pensées" contributed to the _Contemporain_ under the
pseudonym of "Alceste." In 1882 he was elected a member of the Academy
of Sciences, and in 1890 to the French Academy in succession to Émile

FREYCINET, LOUIS CLAUDE DESAULSES DE (1779-1842), French navigator, was
born at Montélimart, Drôme, on the 7th of August 1779. In 1793 he
entered the French navy. After taking part in several engagements
against the British, he joined in 1800, along with his brother Louis
Henri Freycinet (1777-1840), who afterwards rose to the rank of admiral,
the expedition sent out under Captain Baudin in the "Naturaliste" and
"Géographe" to explore the south and south-west coasts of Australia.
Much of the ground already gone over by Flinders was revisited, and new
names imposed by this expedition, which claimed credit for discoveries
really made by the English navigator. An inlet on the coast of West
Australia, in 26° S., is called Freycinet Estuary; and a cape near the
extreme south-west of the same coast also bears the explorer's name. In
1805 he returned to Paris, and was entrusted by the government with the
work of preparing the maps and plans of the expedition; he also
completed the narrative, and the whole work appeared under the title of
_Voyage de découvertes aux terres australes_ (Paris, 1807-1816). In 1817
he commanded the "Uranie," in which Arago and others went to Rio de
Janeiro, to take a series of pendulum measurements. This was only part
of a larger scheme for obtaining observations, not only in geography and
ethnology, but in astronomy, terrestrial magnetism, and meteorology, and
for the collection of specimens in natural history. On this expedition
the hydrographic operations were conducted by Louis Isidore Duperry
(1786-1865) who in 1822 was appointed to the command of the "Coquille,"
and during the next three years carried out scientific explorations in
the southern Pacific and along the coast of South America. For three
years Freycinet cruised about, visiting Australia, the Marianne,
Sandwich, and other Pacific islands, South America, and other places,
and, notwithstanding the loss of the "Uranie" on the Falkland Islands
during the return voyage, returned to France with fine collections in
all departments of natural history, and with voluminous notes and
drawings which form an important contribution to a knowledge of the
countries visited. The results of this voyage were published under
Freycinet's supervision, with the title of _Voyage autour du monde sur
les corvettes "l'Uranie" et "la Physicienne"_ in 1824-1844, in 13 quarto
volumes and 4 folio volumes of fine plates and maps. Freycinet was
admitted into the Academy of Sciences in 1825, and was one of the
founders of the Paris Geographical Society. He died at Freycinet, Drôme,
on the 18th of August 1842.

FREYIA, the sister of Frey, and the most prominent goddess in Northern
mythology. Her character seems in general to have resembled that of her
brother. (See TEUTONIC PEOPLES, _ad fin._)

FREYTAG, GEORG WILHELM FRIEDRICH (1788-1861), German philologist, was
born at Lüneburg on the 19th of September 1788. After attending school
he entered the university of Göttingen as a student of philology and
theology; here from 1811 to 1813 he acted as a theological tutor, but in
the latter year accepted an appointment as sub-librarian at Königsberg.
In 1815 he became a chaplain in the Prussian army, and in that capacity
visited Paris. On the proclamation of peace he resigned his chaplaincy,
and returned to his researches in Arabic, Persian and Turkish, studying
at Paris under De Sacy. In 1819 he was appointed to the professorship of
oriental languages in the new university of Bonn, and this post he
continued to hold until his death on the 16th of November 1861.

  Besides a compendium of Hebrew grammar (_Kurzgefasste Grammatik der
  hebräischen Sprache_, 1835), and a treatise on Arabic versification
  (_Darstellung der arabischen Verskunst_, 1830), he edited two volumes
  of Arabic songs (_Hamasae carmina_, 1828-1852) and three of Arabic
  proverbs (_Arabum proverbia_, 1838-1843). But his principal work was
  the laborious and praiseworthy _Lexicon Arabico-latinum_ (Halle,
  1830-1837), an abridgment of which was published in 1837.

FREYTAG, GUSTAV (1816-1895), German novelist, was born at Kreuzburg, in
Silesia, on the 13th of July 1816. After attending the gymnasium at Öls,
he studied philology at the universities of Breslau and Berlin, and in
1838 took the degree with a remarkable dissertation, _De initiis poëseos
scenicae apud Germanos_. In 1839 he settled at Breslau, as
_Privatdocent_ in German language and literature, but devoted his
principal attention to writing for the stage, and achieved considerable
success with the comedy _Die Brautfahrt, oder Kunz von der Rosen_
(1844). This was followed by a volume of unimportant poems, _In Breslau_
(1845) and the dramas _Die Valentine_ (1846) and _Graf Waldemar_ (1847).
He at last attained a prominent position by his comedy, _Die
Journalisten_ (1853), one of the best German comedies of the 19th
century. In 1847 he migrated to Berlin, and in the following year took
over, in conjunction with Julian Schmidt, the editorship of _Die
Grenzboten_, a weekly journal which, founded in 1841, now became the
leading organ of German and Austrian liberalism. Freytag helped to
conduct it until 1861, and again from 1867 till 1870, when for a short
time he edited a new periodical, _Im neuen Reich_. His literary fame was
made universal by the publication in 1855 of his novel, _Soll und
Haben_, which was translated into almost all the languages of Europe. It
was certainly the best German novel of its day, impressive by its sturdy
but unexaggerated realism, and in many parts highly humorous. Its main
purpose is the recommendation of the German middle class as the soundest
element in the nation, but it also has a more directly patriotic
intention in the contrast which it draws between the homely virtues of
the Teuton and the shiftlessness of the Pole and the rapacity of the
Jew. As a Silesian, Freytag had no great love for his Slavonic
neighbours, and being a native of a province which owed everything to
Prussia, he was naturally an earnest champion of Prussian hegemony over
Germany. His powerful advocacy of this idea in his _Grenzboten_ gained
him the friendship of the duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, whose neighbour he
had become, on acquiring the estate of Siebleben near Gotha. At the
duke's request Freytag was attached to the staff of the crown prince of
Prussia in the campaign of 1870, and was present at the battles of Wörth
and Sedan. Before this he had published another novel, _Die verlorene
Handschrift_ (1864), in which he endeavoured to do for German university
life what in _Soll und Haben_ he had done for commercial life. The hero
is a young German professor, who is so wrapt up in his search for a
manuscript by Tacitus that he is oblivious to an impending tragedy in
his domestic life. The book was, however, less successful than its
predecessor. Between 1859 and 1867 Freytag published in five volumes
_Bilder aus der deutschen Vergangenheit_, a most valuable work on
popular lines, illustrating the history and manners of Germany. In 1872
he began a work with a similar patriotic purpose, _Die Ahnen_, a series
of historical romances in which he unfolds the history of a German
family from the earliest times to the middle of the 19th century. The
series comprises the following novels, none of which, however, reaches
the level of Freytag's earlier books. (1) _Ingo und Ingraban_ (1872),
(2) _Das Nest der Zaunkönige_ (1874), (3) _Die Brüder vom deutschen
Hause_ (1875), (4) _Marcus König_ (1876), (5) _Die Geschwister_ (1878),
and (6) in conclusion, _Aus einer kleinen Stadt_ (1880). Among Freytag's
other works may be noticed _Die Technik des Dramas_ (1863); an excellent
biography of the Baden statesman _Karl Mathy_ (1869); an autobiography
(_Erinnerungen aus meinen Leben_, 1887); his _Gesammelte Aufsätze_,
chiefly reprinted from the _Grenzboten_ (1888); _Der Kronprinz und die
deutsche Kaiserkrone_; _Erinnerungsblätter_ (1889). He died at Wiesbaden
on the 30th of April 1895.

  Freytag's _Gesammelte Werke_ were published in 22 vols. at Leipzig
  (1886-1888); his _Vermischte Aufsätze_ have been edited by E. Elster,
  2 vols. (Leipzig, 1901-1903). On Freytag's life see, besides his
  autobiography mentioned above, the lives by C. Alberti (Leipzig, 1890)
  and F. Seiler (Leipzig, 1898).

FRIAR (from the Lat. _frater_, through the Fr. _frère_), the English
generic name for members of the mendicant religious orders. Formerly it
was the title given to individual members of these orders, as Friar
Laurence (in _Romeo and Juliet_), but this is not now common. In England
the chief orders of friars were distinguished by the colour of their
habit: thus the Franciscans or Minors were the Grey Friars; the
Dominicans or Preachers were the Black Friars (from their black mantle
over a white habit), and the Carmelites were the White Friars (from
their white mantle over a brown habit): these, together with the Austin
Friars or Hermits, formed the four great mendicant orders--Chaucer's
"alle the ordres foure." Besides the four great orders of friars, the
Trinitarians (q.v.), though really canons, were in England called
Trinity Friars or Red Friars; the Crutched or Crossed Friars were often
identified with them, but were really a distinct order; there were also
a number of lesser orders of friars, many of which were suppressed by
the second council of Lyons in 1274. Detailed information on these
orders and on their position in England is given in separate articles.
The difference between friars and monks is explained in article
MONASTICISM. Though the usage is not accurate, friars, and also canons
regular, are often spoken of as monks and included among the monastic

  See Fr. Cuthbert, _The Friars and how they came to England_, pp. 11-32
  (1903); also F. A. Gasquet, _English Monastic Life_, pp. 234-249
  (1904), where special information on all the English friars is
  conveniently brought together.     (E. C. B.)

FRIBOURG [Ger. _Freiburg_], one of the Swiss Cantons, in the western
portion of the country, and taking its name from the town around which
the various districts that compose it gradually gathered. Its area is
646.3 sq. m., of which 568 sq. m. are classed as "productive" (forests
covering 119 sq. m. and vineyards .8 sq. m.); it boasts of no glaciers
or eternal snow. It is a hilly, not mountainous, region, the highest
summits (of which the Vanil Noir, 7858 ft., is the loftiest) rising in
the Gruyère district at its south-eastern extremity, the best known
being probably the Moléson (6582 ft.) and the Berra (5653 ft.). But it
is the heart of pastoral Switzerland, is famed for its cheese and
cattle, and is the original home of the "_Ranz des Vaches_," the melody
by which the herdsmen call their cattle home at milking time. It is
watered by the Sarine or Saane river (with its tributaries the Singine
or Sense and the Glâne) that flows through the canton from north to
south, and traverses its capital town. The upper course of the Broye
(like the Sarine, a tributary of the Aar) and that of the Veveyse
(flowing to the Lake of Geneva) are in the southern portion of the
canton. A small share of the lakes of Neuchâtel and of Morat belongs to
the canton, wherein the largest sheet of water is the Lac Noir or
Schwarzsee. A sulphur spring rises near the last-named lake, and there
are other such springs in the canton at Montbarry and at Bonn, near the
capital. There are about 150 m. of railways in the canton, the main line
from Lausanne to Bern past Fribourg running through it; there are also
lines from Fribourg to Morat and to Estavayer, while from Romont (on the
main line) a line runs to Bulle, and in 1904 was extended to Gessenay or
Saanen near the head of the Sarine or Saane valley. The population of
the canton amounted in 1900 to 127,951 souls, of whom 108,440 were
Romanists, 19,305 Protestants, and 167 Jews. The canton is on the
linguistic frontier in Switzerland, the line of division running nearly
due north and south through it, and even right through its capital. In
1900 there were 78,353 French-speaking inhabitants, and 38,738
German-speaking, the latter being found chiefly in the north-western
(Morat region) and north-eastern (Singine valley) portions, as well as
in the upper valley of the Jogne or Jaun in the south-east. Besides the
capital, Fribourg (q.v.), the only towns of any importance are Bulle
(3330 inhabitants), Châtel St Denis (2509 inhabitants), Morat (q.v.) or
Murten (2263 inhabitants), Romont (2110 inhabitants), and Estavayer le
Lac or Stäffis am See (1636 inhabitants).

The canton is pre-eminently a pastoral and agricultural region, tobacco,
cheese and timber being its chief products. Its industries are
comparatively few: straw-plaiting, watch-making (Semsales), paper-making
(Marly), lime-kilns, and, above all, the huge Cailler chocolate factory
at Broc. It forms part of the diocese of Lausanne and Geneva, the bishop
living since 1663 at Fribourg. It is a stronghold of the Romanists, and
still contains many monasteries and nunneries, such as the Carthusian
monks at Valsainte, and the Cistercian nuns at La Fille Dieu and at
Maigrauge. The canton is divided into 7 administrative districts, and
contains 283 communes. It sends 2 members (named by the cantonal
legislature) to the Federal _Ständerath_, and 6 members to the Federal
_Nationalrath_. The cantonal constitution has scarcely been altered
since 1857, and is remarkable as containing none of the modern devices
(referendum, initiative, proportional representation) save the right of
"initiative" enjoyed by 6000 citizens to claim the revision of the
cantonal constitution. The executive council of 7 members is named for 5
years by the cantonal legislature, which consists of members (holding
office for 5 years) elected in the proportion of one to every 1200 (or
fraction over 800) of the population.     (W. A. B. C.)

FRIBOURG [Ger. _Freiburg_], the capital of the Swiss canton of that
name. It is built almost entirely on the left bank of the Sarine, the
oldest bit (the Bourg) of the town being just above the river bank,
flanked by the Neuveville and Auge quarters, these last (with the
Planche quarter on the right bank of the river) forming the _Ville
Basse_. On the steeply rising ground to the west of the Bourg is the
Quartier des Places, beyond which, to the west and south-west, is the
still newer Pérolles quarter, where are the railway station and the new
University; all these (with the Bourg) constituting the _Ville Haute_.
In 1900 the population of the town was 15,794, of whom 13,270 were
Romanists and 109 Jews, while 9701 were French-speaking, and 5595
German-speaking, these last being mainly in the Ville Basse. Its
linguistic history is curious. Founded as a German town, the French
tongue became the official language during the greater part of the 14th
and 15th centuries, but when it joined the Swiss Confederation in 1481
the German influence came to the fore, and German was the official
language from 1483 to 1798, becoming thus associated with the rule of
the patricians. From 1798 to 1814, and again from 1830 onwards, French
prevailed, as at present, though the new University is a centre of
German influence.

Fribourg is on the main line of railway from Bern (20 m.) to Lausanne
(41 m.). The principal building in the town is the collegiate church of
St Nicholas, of which the nave dates from the 13th-14th centuries, while
the choir was rebuilt in the 17th century. It is a fine building,
remarkable in itself, as well as for its lofty, late 15th century,
bell-tower (249 ft. high), with a fine peal of bells; its famous organ
was built between 1824 and 1834 by Aloys Mooser (a native of the town),
has 7800 pipes, and is played daily in summer for the edification of
tourists. The numerous monasteries in and around the town, its
old-fashioned aspect, its steep and narrow streets, give it a most
striking appearance. One of the most conspicuous buildings in the town
is the college of St Michael, while in front of the 16th century town
hall is an ancient lime tree stated (but this is very doubtful) to have
been planted on the day of the victory of Morat (June 22, 1476). In the
Lycée is the Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts, wherein, besides many
interesting objects, is the collection of paintings and statuary
bequeathed to the town in 1879 by Duchess Adela Colonna (a member of the
d'Affry family of Fribourg), by whom many were executed under the name
of "Marcello." The deep ravine of the Sarine is crossed by a very fine
suspension bridge, constructed 1832-1834 by M. Chaley, of Lyons, which
is 167 ft. above the Sarine, has a span of 808 ft., and consists of 6
huge cables composed of 3294 strands. A loftier suspension bridge is
thrown over the Gotteron stream just before it joins the Sarine: it is
590 ft. long and 246 ft. in height, and was built in 1840. About 3 m.
north of the town is the great railway viaduct or girder bridge of
Grandfey, constructed in 1862 (1092 ft. in length, 249 ft. high) at a
cost of 2¾ million francs. Immediately above the town a vast dam (591
ft. long) was constructed across the Sarine by the engineer Ritter in
1870-1872, the fall thus obtained yielding a water-power of 2600 to 4000
horse-power, and forming a sheet of water known as the Lac de Pérolles.
A motive force of 600 horse-power, secured by turbines in the stream, is
conveyed to the plateau of Pérolles by "telodynamic" cables of 2510 ft.
in length, for whose passage a tunnel has been pierced in the rock. On
the Pérolles plateau is the International Catholic University founded in

_History._--In 1178 the foundation of the town (meant to hold in check
the turbulent nobles of the neighbourhood) was completed by Berchthold
IV., duke of Zähringen, whose father Conrad had founded Freiburg in
Breisgau in 1120, and whose son, Berchthold V., was to found Bern in
1191. The spot was chosen for purposes of military defence, and was
situated in the _Uechtland_ or waste land between Alamannian and
Burgundian territory. He granted it many privileges, modelled on the
charters of Cologne and of Freiburg in Breisgau, though the oldest
existing charter of the town dates from 1249. On the extinction of the
male line of the Zähringen dynasty, in 1218, their lands passed to Anna,
the sister of the last duke and wife of Count Ulrich of Kyburg. That
house kept Fribourg till it too became extinct, in 1264, in the male
line. Anna, the heiress, married about 1273 Eberhard, count of
Habsburg-Laufenburg, who sold Fribourg in 1277 for 3000 marks to his
cousin Rudolf, the head of the house of Habsburg as well as emperor. The
town had to fight many a hard battle for its existence against Bern and
the count of Savoy, especially between 1448 and 1452. Abandoned by the
Habsburgs, and desirous of escaping from the increasing power of Bern,
Fribourg in 1452 finally submitted to the count of Savoy, to whom it had
become indebted for vast sums of money. Yet, despite all its
difficulties, it was in the first half of the 15th century that Fribourg
exported much leather and cloth to France, Italy and Venice, as many as
10,000 to 20,000 bales of cloth being stamped with the seal of the town.
When Yolande, dowager duchess of Savoy, entered into an alliance with
Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, Fribourg joined Bern, and helped to
gain the victories of Grandson and of Morat (1476).

In 1477 the town was finally freed from the rule of Savoy, while in 1481
(with Soleure) it became a member of the Swiss Confederation, largely,
it is said, through the influence of the holy man, Bruder Klaus (Niklaus
von der Flüe). In 1475 the town had taken Illens and Arconciel from
Savoy, and in 1536 won from Vaud much territory, including Romont, Rue,
Châtel St Denis, Estavayer, St Aubin (by these two conquests its
dominion reached the Lake of Neuchâtel), as well as Vuissens and
Surpierre, which still form outlying portions (physically within the
canton of Vaud) of its territory, while in 1537 it took Bulle from the
bishop of Lausanne. In 1502-1504 the lordship of Bellegarde or Jaun was
bought, while in 1555 it acquired (jointly with Bern) the lands of the
last count of the Gruyère, and thus obtained the rich district of that
name. From 1475 it ruled (with Bern) the bailiwicks of Morat, Grandson,
Orbe and Echallens, just taken from Savoy, but in 1798 Morat was
incorporated with (finally annexed in 1814) the canton of Fribourg, the
other bailiwicks being then given to the canton of Léman (later of
Vaud). In the 16th century the original democratic government gradually
gave place to the oligarchy of the patrician families. Though this
government caused much discontent it continued till it was overthrown on
the French occupation of 1798.

From 1803 (Act of Mediation) to 1814, Fribourg was one of the six
cantons of the Swiss Confederation. But, on the fall of the new régime,
in 1814, the old patrician rule was partly restored, as 108 of the 144
seats in the cantonal legislature were assigned to members of the
patrician families. In 1831 the Radicals gained the power and secured
the adoption of a more liberal constitution. In 1846 Fribourg (where the
Conservatives had regained power in 1837) joined the _Sonderbund_ and,
in 1847, saw the Federal troops before its walls, and had to surrender
to them. The Radicals now came back to power, and again revised the
cantonal constitution in a liberal sense. The Catholic and Conservative
party made several attempts to recover their supremacy, but their chiefs
were driven into exile. In 1856 the Conservatives regained the upper
hand at the general cantonal election, secured the adoption in 1857 of a
new cantonal constitution, and have ever since maintained their rule,
which some dub "clerical," while others describe it as "anti-radical."

  AUTHORITIES.--_Archives de la Société d'histoire du Canton de F._,
  from 1850; F. Buomberger, _Bevölkerungs- u. Vermögensstatistik in d.
  Stadt u. Landschaft F. um die Mitte d. 15ten Jahrhunderts_ (Bern,
  1900); A. Daguet, _Histoire de la ville et de la seigneurie de F._, to
  1481 (Fribourg, 1889); A. Dellion, _Dictionnaire historique et
  statistique des paroisses catholiques du C. de F._ (12 vols.,
  Fribourg, 1884-1903); _Freiburger Geschichtsblätter_, from 1894;
  _Fribourg artistique_ (fine plates), from 1890; E. Heyck, _Geschichte
  der Herzoge von Zähringen_ (Freiburg i. Br., 1891); F. Kuenlin, _Der
  K. Freiburg_ (St Gall and Bern, 1834); _Mémorial de F._ (6 vols.,
  1854-1859); _Recueil diplomatique du Cant. de F._ (original documents)
  (8 vols., Fribourg, 1839-1877); F. E. Welti, _Beiträge zur Geschichte
  des älteren Stadtrechtes von Freiburg im Uechtland_ (Bern, 1908); J.
  Zemp, _L'Art de la ville de Fribourg au moyen âge_ (Fribourg, 1905);
  J. Zimmerli, _Die deutsch-französische Sprachgrenze in d. Schweiz_
  (Basel and Geneva, 1895), vol. ii., pp. 72 seq.; _Les Alpes
  fribourgeoises_ (Lausanne, 1908).     (W. A. B. C.)

FRICTION (from Lat. _fricare_, to rub), in physical and mechanical
science, the term given to the resistance which every material surface
presents to the sliding of any other such surface upon it. This
resistance is due to the roughness of the surfaces; the minute
projections upon each enter more or less into the minute depressions on
the other, and when motion occurs these roughnesses must either be worn
off, or continually lifted out of the hollows into which they have
fallen, or both, the resistance to motion being in either case quite
perceptible and measurable.

Friction is preferably spoken of as "resistance" rather than "force,"
for a reason exactly the same as that which induces us to treat stress
rather as molecular resistance (to change of form) than as force, and
which may be stated thus: although friction can be utilized as a moving
force at will, and is continually so used, yet it cannot be a primary
moving force; it can transmit or modify motion already existing, but
cannot in the first instance cause it. For this some external force, not
friction, is required. The analogy with stress appears complete; the
motion of the "driving link" of a machine is communicated to all the
other parts, modified or unchanged as the case may be, by the stresses
in those parts; but the actual setting in motion of the driving link
itself cannot come about by stress, but must have for its production
force obtained directly from the expenditure of some form of energy. It
is important, however, that the use of the term "resistance" should not
be allowed to mislead. Friction resists the motion of one surface upon
another, but it may and frequently does confer the motion of the one
upon the other, and in this way causes, instead of resists, the motion
of the latter. This may be made more clear, perhaps, by an illustration.
Suppose we have a leather strap A passing over a fixed cylindrical drum
B, and let a pulling force or effort be applied to the strap. The force
applied to A can act on B only at the surfaces of contact between them.
There it becomes an effort tending either to move A upon B, or to move
the body B itself, according to the frictional conditions. In the
absence of friction it would simply cause A to slide on B, so that we
may call it an effort tending to make A slide on B. The friction is the
resistance offered by the surface of B to any such motion. But the value
of this resistance is not in any way a function of the effort
itself,--it depends chiefly upon the pressure normal to the surfaces and
the nature of the surfaces. It may therefore be either less or greater
than the effort. If less, A slides over B, the rate of motion being
determined by the excess of the effort over the resistance (friction).
But if the latter be greater no sliding can occur, i.e. A cannot, under
the action of the supposed force, move upon B. The effort between the
surfaces exists, however, exactly as before,--and it must now tend to
cause the motion of B. But the body B is fixed,--or, in other words, we
suppose its resistance to motion greater than any effort which can tend
to move it,--hence no motion takes place. It must be specially noticed,
however, that it is not the friction between A and B that has prevented
motion, this only prevented A moving on B,--it is the force which keeps
B stationary, whatever that may be, which has finally prevented any
motion taking place. This can be easily seen. Suppose B not to be fixed,
but to be capable of moving against some third body C (which might,
e.g., contain cylindrical bearings, if B were a drum with its shaft),
itself fixed,--and further, suppose the frictional resistance between B
and C to be the only resistance to B's motion. Then if this be less than
the effort of A upon B, as it of course may be, this effort will cause
the motion of B. Thus friction causes motion, for had there been no
frictional resistance between the surfaces of A and of B, the latter
body would have remained stationary, and A only would have moved. In the
case supposed, therefore, the friction between A and B is a necessary
condition of B receiving any motion from the external force applied to

Without entering here on the mathematical treatment of the subject of
friction, some general conclusions may be pointed out which have been
arrived at as the results of experiment. The "laws" first enunciated by
C. A. Coulomb (1781), and afterwards confirmed by A. J. Morin
(1830-1834), have been found to hold good within very wide limits. These
are: (1) that the friction is proportional to the normal pressure
between the surfaces of contact, and therefore independent of the area
of those surfaces, and (2) that it is independent of the velocity with
which the surfaces slide one on the other. For many practical purposes
these statements are sufficiently accurate, and they do in fact sensibly
represent the results of experiment for the pressures and at the
velocities most commonly occurring. Assuming the correctness of these,
friction is generally measured in terms simply of the total pressure
between the surfaces, by multiplying it by a "coefficient of friction"
depending on the material of the surfaces and their state as to
smoothness and lubrication. But beyond certain limits the "laws" stated
are certainly incorrect, and are to be regarded as mere practical rules,
of extensive application certainly, but without any pretension to be
looked at as really general laws. Both at very high and very low
pressures the coefficient of friction is affected by the intensity of
pressure, and, just as with velocity, it can only be regarded as
independent of the intensity and proportional simply to the total load
within more or less definite limits.

Coulomb pointed out long ago that the resistance of a body to be set in
motion was in many cases much greater than the resistance which it
offered to continued motion; and since his time writers have always
distinguished the "friction of rest," or static friction, from the
"friction of motion," or kinetic friction. He showed also that the value
of the former depended often both upon the intensity of the pressure and
upon the length of time during which contact had lasted, both of which
facts quite agree with what we should expect from our knowledge of the
physical nature, already mentioned, of the causes of friction. It seems
not unreasonable to expect that the influence of time upon friction
should show itself in a comparison of very slow with very rapid motion,
as well as in a comparison of starting (i.e. motion after a long time of
rest) with continued motion. That the friction at the higher velocities
occurring in engineering practice is much less than at common velocities
has been shown by several modern experiments, such as those of Sir
Douglas Galton (see _Report Brit. Assoc._, 1878, and _Proc. Inst. Mech.
Eng._, 1878, 1879) on the friction between brake-blocks and wheels, and
between wheels and rails. But no increase in the coefficient of friction
had been detected at slow speeds, until the experiments of Prof.
Fleeming Jenkin (_Phil. Trans._, 1877, pt. 2) showed conclusively that
at extremely low velocities (the lowest measured was about .0002 ft. per
second) there is a sensible increase of frictional resistance in many
cases, most notably in those in which there is the most marked
difference between the friction of rest and that of motion. These
experiments distinctly point to the conclusion, although without
absolutely proving it, that in such cases the coefficient of kinetic
friction gradually increases as the velocity becomes extremely small,
and passes without discontinuity into that of static friction.
     (A. B. W. K.; W. E. D.)

FRIDAY (A.S. _frige-dæg_, fr. _frige_, gen. of _frigu_, love, or the
goddess of love--the Norse Frigg,--the _dæg_, day; cf. Icelandic
_frjádagr_, O.H. Ger. _friatag_, _frigatag_, mod. Ger. _Freitag_), the
sixth day of the week, corresponding to the Roman _Dies Veneris_, the
French _Vendredi_ and Italian _Venerdi_. The ill-luck associated with
the day undoubtedly arose from its connexion with the Crucifixion; for
the ancient Scandinavian peoples regarded it as the luckiest day of the
week. By the Western and Eastern Churches the Fridays throughout the
year, except when Christmas falls on that day, have ever been observed
as days of fast in memory of the Passion. The special day on which the
Passion of Christ is annually commemorated is known as Good Friday
(q.v.). According to Mahommedan tradition, Friday, which is the Moslem
Sabbath, was the day on which Adam was created, entered Paradise and was
expelled, and it was the day of his repentance, the day of his death,
and will be the Day of Resurrection.

FRIEDBERG, the name of two towns in Germany.

1. A small town in Upper Bavaria, with an old castle, known mainly as
the scene of Moreau's victory of the 24th of August 1796 over the

2. FRIEDBERG IN DER WETTERAU, in the grand duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt, on
an eminence above the Usa, 14 m. N. of Frankfort-on-Main, on the railway
to Cassel and at the junction of a line to Hanau. Pop. (1905) 7702. It
is a picturesque town, still surrounded by old walls and towers, and
contains many medieval buildings, of which the beautiful Gothic town
church (Evangelical) and the old castle are especially noteworthy. The
grand-ducal palace has a beautiful garden. The schools include technical
and agricultural academies and a teachers' seminary. It has manufactures
of sugar, gloves and leather, and breweries. Friedberg is of Roman
origin, but is first mentioned as a town in the 11th century. In 1211 it
became a free imperial city, but in 1349 was pledged to the counts of
Schwarzburg, and subsequently often changed hands, eventually in 1802
passing to Hesse-Darmstadt.

  See Dieffenbach, _Geschichte der Stadt und Burg Friedberg_ (Darms.,

FRIEDEL, CHARLES (1832-1899), French chemist and mineralogist, was born
at Strassburg on the 12th of March 1832. After graduating at Strassburg
University he spent a year in the counting-house of his father, a banker
and merchant, and then in 1851 went to live in Paris with his maternal
grandfather, Georges Louis Duvernoy (1777-1855), professor of natural
history and, from 1850, of comparative anatomy, at the Collège de
France. In 1854 he entered C. A. Wurtz's laboratory, and in 1856, at the
instance of H. H. de Sénarmont (1808-1862), was appointed conservator of
the mineralogical collections at the École des Mines. In 1871 he began
to lecture in place of A. L. O. L. Des Cloizeaux (1817-1897) at the
École Normale, and in 1876 he became professor of mineralogy at the
Sorbonne, but on the death of Wurtz in 1884 he exchanged that position
for the chair of organic chemistry. He died at Montauban on the 20th of
April 1899. Friedel achieved distinction both in mineralogy and organic
chemistry. In the former he was one of the leading workers, in
collaboration from 1879 to 1887 with Émile Edmond Sarasin (1843-1890),
at the formation of minerals by artificial means, particularly in the
wet way with the aid of heat and pressure, and he succeeded in
reproducing a large number of the natural compounds. In 1893, as the
result of an attempt to make diamond by the action of sulphur on highly
carburetted cast iron at 450°-500° C. he obtained a black powder too
small in quantity to be analysed but hard enough to scratch corundum. He
also devoted much attention to the pyroelectric phenomena of crystals,
which served as the theme of one of the two memoirs he presented for the
degree of D.Sc. in 1869, and to the determination of crystallographic
constants. In organic chemistry, his study of the ketones and aldehydes,
begun in 1857, provided him with the subject of his other doctoral
thesis. In 1862 he prepared secondary propyl alcohol, and in 1863, with
James Mason Crafts (b. 1839), for many years a professor at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, he obtained various
organometallic compounds of silicon. A few years later further work,
with Albert Ladenburg, on the same element yielded silicochloroform and
led to a demonstration of the close analogy existing between the
behaviour in combination of silicon and carbon. In 1871, with R. D. da
Silva (b. 1837) he synthesized glycerin, starting from propylene. In
1877, with Crafts, he made the first publication of the fruitful and
widely used method for synthesizing benzene homologues now generally
known as the "Friedel and Crafts reaction." It was based on an
accidental observation of the action of metallic aluminium on amyl
chloride, and consists in bringing together a hydrocarbon and an organic
chloride in presence of aluminium chloride, when the residues of the two
compounds unite to form a more complex body. Friedel was associated with
Wurtz in editing the latter's _Dictionnaire de chimie_, and undertook
the supervision of the supplements issued after 1884. He was the chief
founder of the _Revue générale de chimie_ in 1899. His publications
include a _Notice sur la vie et les travaux de Wurtz_ (1885), _Cours de
chimie organique_ (1887) and _Cours de minéralogie_ (1893). He acted as
president of the International Congress held at Geneva in 1892 for
revising the nomenclature of the fatty acid series.

  See a memorial lecture by J. M. Crafts, printed in the _Journal of the
  London Chemical Society_ for 1900.

FRIEDLAND, a town of Bohemia, Austria, 103 m. N.E. of Prague by rail.
Pop. (1900) 6229. Besides the old town, which is still surrounded by
walls, it contains three suburbs. The principal industry is the
manufacture of woollen and linen cloth. Friedland is chiefly remarkable
for its old castle, which occupies an imposing situation on a small hill
commanding the town. A round watch-tower is said to have been built on
its site as early as 1014; and the present castle dates from the 13th
century. It was several times besieged in the Thirty Years' and Seven
Years' Wars. In 1622 it was purchased by Wallenstein, who took from it
his title of duke of Friedland. After his death it was given to Count
Mathias Gallas by Ferdinand II., and since 1757 it has belonged to the
Count Clam Gallas. It was magnificently restored in 1868-1869.

FRIEDLAND, the name of seven towns in Germany. The most important now is
that in the grand duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, on the Mühlenteich, 35
m. N.E. of Strelitz by the railway to Neu-Brandenburg. Pop. 7000. It
possesses a fine Gothic church and a gymnasium, and has manufactures of
woollen and linen cloth, leather and tobacco. Friedland was founded in
1244 by the margraves John and Otto III. of Brandenburg.

FRIEDLAND, a town of Prussia, on the Alle, 27 m. S.E. of Königsberg
(pop. 3000), famous as the scene of the battle fought between the French
under Napoleon and the Russians commanded by General Bennigsen, on the
14th of June 1807 (see NAPOLEONIC CAMPAIGNS). The Russians had on the
13th driven the French cavalry outposts from Friedland to the westward,
and Bennigsen's main body began to occupy the town in the night. The
army of Napoleon was set in motion for Friedland, but it was still
dispersed on its various march routes, and the first stage of the
engagement was thus, as usual, a pure "encounter-battle." The corps of
Marshal Lannes as "general advanced guard" was first engaged, in the
Sortlack Wood and in front of Posthenen (2.30-3 A.M. on the 14th). Both
sides now used their cavalry freely to cover the formation of lines of
battle, and a race between the rival squadrons for the possession of
Heinrichsdorf resulted in favour of the French under Grouchy. Lannes in
the meantime was fighting hard to hold Bennigsen, for Napoleon feared
that the Russians meant to evade him again. Actually, by 6 A.M.
Bennigsen had nearly 50,000 men across the river and forming up west of
Friedland. His infantry, in two lines, with artillery, extended between
the Heinrichsdorf-Friedland road and the upper bends of the river.
Beyond the right of the infantry, cavalry and Cossacks extended the line
to the wood N.E. of Heinrichsdorf, and small bodies of Cossacks
penetrated even to Schwonau. The left wing also had some cavalry and,
beyond the Alle, batteries were brought into action to cover it. A heavy
and indecisive fire-fight raged in the Sortlack Wood between the Russian
skirmishers and some of Lannes's troops. The head of Mortier's (French
and Polish) corps appeared at Heinrichsdorf and the Cossacks were driven
out of Schwonau. Lannes held his own, and by noon, when Napoleon
arrived, 40,000 French troops were on the scene of action. His orders
were brief: Ney's corps was to take the line between Posthenen and the
Sortlack Wood, Lannes closing on his left, to form the centre, Mortier
at Heinrichsdorf the left wing. Victor and the Guard were placed in
reserve behind Posthenen. Cavalry masses were collected at
Heinrichsdorf. The main attack was to be delivered against the Russian
left, which Napoleon saw at once to be cramped in the narrow tongue of
land between the river and the Posthenen mill-stream. Three cavalry
divisions were added to the general reserve. The course of the previous
operations had been such that both armies had still large detachments
out towards Königsberg. The afternoon was spent by the emperor in
forming up the newly arrived masses, the deployment being covered by an
artillery bombardment. At 5 o'clock all was ready, and Ney, preceded by
a heavy artillery fire, rapidly carried the Sortlack Wood. The attack
was pushed on toward the Alle. One of Ney's divisions (Marchand) drove
part of the Russian left into the river at Sortlack. A furious charge of
cavalry against Marchand's left was repulsed by the dragoon division of
Latour-Maubourg. Soon the Russians were huddled together in the bends of
the Alle, an easy target for the guns of Ney and of the reserve. Ney's
attack indeed came eventually to a standstill; Bennigsen's reserve
cavalry charged with great effect and drove him back in disorder. As at
Eylau, the approach of night seemed to preclude a decisive success, but
in June and on firm ground the old mobility of the French reasserted its
value. The infantry division of Dupont advanced rapidly from Posthenen,
the cavalry divisions drove back the Russian squadrons into the now
congested masses of foot on the river bank, and finally the artillery
general Sénarmont advanced a mass of guns to case-shot range. It was the
first example of the terrible artillery preparations of modern warfare,
and the Russian defence collapsed in a few minutes. Ney's exhausted
infantry were able to pursue the broken regiments of Bennigsen's left
into the streets of Friedland. Lannes and Mortier had all this time held
the Russian centre and right on its ground, and their artillery had
inflicted severe losses. When Friedland itself was seen to be on fire,
the two marshals launched their infantry attack. Fresh French troops
approached the battlefield. Dupont distinguished himself for the second
time by fording the mill-stream and assailing the left flank of the
Russian centre. This offered a stubborn resistance, but the French
steadily forced the line backwards, and the battle was soon over. The
losses incurred by the Russians in retreating over the river at
Friedland were very heavy, many soldiers being drowned. Farther north
the still unbroken troops of the right wing drew off by the Allenburg
road; the French cavalry of the left wing, though ordered to pursue,
remaining, for some reason, inactive. The losses of the victors were
reckoned at 12,100 out of 86,000, or 14%, those of the Russians at
10,000 out of 46,000, or 21% (Berndt, _Zahl im Kriege_).

[Illustration: Map.]

FRIEDMANN, MEIR (1831-1908), Hungarian Jewish scholar. His editions of
the Midrash are the standard texts. His chief editions were the _Sifre_
(1864), the _Mekhilta_ (1870), _Pesiqla Rabbathi_ (1880). At the time of
his death he was editing the _Sifra_. Friedmann, while inspired with
regard for tradition, dealt with the Rabbinic texts on modern scientific
methods, and rendered conspicuous service to the critical investigation
of the Midrash and to the history of early homilies.     (I. A.)

FRIEDRICH, JOHANN (1836-   ), German theologian, was born at Poxdorf in
Upper Franconia on the 5th of May 1836, and was educated at Bamberg and
at Munich, where in 1865 he was appointed professor extraordinary of
theology. In 1869 he went to the Vatican Council as secretary to
Cardinal Hohenlohe, and took an active part in opposing the dogma of
papal infallibility, notably by supplying the opposition bishops with
historical and theological material. He left Rome before the council
closed. "No German ecclesiastic of his age appears to have won for
himself so unusual a repute as a theologian and to have held so
important a position, as the trusted counsellor of the leading German
cardinal at the Vatican Council. The path was fairly open before him to
the highest advancement in the Church of Rome, yet he deliberately
sacrificed all such hopes and placed himself in the van of a hard and
doubtful struggle" (_The Guardian_, 1872, p. 1004). Sentence of
excommunication was passed on Friedrich in April 1871, but he refused to
acknowledge it and was upheld by the Bavarian government. He continued
to perform ecclesiastical functions and maintained his academic
position, becoming ordinary professor in 1872. In 1882 he was
transferred to the philosophical faculty as professor of history. By
this time he had to some extent withdrawn from the advanced position
which he at first occupied in organizing the Old Catholic Church, for he
was not in agreement with its abolition of enforced celibacy.

  Friedrich was a prolific writer; among his chief works are: _Johann
  Wessel_ (1862); _Die Lehre des Johann Hus_ (1862); _Kirchengeschichte
  Deutschlands_ (1867-1869); _Tagebuch während des Vatikan. Concils
  geführt_ (1871); _Zur Verteidigung meines Tagebuchs_ (1872); _Beiträge
  zur Kirchengeschichte des 18ten Jahrh._ (1876); _Geschichte des
  Vatikan. Konzils_ (1877-1886); _Beiträge zur Gesch. des
  Jesuitenordens_ (1881); _Das Papsttum_ (1892); _I. v. Döllinger_

FRIEDRICHRODA, a summer resort in the duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha,
Germany, at the north foot of the Thuringian Forest, 13 m. by rail S.W.
from Gotha. Pop. 4500. It is surrounded by fir-clad hills and possesses
numerous handsome villa residences, a _Kurhaus_, sanatorium, &c. In the
immediate neighbourhood is the beautiful ducal hunting seat of
Reinhardsbrunn, built out of the ruins of the famous Benedictine
monastery founded in 1085.

FRIEDRICHSDORF, a town of Germany, in the Prussian province of
Hesse-Nassau, on the southern slope of the Taunus range, 3 m. N.E. from
Homburg. Pop. 1300. It has a French Reformed church, a modern school,
dyeworks, weaving mills, tanneries and tobacco manufactures.
Friedrichsdorf was founded in 1687 by Huguenot refugees and the
inhabitants still speak French. There is a monument to Philipp Reis
(1834-1874), who in 1860 first constructed the telephone while a science
master at the school.

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, a town of Germany, in the kingdom of Württemberg, on
the east shore of the Lake of Constance, at the junction of railways to
Bretten and Lindau. Pop. 4600. It consists of the former imperial town
of Buchhorn and the monastery and village of Hofen. The principal
building is the palace, formerly the residence of the provosts of Hofen,
and now the summer residence of the royal family. To the palace is
attached the Evangelical parish church. The town has a hydropathic
establishment and is a favourite tourist resort. Here are also the
natural history and antiquarian collections of the Lake Constance
Association. Buchhorn is mentioned (as Buachihorn or Puchihorn) in
documents of 837 and was the seat of a powerful countship. The line of
counts died out in 1089, and the place fell first to the Welfs and in
1191 to the Hohenstaufen. In 1275 it was made a free imperial city by
King Rudolph I. In 1802 it lost this status and was assigned to Bavaria,
and in 1810 to Württemberg. The monastery of Hofen was founded in 1050
as a convent of Benedictine nuns, but was changed in 1420 into a
provostship of monks. It was suppressed in 1802 and in 1805 came to
Württemberg. King Frederick I., who caused the harbour to be made,
amalgamated Buchhorn and Hofen under the new name of Friedrichshafen.

FRIEDRICHSRUH, a village in the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein,
15 m. S.E. of Hamburg, with a station on the main line of railway to
Berlin. It gives its name to the famous country seat of the Bismarck
family. The house is a plain unpretentious structure, but the park and
estate, forming a portion of the famous Sachsenwald, are attractive.
Close by, on a knoll, the Schneckenberg, stands the mausoleum in which
the remains of Prince Otto von Bismarck were entombed on the 16th of
March 1899.

FRIENDLY[1] SOCIETIES. These organizations, according to the
comprehensive definition of the Friendly Societies Act 1896, which
regulates such societies in Great Britain and Ireland, are "societies
for the purpose of providing by voluntary subscriptions of the members
thereof, with or without the aid of donations, for the relief or
maintenance of the members, their husbands, wives, children, fathers,
mothers, brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, or wards being orphans,
during sickness or other infirmity, whether bodily or mental, in old
age, or in widowhood, or for the relief or maintenance of the orphan
children of members during minority; for insuring money to be paid on
the birth of a member's child, or on the death of a member, or for the
funeral expenses of the husband, wife, or child of a member, or of the
widow of a deceased member, or, as respects persons of the Jewish
persuasion, for the payment of a sum of money during the period of
confined mourning; for the relief or maintenance of the members when on
travel in search of employment or when in distressed circumstances, or
in case of shipwreck, or loss or damage of or to boats or nets; for the
endowment of members or nominees of members at any age; for the
insurance against fire to any amount not exceeding £15 of the tools or
implements of the trade or calling of the members"--and are limited in
their contracts for assurance of annuities to £52 (previous to the
Friendly Societies Act 1908 the sum was £50), and for insurance of a
gross sum to £300 (previous to the act of 1908 the sum was £200). They
may be described in a more popular and condensed form of words as the
mutual insurance societies of the poorer classes, by which they seek to
aid each other in the emergencies arising from sickness and death and
other causes of distress. A phrase in the first act for the
encouragement and relief of friendly societies, passed in 1793,
designating them "societies of good fellowship," indicates another
useful phase of their operations.

The origin of the friendly society is, probably in all countries, the
burial club. It has been the policy of every religion, if indeed it is
not a common instinct of humanity, to surround the disposal of a dead
body with circumstances of pomp and expenditure, often beyond the means
of the surviving relatives. The appeal for help to friends and
neighbours which necessarily follows is soon organized into a system of
mutual aid, that falls in naturally with the religious ceremonies by
which honour is done to the dead. Thus in China there are burial
societies, termed "long-life loan companies," in almost all the towns
and villages. Among the Greeks the [Greek: eranoi] combined the
religious with the provident element (see CHARITY AND CHARITIES). From
the Greeks the Romans derived their fraternities of a similar kind. The
Teutons in like manner had their gilds. Whether the English friendly
society owes its origin in the higher degree to the Roman or the
Teutonic influence can hardly be determined. The utility of providing by
combination for the ritual expenditure upon burial having been
ascertained, the next step--to render mutual assistance in circumstances
of distress generally--was an easy one, and we find it taken by the
Greek [Greek: eranoi] and by the English gilds. Another
modification--that the societies should consist not so much of
neighbours as of persons having the same occupation--soon arises; and
this is the germ of our trade unions and our city companies in their
original constitution. The interest, however, that these inquiries
possess is mainly antiquarian. The legal definition of a friendly
society quoted above points to an organization more complex than those
of the ancient fraternities and gilds, and proceeding upon different
principles. It may be that the one has grown out of the other. The
common element of a provision for a contingent event by a joint
contribution is in both; but the friendly society alone has attempted to
define with precision what is the risk against which it intends to
provide, and what should be the contributions of the members to meet
that risk.

_United Kingdom._--It would be curious to endeavour to trace how, after
the suppression of the religious gilds in the 16th century, and the
substitution of an organized system of relief by the poor law of
Elizabeth for the more voluntary and casual means of relief that
previously existed, the modern system of friendly societies grew up. The
modern friendly society, particularly in rural districts, clings with
fondness to its annual feast and procession to church, its procession of
all the brethren on the occasion of the funeral of one of them, and
other incidents which are almost obviously survivals of the customs of
medieval gilds. The last recorded gild was in existence in 1628, and
there are records of friendly societies as early as 1634 and 1639. The
connecting links, however, cannot be traced. With the exception of a
society in the port of Borrowstounness on the Firth of Forth, no
existing friendly society is known to be able to trace back its history
beyond a date late in the 17th century, and no records remain of any
that might have existed in the latter half of the 16th century or the
greater part of the 17th. One founded in 1666 was extant in 1850, but it
has since ceased to exist. This is not so surprising as it might appear.
Documents which exist in manuscript only are much less likely to have
been preserved since the invention of printing than they were before;
and such would be the simple rules and records of any society that might
have existed during this interval--if, indeed, many of them kept records
at all. On the whole, it seems probable therefore that the friendly
society is a lineal descendant of the ancient gild--the idea never
having wholly died out, but having been kept up from generation to
generation in a succession of small and scattered societies.

At the same time, it seems probable that the friendly society of the
present day owes its revival to a great extent to the Protestant
refugees of Spitalfields, one of whose societies was founded in 1703,
and has continued among descendants of the same families, whose names
proclaim their Norman origin. This society has distinguished itself by
the intelligence with which it has adapted its machinery to the
successive modifications of the law, and it completely reconstructed its
rules under the provisions of the Friendly Societies Acts 1875 and 1876.

Another is the society of Lintot, founded in London in 1708, in which
the office of secretary was for more than half a century filled by
persons of the name of Levesque, one of whom published a translation of
its original rules. No one was to be received into the society who was
not a member, or the descendant of a member, of the church of Lintot, of
recognized probity, a good Protestant, and well-intentioned towards the
queen [Anne] and faithful to the government of the country. No one was
to be admitted below the age of eighteen, or who had not been received
at holy communion and become member of a church. A member should not
have a claim to relief during his first year's membership, but if he
fell sick within the year a collection should be made for him among the
members. The foreign names still borne by a large proportion of the
members show that the connexion with descendants of the refugees is

The example of providence given by these societies was so largely
followed that Rose's Act in 1793 recognized the existence of numerous
societies, and provided encouragement for them in various ways, as well
as relief from taxation to an extent which in those days must have been
of great pecuniary value, and exemption from removal under the poor law.
The benefits offered by this statute were readily accepted by the
societies, and the vast number of societies which speedily became
enrolled shows that Rose's Act met with a real public want. In the
county of Middlesex alone nearly a thousand societies were enrolled
within a very few years after the passing of the act, and the number in
some other counties was almost as great. The societies then formed were
nearly all of a like kind--small clubs, in which the feature of good
fellowship was in the ascendant, and that of provident assurance for
sickness and death merely accessory. This is indicated by one provision
which occurs in many of the early enrolled rules, viz. that the number
of members shall be limited to 61, 81 or 101, as the case may be. The
odd 1 which occurs in these numbers probably stands for the president or
secretary, or is a contrivance to ensure a clear majority. Several of
these old societies are still in existence, and can point to a
prosperous career based rather upon good luck than upon scientific
calculation. Founded among small tradesmen or persons in the way to
thrive, the claims for sickness were only made in cases where the
sickness was accompanied by distress, and even the funeral allowance was
not always demanded.

The societies generally not being established upon any scientific
principle, those which met with this prosperity were the exception to
the rule; and accordingly the cry that friendly societies were failing
in all quarters was as great in 1819 as in 1869. A writer of that time
speaks of the instability of friendly societies as "universal"; and the
general conviction that this was so resulted in the passing of the act
of 1819. It recites that "the habitual reliance of poor persons upon
parochial relief, rather than upon their own industry, tends to the
moral deterioration of the people and to the accumulation of heavy
burthens upon parishes; and it is desirable, with a view as well to the
reduction of the assessment made for the relief of the poor as to the
improvement of the habits of the people, that encouragement should be
afforded to persons desirous of making provision for themselves or their
families out of the fruits of their own industry. By the contributions
of the savings of many persons to one common fund the most effectual
provision may be made for the casualties affecting all the contributors;
and it is therefore desirable to afford further facilities and
additional security to persons who may be willing to unite in
appropriating small sums from time to time to a common fund for the
purposes aforesaid, and it is desirable to protect such persons from the
effects of fraud or miscalculation." This preamble went on to recite
that the provisions of preceding acts had been found insufficient for
these purposes, and great abuses had prevailed in many societies
established under their authority. By this statute a friendly society
was defined as "an institution, whereby it is intended to provide, by
contribution, on the principle of mutual insurance, for the maintenance
or assistance of the contributors thereto, their wives or children, in
sickness, infancy, advanced age, widowhood or any other natural state or
contingency, whereof the occurrence is susceptible of calculation by way
of average." It will be seen that this act dealt exclusively with the
scientific aspect of the societies, and had nothing to say to the
element of good fellowship. Rules and tables were to be submitted by the
persons intending to form a society to the justices, who, before
confirming them, were to satisfy themselves that the contingencies which
the society was to provide against were within the meaning of the act,
and that the formation of the society would be useful and beneficial,
regard being had to the existence of other societies in the same
district. No tables or rules connected with calculation were to be
confirmed by the justices until they had been approved by two persons at
least, known to be professional actuaries or persons skilled in
calculation, as fit and proper, according to the most correct
calculation of which the nature of the case would admit. The justices in
quarter sessions were also by this act authorized to publish general
rules for the formation and government of friendly societies within
their county. The practical effect of this statute in requiring that the
societies formed under it should be established on sound principles does
not appear to have been as great as might have been expected. The
justices frequently accepted as "persons skilled in calculation" local
schoolmasters and others who had no real knowledge of the technical
difficulties of the subject, while the restrictions upon registry served
only to increase the number of societies established without becoming

In 1829 the law relating to friendly societies was entirely
reconstructed by an act of that year, and a barrister was appointed
under that act to examine the rules of societies, and ascertain that
they were in conformity to law and to the provisions of the act. The
barrister so appointed was John Tidd Pratt (1797-1870); and no account
of friendly societies would be complete that did not do justice to the
remarkable public service rendered by this gentleman. For forty years,
though he had by statute really very slight authority over the
societies, his name exercised the widest influence, and the numerous
reports and publications by which he endeavoured to impress upon the
public mind sound principles of management of friendly societies, and to
expose those which were managed upon unsound principles, made him a
terror to evil-doers. On the other hand, he lent with readiness the aid
of his legal knowledge and great mental activity to assisting
well-intentioned societies in coming within the provisions of the acts,
and thus gave many excellent schemes a legal organization.

By the act of 1829, in lieu of the discretion as to whether the
formation of the proposed society would be useful and beneficial, and
the requirement of the actuarial certificate to the tables, it was
enacted that the justices were to satisfy themselves that the tables
proposed to be used might be adopted with safety to all parties
concerned. This provision, of course, became a dead letter and was
repealed in 1834. Thenceforth, societies were free to establish
themselves upon what conditions and with what rates they chose, provided
only they satisfied the barrister that the rules were "calculated to
carry into effect the intention of the parties framing them," and were
"in conformity to law."

By an act of 1846 the barrister certifying the rules was constituted
"Registrar of Friendly Societies," and the rules of all societies were
brought together under his custody. An actuarial certificate was to be
obtained before any society could be registered "for the purpose of
securing any benefit dependent on the laws of sickness and mortality."
In 1850 the acts were again repealed and consolidated with amendments.
Societies were divided into two classes, "certified" and "registered."
The certified societies were such as obtained a certificate to their
tables by an actuary possessing a given qualification, who was required
to set forth the data of sickness and mortality upon which he proceeded,
and the rate of interest assumed in the calculations. All other
societies were to be simply registered. Very few societies were
constituted of the "certified" class. The distinction of classes was
repealed and the acts were again consolidated in 1855. Under this act,
which admitted of all possible latitude to the framers of rules of
societies, 21,875 societies were registered, a large number of them
being lodges or courts of affiliated orders, and the act continued in
force till the end of 1875.

The Friendly Societies Act 1875 and the several acts amending it are
still, in effect, the law by which these societies are regulated, though
in form they have been replaced by two consolidating acts, viz. the
Friendly Societies Act 1896 and the Collecting Societies and Industrial
Assurance Companies Act 1896. This legislation still bears the
permissive and elastic character which marked the more successful of the
previous acts, but it provides ampler means to members of ascertaining
and remedying defects of management and of restraining fraud. The
business of registry is under the control of a chief registrar, who has
an assistant registrar in each of the three countries, with an actuary.
An appeal to the chief registrar in the case of the refusal of an
assistant registrar to register a society or an amendment of rules, and
in the case of suspension or cancelling of registry, is interposed
before appeal is to be made to the High Court. Registry under a
particular name may be refused if in the opinion of the registrar the
name is likely to deceive the members or the public as to the nature of
the society or as to its identity. It is the duty of the chief
registrar, among other things, to require from every society a return in
proper form each year of its receipts and expenditure, funds and
effects; and also once every five years a valuation of its assets and
liabilities. Upon the application of a certain proportion of the
members, varying according to the magnitude of the society, the chief
registrar may appoint an inspector to examine into its affairs, or may
call a general meeting of the members to consider and determine any
matter affecting its interests. These are powers which have been used
with excellent effect. Cases have occurred in which fraud has been
detected and punished by this means that could not probably have been
otherwise brought to light. In others a system of mismanagement has been
exposed and effectually checked. The power of calling special meetings
has enabled societies to remedy defects in their rules, to remove
officers guilty of misconduct, &c., where the procedure prescribed by
the rules was for some reason or other inapplicable. Upon an application
of a like proportion of members the chief registrar may, if he finds
that the funds of a society are insufficient to meet the existing claims
thereon, or that the rates of contribution are insufficient to cover the
benefits assured (upon which he consults his actuary), order the society
to be dissolved, and direct how its funds are to be applied. Authority
is given to the chief registrar to direct the expense (preliminary,
incidental, &c.) of an inspection or special meeting to be defrayed by
the members or officers, or former members or officers, of a society, if
he does not think they should be defrayed either by the applicants or
out of the society's funds. He is also empowered, with the approval of
the treasury, to exempt any friendly society from the provisions of the
Collecting Societies Act if he considers it to be one to which those
provisions ought not to apply. Every society registered after 1895, to
which these provisions do apply, is to use the words "Collecting
Society" as the last words of its name.

The law as to the membership of infants has been altered three times.
The act of 1875 allowed existing societies to continue any rule or
practice of admitting children as members that was in force at its
passing, and prohibited membership under sixteen years of age in any
other case, except the case of a juvenile society composed wholly of
members under that age. The treasury made special regulations for the
registry of such juvenile societies. In 1887 the maximum age of their
members was extended to twenty-one. In 1895 it was enacted that no
society should have any members under one year of age, whether
authorized by an existing rule or not; and that every society should be
entitled to make a rule admitting members at any age over one year, but
by the Friendly Societies Act 1908 membership was permitted to minors
under the age of one year. The Treasury, upon the enactment of 1895
coming into operation, rescinded its regulations for the registry of
juvenile societies; and though it is still the practice to submit for
registry societies wholly composed of persons under twenty-one, these
societies in no way differ from other societies, except in the
circumstances that they are obliged to seek officers and a committee of
management from outside, as no member of the committee of any society
can be under twenty-one years of age. In order to promote the
discontinuance of this anomalous proceeding of creating societies under
the Friendly Societies Act, which, by the conditions of their existence,
are unable to be self-governing, the act provides an easy method of
amalgamating juvenile societies and ordinary societies or branches, or
of distributing the members and the funds of a juvenile society among a
number of branches. The liability of schoolboys and young working lads
to sickness is small, and these societies frequently accumulate funds,
which, as their membership is temporary, remain unclaimed and are
sometimes misapplied.

  The legislation of 1875 and 1876 was the result of the labours of a
  royal commission of high authority, presided over by Sir Stafford
  Northcote (afterwards Lord Iddesleigh), which sat from 1870 to 1874,
  and prosecuted an exhaustive inquiry into the organization and
  condition of the various classes of friendly societies. Their reports
  occupy more than a dozen large bluebooks. They divided registered
  friendly societies into 13 classes.

  The first class included the affiliated societies or "orders," such as
  the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows, the Ancient Order of Foresters,
  the Rechabites, Druids, &c. These societies have a central body,
  either situated in some large town, as in the case of the Manchester
  Unity, or moving from place to place, as in that of the Foresters.
  Under this central body, the country is (in most cases) parcelled out
  into districts, and these districts again consist each of a number of
  independent branches, called "lodges," "courts," "tents," or
  "divisions," having a separate fund administered by themselves, but
  contributing also to a fund under the control of the central body.
  Besides these great orders, there were smaller affiliated bodies, each
  having more than 1000 members; and the affiliated form of society
  appears to have great attraction. Indeed, in the colony of Victoria,
  Australia, all the existing friendly societies are of this class. The
  orders have their "secrets," but these, it may safely be said, are of
  a very innocent character, and merely serve the purpose of identifying
  a member of a distant branch by his knowledge of the "grip," and of
  the current password, &c. Indeed they are now so far from being
  "secret societies" that their meetings are attended by reporters and
  the debates published in the newspapers, and the Order of Foresters
  has passed a wise resolution expunging from its publications all
  affectation of mystery.

  Most of the lodges existing before 1875 have converted themselves into
  registered branches. The requirement that for that purpose a vote of
  three-fourths should be necessary was altered in 1895 to a bare
  majority vote. The provisions as to settlement of disputes were
  extended in 1885 to every description of dispute between branches and
  the central body, and in 1895 it was provided that the forty days
  after which a member may apply to the court to settle a dispute where
  the society fails to do so, shall not begin to run until application
  has been made in succession to all the tribunals created by the order
  for the purpose. In 1887 it was enacted that no body which had been a
  registered branch should be registered as a separate society except
  upon production of a certificate from the order that it had seceded or
  been expelled; and in 1895 it was further enacted that no such body
  should, after secession or expulsion, use any name or number implying
  that it is still a branch of the order. The orders generally,
  especially the greater ones, have carefully supervised the valuations
  of their branches, and have urged and, as far as circumstances have
  rendered it practicable, have enforced upon the branches measures for
  diminishing the deficiencies which the valuations have disclosed. They
  have organized plans by which branches disposed to make an effort to
  help themselves in this matter may be assisted out of a central fund.
  The second class was made up of "general societies," principally
  existing in London, of which the commissioners enumerated 8 with
  nearly 60,000 members, and funds amounting to a quarter of a million.

  The third class included the "county societies." These societies have
  been but feebly supported by those for whose benefit they are
  instituted, having all exacted high rates of contribution, in order to
  secure financial soundness.

  Class 4, "local town societies," is a very numerous one. Among some of
  the larger societies may be mentioned the "Chelmsford Provident," the
  "Brighton and Sussex Mutual," the "Cannon Street, Birmingham," the
  "Birmingham General Provident." In this group might also be included
  the interesting societies which are established among the Jewish
  community. They differ from ordinary friendly societies partly in the
  nature of the benefits granted upon death, which are intended to
  compensate for loss of employment during the time of ceremonial
  seclusion enjoined by the Jewish law, which is called "sitting shiva."
  They also provide a cab for the mourners and rabbi, and a tombstone
  for the departed, and the same benefits as an ordinary friendly
  society during sickness. Some also provide a place of worship. Of
  these the "Pursuers of Peace" (enrolled in December 1797), the "Bikhur
  Cholim, or Visitors of the Sick" (April 1798), the "Hozier Holim"
  (1804), may be mentioned.

  Class 5 was "local village and country societies," including the small
  public-house clubs which abound in the villages and rural districts, a
  large proportion of which are unregistered.

  Class 6 was formed of "particular trade societies."

  Class 7 was "dividing societies." These were before 1875 unauthorized
  by law, though they were very attractive to the members. Their
  practice is usually to start afresh every January, paying a
  subscription somewhat in excess of that usually charged by an ordinary
  friendly society, out of which a sick allowance is granted to any
  member who may fall sick during the year, and at Christmas the balance
  not so applied is divided among the members equally, with the
  exception of a small sum left to begin the new year with. The mischief
  of the system is that, as there is no accumulation of funds, the
  society cannot provide for prolonged sickness or old age, and must
  either break up altogether or exclude its sick and aged members at the
  very time when they most need its help. This, however, has not
  impaired the popularity of the societies, and the act of 1875, framed
  on the sound principle that the protection of the law should not be
  withheld from any form of association, enables a society to be
  registered with a rule for dividing its funds, provided only that all
  existing claims upon the society are to be met before a division takes

  Class 8, "deposit friendly societies," combine the characteristics of
  a savings bank with those of a friendly society. They were devised by
  the Hon. and Rev. S. Best, on the principle that a certain proportion
  of the sick allowance is to be raised out of a member's separate
  deposit account, which, if not so used, is retained for his benefit.
  Their advantages are in the encouragement they offer to saving, and in
  meeting the selfish objection sometimes raised to friendly societies,
  that the man who is not sick gets nothing for his money; their
  disadvantage is in their failing to meet cases of sickness so
  prolonged as to exhaust the whole of the member's own deposit.

  Class 9, "collecting societies," are so called because their
  contributions are received through a machinery of house-to-house
  collection. These were the subject of much laborious investigation and
  close attention on the part of the commissioners. They deal with a
  lower class of the community, both with respect to means and to
  intelligence, than that from which the members of ordinary friendly
  societies are drawn. The large emoluments gained by the officers and
  collectors, the high percentage of expenditure (often exceeding half
  the contributions), and the excessive frequency of lapsing of
  insurances point to mischiefs in their management. "The radical evil
  of the whole system (the commissioners remark) appears to us to lie in
  the employment of collectors, otherwise than under the direct
  supervision and control of the members, a supervision and control
  which we fear to be absolutely unattainable in burial societies that
  are not purely local." On the other hand, it must be conceded that
  these societies extend the benefits of life insurance to a class which
  the other societies cannot reach, namely, the class that will not take
  the trouble to attend at an office, but must be induced to effect an
  insurance by a house-to-house canvasser, and be regularly visited by
  the collector to ensure their paying the contributions. To many such
  persons these societies, despite all their errors of constitution and
  management, have been of great benefit. The great source of these
  errors lies in a tendency on the part of the managers of the societies
  to forget that they are simply trustees, and to look upon the concern
  as their own personal property to be managed for their own benefit.
  These societies are of two kinds, local and general. For the general
  societies the act of 1875 made certain stringent provisions. Each
  member was to be furnished with a copy of the rules for one penny, and
  a signed policy for the same charge. Forfeiture of benefit for
  non-payment is not to be enforced without fourteen days' written
  notice. The transfer of a member from one society to another was not
  to be made without his written consent and notice to the society
  affected. No collector is to be a manager, or vote or take part at any
  meeting. At least one general meeting was to be held every year, of
  which notice must be given either by advertisement or by letter or
  post card to each member. The balance-sheet is to be open for
  inspection seven days before the meeting, and to be certified by a
  public accountant, not an officer of the society. Disputes could be
  settled by justices, or county courts, notwithstanding anything in the
  rules of the society to the contrary. Closely associated with the
  question of the management of these societies is that of the risk
  incurred by infant life, through the facilities offered by these
  societies for making insurances on the death of children. That this is
  a real risk is certain from the records of the assizes, and from many
  circumstances of suspicion; but the extent of it cannot be measured,
  and has probably been exaggerated. It has never been lawful to assure
  more than £6 on the death of a child under five years of age, or more
  than £10 on the death of one under ten. Previous to the act of 1875,
  however, there was no machinery for ascertaining that the law was
  complied with, or for enforcing it. This is supplied by that act,
  though still somewhat imperfectly. When the bill went up to the House
  of Lords, an amendment was made, reducing the limit of assurance on a
  child under three years of age to £3, but this amendment was
  unfortunately disagreed with by the House of Commons.

  Class 10, annuity societies, prevail in the west of England. These
  societies are few, and their business is diminishing. Most of them
  originated at the time when government subsidized friendly societies
  by allowing them £4: 11: 3% per annum interest. Now annuities may be
  purchased direct from the National Debt commissioners. These societies
  are more numerous, however, in Ireland.

  Class 11, female societies, are numerous. Many of them resemble
  affiliated orders at least in name, calling themselves Female
  Foresters, Odd Sisters, Loyal Orangewomen, Comforting Sisters and so
  forth. In their rules may be found such a provision as that a member
  shall be fined who does not "behave as becometh an Orangewoman." Many
  are unregistered. In the northern counties of England they are
  sometimes termed "life boxes," doubtless from the old custom of
  placing the contributions in a box. The trustees, treasurer, and
  committee are usually females, but very frequently the secretary is a
  man, paid a small salary.

  Under Class 12 the commissioners included the societies for various
  purposes which were authorized by the secretary of state to be
  registered under the Friendly Societies Act of 1855, comprising
  working-men's clubs, and certain specially authorized societies, as
  well as others that are now defined to be friendly societies. Among
  these purposes are assisting members in search of employment;
  assisting members during slack seasons of trade; granting temporary
  relief to members in distressed circumstances; purchase of coals and
  other necessaries to be supplied to members; relief or maintenance in
  case of lameness, blindness, insanity, paralysis, or bodily hurt
  through accidents; also, the assurance against loss by disease or
  death of cattle employed in trade or agriculture; relief in case of
  shipwreck or loss or damage to boats or nets; and societies for social
  intercourse, mutual helpfulness, mental and moral improvement,
  rational recreation, &c., called working-men's clubs.

  Class 13 was composed of cattle insurance societies.

  These are the thirteen classes into which the commissioners divided
  registered friendly societies. There were 26,034 societies enrolled or
  certified under the various acts for friendly societies in force
  between 1793 and 1855; and, as we have seen, 21,875 societies
  registered under the act of 1855 before the 1st January 1876, when the
  act of 1875 came into operation. The total therefore of societies to
  which a legal constitution had been given was 47,909. Of these 26,087
  were presumed to be in existence when the registrar called for his
  annual return, but only 11,282 furnished the return required. These
  had 3,404,187 members, and £9,336,946 funds. Twenty-two societies
  returned over 10,000 members each; nine over 30,000. One society (the
  Royal Liver Friendly Society, Liverpool, the largest of the collecting
  societies) returned 682,371 members. The next in order was one of the
  same class, the United Assurance Society, Liverpool, with 159,957
  members; but in all societies of this class the membership consists
  very largely of infants. The average of members in the 11,260
  societies with less than 10,000 members each was only 171.

  Such were the registered societies; but there remained behind a large
  body of unregistered societies. With increased knowledge of the
  advantages of registration,[2] and of the true principles upon which
  friendly societies should be established, the number of unregistered
  societies, in comparison with those registered, ought to become much

  On the actuarial side it is in the highest degree essential to the
  interests of their members that friendly societies should be
  financially sound,--in other words, that they should throughout their
  existence be able to meet the engagements into which they have entered
  with their members. For this purpose it is necessary that the members'
  contributions should be so fixed as to prove adequate, with proper
  management, to provide the benefits promised to the members. These
  benefits almost entirely depend upon the contingencies of health and
  life; that is, they take the form of payments to members when sick, of
  payments to members upon attaining given ages, or of payments upon
  members' deaths, and frequently a member is assured for all these
  benefits, viz. a weekly payment if at any time sick before attaining a
  certain age, a weekly payment for the remainder of life after
  attaining that age, and a sum to be paid upon his death. Of course the
  object of the allowance in sickness is to provide a substitute for the
  weekly wage lost in consequence of being unable to work, and the
  object of the weekly payment after attaining a certain age, when the
  member will probably be too infirm to be able to earn a living by the
  exercise of his calling or occupation, is to provide him with the
  necessaries of life, and so enable him to be independent of poor
  relief. There is every reason to believe that, when a large group of
  persons of the same age and calling are observed, there will be found
  to prevail among them, taken one with another, an average number of
  days' sickness, as well as an average rate of mortality, in passing
  through each year of life, which can be very nearly predicted from the
  results furnished by statistics based upon observations previously
  made upon similarly circumstanced groups. Assuming, therefore, the
  necessary statistics to be attainable, the computation of suitable
  rates of contribution to be paid by the members of a society in return
  for certain allowances during sickness, or upon attaining a certain
  age, or upon death, can be readily made by an actuarial expert.
  Accordingly, to furnish these statistics, the act of 1875, in
  continuation of an enactment which first appeared in a statute passed
  in 1829, required every registered society to make quinquennial
  returns of the sickness and mortality experienced by its members. By
  the year 1880 ten periods of five years had been completed, and at the
  end of each of them a number of returns had been received. Some of
  these had been tabulated by actuaries, the latest tabulation being of
  those for the five years ending 1855. There remained untabulated five
  complete sets of returns for the five subsequent quinquennial periods.
  It was resolved that these should be tabulated once for all, and it
  was considered that they would afford sufficient material for the
  construction of tables of sickness and mortality that might be adopted
  for the future as standard tables for friendly societies; and that it
  would be inexpedient to impose any longer on the societies the burden
  of making such returns. This requirement of the act was accordingly
  repealed in 1882. The result of the tabulation appeared in 1896, in a
  bluebook of 1367 folio pages, containing tables based upon the
  experience of nearly four and a half million years of life. These
  tables showed generally, as compared with previous observations, an
  increased liability to sickness. This inference has been confirmed by
  the observations of Mr Alfred W. Watson, actuary to the Independent
  Order of Oddfellows, Manchester Unity Friendly Society, on his
  investigation of the sickness and mortality experience of that society
  during the five years 1893-1897, which extended over 800,000
  individuals, more than 3,000,000 years of life and 7,000,000 weeks of

  The establishment of the National Conference of Friendly Societies by
  the orders and a few other societies has been of great service in
  obtaining improvements in the law, and in enabling the societies
  strongly to represent to the government and the legislature any
  grievance entertained by them. A complaint that membership of a shop
  club was made by certain employers a condition of employment, and that
  the rules of the club required the members to withdraw from other
  societies, led to the appointment of a departmental committee, who
  recommended that such a condition of employment should be made
  illegal, except in certain cases, and that in every case it should be
  illegal to make the withdrawal from a society a condition of
  employment. In 1902 an act was passed based upon this recommendation.

  It is an increasing practice among societies of combining together to
  obtain medical attendance and medicine for their members by the
  formation of medical associations. In 1895 trade unions were enabled
  to join in such associations, and it was provided that a contributing
  society or union should not withdraw from an association except upon
  three months' notice. The working of these associations has been
  viewed with dissatisfaction by members of the medical profession, and
  it has been suggested that a board of conciliation should be formed
  consisting of representatives of the Conference of Friendly Societies
  and of an equal number of medical men.

  The following figures are derived from returns of registered societies
  and branches of registered societies to the beginning of 1905:

    |                                                         | Number of | Number of | Amount of  |
    |                                                         |  Returns. |  Members. |   Funds.   |
    | Ordinary Friendly Societies (classes 2 to 8, 10 and 11) |   6,938   | 3,132,065 |£17,042,398 |
    | Societies having Branches (class 1)                     |  20,819   | 2,606,029 | 23,446,330 |
    | Collecting Friendly Societies (class 9)                 |      45   | 7,448,549 |  7,862,569 |
    | Benevolent Societies (class 12)                         |      75   |    26,509 |    317,913 |
    | Working Men's Clubs (class 12)                          |     913   |   236,298 |    318,945 |
    | Specially Authorized Societies (class 12)               |     122   |    75,089 |    628,759 |
    | Specially Authorized Loan Societies (class 12)          |     517   |   115,511 |    771,578 |
    | Medical Societies (see last paragraph)                  |      95   |   324,145 |     62,049 |
    | Cattle Insurance Societies (class 13)                   |      57   |     3,736 |      7,746 |
    | Shop Clubs (under act of 1902)                          |       7   |    10,859 |        773 |
    |                                                         +-----------+-----------+------------+
    |                                                         |  29,588   |13,978,790 |£50,459,060 |

_British Empire._--In many of the British colonies legislation on the
subject similar to that of the mother-country has been adopted. In those
forming the Commonwealth of Australia and in New Zealand the affiliated
orders hold the field, there being few, if any, independent friendly
societies. The state of Victoria has more than 1000 lodges with more
than 100,000 members and nearly 1½ million pounds funds, averaging
nearly £14 per member. Besides the registrar there is a government
actuary for friendly societies, by whom the liabilities and accounts of
all societies are valued every five years, a method which ensures
uniformity in the processes of valuation. The friendly societies in the
other Australasian states are not so numerous nor so wealthy, but are in
each case under the supervision of vigilant public officials. In New
Zealand a friendly society was established at New Plymouth in 1841, the
first year of that settlement. The formation of a society at Nelson was
resolved upon by the emigrants on shipboard on their passage out, and
the first meeting was held among the tall fern near the beach a few days
after they landed. The societies have now a registrar, an actuary, a
revising barrister and two public valuers. Investigations have been made
into their sickness experience, with results which compare favourably
with those of the Manchester Unity and the registry office in the
mother-country until the higher ages, when greater sickness appears to
result from lower mortality. The average funds per member are £19, 10s.
Nearly four-fifths are invested in the purchase or on mortgage of real

In Cape Colony no society is allowed to register unless it be shown to
the satisfaction of the registrar that the contributions which it
proposes to charge are adequate to provide for the benefits which it
undertakes to grant. The consequence is that little more than one-third
of the existing societies are registered.

In the Dominion of Canada, province of Ontario, extensive powers of
control are given to the registrar, and societies are not admitted to
registry without strict proof of their compliance with the conditions of
registry imposed by the law. Very full returns of their transactions are
required and published, and registry is cancelled when any of the
conditions of registry cease to be observed. These conditions apply not
only to societies existing in Ontario, but to foreign societies
transacting business there.

In several of the West Indian Islands statutes have been passed on the
model of British legislation and registrars have been appointed.

_European Countries._--In foreign countries the development of friendly
societies has proceeded upon different lines. Belgium has a _Commission
royale permanente des sociétés de secours mutuel_. Under laws passed in
1851 and 1894 societies are divided into two classes, recognized and not
recognized. The recognized societies were in 1886 only about half as
many as the unrecognized. There were in 1904 nearly 7000 recognized
societies with 700,000 members. They enjoy the privileges of
incorporation, exemption from stamp duty, gratuitous announcement in the
official Moniteur and may have free postage.

In France under the second empire a scheme was prepared for assisting
friendly societies by granting them collective insurances under
government security. The societies have the privilege of investing their
funds in the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, corresponding to the
English National Debt commission. The dual classification of societies
in France is into those "authorized" and those "approved." By a law of
the 1st of April 1898 a friendly society may be established by merely
depositing a copy of its rules and list of officers with the sousprefet.
Approved societies are entitled to certain state subventions for
assisting in the purchase of old-age pensions and otherwise. A higher
council has been established to advise on their working.

In Germany a law was passed on the 7th of April 1876 (amended on the
1st of June 1884) which prescribed for registered friendly societies
many things which in England are left to the discretion of their
founders; and it provided for an amount of official interference in
their management that is wholly unknown here. The superintending
authority had a right to inspect the books of every society, whether
registered or not, and to give formal notice to a society to call in
arrears, exclude defaulters, pay benefits or revoke illegal resolutions.
A higher authority might, in certain cases, order societies to be
dissolved. These provisions related to voluntary societies; but it was
competent for communal authorities also to order the formation of a
friendly society, and to make a regulation compelling all workmen not
already members of a society to join it. Since then the great series of
imperial statutes has been passed, commencing in 1883 with that for
sickness insurance, followed in 1884 by that for workmen's accident
insurance, extended to sickness insurance in 1885, developed in the laws
relating to accident and sickness insurance of persons engaged in
agricultural and forestry pursuits in 1886, of persons engaged in the
building trade and of seamen and others engaged in seafaring pursuits in
1887, and crowned by the law relating to infirmity and old-age insurance
in 1889. Mr H. Unger, a distinguished actuary, remarks that the whole
German workman's insurance and its executive bodies (sickness funds,
trade associations, insurance institutions) are constantly endeavouring
to improve the position of the workmen in a social and sanitary aspect,
to the benefit of internal peace and the welfare of the German empire.

In Holland it is stated that the number of burial clubs and sickness
benefit societies appears to be greater in proportion to the population
than in any other country; but that the burial clubs do not rest upon a
scientific basis, and have an unfavourable influence upon infant
mortality. Half the population are insured in some burial club or other.
The sick benefit societies are, as in England, some in a good and some
in a bad financial condition; and legislation follows the English system
of compulsory publicity, combined with freedom of competition.

In Spain friendly societies have grown out of the religious gilds. They
are regulated by an act of 1887. Their actuarial condition appears to be
backward, but to show indications of improvement. (E. W. B.)

_United States._--Under the title of fraternal societies are included in
the United States what are known in England as friendly societies,
having some basis of mutual help to members, mutual insurance
associations and benefit associations of all kinds. There are various
classes and a great variety of forms of fraternal associations. It is
therefore difficult to give a concrete historical statement of their
origin and growth; but, dealing with those having benefit features for
the payment of certain amounts in case of sickness, accident or death,
it is found that their history in the United States is practically
within the last half of the 19th century. The more important of the
older organizations are the Improved Order of Red Men, founded in 1771
and reorganized in 1834; Ancient Order of Foresters, 1836; Ancient Order
of Hibernians of America, 1836; United Ancient Order of Druids, 1839;
Independent Order of Rechabites, 1842; Independent Order of B'nai
B'rith, founded in 1843; Order of the United American Mechanics, 1845;
Independent Order of Free Sons of Israel, 1849; Junior Order of United
American Mechanics, 1853. A very large proportion, probably more than
one-half, of the societies which have secret organizations pay benefits
in case of sickness, accident, disability, and funeral expenses in case
of death. This class of societies grew out of the English friendly
societies and have masonic characteristics. The Freemasons and other
secret societies, while not all having benefit features in their
distinctive organizations, have auxiliary societies with such features.
There is also a class of secret societies, based largely on masonic
usages, that have for their principal object the payment of benefits in
some form. These are the Oddfellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Knights
of Honour, the Royal Arcanum and some others. Many trade unions have now
adopted benefit features, especially the Typographical Union, while
many subordinate unions and great publishing houses have mutual relief
associations purely of a local character, and some of the more important
newspapers have such mutual relief or benefit societies. The New York
trade unions, taken as a whole, have paid out large sums of money in
benefits where members have been out of work, or are sick, or are on
strike or have died. The total paid in one year for all these benefits
was over $500,000.

It is impossible to give the membership of all the fraternal
associations in the United States; but, including Oddfellows,
Freemasons, purely benefit associations and all the class of the larger
fraternal organizations, the membership is over 6,000,000. Among the
more important, so far as membership is concerned, are the Knights of
Pythias, the Oddfellows, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Ancient
Order of United Workmen, Improved Order of Red Men, Royal Arcanum,
Knights of the Maccabees, Junior Order of United American Mechanics,
Foresters of America, Independent Order of Foresters, &c. These and
other organizations pay out a vast amount of money every year in the
various forms.

    Assessment insurance.

  Since about the year 1870 a new form of benefit organization has come
  into existence. This is a life insurance based on the assessment plan,
  assessments being levied whenever a member dies; or, as more recently,
  regular assessments being made in advance of death, as post-mortem
  assessments have proved a fallacious method of securing the means of
  paying death benefits. There are about 200 mutual benefit insurance
  companies or associations in the United States conducted on the "lodge
  system"; that is to say, they have regular meetings for social
  purposes and for general improvement, and in their work there is found
  the mysticism, forms and ceremonies which belong to secret societies
  generally. These elements have proved a very strong force in keeping
  this class of associations fairly intact. The "work" of the lodges in
  the initiation of members and their passing through various degrees is
  attractive to many people, and in small places, remote from the
  amusements of the city, these lodges constitute a resort where members
  can give play to their various talents. In most of them the features
  of the Masonic ritual are prominent. The amount of insurance which a
  single member can carry in such associations is small. In the Knights
  of Honour, one of the first of this class, policies ranging from $500
  to $2000 are granted. In the Royal Arcanum the maximum is $3000. This
  form of insurance may be called co-operative, and has many elements
  which make the organizations practising it stronger than the ordinary
  assessment insurance companies having no stated meetings of members.
  These co-operative insurance societies are organized on the federal
  plan--as the Knights of Honour, for instance--having local assemblies,
  where the lodge-room element is in force; state organizations, to
  which the local bodies send delegates, and the national organization,
  which conducts all the insurance business through its executive
  officers. The local societies pay a certain given amount towards the
  support of the state and national offices, and while originally they
  paid death assessments, as called for, they now pay regular monthly
  assessments, in order to avoid the weakness of the post-mortem
  assessment. The difficulty which these organizations have in
  conducting the insurance business is in keeping the average age of
  membership at a low point, for with an increase in the average the
  assessments increase, and many such organizations have had great
  trouble to convince younger members that their assessments should be
  increased to make up for the heavy losses among the older members. The
  experience of these purely insurance associations has not been
  sufficient yet to demonstrate their absolute soundness or
  desirability, but they have enabled a large number of persons of
  limited means to carry insurance at a very low rate. They have not
  materially interfered with regular level premium insurance
  enterprises, for they have stimulated the people to understand the
  benefits of insurance, and have really been an educational force in
  this direction.

    Railway relief departments.

  A modern method of benefit association is found in the railway relief
  departments of some of the large railway corporations. These
  departments are organized upon a different plan from the benefit
  features of labour organizations and secret societies, providing the
  members not only with payments on account of death, but also with
  assistance of definite amounts in case of sickness or accident, the
  railway companies contributing to the funds, partly from philanthropic
  and partly from financial motives. The principal railway companies in
  the United States which have established these relief departments are
  the Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia & Reading, the Baltimore & Ohio,
  the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, and the Plant System. The relief
  department benefits the employés, the railways, and the public,
  because it is based upon the sound principle that the "interests and
  welfare of labour, capital and society are common and harmonious, and
  can be promoted more by co-operation of effort than by antagonism and
  strife." The railway employés support one-twentieth of the entire
  population, and most of their associations maintain organizations to
  provide their members with relief and insurance. The Brotherhood of
  Locomotive Engineers, the Order of Railway Conductors of America, the
  Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, the Brotherhood of Railway
  Trainmen, the Brotherhood of Railway Trackmen, the Switchmen's Union,
  the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen, and the Order of Railway
  Telegraphers, all have relief and benefit features. The oldest and
  largest of these is the International Brotherhood of Locomotive
  Engineers, founded at Detroit in August 1863. Like other labour
  organizations of the higher class of workmen, the objects of the
  brotherhoods of railway employés are partly social and partly
  educational, but in addition to these great purposes they seek to
  protect their members through relief and benefit features. Of course
  the relief departments of the railway companies are competitors of the
  relief and insurance features of the railway employés orders, but both
  methods of providing assistance have proved successful and beneficial.

  For a history of the various American organizations, see Albert C.
  Stevens, _The Cyclopaedia of Fraternities_ (New York, 1899); _Facts
  for Fraternalists_, published by the _Fraternal Monitor_, Rochester,
  N.Y.; for annual statements, "The _World_ Almanac," "Railway Relief
  Departments," "Brotherhood Relief and Insurance of Railway Employés,"
  "Mutual Relief and Benefit Associations in the Printing Trade,"
  "Benefit Features of American Trade Unions," _Bulletins_ Nos. 8, 17,
  19 and 22 of the U.S. Department of Labour.     (C. D. W.)


  [1] The word "friend" (O.E. _freond_, Ger. _Freund_, Dutch _Vriend_)
    is derived from an old Teutonic verb meaning to love. While used
    generally as the opposite to enemy, it is specially the term which
    connotes any degree, but particularly a high degree, of personal
    goodwill, affection or regard, from which the element of sexual love
    is absent.

  [2] These may be briefly summed up thus:--(1) power to hold land and
    vesting of property in trustees by mere appointment; (2) remedy
    against misapplication of funds; (3) priority in bankruptcy or on
    death of officer; (4) transfer of stock by direction of chief
    registrar; (5) exemption from stamp duties; (6) membership of minors;
    (7) certificates of birth and death at reduced cost; (8) investment
    with National Debt Commissioners; (9) reduction of fines on admission
    to copyholds; (10) discharge of mortgages by mere receipt; (11)
    obligation on officers to render accounts; (12) settlement of
    disputes; (13) insurance of funeral expenses for wives and children
    without insurable interest; (14) nomination at death; (15) payment
    without administration; (16) services of public auditors and valuers;
    (17) registry of documents, of which copies may be put in evidence.

FRIENDS, SOCIETY OF, the name adopted by a body of Christians, who, in
law and general usage, are commonly called Quakers. Though small in
number, the Society occupies a position of singular interest. To the
student of ecclesiastical history it is remarkable as exhibiting a form
of Christianity widely divergent from the prevalent types, being a
religious fellowship which has no formulated creed demanding definite
subscription, and no liturgy, priesthood or outward sacrament, and which
gives to women an equal place with men in church organization. The
student of English constitutional history will observe the success with
which Friends have, by the mere force of passive resistance, obtained,
from the legislature and the courts, indulgence for all their scruples
and a legal recognition of their customs. In American history they
occupy an important place because of the very prominent part which they
played in the colonization of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The history of Quakerism in England may be divided into three
periods:--(1) from the first preaching of George Fox in 1647 to the
Toleration Act 1689; (2) from 1689 to the evangelical movement in 1835;
(3) from 1835 to the present time.

  George Fox.

1. _Period 1647-1689._--George Fox (1624-1691), the son of a weaver of
Drayton-in-the-Clay (now called Fenny Drayton) in Leicestershire, was
the founder of the Society. He began his public ministry in 1647, but
there is no evidence to show that he set out to form a separate
religious body. Impressed by the formalism and deadness of contemporary
Christianity (of which there is much evidence in the confessions of the
Puritan writers themselves) he emphasized the importance of repentance
and personal striving after the truth. When, however, his preaching
attracted followers, a community began to be formed, and traces of
organization and discipline may be noted in very early times. In 1652 a
number of people in Westmorland and north Lancashire who had separated
from the common national worship,[1] came under the influence of Fox,
and it was this community (if it can be so called) at Preston Patrick
which formed the nucleus of the Quaker church. For two years the
movement spread rapidly throughout the north of England, and in 1654
more than sixty ministers went to Norwich, London, Bristol, the
Midlands, Wales and other parts. Fox and his fellow-preachers spoke
whenever opportunity offered,--sometimes in churches (declining, for the
most part, to occupy the pulpit), sometimes in barns, sometimes at
market crosses. The insistence on an inward spiritual experience was the
great contribution made by Friends to the religious life of the time,
and to thousands it came as a new revelation. There is evidence to show
that the arrangement for this "publishing of Truth" rested mainly with
Fox, and that the expenses of it and of the foreign missions were borne
out of a common fund. Margaret Fell (1614-1702), wife of Thomas Fell
(1598-1658), vice-chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, and afterwards
of George Fox, opened her house, Swarthmore Hall near Ulverston, to
these preachers and probably contributed largely to this fund.

Their insistence on the personal aspect of religious experience made it
impossible for Friends to countenance the setting apart of any man or
building for the purpose of divine worship to the exclusion of all
others. The operation of the Spirit was in no way limited to time, or
individual or place. The great stress which they laid upon this aspect
of Christian truth caused them to be charged with unbelief in the
current orthodox views as to the inspiration of the Scriptures, and the
person and work of Christ, a charge which they always denied. Contrary
to the Puritan teaching of the time, they insisted on the possibility,
in this life, of complete victory over sin. Robert Barclay, writing some
twenty years later, admits of degrees of perfection, and the possibility
of a fall from it (_Apology_, Prop. viii.). Such teaching necessarily
brought Fox and his friends into conflict with all the religious bodies
of England, and they were continually engaged in strife with the
Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists, Episcopalians and the wilder
sectaries, such as the Ranters and the Muggletonians. The strife was
often conducted on both sides with a zeal and bitterness of language
which were characteristic of the period. Although there was little or no
stress laid on either the joys or the terrors of a future life, the
movement was not infrequently accompanied by most of those physical
symptoms which usually go with vehement appeals to the conscience and
emotions of a rude multitude. It was owing to these physical
manifestations that the name "Quaker" was either first given or was
regarded as appropriate when given for another reason (see Fox's
_Journal_ concerning Justice Bennet at Derby in 1650 and Barclay's
_Apology_, Prop. II, § 8). The early Friends definitely asserted that
those who did not know quaking and trembling were strangers to the
experience of Moses, David and other saints.

Some of the earliest adherents indulged in extravagances of no measured
kind. Some of them imitated the Hebrew prophets in the performance of
symbolic acts of denunciation, foretelling or warning, going barefoot,
or in sackcloth or undress, and, in a few cases, for brief periods,
altogether naked; even women in some cases distinguished themselves by
extravagance of conduct. The case of James Nayler (1617?-1660), who, in
spite of Fox's grave warning, allowed Messianic homage to be paid to
him, is the best known of these instances; they are to be explained
partly by mental disturbance, resulting from the undue prominence of a
single idea, and partly by the general religious excitement of the time
and the rudeness of manners prevailing in the classes of society from
which many of these individuals came. It must be remembered that at this
time, and for long after, there was no definite or formal membership or
system of admission to the society, and it was open to any one by
attending the meetings to gain the reputation of being a Quaker.

The activity of the early Friends was not confined to England or even to
the British Isles. Fox and others travelled in America and the West
India Islands; another reached Jerusalem and preached against the
superstition of the monks; Mary Fisher (fl. 1652-1697), "a religious
maiden," visited Smyrna, the Morea and the court of Mahommed IV. at
Adrianople; Alexander Parker (1628-1689) went to Africa; others made
their way to Rome; two women were imprisoned by the Inquisition at
Malta; two men passed into Austria and Hungary; and William Penn, George
Fox and several others preached in Holland and Germany.

It was only gradually that the Quaker community clothed itself with an
organization. The beginning of this appears to be due to William
Dewsbury (1621-1688) and George Fox; it was not until 1666 that a
complete system of church organization was established. The
introduction of an ordered system and discipline was, naturally, viewed
with some suspicion by people taught to believe that the inward light of
each individual man was the only true guide for his conduct. The project
met with determined opposition for about twenty years (1675-1695) from
persons of considerable repute in the body. John Wilkinson and John
Story of Westmorland, together with William Rogers of Bristol, raised a
party against Fox concerning the management of the affairs of the
society, regarding with suspicion any fixed arrangement for meetings for
conducting church business, and in fact hardly finding a place for such
meetings at all. They stood for the principle of Independency against
the Presbyterian form of church government which Fox had recently
established in the "Monthly Meetings" (see below). They opposed all
arrangement for the orderly distribution of travelling ministers to
different localities, and even for the payment of their expenses (see
above); they also strongly objected to any disciplinary power being
entrusted to the women's separate meetings for business, which had
become of considerable importance after the Plague (1665) and the Fire
of London (1666) in consequence of the need for poor relief. They also
claimed the right to meet secretly for worship in time of persecution
(see below). They drew a considerable following away with them and set
up a rival organization, but before long a number returned to their
original leader. William Rogers set forth his views in _The Christian
Quaker_, 1680; the story of the dissension is told, to some extent, in
_The Inner Life of the Religious Societies of the Commonwealth_, by R.
Barclay (not the "Apologist"); the best account is given in a pamphlet
entitled _Micah's Mother_ by John S. Rowntree.

Robert Barclay (q.v.), a descendant of an ancient Scottish family, who
had received a liberal education, principally in Paris, at the Scots
College, of which his uncle was rector, joined the Quakers about 1666,
and William Penn (q.v.) came to them about two years later. The Quakers
had always been active controversialists, and a great body of tracts and
papers was issued by them; but hitherto these had been of small account
from a literary point of view. Now, however, a more logical and
scholarly aspect was given to their literature by the writings of
Barclay, especially his _Apology for the True Christian Divinity_
published in Latin (1676) and in English (1678), and by the works of
Penn, amongst which _No Cross No Crown_ and the _Maxims_ or _Fruits of
Solitude_ are the best known.


During the whole time between their rise and the passing of the
Toleration Act 1689, the Quakers were the object of almost continuous
persecution which they endured with extraordinary constancy and
patience; they insisted on the duty of meeting openly in time of
persecution, declining to hold secret assemblies for worship as other
Nonconformists were doing. The number who died in prison approached 400,
and at least 100 more perished from violence and ill-usage. A petition
to the first parliament of Charles II. stated that 3179 had been
imprisoned; the number rose to 4500 in 1662, the Fifth Monarchy
outbreak, in which Friends were in no way concerned, being largely
responsible for this increase. There is no evidence to show that they
were in any way connected with any of the plots of the Commonwealth or
Restoration periods. A petition to James II. in 1685 stated that 1460
were then in prison. Under the Quaker Act of 1662 and the Conventicle
Act of 1664 a number were transported out of England, and under the
last-named act and that of 1670 (the second Conventicle Act) hundreds of
households were despoiled of all their goods. The penal laws under which
Friends suffered may be divided chronologically into those of the
Commonwealth and the Restoration periods. Under the former there were a
few charges of plotting against the government. Several imprisonments,
including that of George Fox at Derby in 1650-1651, were brought about
under the Blasphemy Act of 1650, which inflicted penalties on any one
who asserted himself to be very God or equal with God, a charge to which
the Friends were peculiarly liable owing to their doctrine of
perfection. After a royalist insurrection in 1655, a proclamation was
issued announcing that persons suspected of Roman Catholicism would be
required to take an oath abjuring the papal authority and
transubstantiation. The Quakers, accused as they were of being Jesuits,
and refusing to take the oath, suffered under this proclamation and
under the more stringent act of 1656. A considerable number were flogged
under the Vagrancy Acts (39 Eliz. c. 4; 7 Jac. I. c. 4), which were
strained to cover the case of itinerant Quaker preachers. They also came
under the provisions of the acts of 1644, 1650 and 1656 directed against
travelling on the Lord's day. The interruption of