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Title: Madame Adam - la grande Française; from Louis Philippe until 1917
Author: Whale, Winifred Stephens
Language: French
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MADAME ADAM


[Illustration: Affectueusement juliette adam (1915)]



                             MADAME ADAM

                          (JULIETTE LAMBERT)

                        _LA GRANDE FRANÇAISE_

                    FROM LOUIS PHILIPPE UNTIL 1917

                                  BY
                          WINIFRED STEPHENS

       AUTHOR OF “FROM THE CRUSADES TO THE FRENCH REVOLUTION,”
         “FRENCH NOVELISTS OF TO-DAY,” “MARGARET OF FRANCE,”
                              ETC., ETC.

                      _WITH EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS_

                               NEW YORK
                        E. P. DUTTON & COMPANY



  PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY
  RICHARD CLAY & SONS, LIMITED,
  BRUNSWICK ST., STAMFORD ST., S.E. 1,
  AND BUNGAY, SUFFOLK.



PREFACE

LA GRANDE FRANÇAISE[1]


“Professor of Energy,” a term first applied to Napoléon I, is a title
which has been bestowed on more than one living Frenchman. None has
better claim to it than Mme. Adam, _La Grande Française_, as she has
been happily called, the story of whose life, which is now running
into its eighty-first year, is told in the following pages.

To write Mme. Adam’s biography is also to write one of the most
momentous chapters of French history. For this remarkable woman has
lived through the Revolution of 1848, the _coup d’état_ of 1851, the
agony of the siege of Paris, the civil war of the Commune, and two
invasions of her beloved _patrie_.

As the mistress of a leading political salon, as the founder and
editor for twenty years of an influential fortnightly magazine, _La
Nouvelle Revue_, as for many years the intimate friend of Gambetta, of
Thiers, of other French ministers, of the representatives of foreign
powers and of such eminent French writers as George Sand, Flaubert,
Victor Hugo, Alphonse Daudet, Pierre Loti, Paul Bourget and Maurice
Barrès, she has not only kept her finger on the pulse of her great
nation, but she has to some extent modulated its heart-beats.

The key to Mme. Adam’s temperament and to all the varied phases of
her career is her passionate belief in self-government, in that cause
of national independence for which the powers of L’Entente are now
engaging in this world-embracing conflict. We may call it a belief,
but originally in Mme. Adam’s case it was an instinct born in her and
inherited from her father, one of the most ardent of revolutionaries.
Mme. Adam is a _revoltée_ to the core. _Toujours hors des rangs_,
Gambetta said of her. In numerous incidents of her childhood
her rebelliousness revealed itself. The growth of her reasoning
powers, however, led her to submit to discipline, to embrace with
fervour—she can never do anything by halves—the republican creed, and
to become the irreconcilable adversary of the Second Empire. Then
the national defeat of 1871, acting upon what she has described as
her _combativité rentrée_ (her suppressed combativeness), turned her
passion for self-government into an ardent advocacy of the principle
of nationality, into a vehement protest against everything which could
in even the remotest manner be suspected of undermining that principle.

Consequently we shall find Mme. Adam loudly lifting up her voice,
vigorously wielding her pen most frequently against Prussian
aggressiveness, but also against imperialistic ideas, no matter in
what shape or form, no matter in what part of the world she can detect
them. We shall find her opposing alike the French tendency to colonial
expansion and the Austrian _Drang nach Osten_, Mr. Gladstone’s later
policy in Egypt and the Conservative coercion of Ireland, the Magyar
domination over the Slav peoples and our war with the Boer Republic in
South Africa. We shall find her also ever glorifying the army and navy
as the most effective guarantee of national independence.

Nationalism is Mme. Adam’s creed, patriotism her religion. French
Nationalists, like Léon Daudet, regard her as having been the strong
tower of the French idea (_la forteresse de l’idée française_)
throughout the forty-four years separating the war of 1914 from the
war of 1870. If in later years Mme. Adam has renounced her father’s
agnosticism and returned to the bosom of the Church, it is primarily
because she considers that only by submitting to the Roman obedience
can she best continue the traditions of her country.

I am very fortunate, for Mme. Adam has throughout taken a deep
interest in this biography. We have discussed it together at length.
Despite her multifarious war activities she has found time to write
me some forty letters in response to my questions. She has also
introduced me to her friend and collaborator in _La Nouvelle Revue_,
Mme. Jeanne Krompholtz, who has kindly furnished me with valuable
information.

For the greater part of Mme. Adam’s life, however, from her birth in
1836 down to 1880, my main authority has been her seven volumes of
_Souvenirs_. These living documents, written, many of them, under
the immediate impression of the events they record, I have carefully
compared with contemporary and more recent writings, indicated by
foot-notes throughout these pages. For the quarter of a century and
more which has elapsed since the close of Mme. Adam’s _Souvenirs_
I have consulted her numerous other autobiographical works, her
contributions to _La Nouvelle Revue_ and to other periodical
literature, and also the frequent references to her personally, and to
her books, which have appeared from time to time in the French press
and elsewhere.

I have to thank Sir Sidney Colvin, who frequently visited Mme. Adam at
her salon’s most brilliant moment, in the seventies, for generously
bringing forth from the rich treasure-house of his remembrance and for
permitting me to incorporate in this book valuable recollections which
enhance, confirm and complement impressions derived from other sources.

Had he lived to see this work completed I should have gladly taken
this opportunity to thank another of Mme. Adam’s acquaintances and
admirers, M. Elie Mercadier, Director in London of L’Agence Havas. For
to his lively talk about _La Grande Française_ and her circle I am
indebted for many a striking trait and useful suggestion.

                                        WINIFRED STEPHENS.

  _London, 1917._

FOOTNOTE:

[1] “_Celui qui l’a baptisée ‛la Grande Française’ a bien dit._”—Léon
Daudet, _L’Entre-Deux-Guerres_, 231 (1915).



CONTENTS


  CHAP.                                                            PAGE

        PREFACE                                                       v

     I. BIRTH, PARENTAGE AND INFANCY. 1836-1839                       1

    II. CHILDHOOD. 1839-1848                                         10

   III. HER FIRST REVOLUTION (FROM A SCHOOLGIRL’S POINT
            OF VIEW). 1848                                           19

    IV. FIRST MARRIAGE AND EARLY YEARS IN PARIS. 1849-1858           37

     V. HER FIRST BOOK. 1858                                         51

     VI. SALON LIFE DURING THE SECOND EMPIRE. 1858-1863              62

    VII. AMONG THE UTOPIANS. 1858-1864                               80

   VIII. HER PRE-WAR SALON. 1864-1870                                97

     IX. HER FRIENDSHIP WITH GEORGE SAND. 1858-1870                 120

      X. THE WAR AND PREPARATIONS FOR THE SIEGE OF
           PARIS. 1870                                              133

     XI. THE SIEGE OF PARIS. 1870-1871                              144

    XII. THE COMMUNE. 1871                                          158

   XIII. GAMBETTA’S EGERIA. 1871-1878                               170

    XIV. _LA REVANCHE._ 1870-1880                                   188

     XV. DISILLUSIONMENT. 1878-1880                                 204

    XVI. _LA NOUVELLE REVUE._ 1879-1899                             212

   XVII. VIEWS ON FOREIGN POLITICS                                  222

  XVIII. THE ABBESS OF GIF. 1880-1917                               236

         INDEX                                                      247



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                         _To face page_

  PORTRAIT OF MADAME ADAM IN 1915                        _Frontispiece_

  JULIETTE LAMBERT. (_From a portrait by Léopold Flameng, 1860_)     71

  THE VILLA BRUYÈRES, MADAME ADAM’S RIVIERA HOME                    117

  PORTRAIT OF MADAME ADAM IN 1879                                   185

  THE DEVICE OF _LA CROISADE DES FEMMES FRANÇAISES_                 193

  PORTRAIT OF MADAME ADAM IN 1885                                   209

  RUINS OF THE ABBEY OF GIF IN THE PARK OF MADAME
       ADAM’S PRESENT HOME                                          237

  THE CASTLE OF VAVEY                                               245



ERRATA


Page 9, note ^1, for _Essay on the Spirit of Comedy_ read _Essay on
Comedy, and the uses of the Comic Spirit_.

Page 63, l. 25, for _Memoirs_ read _Mémoires_.

Page 99, l. 10, _for_ Fagwet _read_ Faguet.

Page 194, l. 24, _for_ parties _read_ parts.

Page 236, Chapter motto, for _heureux on_ read _heureux ou_.

Page 239, l. 8, for _goutte_ read _goûter_.

Page 240, l. 6 from bottom, _for_ Ricard _read_ Aicard.



MADAME ADAM



CHAPTER I

BIRTH, PARENTAGE AND INFANCY

1836-1839

     “_L’émotion, l’ébullition sont en permanence dans nos
     âmes._”—_Mme. Adam, Souvenirs._


In the opening pages of her _Recollections_ Mme. Adam has told,
with more vivid detail than is unhappily here possible, the story
of two generations of her ancestors. Her own career has not lacked
romance; but many of its most thrilling incidents pale beside the
experiences of her forbears. Tracing them back to the Napoleonic Wars,
she presents us with a lively picture of domestic history, which
is as far from being commonplace as it is possible to imagine. For
it embraces moving scenes of rapturous love affairs, extraordinary
marriages, a startling infidelity, quarrels about dowries, and the
story of a son who had a rare precocious experience. At the age of
nine, he found himself already disinherited and sent forth in the
world, cast upon the mercy of the family milkman, with whom he took
refuge. This juvenile outcast was Mme. Adam’s maternal grandfather,
of whom, under the name of Dr. Seron, we shall hear much more anon.
Only by unwavering persistence, and stern resolution did this unhappy
boy escape from his benefactor’s vocation. Tramping to Paris,
boots in hand, to save shoe-leather, he educated himself into the
medical profession and ultimately married Mme. Adam’s grandmother,
Pélagie Raincourt. Pélagie also was a highly romantic person, no
less remarkable than her husband. For on her wedding morning, as the
result of a family broil, by no means rare among Mme. Adam’s forbears,
she escaped in a pet from her mother’s house, and was found sitting
by the roadside, clad only in a nightcap and dressing-gown, by her
bridegroom, who had pursued her on horseback. Swinging her into the
saddle, in order to avoid further escapades, he carried her off to the
church and there married her out of hand. Her sole bridal adornment
was a white carnation, which a woman of the people pinned into her cap.

Juliette in later years was shown the cap and the carnation to
illustrate the story, which she heard from the runaway’s own lips.

Mme. Seron continued all her life addicted to romance. When it became
a question of marrying her daughter, Olympe, Mme. Adam’s mother, Mme.
Seron, a catholic, chose a son-in-law who was an agnostic, because she
was attracted by his appearance and his history. Jean Louis Lambert,
Mme. Adam’s father, had for the sake of his opinions sacrificed
brilliant ecclesiastical prospects, and from the prospective secretary
of the Archbishop of Beauvais had become an usher in the boys’
school opposite Mme. Seron’s house. This heroic youth was taken by
Mme. Adam’s grandmother, educated as a doctor, and married to the
reluctantly quiescent Olympe, who from that time forward adopted that
attitude of injured passivity which was expressed by her favourite
phrase “where you have tethered the goat there it will graze.”

All this happened in Picardy, a province where people lived well and
washed sparingly. The very name of Mme. Adam’s birthplace, Verberie,
with its suggestion of oyster patties and sauterne, made Robert Louis
Stevenson’s mouth water, as he paddled towards it in his canoe.
Juliette remembers how on Fridays at ten in the morning the oyster
cart from Boulogne would arrive, bringing twelve dozen oysters for
her family, how they would all sit round the table, the oyster barrel
in the centre, and how each with his or her knife would open his or
her oysters. Juliette’s grandfather and father would consume four
dozen each, her grandmother and mother two dozen each, while sometimes
there would be a friend who would abstract as many as possible from
his hosts’ respective shares. Wine flowed freely at these feasts. Dr.
Seron was a twelve-bottle man. But fortunately his beverage was only
light Macon; and this, happily for his patients, was not consumed
until he had performed his operations at the hospital. Operations!
One trembles at the very word when associated with Dr. Seron. For,
according to his granddaughter, that country surgeon was a most
diligent cultivator of microbes. Ablutions, as we have said, were rare
in Picard households. A bath was unheard of. Dr. Seron held that the
face should be washed as little as possible for fear of bringing out a
rash. Soap was only used on Sundays. The windows, of course, were kept
tightly shut. Physical exercise was carefully avoided. The women of
Mme. Adam’s family, like old-fashioned Frenchwomen down to the present
day, seldom went beyond their own house and garden, declining even the
attractions of the provincial theatre, for they agreed with Mme. de
Sévigné that _une grande dame ne doit pas remuer les os_ (a true lady
should not move about her bones).

Nevertheless, though their bodies were cribbed, cabined and confined,
these Frenchwomen’s minds moved in the great world of romance, their
fancies glowed with all the fervent imaginings of that effervescent
age. Mme. Adam’s grandmother lived, moved and had her being in the
“Human Comedy” of Balzac. Turning over the pages of his ninety-seven
novels, or sitting over her embroidery frame, she lived the lives of
his five thousand characters. Her unfortunate choice of a husband for
her granddaughter, Juliette, was largely dictated by the suitor’s
resemblance to one of her favourite novelist’s heroes.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mme. Adam, as we have said, was born at the little Picard town
of Verberie, a famous place in mediæval times, the residence of
Frankish kings, whither in the ninth century had come Ethelbald,
King of Wessex, to wed his thirteen-year-old bride, Charles the
Bald’s daughter, Judith. Verberie in the last century was a favourite
place of call for tourists, who in pre-motor-car days used to drive
leisurely from Senlis to Compiègne. Our English poetess, Mary Robinson
(Mme. Duclaux)[2], tells how from the steep brow of a down, known as
“la Montagne de Verberie,” she saw through “the poplar screens of the
precipitous hill-side, a lovely blue expanse of country with the Oise
lying across it like a scimitar of silver”; how her carriage dashed
down the hill “and clattered along the sleepy, pebbly ... street, past
the inn, full of blouses and billiards.”

It was in that very inn, “Les Trois Monarques,” at Verberie that Mme.
Adam was born, at half-past five on the 4th of October, 1836.

Was it a glimpse into their daughter’s future that made her parents
name her “Juliette” after that most seductive of all the queens of
French salons, Mme. Récamier?

No gold or even silver spoon was in our Juliette’s mouth when she made
her first appearance on this world’s stage. At the time of her birth,
her parents’ fortunes had reached a low ebb. Dr. Lambert had been in
practice with his great-uncle in a village not far from Verberie,
and thither to his uncle’s house he had brought home his girl wife.
For the first years of their marriage everything had gone well with
the young couple. Then had come a deluge of misfortunes. Their first
baby, a boy, died in convulsions. Then the uncle died, and his estate
was divided among numerous legatees. Finally, a fire broke out which
nearly consumed the whole village, and, despite Mme. Lambert’s heroic
efforts, burned her husband’s house to the ground.

Thus were Juliette’s parents driven to seek harbourage in the inn at
Verberie, where Juliette was born.

Very shortly after this event, her father, one of the most unpractical
but at the same time most attractive of scientists, was fascinated by
the report of some marvellous scientific experiments, which were being
made in the neighbouring town of Compiègne, by a well-known chemist,
a Dr. Bernhardt. Leaving his wife and daughter to the tender mercies
of mine host of “The Three Monarchs,” Dr. Lambert went off to join
his _confrère_. This Dr. Bernhardt came to be regarded by Juliette’s
family as a veritable German Mephistopheles; for the only result of
his experiments was the consumption of Mme. Lambert’s dowry.

During her husband’s scientific adventures Mme. Lambert and her baby
girl in the Verberie inn were suffering serious privations. And they
might have come near starvation had it not been for the assistance
they received from Mme. Lambert’s parents. But this timely aid could
only be given surreptitiously; for Juliette had had the misfortune
to be born, not into poverty merely, but into one of the numerous
family feuds which were to chequer all her childhood. Between her
parents and her grandparents at the time of the first baby’s death
there had arisen a misunderstanding. For some time there had been
no communication between the Lamberts at Verberie and the Serons,
who lived not far away at Chauny, then a flourishing manufacturing
town, now converted by German vandalism into a heap of ruins. It was
only by the curtest of notes that Dr. Lambert had announced to Dr.
and Mme. Seron their granddaughter’s advent. Had it not been for the
report, brought by one of Dr. Seron’s patients, a friendly commercial
traveller, Juliette’s grandmother would never have known of the sorry
plight to which her son-in-law’s scientific vagaries had reduced his
wife and child.

On hearing the commercial traveller’s news, Mme. Seron, with
characteristic impetuousness, flew into a passion and declared that
she would set off at once for Verberie to rescue her granddaughter
from the parents who were obviously incapable of taking care of her.
Dr. Seron, however, succeeded in convincing his wife that a family
scene would be injurious for the infant, whom her mother was nursing.
He reminded Mme. Seron that the first Lambert baby had died in
convulsions; and finally he induced her to postpone her intervention
until the child was nine months old and might leave her mother without
danger.

Meanwhile the landlord of “The Three Monarchs” was secretly given to
understand that Mme. and Mlle. Lambert must be made comfortable, and
that Dr. Seron might be held responsible for the reckoning.

With great difficulty during those interminable nine months did the
ardent grandmother possess her soul in patience. She occupied the
time, however, in working out the details of the cleverly devised plot
by which she ultimately succeeded in carrying off her grandchild.

Juliette in after years used to delight to hear her grandmother
describe all the stages of that famous _coup_: how the landlord of
the inn was made privy to the plot; how there stood ready a coach,
nothing less than a _berline_, recalling another flight, more famous
but less successful; how in the coach had been placed a warm shawl and
a bottle of hot milk; how, while Mme. Lambert was haggling over the
bill with the landlord, Mme. Seron, bearing a certain precious bundle,
was stealthily stealing to the _berline_ and then speeding away with
baby Juliette to join the diligence outside the town; how ultimately
the stolen jewel was deposited safely at Chauny, whither not long
afterwards her mother followed her.

In vain did Dr. Lambert, penniless and disillusioned, plead for the
return of his wife and daughter. “Not until you have proved yourself
able to support them,” was Mme. Seron’s stern reply; and, she added
relentlessly, “I adopt the child whom you abandoned, whom you left a
prey to the direst poverty. She is mine, and shall be as long as I
live.”

Thus ended the first of those kidnappings which were to recur at
intervals through the first sixteen years of Juliette’s life, until
her first marriage. They arose not merely from the rival claims of
parents and grandparents to possess the child, but from the fact that
each of these four persons held pronounced and divergent opinions as
to the upbringing of their adored one. In the quarrels which ensued,
Mme. Seron and Dr. Lambert were the protagonists; Dr. Seron and Mme.
Lambert played the parts of supers, or supported one side or the other.

We are all, even the most obstinate and strong-minded, moulded, though
often unconsciously, by various intellectual influences. To this rule
Juliette, despite her indomitable will and personal idiosyncrasy,
was no exception. And a study of her mental development shows her
passing through three distinct phases: her childhood and youth, when
her grandmother’s or her father’s influence dominated alternately:
middle life, when broadly speaking she sympathised with her father’s
opinions: her later years, after the war of 1870, when more or less
she was returning to her grandmother’s point of view.

With these two formative forces, with these two remarkable persons,
Mme. Seron and her son-in-law, Dr. Lambert, we must become intimately
acquainted if we would understand Juliette’s character and career.
We must also remember that the time of Juliette’s upbringing was
the hey-day of the romantic period, a time when individualism ran
rampant, when the most Utopian of dreamers believed they were about
to realise their wildest hopes. It was true that after half a century
of experiments in government France had practically settled down for
a while into the jog-trot of Louis Philippe’s reign. But beneath the
veil of the moderate and the commonplace which this compromise of
constitutional monarchy had cast over the country, there bubbled and
boiled a welter of effervescence which twelve years after Juliette’s
birth exploded in the Revolution of 1848.

The national temperament of France during the first half of the last
century partly accounts for the temperament of Juliette’s family,
and for the atmosphere of intellectual and emotional feverishness in
which she was brought up. Looking back from the vantage point of old
age on the stormy scenes of her childhood, she asked: “Were we more
sensitive then, more susceptible, more dramatic than to-day? I believe
we were.”[3] It is not improbable also that Mme. Adam, regarding her
childhood through the long vista of years, may have unconsciously
exaggerated the violence of her sentiments and experiences. One of
her charms is that feeling for the dramatic, with which Gambetta once
reproached her, saying, “_Vous dramatisez trop, madame!_”

“My love for my grandmother and for my daughter,” said Mme. Adam to
me shortly before her eightieth birthday, “have been the two great
passions of my life.”

Of her grandmother, she announces in the beginning of her _Souvenirs_:
“I shall write of her often, but shall I ever ... be able to make her
live with that originality, that passion for the romantic which she
infused into us all, lifting on to the plane of high romance the whole
of our family life and each one of our daily actions?”

Though Mme. Seron hardly ever went outside her own domestic domain
except to attend mass on Sunday, her granddaughter could say that
never had she met a mind “more avid of adventure, more scornful of the
every-day and the commonplace, more eager for the romantic in life and
in literature.”

In no point, save in their passionate adoration of Juliette, did
Mme. Seron and her son-in-law agree. Yet in temperament they were
not altogether unlike; for they were both dreamers. But Juliette’s
grandmother, if she did not possess it, at least respected that
worldly wisdom which Dr. Lambert regarded with the utmost contempt.
He was an idealist pure and simple. We have seen him sacrificing a
brilliant ecclesiastical career to conscientious scruples. We have
seen him risking the happiness of his wife and child in his pursuit of
science. We shall see him again, more than once risking not only his
family’s happiness but his own life in the cause of political reform.

“I am the daughter,” writes Mme. Adam, “of a sincere sectary ... of
one who dreamed of absolute liberty, absolute equality.... Only for a
moment, during the Commune, did he believe his dream realised.”

Jean Louis Lambert was one of those rare persons with tastes both
scientific and literary. But it was only classical literature that
appealed to him. He was a passionate Grecian and an ardent admirer
of the French masterpieces of _le grand siècle_. In the remarkable
literary works which his own day was producing, in the novels of
Balzac and George Sand, which were his mother-in-law’s meat and drink,
he took not the slightest interest. His Homer, on the other hand, he
almost knew by heart; and he made his little daughter as familiar with
tales from the _Iliad_ as are most children with “Red Riding Hood” or
“Cinderella.” Dr. Lambert himself wrote verses in the classic style,
which he would recite to his mother-in-law; but there were others
which were red republican, and which he would have kept from her
hearing had not that _enfant terrible_ of a Juliette caught them up
and repeated them parrot-like to her grandparents. Dr. Seron, an old
soldier of _la grande armée_, was infuriated by poems in which his
son-in-law dared to attack his idol, the Emperor.

Indeed, the family tendency to wrangle was considerably accentuated by
the fact that three of its members (Juliette’s mother took no interest
in public affairs) held directly divergent political opinions. Mme.
Seron was a liberal monarchist, Dr. Seron a Buonapartist, and Dr.
Lambert a social democrat. None of these fervent partisans had the
remotest idea of keeping their opinions to themselves. Consequently,
whenever Dr. Lambert and his wife drove over from Blérancourt, a
village nine miles from Chauny, where Juliette’s father had set up in
practice, the voice of controversy rose high. These debates generally
occurred at meal time. And baby Juliette, accustomed to have the
attention of her doting elders fixed upon herself, strongly objected
to these diversions. She tells how to restore herself to the limelight
she would clamber into the middle of the table and begin to upset the
plates and glasses. The device never failed. Discussion ceased; the
three controversialists would be overcome with laughter, while the
silent member of the group, Juliette’s mother, would suddenly become
active. Snatching her daughter from the wreck on the table, she would
be administering a sound smacking when three pairs of hands would be
eagerly outstretched to rescue the culprit. Thus Juliette learnt
two lessons: first, not to fear her mother’s severity, from which
she might always count upon the indulgence of her other relatives
to deliver her; second, to appreciate “that first born of common
sense,” the comic spirit. In her earliest years it was her inestimable
privilege to have “laughter for nurse, pure fun for friend.”

George Meredith, it will be remembered, divides humanity[4] into three
classes: the non-laughers, the excessive laughers and those who stand
where the comic spirit places them, “at middle distance between the
inveterate opponents and the drum and fife supporters of comedy.”

In the table scene just described, each of these three classes is
represented. Juliette’s mother was a non-laugher, a morbid person
whose lack of fun, as is inevitable with women, degraded her to
be a mere household drudge. Juliette’s grandfather, the jovial
doctor, whose funny stories, nicknamed _Seronnades_, enlivened the
countryside, was of the drum and fife order, an apostle of _le gros
rire_. Juliette’s grandmother and father, though differing in so many
respects, were alike endowed with the true comic spirit. Long years
later, looking back on her turbulent childhood, Mme. Adam wrote: “I
should probably have been intolerable, had not the gay and merry
temperaments of my grandparents ... introduced into our relationship
a jocular spirit which did not admit of solemnity, even in our
grievances. Whenever I succeeded in reconciling them after one of
their disputes, it was because I had made them laugh.”[5] “Certainly,”
exclaimed a character in one of Pierre Mille’s stories, “he was no
Latin, for he took everything seriously.”[6] Juliette Adam, Gallic by
birth, Græco-Latin by education, as she likes to describe herself,
has always been ready to see a joke, even when it was at her own
expense. Thus she is proud to relate, how when at one of George Sand’s
dinner-parties, Flaubert, in Dumas’ presence, pointed out that in one
of her books she had made a man who had lost an arm take a box in both
hands, she joined in the laugh, saying gaily, “_Merci, Maître_.”[7]

FOOTNOTES:

[2] _Fields of France_, 163.

[3] _Souvenirs_, I. 350.

[4] _An Essay on Comedy, and the uses of the Comedy Spirit._ 62, 1903.

[5] _Souvenirs_, I. 127.

[6] _Le Monarque_, 169.

[7] _Souvenirs_, III. 163.



CHAPTER II

CHILDHOOD

1839-1848

     “_De l’amour et de l’indignation furent les aliments dont on
     nourrit notre jeune cœur._”—Juliette Adam, Preface to her
     _Souvenirs_, I. v.


Despite his intense desire to have his adored child in his own home,
Dr. Lambert constrained himself to permit Juliette to remain with
her grandparents until she was three. But on his daughter’s fourth
anniversary her father put in his paternal claim.

Looking back over more than three score years and ten Mme. Adam still
sees that day as the first which stands out clearly in her memory. She
remembers it for several reasons—because of the new white frock she
wore, embroidered by her grandmother; because the _bonne_ Arthémise
on that day called her “Mademoiselle” for the first time; because
her grown-up friend Charles, professor at the boys’ school opposite,
embraced her; because when her parents arrived late as usual from
Blérancourt, on account of the bad roads, her father took her up in
his arms, kissed her, and with tears in his eyes said, “Juliette, how
you have grown, it is so long since I have seen you—three months.”

But above all that day stands engraved on Juliette’s recollection
because in the midst of the birthday feast, there fell like a
bombshell descending on the hitherto harmonious family party, her
father’s words: “This time we shall take Juliette home with us.”
Then there ensued one of those impassioned family scenes which were
so frequent in Juliette’s childhood. Mme. Seron refused to give up
her granddaughter, Dr. Lambert protested vehemently that he would
have his child. The little girl, hardly out of babyhood, was herself
appealed to: whom did she love most—her parents or her grandparents?
Where would she like to live—at Chauny or at Blérancourt? But in the
end Mme. Seron won the day, as she usually did, and probably for the
excellent reason that it was she who held the family purse-strings.

There was, however, in this vehement, romantic, impulsive lady a
strain of consistency and logic. Because during that dinner-table
wrangle with her son-in-law she had based her claim to Juliette’s
remaining with her on the fact that there were better educational
facilities at Chauny than at Blérancourt, she felt compelled to act on
that assertion. Consequently, she lost no time in sending Juliette,
tiny as she was, to school.

But this important crisis in Juliette’s career could not pass without
yet another _drame de famille_. To send so young a child to the
_pension_, to “prison,” as they called it, seemed to the easygoing Dr.
Seron and to the _bonne_ Arthémise, who doted on her little charge,
as nothing short of cruelty. Like a servant out of one of Molière’s
comedies, Arthémise rated her mistress soundly, whereupon she received
an entirely disregarded notice to pack up her baggage and be off.

Of this scene the little victim was herself a spectator. And it was as
a captive, therefore, that she regarded herself, when her grandmother
led her off and delivered her up to her schoolmistress, the grim,
moustached Mme. Dufey, who, with what appeared to Juliette a veritable
turnkey’s smile, received her with the announcement: “I had the
mother, now I have the daughter.”

Then followed a hurricane of a day. Cries, sobs and physical
protestations landed the new pupil in the school garret, wherefrom she
was extricated in the afternoon by Arthémise, who had come to take her
home. But home to her cruel grandmother this wilful child absolutely
refused to go. No sooner was she outside the school gates than she
set off running in the direction of the village where Arthémise
lived. There Arthémise weakly followed her. And it was only late in
the evening that the runaway, having been put to sleep in another and
pleasanter garret, was driven back to Chauny by her grandfather in his
gig.

Juliette felt that she had won a victory. Her grandmother had
certainly learnt a lesson. She now realised that her granddaughter
was the kind of child she herself had been—one of those who must be
led and not driven. Henceforth Juliette was brought up on what we
now call the Montessori system. And the time came when she herself
elected to go with one of her playmates to that same school, which she
now found quite amusing.

Indeed, considering the strongly pronounced and utterly divergent
opinions held as to her upbringing by the four persons who desired to
control her, the only possible course was for the child, as soon as
she was able, to train herself as far as possible.

But there were certain questions which even this head-strong little
girl found settled without her participation. There was notably
the religious question. Dr. Lambert, as we have seen, was a bitter
anti-clerical, an aggressive agnostic of the old-fashioned Voltairean
stamp. Mme. Lambert, Dr. and Mme. Seron were all catholics. And there
gnawed at Mme. Lambert’s heart the painful secret that Juliette
was still a little heathen, for, as the result of her father’s
anti-clericalism, she had never been baptized. To remedy this
omission, without confessing it to her parents, Juliette’s mother
devised a clever and effectual stratagem. Under the pretext of being
present at the wedding of one of her mother’s friends, the little
girl was brought over to Blérancourt by her grandfather. Then at the
end of the wedding ceremony, she was hurried into one corner of the
church and held over what seemed to her a yawning gulf of a basin,
where, amidst her violent protestations, she was transformed, as her
grandfather afterwards told her, from “a poor little unbaptized girl”
into “a big, happy baptized girl.” But this blessed conversion she was
carefully enjoined not to mention to her father, because he did not
like churches.

Whether the youthful convert would have kept the secret is doubtful.
But the opportunity of doing so was reft from her by one of her
playmates, who during the wedding festivities called her, in her
father’s presence, by her baptismal names of “Camille Ambrosine.” This
led to inquiries and to a disclosure, followed, of course, by the
inevitable _drame de famille_. Fortunately for the conspirators an
accident to one of Dr. Lambert’s patients put an end to this extremely
unpleasant situation. And while the Blérancourt doctor was at the
injured man’s bedside his father-in-law seized the occasion to drive
the “little bone of contention” back to Chauny.

Juliette, having been once captured by her catholic relatives, Dr.
Lambert agreed to surrender her mind to their keeping until she had
taken her first communion. And he must have been pleased that Mme.
Seron, with her usual ambitious desire to force the pace in Juliette’s
education, persuaded the Dean to admit her clever little granddaughter
into the Church one year earlier than was customary, at ten instead of
eleven.

“We must furnish the little brain,” was Mme. Seron’s favourite
expression. She herself had never acquired much book learning. But, in
order to educate her grandchild, she for a while put on one side her
adored novels and studied French history, of which she was most eager
that Juliette should take a correct view. That correct view was, of
course, Mme. Seron’s own, and was the contradiction of her husband’s
and son-in-law’s opinions. Juliette’s grandmother taught her to regard
the French middle-class, the _bourgeoisie_, as the salt of the earth,
and the government of Louis Philippe as the only possible government,
infinitely superior to the Buonapartism which Dr. Seron and to the
Jacobinism which Dr. Lambert would have liked to restore.

So Juliette, surrounded by piles of lesson-books, was kept hard at
work till late in the evening, while her grandfather laughed at her
for being a blue-stocking, and dubbed her “Mlle. Phénomène.”

But even the jocular Dr. Seron could sometimes be serious: and he
gravely warned his wife that if she continued thus to press the little
girl beyond her years misfortune would follow.

His warning being unheeded, the prognostication came true. Its
fulfilment was hastened by three weeks at Blérancourt, where Dr.
Lambert talked to his little daughter as if she were grown up, and
by a tempestuous journey home with her mother, followed by an even
stormier _drame de famille_ on her arrival at Chauny.

Juliette fell seriously ill. On her recovery, Dr. Seron, who seems to
have been the only member of the family endowed with common sense,
insisted on his granddaughter being removed from the atmosphere of
school-books and _drames de famille_ to a serener and healthier air.

The child was sent to visit her grandmother’s three step-sisters,
three maiden ladies who lived with their mother, in the heart of the
country, at a village called Chivres, not far from Soissons.

“My aunts! Ah! you must love my aunts!” exclaimed Mme. Adam, as one
day, in the salon at Gif, we talked of these delectable virgins.
And indeed one could not help loving the charming, though eccentric
ladies, _les demoiselles_ Sophie, Constance and Anastasie Raincourt.
They represent a type totally unknown in Great Britain, though I
suspect it might not at that time have been altogether impossible to
discover their counterparts in other French country districts, or
perhaps in remote corners of New England.

The aunts were a bundle of contradictions and surprises. In their
short gathered print skirts, aprons and kerchiefs, they looked like
peasant women, and they worked like peasant women too, at hay-making,
poultry-keeping and fruit-farming. But so distinguished was their
bearing that in their humble attire they had the air of great ladies
in disguise, while their discussion during hay-making of Sismondi’s
_Italian Republics_ showed them to be veritable _femmes savantes_.
Though living in the heart of the country, these original spinsters
took a deep interest in all the literary and political movements of
the town. Though, with their step-sister, Mme. Seron, they were firmly
convinced that a constitutional monarchy was the only ideal form of
government, they did not altogether share Mme. Seron’s admiration
for Louis Philippe. They criticised his policy and approved of the
opposition led by M. Odillon Barot.

In almost every respect Juliette’s life at Chivres was a complete
contrast to her life at Chauny or Blérancourt. Instead of, as at
Chauny, sitting up late over her books and then going to bed in her
grandmother’s stuffy chamber, with the windows tightly closed and the
atmosphere infested by the midnight oil burnt to enable Mme. Seron to
read her romances, Juliette at Chivres, after a day spent in healthy
open-air exercise, lay down with the lamb and rose with the lark,
having slept by herself in a large airy room with the windows wide
open.

Whereas at Chauny no interest was taken in house arrangement, while
picturesque old family heirlooms were regarded as lumber and relegated
to the attic, and any artistic feeling found its only expression in
personal adornment, at Chivres it was just the opposite: Juliette’s
fine clothes were all folded away, and she was dressed like her
aunts in peasant costume; but her natural love of the beautiful
was gratified by the daintiness and artistry of all the household
arrangements, by the handsome old chests and commodes, the embroidered
draperies, the nosegays of fresh wild flowers, and the beautifully
bound books ranged trimly on their shelves.

The intellectual atmosphere of Chivres was likewise entirely different
from that of Chauny and Blérancourt. Dr. Lambert’s heroes, Louis Blanc
and Proudhon, were anathema to such worshippers of the established
order as the aunts. In the light of her aunts’ wide interest in all
manifestations of nature, her grandmother’s concentration on the
merely human aspect of life suddenly appeared to Juliette as intensely
narrow. It was at Chivres that Juliette first acquired that passionate
love of nature which she was later to express so eloquently in her
books. It was at Chivres that Juliette learnt to take an interest in
birds and beasts and flowers, and also in inanimate things, to find—

    “... tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
    Sermons in stones and good in everything.”

In her aunts’ company the simplest actions of rural life acquired
for the little girl some deep significance: watering flowers in the
garden she seemed to be quenching their thirst, gathering fruit in the
orchard she was easing the burden of overladen trees, cutting clover
in the paddock she was receiving a gift from bountiful earth.

For Aunt Sophie even stones and metals had a voice or resonance. She
would place upon a crystal tray various substances differing in form,
some round, some flat, and with a little hammer would play upon them
curious melodies.

While Juliette’s father had brought her up on tales from the _Iliad_,
Aunt Sophie, who was an accomplished Latin scholar, told her stories
from the _Æneid_, which seemed to her strangely like an echo of her
beloved Homer. While her grandmother’s favourite novelist had been
Balzac, the aunts talked to her admiringly of George Sand’s peasant
romances, and vaguely hinted at longer novels by the same author,
which they did not altogether like, but which Juliette would read when
she grew up.

But the greatest contrast of all was the atmosphere of calm which
pervaded Chivres, the harmony in which the aunts and their mother
lived, so different from the perpetual wrangling of Chauny and
Blérancourt. No wonder that Juliette after two months of this
serenity returned to her grandmother a new creature, _in mens sana in
corpore sano_. No wonder that the perfect success of this first visit
caused it to be repeated annually throughout Juliette’s childhood.
Indeed, as time went on, as Juliette grew in years, as the feverish
intellectuality of Chauny and Blérancourt intensified, the summer
visit to Chivres became more and more necessary.

Having done his best to keep his word to his mother-in-law and to
permit her to dominate Juliette’s mind until her first communion, once
that event was consummated Dr. Lambert felt at liberty to educate
his little girl in his own way, in his own ideas, and to make her,
as he expressed it, “his daughter according to the spirit as well as
according to the flesh.”

In his earlier talks with Juliette he had endeavoured to impose
a certain reserve upon his expansive nature. Though finding it
impossible to exclude his beliefs, his hopes and enthusiasms
altogether from their conversation, he had but alluded to them
vaguely, saying, “when you are older I will explain to you such and
such, when you are older you will understand this or that.”

This seed, though sown in an almost infantile mind, had not fallen on
barren ground. Not one of these remarks had been lost on Juliette’s
precocious and naturally speculative intelligence. She was therefore
well prepared to receive with enthusiasm those hopeful doctrines
of liberty, fraternity and equality with which her father now set
seriously to work to inculcate his eleven-year-old little daughter.

On Juliette’s return from Chivres in the autumn of 1847, she paid a
visit to her parents at Blérancourt. And it was then that her father
said to her: “Now that you have discharged your obligations to your
grandmother’s religion, I can speak to you frankly of mine.”

The chief articles of Dr. Lambert’s creed were a belief in human
solidarity and a conviction in the inherent goodness of nature. With
the great Jean Jacques he held society, not nature, responsible for
all the evils which have befallen mankind. His “great negation,” as
his daughter was later to call it, consisted in the denial that the
finite can ever be capable of comprehending the infinite. Nature, he
held, was rich enough and vast enough to satisfy all man’s craving for
knowledge, sociability and love. “If you must worship something,” he
would say to Juliette, “then worship the sun which lightens and warms
you, in whose rays all things germinate, breathe and blossom.” While
for the Christian religion Dr. Lambert had little respect, its Founder
he held in the greatest veneration. While Christ came to obliterate
all distinctions of race and caste, Christianity seemed to Juliette’s
father ever raising barriers between man and man. “Christ,” he used to
say, “came to save what he called ‛souls,’ we [the social democrats]
come to save society (_la personne sociale_) by establishing equality,
fraternity, liberty.”

In days when trade unionism was beginning in Great Britain, and
when Proudhon’s teaching was laying the foundations of future
syndicalism in France, Dr. Lambert was a firm believer in the right
of all men to work, and to insist on receiving for that work a just
wage. “Juliette,” he would say, “I rejoice to see you talking to
a working-man ... as if he were your brother. I want you to be an
apostle of human happiness and universal good. I love the weak and
helpless more than myself. To see struggle and suffering tortures me.
To those who have nothing one must give oneself up entirely, keeping
nothing back.”

At such words the little girl’s heart glowed within her. With all
her passionate little soul she responded to her father’s pity for
the unfortunate, with all the determination of her strong will she
resolved to spend her life helping them.

Though in years to come some of her father’s notions were to appear to
her quixotic, though even then she and her grandmother laughed at his
affecting the workman’s blouse, for example, though as time went on
his extravagance and lack of common sense were frequently to make her
tremble for his safety, she never—not even when intellectually they
had drifted apart—ceased to reverence the breadth of his knowledge,
the range of his charity and his unfailing good nature. The words
_apostle_ and _charity_ ever conjured up before her a vision of her
father. In spite of their perpetual disagreement, even Juliette’s
grandmother would say of her son-in-law: “He is a dreamer, but he is
sincere, and he has a heart of gold.”

Dr. Lambert was indeed one of those intellectual enthusiasts who were
largely responsible for the Revolution of 1848. For these men of 1848
Mme. Adam has always cherished the most profound respect. Though
in after life she came to regard them as childishly ingenuous and
heedless of the possibility of realising their dreams, she has ever
venerated their “passionate altruism,” their “craving to sacrifice
themselves in the people’s cause,” their revolt against that famous
formula ascribed to M. Guizot, “enrich yourselves.” “The men of 1848,”
writes Mme. Adam, “were apostles and saints. Never have there been
more honesty, more virtue, a nobler simplicity. They were no mere
politicians. They were souls in love with the ideal. All those whom
I have known were as sincere as my father ... and to have associated
with them is to honour and cherish their memory.”



CHAPTER III

HER FIRST REVOLUTION

1848

(_From a Schoolgirl’s Point of View_)

     “_Les hommes de 1848 étaient des apôtres, des saints._”—Mme. Adam,
     _Souvenirs_.


Mme. Adam has lived through four Revolutions. The first, that of 1848,
occurred when she was eleven. In the previous year, when she paid her
usual summer visit to Chivres, she found her aunts perturbed by the
political situation. They were eagerly devouring the columns of the
_National_. They were talking of politics from morn till night. Much
to their mother’s disapproval, they brought their eleven-year-old
niece into their discussions. “You are tiring the poor little thing to
death!” remonstrated Juliette’s great-grandmother.

“No,” rejoined her daughters, “the child is quite old enough to listen
and to understand.”

“Besides,” continued Aunt Constance, who was the ironist of the three,
“it will not be unprofitable to you, mademoiselle, to learn, if not
with your ears, at least with your mouth as you yawn, the views on
public affairs held by such highly intelligent persons as your aunts.”

“But,” writes Juliette, “I did not yawn, for my mind was interested in
all matters political and literary.”[8]

From her aunts’ point of view the child saw those surging political
movements of the day at an angle quite different from that at which,
under her father’s direction, she had been accustomed to regard them.

At Chivres her father’s heroes, Louis Blanc, Ledru-Rollin, Proudhon,
were held in horror. As utterly subversive of all public order the
aunts regarded Ledru-Rollin’s famous speech, when, pleading before
the Court of Cassation, the republican barrister had challenged the
Procureur Général, crying: “Procureur Général, who appointed you?”
“The Ministry.” “I, being an elector, may dismiss ministries. In whose
name do you speak?” “In the king’s name.” “I, being an elector—history
proves it—can make and unmake kings. Procureur Général, on your knees,
on your knees before my sovereignty.” While as for Proudhon’s famous
maxim, “Property is theft,” the aunts exclaimed: “Why, it’s the end of
the world.” Social reform had no place in these good ladies’ political
programme. They were content with the existing order. They had no
sympathy with Dr. Lambert’s doctrine of the right to work, nor with
Ledru-Rollin when he declared: “The workers have been slaves; they
have been serfs; to-day they are wage-earners; we must strive to make
them partners.”[9] The reforms which the aunts advocated in their
talks with their niece were merely administrative. What they desired
above all was to see Paris dethroned from her seat as the one centre
of influence in the kingdom. They wanted decentralisation, the revival
of the old provincialism. “Remember,” said Aunt Sophie to Juliette,
“a time will come, I am sure of it, when, after various Jacobin and
Buonapartist experiments, after a series of revolutions, you will
remember how wise, how essentially French, how truly national, were
the opinions of your old aunts.”[10]

The last months of 1847 Juliette was permitted to spend with her
parents. Blérancourt in those days was becoming, under Dr. Lambert’s
influence, a centre of violent political agitation. The number of Dr.
Lambert’s disciples was increasing daily, and his socialistic ideas
were being promulgated in the neighbouring villages. Mme. Seron wrote
constantly demanding her granddaughter’s return. She feared that from
being a Republican, which was bad enough, Juliette would be made into
a socialist, converted from a pagan _naturiste_, as she called it,
into an atheist. Finally, such remonstrances passing unheeded, she
threatened that if her granddaughter were not immediately restored she
would disinherit her, and Juliette would be reduced to depend for her
dowry on such savings as her father might accumulate. This practically
meant that Juliette would have no dowry at all. For Dr. Lambert, far
from saving, could never keep any money in his pocket. In face of
poverty and distress he was a veritable St. Martin of Tours, and would
give away the very clothes from his back. But to one whose mind was
set so far above filthy lucre Mme. Seron’s threat was meaningless. And
to his mother-in-law’s letter he replied that Juliette would not need
a dowry as he had decided to marry her to a working-man. But such a
destiny did not suit Mlle. Juliette at all. She had often dreamed of
a cottage, of a farm, but always with a gentleman (_un monsieur_) for
husband. And when her father told her of this letter, she exclaimed:
“Of course you are joking.” “But no,” he replied; “that really is
my idea.” “Then it is not mine,”[11] retorted this eleven-year-old
socialist, to whom her father’s design seemed utterly preposterous and
cruel to the last degree.

True, she loved the people more and more every day. True, it seemed to
her in moments of exaltation that she was ready to sacrifice herself
in their service; but that she, whom generations had raised above
them, should become one of them, no. Father and daughter were equally
violent. This, their first disagreement, was, to say the least of it,
tempestuous. And it was well that Mme. Seron arrived the next day to
take her granddaughter back to the less exalted atmosphere of Chauny.

Though Dr. Lambert continued to cherish his dream of a working-class
marriage for Juliette, for the time being he ceased to urge its
fulfilment; and for the time being Juliette found it not impossible to
reconcile her socialism with filial devotion.

At Chauny she found that her grandmother’s political principles, like
those of the aunts at Chivres, had undergone a change. Mme. Seron
had lost her passion for the citizen king. She had come to realise
the necessity for reform. Juliette was delighted, and she expected
her father to be equally pleased by his mother-in-law’s partial
conversion. But she did not then know human nature. It was not until
much later that she understood how a partisan is far more distrustful
of opinions differing slightly from his own than of those which are
more remote. Dr. Lambert mistrusted a reform movement led by M.
Odillon Barot as strongly as the aunts at Chivres mistrusted any
reform advocated by that extreme liberal, M. Ledru-Rollin.

Juliette’s schooling had been interrupted by her three months at
Chauny, and also by a visit to Boulogne, to which we shall refer
later, paid in company with her father in the summer of 1847.

After Christmas she returned to the _pensionnat_. Many changes had
taken place in the school during the five years which had elapsed
since that eventful day when she made her _début_ as a scholar. The
ogress, Mme. Dufey, had been succeeded by two friends of Juliette’s
mother, the Mlles. André. The school had expanded, and a new building
had been erected on the site, alas! of Mme. Seron’s garden, in which
Juliette had spent some of her most entrancing hours. On the occasion
of the destruction of this her land of delight, her “temple of
verdure,” as she called it, there had been a long and violent battle
between this little devotee of nature and her grandmother. The excuse
that the garden had been sold in order to provide Juliette with a
dowry did not appeal to her in the least. Money had never loomed
large in the child’s imagination. She loathed the mention of it; for
it always seemed to her to lead to family quarrels. The only use she
had for it personally was for the purchase of sugar-drops, which she
distributed among her schoolfellows.

It was long before the little girl could be persuaded to enter the
building which seemed to her the grave of her brightest dreams and her
most cherished joys.

Now, in the early weeks of 1848, Juliette found her school seething
with a political excitement, which she, with her violent views, was
the last person to allay.

With an important air the young politicians of the Pensionnat André
went about announcing “_l’heure des réformes a sonné_.” The playground
echoed with cries of “Vive la Réforme!” “A bas Guizot!” The sympathies
of the youthful reformers were entirely with the people, _le grand
peuple_. They were transported into a veritable fury on the day when
they heard that “the people” had been massacred, the inoffensive
people, engaged in a manifestation strictly within the bounds of the
law! Upon the heels of these tidings, however, followed quickly the
news that “the people” were revenged. Louis Philippe, after having
twice failed to form a ministry, the Duchess of Orléans, after a
vain attempt to establish a regency, were in flight. “The people”
had raised barricades, “the people” had proclaimed the Republic.
“The people,” read Juliette and her schoolfellows in the columns of
_La Démocratie Pacifique_, had behaved magnificently, they had shown
themselves worthy of every kind of liberty. Not a theft, not a single
violation of property, had been committed. “The people,” in rags
(_loqueteux_) put up notices, “Death to Thieves,” in the corridors of
the Tuileries. “The people,” themselves penniless, had protected the
treasures in the Bank.

On the great day of the Revolution, the 26th of February, Dr. Lambert
came over to Chauny. He was in the seventh heaven of delight. Even
Mme. Seron did not seem alarmed at the monarchy’s collapse. Her
husband, however, was less pleased. He had thought that the Revolution
would be made on behalf of his hero, Louis Buonaparte. And this
soldier of _la grande armée_ vented his spleen on the first republican
who came to his hand. This unhappy republican[12] chanced to be his
son-in-law. “Your Republic,” he jeered, “your stupidly democratic
Republic!”

“But,” writes Juliette, “father only laughed, grandmother smiled, and
I said—

“‛Ah! my poor grandfather, your Buonaparte must be very sick at our
Republic, however socialist he has pretended to be.’”

Juliette remembers that, towards the end of dinner on that fateful
26th of February, her grandfather, having, by way of consolation for
his disappointment, drunk an extra bottle or so of his _petit Macon_,
opening his eyes very wide, addressed his family, and said: “Well! I
see the future as clear as day!... I see your Republic, do you hear
me, Lambert? Do you hear me, Juliette? I see it trampled under foot by
my Buonaparte. I tell you, I scream it at you: revolutions, don’t you
know, always end in empires.”[13]

At school next day Juliette found all her friends in a state of great
agitation. Half of the scholars had stayed away. Their parents had
been afraid to let them leave home. The Revolution might spread into
the provinces. There was a glass factory in the town, and all the
workmen were in favour of the Republic. Might they not proclaim it at
Chauny, and revolt and perhaps plunder?

Hardly had Juliette arrived at school than she was summoned to the
study of the Mlles. André. There she was questioned as to what her
father thought of the situation.

“‛Well, Juliette, your father must be highly pleased, he who has
always been a republican. Have you seen him?’

“‛Yes, mesdemoiselles, he came yesterday, and he is delighted. He says
that at last France will show herself worthy of her history, that she
will govern herself, that all the European nations will admire us and
perhaps follow our example, that it is the coming of the people, the
real people, which is not corrupt like the middle-class, and which ...’

“‛That is enough,’ interrupted the eldest Mlle. André drily. ‛I hope,
Juliette, that you will keep your father’s fine notions to yourself. I
forbid you to speak of them here.’

“‛In the schoolroom, mademoiselle?’

“‛In the schoolroom and in the playground.’

“I looked Mlle. André in the face,” writes Juliette. I was almost as
tall as she; and I replied—

“‛That, mademoiselle, I can’t promise you; for there are a great many
of us republicans in the school, and no one can prevent our talking
about the Republic and loving it.’

“‛But France has not accepted your Republic,’ replied the youngest
Mlle. André, Mlle. Sophie.

“‛It will accept it, mademoiselle, because this time the people will
vote.’”

The Mlles. André were perplexed. They hesitated between their desire
to shut the mouth of their precocious and self-assertive pupil, and
their reluctance to be hard on their friend’s daughter, and also to
annoy the republican parents of the other scholars.

Finally they decided to bring the interview to a close by the
following judicious remark: “When you see your father, Juliette, you
may tell him from us that we hope his Republic will bring peace to
France and not agitate it further.”

On coming forth from the mistresses’ presence, Juliette was, of
course, the object of universal interest among the scholars. They
were burning to know what had passed in the principals’ sanctum. But
they could not satisfy their curiosity until school was over. The
lessons that morning were not well known, and the general excuse was
the Republic. “Mademoiselle, I have not had time to do my lessons
because of the Republic.”

“Mademoiselle, I couldn’t work because of the Republic.”

“I fail to understand,” was the icy retort, “how the Republic can be
any concern of yours.”

There was a deep silence, and then a voice—it was Juliette’s—made
answer.

“But, mademoiselle, it interests us passionately.”

The end of morning school was a regular riot. The pupils rushed out
into the playground, where they surrounded Juliette, in a crowd,
clamouring to receive a full account of her famous interview. She,
on her part, was only too eager to relate it in every detail, and to
follow it by an appeal to her comrades to bear themselves like true
and worthy republicans, not to be insolent towards their teachers, but
to make them realise that, although younger than they, the Republic
regarded them as their elders’ equals. Then followed a babel of
conversation. Each schoolgirl had her own idea of what the Republic
should do. But all were agreed that the first reform must be the
establishment of universal suffrage. No mere tax-payers’ franchise
would satisfy these ardent suffragettes. Every one must vote, men,
women, and, of course, schoolgirls. Only thus could the Mlles. André’s
pupils conceive of a really universal suffrage, and later they prided
themselves on having invented it.

Nothing in the Revolution pleased Juliette’s father better than the
opening of the National Workshops. An ardent believer in the right to
work, he, with his idol, Louis Blanc, had always advocated them. And
though Louis Blanc did not appear to be directly concerned with those
that the Government was establishing, Dr. Lambert, like most people,
believed that he was secretly connected with them. They had not been
running more than a few weeks, however, when he began to suspect that
he had been mistaken. As time went on he grew less and less satisfied
with the Republic. There were too many reactionaries in the National
Assembly. This Republic, from which he had hoped so much, was too
pleasing to comfortable middle-class people like his mother-in-law.

“Jean Louis,” she would say, “I find that I agree very well with your
Republic.” “Wait a little,” her son-in-law would reply at first. By
and by he would answer: “You agree with it better than I do.” And
finally there came a day when he exclaimed: “No wonder you approve of
the Republic, for it is constituted for your advantage! The Orléans
may come back and they will not need to alter anything as far as their
_bourgeois_ supporters are concerned.”[14]

Seeing his dream of a Christian, classical, social, scientific
Republic vanish, Dr. Lambert resumed his old part of malcontent,
and, of course, Juliette followed suit. She filled the house with
her recriminations. She made herself excessively disagreeable to her
grandparents. Her grandfather infuriated her by chuckling with delight
and repeating: “All this augurs well for the Empire.”

That which most distressed Juliette and her father was the failure of
the National Workshops. It had become obvious that, far from being
organised by Louis Blanc, they had been initiated by his enemies.
Émile Thomas, who directed them, was suspected of being Louis
Napoléon’s agent. Far from constituting, as Dr. Lambert had fondly
dreamed, a national benefit and a model for the whole civilised
world, they proved useless and costly. They grew like an ulcer;
as many as 119,000 men were on the pay-roll. They were a club of
loafers, a reserve army of insurrection, a perpetual strike supported
out of public money. No wonder there was talk of suppressing them.
But Dr. Lambert, though bitterly disappointed with the way they
were conducted, was horrified at the idea of suddenly depriving of
occupation and turning adrift these thousands of workmen. It would
mean, he thought, nothing short of a sanguinary revolution. Juliette,
of course, shared her father’s horror. What had “the people,” “the
people” who had behaved so admirably on the 26th of February, done to
deserve such treacherous treatment? She could think of nothing else.
Her rage and disappointment were such that she became absolutely
insupportable. And when her grandmother remonstrated with her, she
implored to be allowed to go to Blérancourt to her father, who shared
her disappointment. But Mme. Seron was still living in dread of her
son-in-law’s threat of a working-class marriage for his daughter.
She had other ideas for Juliette. “Already,” she told her little
granddaughter, “you have pleased young X——, who is seventeen; and
his father, half in jest, half in earnest, because of your age, has
suggested that in a few years’ time there might be an alliance between
the families.” Moreover, Mme. Seron did not wish again to interrupt
her daughter’s studies. So she proposed a compromise. Instead of going
to Blérancourt, Juliette might become a boarder at the _pension_.[15]

This suggestion was a terrible blow to Juliette. That such a proposal
should come from her grandmother, that she, who generally complained
of the length of the school hours which deprived her of her idolised
granddaughter’s company, should now of her own free will suggest a
far longer separation, seemed incredible. The child was quick to see
that her own behaviour had brought her grandmother to such a pass. By
her ravings and recriminations she had made herself intolerable. Her
grandmother was glad to get rid of her.

“I was thunderstruck,” she writes. “Nothing but wicked pride kept me
from throwing myself on my grandmother’s neck and asking pardon for my
folly; for I realised how wild and extravagant I had been. But what
grandmother had told me about X——, a tall youth, whom I thought both
handsome and clever, had so puffed me up that I could not see a young
person like myself, close upon twelve, kneeling to ask forgiveness
like a little girl. So, though my heart was in my mouth all the while,
I merely said—

“‛Very well, grandmother, it is understood, I will be a boarder as
soon as you like.’

“‛To-morrow,’ she replied.”

It will be seen from these reflections that her father’s and
grandmother’s adoration had not, as it might well have done,
completely warped their idolised Juliette’s disposition. They had made
her absurdly vain, but they had not stifled a certain critical sense
which even at that early age the little girl was beginning to turn
upon herself. In this wholesome exercise she was encouraged by her
mother’s severity. Whenever her father praised, her mother scolded.

“When father,” she writes, “spoke of my intelligence and my good
looks, mother declared that I was as stupid as I was plain. It seemed
to me that both of them exaggerated. And I began to judge myself,
as I have done ever since, with a certain detachment. At heart I am
really grateful to my mother for having preserved me from complete
self-satisfaction.”[16]

Juliette’s career as a boarding-school miss, which resulted from her
enthusiasm for and her disappointment with the scheme of National
Workshops, was destined to be as short-lived as that great national
experiment.

It was bad enough to be _un enfant gâté_ removed from her fond
relatives and subjected to all the rules of an institution. But her
personal sorrows were intensified by the thought of hundreds of
thousands of workpeople about to be threatened with starvation. By
this apprehension Juliette’s schoolfellows were likewise depressed. An
atmosphere of gloom pervaded the playground. Instead of playing games,
the girls gathered together to discuss the fate of their unfortunate
compatriots. “There was not one of us,” Juliette writes, “who did
not deny herself goodies in order to save a few pence with which to
help these poor people. We were always counting up our resources. We
thought we might just be able to feed one of them. I decided that we
would address an elegant epistle to the minister Trélat,[17] whom
we abhorred. For him we held responsible for everything. We would
propose to him to undertake the support of one of the workmen from
the National Workshops. Certainly one out of a hundred thousand
(_sic_)[18] was not much; but if every _pension_ did the same, some
would be saved in any case.”[19]

The composition of such a letter was not easy. In order to bring
to bear upon it as much intelligence as possible, the republican
scholars classified themselves in groups, eleven in all. Each group
drew up a draft of the letter. These drafts were compared, the best
passages selected from each, and finally the letter was dispatched to
a friend of Juliette in Paris, that same Professor Charles who had
embraced her on her fourth birthday. He was now a public functionary,
and he was requested to deliver to the minister the all-important
missive.

“Daily,” records Juliette, “we expected the arrival of our _protégée_,
our _atelier national_, as we called him.” He had been instructed by
the famous letter to present himself at the Pensionnat André, and to
announce himself as Juliette Lambert’s _protégée_. His benefactresses
meanwhile were busily preparing for his arrival. Cakes and sweetmeats
were tabooed. “_Nous économisions avec frénésie_,” writes Juliette.
They also, under every imaginable pretext, begged from their friends
and relatives.

One of them had been so fortunate as to obtain a suit of clothes
belonging to her brother. Having cleaned and mended it with the
greatest care, she kept it in readiness for the _atelier national_,
who would doubtless arrive in rags.

Meanwhile the plot was kept a dead secret; for the conspirators
were well aware that their sympathy for _ces monstres des ateliers
nationaux_ would meet with no encouragement at home.

While at Chauny the Mlles. André’s pupils were eagerly awaiting the
arrival of their expected _monstre_, at Paris affairs were moving
quickly. The men who had been paid forty cents a day for digging
trenches in the Champs de Mars and filling them up again were sticking
to their job in defiance of the Government’s orders to disband. The
Socialists sympathised with them and organised street manifestations
in their favour. Finally, on the 23rd of June, the capital broke
out into open insurrection. It was at this juncture that Juliette
received, not the eagerly expected _atelier national_, but a letter
from Professor Charles which dashed all her hopes to the ground. He,
to whom had been entrusted that elegant epistle to the minister, had
basely deserted the young friends who had confided in him. Professor
Charles had no sympathy with the State-employed workmen; he described
them in his letter to Juliette as _ces misérables qui t’intéressent_.
Charles was immediately banished from Juliette’s heart. Her _ex-ami
Charles_, she called him, severely, when she announced to her comrades
this terrible disappointment.

Then there followed much secret confabulation among the Republican
groups of the _pension_. The pupils agreed that while blood was
flowing in the streets of Paris, they at Chauny could not remain
inactive. Already the revolution in the capital was finding an echo in
the provincial town. Bands of rebels were marching down the streets.
Why should not _les demoiselles de la pension André_ join them?
Juliette counted among her treasures a large handkerchief given her
by her father and emblazoned with the words: _Vive la République,
Démocratique et Sociale_. Attaching this emblem to a pole abstracted
from the wood-shed, the girls, under Juliette’s leadership, organised
themselves into a procession and marched round the playground, crying:
“Long live the Democratic and Social Republic. Long live the rebels.
We will not disband. We will not disband.”

This manifestation, the tumultuous scenes to which it led, the defiant
words which she addressed to her governesses, resulted in Juliette’s
expulsion from school. For the Mlles. André rightly regarded her as
the leader of the revolution.

Mlle. Sophie conducted her back to her grandmother’s house. Mme.
Seron was already regretting having sent her granddaughter away.
She would, therefore, have been glad to see her back under almost
any circumstances. But to find her distinguishing herself as the
originator and ringleader of a rebellion gratified the pride and
ambition of her own rebellious heart. So, after listening to Mlle.
Sophie’s story, Mme. Seron said with dignity: “If you regard her
behaviour as a defiance of your authority, then you are quite right
to dismiss her.... But this episode shows me Juliette as I like to
see her, displaying a determination and a courage such as are not
given to every one. Since, without my seeking her, the child has been
brought back to me, neither she nor I will be distressed. I have
rather, mademoiselle, to thank you than to ask you to reconsider your
decision.”

Thus after a few weeks terminated Juliette’s career as a boarder, and,
indeed, her schooldays, for she never returned to the _pension_.

At Chivres, whither, on the 1st of July, Juliette went for a three
months’ visit, she found herself promptly deposed from the pedestal on
to which, as a reward for her defiance of authority, her grandmother
and her father, too, had elevated her. The aunts had never heard of
such nonsense; they scolded her roundly for her conduct. They had
no sympathy whatever with the _ateliers nationaux_. And, during the
violent suppression of the rising which followed, their sympathies
were entirely with the _bourgeoisie_. Juliette was condemned to keep
her opinions to herself, and even to read the newspaper by stealth.
Instead of arguing about things she did not understand, she worked
hard at her Latin. And in the serenity of her aunts’ presence,
contrasting with their educated minds her own empty little head, she
came to see herself as she really was: a pretentious young person,
very ignorant, and fond of airing opinions she had borrowed from other
people.

Consequently it was in a chastened frame of mind that Juliette
returned in the autumn to Chauny. And her grandmother found her quite
willing to fall in with the new scheme of life which she suggested.
The storms of the past had strengthened Mme. Seron’s conviction that
Juliette was a child to be led and not driven. In broaching the
subject of her future studies, therefore, Mme. Seron began with this
tactful observation—

“Now, my Juliette, you will do exactly as you like. You will learn
what you wish, or you will, if you prefer it, learn nothing at all.
But there is one thing in which I do ask you to take an interest:
that is housekeeping. I will give you complete charge of our house
for six months. You shall be its mistress to order and to spend.
I shall merely advise you. As you are fond of the appointing, the
arrangement, the decoration of a home, you will have full scope for
the development of your taste. If you would like lessons in cooking
and sewing, you have only to say so. I want to persuade you, too, that
an art, and above all arts, music, embellishes life. The new organist
is a remarkably good teacher. The piano bores you, but I wish you to
cultivate your voice. And then I have another wish: I want you to try
the violin. But, I repeat, you shall do as you like in everything.”[20]

To these diplomatic suggestions Juliette was graciously pleased to
reply—

“Grandmother, I shall be delighted to keep house; it will be very
interesting. I will certainly learn the violin. That will be quite out
of the common: and I will cultivate my voice.”

How the Seron household fared during the _régime_ of this young
lady of twelve Juliette has not told us. But that her grandmother’s
somewhat bold experiment was in the end eminently successful is
attested by the fact that throughout her long life Mme. Adam has
been renowned as a first-rate _maîtresse de maison_; and that this
reputation is fully justified is the experience of all those who, like
the present writer, have partaken of her lavish hospitality.

As for the rest of her studies, Mme. Seron had been well advised
to leave it to her granddaughter to decide as to whether she would
continue them. Juliette was far too ambitious to be content with her
very meagre knowledge. And it was at her own suggestion that her
father was asked to draw up a time-table for his daughter.

A professor from the boys’ school opposite was engaged to give
her lessons; and Dr. Lambert himself, when he came to Chauny,
superintended her studies. He read her Racine, and persuaded her to
copy daily five pages from the pen of that great French classic. The
doctor, as we have said, was himself a pure classicist. He used to say
to his daughter, “Be a Grecian, Juliette, if you desire initiation
into the worship of the eternally beautiful, into all that raises man
above the age in which he lives.”[21]

In order to accustom his daughter to what he called the admirable
sonority of _notre langue initiatrice_ he read her passages from Homer
in the Greek original. He dictated to her word by word translations
of whole chapters of the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey_. In these lessons,
in his own reading and in his talks with Juliette, Dr. Lambert found
consolation for his bitter political disillusionment. “Books,” he
would say, “are our greatest solace, when everything else is taken
from us they remain.”[22]

He refused to talk of politics. The collapse of the June insurrection,
its brutal suppression by General Cavaignac, and, finally, the
election on the 10th of December, 1848, of his enemy, Louis Napoléon,
as President of the Republic had disappointed all his hopes.

In the glorious days of the Republic’s dawn Dr. Lambert had consented
to be Mayor of Blérancourt. His daughter describes how she and her
grandmother came over from Chauny to see the Mayor, attired in a
workman’s blue blouse and wearing the tricolour scarf tied with red,
plant the Tree of Liberty, a young poplar, in the village square.
In his delight at what seemed to promise the realisation of all his
dreams, this agnostic had become reconciled even to the curé. The
village priest was present to bless the Tree of Liberty. And in his
speech this broad-minded cleric declared that the Republic, if it
practised its doctrines of liberty, fraternity and equality, would
realise the gospel ideal, but that it could only rise to such a height
provided that all republicans in spirit, if not in form, were as
Christian as the new Mayor. Then, much to his daughter’s astonishment,
Dr. Lambert replied that the Republic, with its principles of liberty,
equality and fraternity, had without doubt originated in Christianity;
that Jesus Christ was the first Socialist and the first Republican;
that republicans had much to learn from the Church, but that the
Church on its side had to learn from republicans to adore nature
and to follow science. “My dear Mayor,” said M. le Curé after the
ceremony, “you would accept the Christian religion blindfold if only
it would consent to become pagan.” “Yes,” replied the Mayor, laughing,
“but I want you in return to accept my paganism, which is founded on a
love of nature, on condition that it is inspired by Christian virtues.”

Alas! only a few months later that roseate dawn of optimistic idealism
had faded into the night of grim reaction. One by one the socialistic
experiments of 1848 had failed. The socialist leader, Louis Blanc,
had been discredited and driven into exile. The more moderate
Ledru-Rollin, having, like most moderates, failed to please any party,
had been excluded from the Government. And by the end of the year,
after all her bright dreams of liberty, the one cry which went up from
France was for a strong government. The cry was answered by Louis
Napoléon’s election to the presidency. Old Dr. Seron’s prophecy had
come true. Encouraged by the success of his divinations, Juliette’s
grandfather continued to prognosticate. “Sure as my name is Seron,”
he declared, “Louis Napoléon Buonaparte, from simple Prince Louis,
from simple Buonaparte, will, before the expiration of his presidency,
become Emperor Napoléon III.”[23]

“Alas! he is right,” said Dr. Lambert[24].... “All my beautiful
fabric has fallen, stone by stone; and I am crushed beneath its
ruins.... Juliette, I shall never again talk or write to you of
politics.” But, though abstaining from political talk, Dr. Lambert
could not withdraw from interest in political affairs. Though he had
resigned his mayoralty, though he had severed all official connection
with this sad travesty of a Republic, though the Tree of Liberty
which he had planted had been dug up, he still clung to the vestige
of his political dreams. And he continued to try to carve out a
new destiny for France. If he could not work for her in the open,
he would plot and plan in secret. Dr. Lambert, like many another
disillusioned French republican, joined one of those secret societies
which were being formed all over France. Juliette, when she next
visited Blérancourt, found her parents’ home the centre of mysterious
meetings, her father the recipient of mysterious correspondence which
his wife urged him to destroy. One day, rummaging in the attic,
Juliette chanced upon a hoard of papers, lists of names and letters,
the import of which, enlightened by her parents’ conversation, she was
quick to guess; and instantly there flashed on her vivid imagination
the whole danger of the situation. With Juliette Adam action has
never failed to follow swiftly upon the heels of thought. An hour
or two after that discovery Juliette was busy making herself a big
pocket, which she tied round her waist and wore beneath her frock. In
a day or two that which she dreaded happened. Dr. Lambert’s house was
visited by the Procureur de la République, accompanied by an escort of
gendarmes. To the dismay of Juliette’s parents the Procureur produced
a document entitling him to search the house. He began with the
doctor’s desk in the room where the family was then sitting at lunch.

“What you are doing is not at all nice. It is even indiscreet,”
said Juliette, much to the functionary’s amusement. It was a sultry
midsummer day. Said Juliette to her terrified mother: “May I not go
and tell Blatier” (the gardener, who, with a scared look, was peeping
through the window) “to cool some cider for these gentlemen?” Mme.
Lambert made a sign of assent. A minute before, when she had wished to
go into another room, a gendarme had prevented her. But no objection
was offered to her little girl’s departure. All the while, however,
that she was telling Blatier to draw water from the well she felt a
gendarme’s eyes fixed upon her through the window. While the gardener
was drawing the water, she went down into the cellar, brought up
some bottles, placed them in a pail. Intentionally prolonging the
operation, she went down to fetch another pail, then, turning round,
made as if she would return slowly to the room. But no sooner was
she out of the gendarme’s sight than with one bound, having taken
off her shoes, she flew upstairs to the attic, seized the papers,
slipped them into her pocket, and in a trice had put on her shoes
again, was back in the sitting-room, having apparently come straight
from her cider-cooling in the courtyard. M. le Procureur was still
busily searching. Having examined the living-rooms, he and his escort
searched the stable, the coach-house, the cellar. Then, leaving one
gendarme below, he went up into the attic.

“When father heard them go upstairs,” writes Juliette, “he rose, he
looked very agitated, and I saw mother, saying to herself: ‛The papers
must be there; we are lost.’

“Then, taking a glass of cider, I went up to father, whom the gendarme
was closely observing. He put away the glass I offered him, but I,
as if persuading him to drink, bent towards him and whispered: ‛Be
calm. I have the papers.’ Father drank the glass of cider at one gulp.
I embraced him. The gendarme was touched by our affection. Father
clasped[25] me in his arms so tight that I thought I should have been
stifled!...”

The Procureur de la République came downstairs. Before leaving he
said to Juliette: “Mademoiselle, I am glad to tell you that we have
found nothing to compromise your father. Had we discovered proofs of
the matters of which he stands accused it would have been serious.
For your father’s name figures on the list of those liable to
arrest, imprisonment, or even deportation. He is reputed a dangerous
revolutionary and propagandist to boot.”

“Thank you, sir,” replied Juliette. “As you are so fatherly to me,
you, too, must have a daughter.” The Procureur smiled, but did not
reply.

For the time, this child of thirteen had saved her father’s liberty,
perhaps his life. But she had not placed him out of danger, because
she had not cured him of plotting against the Government. Henceforth,
indeed, until Dr. Lambert’s death, his daughter was to live in
constant dread of her father’s so embroiling himself with the
authorities as to be clapped into prison or even deported. The episode
we have just related was only the first of many times when he narrowly
escaped arrest. When, years later, Juliette was living with her father
in Paris and he was late in returning to meals, she always expected to
hear that he was in prison.

Not long after this domiciliary visit, in the spring of 1850, Dr.
Lambert entertained the idea of giving up his practice at Blérancourt,
and joining one of the phalansteries or socialistic communities then
in vogue. However, he listened to the entreaties of his family and
renounced this project.

“Juliette,” said Mme. Seron to her granddaughter, “how can you wish a
country to be led by persons so wild as your father?” “And, for the
moment,” writes Juliette, “I agreed with her.”

FOOTNOTES:

[8] _Souvenirs_, I. 247.

[9] _Biographie Générale_ under “Ledru-Rollin.”

[10] See _post_, 243.

[11] _Souvenirs_, I. 272.

[12] _Souvenirs_, I. 280.

[13] _Ibid._, 281.

[14] _Souvenirs_, I. 295.

[15] _Souvenirs_, I. 300.

[16] _Souvenirs_, I. 348.

[17] Trélat, Minister of Education, so Dr. Lambert had told
Juliette, had been one of the bitterest opponents of the National
Workshops. But, seeing the danger of closing them suddenly, he had
proposed to dismiss the workmen gradually, and he had appointed his
son-in-law, Lalanne, to reorganise the whole movement. But it was too
late.—_Souvenirs_, I. 298-9.

[18] Nineteen hundred thousand is the number given by Professor
Guérard.—_French Civilisation in the Nineteenth Century_, 201.

[19] _Souvenirs_, I. 305.

[20] _Souvenirs_, I. 325.

[21] _Souvenirs_, I. 317.

[22] _Ibid._, 326.

[23] _Souvenirs_, I. 328.

[24] _Ibid._, 329.

[25] _Souvenirs_, I. 337.



CHAPTER IV

FIRST MARRIAGE AND PARIS

1849-1858

     “_Je vais devenir quelqu’un. J’irai à Paris._”—Mme. Adam, _Roman
     de mon Enfance_.


It will be seen from the events recorded in the last chapter that
Juliette at thirteen was both mentally and morally much more developed
than a young English girl of eighteen or even twenty. Children in
France, largely because they associate constantly with their elders
instead of being relegated to the nursery, grow up more quickly than
in England. A little French girl often is quite a little woman. She
will go with her mother to pay calls, and at home help her mother to
entertain visitors. The system in vogue in Juliette’s childhood of
marrying girls at fifteen or sixteen naturally favoured their early
development. The early marriage was the outcome of the _mariage de
convenance_, which was more general in Juliette’s youth than now. When
marriages were arranged by the family it was unnecessary to wait until
the young people, the bride at any rate, was old enough to choose
wisely for herself. Though it would not have been admitted that girls
were married against their will, though their consent to the marriage
was generally asked, not by the aspirant, usually, but by the girls’
parents, it was a mere matter of form, everything having been settled
beforehand. Moreover, the girl in question, when appealed to in this
perfunctory manner, was not encouraged to consult her heart. Indeed,
that very uncertain and awkward factor is not supposed to intervene
in what is known as the real French marriage. It is essentially a
business affair, a matter of social position and of pounds, shillings
and pence. We shall find, for instance, that in arranging a marriage
for her granddaughter, Mme. Seron’s chief concern was that Juliette
should have an establishment in Paris. This, in the first place,
would give her an opportunity of displaying to full advantage her many
gifts, and, secondly, would enable her fond grandmother to shine in
metropolitan circles, for Mme. Seron hoped to make some arrangement
whereby she could for a considerable part of the year reside with her
granddaughter.

Juliette was not married until she was sixteen. But, as we have
seen, no sooner had she entered her teens than her grandmother and
father began—in divergent directions, of course—to make plans for her
alliance.

It was about this time, that the parents of young X——, a youth of
seventeen, proposed to Mme. Seron that in a few years he should marry
Juliette. The following year brought a renewal of this proposal and
also a second offer of marriage from another quarter. Dr. Lambert
refused to listen to either of these requests for his daughter’s
hand. His persistence in his idea of a working-class marriage for his
daughter drove his mother-in-law into a frenzy and produced another
_drame de famille_. Mme. Seron threatened her son-in-law with the
gendarmes if he attempted to carry out his nefarious scheme. Dr.
Lambert threatened to take Juliette abroad out of her grandmother’s
reach. But in the end Mme. Seron conquered, and Dr. Lambert went off
in a towering rage. For several months he ceased to visit Chauny.

Juliette, who had now grown into a handsome girl, had already
attracted considerable attention at Chauny. Those who are privileged
to know her now, in her declining years, can see how lovely she must
have been in her youth. “She has had that singular good fortune ...,”
writes one of her friends to-day, “to have been adorably beautiful
(_adorablement belle_).”[26] The delicately moulded features, the
animated expression, the satirical glance, the dignified bearing,
the vivacious manner, which at eighty never fail to charm, must have
indeed been dazzling in her far-off girlhood. In a word, Juliette
Lambert was as gifted physically as mentally. No wonder that when,
wearing a pretty blonde cap with pink roses, and escorted by her
grandfather and an old friend, Blondeau, who lived in the same house,
she made her first appearance at the Chauny theatre, there was quite a
sensation, although when she returned her grandmother had to scold her
for having marred her beauty by weeping over the play.

The quarrel between Mme. Seron and her son-in-law having died down,
Juliette was permitted to spend the Christmas of 1850, and to stay on
into the New Year, at Blérancourt.

It was during this visit that she made the acquaintance of the man
who was to be her first husband. She was told one day that her father
expected a friend to lunch, that the guest was an advanced republican
and a Comtist to boot. This was the first time that Juliette had heard
that name of Comte, which she was to learn to know only too well
later. The guest came. He was a barrister (_avocat_) at the Paris
Court of Appeal. But he lived at Soissons, where he was conducting a
series of law-suits on behalf of an aunt. His name was Lamessine. He
was of the south Italian type, with dark eyes, olive skin and shining
black hair, for his grandfather had been a Sicilian who had settled
in France and been naturalised during the Revolution. Dr. Lambert’s
visitor was reputed a man of talent. His brilliant conversation
pleased Juliette; but she detested the scepticism which led him to
maintain that good is merely the necessary balance to evil, and
that society must grow increasingly corrupt until it produces a new
“vegetation.” Against such doctrines Juliette could not refrain from
protesting. There was an animated discussion between the Sicilian,
who believed in nothing, and his host’s idealist daughter, who was
ready to believe in everything that was good. The guest departed
with the words, “And I hope you bear me no grudge, Mademoiselle _la
Batailleuse_.” “I only pray,” she replied, “that Heaven may reveal to
you some knowledge, however slight, of the good and the beautiful.”[27]

In the spring, while Juliette was visiting her aunts, M. Lamessine
came to Chivres. There, though he found _La Batailleuse_ more charming
than ever in her peasant’s costume, which by clever contrivances and
adaptations she had learnt to make extremely becoming, he met with
a cold welcome from the aunts and was not encouraged to return. In
June, however, while Juliette was at Blérancourt, he came to see her
again. Political affairs were moving towards Napoléon’s December
_coup d’état_ and the empire which Dr. Seron had so persistently
prophesied. There was a mysterious meeting at Dr. Lambert’s. And the
next day Juliette’s father said to her, “The crisis is grave; but we
have with us a man in whose veins flows the blood of the carbonari. He
will do something.” That man was M. Lamessine.

In December the barrister came to plead at Chauny. He presented
a letter of introduction to Dr. and Mme. Seron. They, unlike the
aunts, received him most cordially. Having been invited to dinner, he
told Juliette that, influenced by her arguments he had become less
sceptical. She did not believe him. She was vaguely conscious of some
ulterior motive in his words. She felt ill at ease and left the salon
early. On the morrow her grandmother announced that M. Lamessine had
asked for her hand in marriage, that his treatment of the important
matter of settlements was satisfactory, and that he was willing for
Mme. Seron to spend every winter with her granddaughter and her
husband when they should go to live in Paris.

But Juliette was not the kind of young person thus to be married out
of hand and merely to please her grandmother. She was thunderstruck
at such an announcement. She would not dream, she protested, of
marrying a man who was twice her age. In vain did Mme. Seron plead
that M. Lamessine was _très bien_, that his coming was providential,
that resembling feature for feature one of the heroes of her
favourite novelist Balzac, he could not fail to be the most suitable
of husbands. “You must admit that I am right, Juliette,” she said,
and forthwith she took down the volume in question and read the
description. But even this striking likeness failed to reconcile
her recalcitrant granddaughter to the match. Juliette appealed to
her grandfather and to her old friend Blondeau, to save her from so
uncongenial a mating, but to no purpose, for Mme. Seron had already
won them over to her side. There was, however, one member of the
family who would be less easy to convince. And Juliette, as was her
custom, called in Blérancourt to redress the balance at Chauny.
Dr. Lambert, knowing more about the proposed bridegroom than his
mother-in-law, was horrified at the idea of his marrying his daughter.
A few days later when he and his wife came over to Chauny, he was
aghast to find how far things had gone. He would, he declared, never
give his consent to the marriage.

Throughout the succeeding months there followed a long-drawn-out war
of words, enlivened by perpetual _drames de famille_. At one time
Juliette was forcibly carried off by her father to Blérancourt, then
brought back to Chauny by her mother, who desired the match and kept
her at Chauny out of her father’s influence. He, unhappy man, worn out
by domestic grief and political disappointment, fell ill, and during
his illness once again narrowly escaped arrest. Finally, his wife and
mother-in-law broke down his resistance. By their importunity they had
rendered his life unbearable. In a moment of passion he seems to have
said: “Very well, do what you will,” then to have given his formal
consent, without which they could do nothing, and to have signed the
fatal document which sealed Juliette’s unhappiness. Almost immediately
Dr. Lambert repented; but it was too late, and all he could do was to
signify his disapproval by absenting himself from the wedding.

The unhappy subject of so much dissension had been reduced almost to
welcome marriage even with so uncongenial a mate as M. Lamessine as
one way of escape from perpetual family quarrels.

But alas! experience proved that Dr. Lambert’s objections to the union
had been only too well founded. “The man whom they have chosen for
your husband,” her father had written to her, “is not one whom you can
ever love or who will ever love you.”

With a delicate hand and in a few poignant phrases Mme. Adam in her
_Souvenirs_ passes lightly over her married misery. Until after her
daughter was born, in September 1854, she kept her sufferings to
herself, dreading the anguish which a revelation of them would inflict
on her loved ones. It was during her confinement at Blérancourt that
Dr. Lambert discovered her unhappiness. Some months later, while she
was visiting her granddaughter, it was borne in on Mme. Seron that she
had committed the gravest of blunders in marrying Juliette against her
will. Now that the last instalment of his wife’s dowry had been paid,
M. Lamessine shamelessly avowed that he had never intended to keep his
promise of receiving his wife’s grandmother as an inmate of his home
every winter.

“You imagine Juliette happy,” he said. “She is not. Our
misunderstandings are perpetual. If we had you as a third, what would
they be like?”

“Is it true, Juliette, that you are unhappy?”

“Yes,” she replied, “as unhappy as it is possible to be.”

Mme. Seron rose. She leant against a piece of furniture to avoid
falling, for she shook like a tree which has been uprooted.

She reminded her son-in-law of his promises. “They were only
necessary,” he remarked cynically, “as long as you had not completely
fulfilled yours.”

Mme. Seron left the house abruptly. Juliette never saw her again. She
went home to Chauny to die. In eleven months she was followed by her
husband, Dr. Seron, for, as he said, he could not live without “his
dear scold” (_sa chère grondeuse_).

       *       *       *       *       *

During the first three years of their married life the Lamessines
resided at Soissons. But during that time they paid a visit to Paris;
and Juliette had her first unforgettable impression of that brilliant
city which had figured so large in the dreams of herself and her
grandmother.

When Lamessine first proposed to her that she should wean her baby,
Alice, and come with him to Paris, she trembled. For in Paris, she
felt, her lot would be cast. Paris held her destiny. Her grandmother’s
spirit seemed to dominate hers as soon as Paris entered into her life.

“Bah,” said her father, when she told him of her hesitation. “Don’t be
afraid of it. Set foot in it bravely. Look it in the face, this Paris.
One of two things will happen: either you will make your name there,
as your poor grandmother desired, and then the trials of your unhappy
marriage will not have been in vain; or you will break your bonds and
come back to your father. With us you will lead a life, if not happy,
at least free from those marital responsibilities which fill me with
fear for your future.”[28]

The Paris which Juliette visited in 1855 was Paris of the early Second
Empire, “still in the freshness of its hopes and enthusiasm.” It was
Paris of the first universal exhibition, which was visited by Queen
Victoria and Prince Albert, Paris at the close of the Crimean War.

This Paris fully came up to Juliette’s expectations. Never had she
been so impressed save when as a little girl she had caught her first
glimpse of the sea at Boulogne.[29]

“It is impossible,” she writes, “to imagine the complete amazement of
a young provincial beholding Paris for the first time, overwhelmed by
myriads of sights never dreamed of.” From that moment Juliette adored
Paris with all the enthusiasm of her passionate soul. At a closer
acquaintance, during a residence in the heart of Paris extending
through several decades, it has never loosened its hold on her vivid
imagination. We shall find her friend, Gambetta, in future years,
speaking to her of _votre_ Paris.

After a fortnight spent with her husband in an hotel on the Place
Louvois, she still found herself, “uninitiated into the hundredth
part of what she wanted to know.”[30] Herein lies the secret of the
overpowering impression which Paris made upon her: “What she wanted
to know!” Paris was to her the master-key to all knowledge. In Paris
lived the great leaders of thought, with whose ideas her father had
made her familiar, the idealist politicians, whose Utopian dreams she
had made her own. In the streets of Paris had ebbed and flowed the
tide of that wonderful revolution which had found an echo in Chauny
streets, and even in Mlle. André’s _pension_. In Paris might be seen
those exquisite masterpieces of Greek art, the living symbols of her
divine Homer.

Nevertheless a shadow fell even over the radiant exultation of those
first weeks in Paris. From infancy to old age Juliette Adam has always
been ambitious. It was no mere obscure existence in the great city
that she had pictured in her youthful dreams. Hers was to be no diary
of a nobody. Encouraged by her grandmother, she longed for fame. But
alas! her hopes were dashed when she found herself lost in the vast
crowds which thronged the boulevards, when she regarded the miles of
well-filled shelves in the immense halls of the Imperial Library. It
seemed as if the only homage Paris would ever render her would be
the admiring glances of street arabs, who distinguished her as they
had done another Juliette. The young Mme. Lamessine despaired of
ever emerging from the mass, of ever carving for herself even the
tiniest niche in the temple of literary renown. For it was to be a
distinguished writer that she aspired. Already she had quite a hoard
of youthful scribblings, infantile verses which her grandparents
thought wonderful, romances over whose patriotic incidents the
youthful authoress had wept bitter tears, a prize essay, written in
competition with the pupils of the boys’ school opposite her Chauny
home.

During her life at Soissons, it was in study and in literary
composition that Juliette had sought distraction from domestic
unhappiness. Some of her verses, a poem entitled _Myosotis_, had
actually been published and set to music by the cathedral organist.

But it was after her return from Paris that she achieved a success
which encouraged her to hope that, perhaps, after all she might not
pass her life unnoticed.

The popular novelist, Alphonse Karr, was then contributing to the
_Siècle_ weekly articles on social subjects, entitled “Buzzings”
(_Bourdonnements_). A girl friend of Juliette’s, Pauline Barbereux,
used to bring her the _Siècle_ and together they read Karr’s articles.
One of these was on the crinoline, then at the height of its vogue.
After having thoroughly enjoyed himself at the expense of all its
absurdities, Karr declared that there was not a single young and
pretty woman in France with sufficient independence of mind not to
wear it. “There is I,” cried Juliette. “And what if I wrote and told
him so?” For though affecting the full skirt, pretty Mme. Lamessine
had always stopped short of the crinoline. Pauline was delighted with
the idea. So together they set to work to concoct the letter, which
should, of course, be anonymous. The writer, therefore, was able to
enlarge on the charms of this independent young female who refused to
answer to the beck and call of fashion.

“Yes, sir,” wrote Juliette, “there is a pretty woman of twenty who
does not wear the crinoline, who has never worn it, there is one in
France, in the provinces, and that one is I, Juliette.”[31]

Mme. Adam, throughout her long life, has ever been a fervent feminist,
passionately interested in woman’s rôle and position in society. In
her childhood’s desultory reading she had eagerly devoured a volume
on the Fronde. It interested her because women played the principal
part in it. And she was thinking of those _frondeuses_ when she led
her schoolfellows round the playground behind the banner of the social
democratic handkerchief.

It was not unnatural, therefore, that Juliette should insinuate into
this, her first contribution to the press, her own views on feminism,
though they were expressed as far as possible in the style of Alphonse
Karr. To the accompaniment of little Alice’s baby gurglings, she read
the rough draft to Pauline, who, having declared it superb, dictated
it solemnly while Juliette copied it on to magnificent paper. Then the
wonderful document, “_the_ article,” as Pauline christened it, was
re-read, folded carefully, put into an imposing envelope, signed with
a beautiful seal, which was engraved with the writer’s Christian name.
Thereupon, writes Juliette, we _repaired_ (no word less ceremonious
could express such an act) with our precious packet to the post.

Oh, that week, how interminable it seemed! Could it be possible that
Alphonse Karr would reply to the letter? On the night before the
_Siècle’s_ appearance Juliette dreamed of her poem, _Myosotis_. She
interpreted that dream as a good sign. The 20th of February, 1856,
dawned. Would Paris read that letter signed Juliette?... Pauline comes
in breathless, pale with excitement. The _Siècle_ flutters in her
hand. “Juliette,” she cries, “it is all there.” “All.” “And then,”
writes Juliette,[32] “we take two chairs and we draw them close to one
another. We unfold the paper, and each holding one corner, we read.
Yes, the whole of my letter is there. I read it. Pauline reads it.
Not a word has been changed. I burst into tears. Pauline weeps too.
Baby Alice, playing on the carpet, when she sees us crying, begins to
howl. Her godmother, Pauline, soothes and consoles her. I think of my
grandmother ... and I cry: ‛Grandmother, I shall be a writer.’

“I send father my article and tell him how I came to write it.”

This somewhat severe critic replied at length, and for the first time,
it appeared, discerned in his daughter a promise of literary talent.

For the rest of her time at Soissons Juliette read voraciously,
desiring to prepare herself for Paris. Whirled suddenly into the great
vortex of metropolitan life, as she expected to be, she could not hope
to have any time for study. She must, therefore, work hard to fill
up the gaps in her desultory education and to equip herself for the
brilliant career awaiting her.

Finally her hopes were realised. She found herself the mistress of a
flat in Paris in the Rue de Rivoli, with a balcony looking on to the
Louvre and close to the Museum of Antiquities, the temple of her gods.
Her grandmother’s faith in her seemed to be justified.

But alas! as the weeks went on, Juliette herself suffered
disappointment. The society in which she moved was utterly
uncongenial. Her husband’s friends bored and revolted her; they talked
of nothing but business; and her husband himself, when not discussing
affairs, was for ever extolling the doctrines of Auguste Comte, whose
positivism seemed to Juliette the negation of all her idealism. This
disappointment, and the unhappiness of her home life, brought on an
attack of neuralgia. She consulted the doctor of her _quartier_, a
certain Dr. Bonnard, who had already corresponded with her father
about a medical pamphlet, of which Dr. Lambert was the author. The
doctor was quick to see that what Juliette needed was the physic of
congenial society. He himself fortunately was in touch with literary
people. He introduced her to two circles, one poetical, the other
philosophical, where his young patient speedily felt herself at home.
It was through Dr. Bonnard that the charming young Mme. Lamessine
became a member of _L’Union des Poètes_. And it was a member of the
Union, who, on a certain memorable day, took Juliette to see her first
great Paris celebrity. This was the aged Béranger, a poet, whose name
had been one of the household words of her childhood, whose songs
exalting his adored Emperor her grandfather had known by heart.

Never had Juliette seen “a simpler, more charming, more paternal, more
kindly satirical old man.”[33] The poet had read some of his young
visitor’s compositions. And the verdict he passed on them was frank
and somewhat brutal.

“My child,” he said, “you will never be a poet, but you may one day be
a writer.”

Juliette’s reception of this crushing dictum, while showing her
sensitiveness to criticism, proves that her reason had not been warped
by all the extravagant adulation she had received in childhood. For
she bore the veteran poet no grudge for his disappointment of her
hopes. But, from that day, she ceased to write poetry and withdrew
from the Poet’s Union.

As she was leaving, Béranger said to her, “Good-bye, my child. You
will soon forgive me.”

“Good-bye?” said Juliette, “why not _au revoir_? Don’t you like me?
Don’t you wish ever to see me again?”

Shrugging his shoulders and looking through the open windows, he
said, “I think that I shall soon be going up there to see the
_Dieu des bonnes gens_.” He died shortly afterwards at the age of
seven-and-seventy, in July 1857.

Before her reluctant resignation from the Poet’s Union Juliette
had begun to frequent a philosophical circle to which Dr. Bonnard
introduced her. We have seen how from her tenderest childhood her
father had made her acquainted with most of the numerous philosophical
systems—the ideas of Cousin, Fourier, Comte, Proudhon, and
others—which were at that time revolutionising human thought. With her
natural quickness and keenness of intuition Juliette had comprehended
their main principles. Consequently she was not the least confused
by the learned discussions which took place in the salon of her new
friends, M. and Mme. Fauvety.

M. Charles Fauvety was founder and editor of a well-known publication,
_La Revue Philosophique_. Among the chief contributors to this erudite
magazine was the philosopher, M. Charles Renouvier, the author of a
learned work, _Essais de Critique Générale_, in four volumes, which he
was then preparing, and which was not completed until 1864.

M. Renouvier possessed that inestimable gift of lucid exposition,
which is so essentially French. Listening to, engaging in, and noting
down his conversations with his editor, Juliette continued and carried
to a point far advanced for one of her age and sex that philosophical
education which her father had begun. It had long been her habit to
keep a diary and to insert in it accounts of any discussion which
interested her. And it is to this habit that we owe the reproduction
in her _Souvenirs_ of those entrancing conversations which give us so
vivid a picture of the intellectual life of the period.

Throughout Juliette’s early womanhood and maturity there was no one
who exercised a greater influence on French thought than Hippolyte
Taine. His influence was at its zenith in the sixties; but already in
this year, 1857, those who like Fauvety and Renouvier were gifted with
prophetic insight could discern his coming greatness.

The publication of Taine’s _Essais de Critique et d’Histoire_ was a
great event in the circle of _La Revue Philosophique_.

“These young men[34] are admirable,” cried Renouvier.[35] “And seldom
has it been given to forerunners, such as I, to take so great a
delight in their disciples. For I, in a way, hatched Taine.”

“Taine,” said the editor of _La Revue Philosophique_, “will remain
the hope or the anxiety of every philosophical system. He has taken
a scourge in his hands. For the next half-century, he will enthrone
himself on the judgment seat, and he will scathe every idea which
wears out with use. I, as a philosopher, fear him and rely upon him
alone.”

Mme. Lamessine was not the only woman member of that erudite circle.
There was Mme. Fauvety, a clever woman, who had been an actress,
and for a time the rival of Rachel. She mingled intelligently in
the philosophical discussions of her husband and his friends. There
was also a certain Mme. Jenny d’Héricourt, the only member of the
circle whom Juliette disliked. She too contributed to _La Revue
Philosophique_; and she was tainted with that narrow bigotry and
dogmatism which were characteristic of the publication, but from
which the broad-minded Renouvier was entirely free. A blue-stocking
of the most objectionable type, _une vertu farouche_, as Juliette
called her, _la forte_ Jenny was conceited, censorious, pedantic and
an inveterate scandalmonger. Such a person would naturally refuse to
believe that any one so young and pretty as Juliette could have the
slightest comprehension of philosophy. Nevertheless, on one subject
at least the feminine Juliette and the Amazonian Jenny were agreed:
they both detested Proudhon. Jenny had attacked his doctrines in an
extremely able book, which Juliette had read and appreciated; for
the materialistic and purely economic ideas of the father of modern
syndicalism had never appealed to her, and she had fought many a
battle of words on that subject with Dr. Lambert, who admired him.
But, when Juliette ventured to discuss the economist with his female
critic, Mme. d’Héricourt was furious. “Would you believe it,” she
exclaimed to Fauvety, “that young lady actually dares to take upon
herself to underline Proudhon!” It was bold, doubtless, in one so
young and so charming. But Mme. Lamessine, nothing daunted by Jenny’s
gibes, was to be bolder still, as we shall see in the next chapter.

We should convey a very wrong impression of Juliette’s early womanhood
if we represented her as entirely absorbed in abstruse studies and
frequenting only philosophers and blue-stockings. The lighter sides
of life have always appealed to her. As a schoolgirl she excelled
in games, and she has ever loved play as well as work. Now she was
eagerly grasping the opportunities of amusement which Paris of the
Empire knew so well how to offer, especially to one as attractive as
Mme. Lamessine.

Mme. Fauvety took her to the theatre—not to first nights, this wise
ex-actress preferred to wait until the players had perfected their
parts, and it was not until the last performances were announced that
she considered a play really worth seeing. Alexandre Dumas _fils_
was then at the height of his popularity. _La Dame aux Camélias_,
_Diane de Lys_, _La Question d’Argent_, were the talk of the town.
Though Juliette had ceased to write poetry, she had not ceased to
associate with poets. And it was a member of the Poet’s Union who
took her to her first fancy-dress ball, where her escort appeared as
Vercingetorix, and she herself was disguised as the Gallic Cassandra,
Vellèda. She wore a long white robe, confined by a golden girdle from
which hung a gilded scythe. Her arms were bare to the shoulder, and it
was for the first time in her life, she writes, “for even at dances
in those days we wore sleeves.” Her light brown hair with its gleam
of gold hung over her shoulders, crowned with a wreath of mistletoe.
Meyerbeer, the musical idol of the early Empire, happened to be
present. Vellèda made a great impression on this queer little old man.
“Why! she will make me forget my Selika!” (the composition on which
he was then engaged), he is said to have exclaimed. “I am too old to
fall in love with a new face,” and he left the ball-room abruptly.
For months afterwards every morning Juliette received a bunch of
violets with the words, _Souvenir ému à Vellèda_—and one day came a
ticket for a box for the first night of the _Pardon de Ploërmel_. But
she never saw her aged admirer again. Some years after his death,
on the occasion of the first performance of his _L’Africaine_,
Juliette received a ticket for a box in a little casket with a bunch
of violets, tied with a ribbon on which was written _le dernier_.
“She will come to the first night of _L’Africaine_ wherever she is,”
Meyerbeer had said.

Already the Lamessines were in the whirl of political life. On the
14th of January, 1858, the evening of Orsini’s attempted assassination
of the Emperor, while they were shopping in the Palais Royal, a
Sicilian friend, who was with them, was arrested. On the next morning
their flat was searched. But this time there were no compromising
documents for Juliette to conceal. M. Lamessine had no difficulty in
proving his friend’s innocence and obtaining his speedy release.

Those were the days when the long conflict between _sermentistes_ and
_abstentionistes_, which later was to rage high in Juliette’s salon,
was just beginning. The _sermentistes_ were those who consented to
take the oath of allegiance to the Empire, the _abstentionistes_ those
who held themselves completely aloof.

Juliette and her friends at Mme. Fauvety’s were all ardent
_abstentionistes_. They were disgusted when, in June 1857, the first
so-called republican, Émile Ollivier, took the oath, on his election
to the Corps Legislatif. Ollivier’s betrayal of the republican cause,
they regarded as all the more inexcusable because his father, one
of the stalwarts of 1848, was then in exile through his loyalty to
the principles his son had sacrificed. But Ollivier and many others,
who speedily followed his example, had on their side no less a
democrat than Proudhon. That unflinching advocate of the people’s
cause maintained that to take the oath to the Emperor was merely
to recognise the people’s sovereignty embodied in the chief of the
State. Such an argument did not raise Proudhon in the esteem of so
uncompromising a person as Juliette.

FOOTNOTES:

[26] Léon Daudet, _L’Entre-Deux-Guerres_, 235 (1915).

[27] _Souvenirs_, I. 353.

[28] _Souvenirs_, II. 13.

[29] _Souvenirs_, I. 214.

[30] _Ibid._, 16.

[31] _Souvenirs_, II. 25.

[32] _Souvenirs_, II. 26.

[33] _Souvenirs_, II. 30.

[34] Taine, born in 1828, was then twenty-nine.

[35] _Souvenirs_, II. 39.



CHAPTER V

HER FIRST BOOK

1858

     “_L’œuvre de Mme. Juliette Lambert n’est que l’hymne triomphante
     des sentiments humains les plus nobles et les plus joyeux._”—Jules
     Lemaître.


Born and bred in an atmosphere of controversy, inheriting from
her grandmother and father an argumentative disposition, it is
not surprising that in the field of polemics Juliette won her
first literary laurels. Neither was it inconsistent with her
ambitious nature that she should have chosen for adversary the most
distinguished controversialist of the day. The socialist Proudhon
was regarded not only as an eminent economist but as a master of
dialectics.

Proudhon’s masterpiece appeared on the 22nd of April, 1858. It was a
work in three volumes, entitled _La Justice dans la Révolution et dans
l’Eglise_. Announced in 1854, this book had been eagerly awaited by
philosophic readers, among whom was Juliette’s father.

Dr. Lambert wrote to his daughter that she must buy _La Justice_ at
once, and that, as she finished each volume, she must send it down
to him at Chauny. It was well that Juliette carried out her father’s
recommendation, for in a few days the book was suppressed[36] and
its author, who had fled to Belgium, condemned to three years’
imprisonment and a fine of 4000 francs.

Juliette, as she read these pages, was compelled to recognise the
excellence of the writer’s style and the skill of his dialectics.
But the so-called “justice” which Proudhon here metes out to women
could not but infuriate so fervent a feminist. For even a cursory
survey of this book will serve to reveal that the writer here carries
the anti-feminist argument to its extreme verge. No self-respecting
woman could possibly read these pages without being moved to
indignation, unless she resolve to treat the matter as a huge joke;
but unfortunately Proudhon, like most pure economists, had no sense
of humour: he only stumbled into being funny. A breath of the blessed
illuminating comic spirit would have saved him from many a ludicrous
absurdity.

Juliette’s resentment of the philosopher’s sweeping indictment of her
sex was aggravated by his singling out for special condemnation the
two women whom among her contemporaries she admired most. “_J’ai la
folie d’admirer_,” she has said of herself; and with all the ardour
of her passionate soul she admired George Sand and Daniel Stern (la
Comtesse d’Agoult). It was precisely against these two distinguished
writers that Proudhon directed all the vitriol of his invective.
In George Sand’s work he would see nothing but _une orgueilleuse
impuissance_.[37] Daniel Stern,[38] because in her _Esquisses Morales_
she had ventured to maintain that woman need not necessarily be
inferior to man, he decried as _une femme savante qui parle sans
raison ni conscience_.[39]

Writhing under these insults, Juliette went one evening to Mme.
Fauvety’s. There she said to Jenny d’Héricourt, “You ought to defend
the women who are thus insulted, you who know so well how to wield a
pen against the terrible Proudhon. It would be disgraceful to leave
unanswered such abominable charges.”

“George Sand and Daniel Stern,” replied this _vertu farouche_, “have
only what they deserve. I insist upon virtue and I practise it.
Proudhon has not dared to insult me, I am certain of it, though I have
not yet read his book.”

“Very well,” said Juliette. “I am nobody, it is true, although I am
as virtuous as you, and I will reply to Proudhon. Women, they must be
defended by women.”

This esprit de corps, this loyalty not to her sex alone, but to
any cause or party, political, social or religious with which she
has chosen to identify herself, has ever characterised Mme. Adam,
and the conflict of her sense of solidarity with her innate Celtic
rebelliousness is one of the most interesting traits in her psychology.

Thus bravely did this young woman of twenty-two take up the glove
thrown down by the most eminent and the most skilful dialectician
of the day. For two months she was absorbed in the writing of this,
her first book. Most of the work was done at night. She would shut
herself up in her room, where she was alone with little Alice.
Whenever she found time to go to the Fauvety’s, M. Fauvety and M.
Renouvier inquired eagerly after the progress of the great work. Mme.
d’Héricourt continued scornful.

“Well, and this defence of your famous friends, how is it getting on?”
she would inquire derisively. “If you succeed in carrying it through,
God send those great ladies be grateful to you, seeing all the pains
you seem to be taking.”[40]

“Madame,” replied Juliette, “I am taking great pains. But then you
must remember I am but a novice; and you can’t expect one of my age to
have the experience of veterans.”

“Veterans! Veterans!” cried the irate lady. “You mean me, doubtless.
Well, if you defend some of us you are very impertinent to others.”

Finally the book was finished, and entitled _Idées
Anti-Proudhoniennes_. It was read to M. Fauvety, who approved and gave
useful advice. But to Juliette’s dismay he expressed a doubt whether a
reply to so powerful an adversary, so acrimonious a controversialist,
so consummate a master of dialectics would ever find a publisher.

In her passionate enthusiasm for her task, such a horrid fear had
never once entered Juliette’s mind.

“What!” she cried, “my poor book which has devoured my nights will
never see day?”

“You have made a _mot_,” replied the editor of _La Revue
Philosophique_, laughing. “But now you must captivate some great
publisher. Don’t write, but offer your manuscript in person. Who
knows? However, I doubt whether you will succeed when your book has
been read.”

Such an opinion from so competent a critic would have discouraged most
writers. But Juliette, with a buoyant hopefulness which has ever
supported her throughout all the trials of her long career, was not
deterred. She merely concluded that such difficulties in the way of
publication would involve her having to defray the expenses of the
book’s appearance. Consequently she went down to Chauny to demand her
father’s fulfilment of a rash promise that should she ever give birth
to a volume he would pay for its publication.

“I told him,” writes Juliette, “that I had written a book.” “What is
it?” he asked, not unnaturally. But the subject of her book was the
last thing Juliette meant to reveal to this disciple of Proudhon. It
would seem a thing unheard of that Dr. Lambert should be asked to pay
for the publication of a book when he was ignorant of its contents.
But this was Juliette’s request; and she knew her father could refuse
her nothing. She was encouraged, moreover, when she heard him express
his annoyance with the philosopher for his gross attacks on such
devoted republicans as George Sand and Daniel Stern. “You must have
been sadly wounded, Juliette?” he inquired. “Yes, I was heart-broken,”
she replied. Yet she did not enlighten him any further. Nevertheless
she returned to Paris with the thousand francs, which her doting
parent calculated would suffice for the publication of her literary
first-born.

Then followed the search for a publisher. Always ambitious, Juliette
applied to one of the greatest publishing houses in the world. She
addressed herself to M. Michel Lévy,[41] the publisher of Victor Hugo,
of Sainte-Beuve, of Alexandre Dumas, who had recently discovered Renan
in his garret. That famous master used to declare that Michel Lévy
had been ordained by a special decree of Providence to become his
publisher. Such was not Juliette’s experience; for M. Lévy’s reception
of her was, to put it mildly, not encouraging.[42]

“Here is a young lady,” said his clerk, and in what a tone! “who
has come about a book she has written, which she wants the firm to
publish.”

Smiling, M. Lévy looked at his visitor and asked: “The subject of the
book?”

“A reply to the attacks made on George Sand and Daniel Stern in _La
Justice dans la Révolution_.”

“And this reply is by you, mademoiselle?”

“Madame, sir.”

“And you think that a book like _this_ will be published by the house
of Michel Lévy?”

“Oh, sir, I quite realise that I must bear the expense of the
publication of my first book. If you would be so kind as to read it.”

“Useless, madame.”

“What! Do you decide without having looked at it?”

“Oh! I can see perfectly what your ... work is like merely by looking
at you. What do you think, my good Scholl?”[43] said he, addressing
some one who had just come in.

“It would be a pity,” said Scholl, “for madame to become a commonplace
blue-stocking. You are quite right to discourage her, my dear Lévy.
She has something better to do.”

“Monsieur Aurélien Scholl,” replied Juliette proudly, “M. Huegel, near
by, has published a poem[44] by me which may not be as good as your
_Denise_, but my prose may quite well be equal to yours.”[45]

And with her heart in her mouth, her literary personality, as she puts
it, thoroughly humiliated, she left Michel Lévy’s office. Scholl, with
whom she was often to discuss that scene in after years, told her he
had advised Lévy to call her back.

Though for the moment her hopes were all dashed to the ground,
Juliette was unconquered. Her courage has ever been roused by
opposition. And M. Lévy’s impertinence had provided her with a further
incentive to succeed: she desired ardently to prove him in the wrong.
So she continued her search for a publisher; and always it was the
leaders of the publishing world whom she visited. No less than eight
did she approach, not omitting even Proudhon’s own publisher. He
was extremely polite, but he said: “You will understand, madame,
that such things are not done.” At that time Hetzel, one of the most
literary of Paris publishers, was in exile at Brussels. Juliette wrote
to him. He replied:[46] “Either your book is very bad or you use a
coloured handkerchief, and possibly you take snuff. I can’t believe
a woman, who is probably ugly and certainly middle-aged, can have
any right to defend against Proudhon the youth of George Sand and
Daniel Stern or their position in the world. You would expose them to
ridicule, and they would never forgive you. For doubtless Proudhon
would reply to you.”

Here was a dilemma. What was Juliette to do? Evidently none of the
recognised publishers would even read her MS., for they all either
found her too pretty or suspected her of being plain.

On the ground floor of her house in the Rue de Rivoli was a
bookseller, Taride by name, of whom Juliette was an excellent
customer. She took him into her confidence. Would he publish her book
if she stood all the expense? “Why not, madame?” he replied. “We
neither of us run any risk, for we are both unknown, and if we fail,
no one will hear of it.”

Consequently, Juliette put down eight hundred francs, and the book
appeared, in defiance of the bookseller’s advice, in the summer, on
the 15th of August, when, as the saying went, there was not “a cat in
Paris.” But the impatient young authoress, whose hopes had been so
long delayed, refused to wait until the autumn.

On the 19th of the month Juliette installed herself in the
bookseller’s back shop, and inscribed on the fly-leaves of fifty
copies suitable dedications to the most important figures in the world
of journalism and letters: George Sand, Daniel Stern, Littré, Émile de
Girardin, Prosper Mérimée, Edmond About, Octave Feuillet, Jules Grévy,
Hippolyte Carnot and others. Then dispatching an errand-boy with the
celebrities’ copies, she herself took a cab and delivered the books at
the newspaper offices.

This done, her next concern was to go down to Chauny and put a volume
into her father’s hands. What would he say to her impudence in
attacking so great a philosopher, to her _Idées Anti-Proudhoniennes_?
And, indeed, the title was a shock to him. He took the little volume
in his hand, turned it round and round. “What if it’s bad?” he began.
“But if it’s good?” interposed Juliette. “Ah, at your age, even if you
have half a success, you are distinguished for life.”[47]

After dinner, finding her very agitated, he sent her to bed. “_Va te
coucher, Basile_,” he said. “I will read your book to-night, and tell
you what I think of it in the morning.”

At three o’clock in the morning he came into his daughter’s room
and awakened her with the words:[48] “It is good, it is good.
But it is mine. I sowed the seed in your mind of these _Idées
Anti-Proudhoniennes_. My dear child, this means your success, your
salvation,[49] influential friendships, your grandmother’s wishes
realised. Why is she not here at this moment?”

The next morning at breakfast even the usually despondent Mme. Lambert
was gay, although she could not help her customary gloom breaking out
in the exclamation, “I tremble to think what a life of work and worry
this will mean for you.”

Dr. Lambert was eager for his daughter to be off to Paris, there to
receive the congratulations which he was convinced were awaiting
her. And he was not mistaken. Every day brought some new proof of
the attention this little volume had attracted. The book was widely
noticed in the press. The review which pleased her most, even to the
point, she confesses, of for the moment making her lose her head (_cet
article me monta un peu à la tête_),[50] was by Eugène Pelletan, in
_La Presse_. The writer came to see her the day after the article’s
appearance: and from that moment he became one of her most faithful
and devoted friends. The _Siècle_, the periodical which had published
her first prose effort,[51] in the following terms noticed her volume
only a few days after its publication—

“We received yesterday a book destined to produce a profound
sensation. It is a reply to Proudhon and to the insulting attack upon
George Sand and Daniel Stern contained in his last work. This book,
despite its virility, is said to be by a very young woman. The title
of the volume is _Idées Anti-Proudhoniennes_. It is signed ‛Juliette
Lamessine.’”

Virility is, indeed, the dominating feature of this, Juliette’s first
production, as it was to be of all her work. She writes as one having
authority. Her style is crisp, terse, dramatic, vivid and, above
all, forcible. It is essentially the style of a woman of action as
well as of thought. In controversy she has always been at her best.
And she could not possibly have found a subject better suited to her
temperament and training than this answer to Proudhon’s attack on
women. That in this year, 1858, three years before John Stuart Mill
began to write his _Subjection of Women_, three years before our first
woman doctor, Mrs. Garrett Anderson, began to study medicine, a young
woman of twenty-two should have been able to present a bird’s-eye
view of the whole field of feminist reform; that she should, in such
forcible terms, have enunciated feminist principles and contended for
those rights which it has required half a century of conflict to win,
was a very remarkable achievement.

This little book of one hundred and ninety-six pages, polished off in
two months, naturally makes no pretence at being an adequate answer to
Proudhon’s great work, the result of years of laborious effort. It is,
indeed, only with the last part of the book, that treating of women
and of marriage, that the authoress of _Idées Anti-Proudhoniennes_ is
concerned. “Therein,” she writes, “are things which every woman who
knows how to hold a pen has the right to regard as personal insults,
and it is to these personalities that I intend to reply.”

Nevertheless, in her first chapter, entitled “Generalities,” she
permits herself a few remarks on the main trend of her adversary’s
book. She blames the narrow dogmatism which blinds him to the
complexity of the social problem. A pure economist, this founder of
the People’s Bank had attempted to solve the social problem in terms
of pounds, shillings and pence. This Proudhon was the J. A. Hobson
of that day. His absorption in the idea of justice caused him to
forget what is equally important, passion, affection, solidarity and
mercy. “There is no heart in your dialectics,” writes Juliette. “Now
to understand life, you must be yourself alive. Had you the most
powerful brain in the universe, you would never comprehend man and
humanity.”

“Justice,” wrote Proudhon, “had been nothing, it must be everything.”
But for this hide-bound economist justice could exist only between man
and man, for all men should be equal; but between man and woman, who
must ever be unequal, justice need not be considered, for man must
ever dominate woman. And why? Because man regarded as a working member
of the community is more productive than woman, who is physically,
intellectually and morally man’s inferior. Such an argument gives us
pause in these days of the Great War, when manufacturers are telling
us that the average output of women in factories is twenty per cent.
higher than that of men.

Woman, man’s inferior physically, maintains Proudhon, must necessarily
be mentally his inferior also. For physical strength is no less
necessary to the work of the mind than to the work of the body. Here
the retort was obvious; and we may be sure Proudhon’s young opponent
did not miss it. “What, M. Proudhon,” she rejoins; “then a porter will
be a better thinker than a philosopher. M. Proudhon’s God is obviously
the dynamometer.... Force, always force. In force lies the millennium.
That was the opinion of the Prætorian Guard when they chose for
emperor the great Maximin, because he was stronger than a horse.”

Instead of the subjection of woman to man, which Proudhon maintains
to be inevitable, his young adversary contends that the progress of
society requires that men and women shall work together as equals.
“A mere glance at the history of mankind,” she argues, “will suffice
to show that among nations civilisation is in proportion to the
part played by woman, to her influence, to her moral worth; and, as
civilisation increases, the greater will be the value set upon the
position accorded to woman.” This is an argument which no profound
observer of human nature could deny. Unless men and women laugh
together you cannot have that true comedy which is the very salt of
the intellectual life, was the opinion of George Meredith.[52] “Where
the veil is over women’s faces,” he wrote, referring to the silence
of comedy among Eastern peoples, “you cannot have society, without
which the senses are barbarous, and the comic spirit is driven to the
gutters of grossness to slake its thirst.” _Nous avons débrutalisé la
société française_ was the proudest boast of Juliette’s forerunner, La
Marquise de Rambouillet, foundress of the first great French salon.

Mme. Lamessine was one of the earliest French women writers to divine
that which this war is proving: woman’s capacity for work, for which
her asserted inferiority to man had been held to unfit her.

Anticipating John Stuart Mill, Mme. Lamessine demanded that all
the liberal professions should be thrown open to women, and that
women should be admitted to a share, if not in the legislation at
least in the administration, of their country. The rôle of mayoress
she considered particularly appropriate to women. She demanded the
admission of women to those _conseils de prud’hommes_ which in France
regulate disputes between employers and employed.

“_O Nazaréen incorrigible!_” she exclaims, when her adversary falls
a prey to the ancient myth that woman is ever the source of evil and
the mother of impurity. “Men who, like M. Proudhon,” she continues,
“desire to restore the patriarchate by imprisoning women in the family
are _des abstractions de quintessence_ who are blind to all that is
going on around them, who misjudge the collective life which is daily
developing new needs, engendering new forces, and giving rise to
social institutions responding to these needs and organising these
forces. They mean well, doubtless, and they think they are serving
the cause of progress, or at least of morality, which always comes to
be that of progress. By compelling woman to shut herself up in her
family, by limiting her to the rôle of wife and mother, they hope to
put an end to her growing passion for luxury and dissipation.... But
they are mistaken. It is not by limiting the scope of her activity
that they will arrest this disorder, but rather by opening up new
channels for the wholesome play of her energy. Women must be educated
thoroughly, and, wherever it is possible, professionally. They must
be made productive. Work alone has emancipated man. Work alone can
emancipate woman. Let woman provide herself by honest work with
clothes which will adorn and become her. Then, instead of dragging in
the dust of the pavement her lace shawls and her silk skirts, she
will walk free and proud in the modesty of clothes which will reveal
her beauty, without tarnishing her virtue or selling her honour....

“But do not let me be accused of undervaluing woman’s rôle in the
family: I, like Proudhon, believe that a woman’s first duty is to be
wife and mother. But I maintain that family life need not absorb all
woman’s activities, physical, moral and intellectual. The part of a
broody hen is honourable without doubt, but it is not suited to every
one, neither is it so absorbing as it is represented.”

In Juliette’s childhood her father had given her a catechism embodying
the principles of democratic socialism. Now in the last pages of this
book she expressed in another catechism her views of society and of
women’s rôle in it.

The question of the parliamentary franchise Mme. Lamessine did not
discuss in this volume. It is obvious that so ardent an advocate of
sex equality must have believed in woman’s right to vote. Woman’s
suffrage, we remember, was one of the reforms demanded by the
Mlles. André’s pupils when, in 1848, Juliette marshalled them in
the playground at Chauny beneath the banner of her father’s social
democratic handkerchief. But the so-called universal, in reality
manhood, suffrage of 1851 had led to the Empire, and Mme. Lamessine
abhorred the Empire: henceforth therefore she placed no great faith
in the people’s vote, not even if, as she believed, in all justice it
should do, the people included women.

FOOTNOTES:

[36] The edition from which I quote is that of 1870 in four volumes.
The suppressed edition of 1858, according to Mme. Adam’s _Souvenirs_,
II. 66, was in three volumes. In a few years the condemnation was
removed and permission given to Proudhon to return to France. He
elected, however, to remain in Belgium.

[37] _La Justice dans la Révolution et dans l’Eglise_ (ed. 1870), vol.
iv. 203.

[38] Her best-known works are a novel, _Nélida_, and her _History of
the Revolution of 1848_.

[39] Proudhon, _La Justice_, vol. iv. 140.

[40] _Souvenirs_, II. 68.

[41] M. Michel Lévy on his death in 1875, was succeeded as head of the
firm by M. Calmann Lévy, father of the M. Calmann Lévy, who to-day
presides over the business at 3, rue Auber.

[42] _Souvenirs_, II. 74.

[43] A brilliant and fashionable journalist of the day, who was also a
poet and critic. His best-known work is _Le Nain Jaune_. Later, Mme.
Lamessine was to see him frequently.

[44] _Myosotis._

[45] For the discussion of _Denise_ at the Poet’s Union see
_Souvenirs_, II. 49.

[46] _Souvenirs_, II. 75.

[47] _Souvenirs_, II. 79.

[48] _Ibid._, 80.

[49] Referring to the unhappiness of her married life.

[50] _Souvenirs_, II. 81.

[51] Her reply to Alphonse Karr’s article on the crinoline. See
_ante_, 44.

[52] _An Essay on Comedy and the Uses of the Comic Spirit_ (1903), 57.



CHAPTER VI

SALON LIFE DURING THE SECOND EMPIRE

1858-1863

     “_Le Salon était alors ... l’ambition suprême de la Parisienne, la
     consolation de sa maturité, la gloire de sa vieillesse._”—Daniel
     Stern (la Comtesse d’Agoult).


Dr. Lambert was right. Juliette’s book brought her influential
friendships and distinguished acquaintances. It flung her right into
the whirl of Parisian literary and political society.

The two women writers, whom _Idées Anti-Proudhoniennes_ had defended,
both wrote to thank their young champion. Of George Sand’s letter
and of the friendship which some years later ensued between her and
Juliette we shall hear much in another chapter. La Comtesse d’Agoult
(Daniel Stern), after having read Juliette’s book, wrote to her—

“It is surprising, sir, that you should have assumed a woman’s name,
while we women write under masculine pseudonyms.”[53]

“I replied to her,” writes Juliette, “that I was a woman, and very
much a woman.”

Then there followed an invitation to one of the great lady’s evenings.
This was a high honour. For Mme. d’Agoult’s salon in the Rue Presbourg
was not only the centre of the Republican opposition to the Empire, it
was a brilliant and cosmopolitan assembly, a meeting-place for many
of the most distinguished men of the day. Renan, Littré and Émile de
Girardin, here foregathered with Emerson, Heine and Kossuth. The life
of Mme. d’Agoult herself had been as eventful as that of any of her
guests. Born at Frankfort in 1805, she was the daughter of a German
banker’s daughter and the Comte de Flavigny, a French _emigré_, who
had been page to Marie Antoinette. When the Revolution had subsided,
the Comte de Flavigny brought his wife and his daughter, Marie, back
to France. Marie soon grew into an intelligent and beautiful girl
of Germanic type—tall, golden-haired and blue-eyed. Having set her
heart upon a man who married some one else, she refused offer after
offer until well on in what was then regarded as spinsterhood. At the
age of twenty-two she submitted to a _mariage de convenance_ with
the Comte d’Agoult. In a loveless life she found consolation in that
joy of every clever Parisienne’s heart, the creation of a salon. She
delighted to gather the élite of the aristocracy round her in her town
house on the Quai Malaquais, facing the Louvre, or in her country
château of Croissy, fifteen miles out of Paris. Soon this “Corinne
of the Quai Malaquais,” as she was called, became one of the most
attractive of Parisian hostesses. She aspired even to emulate the
seductive Mme. Récamier, whose salon at L’Abbaye-aux-Bois was then
at the height of its glory. But the Comtesse realised that without
_le grand homme_, in other words, without a literary lion, a salon is
nothing. Mme. Récamier had her Chateaubriand. Mme. d’Agoult selected
for her “great man” the poet, Alfred de Vigny. So, while Chateaubriand
was entrancing Mme. Récamier’s guests by the reading of his _Mémoires
d’Outre Tombe_, the Countess invited her friend, Alfred de Vigny, to
read his new poem, _La Frégate_, to an assembly of ambassadresses,
duchesses, and countesses at Croissy. But alas! de Vigny, though a
gifted poet, was no reader. And the chilling silence at the end of
the reading was broken by the freezing question: “Is your friend an
amateur, madame?” “Decidedly,” said de Vigny to his hostess, “my
frigate has been shipwrecked in your salon.”

But a worse shipwreck than that of _La Frégate_ was to attend the fair
châtelaine of Croissy. Some one had described this statuesque beauty
in terms she herself found _not_ inaccurate as “six inches of snow on
twenty feet of lava.” And the lava was soon to melt the snow. Mme.
d’Agoult’s apparent coldness vanished before the noontide heat of an
irresistible attraction, that of the most fatal Don Juan of Europe,
none other than the musician, Franz Liszt, who had already melted many
a distinguished feminine heart.

Casting to the winds her social reputation, her marriage vows, and her
maternal affection (she had borne the Comte d’Agoult two children),
she suffered herself to be carried off from a ball, and spent the next
years of her life wandering over Europe with her lover.

Then, having quarrelled with Liszt, she returned to Paris in 1846, and
settled down, in the Rue Presbourg, to write under the pseudonym of
“Daniel Stern.”

Of course all the doors of her aristocratic friends in the Faubourg
St. Germain were closed against her. But even before her flight she
had made some friends in the _bourgeoisie_; and among them were M. and
Mme. Émile de Girardin. Mme. de Girardin, the Countess had known when,
as the clever and beautiful Delphine Gay, she was the poetess laureate
of the Restoration. Now, married to Émile de Girardin, the Lord
Northcliffe of that day, Delphine was one of the most successful of
Parisian hostesses. While her mysterious husband, that Napoléon of the
Press, that _homme fatal_, of whose origin no one was sure, muffled
himself in a shawl and slumbered in a corner of the salon until such
time as he should go to his newspaper,[54] the vivacious Mme. de
Girardin gathered round her all the great literary celebrities of the
hour, Lamartine, Victor Hugo, Balzac, Théophile Gautier and Eugène
Sue. And in this brilliant circle, the Countess, ostracised elsewhere,
was made warmly welcome. Here she formed her Republican opinions, here
she came into contact with the leading figures of that Revolution of
1848, of which she was to become the historian.[55] Here, in Mme. de
Girardin’s salon in the Rue Lafitte, the Countess replenished her
emptied visiting-list and gathered material for her second salon.

With most of this story Juliette had become acquainted through the
gossip of Mme. Fauvety’s drawing-room. And what she did not already
know was told her by Mme. d’Agoult’s friend, de Ronchaud, whom the
Countess had sent to escort the young Mme. Lamessine to the Rue
Presbourg. Mme. d’Agoult could not have assigned Juliette a more
congenial cavalier. De Ronchaud was a fervent classicist, one of the
founders of that new Hellenic school which was just then coming into
prominence. His delightful talk about Greek art in the book-shop
of Père France on the Quai Voltaire had seduced young Anatole into
playing truant from the Collège Stanislas in order to spend a whole
day wandering through the Galerie des Antiques in the Louvre. Juliette
found de Ronchaud’s conversation equally entrancing. “Our first talk,”
she writes, “was one long hymn to Greece.” De Ronchaud promised to
introduce his young friend to other Hellenists, and he foretold that
together they would bring about a second Renaissance.

What an all-important event was Juliette’s first evening in Mme.
d’Agoult’s salon may easily be imagined. She found the Countess,
like many other distinguished Frenchwomen, anticipating her age, for
although she was only fifty-three, she wore over her silver hair a
light black lace mantilla. At the first glance she gave Juliette
the impression of strength, almost virile, and yet of femininity.
“_J’ai atteint l’âge d’homme_,” she used to say, echoing Catherine of
Russia’s sentiment when she welcomed Diderot with the words: “As man
to man we can discuss anything.” Tall and superbly graceful, it seemed
to Juliette that she had never seen a more complete great lady. When
Mme. d’Agoult described herself as a Democrat, it was difficult to
suppress a smile, so anomalous on her lips sounded such a word. Her
bearing, the pose of her head, her features, the lines of her face
which betrayed no trace of the tempestuous passion that had swept over
her in youth; everything about Mme. d’Agoult was aristocratic.

In the general conversation of her salon the Countess took little
part, but, seated on the right of the fireplace, she would carry on
a _tête-à-tête_ with some single person. Unlike many another salon
lady, Mme. du Deffand or Mme. de Staël or Juliette herself, she was no
maker of _mots_; nor was she ready with repartee. She herself could
never understand how she came by her reputation of a wit;[56] for she
knew that she never appeared at her best in conversation. She was too
reserved, too self-conscious to be a vivacious talker, and she could
only be eloquent when intense feeling took her out of herself.[57]

Grave and a trifle solemn, her salon was frequented by serious
students, such as Littré, who rarely went anywhere else, as well as
by more sociable philosophers like Renan. The subjects discussed were
politics, philosophy, art (music especially), serious literature, but
seldom plays or novels. The guests were too addicted to monologue; and
too often some weighty personage, leaning against the mantel-piece
would discourse at such length that his talk became a veritable
lecture. Sometimes Mme. d’Agoult would read a letter from some foreign
correspondent, a famous revolutionary like Mazzini or Kossuth; for she
had relations with the whole of Europe, including those illustrious
Frenchmen whom Louis Napoléon’s _coup d’état_ of December 1851 had
driven into exile.

Though all Mme. d’Agoult’s friends were republicans and therefore
opposed to the Empire, they were not all agreed as to the best way of
conducting the opposition. About this year, 1858, two distinct parties
were beginning to define themselves: the extreme republicans who,
like Juliette and her father, believed in keeping entirely aloof from
imperial politics, and who regarded as traitors to Republicanism any
who should, no matter for what purpose, consent to swear allegiance
to the Emperor. These uncompromising anti-imperialists went by the
name of _abstentionistes_. But there was also coming into existence
a more moderate party led by Mme. d’Agoult’s son-in-law, Émile
Ollivier.[58] They held that opposition to the Empire could be most
effectively carried out by entering the Corps Legislatif, for which
it was necessary to take the oath of allegiance. This party, known as
_sermentistes_, was to grow in strength until it succeeded in forcing
its so-called Liberalism on the Emperor, and establishing what is
known as _L’Empire Libéral_.

Juliette’s uncompromising nature, as we have seen, made it impossible
for her to approve of the _Sermentistes_. And she loses no opportunity
of ridiculing _les petits Olliviers_, as Ollivier’s followers were
called, when they appeared in Mme. d’Agoult’s salon. Indeed, the
Countess herself opposed her son-in-law’s policy; and, after her
daughter’s death, there was an open breach between them.

From the very first the pretty, vivacious Mme. Lamessine made a highly
favourable impression on Mme. d’Agoult. “She took the trouble,” writes
Juliette, “to convert a little provincial into a society lady.[59]
She encouraged me to talk of my work. When you are perplexed, come and
tell me,” she would say. “I shall be delighted to give you the benefit
of my observation of mankind and of all I have learnt in the hard
school of experience.”

Soon Juliette’s invitation to the Countess’s evenings was extended to
those smaller intimate parties, which met around the luncheon or the
dinner-table. On these occasions the Hellenist, Louis de Ronchaud, was
almost invariably her fellow-guest.

Mme. d’Agoult laughed at Juliette’s passion for antiquity. “My
dear child,” she would say, “you must be of your time. At your age
you ought not to be so _antique_.... I shall take you to the Opéra
Bouffes” (the Italian theatre). “That will modernise you a little.”

“For the love of Greece, remain Greek,” pleaded de Ronchaud. But,
indeed, there was no fear of the Opéra Bouffes perverting Juliette
from Hellenism; for Offenbach’s caricaturing of her Homeric deities
in _Orphée aux Enfers_ so outraged her Grecian sympathies that
Mme. d’Agoult was constrained to make amends by inviting her to a
neo-Grecian dinner. “It will be a pagan party,” the Countess said.
“De Ronchaud has arranged it.” The other guests were two brilliant
Hellenists, Ménard and Saint Victor. They began by discussing the now
much-disputed importance of a classical education. These neo-Grecians
were firmly persuaded that the classics alone can inculcate those
superior ideas of justice and heroism, which are all the more salutary
because for ages they have permeated the race. Naturally they lamented
over what seemed to them the decadence of French society under the
Empire. Ménard maintained that periods of intellectual decadence are
invariably periods of mechanical progress and of political despotism.

Then the worshippers of ancient Hellas fell with equal zest and
vivacity to discussing the antiquity of the Orphic mysteries.

How intensely alive for Juliette was this Hellenic past she has proved
over and over again in her literary work, and most notably in three
novels she was to produce some years later, _Laide_ (1878), _Grecque_
(1879), and _Païenne_ (1883).[60]

That great wave of philosophic speculation which was sweeping through
France could not fail to affect so intellectual a salon as Mme.
d’Agoult’s. An earlier dinner-party, Juliette’s first at the Rue
Presbourg, had been a veritable symposium of philosophers. The great
Littré,[61] the eloquent exponent of Comte’s philosophy, was the lion
of the evening. His famous _Etymological Dictionary of the French
Language_ was then going through the Press.

“Littré,” writes Juliette, “inspired me with a sentiment which was
almost worship.” When they had met before they had talked of Greece.
The editor of Hippocrates and Pliny, though laughing at his young
friend’s fervent passion for ancient Hellas, had been able to reveal
to her things in the _Iliad_ which neither she nor her father had
dreamed of.

Among the other guests were De Ronchaud, of course; Hippolyte
Carnot, son of the “Organiser of Victory,” and editor of one of
the leading magazines of the day, _La Revue Encyclopédique_;[62]
Dupont-White, the friend of John Stuart Mill, a bold thinker and an
ardent apologist of centralisation in government. In the presence
of such an august philosophic trio Juliette for the first part of
the dinner was content to listen; and we may be sure that, like her
illustrious namesake, Mme. Récamier, she listened “with seduction.”
But towards the end of the evening we find her warmed to take part in
the discussion. Although she admired, almost worshipped Littré, she
could not tolerate his positivism. Positivism suggested Comte, and
Comte suggested the husband whose conduct was rendering her domestic
life unbearable. But Littré seemed to her to out-Comte even Comte;
for Littré would stifle the slightest breath of idealism. While Comte
admitted that there are as many arguments for as against the existence
of an unknowable, Littré seemed to Juliette absolutely to deny it.
This may have been so at that time; but surely Littré must later have
become less dogmatic. For we remember Paul Bourget’s description of
“Old Littré” as a saint who spoke eloquently of that ocean of mystery
washing our very shores, but over the waters of which we have no
barque to carry us.[63]

When Littré maintained that as “light cannot exist without a luminous
body, neither can life without organs nor spirit without matter,”
Juliette protested that vehicles are not essences. “The Homeric past,”
she added, “presents us with a poetic conception of things which
encourages the belief that the future has something better in store
than your immutable law and its brutality.”

“Yes, I agree,” replied Littré, “the immutable law is brutal in its
partial manifestations, but its general action, based on the unvarying
conditions of proportion and order, inspires us with the idea of
absolute justice.”

Against such determinism Juliette revolted with all the fervour of her
rebellious and romantic soul.

“I protest,” she said. “If I feel myself a mere atom of dust swept
about by the wind and not an intelligence dominating matter, why
should I make any effort?”

“Because action is the law of humanity.”

“Ah! but for me belief in man led by the spirit and nature by the
divine is a necessity.” Here, in these words indicating so plainly the
wish to believe, lies the key to Juliette’s whole mental and spiritual
evolution. It was a key which her philosopher friends were quick to
grasp.

“We shall see this pagan turning Christian,” said Littré.

“And I should not be at all sorry,” remarked Mme. d’Agoult, “if it
were only for the pleasure of exasperating that Hellenising Ronchaud.”

Juliette and her hostess would appear to have been the only women
at these dinner-parties. There may have been others, whom Juliette
does not mention. But Mme. d’Agoult was essentially a man’s woman.
The wives of her guests, with very few exceptions, did not interest
her. There were, however, a few clever and distinguished women who
frequented her salon. There was the masculine Mme. Royer, who was
as much of a blue-stocking as her friend Jenny d’Héricourt, and
whom Juliette equally detested; there was the heroic Mme. Hippolyte
Carnot, the Cornelia of French republicans, who, when her husband was
resisting Louis Napoléon in December 1851, said, “If you die you will
bequeath to your sons the example you inherited from your father.”
Then there was that queen of _raconteuses_, the witty but rather
Rabelaisian Comtesse de Pierreclos, the poet Lamartine’s niece. This
tall and powerfully-built lady, with large prominent features, was
one of the most striking figures in salon society. She was pleased to
joke about her own appearance. Being asked what part she would take
in a play, she replied, “I think mine should be the part of the bust
of Louis Philippe.” But if other people attempted to make fun of her
she resented it strongly. Thus when she said she had met a certain
person face to face, which in French is “nose to nose,” and some one
ejaculated, “Then it must have been yours that conquered,” she was on
the point of bursting into tears.[64] But Mme. de Pierreclos passed
as quick as lightning from tears to laughter. She and Juliette were
equally exuberant and impulsive. Perhaps it was this that made them
sworn friends. They corresponded regularly, and during Juliette’s
frequent absences from Paris she depended on her friend to keep her
_au courant_ with all the doings of the metropolis, with the latest
_mot_, the last scandal, the newest play and the best music.

For Juliette’s interests were far from being concentrated on
philosophy or even on neo-Hellenism. Plays, picture-shows, fancy-dress
balls and the opera crowded her days, leaving her, one might have
thought, no time for literary work. Nevertheless, she had contrived
before 1863 to produce a novel, _Le Mandarin_, three volumes of short
stories, _Mon Village_, _Récits d’une Paysanne_, _Voyage autour du
Grand Pin_, besides pamphlets on public questions and newspaper
articles.

[Illustration: JULIETTE LAMBERT

From a portrait by Léopold Flameng, 1860]

Among all these various pleasures and duties one wonders what became
of Juliette’s little daughter Alice. The child was now old enough to
notice the strained relations between her parents, and in order to
remove her from the unedifying disputes between her mother and father,
Alice had been sent to her grandparents at Chauny.

As far as her literary and social life was concerned Juliette’s most
ambitious dreams were about to be realised. She was on the way to
become a queen of society. True, she had enemies, chiefly pedants
like Mme. d’Héricourt and Mlle. Royer, or the friends of Proudhon.
No one so convinced, so outspoken as Juliette could avoid arousing
opposition. But, with the exception of that little coterie, all
hearts were hers, won by her good nature, her charm, her genius for
friendship, her vivacity, her intelligence and her loveliness.

A leading French journalist, now no longer living, who followed Mme.
Adam’s career with interest and admiration, told me that in her youth
she was entrancingly beautiful. Referring to the salon she was shortly
to establish, to the princes, ambassadors, writers and artists who
crowded round the brilliant young hostess, that journalist said: “We
were all in love with her.”

Moreover Juliette, though an advocate of the rights of woman in
days when feminists tended to affect masculine attire, discarded
none of her femininity. It has always been her opinion that _Pour
une femme, c’est une infériorité que se deféminiser_. She who had
been independent enough to abstain from the crinoline, knew how to
dress. One of her gowns, velvet _gorge de tourterelle_, with large
steel buttons, worn at Alphonse Daudet’s dinner-party, made such an
impression on Edmond de Goncourt that he described it in detail, in
the pages of that Journal which has now become a classic.[65]

It is not surprising that more than one distinguished artist—Flameng,
Charpentier, for example—painted Mme. Lamessine’s portrait.
Charpentier’s picture was exhibited in the salon. Mme. d’Agoult’s
friend, the famous sculptor, Adam Salomon, photographed her in a
Charlotte Corday costume, which she had worn at a fancy-dress ball,
and wished to model her bust. The photograph was a success, not so
the bust. After having made many attempts in clay, the sculptor gave
it up. Some time later, however, when Mme. Lamessine was in his
studio, he persuaded her to let him take a caste of her face. “It was
horrible,” she writes.[66] “I thought I should have been suffocated;
and I felt as if my eyebrows and eyelashes were being torn off. The
agony of those few seconds when Adam Salomon was piercing holes for
my nostrils and making slits for my lips, when I could hardly breath,
pursued me for months.” “I quite understand,” she adds, “that a cast
of the head and face is not usually taken until after death.”

It was at the Adam Salomons’ that Juliette met Lamartine. He came
there every day: and it saddened her to see this great poet worried
by financial embarrassments and attempting to retrieve his fallen
fortunes by soliciting subscriptions to his _Cours Familier de
Littérature. Ce pauvre Lamartine_, wrote the witty Mme. Mohl, _ce
n’est plus une lyre, c’est une tire-lire_ (a sealed earthen pot with a
slit into which a peasant puts his money). The poet’s fine, handsome
countenance still lit up when he spoke of art, letters or politics,
but that unhappily was but seldom.[67]

There are those for whom socially the Second Empire signifies
little more than hollow splendour, ostentatious display and vulgar
luxury. No doubt these tendencies were strongly marked; but at the
same time there flourished a rich and original development of art,
music and literature. When Juliette was making her _début_ in Paris
drawing-rooms, Alexandre Dumas’ _La Dame aux Camélias_ and his _Fils
Naturel_ were being played at Le Théâtre Français, Millet and Puvis
de Chavannes were exhibiting their first pictures in the Salon, Renan
was writing his _Vie de Jésus_, Erckmann and Chatrian their Napoleonic
romances, and Victor Hugo, in exile, his _Légende des Siècles_.
Those were the days when two of the greatest composers of the modern
world, Berlioz and Wagner, were rivalling one another on the Parisian
operatic stage.

Juliette first met Berlioz at the representation of _Orpheo_ at the
Théâtre Lyrique. Mme. Viardot’s sublime rendering of the part of
Orpheo avenged Juliette and her neo-Grecian friends, Ménard and de
Ronchaud, who accompanied her, for the insults Offenbach had offered
to their Greek gods. During the song “I have lost my Eurydice,”
Juliette, overcome by emotion, paid the singer the superb compliment
of momentarily losing consciousness. When Berlioz himself came round
to their box at the end of the act, Ménard did not neglect to tell him
of the beautiful Mme. Lamessine’s little swoon. Highly flattered the
composer took her hand in his and kept it there.[68]

“Yes,” he said, “it is quite beautiful.... Orpheo is near enough to
the real Orpheo for the expression of grief rendered as we have just
heard it to overwhelm the senses.”

Juliette appreciated Wagner’s art, though she was far too much of a
Latin to prefer this Teuton to Berlioz. “Berlioz,” she wrote, “is the
initiator, he stands above all others. He can well afford to let the
Wagnerian fanatics assert that Wagner’s is the music of the future.”

Juliette first met Wagner and heard him play at the Comtesse de
Charnacé’s. The Comtesse was Mme. d’Agoult’s daughter by her husband,
the Comte d’Agoult, and, strangely enough it may seem to us, she was
in the habit of receiving her half-sister, daughter of Liszt and Mme.
d’Agoult, and wife of the celebrated pianist, Hans von Bülow. Von
Bülow was Wagner’s shadow; and it was Von Bülow who brought Wagner to
the Rue Vaugirard. About twenty-five people were present. Juliette
thought Wagner’s enormous head not lacking in character, at least the
upper part of it. His forehead was broad and high. His questioning
eyes were now tender, now hard; but his ugly mouth, with its sarcastic
expression, seemed to press back his cheeks and like nut-crackers to
bring together an authoritative chin and an arrogant nose. She found
him caustic and witty as he talked of everything and seemed to know
everything. Then suddenly he would become vulgar, personal, conceited.

He played the Prelude to _Lohengrin_. “Never has anything been written
to equal it,” exclaimed Von Bülow.

“I alone,” said Wagner ..., “can do these things. No one else in the
world would dare to attempt them.”

Then laughing, and, with a strong Germanic accent, he added: “People
can never tell whether I am hydrocephalous or a man of genius.”

“Something of the first,” whispered Juliette to Mme. d’Agoult.

“A great deal of the second,” rejoined the Countess, rather severely.

Wagner, who was extremely quick of hearing, had caught this whispered
conversation.

“He gave to each of us,” writes Juliette, “the ‛thank you’ we
deserved.” Then he talked well of Parisians and their mocking spirit.
He said how it grieved him not to be understood in France, and to have
for a rival any one so eminent as Berlioz.

“It is impossible for you ever to understand one another,” said Mme.
d’Agoult.

Despite the personal antipathy with which Wagner inspired her,
Juliette made enormous efforts to sell tickets for the three concerts
he was to give at Paris. And she disposed of so many that the musician
actually sent de Ronchaud to her with a message of thanks from “the
Hydrocephalous.”

The first two concerts at least were a distinct success. At the second
even Berlioz applauded.

Mme. d’Agoult, unlike most aristocratic Frenchwomen of her day, was
a brave pedestrian. That was what kept her such a good figure, said
Juliette; and her young friend often accompanied her on her walks.
In May 1859, after having visited the Salon, they walked through the
Bois. Juliette seldom refers to her own _toilettes_. But on that
day, she tells us, she was wearing a specially becoming costume, a
frock of black taffetas with no trimming, but wide sleeves of white
lace, a fichu of black chantilly and a Leghorn hat with a cluster
of cornflowers and strings of black velvet. It was a glorious May
day. All Paris seemed to be out enjoying itself. As the Countess and
Juliette walked past the Arc de Triomphe, Mme. d’Agoult said—

“The war is imminent. Perhaps it will be declared to-morrow. God send
we may see France victorious and Italy delivered.”[69]

For months Mme. d’Agoult and her friends had been eagerly following
Italy’s struggle for liberty. With the whole of France they ardently
desired their Latin sister’s liberation from the Austrian yoke.
The Countess herself had Italian connections. She was related to a
well-known Florentine family, the Peruzzi.

Juliette, before she came to Paris, had known little of foreign
politics. Save for a vague prejudice against England, the legacy
of the Napoleonic Wars, a mistrust of Prussia and a liking for the
Russians because Russian soldiers, billeted in the house of Chauny,
had been kind to her grandmother, Juliette had no very decided
sympathies or antipathies towards countries not her own. But in Mme.
d’Agoult’s salon such indifference speedily vanished. On the very
first evening in the Rue Presbourg she met the Alsatian, Nefftzer, who
had been editor of _La Presse_ and was later to direct _Le Temps_.
“By him,” she writes, “for the first time in my life I heard foreign
politics lucidly discussed, and it was then that I began to take an
interest in them.”[70]

Among the European nations outside France, Italy was Juliette’s first
love and Garibaldi her greatest hero. Next to Italy, as one might
expect from so ardent a Hellenist, came Greece. She and her Grecian
friends were highly delighted when the Ionian Isles were reunited to
Greece. She was in the South of France at the time, but de Ronchaud
wrote announcing the good news and exclaiming “_Vive l’indépendence_.”

But that was in 1862. To return to 1859 and to the cause of Italian
unity as it appealed to Mme. d’Agoult’s salon. Napoléon’s declaration
of war against Austria so delighted Juliette and her friends that
for a moment they almost forgot their opposition to the Empire. The
news of the victories which followed increased their rejoicing,
but their joy was short-lived; for in a few weeks came a bitter
disillusionment. In July the Peace of Villafranca was signed. Instead
of fulfilling Napoléon’s proud boast and freeing Italy from the Alps
to the Adriatic, it delivered her tied hand and foot into the power of
Austria. Francis Joseph remained master of Italy, the most powerful
member of the Italian Confederation, over which the Pope, Pio-Nono,
presided.

“Ah! we felt that Napoléon’s promises had been too good to be true,”
exclaimed Juliette and her Republican friends. And, with more reason,
“I told you so,” exclaimed M. Thiers. For the ex-Minister had advised
the Emperor not to engage in war against Austria. Italian unity, he
foretold, would be followed by Prussian unity. And now he pointed
out that France had not only made an enemy of Austria, but she had
offended Italy, who saw that she had been duped. Italy was still
further offended when Napoléon in direct violation of the Treaty of
Villafranca insisted on annexing Savoy and Nice. Then, not content
with ranging against him Italy and Austria, the Emperor proceeded to
alienate the Pope, whom he was pledged to support.

Out of that mind which, as Lord Palmerston said, “was as full of
schemes as a warren of rabbits,” Napoléon III produced at this
juncture one of his numerous pamphlets. In this one he attacked
nothing more nor less than the Pope’s temporal power, urging him to
acquiesce in the independence of Romagna. This dangerous policy of
playing first with one party then with another made Juliette and her
friends tremble for France, despite their anti-clericalism.

They were kept closely in touch with Italian affairs by a friend of
Mme. d’Agoult’s, a man equally remarkable in the three fields of
science, literature, and politics, Alessandro Bixio, the founder
with Buloz of the _Revue des deux Mondes_. Born in 1808, Bixio was
a Genoese by birth, but had been educated in France. A moderate
Republican, during the terrible insurrection of July 1848, in an
attempt to keep order in Paris streets, he had been severely wounded.
Having lost consciousness he was taken for dead, and left lying near
one of the barricades. Not having been heard of afterwards, his death
was announced, a memorial service was arranged, mourning was ordered,
when suddenly his friend Hetzel, the publisher, received a letter
from him. A concierge had found the wounded man lying in the street,
had taken him into the house, and there, after some days of coma, he
had returned to consciousness. He wrote to Hetzel entreating him to
announce his resurrection as delicately as possible.

Earlier in the year, Bixio had been French Ambassador at Turin, later,
during Prince Louis Napoléon’s presidency, he was French Minister of
Agriculture. After the _coup d’état_ he had retired into private life.
But he remained in close touch with Turin, which he visited every
fortnight, never failing on his return to bring to the Rue Presbourg
the latest news from the Piedmontese capital. On one occasion, when
Mme. d’Agoult was going to Turin to see the performance of one of her
plays, Bixio was her escort. The Countess’s story on her return of her
reception by Victor Emmanuel and of her having seen Cavour, fanned
into yet greater ardour her guests’ passion for Italian unity.

Alessandro’s brother, Nino Bixio, played a prominent part in
Garibaldi’s Sicilian expedition, having commanded one of the two
ships which sailed from Genoa. This adventure he related in detail to
Juliette some time later. Nino Bixio was one of the most fearless of
men; he was said to have plucked a bullet out of his own flesh, saying
to his men, “See, such things are quite harmless.” When Juliette in
conversation with his brother, referred to Nino’s intrepidity, “Yes,
by my faith,” exclaimed Alessandro. “Did I not bring him up not to
know fear? Did I not, when he was a boy, hold him by one foot and let
him dangle from the balcony over the street?”

Juliette eagerly and sympathetically followed Garibaldi’s adventures.
She collected all the details she could glean about her hero, and, in
1859, published a pamphlet[71] which caused her to be regarded as an
authority on the Italian liberator.

Her admiration for Garibaldi did not prevent her from appreciating
the services rendered to Italian liberty by the more judicious
Cavour. The tidings of Cavour’s illness, broken to Mme. d’Agoult in a
letter from Turin, cast a gloom over the salon of the Rue Presbourg.
“Cavour,” wrote the Countess’s correspondent, “is _in extremis_, the
Italian doctors are killing him. They are butchers. They have bled him
fourteen times.”[72] “Alas,” adds Juliette, “they bled him once more,
and he died on the 6th of June” (1861).

Almost as fruitless as the Italian War was Napoléon III’s expedition
to Syria on behalf of the Christians of Mt. Lebanon, threatened
with extermination by a neighbouring Mussulman tribe, the Druses.
This expedition, which was much discussed in Mme. d’Agoult’s salon,
had ended in the French, as the result largely of Lord Palmerston’s
intervention, evacuating Syria and leaving the cause of the persecuted
Christians to the Sultan’s somewhat uncertain championship. Renan,
appointed to an archæological mission in Syria by the French
Government, had chanced to sail with the expedition. As soon as
he came back, and returned to the Rue Presbourg, he was eagerly
questioned by Juliette and her friends as to his opinion of the
settlement.

“What do you think of it?” inquired Dupont-White, referring to the
Sultan’s protectorate and the French evacuation of Syria.

“I think well of it,” replied Renan. “It will put an end to the
massacres.”

“What,” exclaimed Dupont-White, “then do I understand that you were
sent there to stir up religious fanaticism? I knew you received your
mission through Prince Napoléon, so I thought your object would be
rather to come to an understanding with the infidels. For I regard
your prince and you as being two of the finest specimens of infidelity
in the world.”

“But Prince Napoléon is a deist,” said Renan.

“Very well. And you?”

       *       *       *       *       *

“I have no objection to saying _Mon Dieu_,” replied Renan. “But ...”

“I don’t see Renan going to preach a crusade in Syria or anywhere
else,” said Littré, who had seemed to be dreaming.[73]

Two years later, on the 23rd of June, 1863, after Juliette had
separated from her first husband and was living with her parents at
Chauny, appeared Renan’s _Vie de Jésus_. From the point of view of
its influence on free thought Dr. Lambert considered the publication
of this book the most significant event of the latter half of the
nineteenth century. Juliette received twenty letters from her friends,
some extolling, others attacking the book. Mme. de Pierreclos thought
it abominable and pernicious, all the more because of the perfection
of its style. Ronchaud wrote admiring its poetry. “Even those,” he
added, “who disbelieve in the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth must
henceforth worship him.”

“Renan,” said Dr. Lambert, “was like myself, a simple-minded, sincere
and pious student of theology. But when he found the sacred text
distorted by those to whom it had been entrusted, he lost faith as I
did.”

Dr. Lambert on hearing that Renan had been deprived of his chair of
Hebrew at the Collège de France, exclaimed, “You see, imperialism,
by treating Renan as an enemy, is pointing him out to us as our
friend.”[74]

FOOTNOTES:

[53] _Souvenirs_, II. 83. _Idées Anti-Proudhoniennes_ was signed
“Juliette Lamessine.”

[54] See Daniel Stern, _Mes Souvenirs_, 311.

[55] Daniel Stern, _Histoire de la Révolution de 1848_, 2 vols.,
Paris, Charpentier, 1862.

[56] Daniel Stern, _Mes Souvenirs_, 346.

[57] _Ibid._, 349.

[58] He had married Blandine, daughter of Mme. d’Agoult and Liszt.

[59] Mme. Adam, _Souvenirs_, I. 108-9, _“Elle prenait la peine de
faire d’une petite provinciale une dame.”_

[60] See _post_, 209.

[61] Born in 1801, Littré had studied and qualified as a doctor of
medicine, though he never practised his profession. He, like most of
Mme. d’Agoult’s friends, was a “man of 1848.” Immediately after the
Revolution he served for a few months as unpaid municipal councillor
of Paris. But, disillusioned after the violent suppression of the
July rising, he had retired from office and since then had lived in
retirement.

[62] Hippolyte Carnot, born in 1801, had accompanied his father
into exile. After the elder Carnot’s death, Hippolyte returned to
France. There he became one of the leaders of the Saint-Simonian
group of philosophers, see _post_, 86-90. During the Revolution of
1848 Carnot was Minister of Education. Like Littré, disillusioned
by the reactionary movement which followed the July insurrection,
he resigned. After the _coup d’état_ of December 1851, he went into
voluntary exile. During his absence he was elected member of the Corps
Legislatif. But although he returned to France, he refused to take the
oath to the Empire, thus forfeiting his seat. Since then he too had
lived in retirement.

[63] _Le Disciple_, Preface.

[64] _Mémoires de la Comtesse Diane_, 146-7.

[65] _Journal des Goncourt_, VI. 184.

[66] _Souvenirs_, II. 155.

[67] _Ibid._, 147.

[68] _Souvenirs_, II. 214.

[69] _Souvenirs_, II. 166.

[70] _Souvenirs_, II. 85.

[71] _Garibaldi: Sa vie d’après Documents Inédits, avec un portrait_,
Paris, 1859.

[72] _Souvenirs_, II. 315.

[73] _Souvenirs_, II. 317.

[74] _Souvenirs_, II. 421.



CHAPTER VII

AMONG THE UTOPIANS

1858-1864

     “Often in the years that are darkening around me, I remember our
     beautiful scheme of a noble and unselfish life and how fair in
     that first summer appeared the prospect that it might endure for
     generations.”—Nathaniel Hawthorne, _The Blithedale Romance_.

     “_Moi qui ait vécu une partie de ma jeunesse avec des cabétiens,
     des phalansteriens, des saint-simonians._”—Mme. Adam, _Souvenirs_.


Juliette’s energy was crowding her life with a variety of interests
and occupations: literary work, plays, parties, picture shows and two
distinct sets of acquaintances: Mme. d’Agoult’s rather aristocratic
and elegant republican friends, and a much less fashionable circle.
While Mme. d’Agoult and her associates concentrated on political
reform, coming more and more into prominence in Parisian society was
another group of reformers, the collectivists, who were followers
of Fourier and Saint-Simon. They, placing little faith in politics,
were working for a social revolution. With the latter’s schemes for
humanity’s regeneration, her father’s enthusiasm had already made
Juliette familiar. But we, too, if we would enter into her life at
this time, must take note of these somewhat Bohemian reformers and of
their Utopian aspirations, which, stimulating many of Juliette’s most
intimate friends, could not fail to affect her own mind and character.

After extreme individualism had permeated the thought of the first
half of the nineteenth century, a tendency towards solidarity began to
declare itself among certain bold thinkers. A feeling for association
was in the air. Association of whom and with whom was perhaps not
quite clear. But, however defined, association, or, as we should
to-day describe it, human solidarity, seemed in many enlightened
circles to offer the only possible remedy for the ills of society.
Even such an ardent idealist as George Sand had been converted to this
comparatively new point of view. “Are there not misfortunes that
call more urgently for relief than the boredom of this or the whims
of that individual?” she writes.[75] Louis Napoléon himself, before
he became Emperor, had shown in certain of those pamphlets, for which
he was famous, that he was not unaffected by this new current of
opinion. The feeling of solidarity had declared itself definitely in
the early months of the 1848 Revolution. But its germs must be sought
much earlier. We must go back fifty years to the time when the French
Revolution was shaking society to its foundations. Then there appeared
a man, who, standing apart, aloof from the great scuffle of parties,
entertained the daring thought of reconciling them all and making them
all pull together in a new system. That man was François Marie Charles
Fourier. Born at Besançon in 1772, the son of a tradesman from whom he
inherited a small fortune, Fourier became a commercial traveller in
the grocery line. Then he served for a while in Napoléon’s campaigns.
But, returning to his original occupation, he found employment in a
wholesale house at Marseilles. There his employers instructed him
secretly to throw into the sea a whole cargo of rice which that
firm, in order to send up the price, had stored until it had become
useless.[76] This commission opened Fourier’s eyes to the iniquitous
waste proceeding in modern industry. Henceforth one of the most wildly
imaginative minds that has ever existed outside a lunatic asylum was
concentrated on social problems. To the ideas that resulted Fourier
gave expression in a whole library of voluminous works, of which the
best known is his _Théorie des Quatre Mouvements_. In this welter of
elaborate theorising, wild schemes and absurd prophecies, such as
that the ocean may one day be replaced by a sea of lemonade, and that
humanity may once more develop a tail, it is possible to discover
certain sane and essentially practical suggestions for social reform.

It seems incredible that this commercial traveller, who on one side
of his brain was so completely unreasonable, should have produced
a scheme which has in many respects now come to be regarded as
fundamentally right. Fourierism, divested of its absurd extravagance,
contains the germ of much modern socialism. For Fourier was one
of the first to realise “that social organisation should rest on
a comprehensive conception of human nature.” The first task of a
reformer, he held, is to analyse human passions and to study their
combinations. But Fourier’s psychology, as one might expect, is
extremely fanciful. He discovered twelve major passions which can
be combined into eight hundred and ten characteristic types. No one
of these types can be fully himself, nor reap the greatest benefit
from his labour in a state of isolation or in the state of permanent
warfare, which we call competition. In our present inorganic
condition, legitimate desires clash and may often be called vices.
In the free and communistic _régime_ of the future they will all
be harmonised. Production will be increased a thousandfold by the
association of efforts. Labour will be no longer a curse, for it will
become attractive through the free choice and constant change of
occupation.

The part of Fourier’s scheme which most appealed to his contemporaries
was his ideal community, in which he hoped to embody his ideas in
concrete form. This community he called the Phalanstery.

Juliette well remembered how, when she was a child, a fervent
Fourierist had visited her father at Blérancourt. He had talked in
such glowing terms of this ideal community that she forthwith resolved
that on her return to Chauny she and her schoolfellows would lose no
time in establishing a phalanstery. She was, however, reluctantly
compelled to admit the justice of her father’s remark that at the
age of nine and a half she was rather young to launch out on so
complicated an experiment. For, indeed, simplicity was no part of the
root idea of the phalanstery. This may be seen from the following
enunciation of his principle by the master himself.

“Since there are only eight hundred and ten characters,” argued
Fourier, “a phalanx of that number (or rather one thousand eight
hundred with old men over one hundred and twenty and children under
four) will be sufficient to realise Harmony on about a square league
of ground. This phalanx would live in a handsome and comfortable
building—farm, workshop and palace combined—called the Phalanstery. In
this association capital and talent as well as labour would have their
proper reward.”

Few of the various attempts to establish phalansteries met with any
success. Fourier himself, aided by one of his most eminent disciples,
Victor Considérant, and financed by a French Député, endeavoured in
vain to apply his theories at Condé sur Vesgres.[77] After Fourier’s
death in 1837, another vain attempt at a phalanstery was made at
Citeaux.

But it was on the virgin soil of America, in the light of the New
World’s sanguine hopefulness and fervent enthusiasm for social
progress that the phalansterians were most confident of success. In
America Fourierism had aroused intense interest. There it had met with
its most ardent advocates and its bitterest opponents.[78] Victor
Considérant, who after Fourier’s death became the chief apostle of
Fourierism, had founded a newspaper _La Démocratie Pacifique_ for the
advocacy of his doctrines. In the columns of this paper in the year
1853, he sketched the outline of an ideal community, La Réunion, to be
founded in Texas on the banks of the Red River. Subscriptions to the
experiment flowed in from all parts of the world. The chief subscriber
was a rich American, Albert Brisbane. He had sat at Fourier’s feet
in Paris. Fascinated by this new gospel, he was spending his life
translating the reformer’s colossal and for the most part incoherent
works, vainly endeavouring to introduce into them something like order.

But, despite its brilliant prospects, La Réunion too was a failure.
Victor Considérant, though a clever organiser, possessed neither
legislative nor administrative gifts. He was an apostle, nothing
more. And when adherents from all parts of the world flocked to the
Red River, they found this anticipated ideal community, not, as they
had fondly hoped, the embodiment of perfect harmony, but a chaos of
hopeless confusion.

Warned by Brisbane’s experience and much to his disappointment, George
Ripley, Nathaniel Hawthorne and others, when they were organising the
comparatively successful socialist community of Brook Farm, at West
Roxbury (Mass.), carefully kept off phalansterian lines.[79]

Thus by the time Juliette came to live in Paris the Phalansterian
Movement had been tried and found wanting. Nevertheless it was
not dead. Its spirit still breathed in the numerous co-operative
experiments, which were being tried on every hand; and one of
these, the famous foundry at Guise, run on something approaching
phalansterian lines, met with considerable success, owing to the
organising genius of the founder, the Fourierist Godin. It endured
until shortly before the Great War.

Fourier’s disciples, when in 1858 Juliette first came into personal
contact with them, had grouped themselves into what was called l’École
Sociétaire, which numbered some four thousand adherents. The school
had its headquarters in the Rue de Beaune, in a shop for the sale of
Fourierist literature, kept by a certain Mlle. Aimé Beuque.

It was to this shop that Juliette, soon after the publication of
_Idées Anti-Proudhoniennes_, was taken by her good friend Dr. Bonnard.
She found Mlle. Beuque an odd creature. A quaint birth-marked,
shrivelled-up little old maid, wearing a rough black serge gown, a big
black poke bonnet tied with broad strings, she had invariably hanging
over her arm, a capacious bag, half satchel, half basket. Aimé Beuque
had known Fourier when he was a grocer at Lyons. Sitting at his feet
she had imbibed his doctrine and become one of its most convincing
advocates, winning for the new philosophy many a distinguished
adherent. For in that poor little wizened unattractive body there
burned a great soul passionately convinced that perfect harmony would
one day evolve out of all our apparently hopeless social chaos.

This little woman so charmed Juliette that she came away from the
Fourier shop feeling that in _la chère petite vieille Beuque_, she
had made a life-long friend. And for many a year whenever she
was downhearted, depressed by the domestic trials which were now
thickening around her, Juliette’s due feet would not fail to cross the
bridge to Mlle. Beuque’s shop, in search of that encouragement and
consolation which the “adorable” little spinster never failed to give
her.

One of the most delightful features of Paris literary society has ever
been the habit of writers and readers to foregather for leisurely
afternoon talk in some well-known book-shop—at Anatole France’s
father’s, for example, on the Quai Voltaire; at his successor’s,
Honoré Champion’s, on the Quai Malaquais, or at Charles Péguy’s at the
office of “Les Cahiers de la Quinzaine,” in the Rue de la Sorbonne.

Mlle. Beuque, too, had her afternoons; _le Jour des amis de notre
vieille Beuque_ was an institution highly valued by Juliette and her
Fourierist friends.

The great and shining light, _le grand homme_ of _Tante Beuque’s_ shop
parlour, was the eminent writer on natural history, Alphonse Toussenel.

His name had been a household word for Juliette in her childhood. Out
of Toussenel’s book _L’Esprit des Bêtes_, Dr. Lambert had told his
little girl many a thrilling tale about the habits of insects. And
when, in their walks, they came to an ant-hill, father and daughter
would both lie down flat while the red republican parent showed the
ants at their work, designating the fighters, the layers of eggs and
so forth, and declaiming loudly against the laziness of the queen ant
as against that of all other royalties.

Now that Juliette made the acquaintance of Toussenel in the flesh she
found him no less delightful than in his books. Though in certain
respects wildly extravagant and greatly given to paradox, in others
he appeared abundantly gifted with common sense. Some of his theories
were almost as curious as those of his master, Fourier. In his manner
of life he was as eccentric as his devoted comrade, Mlle. Beuque.
In appearance, however, he presented a striking contrast to his
meagre little companion. For Toussenel was a fine figure of a man, an
athlete, whose face was tanned by life in the open air, a sportsman in
spite of his love for animals, and also a bitter anti-semite[80] in
spite of his aspirations after social harmony. Toussenel’s attractive
personality and eloquent talk brought into the Rue de Beaune
book-shop an atmosphere of the most brilliant salon.

Toussenel was an enthusiastic feminist; so, of course, he had read and
appreciated _Idées Anti-Prudhoniennes_; and for its charming author he
speedily developed a rapturous adoration. One of his eccentricities
was to illustrate human intelligence by that of animals. He likened
Juliette to the falcon, because in that species of birds apparently
the intelligence of the female is superior to that of the male bird.
To his “falcon,” or _gerfaut_, he wrote ecstatic love-letters. Though
she laughed at her elderly _amoureux_, she kept his letters; and one
of them, she quotes in her _Souvenirs_.[81] It closes pathetically
with this sentence—

     “It is not your fault if you hold a larger place in my life than
     I in yours. I do not write to complain, but to tell you that,
     whenever any happiness comes to you, you may know that one of my
     wishes has been fulfilled.

                              “Yours in heart, mind and soul,

                                                      “TOUSSENEL.”

As well as in the shop in the Rue de Beaune, Fourierists used to
gather in the salon of Mme. Charles Reybaud. She was a novelist of
distinction, whom Juliette thought the only contemporary woman of
letters worthy to be compared with George Sand.

At Mme. Reybaud’s Juliette met many prominent socialists, belonging
to various groups. Some were Saint-Simonians, the followers of that
extraordinary person Claude Henri, Comte de Saint-Simon (1760-1825).
This philosopher, realising, like Fourier, the disastrously chaotic
condition of society, had propounded various comprehensive schemes
for its reformation. Saint-Simon’s life had been one long series
of romantic experiences, wild adventures and hair-breadth escapes.
Born of a noble family, priding himself on being descended from
Charlemagne, at sixteen he was a volunteer under Washington. Returning
to Europe, he grew rich on land speculations and stock jobbing under
the Revolution, but was imprisoned at the time of the Terror. In
prison his ancestor Charlemagne, appearing in a vision, revealed to
his descendant that he was destined to be a second Messiah. On his
release, to prepare for the accomplishment of this high mission,
Saint-Simon entered on a course of scientific study and European
travel. He had married; but he divorced his wife in order to marry
Mme. de Stäel, who had recently become a widow. Journeying to Geneva,
he asked the author of _Corinne_ to unite her life to his, for he
pleaded: “You are, madame, the most extraordinary woman in the world.
I am the most extraordinary man. Our offspring ought therefore to be
still more extraordinary.” To such an argument, however, unfortunately
for the human race, this otherwise public-spirited lady turned a deaf
ear.

Having wasted his substance in wild schemes and extravagant living,
Saint-Simon was reduced to poverty. At one time he attempted to blow
out his brains, but only succeeded in disfiguring himself for life
and in blinding one eye. He died in 1825, leaving behind him the
reputation of a crack-brained Bohemian.

Saint-Simon had been fortunate, however, in meeting with clever
collaborators, Augustin Thierry and Auguste Comte. These two eminent
writers helped him to formulate his somewhat incoherent notions, and
to express them in a series of works[82] which exercised no little
influence. Some of Saint-Simon’s ideas discussed in these works,
notably the piercing by a canal of the Isthmus of Panama, have already
been carried out; others, like the institution of a parliament of
nations for the regulation of international affairs, are still in the
air.

The dominant aim of all Saint-Simon’s schemes was the moral and
physical well-being of the least favoured and most numerous class
of humanity. His doctrines had at once a practical and a mystical
tendency. This dreamer, at a time when French industry was still in
its infancy, “had a prophetic vision of modern production, with its
scientific management and its unlimited capacity. He communicated his
enthusiasm to his disciples, most of whom never saw him in the flesh.”

For it was not until after the apostle’s death that the Saint-Simonian
school of philosophy was formed. Its rapid success, its acceptance by
“all the superior and even all the exceptional young men of the day,”
was largely due to the proselytising vigour and organising faculty of
Barthélemy Prosper Enfantin, a man whom Lord Morley describes as “the
most wonderful and impressive figure of modern enthusiasm.”[83]

Father Enfantin, as he was called, had only been introduced to
Saint-Simon as he lay on his death-bed.

Barely initiated (_à peine catéchisé_), writes Mme. Adam, this Elisha
of Saint-Simonianism went forth to preach throughout the towns and
villages of France the golden age of the future. Signal success
attended his crusade. There was much in the Saint-Simonian doctrine
which accorded with the romantic humanitarianism of the age. “Its
key-note was love—love and pity for the oppressed, for the poor, for
the fallen woman, for the sinner, for Satan himself.” The service of
mankind was the essence of this religion. For Saint-Simonianism was a
religion. As such, its founder and many of its disciples regarded it.
_Le Nouveau Christianisme_ is the title of Saint-Simon’s last book,
published in the year of his death.

But, as we have said, this new philosophy had also its extremely
practical side. Its adherents preached “the gospel of great public
works, railroads, maritime canals, free trade.” Here again they were
responding to one of the great needs of the age.

A striking characteristic of society under the Empire was the
intensity of its material activity. Industry on a large scale had
begun to develop under Louis Philippe. It had received a powerful
impetus from railroad construction.

One of the most wonderful experiences of Juliette’s childhood was her
first railway journey. When she was ten and a half, her father took
her by train from Amiens to Boulogne. This line, the first in France,
had recently been opened. Juliette was horribly frightened. Everything
terrified her: the snorting of the engine, the diabolical air of the
engine-driver and fireman, the piercing shriek of the whistle, and,
above all, the darkness of the tunnel, in which, she was told, a poor
lady, who had put her head out of the window, had only that morning
been guillotined by a passing train. When Juliette returned to Chauny,
quite a heroine, because she had been in a train, this story told to
her schoolfellows had a brilliant success. That unhappy passenger’s
tragic fate remained for many a long day an object of intense
interest to the Mlles. André’s pupils, to whose inquisitiveness it
suggested all manner of questions.

“Why did she lean out of window?” asked the elder girls. “People who
go on journeys ought to take care.”

“Had she any children?” asked the juniors, “and, if so, were they
present?”

And when Juliette replied that they were, the horror was indescribable.

Juliette’s fame as a train traveller, however, soon faded, for so
rapid was the spread of railway construction throughout France
that train journeys soon became every-day occurrences. Chauny was
before long united by a railway line to Paris, which Haussman was
rapidly rendering almost unrecognisable. And in all this mechanical
activity the Saint-Simonians were playing a prominent part. With them
originated many industrial enterprises: the Saint-Simonian Pereires
founded the _Magasin du Louvre_ and the General Transatlantic Company.
Father Enfantin himself, a capable railroad administrator, was the
first to conceive the project of the Suez Canal.

Mme. Adam inclines to the opinion that as employers the
Saint-Simonians were inferior to the Fourierists; for the latter
practised division of profits among employers and employed, whereas
the Saint-Simonians showed a tendency to exploit their workers. They
encouraged trusts. Their system Benjamin Constant described as _le
papisme industriel_.

By the time that Juliette came to Paris the Saint-Simonians had split
up into two sects. The scission had first declared itself during the
Revolution of 1830, when Enfantin insisted on standing aloof from
politics, while his colleagues, Bazard and Rodrigues, declared that
the Master’s teaching rendered it incumbent upon them to take an
active part in political affairs. Further contention occurred over the
relations of the sexes. Enfantin declared himself the apostle of free
love, Bazard and Rodrigues upheld marriage; and it was on this point
that the Saint-Simonians finally separated into a school which was
entirely political and philosophical—that of Bazard and Rodrigues—and
the so-called church of Enfantin, which represented the mystic and
individualist side of the Saint-Simonian doctrine.

Enfantin and such followers as remained to him, only forty in number,
left the Rue Taitbout, which had been the Saint-Simonian headquarters,
and went off to the suburb Menilmontant, where they established a
settlement. Singing songs especially composed for them, and attired in
tam-o’shanters and light blue dalmaticas, the brethren, most of whom
were university students, cultivated the ground under the supervision
of Father Enfantin, who wore a scarlet robe with a violet girdle and
a large metal necklace, each link of which represented one of his
disciples.

Father Enfantin and his followers lived in the hope of the coming
of a feminine Messiah, who, in conjunction with the Father, was to
redeem the world. But their labours were interrupted and their hopes
dashed to the ground by the intervention of justice. In the columns of
the Saint-Simonian newspaper, _Le Globe_, the Father had enunciated
his views of marriage and sexual morality, with the result that he
found his settlement at Menilmontant broken up, and himself (in 1832)
condemned to a year’s imprisonment. It was on his release that he went
to Egypt and studied the feasibility of cutting a canal through the
Isthmus of Suez.

When Juliette published her _Idées Anti-Proudhoniennes_ Father
Enfantin was back again in Paris acting as director of the Paris-Lyons
Mediterranée Railway. Struck by the cleverness of Juliette’s first
book, he sent two of his followers to invite the young authoress to
a Saint-Simonian banquet. But she thought it prudent to refuse the
invitation, having heard that the Father regarded her in the same
light as his Master had regarded Mme. de Staël, viz. as a possible
feminine Messiah, who with the Father should make all things new.
“Enfantin,” remarks Juliette, “at the age of sixty-two, was somewhat
late in discovering his fellow-saviour,” though for her at twenty-two
the discovery was premature, for she did not feel herself ripe for so
exalted a mission. “Just think what I was expected to bring to the
world!” she exclaims. “Nothing less than the golden age!”

Though Juliette had refused the invitation to the banquet, she
permitted her friend Arlès Dufour to take her to one of Enfantin’s
evening receptions, where she found him assisted by a stout and comely
lady. Arlès Dufour had been one of those who had brought her the
invitation to the Father’s banquet. From the first he had taken a
fatherly interest in the young Mme. Lamessine; and she felt drawn to
him by a sentiment of filial devotion which never left her. He must
indeed have been an attractive character. An ardent Saint-Simonian, a
pacifist, an advocate of women’s rights and an Anglophil, he was the
friend of John Stuart Mill and Richard Cobden. “It is charming to see
him, at sixty-five, with his heart still running off with his head,”
writes Cobden in 1860.[84] “He would not allow the word ‛obey’ to be
used by women in the marriage ceremony, and has other very rebellious
notions.”

Though in practice a staid citizen of Lyons, a devoted husband and
father of a family, theoretically Dufour, like his master, Enfantin,
believed in free love. This was the only point on which he and his
young friend Juliette disagreed. “Woman needs a certain dignity,”
she argued, “which can never be hers if she violates convention and
neglects her duty to society.”

Arlès Dufour, a convinced free trader, was deeply interested in
his friend Cobden’s mission to Paris, for the purpose of arranging
a commercial treaty between France and England. During these
negotiations, Arlès, who was regarded as an authority on free trade,
was more than once consulted by the Emperor, and at a restaurant
dinner in the autumn of 1860 he entertained Juliette, Mme. Reybaud,
Girardin and some Saint-Simonian friends with the story of his
imperial audiences. Unlike most of Juliette’s acquaintances, Dufour
was an Imperialist. But he had spoken rather freely to Napoléon on the
subject of his Saint-Simonian faith and his dreams for the future.
Thereupon the Emperor had remarked, “Don’t you think, M. Arlès, that
people may not be far wrong when they call you a crank?”

“Yes, sir,” replied Arlès Dufour, “I am a crank, but your Majesty
knows it is only the cranks who succeed.”

The Emperor laughed loudly; then he rose and said: “Go, you bold man,
and don’t return until to-morrow at two o’clock.”

At the same restaurant dinner the talk fell on the Suez Canal, which
had been begun two years earlier. The Saint-Simonians were aggrieved
by Ferdinand de Lesseps’ appropriation of an idea which they regarded
as the property of their sect. Girardin argued that de Lesseps had
conceived the idea independently; that it was he who had communicated
it to Saïd Pasha, who had received it with enthusiasm, and that de
Lesseps alone could carry the project through, particularly in the
face of England’s opposition. Lord Palmerston, always suspicious of
Napoléon’s designs, was, as Girardin remarked, conducting a veritable
campaign against the making of the canal.

“Come, Arlès,” said Girardin. “You know how malicious Palmerston can
be when it is a question of any French enterprise. Your friend Cobden
has suffered enough from that. Palmerston’s campaign against the canal
ought to make you support de Lesseps instead of attacking him.... When
de Lesseps comes to Paris I will take you to him, and you are too much
of a Frenchman not to say, ‛Succeed, and you will have deserved well
of the Saint-Simonian School in France.’”

Thus did this wily journalist of a Girardin win Arlès Dufour to
his side. But with the other Saint-Simonians present he was not so
successful; and one of them, who had a prophetic soul, was heard to
mutter: “We shall see. But if the canal is a failure it will remain
French; if it succeeds the English will buy it, as they buy everything
that is worth buying.”

It was in this year, 1860, that Mme. Lamessine published her second
volume, _Mon Village_,[85] a series of charming rural sketches,
stories, dialogues, quaint old country ballads put into the mouth of
a village weaver. From the beginning to the end of this little book,
one breathes the atmosphere of the Picard countryside, when it was
still remote, before railways and motor-cars had brought it within
reach of the capital. Juliette had written the book at the suggestion
of George Sand, who, replying to a letter in which Juliette had said
that the days spent at her village of Blérancourt were the happiest of
her life, enjoined her to write her memories while they were fresh.
“Your title is found,” she added, “Mon Village.” The publishers
were, by a curious irony of fate, Hetzel and Lévy, the very two who
had most emphatically refused her first book. M. Lamessine, having
taken advantage of the power given him by the Code Napoléon, had
appropriated the profits of her earlier publications. Juliette now, at
Hetzel’s suggestion, by dropping the last letter of her maiden name,
made use of the pseudonym “Juliette Lamber.” “It is a clever trick,”
said her husband. “But I will make you pay for it.”

Juliette’s domestic life was growing steadily more and more unhappy.
Arlès Dufour, her _bon père_, as she called him, advised her to
separate from her husband. But to such a course Dr. Lambert was
strongly opposed. However, the two fathers—the adopted and the natural
one—met at Chauny. There Arlès, “the white-haired old gentleman,” whom
little Alice described as _un bon génie_, arranged everything, and for
a time Juliette gave up her life in Paris and returned to her parents’
home.

Mme. d’Agoult approved of the course her young friend had taken. And
Juliette for some months devoted herself entirely to her literary
work. She was writing her third volume, a study of a Chinaman,
who visits Europe and somewhat in the manner of the travellers
in Montesquieu’s _Persian Letters_ compares Eastern with Western
civilisation. Under the title of _Un Mandarin_ this book appeared in
the same series as _Mon Village_, before the end of the year 1860.

Juliette at Chauny, now that the railway line had been opened, was
not altogether isolated from her beloved Paris. Her friends were able
to come and visit her on Sundays. Hetzel on his way to Brussels made
a point of calling at Chauny; and Juliette herself sometimes went to
town.

On one occasion she went to Paris to visit her friend Eugène
Pelletan,[86] who was in Sainte Pélagie prison. The Imperial
Government always kept a watchful eye on the press; and Pelletan had
been sentenced to three months imprisonment for an article attacking
the Government, entitled _La Liberté comme en Autriche_, which had
appeared in the _Courier du Dimanche_.

This was the first time that Juliette had been in a prison. The visit
left an impression of horror on her mind, which obsessed her for
many weeks. Pelletan took her to see one of his fellow-prisoners,
that famous “monomaniac of conspiracy, Blanqui, who spent half his
political life in the prisons of four different _régimes_.” Juliette
respected and pitied Blanqui as a martyr to Republicanism and the only
kind of martyr with whom she could ever sympathise, the kind that
returns blow for blow. Passive resistance never appealed to Juliette’s
rebellious spirit. Not even now, when she has become a Christian, does
she believe in the doctrine of turning the other cheek. In Blanqui she
found all the bitterness and disillusionment of the defeated rebel.
When she offered him Daniel Stern’s _History of_ that _Revolution of
1848_, in the first months of which he had played a prominent part, he
seemed to regard it as an insult and refused even to touch the volume.

Juliette returned to Chauny depressed and ill. She had contracted a
severe cold, which speedily developed into hæmorrhage of the lungs.
She concealed this alarming symptom from her parents, however, and
made an excuse to return to Paris, where she saw her doctor, not Dr.
Bonnard, but a throat specialist, a Dr. Cabarrus, whom she had lately
been in the habit of consulting. He thought so seriously of her case
that he hurried her off to the South of France at once. From Paris
to Cannes in those days was a long journey. The train took a day and
night to reach Toulon, which was the terminus. Then before Cannes was
reached there were two days of driving.

The much-vaunted Riviera seemed to this young Picarde at first
extremely dull. In her _Voyage autour du Grand Pin_, a book published
in 1863, she writes: “I loathe travelling. I love the things I know,
old books, old friends, familiar landscapes, familiar melodies,
familiar enthusiasms.... I feel much worse at Cannes than I did at
Paris, and I can’t forgive the people who are for ever praising
Provence.... What has happened to the sun? I have been asking. I am
told that it will soon come out. I wait. If you have heard any news
of Phœbus do be kind enough to send me a telegram. I fear that some
accident may have befallen him. Perhaps a seal may have devoured him
over there at the back of the sea, where he is said to set in this
country.”

But it was as she had been told, she had not long to wait, Phœbus
Apollo soon rose radiant from the sea; and with the glorious sun of
Provence returned Juliette’s health and spirits.

Introductions from the north speedily surrounded her with interesting
acquaintances: her physician, Dr. Maure, the friend of Thiers; Dr.
Maure’s friends, Prosper Mérimée and Victor Cousin; Jean Reynaud,
an eminent Saint-Simonian, but not of Enfantin’s group. At Jean
Reynaud’s villa, la Bocca, she met Lord Brougham. Mme. Reynaud, one of
Chopin’s most accomplished pupils, entranced Juliette by her rendering
of Beethoven. Jean Reynaud took her long rambles. In one of these he
related how he had come to leave Enfantin, having found his views on
sexual morality quite impossible.

Next winter, when Juliette returned to Cannes, her little Alice, now
seven and a half, came with her and joined in these rambles at her
mother’s side. Jean Reynaud was amused by Juliette’s respect for her
daughter’s personality. For Mme. Lamessine, mindful of the suffering
endured in her own childhood through the proselytising ardour of her
grandmother and father, was careful not to impose on Alice any of her
own ideas. With regard to fundamental things Juliette would say to the
child: “Grandfather thinks so and so, my view is such and such. You
must form your own opinion.”

The first time Jean Reynaud heard this kind of conversation he burst
out laughing, and was about to repeat the phrase in jest, when
Juliette stopped him with a look, and sending her little girl away to
pick some flowers, said: “Joke with me as much as you like, but not
before her. Remember she has only me to respect.”

So charmed was the young author with her life at Cannes, so beneficial
for her own health and her daughter’s did she find the climate of
Provence, that, before the end of her second winter there, she had
persuaded her father to buy a building site on the Golfe Juan; and
before her return to the north in the spring of 1862, the walls of her
villa of Bruyères were already rising.

Dr. and Mme. Lambert were thinking of selling their house at Chauny,
in order to spend the summer months with their daughter in a Paris
flat and their winters on the shore of the Mediterranean.

The winter of 1862-3 found Juliette and Alice installed in their villa
of Bruyères. Mme. de Pierreclos was their first visitor. Dr. Maure
called frequently, always bringing with him his last letter from his
friend Thiers, which he was proud to read to his friends at Bruyères.
But, alas! he by whose advice Juliette had settled on the Golfe Juan,
Jean Reynaud, her “third father,” as she called him, was no more. He
had died in Paris, during the summer, after a surgical operation.
His loss left his adopted daughter disconsolate. Her book _Mon Voyage
autour du Grand Pin_ she dedicated to his memory; for every one of
its pages, she writes, had been inspired by their walks and talks at
Cannes.

Dr. Lambert, when he came to Bruyères, was as charmed as his daughter
and granddaughter with the villa and its surroundings. He was
delighted with the garden which Juliette had planned. But, above all,
he was enraptured by the Mediterranean, which he saw for the first
time, and by the view of the island of Corsica in the distance.

Gazing upon this lovely prospect, the fervent classicist cried: “Ah!
this is Greece. And to think that I could ever have imagined that I
understood Homer and all he described! Why, I must read him again,
in the light of this new experience. And I will begin this very day.
Juliette, have you our old Homer here? If not, I must go and buy a
copy at Cannes, at Nice, or even in Corsica, if need be.”

Henceforth Dr. Lambert had no hesitation as to leaving Chauny. He
wrote to his wife that the house must be sold. Juliette, as soon as
the winter months were past, returned to Paris to look for a flat.

Dr. Lambert, _le vieil étudiant_, as his daughter called him, would
have liked to settle in the Latin quarter, but Alice was bent on the
Rue de Rivoli, opposite the Tuileries Gardens, where she loved to
play. And it was Alice who had her way. Besides, as Juliette explained
to her father, all Revolutions began in the Rue de Rivoli, and a flat
in that street would be like a place in the stalls at the theatre.

FOOTNOTES:

[75] _Lettres à Marcie_, III. (1837).

[76] _Biographie Générale_ under “F. M. C. Fourier.”

[77] With regard to this phalanstery there is a slight discrepancy in
Mme. Adam’s _Souvenirs_. According to vol. i. p. 342, Condé was the
phalanstery which her father, during her childhood, wished to join,
whereas according to vol. ii. p. 136, that phalanstery was Guise.
Probably Guise is correct. For the Condé movement had been abandoned
before Juliette was born.

[78] Among the latter was Donald McLaren, author of a virulent
diatribe against Fourierism, published at Caledonia, Livingstone
County, in 1844, entitled _The Boa Constrictor_, in which Fourier’s
gospel is denounced “for the licentiousness of its principles, its
hypocrisy and sinister aims.” In this connection it should be noticed
that, as a concession to the prejudices of the times, Fourier never
attempted to give practical application to his theories as to the
relations between the sexes, to that “Phanerogamy” which is but
another name for promiscuity.

[79] Founded in 1841, the Brook Farm Community broke up in 1847. In
his delightful story, _The Blithedale Romance_, Hawthorne describes
this settlement.

[80] Author of _Les Juifs, Rois de l’Epoque_, 1844.

[81] _Souvenirs_, II. 216.

[82] _La Réorganisation de la Société Européenne, l’Industrie ou
Discussions politiques, morales et philosophiques_ and others.

[83] Morley, _Life of Cobden_, 1910 ed., 760.

[84] Morley, _Life of Cobden_, ed. 1910, 830.

[85] _Mon Village_, Collection Hetzel, Michel Lévy Frères, Paris;
Méline, Cans et Cie, Brussels.

[86] See _ante_, 57.



CHAPTER VIII

HER PRE-WAR SALON

1864-1870

  _Le Petit Salon de la Rue de Rivoli._
  _Le Grand Salon de la Maison Sallandrouze._


Sociability has ever been one of Mme. Adam’s gifts. It declared itself
in her childhood. At school she was always the centre of a band,
grouping, organising her schoolfellows. When she came to live in
Paris, to create a salon became her dominating ambition. And it was
no less a personage than that most distinguished and aristocratic of
_salonnières_, Mme. d’Agoult, who first suggested to her young friend
the possibility of realising her aspiration.

“Mine will remain the great salon of the winter,” said Mme. d’Agoult,
who frequently left Paris during the summer months, “and yours shall
be the little summer salon.” For Juliette, as we have seen, had begun
to spend her winters in the south.

Then the Countess proceeded to draw up a code of rules for Juliette’s
guidance in the execution of her great social enterprise. “Mme.
d’Agoult,” writes Juliette, “sent me _la très belle page suivante_.[87]

“‘Happiness depends on renunciation and wisdom. If you would gather
around you a number of men and a few intelligent women you must appear
serene or happy.

“‘Your life, though in reality it may be agitated, must appear to
others to be without complications and not lacking in unity.

“‘Friendships can only be retained in an atmosphere which is
impersonal and restful.

“‘In order that the founders of your salon may regard themselves as
such you must consult them before you introduce any new-comers.

“‘You should avoid exchanging confidences; for they create too close
an intimacy; and they may lead you to give advice with which some day
you may be reproached.

“‘Be modest, but not self-effacing. Be simple, but distinguished.
Express your opinions with a certain confidence. Appear firm, but also
tolerant.

“‘If you would preserve your salon your first duty should be to
stimulate the intellectual curiosity of those whom you have gathered
round you.

“‘Be careful to make them feel that you are more occupied with them
than with yourself.

       *       *       *       *       *

“‘Twenty men friends and five women will suffice to found a salon. You
have them already.’”

Juliette had not only the requisite number of friends, but now, in
the spring of 1864, she had also a home in the very heart of Paris,
where she could receive them. And the dinner-party which, by way
of house-warming, she gave in the flat in the Rue de Rivoli may be
regarded as inaugurating her salon, that _salon minuscule_, as she
called it, which was to be the summer ante-chamber to Mme. d’Agoult’s
_grand salon d’Hiver_.

Seven out of her twenty men friends were invited to dinner. They
all accepted, and hence may be regarded as the pious founders of
Juliette’s first salon. They were Edmond Adam, a wealthy financier,
an ardent republican, one of the men of 1848, of whom we shall hear
much later; Edmond Texier, a distinguished writer and a brilliant
wit; the amorous Toussenel, of course; Peyrat, the most bigoted of
anti-clericals; Nefftzer, now editor of the _Temps_; that polished
Jacobin, Challemel-Lacour; and the ever-faithful Ronchaud.

Following Mme. d’Agoult’s instructions, and preserving, roughly, the
feminine proportion of one quarter which she had indicated, Juliette
had invited two women guests—Mme. d’Agoult herself and Mme. de
Pierreclos. But neither was able to come. The Countess, who seldom
went out anywhere, considered herself excused from accepting her
young friend’s invitation by the recent death of her daughter, Mme.
Ollivier. Mme. de Pierreclos was away at Macon, staying with her
uncle, Alphonse de Lamartine.

The conversation that evening gave the tone for the conversations in
all Juliette’s salons: of the little salon in the Rue de Rivoli, of
the greater salon in the Boulevard Poissonnière, of the pre-war and
the post-war salon, of that extension of her salons which was _La
Nouvelle Revue_, and likewise of those latter-day assemblies which,
since her retirement from _La Nouvelle Revue_, seventeen years ago,
Mme. Adam has gathered round her on the terrace or in the spacious
drawing-room of her beautiful country home in the Abbey of Gif.

Whether the late M. Émile Faguet ever visited either of these salons,
I do not know. But if he did, he must have been ill at ease, for he
was one of those who found the political salon “uninhabitable.”[88]
And at Mme. Adam’s, though literature, art, philosophy, and other
subjects were by no means excluded, politics held the first place.
Throughout the Empire Juliette’s salon, first in the Rue de Rivoli,
later on the Boulevard Poissonnière, was a centre of energetic
republican opposition to the Empire. The hostess’s chief desire was
to reconcile the diverse currents of republican sentiment, to blend
in the broad stream of freedom the various and too often conflicting
strands of progress.

Already on that initial evening we find three shades of republican
opposition represented in the Rue de Rivoli salon. There was Peyrat,
the most rabid of reformers, who cared not what the Government might
be so long as it was a Republic. “_Qu’elle soit d’abord la République!
on verra après_,” he exclaimed.[89] There was the more moderate Edmond
Adam, who feared what he called a pseudo-Republic; and there was the
nationalist Nefftzer, the Alsatian, who steadily refused to avert
his gaze from the peril lowering across the north-eastern frontier.
Nefftzer, though calling himself a republican, would have supported
the Emperor had he shown himself capable of inaugurating a vigorous
foreign policy. The editor of the _Temps_ was one of the few who in
those days perceived Bismarck’s true aims and character. “_Il est plus
que dangereux, il est effrayant_,” exclaimed Nefftzer that evening.
But the editor’s lugubrious prognostications were jeered at by most
of his fellow-guests. “Here comes to life again the illustrious
Jeremiah,” said Peyrat. Only Juliette and her _amoureux_ Toussenel
experienced any consternation at Nefftzer’s warnings. “I have long
felt,” said Toussenel, “that some one was undermining our race, our
character, our heroism.... You, Nefftzer, declare this some one to be
Prussia. You have not wasted your time here this evening. You have
warned a patriot, and one who is not stoney-hearted. Thank you.”[90]

In Juliette’s salon at this time everything was an open question; for
in these years, though she was swayed by strong preferences, she had
no exclusions. Different shades of religious as well as of political
opinion were represented. Anti-clericalism, though it dominated, did
not have everything its own way.

When Juliette’s physician, Dr. Clavel, announced that the Masonic
Lodges were intending to drive Catholicism from France, Peyrat
applauded, but Saint-Victor put in a plea for liberty.[91]

“Whether one believes or disbelieves,” said Saint-Victor, “freedom is
essential.”

Eugène Pelletan agreed with him; not so Peyrat, who uttered his usual
cry: “The Republic before everything. And then....”

“And then what?” inquired Duclerc,[92] who was one of the 1848
revolutionists.

“After we have extirpated all error, then...”

“But who shall decide what is error?”

“We shall.”

“Then you consider yourselves infallible?”

“Is it or is it not a question of overthrowing the adversary?”

“Yes; but I should like to know in favour of whom and of what the
adversary is to be overthrown.”

“In favour of the principles of the Great Revolution.”

“The principles of ’92 or ’93?”

“Oh!” said Peyrat; “not the Revolution as understood by Quinet, the
Revolution emasculated of all that was most powerful in it. Michelet
... has accepted the Revolution, including the Terror.”[93]

“What!” exclaimed Duclerc, “the French Revolution may not be
considered apart from its ferocity?”

“Ferocity which was necessary.”

“And which may again become necessary.”

“That may be.”

       *       *       *       *       *

“When Peyrat and Duclerc were discussing,” comments their hostess,
“arguments flew so rapidly from side to side that we listened without
interrupting. Moreover, there was not the slightest chance of getting
in a phrase or even a word edgeways.”

Though politics held the first place in Juliette’s salon, as we have
said, literature and art were by no means neglected.

The hostess herself, an ardent romanticist and idealist, if ever there
were one, had no sympathy with the realism which in the middle sixties
was beginning to invade French art and literature. Manet’s “Olympia,”
when it was exhibited in the Salon, filled her with loathing. When she
first saw it, she knew not whether to laugh or to cry.

“_Quelle horreur et aussi quels rires_,” she exclaims. “_Voici
l’Olympia de Manet. Nue, étendue, accoudée sur un drap blanc. Derrière
elle une negresse tient un bouquet. Sur le drap blanc un chat noir
déteint et laisse la trace de ses pattes sales. Germinie Lacerteux en
littérature, le chat noir aux pattes sales en peinture, c’est complet!
O idéal, idéal! Je vais revoir Picardia._”

The de Goncourts’ novel, _Germinie Lacerteux_, on its recent
appearance, had been vehemently discussed in the Rue de Rivoli. “It
is Lucrèce Borgia _graillonnante_,” exclaimed Lamartine’s niece, Mme.
de Pierreclos. And most of her fellow-guests as well as her hostess
were up in arms at once when some one described the de Goncourts and
Flaubert as the leaders of the realistic school. Flaubert, they
contended, would never have condescended to wallow in the mud which
seemed as much the de Goncourts’ natural element as it was to be that
of their disciple Zola. For the author of _La Terre_ and for all his
tribe Juliette has ever manifested an extreme aversion.

From the de Goncourts’ realism our passionate idealist turned
with relief to the classicism of her Grecian friends, Ronchaud,
Saint-Victor, Ménard, and to those poets of the new Parnassian school
who shared her enthusiasm for the gods and ideals of antiquity.[94]

Juliette’s _Salon Minuscule_, as she modestly called it, had now
become a regular institution in Parisian intellectual society.
Possibly it had been a greater success than its originator, Mme.
d’Agoult, had ever anticipated. Possibly this may have accounted for
the clouds which now began to appear on the horizon of Juliette’s
friendship with that great lady, clouds which threatened to repeat
in the nineteenth century that earlier story of the jealous Mme. du
Deffand and her gifted young _protégée_, Mlle. de Lespinasse. Certain
of Mme. d’Agoult’s friends were thought to be too often in the Rue de
Rivoli. Consequently, Juliette began to be coldly received in the Rue
Presbourg. Mischief-makers were not lacking: they told the Countess
that in the Rue de Rivoli her works were somewhat severely criticised.
While Juliette was at Bruyères in the winter of 1866-67 she received
a letter from Mme. de Pierreclos[95] warning her that somehow she was
not in the Countess’s good books.

“_Attention, petite Juliette!_” wrote Lamartine’s niece. “_Vous n’êtes
pas en faveur. Je ne jurerais qu’à votre retour vous ne subissiez une
bourrasque qui vous écarte à tout jamais de la Rue de Presbourg._”

In the crisis now approaching, one of the most momentous of Juliette’s
life, Mme. d’Agoult vouchsafed her young friend no sympathy whatever.

For some years, as we have seen, Juliette had been living apart from
her husband. M. Lamessine had used to the full the powers, which
until a few years ago the French law gave a husband, of appropriating
his wife’s earnings. Little Alice lived in terror that one day her
father might even claim that house and garden on the Golfe Juan, the
beloved Bruyères, where she and her mother spent happy winter months.
“You must make haste and grow up,” Dr. Lambert used to say to his
granddaughter, “and then you will marry and Bruyères shall be your
dowry.”

It was in the summer of 1867 that Juliette received from her lawyer,
M. Matthieu, a letter asking her to come and see him on a certain
evening about a communication he had received from her husband.[96]
M. Lamessine, in return for 15,000 francs, consented to relinquish
his claim to the royalties on his wife’s books published before their
separation. Distressed by the exorbitance of this demand, Juliette
and Alice, who had accompanied her, on leaving the lawyer, tried
to divert themselves by watching the crowds of merry-makers in the
Champs Elysées. All Paris seemed _en fête_, for it was the summer
of the Great Exhibition. But these gay sights afforded Juliette no
solace. Tired and sad, she and Alice returned home. On the table lay
a letter marked _urgent_. “Never mind,” said Juliette to herself,
“I have enough worries for one evening. I will not open the letter
till morning.” It was late. Her father and mother had gone to bed.
She wished her daughter a sad good-night and followed her parents’
example. But she could not sleep, neither could she forget that letter
marked _urgent_. The writing seemed familiar. She rose and read it.
The letter was from her lawyer.

     “DEAR MADAM,” it ran, “among the papers which I had set aside to
     finish examining to-night is a letter from Algeria, which tells me
     that your husband, M. Lamessine, died six weeks ago.... Thus the
     question of your royalties is decided.[97]—Yours, etc....”

Juliette has never been one of those who feign sentiments they do
not feel. About her first husband’s death she is in her _Souvenirs_
perfectly frank: she makes no attempt to conceal the feeling of
intense relief which the news brought to her. Dr. Lambert, when he
heard it, exclaimed: “I know some one who will be glad to have me for
a father-in-law.”

That “some one” was Edmond Adam. One of the pious founders of
Juliette’s salon, he had also been a member of Mme. d’Agoult’s
circle. Originally a journalist on the staff of the famous _National_,
he had made a considerable fortune and had become one of the mainstays
of the Comptoir d’Escompte, a republican bank founded by his friend
Alessandro Bixio and others. But that which had above all things
attracted Juliette to the man who was to be her second husband—for
he was considerably Juliette’s senior—was his uncompromising
republicanism, dating back to the Revolution of 1848, in which he had
played a prominent part. Edmond Adam united to high principles and
fervent idealism a distinguished appearance and ingratiating manners.
Among his friends he passed for a pleasant fellow. “A fine old
Senator” he appeared some years later to a foreigner who visited Mine.
Adam’s salon. “The chivalrous Adam,” she herself used to call him.

She noticed him first at a Wagner concert, standing opposite to her by
a mirror in which their eyes met. “Who is that tall gentleman?” she
inquired of Mme. d’Agoult, who sat next to her.

“Edmond Adam,” replied the Countess. “We are great friends. You
don’t see him at my receptions because of Girardin, whom he is
always wishing to fight. He will fight for anything or nothing.
After Carrel’s death,[98] when Adam was editor of an Angers
newspaper, Armand Marrast invited him to join the staff of the
_National_. His friends are Duclerc,[99] Grévy,[100] Carnot,[101] all
_abstentionistes_, and so is Adam, though he is essentially a man of
action.... On the 2nd of December[102] he was a Councillor of State.
But he refused to serve the Empire.... I don’t know any man who is
more highly esteemed, and I like him very much.... He is fidelity and
devotion itself.”

During the insurrection of June 1848, Adam with his friend Bixio,[103]
both of them unarmed, had gone up on to the Paris barricades to
endeavour to restore order. Afterwards, when the National Assembly
wished to decorate the hero with the Cross of the Legion of Honour,
Adam refused it on the ground that he could not wear a decoration
won in a civil war, and, moreover, that he had merely done his duty.
“Ronchaud,” added the Countess, “has just told me that he [Adam] has
read your book,[104] and that he would like me to introduce him to
you.”

But Juliette, moved by a sentiment not uncommon in women of deep
feelings, a kind of subconscious fear of a man who has profoundly
impressed them, refused that evening to make her new admirer’s
acquaintance. Later, on the publication of her book _Mon Village_,
he wrote his congratulations. She replied somewhat curtly. But her
correspondent was not discouraged. Some time afterwards, when she
was at the theatre with her friend, Mme. Fauvety,[105] whom he knew,
he joined their party. Mme. Fauvety admired him no less than Mme.
d’Agoult. Dr. Lambert, too, had a high opinion of his daughter’s new
acquaintance. “He is pure gold,” said Juliette’s father, “and when
you see him next you can tell him your father would like to shake
hands with him; for he is one of those—and they are few—of whom an old
republican may be proud.”[106]

Juliette’s betrothal to Edmond Adam took place on the day after she
received her lawyer’s letter. Congratulations poured in from all her
friends, with the one exception of Mme. d’Agoult. Yet she was aware
of her young friend’s happiness. Ronchaud had told her. Since Mme. de
Pierreclos’ warning letter,[107] Juliette and her old friend had not
met. Now, with some misgiving, Juliette determined to go and see her.
She received her kindly. But in a few minutes the discordant note was
struck.[108] “The misfortune of being a widow,” said the Countess, “is
that one is seized by a foolish desire to remarry. But I don’t think
you capable of such folly. An intelligent woman should remain free and
mistress of her own thoughts.”

“I have greater need of happiness than of freedom,” replied Juliette.

Then followed a distressing scene. Mme. d’Agoult completely lost her
temper. She told Juliette she hoped never to see her again. They
parted; and the Countess’s wish was fulfilled. But when, some time
later, Juliette heard that her former friend had entered as a patient
the house of the famous nerve specialist, Dr. Blanche, she felt
that Mme. d’Agoult’s lack of self-control on that sorrowful day was
accounted for.

In the spring of the following year Juliette Lambert and Edmond Adam
were married. The intervening winter had been spent on the Golfe
Juan, where Adam, like other friends of Juliette, the Texiers, for
example, had built himself a villa, Le Grand Pin. There had been a
somewhat heated discussion as to whether after marriage the Adams
should spend their winters at Le Grand Pin or at Bruyères. Juliette
could not tolerate the idea of leaving the house which she had built
and the garden she had planned. Though, as she had told Mme. d’Agoult,
she longed more for happiness than for freedom, she was determined to
hold her own in her new life. Already she had consented to abandon
her flat in the Rue de Rivoli for one in a famous house, la Maison
Sallandrouze,[109] on the Boulevard Poissonnière, opposite Adam’s
favourite restaurant, the Café Brébant. She was making no small
sacrifice by consenting to leave what seemed to her the hub of the
universe, that Rue de Rivoli with its delightful proximity to the
Louvre, to the Corps Legislatif, the doings of which this ardent young
politician followed feverishly, and to those Tuileries Gardens, where,
while Alice was at play, her mother, in conversation with members of
Parliament on their way from the Assembly, could glean all the latest
political news. Not unnaturally, therefore, Juliette’s keen sense of
justice was outraged when Adam asked her to make the further sacrifice
and give up her beloved Bruyères in favour of Le Grand Pin, although
this villa was much more spacious and imposing than her own dear home.

“I entreat you,” pleaded Adam,[110] “do consent to live at Le Grand
Pin for at least two or three years after our marriage. I really
cannot run the risk of being called M. Lamber in a district where you
are so well known.”

“Oh, you need not fear; I can assure you I shall be called Mme. Adam.”

“No, I don’t think so,” persisted Adam.... “And however I may love
your name when borne by you, it would humiliate me.”

“Very well then, I will keep it,” retorted Juliette.

They parted, and did not meet for several days. They were both
miserable. Then that kind physician, the good Dr. Maure, Thiers’
friend, effected a reconciliation.

“Oh, you fools,” he cried, “at your age to lay down conditions and
to be obstinate. When happiness runs to meet you, you turn away. Be
reconciled at once.”

Adam holds out his arms. Juliette hesitates. Dr. Maure makes a
grimace. “He will live at Bruyères. Embrace him. But it costs him
dear. It is the greatest sacrifice he can make.”

The quarrel was at an end. Juliette threw herself into her lover’s
arms. He asked her pardon.

“I ought to have understood, Juliette,” he said. “I was mad. I ought
to have realised that your beloved Bruyères, which you had made with
your own hands, you could not leave for another house so close. It was
with money only that I created Le Grand Pin. To-morrow I will summon
the builders. I will enlarge Bruyères, and next year, when we return,
we shall be at home in your own house.”

The year 1868, the year of her second marriage, opened well for
Juliette. “_Tellement riante_,” she writes, “_que j’y vois tout en
beau. Je suis heureuse autant qu’on peut imaginer...._”[111] As she
awoke on New Year’s Day, Alice whispered, “Dear mother, I wish you
what you already possess.”

Her father, who had not come to Bruyères that year, wrote that he,
too, was the happiest of men. For _cet étudiant rive gauche, ce
fanatique de science_, as Juliette called him, was now at liberty to
quit _cette rue impériale_, as he called the Rue de Rivoli, _infestée
par les allées et venues de l’empereur et de l’impératrice_, and
to inhabit the quarter of his dreams, to take a flat in the Rue S.
Jacques close to the lecture-rooms and laboratories of those eminent
scientists, Paul Bert and Claude Bernard.

In every respect it was well that the two families should separate.
The discordant temperaments of Juliette and her mother rendered it
impossible for them to agree long together. Neither their summers in
Paris nor their winters on the Riviera had been very happy. And as for
Juliette, the bliss of life with a husband who adored her and shared
all her interests soon compensated her for the loss of her favourite
street. “_Nous sommes heureux à rendre jaloux_,” she wrote soon after
her marriage.[112] “But, on the contrary, our friends enjoy our
happiness. Their assiduity in visiting us grows. They love our home,
and they cannot pass along the Boulevard Poissonnière without coming
up to see us, especially in the evening.”

Thus the _minuscule_ salon of the Rue de Rivoli was transformed into
the Great Salon of the Boulevard Poissonnière.

In the two troubled years which were to elapse before the outbreak
of war, the Adams’ salon was to serve, as we have said, as a
meeting-place for representatives of all parties in opposition: for
_abstentionistes_ and for _sermentistes_, for the elder republicans
who followed M. Thiers, and for _les Jeunes_ who followed Gambetta.

“_Bientôt_,” writes Juliette, “_notre salon réunit toutes les
opinions, depuis les orléanistes jusqu’aux irréconciliables_.”[113]

Mme. Adam’s own attitude remained irreconcilably _abstentioniste_.
She had no sympathy whatever with those who, like her husband’s
friend, Jules Grévy, took the oath to the Empire in order to upset
it. “_Prêter un serment qu’on est résolu à ne pas tenir_,” she
writes, “_c’est être déloyal et coupable_.”[114] Imagine her horror,
therefore, when she found her own husband wavering—first inclined to
listen to the arguments of his friend Thiers, and then, on the eve of
the 1869 election, announcing that he is going to his native Normandy,
there to stand as candidate for the village of Brionne.[115]

“And _you_ will take the oath—you?”

“Yes; I have thought it well over. Whatever objection you may have to
offer has been considered and rejected.”

“It seemed,” writes Juliette, “as if a gulf had opened between us.
What I could not say to him when he started, I wrote to him.” With her
letter she enclosed others from friends who had written expressing
their astonishment at his decision. One was from Louis Blanc.

“That the young who never witnessed the crime of December should swear
allegiance to the murderer I can understand,” he wrote. “But how can
one who saw the blood flow, who heard the oath broken, forget, if his
heart be kind and loyal?”

One morning, shortly after this packet had been dispatched, Mme. Adam
received a telegram from Brionne containing one word: “Come.” She
and Alice obeyed. They arrived at Brionne on the very day when Adam
was to take the oath. “I could not take it,” he said, “without being
sure that you approve and that you realise its significance. Have you
become any less narrow, any less bigoted, Juliette?”[116]

But no, Mme. Adam was as resolute as ever. And her husband, yielding
to her arguments, or unwilling to create between himself and his
wife an impassable breach, told his electors that he found himself
incapable of taking the oath. “The candidate who replaced him,” adds
Juliette, “did so well that the electors bore him no grudge. As for
me, I am prouder than ever to bear his name.”

Léon Gambetta was now, as the acknowledged leader of that wing of
the republican party known as _les Jeunes_, attracting considerable
attention. He was a complete meridional, for his parents were a
Provençal mother and a father of Genoese origin. He was born in 1837
at Cahors, where his father kept a small grocer’s shop. Léon and one
sister were their only children. It having been prophesied to Mme.
Gambetta, before her son’s birth, that he would one day be a great
man, she denied herself in every way in order to give him the best
of educations. He entered the legal profession and went to Paris.
There, among the students of the Latin quarter, he rapidly made his
mark. No students’ manifestation was complete without him, neither
was any fête. He showed a marvellous capacity for repeating verses
and drinking beer. He hated the Empire with exuberance, but not
with fanaticism. He was well read. Montaigne and Rabelais were his
favourite authors, and he was seldom seen without a tattered copy of
the latter protruding from his slovenly coat pocket. Passionately
interested in public affairs, he hardly missed a sitting of the Corps
Legislatif. He was equally assiduous at the Café Voltaire and the Café
Procope. There, no matter what subject was under discussion—books,
plays, women, or politics—he never failed to monopolise the
conversation.

Gambetta first appears in Mme. Adam’s _Souvenirs_ when Eugène Pelletan
describes him to her as one of the riff-raff of the party (_les voyous
du parti_).[117] Later Girardin in Mme. d’Agoult’s salon had praised
his exuberance tempered by common sense.

“_Vous n’imaginez pas la vitalité de ce gaillard-là_,” said
Girardin.[118] “If only he were better put on, I would introduce him
to you. But it is impossible. Nevertheless, he is a man of letters.”

But soon Juliette began to feel that without _ce gaillard-là, ce jeune
monstre, ce dompteur des foules_, as Gambetta was beginning to be
called, her _Grand Salon_ was incomplete. Adam was meeting Gambetta
constantly at Laurent Pichat’s, and was ever quoting to his wife this
rising young demagogue’s astute sayings.

“We must introduce him into our circle; you must bring him to me,”
said Juliette.[119]

“But,” objected Adam, “he is very unfledged. Neither in manner nor
in words does he know any restraint. His accent is impossible. He is
insolent in discussion. Moreover, I do not wish you to hear him talk
of the men of 1848.”

For the idealists of 1848, for their lack of worldly wisdom, for their
failure to take advantage of the situation they had created, Gambetta
did not scruple to express his profound contempt.

“But,” interjected Juliette, “is he really out of the common? Is he
worth knowing? Yes or no?”

“Yes, he is out of the common. He is worth knowing. But he is
Bohemian, vulgar, brutal. His manner of life is extraordinary. He is a
typical man of the masses, as Danton, _plus retors_. He has an air of
authority and dominates the conversation, no matter where he is.”

“We will invite him,” said Juliette. Nevertheless, before making the
final plunge, she took the precaution of consulting her old friend,
Hetzel, the publisher, who knew about Gambetta through a mutual
friend, Alphonse Daudet, another brilliant young Provençal, who was at
that time making his mark in Paris.

Hetzel pronounced the _jeune monstre_ to be quite impossible. “You
should hear Alphonse Daudet describe Gambetta’s southern clan, the
clan of the _bas-midi_, composed of howling Gascons, of blatant
windbags of Provençals. He himself a kind of political commercial
traveller ... provincial to the marrow of his bones, a provincial
grocer withal, one-eyed and _chemisé et cravaté et pantalonné en
dégringolade_.”

Such a picture gave Mme. Adam pause. But her husband pronounced it a
caricature. Alphonse Daudet had only seen Gambetta at restaurants. In
Laurent Pichat’s salon he was better. Certainly he was too vehement,
but he was not a windbag. So he was invited to one of the Adams’
famous Friday dinner-parties to meet a number of distinguished
guests, with most of whom he was previously acquainted: his friend
Laurent Pichat, Eugène Pelletan, Jules Ferry,[120] Hetzel, who
came to form his own opinion of _le monstre_, those two faithful
friends Challemel-Lacour and de Ronchaud, d’Artigues, Duclerc, the
Orleanist de Reims. _L’hôte exceptionnel_,[121] as Mme. Adam puts
it, was another Orleanist, no less a personage than the grandson of
General La Fayette, the Marquis Jules de Lasteyrie. He had fought in
Portugal for Don Pedro in 1832; he had sat on the left centre in the
Chambre des Députés under Louis Philippe; he had been exiled in 1852,
but had returned after the amnesty. Now, backed by Thiers, he was
endeavouring, as candidate for Seine et Marne, to re-enter political
life.

Adam had told the Marquis that he was to meet Gambetta, and full of
curiosity, congratulating his hostess on her boldness, Lasteyrie
arrived early. “I shall tell Thiers about this party,” he said, “for
he is deeply interested in _le jeune monstre_.”

Gambetta, imagining that he was going to dine with a blue-stocking,
dressed anyhow. He arrived wearing a nondescript kind of coat, with
a suggestion of a flannel shirt appearing between his high-buttoned
waistcoat and collar.[122] He looked thunderstruck when he saw every
one else in evening dress. Eugène Pelletan, who knew him well,
presented him to his hostess. Adam was talking in another salon.
Gambetta begged Mme. Adam to excuse his not having dressed.

“If I had known,” he said.

“You would not have come,” she replied, laughing. “That is not nice of
you.”

M. de Lasteyrie, who was generally most tolerant, whispered in her
ear.... “If he had come in a workman’s blouse, I might have passed him
... but ... that!”

Jules Lasteyrie was to have taken Mme. Adam in to dinner.

“The only way to rehabilitate him, my dear friend,” she said, “is to
give him the first place. I deprive you of it. But I am sure you will
agree with me.”

The Marquis assumed his fine lordly air and replied: “You are right,
the servants might neglect him. Besides, we shall see whether he
understands _le grand_.”

The hostess took Gambetta’s arm. He was overwhelmed at being placed on
her right. Lasteyrie sat on her left. Adam could not believe his eyes.

Hardly had they sat down at table when Gambetta, leaning towards Mme.
Adam whispered—

“Madame, I shall never forget the lesson you have taught me.”
Evidently he understood _le grand_.

Many another lesson was Juliette to teach her illustrious friend. In
matters sartorial and social she was to find him an apt pupil. As Mme.
d’Agoult had transformed the provincial young person into _une grande
dame_, so Juliette was to turn the Provençal grocer, the political
commercial traveller, into a man of the world.

When some ten years later she saw him at the opera faultlessly
attired, with light gloves, a hat slightly tipped over one ear, a
gardenia in his buttonhole, she felt proud of her handiwork.

While Gambetta was ready enough to employ Adam’s tailor, he was not
ready to adopt all his or his wife’s political opinions. At that first
dinner-party Mme. Adam and her guest, as Adam had foreseen, disagreed
on the question of the oath of allegiance to the Empire and on their
estimate of the republicans of 1848.

Despite these differences, however, for the next seven years, at
least, bonds of mutual admiration united Mme. Adam and Gambetta.
During the national disasters now approaching her esteem for him
steadily increased;[123] she admired not his patriotism only, but his
wisdom, his moderation; she came to regard him as the one hope of _la
patrie_, the _cariatide_ of her beloved France.[124]

It was by his speech at the famous trial of Delescluze that Gambetta
first established his fame as an orator. The days that proceeded that
trial, writes the historian Pierre de la Gorce,[125] in his vivid
account of these incidents, were _les derniers de sa vie obscure_.
That trial and the incidents leading up to it thrilled with excitement
Mme. Adam’s salon. They originated in a manifestation which had taken
place on the 2nd of November, 1868, round the grave of the republican
leader Baudin. After Louis Napoléon’s _coup d’état_ of December 1851,
Baudin, an ardent republican deputy, had endeavoured to incite the
Parisian populace to resist. They taunted him with caring chiefly to
secure the daily sum of twenty-five francs, which he received as a
Member of Parliament. “Why should we be killed for your twenty-five
francs?” they cried. “You will see how one can die for twenty-five
francs,” cried Baudin, and he climbed on to the barricade, expecting
the crowd to follow him. But troops were coming up the street.
Baudin was seen to wave a flag, and then to fall dead after having
called to the people to come on. The republicans, who gathered
round Baudin’s grave in the Montmartre Cemetery, did not lose this
opportunity of expressing their opinions of the Imperial Government
and of prophesying its speedy dissolution. They took themselves very
seriously, and rather expected their little group of some sixty
persons to be dispersed by the authorities. But what they thought to
be the roll of the guns of approaching troops turned out to be nothing
more than an announcement that it was time to close the cemetery.
Afterwards, however, it occurred to certain Republican journalists,
first to Delescluze of _Le Reveil_, later to Peyrat of _L’Avenir
National_ and to Challemel-Lacour of _La Revue Politique_ to open a
subscription for a monument to be erected to Baudin. The Imperial
Government, ever with its eye on the press, determined to nip in the
bud this project of honouring one of its arch enemies. Delescluze,
Peyrat and Challemel, with certain of the manifestants, were summoned
before the Sixth Chamber _Correctionelle_. It was Edmond Adam who
had urged Peyrat to bring _L’Avenir National_ into the movement. His
friend Thiers had rated him soundly for so doing. “_Cette affaire
est insensée_,” said _le grand petit homme_,[126] always the soul
of moderation. “_C’est de la faction! Ces choses-là conduisent aux
émeutes et aux révolutions._”

“You are mistaken,” replied Adam calmly. “We are placing an instrument
in the hands of the opposition. You will soon recognise it. The
Empire’s enemies figure in the subscribers’ lists, and those lists
will one day furnish a basis for a coalition, which you will find
useful.”

A few days later M. Thiers admitted that Adam was right. This eventful
year was now drawing to a close. The late autumn had come, and it was
time for the Adams to shut up their salon and go to Bruyères for the
winter. “But how,” writes Juliette, “could we discontinue our evenings
in the midst of so much agitation, when our friends passing along the
boulevard like to come up and talk in our salon?”

There was considerable discussion as to the advocate to defend
Delescluze, who was regarded as the most important among the accused.
Finally the choice fell on Gambetta.

The trial took place on the 13th of November. “_La surexcitation
est extrême parmi nos amis. Les plus calmes s’emportent_,” wrote
Juliette.[127]

The speeches for the defence were numerous and eloquent. But one alone
has survived. Needless to say it was Gambetta’s. With consummate skill
he converted his defence of his client into an attack upon the Empire.
Posing that difficult question which has of late so often presented
itself in French political life, Gambetta asked, “Can there ever be a
moment, when for the sake of the public weal it is right to violate
the law, to overthrow the constitution, to treat as criminal those who
defend the right at the risk of their lives? Louis Napoléon, when in
December 1851 he effected his _coup d’état_, considered that such a
moment had arrived. But surely,” exclaimed this fearless republican,
“this is not the time to justify such an act, for here we are in the
prætorium of the judge, here the voice of the law alone should make
itself heard.”

These words, as it may well be imagined, created an enormous effect
in the court. There was absolute silence. The audience seemed to hold
its breath. The parts were transposed: the defender had become the
accuser. Several times the President endeavoured to interrupt. But
such remonstrances as “Really, Maître Gambetta, you ought to reserve
that for your peroration,” as well as the objections of the opposing
counsel, passed unobserved amidst the thunder of that tremendous
voice. Gambetta merely redoubled his vehemence. He walked up and down,
he struck with his hand on the bar in front of him. His attitude no
longer was one of defence, but rather of rebellion. His disordered
hair, his floating gown, his collar thrown open, his crumpled cap,
which he was constantly putting on and taking off—everything betrayed
the intensity of an avenging wrath indifferent to everything save the
one matter which kindled it.

“On the 2nd of December,” cried Gambetta, “they tried to deceive Paris
with the provinces, the provinces with Paris. Steam and telegraphy
were instruments in the hands of the new _régime_. Throughout the
departments ran the announcement, Paris submits. Paris submits? Why,
Paris was assassinated, shot down, cannonaded.”

Then like a defiance resounded the concluding ironical appeal to the
Empire—

“Listen; for seventeen years you have been absolute masters, you have
held France in your power.... Yet you have never dared to place among
the national festivals that 2nd of December!... Well, we claim it,
that anniversary of the 2nd of December. We claim it for ourselves.
We shall never cease to celebrate it. Every year it will be the
anniversary of our dead, until the day when the country, once more
having become the master, shall exact from you the great expiation in
the name of liberty, equality and fraternity.”[128]

After a long deliberation the court pronounced sentence, and all the
accused were condemned. But few thought of them. Gambetta, though he
had failed to obtain his client’s acquittal, was the hero of the hour,
for he had brought a more serious indictment against a far greater
criminal. Fêted and congratulated on every hand, he was conducted to
the famous Restaurant Magny. No false modesty was his. He knew he had
dealt faithfully with the tyrants, and he was not ashamed to own it.
“_Comme je leur ai dit leur quatre vérités_,” he exclaimed.

In Juliette’s salon that night there was wild enthusiasm. Adam and
his friends had heard the speech. They repeated passages of it. “You
must read it,” Adam said to his wife. “But it will not be the same as
having heard it.”

“The 13th of November,” writes Juliette, “was a fatal day for the
Empire.[129] ... The imperial tree had been sapped by the little
Cahors lawyer. It was not that Gambetta’s oratory was so very
exceptional. His power lay in making his ardent soul vibrate to the
emotion of the crowd.”

The Adams had found it well worth their while to postpone their
departure for Bruyères in order to be in Paris at such a time.

Juliette, on her arrival at her villa, was overwhelmed by the
transformation which Adam had worked in it. “_Mon Bruyères_,” she
writes, “_est embelli, transformé joliment à l’intérieur, sans avoir
perdu quoi que ce soit de sa gracieuse et modeste physionomie_.”[130]

Now that in her glorified Bruyères Juliette had three guest-chambers
instead of one, she could receive numerous friends from Paris. During
this winter Garnier-Pagès, one of her husband’s old friends, a man
of “1848,” one of the founders of the Comptoir d’Escompte, came with
his family, and Juliette’s publisher Hetzel. On the Golfe Juan, as at
Paris, Mme. Adam gathered her friends round her; and Bruyères became
a veritable salon, with Prosper Mérimée for its _grand homme_. Of
this illustrious writer, in the evening of his days, Mme. Adam in her
_Souvenirs_[131] paints a striking picture. She draws to the life
his elegant figure, always well put on. He affected grey trousers,
white waistcoats, large soft blue cravats tied in an artistic bow.
She describes his eyeglasses, well posed on _un nez qu’on ne voyait
qu’à lui tant la forme en était particulière_, his wrinkled, careworn
forehead, his thick eyebrows, which gave him a cold, haughty and
somewhat severe air. There was something English about his appearance.
His mother was an Englishwoman, and he loved England. It was an
admirable country, he used to say, where reforms proposed by liberals
are executed by conservatives. This statement, which like most
generalisations is more striking than accurate, was natural to an
observer of British politics so soon after the Reform Bill of 1867.

[Illustration: THE VILLA BRUYÈRES, ON THE GOLFE JUAN, MADAME ADAM’S
RIVIERA HOME]

Each winter Mérimée and Juliette Adam became better friends. He paid
her one of the compliments she appreciated most when he told Dr. Maure
that she had made him understand fraternity.[132]

She enjoyed his conversation immensely. “A talk with Mérimée,” she
writes, “is always full of surprises,[133] so wide is his knowledge
and of a quality so superior.” His eclecticism delighted her. He
belonged to no school, but was ready to appreciate anything that
appealed to him, modern or ancient, idealist or realist, romantic
or classical. His _bête noir_ was exaggeration. He was artistic to
the finger-tips. He detested the photographic method of treating
life and nature. “Every artist at the beginning of his life,” he
would say, “must, I admit, be carried away by passion, by rapture,
but before long he must deny himself any ecstasy which might cloud
his imagination and dim his vision of reality; he must retain of his
passion only so much as is necessary for its description.”

Mérimée, like Juliette’s friend Flaubert, was a heroic worker. He
would not hesitate to rewrite a page ten times. A term erased seemed
to him but “a jumping-off place from which to reach _le mot juste_.”
Mme. Adam highly prized the lessons he gave her on style.

In general conversation he was not at his best. However interesting
the subject might be, he was ill at ease if the speaker did not appeal
to him. He would assume a frigid manner. On the other hand, if the
speaker pleased him, he would hasten to pour forth all the treasures
of his accumulated reflections.

The events of the summer of 1868, and the troubles of _L’Avenir
National_, an opposition newspaper founded in 1865, edited by Peyrat,
and in which Adam had a large financial interest, had prevented
Juliette and her husband from taking any honeymoon immediately after
their marriage. Now, in the spring of 1869, accompanied by Alice, they
took their postponed wedding-tour to Italy. They visited Florence,
then the capital of the Italian kingdom, Milan, Turin and Genoa.
Furnished with useful introductions by Thiers and other friends, they
met many interesting people, Cairoli, the Marquis Alfieri, Nino Bixio,
the Garibaldian soldier, whose brother Alessandro had been so intimate
a friend of Adam. At Florence they rejoiced to meet again the Italian
exiles whom they had known in Paris. Mme. Adam, while admiring
the intense patriotism of the Italians, was grieved to perceive
how Napoléon’s papal policy had alienated them from France. At the
meetings of the Italian Chamber, the opposition’s violent attacks on
France cut her to the heart.

“_C’est pour Adam et moi une grande tristesse_,” she writes. “_Quoi!
tout le sang versé, nos sacrifices, notre amitié, notre dévouement,
notre enthousiasme, à nous, républicains, qui nous à fait accepter
un armistice dans notre lutte contre l’Empire, n’ont servi qu’à nous
faire une ennemi violente de l’Italie._”[134]

Juliette was glad to see her last novel, _L’Education de Laure_,
displayed in the book-shops of Milan. Driving home, along the Corniche
Road, in company with Nino Bixio, they had a memorable journey, to
which we shall refer later.

Arriving in Paris in April, they found the capital in the throes of
preparing for the general election, fixed for the 23rd and 24th of
May—the third election held since the establishment of the Empire,
the two previous had been in 1857 and 1863. But this, remarks Mme.
Adam, was the first election which had been held since the granting
of liberty of public meetings and of the Press, two reforms which had
resulted from Ollivier’s establishment of what is known as l’Empire
Libérale.

Juliette in her salon on the Boulevard Poissonnière found herself
quite as much in the movement as she would have been in the Rue
de Rivoli. From her windows she saw, or imagined she saw, all
manner of wonderful happenings: strange meetings and consultations
after midnight between policemen and _les blouses blanches_, those
socialists, the mistrusted tail of the radical party, whom Gambetta,
in his famous Belleville speech, was accused of humouring. His more
moderate friends thought he had promised too much: tariff and tax
reform, election of all Government functionaries, suppression of
standing armies. “You must cut off this tail of yours,” remonstrated
his anti-socialist supporters. “Cut off my tail,” said Gambetta gaily,
“not as long as I live. I will tie a white sash round it and lead it
into society.”[135]

Gambetta, at the head of _les Jeunes_ was opposing at Belleville
Hippolyte Carnot, that _vieille barbe_ as the heroes of 1848 were
called. Baucel, another of _les Jeunes_ in another Paris constituency,
was successfully opposing Ollivier himself; and the founder of
l’Empire Libérale was driven to a provincial constituency in the
Department of Var. So unpopular was the minister in the capital
that his public meeting at Le Châtelet became a riot, during which
the famous beer-house Dréher was sacked before the police could
effectually intervene.

The election cries of the opposition were “Away with personal
government,” “Away with a standing army and substitute a national
militia.” With the latter neither Juliette nor her husband were in
agreement. Jules Simon in their salon represented this party. And
when Adam argued against him, upholding a standing army, maintaining
that without it a nation is lost, Nefftzer intervened saying, “You
are right both of you. We must have a standing army and a national
militia to defend the country against the German invasion which is
approaching.”[136]

Though many of her friends were standing as candidates, Madame Adam’s
salon continued to be well frequented all through the election. The
guests, however, came later and went away earlier. Occasionally some
one would disappoint her. Jules Ferry, for instance, in one of the
most adroit of notes excused himself at the last moment.

“_Madame_,” he wrote,[137] “_je n’appartiens plus ni à mes amis, ni
à moi-même, ni aux choses gracieuses de la vie.... Or voici qu’une
réunion d’électeurs apparaît à l’horizon, un peu plus farouche que
votre salon. L’électeur est un maître, vous le savez, et nous ne
sommes pas sur un lit de roses; vous m’excuserez donc et vous me
permettrez si ce mercredi soir m’est enlevé, de vous porter mes
excuses un matin._”

At the request of their friends the Adams, as will be seen, had
changed their day from Friday to Wednesday. Throughout the election
Juliette had been full of hope. And the result did not disappoint
her. For, although the Government maintained a majority in the House,
the opposition had won a striking moral victory. The forces of the
opposition now led by Gambetta in the Chamber, had shown their
growing power. Many of its candidates, Rochefort, for example, though
defeated, had obtained a large number of votes. The Empire was visibly
tottering. Napoléon, ill and irresolute, was driven to grant the
reformers concession after concession.

FOOTNOTES:

[87] _Souvenirs_, II. 462-3.

[88] _Propos Littéraires_, 5ième série, 285.

[89] _Souvenirs_, II. 450.

[90] _Souvenirs_, II. 453.

[91] _Ibid._, III. 29.

[92] He had held office in the Provisional Government, had attempted
to stem the tide of insurrection in the summer of 1848, and, having
failed, had retired into private life, occupying himself with the
writing of books and articles on political and economic subjects.
After the war he returned to politics, and was Minister of Foreign
Affairs in 1883.

[93] Quinet and Michelet had both recently published histories of
the Revolution. The appearance of these volumes ended that close
friendship which until then had united them. For each regarded himself
as having said the last word on the subject; and according to Mme.
Adam, who disliked Michelet, the latter could not forgive his sometime
friend for not having mentioned him in his book (see _Souvenirs_, III.
314). Michelet was astonished, he wrote to Quinet, “at this amazing
neglect of one _qui seul avait frayé, les voies_.”

[94] See _post_, 209.

[95] _Souvenirs_, III. 123.

[96] _Souvenirs_, III. 131.

[97] _Ibid._, 133.

[98] Armand Carrel, editor of the _National_, killed in a duel by
Girardin.

[99] See _ante_, 100.

[100] Afterwards President of the French Republic.

[101] Hippolyte, see _ante_, 68.

[102] 1851, at the time of Louis Napoléon’s _coup d’état_.

[103] See _ante_, 76.

[104] _Idées Anti-Proudhoniennes._

[105] See _ante_, 48.

[106] _Souvenirs_, II. 236.

[107] See _ante_, 102.

[108] _Souvenirs_, III. 136.

[109] It was said to have been bombarded during the _coup d’état_ of
December 2, 1851.

[110] _Souvenirs_, III. 249.

[111] _Souvenirs_, III. 193.

[112] _Souvenirs_, III. 251.

[113] _Ibid._, 307.

[114] _Ibid._, 261.

[115] _Ibid._, 363.

[116] _Souvenirs_, III. 364.

[117] _Souvenirs_, II. 373.

[118] _Ibid._, 416.

[119] _Ibid._, III. 309.

[120] Later Prime Minister of France.

[121] _Souvenirs_, III. 311.

[122] _Ibid._, 312.

[123] _Souvenirs_, V. 143, 154, 156, 161.

[124] _Souvenirs_, IV. 309.

[125] _Histoire du Second Empire_, chap. v. p. 412.

[126] _Souvenirs_, III. 315.

[127] _Ibid._, 317.

[128] Pierre de la Gorce, _op. cit._, 418, and the speeches of
Gambetta, published by Joseph Reinach, I. 5-17.

[129] _Souvenirs_, III. 318-19.

[130] _Ibid._, 409-13 _et passim_.

[131] _Ibid._, 412.

[132] _Souvenirs_, III. 412.

[133] _Ibid._, 410.

[134] _Souvenirs_, III. 345.

[135] Pierre de la Gorce, _op. cit._, V. 483.

[136] _Souvenirs_, III. 358.

[137] _Ibid._, 361.



CHAPTER IX

HER FRIENDSHIP WITH GEORGE SAND

1858-1870

  “_Ma grande amie maternelle a été mon guide._”—Mme. Adam, _Souvenirs_.


To have been intimately associated with George Sand during the last
fifteen years of that distinguished woman’s life, Mme. Adam regards as
one of her greatest privileges.

Each of Mme. Adam’s seven volumes of _Souvenirs_ has its hero and
heroine: her grandmother, Mme. Seron, dominates the first, Mme.
d’Agoult the second, Gambetta the four last. George Sand, while
intervening in several volumes, figures most prominently in the third,
_Mes Sentiments et Nos Idées avant 1870_. Here we find a striking
portrait of that celebrated novelist whom her English critic, W.
H. Myers, considers “the most noteworthy woman, with perhaps one
exception, who has appeared since Sappho.”[138] Mme. Adam knew George
Sand in the evening of her days, when she had lived down her enemies,
partisanships, scandals, loves. They had passed away and left her “in
grand old age sitting beneath the roof that sheltered her earliest
years, and writing for her grandchildren stories in which her own
childhood lives anew.”

It is not surprising that Juliette Adam and George Sand should have
been attracted to one another; for they had many natural affinities.
They were both passionately romantic and idealist. “_Je suis restée
troubadour_,” writes Mme. Sand in January 1867,[139] “_c’est à dire
croyant à l’amour, à l’art, à l’idéal_.” They were both incurable
optimists, ardent adorers of nature, lovers of humble folk, and of
peasants especially; delighting in simple things, in the joys of
friendship, in the pleasures of family life, though both had known
marital miseries. Their upbringing had not been unlike, penetrated in
each case with a strong strain of paganism. Neither was a rationalist,
for surging up from the subconsciousness of them both was a keen sense
of the unseen and a lively curiosity in the occult.

Their creeds differed: George Sand was a deist, Juliette in those days
a pantheist. But Mme. Sand was not mistaken when she prophesied that
one day her young friend’s faith would approximate more nearly to her
own. “_Essayez donc de vous convertir à mon Dieu unique_,” she said.
“_Il y’a en votre âme un grand vide de spiritualité dont vous ne vous
apercevez pas a cette heure, parce que vous avez la vie la plus pleine
que se puisse imaginer, mais un beau jour vous sentirez l’insufficence
que vous apporte votre croyance en l’incroyance._”[140]

It was in 1858, on the publication of her first book, _Idées
Anti-Proudhoniennes_, written as we have seen partly in defence of
George Sand, that Juliette first came into personal relationship with
the writer whom she had long admired. “_George Sand me remercia par
une fort belle lettre pleine de gratitude_,” she writes.[141] Later
the young authoress received a visit from one of Mme. Sand’s friends,
a certain Captain d’Arpentigny, who explained to her that, as she
was the friend of the Comtesse d’Agoult, with whom Mme. Sand had
quarrelled,[142] the latter deemed it prudent that she and her young
champion should not meet. If some day Juliette should break off her
relations with Mme. d’Agoult, then she might come to see George Sand.

Such a condition was neither petty nor vindictive, though such at
first it might seem. Considering the temperaments of these two
distinguished women—one endowed with the passionate vehemence and
frankness of the Celt, the other not lacking in a certain Teutonic
vindictiveness—for Juliette to have been a loyal friend to them both
at the same time would have been impossible.[143]

There was no reason, however, why Juliette and George Sand should
not correspond. Mme. Sand never failed to take an interest in her
correspondent’s literary career.

She read all her books and gave the young author the invaluable
benefit of her criticism. Though her book _Mon Village_ was dedicated
to Mme. d’Agoult, it was, as we have seen, written at the suggestion
of George Sand.

For nine years Juliette and her unknown friend, her _amie éloignée_,
as Mme. Sand called herself, continued to correspond. And it was not
until Juliette’s final breach with Mme. d’Agoult, in 1867, that the
former considered herself at liberty to see in the flesh her whose
spirit and whose writings she had admired so long.

Mme. Adam’s graphic description of the memorable meeting in the third
volume of her _Souvenirs_[144] has become almost a classic.

With her whole being throbbing with emotion, Juliette went by
appointment to Mme. Sand’s flat, No. 97, Rue des Feuillantines. In a
large arm-chair, which made her appear quite a little woman, Mme. Sand
sat with both arms on a table in front of her, rolling a cigarette.

“I approached,” writes Juliette; “she did not rise, but she pointed to
a seat, which I was to take, quite near the table. Her large kind eyes
enveloped, attracted me. My pulse beat violently.

“I made a great effort to greet her with a word. I found nothing to
say. My heart came into my mouth.

“She lit her cigarette and began to smoke. She also seemed searching
for a word to address to me; but she no more than I could find
anything to say.

“Later I knew how reserved she felt in the presence of any one whom
she saw for the first time.

“Then, realising that I must appear idiotic, my feelings overcame me,
and I burst into tears.

“George Sand threw away her cigarette and held out her arms to me. I
threw myself into them, possessed by that filial tenderness which I
had longed to experience, and which has remained with me to this hour.”

Naturally they could not avoid talking of that disagreement with Mme.
d’Agoult which had rendered the meeting possible.

Then they discussed a theme constantly recurring in the conversation
of serious persons in that day: the frivolity and corruption of
Parisian society under the Empire, and the reign of opportunism.

They rejoiced at the boldness of the manager of the Théâtre français,
who had dared to represent a play by Victor Hugo, then a political
exile, and they delighted to think of the consolation it must bring to
the author in his banishment.

“I left Mme. Sand,” writes Juliette, “after two hours of confidences,
confirmed in my adoration of her and in our friendship.

“Would that I could tell and tell again all her delicacy of feeling,
her nobility of heart, her moral elevation, her wide comprehension of
life, her serenity learnt in so hard a school, won at the price of
such cruel experiences.”

That Juliette on her part had favourably impressed her new
acquaintance may be seen by the terms in which Mme. Sand refers to
her in her correspondence. Writing to Flaubert in September 1867, she
calls Juliette _une charmante jeune femme de lettres_,[145] and again
to the same correspondent she exclaims later, _Mme. Juliette Lamber
est vraiment charmante_. George Sand took a deep interest in all the
members of her young friend’s family. At her invitation Juliette’s
betrothed, Edmond Adam, went to see her. They talked of 1848. Speaking
of Juliette, Mme. Sand said to Adam, “I have waited long for _cette
fille adoptive_”; of Adam to his bride, “He has a loyal hand:[146]
you must be proud to give him yours.”[147] Henceforth nothing would
satisfy Juliette and her affianced but that Mme. Sand should visit
them on the Golfe Juan. Juliette described her Bruyères as modest
but gay, Adam’s villa, Le Grand Pin, as fine and equipped with every
possible comfort and convenience. George decided for Bruyères.

“_Et me voilà_,” writes Juliette, “_aussi joyeuse qu’Edmond Adam va
devenir jaloux_.”[148] Mme. Sand, who adored children and was never
tired of talking of her own little granddaughter Aurora, insisted on
seeing Alice. With Juliette’s daughter it was a case of love at first
sight. For Mme. Sand, who had a nickname for every one she loved,
Alice was henceforth Topaz, because of the dark olive complexion she
had inherited from her Sicilian father, Lamessine.

Henceforth Juliette lived in the hope of that promised winter visit
to Bruyères. But before her southern flight in November, she was
to see a great deal of her friend in Paris. In September they went
together to Rouen and Jumièges.[149] They dined together in town. Once
at Mme. Sand’s favourite restaurant, the famous Magny’s, on the left
bank,[150] Juliette met for the first time an illustrious quartette
of whom she was to see much later: Edmond and Jules de Goncourt,
Gustave Flaubert and Dumas _fils_. The friendship between Juliette and
Flaubert, which dates from that evening, endured until the novelist’s
death. With Flaubert’s family Mme. Adam has continued intimate, and
the opening weeks of this year (1917) she spent with Flaubert’s niece
at her country house in the department of Var. The talk, _chez_ Magny,
that evening[151] was lively and frank, to say the least of it. The
youth, the beauty, the charm of Mme. Sand’s new friend, provoked Dumas
to scoff at the idea of her becoming a writer and a _bas bleu_. He,
like Michel Lévy of old,[152] believed, as he put it, that she had
something better to do. “_Il faut aimer, aimer, aimer_,” he cried. And
Flaubert and the de Goncourts repeated, “_Il faut aimer_.” “To learn
that, gentlemen, I have not waited for your words of wisdom,” replied
Juliette. “I love to love whom I love, and he, whom I love, loves to
see me write.”

       *       *       *       *       *

“The fool,” cried Dumas.

“What an extraordinary idea,” exclaimed Mme. Sand, “to attempt to
prove in my presence that a woman who is a writer cannot love.”

“There is truth in it all the same,” said Edmond de Goncourt.

“Never,” protested George Sand. “The reproach which may be brought
against women writers is precisely that they have loved too much. _Et
la preuve, dedans moi-même, je la treuve_,” she added, relapsing into
_patois_.

“You,” cried Dumas, “why you have never loved anything but the
prefigurings of the heroes of your future novels, something like the
marionettes,[153] whom you have rigged out to repeat your play. Can
that be called loving?”

“Come,” said Flaubert. “Now, we four are writers of some standing. Can
we be called great lovers?”

“I don’t know and I don’t care,” replied Mme. Sand. “But, to confine
oneself to recent examples, it is absurd to maintain that Mme. de
Staël, Mme. d’Agoult, Mme. de Girardin and I have not been passionate
lovers. Indeed, on the contrary, what remains to be proved is the
possibility of a pretty woman writer, who is really gifted, continuing
a simple, loving, faithful wife like any other woman.”

“Yes, that is an interesting problem,” said Jules de Goncourt.

That evening Mme. Sand talked more than usual. Generally she preferred
to listen, delighting to emphasise some witty remark, which she
relished more than any one by a frank outburst of laughter or a brief
exclamation.

In conversation Mme. Sand was best in _tête-à-tête_. Some of the most
memorable of her confidential talks with her friend, Mme. Adam has
reproduced in her _Souvenirs_.

One evening in Paris, when they were to have gone to the Odéon
together, the play having been suddenly changed through an actor’s
illness, “Let us stay at home and talk, dear Juliette,” said George.

That conversation marked the beginning of George Sand’s ascendancy
over her young friend’s mind. “_A partir de cette heure_,” writes
Juliette, “_ma grande amie maternelle a été mon guide”_.[154]

At the end of a long silence, during which she had been smoking
cigarettes, throwing them into a bowl of water after a few whiffs,
George said, as if resuming the thoughts that had been occupying her—

“I want my life to be useful to another, to the daughter whom I choose
to adopt, to you, my child. As we learn to know one another better, as
we talk more and more to one another, I will tell you by what paths,
always roughest when I most sought to find them smooth, I have climbed
the hill of existence.”

Through all that she has written of George Sand, we find Juliette ever
attempting to excuse, or at least to account for, the irregularities,
the ebullience, the wild passions of her friend’s exuberant and
turbulent youth. She attributes them to the extravagance and
effervescence of that romantic movement, in the hey-day of which Mme.
Sand lived the first half of her life. For this view of her friend’s
career Juliette had the authority of George herself.

“In my young days,” said Mme. Sand on this memorable evening, “I moved
in a purely artificial world, in which we were all resolved to feel,
to experience, to love, to think, differently from the vulgar herd.
Determined to avoid the bank, to swim out into the open, we were
constantly losing our foothold and floundering in unfathomable depths.
Remote from the crowd, remote from the shore, always more and more
remote. How many of us have not perished body and soul!

“And those who would not be drowned, who struggled, who were thrown
back on to the bank, they recovered their footing, they became like
other people, through contact with the earth, and especially with the
common sense of humble folk. How often have I not become myself again
in the midst of peasants! How often has not Nohant cured me of and
saved me from Paris!”

For George Sand, as for Joan of Arc four centuries ago, as for
Anatole France to-day, the most adorable, the most salutary, the most
indispensable of all human sentiments is pity. Looking back from the
vantage point of old age on the mad, passionate adventures of her
youth, Mme. Sand saw herself ever swayed from the bottom of her heart
by _une grand pitié_. It was often that pity which caused her to
quarrel with her lovers. She loved them as a mother loves her child.
But they demanded from her the love of a mistress.

“_Quand je m’examine_,” she said to Juliette, “_je vois que les deux
seules passions de ma vie ont été la maternité et l’amitié_.”[155]

After numerous delays and postponements Mme. Sand, accompanied by
her son Maurice and her friend Planet, at length, in February 1868,
arrived at Bruyères. The date of the visit had been so frequently
changed that Juliette and Alice had begun to fear that it might never
take place at all. “Cold outside, comfort within, and especially the
happiness of living surrounded by one’s family,” writes Mme. Sand to
a friend in Paris,[156] “have delayed my journey.” But on the 22nd
of February she was able to write to a friend at Toulon from “Golfe
Juan, Villa Bruyères.” “We are very comfortably installed, very much
spoilt, very energetic, very happy. The day after to-morrow we are
going to Nice, Monaco and Mentone. We shall be away three or four
days. Consequently you must try not to let your business bring you
here before the end of the week. Friday, for example, we are always at
home. For on that day Mme. Lamber receives. But if you come on another
day you must let us know; for we generally spend the whole day out of
doors, and sometimes go a considerable distance.”[157]

In picnics, in visits to Monte Carlo and other scenes of gaiety,
in sailing in _La Petite Fadette_, the yacht which had been Edmond
Adam’s New Year’s gift to his affianced bride, the time passed very
pleasantly. George Sand was a fervent geologist and botanist. “Give
me a piece of stone,” she would say, “and I will tell you the kind of
flora it will produce.” By such means and without visiting the country
she is said to have given a background to some of her novels. On one
of their picnics Mme. Sand suggested that they should found a new
Abbey of Thelema, in which Juliette was to be housekeeper and caterer.
And she could not have made a better choice, as will testify all who
have tasted of Mme. Adam’s hospitality.

The fortnight which Mme. Sand passed on the Golfe Juan was for
Juliette one of the happiest in that happy year, 1868, the year of her
marriage with Edmond Adam. Bruyères was a home of delight to those
who enjoyed its charming hospitality and had the good fortune to stay
there. _La Villa du Bon Repos_ some of them christened it, and later
it was known as “the Adam’s earthly Paradise.” During the February of
1868 it was the gayest house on the Riviera.

Mme. Sand was a delightful person to entertain, so simple, so
contented, so entirely occupied with other people, never permitting
her hosts to perceive in her the slightest suggestion of care,
anxiety, or fatigue. Perfectly regular and orderly in her manner of
life, every day she made her first appearance at the twelve-o’clock
lunch, and from that hour until ten her friends had her to themselves.
At ten in the evening she bade them good-night and retired to her
room to work, frequently until the small hours of the morning.
Juliette, whose room was beneath Mme. Sand’s and who also went to bed
late, used to hear her moving about. Her cigarettes and a glass of
water were all she required for her long vigils.

Maurice Sand, her son, himself a gifted writer, one of the wittiest
and gayest of companions, the inventor and manager of the celebrated
marionette theatre at Nohant, entertained the company with his
jokes—no one could long be serious in his presence.

Mme. Sand’s friend Planet had been brought up to laugh at Nohant
(_élevé à rire_), for Mme. Sand believed in mirth as the most
effectual of sanitives. _La gaieté est la meilleure hygiène de
l’esprit._ “Consequently,” writes Juliette, “I assure you we are not
sad.”[158]

George Sand used to say that she was never sure of her friends until
she had stayed with them and lived some days of their life. Her visit
to Bruyères drew more closely the cords of her intimacy with Juliette,
and sealed their friendship.

On their return to Paris, and after their marriage, which took place
in the spring, the Adams were constantly being urged by Mme. Sand to
visit her at Nohant. “_Chers enfants_,” wrote George, “_quand vous
verra t’on? On vous attend maintenant tout l’été, sans aucun projet
que le bonheur de vous embrasser tous trois_”[159] (Edmond Adam,
Juliette and Alice). Adam had a horror of country visits. But in this
case he was willing to set aside his prejudice, and to accept the
great George’s invitation. The Adams only waited until Juliette’s
father, Dr. Lambert, had recovered from an operation for stone.
Finally, on the 4th of July, in time for their hostess’s sixty-fifth
birthday, _jour de bouquets et d’embrassades_, they arrived at Mme.
Sand’s picturesque home at Nohant, in the heart of that beloved Berry,
which readers of her novels know so well.

The birthday of the mistress of Nohant was a fête for the
neighbourhood. Maurice had spent the previous night decorating the
hall and reception-rooms with garlands woven by the peasants. In
the art of decoration, the creator of the Marionette Theatre was a
past master; and the whole house appeared a bower of flowers and
verdure.[160]

The firing of a gun announced the luncheon hour. Marshalled by
Maurice, the entire household, guests, servants and even the tiny
granddaughter Aurora, holding Alice’s hand, assembled in _grande
toilette_. Alice and her mother had been early out in the fields
gathering wild flowers for the birthday nosegays, which they were
to present to their hostess. Then she appeared. The servants cried:
“_Vive la bonne dame._” Maurice read an address which he had prepared
for the occasion. “_Ce que tu es adorablement stupide_,” cried his
mother, embracing him. Then all the guests in turn expressed their
good wishes. Luncheon passed gaily, the afternoon was spent out of
doors. But the great event of the day was the evening performance in
the marionette theatre.

To the description of this highly ingenious, perfectly artistic and
most entrancing of entertainments Mme. Adam devotes six pages of her
_Souvenirs_. The spectators were encouraged to express their opinions
audibly as the play went on. Each had his favourite actor or actress.
Mme. Adam, having declared her preference for a certain Coq-en-Bois,
he from the stage invited her to dine with him in a _cabinet
particulier_ at the Café Brébant. “Ah! no, I protest!” cried Adam; and
led by the queen of the festival, the whole audience was convulsed
with laughter.

In theory, and in practice during her early days, always a rebel
against order and discipline, in her home George Sand had ever been
the personification of orderliness. Perfect tidiness reigned in her
simply furnished study. In her desk and her large cupboards, every
drawer and shelf was furnished with a label indicating the contents.
Equally precise was the arrangement of her bedroom, opening out of the
study, with its fine old furniture and its hangings of blue—the colour
of the Golfe Juan, as she said to Juliette. In her gardens, where she
had acclimatised an immense variety of plants, collected during her
travels, Mme. Sand took great delight. But no one was allowed to cut
the flowers. Those used for house decoration were all gathered in the
woods and fields.

Serious conversation, profound discussions, Mme. Sand reserved for her
_tête-à-têtes_. The general talk at Nohant was of the mirth-provoking
order, that intelligent nonsense which clears the brain and
sharpens the wits. If any one was inclined to be too serious, he was
immediately prodded into liveliness by one of those practical jokes in
which the mistress of Nohant revelled. The unhappy Edmond Adam had all
his worst prejudices against country-house parties confirmed when he
was roused from his slumbers by the crowing of a cock, which Maurice
had hidden in the wood-chest of his bedroom. The wretched victim’s
vociferations, mingling with the voice of chanticleer, as in night
attire this much-tried guest searched for his tormentor, afforded
intense amusement to the household assembled in the passage, as well
as to Juliette, who, being in the secret, was cowering beneath the
sheets, trying to suppress her laughter, and to Alice in the adjoining
room.

Several days of the Nohant visit were occupied in excursions to places
of interest in the neighbourhood, to the Druidical monuments of
Crevant and to La Mare au Diable.

After they had left Nohant the Adams continued to see a great deal of
George Sand. In the autumn of 1868 they accompanied her on a tour to
the Meuse Valley, which she intended to make the scene of her next
novel, _Malgré Tout_. The great George was a valiant traveller. None
of the discomforts of country tours in days when inns were close
and filthy disturbed her. With what she called the _poltronnerie_
of Juliette and Alice, who complained of sleepless nights spent in
hunting vermin, their friend had no sympathy. She only jeered at them
for not following her example and keeping the pests away by smoking
cigars and cigarettes.

Mme. Sand returned with her friends to Paris. There she established
herself in a flat in the Rue Gay-Lussac, from the windows of which she
could see her beloved Luxembourg. Her chambermaid, who had not the
remotest idea of her mistress’s distinction, always addressed her as
“Madame de Cendre,” and George forbade any one to enlighten her.

Mme. Sand had come to Paris to assist at the rehearsals at the
Porte-Saint-Martin of her play _Cadio_. This indefatigable old lady of
threescore years and more, went every evening to the theatre, where
she stayed from six till two. In her company Juliette for the first
time penetrated “behind.” She was also present on the first night. But
the play was a failure. According to the author, this was chiefly
because the principal actor, one Roger, persisted in wearing a hat
with a white feather instead of a battered and weather-stained cap.
As the curtain was about to rise Mme. Sand tore out the feather and
broke it. But swift as lightning Mme. Roger, an ex-milliner, sewed it
together again. The actor entered beplumed. “_La pièce est perdu!_”
cried the authoress.

The next year the Adams were staying at Pierrefonds. There George Sand
joined them, and they spent together a delightful fortnight there.
In all that concerned her young friend, in Juliette’s spiritual,
professional, domestic and physical welfare, Mme. Sand took the
deepest interest. She marvelled at the numerous activities Juliette
continued to crowd into her life.

“_J’admire q’étant ‛mondaine’ et toujours par monts et par vaux,”
she writes, “et très occupée de la famille et du ménage, vous ayez
le temps d’écrire et de penser. Au reste, cette activité est bonne à
l’esprit, mais n’usez pas trop le corps._”[161]

Sometimes George Sand feared for her friend the consequences of
her excitable temperament and her untiring energy. She would have
liked to have seen in her something of the serenity which the great
George had herself acquired. But she realised that with Juliette, as
with herself, this calm, this aloofness from life’s petty worries,
would come with old age. “We must not ask youth to anticipate age,”
she wrote. “And youth’s charm is in its impressionability.”[162]
Nevertheless, she adjures her friend to cultivate moderation in all
things, not to strive after violent sensations. “You are passionate
and exalted,” she wrote to Juliette; “that is good and beautiful, and
we love you for it.” “But,” she adds, “do not, in your craving for
emotion, afflict yourself unnecessarily. Spend yourself, but do not
waste yourself.... Your sleeplessness is not natural to youth.” It
indicated, thought Mme. Sand, that something was wrong in Juliette’s
ordering of her life. She advised her not to work at night, but to go
to bed at eleven, to rise at six and to write then, before the time
came for her daughter’s morning lessons. The writer of this letter
did not herself follow these precepts. But she had long passed out
of Juliette’s condition of nervous excitability. “Work,” she added,
“is an act of lucidity. Now, perfect lucidity is impossible without
preliminary rest.”

Alas! the course of international affairs was rapidly rendering
impossible that calm restfulness to which George Sand was so wisely
exhorting Juliette.

In the summer of 1870 the Adams repeated their visit to Nohant. On
the 15th of July diplomatic relations between France and Prussia
were severed. On the 25th, M. Émile Ollivier read before the Corps
Legislatif the French Government’s declaration of war.

The house-party at Nohant immediately broke up, and the Adams returned
to Paris.

FOOTNOTES:

[138] W. H. Myers, _Modern Essays_ (1883).

[139] George Sand, _Correspondance_, V. 164.

[140] _Souvenirs_, III. 282-3.

[141] _Ibid._, II. 83.

[142] That Liszt was the cause of their quarrel was well known.
Mme. Sand had written of it in her novel _Horace_, Mme. d’Agoult in
_Nélida_.

[143] For the bitterness of Mme. d’Agoult’s resentment, see
_Souvenirs_, II. 201-4.

[144] pp. 145-7.

[145] _Correspondance_, V. 220.

[146] The great George, apparently like Juliette herself, was a
believer in palmistry. See _Souvenirs_, II. 97.

[147] _Souvenirs_, III. 161, 239.

[148] _Ibid._

[149] See George Sand’s letter to Flaubert, _Correspondance_, V. 220.

[150] It was at this restaurant that Sainte-Beuve gave that Good
Friday dinner which clerical circles regarded as a shocking blasphemy.

[151] _Souvenirs_, III. 165-8.

[152] See _ante_, 55.

[153] Dumas was thinking of George Sand’s famous marionette theatre at
Nohant. See _post_, 129.

[154] _Souvenirs_, III. 172.

[155] _Souvenirs_, III. 170.

[156] George Sand, _Correspondance_, V. 243.

[157] _Ibid._, 245.

[158] _Souvenirs_, III. 205.

[159] _Ibid._, 259, and George Sand’s _Correspondance_, V. 258-9.

[160] _Souvenirs_, III. 268.

[161] George Sand, _Correspondance_, V. 317.

[162] _Ibid._, 250.



CHAPTER X

THE WAR AND PREPARATION FOR THE SIEGE OF PARIS

1870

“_Nous serons vaincus. Il n’y a qu’à voir le désordre, l’impossibilité
des armements._”—George Sand to Mme. Adam, August 18, 1870.


For years a few clear-sighted Frenchmen had seen the German Peril
approaching. Now it was at the gates of France. George Sand and Edmond
Adam had been more afraid of the “Anglo-Saxon Contagion.” They had
been inclined to scoff at Nefftzer’s jeremiads;[163] but now, alas!
they proved to be only too well founded.

The Adams in the anguish of their souls recalled their memorable
drive,[164] in the spring of 1869, along the Corniche Road, in
the company of Nino Bixio, the Garibaldian hero, who was then
Commander-in-Chief of the Italian army. Bixio had just returned from
Germany, whither he had gone at Victor Emmanuel’s command in order to
ascertain the precise condition of the Prussian army. Bixio had come
back firmly convinced that Bismarck was preparing war against France.

“And you are not ready,” he had said to the Adams; “you will be
thoroughly beaten.”[165]

Then Adam, ghastly pale and half rising from his seat, had cried:
“Silence, Nino, or I will throw you into the sea. France, beaten by
the Prussians! Never, do you hear? Never.”

“And do you think it would give me pleasure?” the Italian had
retorted. “But understand, if you don’t wish to be beaten ... then
make an end of your opposition’s foolish, wicked, criminal campaign
against militarism. It is militarism which, entering into the very
marrow of Prussian bones, has for half a century been preparing her to
take her revenge for Jena. Ah! my poor Adam! How blind is France....
Your Napoléon III is a provoker of invasion, and you republicans, you
will be ready to eat your hearts out for having been party men before
Frenchmen. When you refuse him soldiers, you are idiotic.”

Then Bixio had spoken of the negotiations for a triple alliance
between France, Italy and Austria against Germany. According to the
Italian General, it was Napoléon’s support of the papacy, in which he
was encouraged by his ultramontane Empress, that had rendered these
negotiations fruitless.

In order to pass on to their political friends Bixio’s warnings,
the Adams had hastened their return to Paris. But they might have
spared themselves the trouble. For, with the exceptions of Thiers and
Nefftzer, no one had paid any heed whatever to the Italian General’s
prognostications. French politicians were then absorbed in domestic
affairs. But in a few weeks international matters forced themselves
upon their attention. For a new cloud appeared on the horizon. This
was General Prim’s offer of the Spanish crown to a prince of the House
of Hohenzollern. With feverish eagerness Juliette and her friends had
followed these negotiations. Instead of the usual weekly dinner-party,
followed by a reception, in Mme. Adam’s salon there had been an
assembly every evening. Juliette and her husband were full of alarm.
Their German friend, Louis Bamberger, said: “This time, my children,
you will have to give in.”[166] One evening Adam, who had been to
see Thiers in the afternoon, related how the _petit grand homme_ had
entreated him to supplicate his friends not to play with fire. “It is
pure folly,” he exclaimed, “we are on a volcano.”

Then had come the news that Prince Anthony of Hohenzollern had on his
son’s behalf renounced the candidature. “The incident is closed,” said
the chief minister, Émile Ollivier. “We were on the eve of war,” said
Thiers, “but now everything is arranged.”

With immense relief, believing peace to be assured, the Adams, who
had postponed their visit to George Sand on account of the national
crisis, now left Paris for Nohant.

But, alas! their equanimity had soon been disturbed. The French
Government, not content with Prince Anthony’s undertaking, had
required from the King of Prussia a promise that henceforth no
Hohenzollern should ascend the Spanish throne. King William’s refusal
of this demand, and the events of the following fortnight, had
culminated in the French Government’s declaration of war on July 20th.

On the afternoon of that day George Sand and her guests were sitting
in the park at Nohant. Conversation languished, for the menace of war
was in the air. Suddenly the sound of a drum was heard. Every member
of the company trembled.... Maurice came towards them, girded with
a drum, and crying, _Vive la France!_ George Sand and Juliette Adam
burst into tears, while all echoed that cry _Vive la France_, which
henceforth was to be the motive power of all Mme. Adam’s being.[167]

On their return to Paris the Adams found awaiting them numerous
letters from their friends, containing various opinions as to
the declaration of war. France in those days was not without her
conscientious objectors. The pacifist Arlès Dufour would have
preferred civil to international war. “The former would have cost
less in men and in money,” he wrote. M. Adam’s German friend, Louis
Bamberger, took his leave of him, saying, “Love your country, Adam, as
I love mine. I send you a last remembrance before the shock of arms.”
Bamberger, desiring with all his heart German unity, was the fervent
admirer of Bismarck, whom he regarded as alone able to achieve it.

Hetzel reported in Juliette’s salon how he had just seen Mérimée.
In the previous winter, at Bruyères, Juliette had found her friend
obsessed by the impending calamity.[168] “You republicans,” he had
said, “you have disarmed France; and we imperialists, asleep in our
false security, have abandoned her.” “Now,” said Hetzel, “Mérimée is
deploring his country’s unpreparedness.” “We have soldiers, but we
have no generals,” he lamented.... “_Je supplie le grand Mécanicien,
si nous devons être vaincus, de faire cesser mes tours de roue._”[169]
Mérimée’s prayer was granted: dying on the 24th of September, 1870, he
did not live to see the consummation of his country’s defeat.[170]

Paul de Saint-Victor, Juliette’s Catholic friend, was furious against
Renan, whom he accused of being pro-German. It was true that Renan had
admired much that was German, and that he had often despaired of the
future of France. He believed that the Germans would be the teachers
of the world.[171]

“Several of the University professors,” remarks Mme. Adam, “have not
yet been able to bring themselves to love France as much as they have
admired Germany.”[172]

Nevertheless, despite these differences of opinion, a great wave
of patriotism swept through the country. _“Il n’y a plus de petits
crevés,”_ writes Juliette, _“ils ont disparu comme par miracle et sont
devenus les soldats de notre France.”_[173]

“People are beginning once more to use the word _patrie_.[174] It had
been forgotten, buried beneath humanitarianism. Now it returns. It is
uttered with reverence and devotion. Adam and I, when we pronounce it,
feel that to us both it is equally sacred.”

Mérimée had deplored the lack of generals in France. Bixio had said,
“You have neither a Moltke, nor a Bismarck, nor a William.” When
Bazaine was appointed to command the Lorraine army, Mme. Adam went to
see her old friend Toussenel, who had known Bazaine at the time of the
Mexican expedition. “He is no soldier,” said Toussenel; “I am more of
one than he. He may be a politician. He is probably not lacking in
diplomacy, neither will he be above intrigue.”[175]

The hesitations and inactivity of the French army during the first
days of the war filled with misgiving the Adams and their friends. “We
had thought,” writes Juliette,[176] “that we could arrest the Prussian
advance by throwing ourselves before the enemy with all our _furia
francese_ and our united forces. But already our troops are scattered.
There are marches and countermarches, but no advance. As during the
Italian war, so now, there is no unity of command.” In those days
Parisians, like ourselves during the present war, were troubled by the
lack of news. Silence, suspense, were harder to bear than anything.
“A frightful silence fills the boulevard,” writes Edmond de Goncourt.
“There is not a carriage to be heard, not a child’s cry of joy, and
on the horizon is a Paris where sound itself seems dead.” When it
did arrive the news was as bad as could be. All through August came
tidings of defeat after defeat: Wissembourg on the 4th; Forbach and
Woerth on one day, the 6th; then, on the 9th, the fall of Ollivier
and the Ministry; finally, on the 1st of September, the rout of Sedan.

On the evening of the 3rd, when about six o’clock the terrible tidings
began to spread like wild-fire through Paris, people came out into
the streets, crowds thronged the boulevards, growing every hour. By
ten o’clock, Paris between the Rue Montmartre and the Grand Opéra
presented the appearance of one immense forum. Juliette went down and
mingled with the people, listening to their conversation.

Everywhere the humiliation and disgrace of France were described as
unbearable. All manner of charges were brought against the Emperor.
Napoléon was said to have surrendered, not himself alone, but the
munitions of the army. His own personal baggage, however, that long
train of wagons encumbering the march of his soldiers, which had won
for him the nickname of _Empereur Colis_ (Luggage Emperor), he had
saved from the hands of the enemy.[177]

“The Prussians will be at Laon to-morrow, and in three days before
Paris,” murmured one. “Wherever you look it is ruin. Our last army has
capitulated. We are a nation no longer. We are nothing but a troop of
prisoners.”

“Down with the Empire!” shouted hundreds of voices. All the hatred of
the crowd at first focussed on Buonaparte, then it turned against the
Corps Legislatif, the Parliament, which had voted this accursed war,
and by its baseness had consummated the national disaster. The Chamber
had been hastily convoked, and at midnight it was still sitting. “We
must march against it and turn it out,” howled the crowd. But on the
point of falling in for this purpose there was a hesitation. “What
should be the rallying cry?” Parisians more than any other people in
the world have ever been dominated by fine and appropriate words.
And it was perfectly characteristic of the Paris mob that it found
itself incapable of proceeding until it should have discovered _le mot
juste_, the rallying cry, which should lead it like a banner.

“Down with the Corps Legislatif?” was suggested.

“No! No!”

“Long live the Republic?”

“No, it is too soon for that.”

_“Vive la France?”_

“No, that is too well known.”

“Death to the Prussians?”

“Better wait for that.”

But suddenly the crowd found the word, a word which indicated the
tenor of the Revolution which was to follow: a word which like a ray
of light was to conciliate a hundred opinions, to gather into one
collective act a hundred individual energies, a simple, powerful,
irresistible, sonorous word, the voice of the people pronouncing the
people’s sentence upon that imperial _régime_, which, for close on
a score of years, had been preparing the ruin of France; the word
was _déchéance_ (dethronement). To the refrain of that word scanned
thus—_Dé—ché—ance_, and sung to the refrain of _Les Lampions_, the
crowd thronged westward on to the Place de la Bastille, to awake
that revolutionary quarter, the Faubourg Saint Antoine, asleep for
twenty years. Then back again it surged on to the boulevards, there to
deliberate and to postpone the attack on the Corps Legislatif until
the morrow, Sunday.

In the small hours of that Sabbath morning Juliette from her window
watched the boulevards emptying, the people going home, but not to
sleep. Lights in the windows announced a vigil—_la veillée des larmes_.

_“Il semble”_, writes Mme. Adam, _“que sous chaque toit un malade est
à toute extrêmité et qu’on passe la nuit à son chevet. Ce malade c’est
La France à l’agonie.”_[178]

The 4th of September dawned resplendent, an ideal autumn day. “The sun
shines to-day,” writes Juliette in her diary.[179] “It is the people’s
sun. There is no fear of rain damping our patriotism.”[180]

In this diary, which she kept for her daughter, who was away in
Normandy, staying near Granville with her grandparents, Mme. Adam, as
they passed, described the events of those memorable hours. By ten
o’clock all Paris was in the streets, thronging towards the Place
de la Concorde and the bridge leading to the Chambre des Députés,
where the members of the Corps Legislatif were to meet at twelve
o’clock. Meanwhile, as the surging crowd outside grew larger and
larger and more and more clamant, in the smoking-room of the House
of Representatives perplexed deputies were vainly seeking some new
form of government to replace the Empire. They were hurriedly turning
over pages describing those numerous constitutional experiments which
France had been trying since the Great Revolution; between the Palais
Legislatif and the Palais des Tuileries, where the Empress was on the
point of flight, all the time despairing ministers were hurrying to
and fro. To Thiers’ house on the Place St. Georges the dying Mérimée
was dragging himself to entreat, on behalf of a woman and her son,
the intervention of _le petit grand homme_ on whose wisdom every one
counted.

Mme. Adam, from her place of vantage in a corner of the bridge close
to the balustrade and the great lamps, listened to the talk which
surged around her. Some wanted a republic, others feared that a
republic would mean a revolution. With the fire of republicanism
burning in her own heart like a religion, Juliette felt moved to
intervene in what she describes as her first public speech.

“The Republic,” she exclaimed, “is not decreed, it is made, it is
born of yourselves. It represents the highest degree of courage, of
intelligence, of activity, of expansion to which a nation can attain.
If society be a magnified edition of individuals, then the Republic is
the result of our noblest actions, a living assemblage of our broadest
and most progressive duties, rights and interests. Henceforth no
social malady, no monarchical canker shall kill it. Then long live the
Republic.”[181]

“My pathos,” writes Mme. Adam, “was not without its success. But my
chief delight was to hear repeated around me by thousands of voices:
_Vive la République._”

From twelve till three, while ministers were deliberating and Eugénie
de Montijo was escaping from her Palace, the mob continued to surge
round the Chambre des Députés.

At half-past three the deputies heard the crashing noise of doors
being broken open: the crowd had invaded the Chamber. But, like
Charles I, the Parisians found that the birds had flown; no ministers
were present, there were only a few deputies of the left. Among them
was Gambetta. He vainly tried to address the mob. But even that
resonant voice could not obtain a hearing. Amidst cries of “Where are
the ministers?” he was howled down. And it was not until the ministers
had reappeared, and the President of the Chamber, M. Schneider, from
his official seat, had reminded the people of the danger threatening
them, with the enemy barely one hundred miles away, that there was
something like order. The ministers, fearing the violence of the
mob, stayed but a brief space in the Chamber. After their departure,
Gambetta entered the tribune and declared that Louis Napoléon
Buonaparte and his dynasty had for ever ceased to reign in France.

Forthwith, at the invitation of another deputy of the left, Jules
Favre, the crowd followed Favre himself and Gambetta to the Hôtel de
Ville. There at half-past four the Republic was proclaimed and the
Government of National Defence declared. Its President was General
Trochu, Governor of Paris and Minister of War. Of the fourteen
members, all deputies either for Paris or the department of Seine,
nine were the Adams’ personal friends. Gambetta was Minister of the
Interior, Ernest Picard of Finance, Jules Simon of Education, Jules
Favre of Foreign Affairs, Dorian of Public Works. Garnier-Pagès,
Pelletan, Emmanuel Arago and Rochefort were all ministers without
portfolios.[182] When the Revolution broke out Rochefort was in prison
on a charge of high treason, based on his attacks on the Empire in his
paper _La Lanterne_. On the afternoon of the 4th, he was liberated by
the crowd and brought in triumph to the Hôtel de Ville.

“The end of that day was splendid,” writes Juliette.[183] “A fresh
breeze blew from the old river of Paris on to the assembled multitude.
Once again the Hôtel de Ville had become _le Louvre superbe des
révolutions_. The last rays of the setting sun gilded that people’s
palace, played upon its windows, causing them to sparkle with a
brilliance far surpassing the glitter of all the diamonds in the
imperial crown.”

The Revolution had passed without the shedding of a drop of blood,
without a single deed of violent disorder. The forecast of a working
man, whom Juliette had overheard that afternoon, had come true.
“Ah, well!” he had exclaimed, looking round on the crowd,[184] “we
are all here—we, the robbers, _les partageux_, the assassins! Here
we are on this fine Sunday. And there will be no robbery and no
assassination.... Every one is pleased, even the omnibus company; for
not one of their ‛buses has been held up and they have not lost a
threepence.”

Indeed, there was universal rejoicing. Confidence and determination
shone on all faces. Old friends met in the street and embraced
one another. The fall of that oppressive _régime_ established on
the 2nd of December brought intense relief. On the day after the
Revolution, George Sand wrote to Mme. Adam from Nohant a letter of
fervent rejoicing: _“Quelle grande chose,”_ she exclaims, _“quelle
belle journée au milieu de tant de désastres! Je n’espérais pas cette
victoire de la liberté sans résistance.”_[185] Even with the enemy
advancing to their gates Parisians breathed again, realising that
henceforth it was for _la patrie_ and not for a dynasty that they
would fight.

Search as we will among the numerous records of those memorable hours,
penned by those who lived through them, we shall find none describing
more vividly than these forty pages of Mme. Adam’s _Souvenirs_, the
talk, the incidents and the movements of that vast crowd, thronging
the Paris streets, all swayed by the excitement of a revolution. For
_la grande Française_, as Mme. Adam was later to be called, never
lives more intensely than when in a crowd. _“Je vis d’une autre
existence dès que je me mèle à la foule,”_ she writes.[186]

The gladness of that September evening, however, was but a rift in
the clouds now rapidly enveloping Paris. The Prussians were expected
to reach the capital on Thursday, the 8th of September. They did not
arrive until the 19th. In the interval, Mme. Adam took a hasty night
journey to Granville, in order that Alice might have a glimpse of her
mother before she was shut up in the besieged city. After waiting five
hours in a queue at the Gare Montparnasse, she obtained tickets for
herself and her maid, and caught one of the few trains running. Adam
feared that she might not be able to return. But after spending a few
hours with her family, whom she was not to see again for many months,
she tore herself away and entered the Paris train, which was said to
be the last. Indeed, whether it would continue as far as Paris seemed
doubtful. Juliette and her maid, who, with three fellow-travellers
and a dog, were the only passengers bound for that destination,
were, however, promised by the driver that, if compelled to abandon
his train, he would take them on his engine into Paris. This was
unnecessary, for, to the immense joy of Adam, who had almost ceased
to hope for his wife’s return, the whole train steamed into the Gare
Montparnasse.

This was on the 11th of September. During the following days Juliette
was busy stocking her larder ready for the siege.

_“Je vais, je trotte, pour compléter mes provisions,”_ she writes.
_“Il faut tant de choses! Tout peut manquer a un moment donné,
jusqu’au sel, jusqu’au poivre, jusqu’à la moutarde. Je déploie dans
mes recherches tout mon génie domestique. Je ne rève que mouton
d’Australie, Liebig, jambon, légumes Chollet, épicerie, comestibles.
Mes poches, ma robe, mes bas, mes mains, sont toujours encombrés
quand je rentre. Si je découvre une conserve nouvelle, je rève à
l’étonnement qu’elle causera dans trois mois, aux amis que j’inviterai
à la manger! Verrai-je des héros surgir dans mon entourage: au lieu de
leur tresser des, d’orner leur maison de guirlandes, je leur offrirai
une bouteille de jeunes carottes confites, un sac de choux frisés: il
faut qu mon héros ait accompli les plus grands exploits pour que je
lui présente un fromage tête de mort de Hollande.”_[187]

All Juliette’s friends were similarly employed. _“Le fanatisme de la
provision nous possède tous!”_ she exclaims, on meeting a Member of
Parliament loaded with boxes of sardines.

Having furnished her larder, Mme. Adam next volunteered to nurse the
wounded, who were pouring into Paris. Her father’s lessons in anatomy,
her grandfather’s lessons in the dressing of wounds, now stood her
in good stead. She was appointed to install in the Conservatoire
de Musique a private hospital with fifty beds. Henceforth the
provisioning and equipping of this hospital and the others which she
organised later became her chief concern. “I hold out my hand to every
one; I beg, I write, I do everything to get money,” she says. It was a
grand day when the hospital workers, well provided with bags, bottles
and baskets, were permitted to penetrate into the Tuileries, now given
back to the nation, and to replenish their stores from the imperial
larder. Lists had been made out of the viands to which each hospital
was entitled: macaroni for the Conservatoire de Musique, sausages for
the Picpus Hospital, kidney beans for the Théâtre français, oil for
the Grand Orient, jam for all.

In connection with the Conservatoire Hospital, Mme. Adam organised a
workroom where the wives, mothers and daughters of the men who were
fighting, instead of staying at home and eating their hearts out with
anxiety, could meet together, and, while sewing for the wounded,
encourage one another and sympathise with one another’s sufferings.

Edmond Adam was a member of the Government Committee appointed to
investigate the condition of the general hospitals. This he found so
lamentable, that in many instances, owing to the infection of wards
and operating theatres, amputation cases had no chance of recovery.

Despite the difficulties and dangers which beset her on every hand,
Mme. Adam’s heart burned with a courage and a hope, which her friend,
George Sand, appreciated to the full, when she wrote to her from
Nohant on the 15th of September.[188] _“Vous êtes généreusement
exaltée par un peril prochain et défini.”_ This was one of the last
letters Mme. Adam received before the gates of Paris were closed.

FOOTNOTES:

[163] See _ante_, 99.

[164] _Ibid._, 118.

[165] _Souvenirs_, III. 349 _et seq._

[166] _Souvenirs_, III. 448.

[167] _Souvenirs_, III. 464.

[168] _Ibid._, 409.

[169] _Ibid._, 470.

[170] For Mme. Adam’s description of the grim incident which occurred
at his funeral, see _Souvenirs_, V. 66.

[171] Grant Duff in _Notes from a Diary_, September 1864.

[172] _Souvenirs_, III. 471.

[173] _Ibid._, 468.

[174] _Ibid._, 471.

[175] _Ibid._, 470.

[176] _Ibid._, 473.

[177] _Souvenirs_, IV. 2.

[178] _Souvenirs_, IV. 7.

[179] This diary, first published in _Le Rappel_, was afterwards
embodied in the series of Mme. Adam’s _Souvenirs_, of which it
constitutes the fourth volume, entitled _Mes Illusions et nos
Souffrances pendant le siège de Paris_.

[180] To Edmond de Goncourt (_Journal_ under September 4, 1870) the
4th of September seemed a “grey day.” Jules Favre, _Gouvernement de la
Défense Nationale_, I. 64, writes, _“la journée ... se leva tiède et
radieuse.”_

[181] _Souvenirs_, IV. 23.

[182] For the complete list of members of the Government, see Jules
Favre, _Gouvernement de la Défense Nationale_, I. 89.

[183] _Souvenirs_, IV. 40.

[184] _Souvenirs_, IV. 30.

[185] George Sand, _Correspondance_, VI. 29.

[186] _Souvenirs_, IV. 244.

[187] _Souvenirs_, IV. 62.

[188] _Correspondance de George Sand_, VI. 34.



CHAPTER XI

THE SIEGE OF PARIS

September 19, 1870-January 28, 1871

     _“Ce caractère parisien, qu’on peut aujourd’hui résumer en un seul
     mot: héroïsme?.”_—Mme. Adam, _Souvenirs_, December 7, 1870.


“At present,” said Mme. Adam to a friend on the 27th of September,
1870, “we have barely endured ten days of siege. And I will wager that
in three months I shall not be any more disgusted with it than I am at
present.”[189]

Juliette won her bet, for during the first three months of the siege
she bore her sufferings cheerfully and without flinching. And even
during the fourth month, though her health broke down, her courage did
not fail.

During those interminable four months the two million souls cooped up
in Paris knew every misery which has ever fallen to the lot of the
besieged: internal discontent and disorder, resulting in the abortive
revolution of the 31st of October; extreme scarcity of food and
munitions of war for nearly three weeks, the 20th of December until
the 8th of January; complete isolation from the rest of France and
from the whole outer world.[190] To these sufferings, which Juliette
shared with her fellow-citizens, was added her personal anxiety for
her daughter’s safety. She did not even know where her daughter
was. She hoped that Alice, with her grandparents, had succeeded in
crossing to Jersey; for the Prussians were said to have invaded
Normandy. But for many a long week, from the 19th of September until
the 20th of December, no news came. Juliette endured this agony of
suspense with fortitude. Then at length, through Mme. de Pierreclos,
came tidings that Alice was well and with her grandparents at St.
Helier. Straightway Juliette’s motherly mind flies at once to
other anxious parents in the besieged city who are still without
news of their children. For all through those days of horror Mme.
Adam’s heart never ceased to beat in unison with the hearts of her
fellow-sufferers, to bleed with their sorrows, to throb with their
anxieties and their fears. Living thus in constant communion with
her neighbours, she was able to depict graphically in her journal
the perpetual ebb and flow of public feeling and opinion: now it was
confident and hopeful, now foreboding and doubtful, but never, not
even in the ghastly days of the end, completely conquered by despair.
Throughout, with the exception of the actual days of bombardment, the
comic spirit, Juliette’s inseparable friend, never forsook her; and,
while feeling to the tragic point the sufferings of others, she was
able to joke about her own sorrows and privations.

Next to her separation from Alice, the hardest to bear of her personal
trials during the siege was being compelled to leave her flat in the
Boulevard Poissonnière. On the 11th of October, Adam having been
appointed Prefect of Police, he and his wife had to take up their
abode in the Préfecture.

In the halls and corridors of that gloomy building, what hours of
weary waiting for a passport’s stamping have not many of us endured
during this war-time! We can well sympathise, therefore, with Mme.
Adam’s horror at the idea of spending not hours only, but days,
weeks and months within the Préfecture’s lugubrious portals. We can
understand her grief at being obliged to exchange her cheerful flat,
her “dovecot” on the Boulevard Poissonnière, for _l’affreuse prison_
in the Rue de Jérusalem.

To any one with her vivid imagination it was a perfect nightmare
merely to watch the going and coming of the prison-vans, lumbering
into the courtyard of La Sainte Chapelle, and to hear the cries of
“No. 1 for Mazas, No. 2 for Ste. Pélagie.”[191]

It was during her residence in the Préfecture that occurred that
insurrection of the 31st of October which proved a premonition of the
Commune. The popular discontent with the Government, and especially
with its President, General Trochu, who was also Governor of Paris,
had been growing for some weeks. It was brought to a head by the news
that Le Bourget, one of the forts outside the capital, which had been
captured from the Prussians on the 28th of October, had been retaken
on the 29th. On the 30th, Mme. Adam, on her way to her hospital from
a concert in the Cirque Pas de Loup, found the boulevard in an almost
revolutionary ferment. The people were exclaiming: “We do not demand
successes, but we will not have defeats resulting from our general’s
frivolity, carelessness and incapacity.”[192] Later in the evening,
when the time came for Juliette to return home, she found the tumult
had increased. As she pressed her way through the crowd she felt its
sentiments possessing her. “My sorrows mingled with theirs,” she
writes, “my patriotism with their patriotism.”

As soon as she saw Adam she warned him of the state of Paris. But
he knew it better than she, and her warning was unnecessary. There
was a dinner-party at the Préfecture that evening. Both at table
and afterwards in her salon, the guests, among whom was Rochefort,
complained as loudly as the crowd of the Government’s incapacity.
Every one found fault with the mismanagement which had resulted in
the loss of Le Bourget. Rochefort and Adam were obliged to leave to
attend a Cabinet meeting,[193] held to receive the report of Thiers,
who had just returned from an official visit to the Great Powers on
the subject of an armistice. Adam did not come back to the Préfecture
until three o’clock in the morning.

The news that he brought was of the gravest. The Prefect of the Police
placed no reliance whatever on the repeated assurances of the Governor
of Paris that he would maintain order. Juliette had long since lost
all faith in that polished, placid person, of whom every one said,
_c’est un homme très distingué_. She would have preferred an energetic
corporal.[194] She had no faith in the famous “plan.” It had never
been confided to any one; but already it was being ridiculed by the
besieged in the following couplets, sung up and down Paris streets—

    “Je sais le plan de Trochu,
    Plan, plan, plan, plan, plan.
    Mon Dieu! quel beau plan!
    Je sais le plan de Trochu;
    Grâce à lui rien n’est perdu!
    Quand sur du beau papier blanc,
    Il eut écrit son affaire,
    Il alla porter son plan
    Chez maître Ducloux, notaire—
    C’est là, qu’est l’plan de Trochu,
    Plan, plan, plan, plan, plan.
    Mon Dieu! quel beau plan!
    C’est là, qu’est l’plan de Trochu;
    Grâce à lui rien n’est perdu!”

Most happily, as it turned out, Adam had resolved on taking his own
measures in order to guard peaceful citizens from the forces of
violence and disorder. He depended on the Gardes Mobiles, recruited
in the provinces. The Garde Nationale could not be trusted. It would
probably side with the populace. And a parade of regular troops would
only irritate the malcontents.

M. Thiers, after the Cabinet meeting, had taken Adam apart and
confided to him his fear that the mob, furious against Thiers for his
attempt to negotiate an armistice, might attack his house on the Place
St. Georges and endanger the lives of his old, faithful servants. Adam
promised to have the house guarded. And he now requested Juliette in
case of danger to bring his friend’s servants into the Préfecture.

Neither sleep nor rest was possible for the Préfet de Police that
night: reports from various parts of Paris were coming in every moment.

Between seven and eight in the morning Adam brought his wife the
official newspaper _L’Officiel_. It contained three items of news,
as little calculated as might be to calm the effervescence of the
Parisian populace. It announced the capitulation of Metz and the
possibility of an armistice, and it confirmed what had only been
rumoured the day before, the Prussian capture of Le Bourget.

The Prefect went off at once to consult Trochu as to the measures for
controlling the manifestation of popular fury which would be sure to
greet these disastrous announcements. He found the general, as usual,
irresolute—one moment proclaiming that the Government nominated by
public opinion must find therein its only support, the next declaring
that a hostile manifestation must be met by a deployment of all the
forces at the Government’s disposition. Determining to give his own
interpretation to such contradictory instructions, Adam assembled
twenty battalions of the Garde Nationale to defend the Hôtel de Ville.
Thither he himself went about one o’clock. Juliette did not see him
again until six. Overcome with restlessness and apprehension, Mme.
Adam spent the afternoon with some friends at Romainville Fort, whence
could be seen the lost Le Bourget. Returning through Belleville about
four o’clock, they found the suburb in a state of extreme agitation.
Angry crowds thronged the streets, vociferating loudly: “We won’t
have an armistice. All our men must engage. Rather blow up Paris than
surrender.”[195]

Round the Hôtel de Ville the crowd was so dense that it was impossible
for the carriage to pass. Alighting, Juliette mingled with the people
and asked, “What was happening?” The replies she received were so
contradictory that she could learn nothing. From the windows of the
Hôtel de Ville lists were being thrown out, containing the names,
curiously assorted, of those who were being proposed for the new
Government: on one list were Victor Hugo, Louis Blanc, Ledru-Rollin,
Delescluze; on another, Blanqui, Delescluze, Flourens, Félix Peyrat.
Every list contained the name of Dorian, an intimate friend of the
Adams, the highly popular and capable Minister of Public Works. On one
paper was written merely _Commune décrétée, Dorian président_.[196]
Mingling in that self-same crowd were other distinguished diarists
of the siege: Labouchère, then Paris correspondent for the _Daily
News_, and Edmond de Goncourt, both of whom observed that list-making.
De Goncourt saw workmen in round hats inscribing in pencil on thick
writing-pads a list which was being dictated to them.[197] He caught
the names of Blanqui, Flourens, Ledru-Rollin and Motte. “That will do
now,” cried a workman in a blouse. And de Goncourt next found himself
in a group of women timorously talking of the distribution of goods.

Up in the Hôtel de Ville, already invaded by the mob, were
deliberating, in one room, the mayors of Paris, and in another the
Government of National Defence.[198]

Where was her husband? was naturally Mme. Adam’s chief concern.
Following a company of Gardes Nationaux, she penetrated through a
little side door into the courtyard of the Hôtel de Ville. There she
saw Gustave Flourens on horseback. He was a Revolutionist designated
by one of the lists as leader of the Commune.

_“Ce pauvre Gustave, brave garçon, mais un enfant,”_ murmured at her
side a man who, perspiring freely and breathing deeply, like one who
had been hustled in a crowd, seemed just to have escaped from the riot
upstairs.

“You come from above, sir?” asked Mme. Adam. “What is going on there?”

“Everything is for the best, my little lady,” he replied. “Blanqui is
proclaimed Dictator of the Commune.”

Juliette longed to ask about her husband. But she was afraid. She only
dared to inquire—

“How about Dorian?”

“What would you have, madame? He himself replied to us, saying, ‛I
refuse to preside over the Commune. I am no politician. I found
cannon, and, in my opinion, this is a time when the country stands
more in need of cannons than of insurrections!’”

“Fine words,” exclaimed Juliette.

“Yes, madame; take them away with you,” was the rejoinder.

Hoping that Adam had returned to the Préfecture, Juliette made her way
home, but only to find her husband still absent. He returned, however,
at half-past six. Only a few minutes before, his wife had heard from
the lips of a friendly National Guard the news of her husband’s
arrest and of his escape, which he owed to the good offices of the
news-bearer. The Prefect had only a few minutes to stay. His wife
spoke of dinner. He would not hear of it. He had come to take measures
for the defence of the Préfecture. Those measures the events of that
black, starless night proved to be only too necessary.[199]

But they must be read in Mme. Adam’s _Souvenirs_; for the limits of
this volume require us to pass over them and to hasten on to record
briefly the agreement which, by the intervention of Adam and his
friend Dorian, was arrived at in the small hours of the morning.
Standing in a narrow staircase of the Hôtel de Ville, with the angry
riflemen of the Commune above him, and the treacherous National Guards
below, the Prefect conducted a parley. This intervention, seconded by
the negotiations which Dorian in an upper room was carrying on between
the Government and the Revolutionists, resulted in the signing of a
convention.

By this agreement[200] the Government promised three things: first,
to hold municipal elections on the following day; second, political
elections on the day after; third, not to prosecute the leaders of the
insurrection.

After the signing of this agreement, Adam, having, with considerable
difficulty, secured the evacuation of the Hôtel de Ville by the
invaders and the re-establishment of order, returned to the Préfecture
at half-past five on the morning of November 1st.

Barely had the Prefect thrown himself on his bed and begun to
enjoy the sleep which for two nights had been denied him, when his
wife, who was writing in the adjoining room, heard her husband’s
bedroom door violently opened. This early morning visitor was a
member of the Government, M. Picard, who came to demand the arrest
of the rebel leaders. Picard and certain of his colleagues, who
had contrived to escape from the besieged Hôtel de Ville, and who
were, therefore, absent at the time of the Convention’s signing,
refused to hold themselves responsible for it. Adam, however, rather
than break his pledged word, sent in his resignation. Negotiations
continued throughout the day. The Prefect was implored to reconsider
his decision; but he was deaf to all entreaties. His wife, who was
lunching with Mme. Dorian when she first heard the news of her
husband’s resignation, thoroughly approved of his action, deploring
the treachery of the Government and its inevitably disastrous effect
upon the people.

The question arose as to what should be the attitude of Dorian
himself. He, as well as Adam, had undertaken that the leaders of the
insurrection should go free. He, like Adam, was a man of unimpeachable
honour. But his position was somewhat different. As Minister of Public
Works he was entrusted with the all-important task of providing with
munitions the army defending Paris. In his exercise of this function
he had displayed marvellous ingenuity, energy and organising power.
He had transformed the goldsmiths of Paris into engineers. He had
commandeered every possible assistance. He had seemed to create guns
out of nothing.[201]

“Twenty thousand shells are to-day being turned out,” wrote Mme. Adam,
“in a city where, according to the Ministry of War, all the materials
for munitions were exhausted.”

Here was Dorian, the right man in the right place: a minister who, if
his colleagues had only possessed half his brains and energy, might
possibly have saved Paris. What was he to do? His dignity dictated
resignation. But though modesty itself, he was not blind to his own
worth. He knew what he and he alone could do for his country, and for
the country he cared far more than for his personal dignity. That day
at lunch his wife, his son, and his beautiful daughter, Aline Dorian,
one of the most ardent of patriots, and his daughter’s husband, Paul
Ménard, all entreated him to resign.[202] With tears in his eyes and
without the slightest hesitation, he replied: “When I left my home and
my foundries to come to Paris, I was prepared for every sacrifice.
When I consented to enter the Government of Defence, I vowed to
the Republic’s service my fortune, my life, and yours, Ménard, and
yours, Charles. You tell me that I ought to reserve my honour. I do
not consider that my honour is in question. Rather it is the honour
of others which is at stake. It is my dignity that is attacked. I
feel it. Nevertheless I will go so far as to make that sacrifice. I
have carved out my own part in the national task which we are all
performing. I found cannon. If I ceased to do so, then I am persuaded
not another cannon, not a single bullet more would be manufactured.”

Dorian continued in office. Adam, as we have said, resigned; and
after three weeks’ residence in her prison house, Juliette awoke on
the morning of the 3rd of November to find herself back again in her
“dovecot” of the Boulevard Poissonnière.

One of the privations of her sojourn across the water had been that
she saw less of her friends. The Rue de Jérusalem was too far out of
their beat. Now, sauntering along the boulevard, coming away from
dinner at Brébant’s opposite, the Adams’ friends had only to climb
their staircase on Wednesday or Friday evenings to find them at home
and surrounded by interesting friends. Of this restored privilege
the former frequenters of Mme. Adam’s salon were not slow to avail
themselves. “_Ah! que le salon du Boulevard Poissonnière est autrement
fréquenté que celui de la Préfecture_,” exclaims Juliette. On the 8th
of November she writes: “This evening we have the whole Dorian family,
for whom our friendship increases every day, also Eugène Pelletan,
Rochefort, who had resigned after the 31st of October, Chenevard and
Louis Blanc.”

As the siege dragged on and viands grew scarcer and scarcer, Mme. Adam
was often hard put to it to provide dinners for her guests. They were
_dîners de guerre_, which, of course, means _guère de dîner_.

“I invited our friends to dinner,” writes Mme. Adam on the 23rd of
December. “But our dinners are now veritable picnics.” Jourdan, a
well-known journalist, provided the butter, Peyrat the last box of
Albert plums in Paris, another guest a little box of kidney beans, yet
another had sent the joint—it was part of an interesting cow which
for two months had been stabled in a salon. A few weeks later such
a luxury as beef became quite unknown. Juliette for her New Year’s
dinner-party considered herself lucky to be able to put before her
friends a joint of elephant. It was part of the famous Castor from
the Jardins d’Acclimation. The trunk of Castor’s twin, Pollux, which
an English butcher of the Boulevard Haussman had temptingly displayed
in a setting of camel kidneys, helped to furnish forth the war
dinner-tables of Labouchère and Edmond de Goncourt. The _Daily News_
correspondent found it tough and oily, _une pièce de résistance_, but
not in the usual sense of the term.

The sufferings of the rich, however, were as nothing compared with
those of the poor. They were aggravated by the severity of the winter
and the scarcity of fuel. Guards on the Paris ramparts were found
frozen stiff.[203] Well-dressed women were to be seen carrying bundles
of faggots along the street, or bearing home in triumph the hoop of a
cask.

Walking along the Rue St. Honoré, Juliette was terrified to see a
man fall down before her; he had fainted, and was on the point of
dying of starvation. Mme. Adam learned that he was a whipmaker, whose
occupation had forsaken him at a time when carriage-horses fetched a
high price as a table delicacy. That day Juliette became possessed of
a stock of whips large enough to furnish forth all the chariots of the
Olympic Festival.

“When my portion of horseflesh is tough,” she writes,[204] “I try to
console myself with the thought that it is part of one of those poor
skeletons I used to see beaten almost to death along the streets.
When the meat is fat and tender I am always afraid it comes from one
of those fine dapple greys belonging to the Western Railway Line,
which you, Alice, loved to watch ascending the slight incline of the
Boulevard Poissonnière.”

The fortitude with which all classes in Paris endured the hardships
of the siege Juliette is never tired of extolling. “Not a woman
complains,” she writes. “The prevailing idea is devotion to _la
patrie_. _C’est une si grande chose que la patrie quand on y pense_,”
exclaimed a working man whom she met in the street.

Of course there were ugly scenes: ferocity resulting from the pangs
of hunger, wild lawlessness arising from the relaxation of the
bonds of family discipline in a time of so much distress. Juliette,
with an idealist’s determination in an hour of heroic struggle to
see only what is best in her fellow-men, passes lightly over such
incidents, leaving them for de Goncourt’s more realistic pen. She was
even prepared to condone drunkenness, because it frequently arose
from scarcity of food.[205] Nevertheless, she cannot refrain from
remonstrating with an intoxicated National Guard. “I cannot bear to
see a citizen of the Republic drunk,” she exclaimed. “The Republic!
... a citizen! ... no, I will never get tipsy again,” hiccuped the
drunkard.[206]

The artists, the actors and actresses of Paris were among those who
laboured hardest at doing their bit. “You would expect it of them,”
writes Mme. Adam. They had been so far from becoming Buonapartiste.
And she relates how Mme. Sarah Bernhardt, who had organised a hospital
in the Odéon Theatre, _se conduit en femme de grand cœur_.

Juliette herself, by her untiring efforts to alleviate distress, won
for herself the title of _Notre Dame de Bon Secours_. Besides having
billeted on her three recruits from Auvergne, she nursed back to
health in her flat a wounded convalescent soldier, and later, during
the bombardment, she gave harbourage to a poor girl who had fled in
panic from the outskirts of the city.

Much of Mme. Adam’s time was occupied in organising and directing two
societies, _L’Œuvre des Fourneaux_, which provided the poor with cheap
meals, and _L’Œuvre du Travail des Femmes_, destined to help poor
sempstresses by enabling them to possess sewing-machines of their own.

With amazing endurance, though racked by her old enemies neuralgia
and rheumatism, Mme. Adam kept up her energy and her spirits. For
nine years she had been accustomed to spend the winter in the south.
In November 1870 she had written: “In normal days we should now be
preparing to go to Bruyères.” But, alas! for her there was to be
no southern sunshine that winter. Such a deprivation alone could
naturally not fail to tell upon her health. Then came, on the 2nd of
December, the terrible disappointment of Champigny, the sortie which
had raised so many hopes only to dash them to the ground. But it was
not until January that Juliette was driven to admit to herself that
she was ill and must stay in bed. The bombardment of Paris had begun
on the 6th of January. It continued for a nightmare of three weeks.

As early as the 7th of November, Nefftzer, at no time a prophet of
smooth things, had foretold the bombardment. He predicted that bombs
might fall even on the centre of Paris, probably on the Institute.

“Am I afraid?” Juliette had written in her diary under that date.

“Well, no. Why should I fear a bombardment? The quarters not struck
and not likely to be must receive the unfortunate inhabitants of those
that are. As for the houses! By my faith! so much the worse for them!
I would willingly sacrifice my own and a hundred others if it would
enable us to hold out two days longer.”[207]

The bombardment was less imminent than the editor of the _Temps_ had
thought. When it began on the 6th of January, it took the Parisians
by surprise. The invaders, with a disregard of international law to
which we in these latter days have grown accustomed, omitted to give
the usual warning. “Oh, the barbarians,” cries Juliette. “More than
three thousand bombs have fallen round the Jardin des Plantes and the
Luxembourg.... Several persons have been killed in their beds.... Many
flew into a panic, and, instead of seeking refuge in cellars, rushed
out into the streets, where they were killed.”[208]

Nevertheless, the courage of the Parisians did not waver.... “If the
European capitals,” writes Mme. Adam, “ask how Paris, the gay, the
light-hearted, the witty, takes this bombardment, let them know Paris
is proud to be bombarded! Let them look at her, let them behold her
calm, courageous, and let them try to emulate her.”[209]

Experts pronounced the bombardment to be unheard-of in its violence
and fury. The Prussians appeared to be using up all their siege
ammunitions in this final coup. Forty thousand kilogrammes of powder
were said to have been fired on the plateau of Avron alone. The
noise was infernal. The tumult and the cold together were maddening.
“Impossible,” wrote Mme. Adam after an interval of a week, “to sleep,
to rest even for a moment. Parisians have not slept for ten days. The
bombardment is fearful. How glad I am that I sent my daughter away!”

A gleam of hope came to the besieged when, on the 18th of January,
another attempt was made at a sortie, and when, on the following day,
came the news that all was going well, that Montretout had been taken,
that the Prussians had been everywhere repulsed.

“All Paris at three o’clock in the afternoon was out on the boulevards
and in the Champs Elysées. The Garde Nationale was said to be fighting
magnificently, and already to have entered the Buzenval Park. Then
suddenly the appearance of a startling placard cast down from the
heights of sanguine anticipation into the depths of black despair the
spirits of that hopeful and expectant crowd. Trochu announced that the
attack had been abandoned. Instead of declaring a victory he referred
to an armistice, and demanded that every cab remaining in Paris should
be sent out to bring in the wounded. Groans escaped from every breast.

“Another enterprise, elaborately prepared, inefficiently executed,
miserably terminated,” exclaims Mme. Adam. Indeed, an identical
description might be given of every sortie since the opening of the
siege.

The talk of capitulation which now began to circulate was unendurable
to Juliette and to those who, like her, had come to be nicknamed _les
à l’Outrance_ (to the bitter end). “Never,” she writes, “during all
the cruellest trials of these last months, have I suffered more than
at this moment.”[210]

All Paris and the twenty mayors of Paris and the Garde Nationale were
of Mme. Adam’s way of thinking: they also were _les à l’Outrance_;
they preferred death to surrender. “If the Prussians dare to defile
down our boulevards,” writes Juliette, “I believe we shall do as the
Russians did in Moscow.... Death is twenty times less cruel than the
degradation of _la patrie_.”[211]

The Paris mayors, convoked by the Government to receive the
announcement that further resistance was impossible, declared they
were ready to die. They preferred the horrors of famine to the
humiliation of surrender.[212]

Many of the terrors of famine the Parisians had already endured. They
had already suffered the pangs of hunger. But those that awaited them,
should this heroic recommendation be adopted, would be unspeakably
more horrible. “The men who speak thus,” wrote Favre in his last
dispatch to Gambetta,[213] “still eat. They endure misery; but they do
just contrive to maintain life. On the day, and that day is imminent,
when they have nothing but horseflesh, not even bread, the death-rate,
now terribly high, will become too horrible.”

On the 21st of January one of the Adams’ friends announced in their
salon that the food in Paris could not hold out for longer than two
days. That was an exaggeration. Juliette maintained that it could last
for fifteen. Jules Favre informed Gambetta that it might be made to
suffice for ten.[214]

Had there been any chance of the capital’s deliverance by one of the
armies which Gambetta had been organising in the provinces, then the
Government might have been justified in holding out a few days longer,
but the last hope of such a deliverance had faded when General Chanzy
had been defeated on the 11th.

Nevertheless Juliette, dragging herself from her sick-bed out into the
bitter January cold, spent the 21st visiting first one, than another,
in the forlorn hope of inspiring some concerted anti-surrender
movement.

“I have passed a horrible night,” she wrote on the 24th, “obsessed by
hallucinations. The Republic, our France, taking to itself form and
visage, appeared and spoke to me, called me....”[215]

“The _Officiel_ this morning insults our grief. What! Our hearts
are bleeding! ... the whole population of Paris is in despair, in
tears!... And yet not a word, not a groan, not a cry escapes from
the breasts of those who govern us. Would not M. Picard[216] and M.
Vinoy[217] permit it?”

The armistice involving the surrender of Paris was signed on the 28th
of January. The bombardment had ceased on the 26th. “Would that I
could die at this hour,” wrote Mme. Adam.[218]

FOOTNOTES:

[189] _Souvenirs_, IV. 88.

[190] Sarcey, _Le Siège de Paris_, Eng. trans., 250.

[191] _Souvenirs_, IV. 143.

[192] _Souvenirs_, IV. 150.

[193] The Government usually met in the evening at nine o’clock, and
the sessions always continued until after midnight, sometimes till two
or three in the morning. “From the 4th of September till the 8th of
February we never missed a day, and often we had additional meetings,”
writes Jules Favre (_Gouvernement de la Défense Nationale_, I. 215).

[194] _Souvenirs_, IV. 89.

[195] _Souvenirs_, IV. 161.

[196] Labouchère, _A Resident besieged in Paris_, 161.

[197] See de Goncourt, _Journal_ under October 31, 1870.

[198] A vivid description of the proceedings inside the Hôtel de Ville
is given by Labouchère, _op. cit._

[199] _Souvenirs_, IV. 167-87.

[200] The Revolutionists were discontented with the Provisional
Government’s regulation of municipal affairs. After the 4th of
September the twenty mayors of Paris had been appointed by the
Minister of the Interior, Gambetta, and the Chief Mayor, Etienne Arago.

[201] See Jules Favre, _Gouvernement de la Défense Nationale_, I. 300.
“_M. Dorian déploya la plus louable activité pour obtenir de prompts
résultats. Cet excellent et digne citoyen ... était à ce moment
entouré d’une immense popularité.... Il semblait personnifier la
défense._”

[202] _Souvenirs_, IV. 193.

[203] De Goncourt, _Journal_, December 1870.

[204] _souvenirs_, IV. 273.

[205] _Ibid._, 129.

[206] _Souvenirs_, IV. 119.

[207] _Souvenirs_, IV. 210.

[208] _Ibid._, 303.

[209] _Ibid._, 306.

[210] _Souvenirs_, IV. 315.

[211] _Ibid._, 324.

[212] Favre, _op. cit._, III. 342.

[213] _Ibid._, 345.

[214] Favre, _op. cit._, III. 347.

[215] _Souvenirs_, IV. 324.

[216] Minister of Finance. See _ante_, 140.

[217] Trochu, who had resigned after Buzenval, had been succeeded as
Governor of Paris by General Vinoy.

[218] Mme. Adam dates the signing of the armistice on the 26th, the
day when firing ceased. But by an arrangement between Favre and
Bismarck the bombardment closed two days before the signing of the
capitulation. See Jules Favre, _Gouvernement de la Défense Nationale_,
II. 403.



CHAPTER XII

THE COMMUNE

1871

     “_Cette Commune qui venait de faire sombrer le Paris héroique dans
     le Paris sanglant et incendiaire._”—Mme. Adam, _Souvenirs_.

        “In each human heart terror survives
  The ravin it has gorged.”—Shelley, _Prometheus_.


For five months France had been ruled by an oligarchy. The ministers
who took office on the 4th of September were responsible to no
parliament. No legislative body had succeeded the Corps Legislatif,
the members of which, as we have seen, had unceremoniously quitted
the Palais Bourbon on that autumn Sunday which saw the birth of the
Government of National Defence.

But now at the conqueror’s bidding there was to be a National
Assembly. A clause in the Capitulation of Paris stipulated for its
election. Accordingly, throughout France, even in the departments
occupied by the enemy, elections were held on the 8th of February.
They resulted in the return to “Bismarck’s Parliament,” as Mme.
Adam called the National Assembly which on the 12th of February met
at Bordeaux, of about one hundred and eighty republicans—radicals
and moderates being almost equal—of about four hundred and fifty
monarchical conservatives, legitimists and Orleanists being about
equal, and finally of thirty Buonapartists.[219]

“The final result of the elections,” writes Mme. Adam,[220] “is
heartrending. The majority is reactionary, nominated in order to make
peace. Country gentlemen and _capitulards_ will vote it. It is the
chamber Bismarck desired. He assisted at its nomination. He presided
over the elections. In certain towns did not the Prussians themselves
distribute the voting papers on behalf of the reactionary candidates?
Bismarck is determined that the war shall end. Germany has had enough
of it.... Coblentz has returned under another form. Only now it is at
home and not abroad that Frenchmen have made a compact with the enemy.
Old valiant France is dying, is dead.”

Mme. Adam was now at Bruyères. Her husband had been nominated as
candidate for a Paris constituency and for Les Alpes Maritimes.
Contrary to his wife’s advice he had insisted on leaving his Paris
election to look after itself while he went to Nice. He had started on
the 2nd of February, leaving Juliette, as she pathetically puts it,
_en tête-à-tête, avec la pensée de ma pauvre chère France vaincue,
mutilée, broyée_.[221]

A few days after her husband’s departure, to her grief and loneliness
was suddenly added the most agonising apprehension. She read in the
newspaper that her husband’s train carrying twenty thousand kilos
of gunpowder had been blown up. Hastily gathering together a few
valuables, which, considering the disordered state of the capital,
she dare not leave in Paris, she was about to start for the south,
when a friend arrived with the welcome news that her husband was alive
though seriously injured. A few hours later, accompanied by her dear
little friend Bibi, Rochfort’s eight-year-old son, who was staying
with her at the time, Mme. Adam was in the train. The journey was
terrible. Constantly she was confronted with Prussian soldiers, who
insisted on seeing her papers. “_Ils me demandent d’un ton rude mon
laissez-passer. Celui qui me le rend touche ma main. Je frissonne
comme au contact d’une bête venimeuse_,”[222] she writes.

Arrived at Cannes, she is disappointed to find instead of Adam at the
station a note brought by the coachman, explaining that her husband’s
electoral duties detained him at Nice, but that he will be home for
dinner. This disappointment, at the end of a long, fatiguing journey,
exasperated her. “I would have gone back to Paris at once if I could,”
she writes.

And Adam, when he returned, was treated to one of those _drames de
famille_ which Juliette herself had so often witnessed in her youth.
The scene, as Mme. Adam describes it in her _Souvenirs_, might strike
the reader as somewhat brutal. But one must read between the lines,
and remember Juliette’s overwrought condition. Then it is easy to see
how it came about; how at that moment the sight of Adam’s poor scarred
face, recalling how he had been on the brink of death, would make
his wife furious to think of his disregard of her entreaties and his
persistence in undertaking that disastrous journey.

“How could you have gone off like that, leaving me the sole guardian
of our fortune?” she cried. “Why must you insist on pursuing this
visionary Nice candidature, risking failure in Paris, where, but for
me and Rochefort, you would never have been elected?” Fortunately Adam
thoroughly understood his wife. Realising the strain already put upon
her nerves, he indulged in no self-justification, but assumed the
only possible attitude—one of lamb-like submission. Nevertheless, her
agitation distressed him, and two big tears coursed slowly down his
lacerated face.

“I am in favour of his being pardoned,” sententiously pronounced
the comical little Bibi. Bibi’s advice was taken; and “_nous dînons
appaisés_,” writes Mme. Adam. After dinner her husband told the story
of his miraculous escape.[223]

“In a few days when his wounds had somewhat healed he left for
Bordeaux. There the Assembly had already held its first meeting. Its
initial act had been to nominate Thiers President of the Republic,
or, to be more exact, _chef du pouvoir executif de la République
Française_. In spite of his three-and-seventy years _le petit
bourgeois_ was still in the perfection of health and vigour. He could
still say to the friends who gathered round him: _C’est nous qui
sommes encore les jeunes aujourd’hui_.” Chateaubriand used to call
Thiers the “heir of the future” (_l’héritier de l’avenir_). That
future had now arrived. During his retirement from public affairs in
the early days of the Empire it had been prophesied of him that only
a great national disaster would draw him from his obscurity. Now that
the disaster had occurred, everyone turned to _le petit grand homme_
as the only man in France capable of confronting Bismarck and facing
all the growing difficulties of an almost desperate situation. It was
to those difficulties that the third Republic owed its proclamation.
For at first sight it seems incredible that an assembly in which
monarchists had a substantial majority should decree a Republic. But
neither legitimists nor Orleanists desired to assume the terrible
responsibilities which would obviously devolve on the new ministers:
to restore the monarchy under such circumstances, when the new king’s
first act would be to sign the dismemberment of France, would be to
discredit for ever the monarchical _régime_.

Thiers, though holding himself aloof from all parties and adopting no
label save one, “_La France_,” was said to have Orleanist leanings.
That is probable. Nevertheless, he realised that only a republic was
feasible, because, as he said, “it is the form of government which
divides us least.”[224]

Mme. Adam, although at this time of her life she was no admirer
of Thiers, refrains from inveighing against the presidency of her
husband’s friend. She felt under no such constraint, however, with
regard to the chief ministers of his cabinet: Jules Favre, who
continued Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Ernest Picard, Minister
of the Interior. “_Deux clairvoyances, deux compétences rares ...
comme insuffisance_,”[225] she writes. She knew them both well. They
were both habitués of her salon. She could never forgive Favre for
having negotiated the capitulation of Paris. And she is not alone
in censoring the terms of that surrender. Neither our Ambassador in
Paris, Lord Lyons, nor Labouchère,[226] had a high opinion of Favre’s
diplomatic gifts. “He is too much led away by his feelings,” wrote
Lord Lyons to Lord Granville.[227] “He is essentially an orator rather
than a statesman,” was Labouchère’s opinion. “When he went to meet
Bismarck at Ferrières he was fully prepared to agree to the fortresses
in Alsace and Lorraine being rased; but, when he returned, the phrase
_ni un pouce du territoire, ni une pierre des fortresses_ occurred
to him, and he could not refrain from complicating the situation by
publishing it.”[228] M. Gabriel Hanotaux[229] marvels to think how a
man whose intelligence was so mediocre, whose character was so weak,
could ever have risen to a position of such authority.

The historian of contemporary France also shares Mme. Adam’s opinion
of the Minister of the Interior, Picard. “_Bourgeois de Paris, homme
gras et de teint fleuri, orateur élégant et fin, esprit sceptique
et dépris, il savait trouver de mots heureux_,” is M. Hanotaux’s
description of the new Home Secretary.[230] “_Il ne vise qu’aux mots
d’esprit_,”[231] writes Mme. Adam.

Jules Grévy, the eminent lawyer, who was now President of the New
Chamber, had in the days of her matrimonial difficulties been
Juliette’s guide, counsellor and friend, placing at her disposal all
that _sagesse pondérée_, that _finesse matoise_,[232] with which this
ideal _bourgeois_ was so plentifully endowed. When she had first met
him in Mme. d’Agoult’s salon, Grévy, like herself, was a republican
_abstentioniste_, detached from any participation in the hated
imperial _régime_. Mme. Adam had never forgiven him for abandoning
that position, for yielding to Ollivier’s persuasions and entering the
Corps Legislatif as one of the famous “five,” the first republicans
to take the oath of allegiance to the Empire. “For me, henceforth,”
she said to Adam, “Grévy is no longer a man whose political honour is
intact.”[233]

These various appointments and other news sent by Adam from Bordeaux,
his wife at Bruyères discussed at length with Thiers’ old friend, her
neighbour, Dr. Maure, and with M. and Mme. Arlès Dufour, who had come
to cheer her loneliness. Her mornings were spent in teaching her young
friend Bibi. But all the while her heart was rent by maternal as well
as national anxiety. For weeks she had had no news of Alice.

“All my friends speak of my daughter,” she writes; “she will soon
be with you, they assure me. And the days and the hours pass, and
silence, horrible silence, weighs upon me, broken only by the wailings
of my patriotic grief.”

On Sunday, the 26th of February, Thiers and Jules Favre had signed the
preliminaries of peace at Versailles. The next morning, as Mme. Adam
was giving Bibi his geography lesson, she wept to see lying before
her the map of France, the tangible image of her adored and mutilated
_patrie_.

“Why are you crying?” asked Bibi. He also cried when he heard the
reason, and said: “They are taking from us the heart of France.”

Adam wrote briefly announcing the terms of the treaty. “_Vae victis!_
I send you the text of the treaty which M. de Bismarck has dictated.
‛Session of the whole of Alsace, except Belfort. Session of a part
of Lorraine with Metz. Five milliards indemnity. Entrance into Paris
on the 1st of March of 30,000 Prussians through the Arc de Triomphe
and as far as the Place de la Concorde, until the ratification of the
treaty.’

“Such is our fate, Juliette. It is horrible. The stories of Bismarck’s
insolence are ghastly. Indignation is universal. Nevertheless, the
majority will vote for peace. Will the minority be large enough to
show the Prussians that their victory might have been disputed?

       *       *       *       *       *

“Every one is afraid of what may happen in Paris when the Prussians
enter. Chanzy[234] said just now in my presence: ‘I have thought it
over well. It will be better to resume hostilities. There is still a
chance of our being able to pull ourselves together. I shall certainly
feel justified in voting against the treaty of peace.’”[235]

Adam interrupted his letter to go and vote. The poor little minority
was miserable—only 107 against 546 votes in favour of peace. Then in
heartrending terms Adam proceeds to describe the famous protest of
the twenty-five deputies of Alsace-Lorraine, and Grosjean’s sorrowful
leave-taking uttered on their behalf and terminating with the words:
“We shall ever cherish with a filial affection France absent from our
hearths until the day when she returns to her place there.”

“I have always foreseen it,” writes Mme. Adam. “From the day of
surrender I had grieved over that shameful, cowardly peace. The France
I idolize! Now she sees torn from her those provinces which our
husbands and our sons might have preserved.... The days may pass and
years be added unto them, but never, until the hour strikes for the
deliverance of our brethren now handed over to Prussia, will the wound
I receive to-day be healed.”[236]

The Treaty signed by Thiers and Jules Favre at Versailles was ratified
by the Bordeaux Assembly on the 1st of March. Henceforth there was no
reason why the Parliament should not return northwards.

“Just now,” wrote Adam to his wife,[237] “Thiers opened the question
of the town in which the Assembly shall deliberate. He is resolved to
leave Bordeaux immediately. This is foolish, unless he is prepared to
return at once to Paris.”

But the conservative majority of the Assembly was averse to carrying
on their deliberations in the capital. Paris they regarded as the
hot-bed of revolution, creating a new government and imposing it by
telegraph[238] on the rest of France every fifteen years. For the
first time in French history a great gulf had opened between Paris
and the provinces. Bourges and Fontainebleau were both suggested as
suitable meeting-places. But the choice finally fell on Versailles,
whose monarchical associations harmonised so well with the hopes
cherished by the party in majority at Bordeaux.

Louis Blanc, one of the deputies for Paris, loudly protested against
this decision. Thus to abandon Paris, he argued, would be to drive the
metropolis to create a government of its own. Alas! _cette vieille
barbe_ of 1848 proved only too true a prophet. This slight put upon
Paris was partly responsible for the institution of the Commune and
all the horrors of civil war which followed. For the Government to
turn its back upon Paris was not a measure likely to placate the
discontent with which the city was seething, or to soothe the nerves
of the heroic town all unstrung by the horrors of the siege.

The National Assembly held its last meeting at Bordeaux on the 11th of
March. The Versailles session was to open on the 20th. By that time
Paris was in open insurrection; and the President, who on leaving
Bordeaux had with his ministers taken up his residence within the
capital, deemed it expedient to decamp to Versailles. The declaration
that the Commune _est le pouvoir unique, son autorité est absolu_
appeared in the _Officiel_ on the 26th.

“Between Paris and Versailles,” wrote Adam to his wife, “there is
something more than the Great Wall of China, there is something
more than a hundred leagues, there is a hundred years, a whole
century.”[239] Nevertheless, throughout those hideous two months from
the outbreak of insurrection to the fall of the Commune at the end of
May, Edmond Adam, deputy of Paris, braving the dangers of arrest and
execution, continued to pass to and fro, between the revolted city
and Versailles, ever hoping that he might be able to facilitate some
compromise between the rival authorities. From an interview with his
old friend Thiers, however, he derived no encouragement. He feared
that the President’s chief desire was to appear in the eyes of the
world as conqueror of provincial France and of the Revolution at
Paris.[240]

Of her husband’s attitude Mme. Adam strongly approved. “You owe it to
Paris,” she wrote. “For to Paris you are indebted for everything since
the day when you first joined the staff of the _National_. Paris has
chosen you for its representative. Paris, though misguided, is well
worth the risk you are running for her.”[241]

But Juliette longed to share her husband’s dangers. Alice, after weeks
of agonising suspense, had been restored to her. “Alice and Bibi might
well,” she wrote to Adam, “be left in the care of M. and Mme. Arlès
Dufour,” _le père_ and _la mère_, as Juliette called them, who were
still at Bruyères. For was it not the place of a deputy’s wife to be
at his side in the city which had elected him? Banished from Adam and
from her friends her exile was intolerable. But her husband replied
that he could not endure the anxiety of her presence in Paris; that
while he was obliged to be at Versailles the thought of her in the
revolted city, a prey to the horrors of that terrific insurrection,
would drive him mad. “My only strength,” he continued, “arises from
the thought that you are far from the terrible events which threaten
us. Our friends think it is the end of the world. But I am resolved,
even in this cataclysm, not entirely to despair. In all the darkness
and chaos, I seem to discern a ray of hope. As for us, deputies of a
capital in insurrection, our situation becomes terrifically difficult.
I am on the boulevard this evening. But shall I be to-morrow? Every
one is trying to persuade me to abandon my daily journey, which is so
likely to be interrupted either at Paris or at Versailles.”

While feeling that no reproach was too bitter to bring against the
leaders of the Commune, against those who, under the conqueror’s very
eye, had let loose the rabid hounds of civil war, with Paris and the
rank and file of Parisians Mme. Adam never ceased to sympathise. “Most
of the Communards,” she writes, “... are possessed by the madness
of defeat, a madness which I understand, for I have suffered from
it myself at the close of the siege. In that madness there is no
cowardice. It consists rather in a passionate desire to assert, no
matter where and how, the courage one has acquired, the courage which
traitors have neglected to utilise.”[242]

The correspondence between the Adams throughout these weeks shows
husband and wife in complete agreement. It also reveals great
moderation and a desire to see both sides of many difficult questions.

It was not until the last days of May, as we have said, that Mme.
Adam returned to Paris, to a Paris desolated by two bombardments, by
ferocious street-fighting and by the madness of a defeated mob, raging
throughout the days and nights of a hideous week of explosions and
incendiarism. Mme. Adam returned to find the blackened ruins of the
Tuileries, the smoking ashes of the Hôtel de Ville, a heap of stones
in the square where the Vendôme Column had stood.

In the lives of many strong personalities there comes a crisis, a
parting of the ways, when in a convulsion of the whole being character
and disposition receive a new orientation. For how many is not such
a crisis presented by the present war! In the religious world such
a revolution is described as conversion. This crisis came to Mme.
Adam through national humiliation and the civil strife which followed
the catastrophe of 1870. _La patrie’s_ defeat had planted deep in
her nature an antagonism which will doubtless endure to the end.
Henceforth we shall find accentuated more and more strongly in her
character and disposition the irreconcilable note. She had always been
emphatic. She was born to be as fervent a hater as she was an ardent
lover. For her there had never been many open questions. Now in every
cause she espouses she holds the position of _à l’outrance_. The iron
of national defeat and civil war had entered into her soul. On the
30th of October, 1870, on learning the loss of Le Bourget Fort, she
had written:[243] “I cannot describe the vexation, the discouragement,
the wrath, the moral perturbation which possess me.” On so patriotic
and fervent a nature as hers these experiences could not fail to
imprint an indelible mark. Her patriotism, as we have repeatedly seen,
had always been ardent. _Je prétends être Français plus que personne_
was her own sentiment put into the mouth of the Picard weaver in her
first novel, _Mon Village_. After the war, growing with national
disaster,[244] her patriotism became a consuming fire. Of herself she
might have written the words she penned of Edmond About: “_il s’est
reveillé de l’horrible cauchemar patriote fanatique_.”[245] “_Votre
patriotisme_,” wrote her friend General Gallifet,[246] “_est peint sur
vos traits et pétille dans votre conversation_.”

The Commune had taught her to regard socialism and internationalism
as, after Germany, her country’s most formidable enemies. Her horror
when her father proposed to marry her to a working man had shown that
in those early days she was not free from a certain class prejudice.
An ardent republican, she had believed in fraternity but not in
equality. For her as for Plato the ideal state would be governed by
the _élite_. Socialism she had ever abhorred. And as the years went
on, she came to have less and less faith in the masses. During those
disturbed months which preceded the war, when, looking down from her
window on the Boulevard Poissonnière, she saw Paris workmen (_les
blouses blanches_) holding nightly conferences with policemen, she
had no doubt of their being _agents provocateurs_. That the Commune’s
excesses should confirm and aggravate this suspiciousness was
inevitable.

Her father’s sympathy with the revolutionists caused her unspeakable
grief. Dr. Lambert, after sending Alice to Bruyères, had returned to
Paris, where he remained to witness and to approve the insurrection.
Nothing could ever induce him to blame the communards. He had welcomed
the movement as the dawn of social regeneration. And for the crimes of
the rebels he held Thiers and his government responsible. How painful
for Mme. Adam was all conversation with her father at this time will
readily be imagined.

Closely associated with the communards throughout had been members
of “the Internationale,”[247] that vast cosmopolitan organisation,
inspired by Karl Marx and instituted in London in 1862. “The
Internationale” had given its support to the Central Committee which
ruled Paris, and it had fully approved of the message sent to the
German commander assuring him that the German army had nothing to
fear from the insurrection.[248] Indeed, it seemed to Mme. Adam that
the Germans had everything to gain from the civil strife then rending
France, and that the Communards were simply playing Bismarck’s game.
Had they not purged of danger and disorder other European capitals by
gathering into Paris from London, Rome, Vienna, and Berlin, anarchists
whose railway fares “seemed to fall like manna from heaven!”[249]

For some years, while she had been gradually coming to perceive the
danger which threatened from German aggression, Mme. Adam had been
growing more and more suspicious of the internationalist movement.
With the Germanising tendencies of Renan, Gaston Paris and other
members of her circle she had no sympathy whatever. After the war she
could not refrain from regarding all internationalists as traitors
to their country.[250] Any sympathy with Germany appeared to her as
nothing short of treason, and treason of the deepest dye. The bonds
of friendship which united her to George Sand were strained almost to
breaking-point when her friend wrote that she desired peace “not for
the sake of France alone but for the sake of Germany, and in order to
avert the ruin of two civilisations.”

“This is one of my most cruel sorrows,” wrote Mme. Adam. “A gulf
has opened between me and the friend whom I adored. Never shall
we understand one another again. She ... has reverted to the old
humanitarianism of 1848. She, like my friend Arlès Dufour, permits
herself to be moved by pity for the Germans.”

Had Mme. Sand witnessed with Juliette all the horrors of the siege,
could she have maintained that serenity which from henceforth she
never wearied of preaching to her young friend? “Do not let us be
nervous and agitated,” she writes, “but reasonable, for in that
direction alone lies the path of duty.”[251] In those days it seemed
to Mme. Adam that this sweet reasonableness was only possible for
those who had remained aloof from the struggle; and between them and
herself who had lived in the heart of the inferno there was a wide
gulf fixed. How wide she realised painfully when, worn and wan, after
that terrible railway journey from Paris, she was greeted by her
friends at Cannes with the words, “Are you not glad to be at Bruyères
once more?” “Glad!” She was aghast at that word. Yet it accorded
well with their smiling faces and their perfect health. “But are you
pleased that the war is over?” they persisted. “And our defeat?” she
cried. “Do you not realise that it is going to tear out our very
flesh?” And she dismissed them abruptly, horrified to find “French
people so detached from France.”[252] Later she wrote: “The pure
southern sky has never been defiled by the smoke of German bivouacs.
For the people of Provence the war has been a blood-stained book, but
one the pages of which they have hardly turned over.”[253]

With Mme. Adam it was very different. For _la grande Française_ “the
terrible year” stands out as the one ineffaceable landmark, dominating
the whole of her subsequent career.

FOOTNOTES:

[219] M. Gabriel Hanotaux’s numbers are slightly different; but the
main point is that a substantial balance remained on the side of the
Monarchists. See _Histoire de la France Contemporaine_, I. 39.

[220] _Souvenirs_, V. 23.

[221] _Souvenirs_, IV. 341.

[222] _Ibid._, V. 5.

[223] _Souvenirs_, V. 12, 13.

[224] Hanotaux, _op. cit._, I. 64 _et passim_.

[225] _Souvenirs_, V. 25.

[226] Hanotaux, _op. cit._, I. 105, does not hesitate to condemn
Favre’s conduct of these negotiations.

[227] From Bordeaux, on December 26, 1870. He repeats this judgment on
February 16, 1871. See _Life of Lord Lyons_, by Lord Newton.

[228] Labouchère, _The Besieged Resident in Paris_.

[229] _Histoire Contemporaine_, I. 87.

[230] _Op. cit._, I. 89.

[231] _Souvenirs_, III. 44.

[232] Hanotaux, _op. cit._, 60.

[233] _Souvenirs_, III. 365.

[234] The general, who, during the siege of Paris, had commanded the
army of Central France.

[235] _Souvenirs_, V. 44.

[236] _Souvenirs_, IV. 47.

[237] _Ibid._, 55.

[238] Hanotaux, _op. cit._, I. 130.

[239] _Souvenirs_, V. 120.

[240] _Ibid._, 83.

[241] _Ibid._, 92, 105.

[242] _Souvenirs_, V. 124.

[243] _Souvenirs_, IV. 149.

[244] _Ibid._, VII. 282.

[245] _Ibid._, V. 222.

[246] _Ibid._, VII. 355.

[247] That for the Commune’s excesses the Government held “the
Internationale” partly responsible is proved by the introduction into
the National Assembly of a Bill condemning as a criminal offence
membership of this society. Favre, _op. cit._, III. 479.

[248] _Souvenirs_, V. 80.

[249] _Ibid._, 76; Hanotaux, _op. cit._, I. 188.

[250] _Ibid._, 81.

[251] _Souvenirs_, V. 158.

[252] _Ibid._, 9.

[253] _Ibid._, 213.



CHAPTER XIII

GAMBETTA’S EGERIA

1871-1878

     “_Adam et moi, nous n’avons pas d’autre espoir, pas d’autre culte
     que Gambetta. Il est pour nous la personnification même de la
     France, l’expression vivante et agissante de notre relèvement, de
     nos certitudes républicaines et nationales._”—Juliette Adam.


Mme. Adam’s attitude towards Gambetta passed through three phases.
During the war she regarded him as the incarnation of national
defence, after the defeat of 1871 as _l’Homme de la Revanche_;
finally, when _la Revanche_ was delayed she grew first impatient and
then disappointed with her former hero. It is with the two first of
these phases that we shall deal in this chapter.

As we have seen, Gambetta had already been admitted to Mme. Adam’s
salon before the war. But from the opening of the siege until a year
after the peace they met but seldom if at all. After Gambetta’s
courageous balloon ascent from Paris, and his safe, if hazardous,
landing in a wood near Montdidier, all through those darkest days of
_l’Année Terrible_, Juliette Adam derived almost her only consolation
and hope from Gambetta’s dispatches. The energy he was deploying
in his country’s service made her pulse throb with confidence and
courage. The news brought by carrier pigeon into the besieged capital
of the armies he was creating—Faidherbe’s in the north, Chanzy’s on
the Loire, Bourbaki’s in the east—seemed almost to compensate for the
indecision and inaction of the defenders of Paris.

“On the 24th of November,” she wrote,[254] “this morning, I am mad
with joy, mad with hope. I read and read again Gambetta’s dispatch
to Jules Favre. I bless the great patriot who sends it to us. If
Gambetta, a republican, were to save our France! When others doubt him
and his valour, I do not doubt.”

“Why, we have an army on the Loire two hundred thousand men strong! In
a week we shall have another hundred thousand: two hundred thousand
recruits are clamouring to be on the march. At last!... Long live
France! ... and she will live, our _patrie française_. It will not be
so easy to tread upon her. Frenchmen will be found to defend her, to
prevent the invader from pillaging, from defiling her from one end
of the land to the other. It seems to me that all Paris should thank
Gambetta. I write to him.”

And when the superb movement of French energy, with which Gambetta
alone had been able to inspire the provinces, seemed to Juliette Adam
to have been nullified by the capital’s submission, she followed her
hero more fervently than ever in his advocacy of war to the bitter
end. She deplored the mistrust and suspicion with which the other
members of the September Government regarded _ce fou furieux_, as they
called him. She deplored his resignation on the 5th of February, 1871,
of the office of Minister of the Interior.

Gambetta’s colleagues accused him of ruling France by terror, and
endeavouring to make himself a dictator. To the statesman whom
Bismarck regarded as the most superb organiser in Europe, no portfolio
was assigned in the government Thiers was forming at Bordeaux.

So completely out of sympathy with the National Assembly and its
monarchical majority did Gambetta find himself that, after the signing
of the preliminaries of peace and after he had taken part in that
memorable protest of the Alsace-Lorraine deputies against the session
of those provinces, he resigned his seat and for some months withdrew
from political life.

On his return to it, in the summer of 1871, he found his friends, the
Adams, in Paris, and Juliette once more the mistress of a brilliant
and influential political salon. No sooner had she re-established
herself in the Maison Sallandrouze than her friends began to gather
round her once more.

The social life of the metropolis was gradually being resumed. But it
took at least a year before anything like the old brilliance revived.
The first sign of that revival was when Parisian women began to care
about clothes. “_Les femmes du siège_,” writes Mme. Adam, “_qui ne
savaient plus ce que c’était que s’habiller, s’occupaient à nouveau de
leurs robes_,” of course she adds, “_moi la première_.”[255]

Now once again her Wednesday dinner-parties afforded an occasion for
_grande toilette_. On other evenings any of the Adams’ friends, who
happened to be passing along the boulevard, were welcome to come
up just as they were. Among those evening callers was more than
one well-known Englishman. Mr. Richard Whiteing, in his book _My
Harvest_,[256] paints a vivid picture of Mme. Adam’s salon. He signals
her out as one of those republican women who were reconstructing the
salon on a Republican basis.

The great subjects of discussion on those Wednesday and Friday
evenings were Gambetta’s speeches. Long passages from them were
recited[257] by Spuller, the deputy who led the most moderate section
of Gambetta’s supporters.[258]

Then one day in June the orator himself arrived. He had asked to spend
the evening alone with his hosts. Adam had not seen him since the eve
of his departure from Bordeaux.

“_Cette soirée_,” writes Juliette,[259] “_a été longue et d’un interêt
passionant_.” While not entirely approving of their friend’s attitude,
of his sympathy with the Commune, for example, the Adams congratulated
him on his recent speech at Bordeaux.

“The level-headedness, the wisdom of that speech,” Adam told Gambetta,
“confounded your enemies. You may now group around you a party
recruited from the left and including a few members of the left
centre. Juliette and I will be able to contrive for you a certain
understanding with the left centre on the great questions of national
policy.”

These words foretold what was to be the rôle of Mme. Adam’s salon in
the days of its greatest brilliance. As the rallying ground for the
various parties of republican opposition to the reactionary majority
in the Assembly, it rendered important service, not only to Gambetta,
but also to the President (Thiers) in his difficult task of keeping
the peace between the discordant elements of his nondescript and
essentially provisional Government. Later, after Thiers’ resignation,
during the days of the _République Militante_ between 1873 and 1876,
Mme. Adam’s salon continued to hold together various sections of the
republican party: the left centre, the extreme left and the republican
union, which consisted entirely of Gambetta’s friends. “Our house,”
writes Mme. Adam, “became very useful to Gambetta. There he met
artists whom he charmed, financiers whom he reassured, political
adversaries whom he enrolled.”[260] Sir Sidney Colvin, who[261] in
those years was often in Paris for two or three weeks at a time,
used generally to go to her evening receptions, of which he has a
very distinct recollection. He remembers Mme. Adam as the recognised
Egeria of Gambetta, as very cultivated and intelligent. Obviously she
had been very beautiful; she was still extremely handsome, and above
all things full of graciousness and tact and good-will—the grace and
the good-will of a cultivated _bourgeoise_ accustomed to charm and
determined to exercise her charm for a cause she had at heart. Sir
Sidney used to find it interesting to watch her moving about, the only
lady at her receptions, from some old dry doctrinaire of the Dufaure
group to some fiery municipal Radical from the south; among deputies
of all shades, wide asunder as the poles in tradition and feeling
and temperament, and to see her throwing one after another into good
humour by sheer womanly cordiality and grace.

Indeed, all who have seen Mme. Adam entertaining her guests will agree
that she possesses the true salon manner, and that she is mistress of
that enviable art of talking so as to make others talk.

Had it not been for his admiration of Gambetta, Edmond Adam would have
thrown in his lot entirely with that section of the republican party
known as the left centre. “As it was,” writes his wife, “he was to
serve as a hyphen (_à trait d’union_) between the left centre, the
republican union and the extreme left. There were those who thought
that Juliette was chiefly responsible for her husband’s sympathies
with the extreme wing of the republican party. But this she will not
admit,[262] though she does not deny that her special friends were
radicals, while Adam’s were moderates. Thiers himself said to Adam one
day, “_Quand votre femme rougit, bleuissez”_. And it is obvious that
Juliette with her impulsive nature not infrequently lost patience with
the _grandes ombres élyséennes_, as she dubbed Laurent Pichat, Victor
Hugo, Louis Blanc, and those other _vieilles barbes_ of 1848 who were
the mainstay of the left centre. “For them,” she writes, “_République_
is a solemn and pompous word. The young, with Gambetta at their
head, are more practical and utilitarian.” They desired a government
adapted to the phase of democracy to which France had then attained.
Nevertheless, there was nothing commonplace or even opportunist in
those bright visions of the future Republic which Gambetta painted
in his speeches. “Half smiling,” writes Mme. Adam, “he came straight
to my Athenian Republic.[263]... He desired a France withdrawn into
herself in order to heal her wounds. But when he spoke of her rôle
after this enforced period of retirement, then he had a vision of
her future prestige, when the army, chief symbol of the country’s
revival, should be strengthened, glorified every day in order to raise
_la patrie_ from defeat. Then he saw numberless schools educating
the people—the French schoolmaster playing as prominent a part as
the German schoolmaster—secularism dissipating all the darkness of
clericalism, liberating thought, correcting the errors of the past,
until France, grown great by misfortune, astonished the whole world by
her resurrection.”

Mme. Adam used to complain that in Paris during the first years of the
Republic, while the National Assembly continued to sit at Versailles,
anything like true sociability was impossible. And it was true that
poor “capitulating Paris” was somewhat shorn of her brightest social
glories. The whole of political society precipitated itself upon
Versailles. On the days when some great oration was expected from
Thiers, Dufaure, Batbie or Gambetta, the railway platform at the
Gare St. Lazare was thronged, and the carriages in the Versailles
train so crowded that it was almost impossible to find a place.
Versailles itself was completely transformed. Never since its royal
days had it seen such life. It is true that the dull stream of
black coats flowing along its streets made one long for the gay,
beplumed, bejewelled courtiers of _le Roi Soleil_. Nevertheless,
the political whirl of the place was much greater than ever during
_l’ancien régime_. Constituents waylaid deputies in the streets and
poured into their impatient ears whole _cahiers_ of grievances. At the
luncheon and dinner-hour the Hôtel des Réservoirs was packed. It was
necessary to reserve tables days in advance. And how delightful it was
to sit and sip one’s coffee in the delicious freshness of the park
after a hot summer afternoon passed in the close atmosphere of the
parliament chamber. In that charming verandah, which many of us know
so well, ministers and deputies met together, while the gay frocks
and the still gayer laughter of their women friends enlivened the
scene. Centuries seemed to have passed since the evil days of _l’Année
Terrible_. Nowhere was the miraculous recuperative force of France
more striking, never had political society more _entrain_ than during
those parliament years at Versailles.

Of that sparkling world Mme. Adam was one of the brightest adornments,
one of the gayest _flashers_, as Fanny Burney would have said. Always
perfectly gowned—_elle portrait admirablement la toilette_ was the
opinion of every one—she never missed an important _séance_. After
having dined at the Hôtel des Réservoirs in the evening, she would be
at the Gare St. Lazare at nine the next morning; and surrounded by a
coterie of eminent politicians, who were all in love with her, would
make the journey to Versailles and take her accustomed place in a box
of the theatre of the Château, which now served as a meeting-place
for the Assembly. It had been built by Gabriel as an opera-house
for Louis XIV. While what had been the stage, now shut off from the
main building, had been converted into a lobby, a mahogany rostrum,
approached by a double staircase of six steps, communicated to the
theatre of that most autocratic of monarchs something of the air
of a modern parliament house, and the constant movement among the
seven hundred and twenty-eight representatives of the Republic, the
perpetual lifting of the heavy red velvet _portières_ which led into
the lobby, suggested a political instability quite out of harmony with
the traditions of _le Grand Monarque_.

Among the most striking figures in the Assembly hall were some of
Juliette’s greatest friends. One might easily recognise the Orleanist
Marquis de Lasteyrie by his green eye-shade, M. Jules Simon by his
student’s stoop, M. Dufaure by his brown frock-coat, M. Littré by his
blue velvet skull-cap, M. Garnier-Pagès by his famous _faux col_, and
close by him that “Bull of Bashan of politics,” M. Gambetta,[264] by
his leonine head and the half-recumbent attitude in which he listened
attentively to every word of the debate.

Gambetta’s first appearance at Versailles in July 1871 was a great
political event. At a by-election he had been chosen by three
departments, Bouches-du-Rhone, Var and Seine. “The day of his first
speech,” writes Mme. Adam, “was a day of profound emotion for us,
and of great curiosity for others, who flocked to see the _fou
furieux_.” In those days Gambetta, though only three-and-thirty,
was already threatened with that stoutness which, in a man of his
stature, required all the dignity of his strong personality to carry
off. He had not yet, moreover, been taken in hand by Adam’s tailor.
His black frock-coat, white drill trousers and panama hat made him
appear something of a Tartarin. The unsuitability of his attire would
sometimes diminish the effect of his orations.

On the July day when this political Bohemian, emerging from his five
months’ retirement, suddenly burst upon the cultivated audience at
Versailles, his power of utterance, his energy of thought, and above
all his unexpected moderation carried every one away.

“He roared” (_il a rugi_), said the wife of a conservative deputy
who sat next to Mme. Adam. “Yes,” replied Juliette, “he is a lion.”
The moment was one when the bishops of France, led by Monseigneur
Dupanloup, were petitioning the French Chamber to restore the Pope’s
temporal power. Gambetta, while unchaining all the fervour of his
anti-clerical wrath, nevertheless supported the government in its
motion that the question, instead of being discussed by the Assembly,
should be referred to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. His support of
Thiers, whom he and his friends were supposed to regard as nothing but
_un vieillard sinistre_, took every one by surprise. Coming home in
the train Adam, who was at once the friend of Thiers and of Gambetta,
was bombarded with questions—

“Come, Adam, you must be in the know! Are they in agreement? If so,
you must be acting as intermediary between them.”[265]

But Adam shrugged his shoulders and replied: “Alas! I only wish it
were so. But it is very far from being the case now, or likely to be
in the future.”

Indeed, Thiers, throughout the difficult months which were to follow,
was to regard as a serious obstacle in his path Gambetta’s eloquent
advocacy of _la Revanche_, which so delighted Mme. Adam. For at
that time Thiers was engaged in those delicate negotiations with
Bismarck which culminated in March 1873, in the paying off of the
five milliards war indemnity, and in the consequent liberation of
France from the Prussian occupation almost two years before the time
stipulated by the Treaty of Frankfort.

This magnificent consummation, far surpassing the wildest hopes of
the most sanguine, Thiers beheld constantly endangered by Gambetta’s
_revanchard_ fervour. The President trembled when he heard that to
a deputation from Alsace Gambetta had declared that if ever France
descended to such a depth of impiety as to put away from her the
image of bleeding, mutilated Alsace, then and then alone might
Alsatians give way to despair.[266] “This is not the moment for such
a declaration,” exclaimed Thiers. “Let him wait. Let him wait.” The
President was constantly entreating Adam to implore his friend to be
moderate. His ideas, his speeches in the provinces, were impressing
the Germans in a manner most unfavourable to the negotiations which
were proceeding.[267] Never did the Great Tribune appear to Thiers
more of a _fou furieux_ than during the autumn and winter of 1872
and ’73, when the _commis voyageux de la politique_ (the political
commercial traveller), as he liked to call himself, was going up
and down France delivering that famous series of speeches, intended
to rouse the provinces to a great burst of republican ardour, which
should dissolve the reactionary National Assembly, get rid of the
temporising Thiers, and bring in Gambetta and his friends.

Mme. Adam, despite her respect for Thiers, deeply sympathised with
Gambetta’s aims as he declared them in those celebrated orations.
Merely to read Gambetta’s speeches was to lose their finest flavour.
Unlike the speeches of our own Edmund Burke and John Bright, they will
never be classics. His eloquence, for its full appreciation, so I have
heard Mme. Adam say, required the magic of his presence, the thrill
of his sonorous voice, the dramatic emphasis of his gestures, and the
inspiration of his whole presence.

On returning from Venice to Bruyères in the autumn of 1872, she and
Adam read the first reports of these speeches in the newspapers.
Vigilance and patience were the two qualities Gambetta most fervently
enjoined on his compatriots. And vigilance for him involved two
all-important reforms: the reorganisation of the army on the lines of
universal military service, and compulsory education. _Chaque citoyen
soldat et instruit_ was his device.[268] Indeed, it is largely to the
Great Tribune that we owe that systematic teaching of patriotism in
French schools which in the present war is bearing such rich fruit.
“Every child in our elementary schools,” said Gambetta, “must be
taught that a cause exists to which it must give everything, sacrifice
everything, its life, its future, its family, and that this cause is
France.”

These words Mme. Adam and her husband read over and over again.
“Yes,” exclaims Juliette, “we must sacrifice ourselves for France; we
must keep nothing back, and we must also serve him who utters these
patriotic words,[269] and who has never despaired of his country.”

With Gambetta’s requirement that national education must be as
secular as the state itself the Adams were also in agreement. While
every religion should be assured of absolute liberty, Gambetta
declared at Havre, “the state must not identify itself with any
dogma or philosophy. If such questions are admitted to be within
its competency, then it becomes at once arbitrary, persecuting,
intolerant.”

With the importance Gambetta attached to the army the Adams were in
perfect sympathy. All three they shared the President’s emotion when,
at the close of the Longchamps review in the summer of 1871, _le petit
bourgeois_, descending from his seat, grasped the hands of Marshal
MacMahon as he marched past at the head of the army he had reformed,
and in a voice choked by a sob murmured “Thank you.” “Gambetta,”
wrote Juliette, “rejoices at the success of the review. He adores the
army.”[270]

During their first talk with Gambetta after his return to political
life the Adams had advised their friend to found a republican
newspaper. “_Il vous faut un grand journal_,” said Adam.[271] “Would
it not be possible,” asked Gambetta, “to revive _L’Avenir National_?”
Founded in the middle sixties, largely financed by Adam, with his wife
for one of its regular contributors, and her friend Peyrat as editor,
the paper had at first been a brilliant success. Then it fell on evil
days, and in order to keep it going at all, Adam had to subscribe
large sums. Having been hard hit by this earlier journalistic
adventure, Adam did not feel himself in a position to provide funds
for a second. He suggested, however, that Gambetta might apply to
other ardent republicans, to Dorian and to that fervent Alsatian,
Scheurer-Kestner, for example. While for collaborators, he could not
do better than appeal to Challemel-Lacour, Spuller, Ranc, Paul Bert,
etc.

The outcome of this conversation was the foundation of _La République
Française_. “_Grandissime évènement_,” writes Mme. Adam, “_La
République Française a paru_.” Gambetta, assisted by Spuller, was
its editor-in-chief, Challemel-Lacour its literary editor, Proust
was to contribute articles on foreign politics. The new paper’s
office was, of course, in the Rue Croissant.[272] Where else but in
that most famous journalist street in Paris could an influential
newspaper appear! And close at hand, only round the corner, in the
Boulevard Poissonnière was the Adams’ flat. So, equally of course,
when the editors’ work was done and they required some relaxation
after their literary labours, they were always welcome to talk and
dominoes in the hospitable Maison Sallandrouze. “The workshops of the
_République Française_ will be in the Rue Croissant, the Salon in
the Maison Sallandrouze,” writes Mme. Adam.[273] The paper’s success
justified all the hopes inspired by the eminence of its editors and
contributors.

In every detail of its organisation Mme. Adam took a deep interest.
And she was delighted when Spuller satisfied her curiosity by
describing how the office was worked: how Challemel arrived at five
o’clock, looked through the dispatches and then summoned the various
editors to discuss the day’s events; how barely had the conversation
begun when Challemel saw, in a flash, what would be the subject of his
own article; how Isambert, the leader-writer, invariably came late;
how Paul Bert, who contributed articles on science, was punctuality
itself.

_La République Française_, as may well be imagined, figured large
in the conversation when in the spring of 1874 its three directors,
Gambetta, Spuller and Challemel, visited Bruyères.

Gambetta stayed there a week, going over occasionally to visit his
parents and sister, who were then living at Nice. Mme. Adam had made
their acquaintance some time earlier. She found them excellent people
of the shop-keeping class. Mme. Gambetta, a Frenchwoman of _la bonne
bourgeoisie_, but with no dowry to speak of, had, as we have said,
married a grocer of Genoese origin, who was then in business at
Cahors. But when Mme. Adam first made the family’s acquaintance they
were living at Nice. The household consisted of Gambetta’s father
and mother, a widowed sister, Benedetta, her little boy Léon, and a
servant, who, having entered the Gambettas’ service at thirteen, was
regarded as one of the family. Gambetta’s aunt, the famous “Tata,” had
followed her nephew to Paris. His mother, Mme. Adam could see at a
glance, lived, moved and had her being in her celebrated son. She was
proud to relate how before his birth she had consulted a soothsayer,
a somnambulist, who had declared her about to be the mother of a man
who would govern France. Gambetta’s relatives remained Mme. Adam’s
life-long friends. They frequently visited Bruyères. She helped them
in various ways, and at Gambetta’s request arranged a second marriage
for his widowed sister, who became Mme. Léris; and when she is in the
south of France Mme. Adam never fails to go and see her. Mme. Léris is
now living at Cahors, in what was formerly a monastic dwelling. She
is surrounded by relics of her famous brother, trophies presented
to him on great public occasions, which contrast strangely with the
ecclesiastical fitments of the house.

One day in 1915, when I arrived at Gif, I found Mme. Adam reading a
letter she had just received from Gambetta’s sister. This curious,
original and highly entertaining document I was permitted to read.
It showed plainly that though all the family money had been spent on
the son’s education, by no means all the gifts had been showered upon
him, for a plentiful dower of wit, common sense and originality has
evidently fallen to the lot of Mme. Benedetta.

But here we are anticipating. We must leave Mme. Léris and go back to
the year 1874, when her illustrious brother was visiting Bruyères.

Mme. Adam found Gambetta as delightful a guest as George Sand. She, by
the way, was one of his bitterest foes. She regarded him as nothing
but a windbag, _un simple utilisateur_.[274]

Gambetta’s voracious appetite, challenging comparison with that of
the hero of his favourite author, Rabelais, did full justice to the
good cheer which Mme. Adam never fails to put before her guests.
He ate well, he drank well, and he enjoyed, to the full, all the
picnics and the excursions which were planned for his entertainment,
even the sailings in the barque named after one of his arch-enemy’s
masterpieces, _La Petite Fadette_, and which ought, if there had been
any consistency in the cosmos, to have foundered and shipwrecked one,
at any rate, of its passengers.

Gambetta’s week at Bruyères afforded opportunities for many
serious discussions. And although the friends were on the whole in
perfect accord, we may, in the accounts Mme. Adam gives of these
conversations, discern a difference of opinion, slight apparently,
yet in reality fundamental, which, though at first a mere rift, was
to widen into a chasm and finally to separate them. Mme. Adam even
then began to see that the Republic of Gambetta’s dreams was not
so Athenian as she thought. Between her aristocratic ideas and his
radicalism there was a pronounced difference. She wanted to see the
masses led by the _élite_. For Gambetta there was to be no _élite_:
the masses were to be educated to guide and govern themselves. “Then
we shall sink to their level,” prophesied Juliette. “No, we shall
merely stretch out our hands to them,” was Gambetta’s reply.[275]

That spring visit to Bruyères was repeated in the following winter
(December, 1874) and many times afterwards. Gambetta would arrive
tired, worn-out by his political battles and by his electoral
campaigns. But he, like Challemel-Lacour and many other exhausted
politicians, never failed to find Bruyères _La Villa du Bon Repos_.
Perfect restfulness was the order of the day. Lunch was deferred
until two, so that the tired guest might sleep till one. Even the
house-dog, “Modeste,” was banished to the gardener’s cottage for fear
his barkings might disturb the great man’s slumbers. Everything was
devised to divert his mind from politics: plays, concerts and those
charades in which his hostess excels even to-day in her eighty-first
year. During excursions and picnics not a word so much as bearing on
politics was permitted to be spoken. Against the crowds of supporters,
admirers and curiosity-mongers who would have invaded his solitude his
host and hostess protected him with _une energie farouche_.[276] But
occasionally not even their devotion could prevent his being compelled
to make a speech in the neighbourhood, or on one occasion from the
balcony of Bruyères itself. Certain reactionary newspapers did not
scruple to attribute a political significance to Gambetta’s visits
to Bruyères. They hinted that Marshal MacMahon’s[277] government
regarded with disapproval and had even made a raid on one of these
_conciliabules_ in order to detect and denounce a civil servant who
was present.[278]

In the intervals of these visits, and while Mme. Adam was at Bruyères,
Gambetta, despite his multifarious occupations and interests, found
time to keep her _au courant_ with affairs in Paris by long letters.
“He made his Sévigné,” as his friend expressed it, in a delightful
manner. At the length of his letters the Adams marvelled. In these
lively pages he discussed in detail his own opinions and those of
others of the political situation at home and abroad. No one who is
interested in Gambetta should neglect to read this correspondence.

These letters show how serviceable was Mme. Adam to her friend and to
his party when conservative machinations were placing the Republic in
great jeopardy. The year 1875 was a critical year for the Republic.
That constitution, which was to set it on a permanent basis, was
then being debated in the National Assembly. The President’s powers
were being defined, also his relations to the legislative body, now
consisting of a lower house, la chambre des députés, and an upper, the
senate, of which Adam became a member. The lively discussion of all
these matters, which took place in Mme. Adam’s salon, she reproduces
in her _Souvenirs_. To the disappointment of republicans, it appeared
throughout the three following years that this constitution had not
placed the Republic out of danger. More than once the conservatives
seemed on the point of substituting for it some kind of monarchical
_régime_.

The Republic’s greatest danger was in the spring and summer of 1877,
when MacMahon, by what is known as his _coup d’état_ of _le seize
Mai_, brought in a conservative ministry. At that time Mme. Adam was
passing through the deep waters of personal bereavement. Edmond Adam
died in May. But before his death he had been able to render valuable
service to the republican cause by helping to unite the various
sections of the republican party, _les vieilles barbes_ of 1848,
the moderates who supported Thiers and the extremists who were led
by Gambetta. The Adams brought about a meeting between Gambetta and
Thiers. _Le fou furieux_ and _le vieillard sinistre_ found themselves
called upon by the gravity of the political situation to sink their
differences, and to unite their forces in opposition to MacMahon’s
reactionary Government. This reconciliation practically assured the
triumph of the republican cause. Adam had also been able to sell very
advantageously a newspaper which Gambetta had recently founded, _La
Petite République_. And the proceeds of this sale, so Gambetta himself
admitted, furnished him with the sinews of war for his political
campaign.

On the evening of Adam’s funeral his friend the ex-President Thiers,
who himself had but three months to live, dragged his fourscore years
up Mme. Adam’s staircase. “It was his wish and it is mine,” she said
to her visitor, “that I should continue his life in my own.”

“I will help you in every way I can,” said Thiers.[279] Then he went
on to impress upon her the importance of uniting their forces to win
victory for the cause to which Adam had devoted his life.

There lay upon the table, among the numerous letters of sympathy Mme.
Adam had received, one from Émile de Girardin. In the days of Mme.
d’Agoult’s salon they had been great friends; but they ceased to meet
when Juliette married Adam. He, it will be remembered, could never
forgive Girardin for having killed in a duel Armand Carrel, his friend
and collaborator on the _National_. Now Girardin wrote: “Adam in his
life would not permit me to love him, will you permit it now he is
dead?” “What am I to do?” Mme. Adam asked Thiers. “Let him come,” was
Thiers’ advice. “In your salon, Girardin will feel that he is absolved
from the guilt of Carrel’s death.... Moreover, you owe it to Adam to
fill that vacancy in our ranks which his loss has created.”

Mme. Adam acted on her friend’s advice: she received Girardin, who
became henceforth a constant habitué of her salon, and one of the most
valuable assets of that Republican party from which hitherto he had
held aloof. “Girardin is detested and at times is detestable,” wrote
Mme. Adam, “but his friendship is the most faithful and courageous I
have ever known.”[280]

Many another recruit did Mme. Adam’s charming persuasiveness enlist
on the side of the opposition. The republican leaders were constantly
appealing to her to see what she could do with first one, then
another. One evening Gambetta said to her: “You have brought us
Girardin; you have removed Raoul Duval from hostile influences; you
are preserving for us the loyalty of many wavering friends; you are
enrolling so many recruits, that now I ask you to do a very difficult
thing—to attract Gallifet to our group.”[281] Needless to say,
Gallifet was won over.

[Illustration: JULIETTE ADAM (JULIETTE LAMBERT), 1879]

Throughout that critical summer Mme. Adam, despite her personal grief,
followed in breathless expectation and with feverish interest every
development of political affairs. The conservatives, dismayed by the
large republican majority returned in 1876, persuaded MacMahon to
dissolve the Chamber in the following June. They also brought pressure
to bear upon the President so as to induce him to manipulate the
new elections. But all these reactionary efforts availed nothing. “We
went out 363, we shall return 400,” said Gambetta of the Republican
deputies, and though this prediction was not entirely fulfilled the
Republican majority remained a substantial one, only thirty-three
seats were lost. On the night of the 14th of October, when the results
of the election were coming in, Mme. Adam was at the office of _La
République Française_ in the _salon des tapisseries_.[282] Through
the open door she could hear Gambetta calling out the names of the
elected. One of Gambetta’s secretaries, the brilliant Joseph Reinach,
then a youth of twenty-one, now and again came into the salon and
confirmed what she had overheard.

Two months earlier, at the urgent request of Thiers and Gambetta,
she had reopened her salon and resumed her Wednesday and Friday
dinner-parties. Now for some days after this triumphant election she
had received her friends every evening. Gambetta had declared his
readiness to lead the 330 republican deputies into the very heart of
the citadel. Somehow or other the conservative ministers must be got
rid of. They on their part were trying to persuade MacMahon to carry
out another _coup d’état_. Gambetta and some of his friends were
resolved in such an event to appeal to force. A discussion on this
subject took place in Mme. Adam’s salon.[283] There, one evening,
Girardin announced: “Fortou is preparing his _coup d’état_.” Fortou
was Minister of the Interior in the _seize Mai_ Cabinet. “Voisin
(Préfet de Police) has told me,” continued Girardin, “that at any
moment he may receive orders to arrest us all. He will not do so; he
will send in his resignation. But on the day of that resignation we
may all be arrested. And no doubt they will select one of Mme. Adam’s
evenings for the raid.”

“Very well,” replied the Admiral Jauréguiberry, “we must prepare to
defend ourselves.”

“With arms?” inquired Girardin.

“Why, of course,” replied the Admiral briefly.

“I was disappointed,” writes Mme. Adam, “to discover the timidity of
some who were present. I became furious and cried out: ‘After all, one
risks nothing worse than death in defending oneself.’

“My two hands were seized by General Billot and shaken violently, with
an exclamation of ‘Bravo, comrade!’ which made me very proud.”

It was an amplification of this scene, doubtless, which caused the
appearance in one of the newspapers of an article entitled “Attack on
La Maison Sallandrouze.”

Happily, however, the expected raid never took place, for civil strife
was averted. MacMahon, far from arresting Mme. Adam’s friends, called
on them to form a government. The Dufaure Cabinet came into office in
December 1877.

Most of the new ministers were habitués of Mme. Adam’s salon. The new
Minister of Public Works, M. de Freycinet,[284] was Gambetta’s rival
in her friendship. While for her Friday dinner-parties the Great
Tribune in consultation with his hostess chose such fellow-guests as
were likely to serve _ce pouvoir occulte_, which this statesman out of
office was beginning to exercise, the Wednesday dinners were known as
“The Freycinet Evenings.”

Mme. Adam’s friendship with M. de Freycinet has endured to the present
day. Already, in the middle seventies, “so bleached,” writes Sir
Sidney Colvin, “as to be known as _la souris blanche_,” he has lived
to be a member of the War Cabinet of 1916.

Mme. Adam’s widowhood was still young when people began to speak of
her re-marriage. “Several times over,” she writes, “rumour had married
me to Gambetta.” Of another charming and wealthy Republican widow,
Mme. Arnaud de l’Ariège, the same report was circulated. “_Chacune
son tour_,” said Mme. Adam, laughing, to her supposed rival. And Mme.
Arnaud replied: “Yes, but we know too well where Gambetta’s affections
are fixed to believe any gossip about his marriage unless it should be
to Mlle. L——”[285]

Far from becoming more intimate, as we shall see in the next chapter,
Juliette Adam and Gambetta were now beginning to disagree. These
differences and other reasons made her think of leaving Paris before
her accustomed time. “As I emerge from my mourning,” she writes,
“more than one among my friends begins to regard me rather as a woman
than a widow.”[286] She was planning a new novel, _Grecque_; and in
order to study a suitable background she resolved to visit Naples.
How strained her relations with Gambetta were becoming was proved by
their farewell. “It would have been better for me had you started a
few weeks earlier,” said her friend. “Ah! if you had been able to play
Napoléon, you would have been delighted to give me _un petit air de
Mme. de Staël_,” she retorted.[287]

FOOTNOTES:

[254] _Souvenirs_, IV. 286-7.

[255] _Souvenirs_, V. 276.

[256] p. 140.

[257] _Souvenirs_, V. 163.

[258] The extremists were led by Ranc, who was a much more sincere
admirer of the Great Tribune.

[259] _Souvenirs_, V. 165.

[260] _Souvenirs_, V. 166.

[261] I am greatly indebted to Sir Sidney Colvin for having taken the
trouble to send me these reminiscences, and for permitting me to use
them.

[262] _Souvenirs_, V. 144-269.

[263] _Ibid._, I. 169.

[264] _Souvenirs_, V. 183.

[265] _Souvenirs_, V. 185.

[266] _Ibid._, 283.

[267] _Ibid._, 383.

[268] Gambetta’s speech at Havre. See Hanotaux, _Hist. Contemporaine_,
I. 406.

[269] _Souvenirs_, I. 278.

[270] _Souvenirs_, V. 173.

[271] _Ibid._, 167.

[272] Here are published to-day the _Echo de Paris_, _L’Intransigeant_
and many other well-known journals. It was in a café at the corner of
this street that Jaurès was assassinated in 1914.

[273] _Souvenirs_, V. 214.

[274] _Souvenirs_, V. 304.

[275] _Souvenirs_, V. 76.

[276] _Ibid._, VI. 212.

[277] MacMahon had succeeded Thiers as President of the French
Republic in May 1873.

[278] _Souvenirs_, VI. 92.

[279] _Souvenirs_, VI. 473.

[280] _Ibid._, VII. 5.

[281] _Ibid._, 49.

[282] _Souvenirs_, VII. 6-7.

[283] _Ibid._, VII. 78.

[284] M. de Freycinet’s two volumes of Mémoires should be read by all
who are interested in this period.

[285] _Souvenirs_, VII. 245.

[286] _Ibid._, 185.

[287] _Souvenirs_, VII. 187.



CHAPTER XIV

“LA REVANCHE”

1870-1914

     “The passion of revenge is habitually over-estimated as a motive,
     possibly through the influence of the novelists and playwrights to
     whom it is so useful. When we examine man’s behaviour objectively
     we find that revenge, however deathless a passion it is vowed
     to be at emotional moments, is in actual life constantly having
     to give way to more urgent and more recent needs and feelings.
     Between nations there is no reason to suppose that it has any more
     reality as a motive of policy, though it perhaps has slightly more
     value as a consolatory pose.... In 1870 the former (France) was
     humiliated with brutal completeness and every element of insult.
     She talked of revenge, as she could scarcely fail to do, but she
     soon showed that her grasp on reality was too firm to allow her
     policy to be moved by that childish passion. Characteristically,
     it was the victorious aggressor who believed in her longing for
     revenge, and who at length attacked her again.”—Wilfred Trotter,
     _Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War_, 199 (1916).


Mme. Adam’s attitude towards that policy known in France as _la
Revanche_ offers an emphatic denial to one of Germany’s numerous
misrepresentations as to the origin of the Great War. In their peace
conversations with America, as on many other occasions, the Germans
have declared that one of the chief causes of the present struggle was
the _Revancharde_ Policy of France. Nevertheless, for at least twenty
years before the war that policy, which had never been adopted by the
French Government, had ceased to be advocated by the majority of the
French nation. One of the countless proofs of this may be found in
the title Mme. Adam gives to the last volume of her Reminiscences,
_Après l’Abandon de la Revanche_. About the year 1880 she began
to find that those who advocated _la Revanche_ were a constantly
dwindling minority. This minority continued to diminish until, in
the years immediately preceding the Great War, those whose national
hopes were focussed on the reconquest of the lost provinces (for the
word _revanche_ means not so much “revenge” in our sense of the word
as a winning back of one’s own) came to number not more than one
per cent. of the whole population. This was that infinitesimal group
in whose Chauvinist activities and aspirations the German Empire
professed to see a menace to the peace of Europe. And even among
those Chauvinist nationalists, of whom Mme. Adam was one of the most
fervent, there was hardly one, certainly not Mme. Adam herself, who
would have ventured to advocate an immediate aggressive war for the
purpose of reconquering Alsace-Lorraine. Not even the leader of French
militarists, Boulanger, desired it. Nevertheless, it was true that
Mme. Adam and a few fellow idealists desired to see _la Revanche_
becoming once more what it had been during the first decade after
1870, _l’idée reine_, the governing idea of France.

_La Revanche_ in this academic sense was the banner of the _Ligue
des Patriotes_, presided over by Paul Déroulède, of the _Action
Française_, a Royalist society founded by Alphonse Daudet’s son Léon,
in collaboration with that gifted writer Charles Maurras.

But none of these people were practical politicians; and none of them,
as we cannot repeat too often, advocated an immediate aggressive
war for the reconquest of the lost provinces. They desired above
all things that the brethren from whom they had been parted under
such heartrending conditions should not feel themselves forgotten.
And it was for the sake of these exiles that the _revanchards_
protested against Gambetta’s counsel, _pensons y toujours n’en parlons
jamais_. They spoke of them constantly, they spoke of them loudly—too
constantly, and too loudly, perhaps; for they certainly failed to
inspire the majority of their compatriots with that consuming desire
for reunion which burnt in their own hearts.

To keep this idea alive, Mme. Adam has written and laboured for
forty-five years. With this object, as we shall see, she founded a
fortnightly magazine, _La Nouvelle Revue_. In an article in this
review, dated September 1881, replying to an accusation made by
the German Press that France was likely to appeal to force, Mme.
Adam writes: “We have never ceased to ask M. Gambetta to remind our
brethren separated from us that we have never renounced the hope of
reunion with them.” Then she adds diplomatically: “Nothing in this
affirmation need alarm Germany’s military hegemony. Nevertheless, it
is well for her to know that, though far from dreaming of a rash war,
we shall never be guilty of the crime of forgetting.”

The wave of patriotic and nationalist fervour, which, as the result
of the Tangier (1905) and Agadir (1911) incidents, swept over France
during the ten years which preceded this war, indicated no desire for
aggression even on the part of the most rabid _revanchard_. It was
purely for a defensive war that France was preparing when in 1913,
in reply to Germany’s threatening military measures, she increased
to three years the term of military service, which in 1905 had been
reduced to two. By that time any idea of _la Revanche_ as a practical
measure had vanished from the majority of French minds.[288] It was
not on her eastern frontier so much as in her vast colonial empire
that France now saw herself threatened by Germany.

Mme. Adam, still passionately clinging to the forlorn hope of _la
Revanche_, had in her old age come to find herself practically alone
except for a little group of literary idealists. Her adherence to this
idea, which had been renounced by the majority of her nation, explains
her political and religious evolution during the last thirty years.

Previous chapters of this book will have shown how completely
in accord with Mme. Adam’s passionate, patriotic and energetic
disposition was this persistent advocacy of _la Revanche_. Retaliation
was in her blood. Even as a child, whenever she or any one else
received an injury or suffered an injustice her first thought had been
that some one must be made to pay for it. She had never been able to
take any wrong lying down. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, was
her motto; and nothing appeared to her so humiliating as the Christian
doctrine of resignation.

After the war her desire for retaliation grew into a consuming
passion. “I suffer acutely,”[289] she writes, “from that malady of
defeat, that perpetual pain which maddens a Frenchwoman who has been
conquered at every turning of the roads of Alsace, of Lorraine, who
has been crushed at Sedan, deceived and surrendered at Paris.” That
suppressed combativity (_combativité rentrée_),[290] which on the
capitulation of Paris she felt well-nigh bursting her head and her
heart, pursued her from February 1871 until August 1914.

Mme. Adam argued like Mr. Wells’ Letty when she believed her husband,
Teddy, to be dead.[291] “You see, if he is dead, then Cruelty is the
Law, and some one must pay me for his death. Some one must pay me....
I shall wait for six months after the war, dear, and then I shall go
off to Germany.... And I will murder some German. Not just a common
German, but a German who belongs to the guilty kind....”

On much the same lines did Mme. Adam reason when the iron of defeat
entered into her soul—she, too, would exact payment, not for any
personal wrong, but for a national injury; she would murder some
German, not only of the guilty but of the guiltiest kind, the
arch-criminal himself—none other than Bismarck. Only she would murder
him not with the sword, but with a weapon in the handling of which she
was more expert—with her pen. With this object, as we have said, she
founded, with the fortune her husband left her, _La Nouvelle Revue_.
In the pages of this magazine, in a series of powerful articles
entitled, “Letters on Foreign Politics,” she pursued unceasingly the
Man of Iron, revealing his hidden designs, disclosing his plots, and
warning France against the snares he was perpetually laying for her.

It was impossible that so terrific a disaster as _l’Année Terrible_
should leave any serious-minded French person the same as before the
war. But it had not the same effect upon every one. While most of Mme.
Adam’s circle embraced the policy of _la Revanche_, there were some
who, like George Sand and Arlès Dufour, turned their hatred not so
much against Germany as against war as a whole, and who found their
internationalist principles strengthened by defeat. With such ideas
Mme. Adam had not a particle of sympathy. They sundered her from
many of her friends. They caused her to turn with more enthusiasm
than ever to the one man who seemed capable of realising her hopes,
to Gambetta, _l’Homme de la Revanche_. Indeed, Gambetta’s immense
energy, his marvellous organising power, marked him as the one man in
Europe capable of confronting and checkmating that _sauvage de génie_,
Bismarck.

But, as we have said, Mme. Adam’s hope in Gambetta as _l’Homme de la
Revanche_ was doomed to disappointment. In order to see how her idol
came to be dethroned from his pedestal, we must retrace our steps,
returning to that critical year for the Republic, 1875.

During the general election for the new Chamber, which took place
after the Republic had been definitely established by the constitution
of 1875, Gambetta resumed his provincial tours. The political bagman
addressed immense audiences at Aix, at Arles, at Lyons. “I am rapidly
spending the reserves of rest which I laid in at Bruyères,” he writes
to Mme. Adam on the 17th of January. A few days later he is in Paris,
then down in the south again at Marseilles, then up in the north
at Lille, where he addresses four thousand persons. “_Enthousiasme
indescriptible_,” he writes. “I made a speech with which I am much
better contented than with my address at Aix. I explained to them what
our next majority must be: republican, democratic, liberal, pacific.
Those were the four heads of my sermon. I think I touched their hearts
and converted many unbelievers, and some who were indifferent. The
town is decorated with flags. The streets are crowded, despite the
severe cold. I am delighted. I have ranged their ranks in something
like order. All our friends are reconciled; and I count on having
fourteen deputies out of the eighteen.”[292] The republican majority
of the new chamber was largely owing to Gambetta’s colossal efforts.

Throughout the election the Adams had rendered their illustrious
friend invaluable service. Juliette, while she was at Bruyères, in
letters which Gambetta described as _un vrai rapport de ministre
plénipotentiaire_,[293] had kept him well informed of the state of
parties in the south. Adam, a well-seasoned politician, had placed at
his disposal all the wealth of his varied political experience. He had
accompanied him on his electoral tours, and once, on the occasion of
a great meeting at Auxerre, Juliette had joined the party. Whenever
she was at Paris, Gambetta could always count on meeting in her salon
people who would be useful to him.

Every one of the triumphs of _ce grand entraineur des masses_ Juliette
persuaded herself brought nearer the longed-for day when her brethren
would be released from their chains and reunited to the motherland.

[Illustration: THE DEVICE OF THE CRUSADERS WHO ARE LED BY MADAME ADAM
AND OTHER EMINENT FRENCHWOMEN]

Gambetta’s letters to Mme. Adam at this time show that he was firmly
convinced of Bismarck’s intention to renew war. Party strife in France
he believed was encouraging the Chancellor to become more and more
insolent. “_Le désarroi de la lutte anarchique de tous les partis
en France_,” he writes,[294] “_permet au plus terrible adversaire
de Berlin de nous presser de plus près en attendant qu’il fasse un
suprême effort pour arracher encore un lambeau de la patrie_.”

Gambetta was filled with despair to think that under such desperate
circumstances the French should have placed at their head _le plus
imbécile des Français_. That at a moment when they needed a Richelieu,
a Villars, a Mazarin, a Danton, or at least a Talleyrand, they
should have unearthed the most insignificant of the Empire’s knights
(_reîtres de l’empire_) and have confided to him the destinies of the
nation. For Marshal MacMahon and his Government Gambetta has not a
good word to say. And that, but for the intervention of Russia and
England, France in 1875 would have again been at war with Germany,
there now seems little doubt.

In a remarkable letter to Mme. Adam, written on the 24th of October,
1874,[295] Gambetta, with a true statesman’s insight, puts his finger
on the danger spot of Europe, wherein forty years ago lay the embryo
of this present conflict. “The powerful German Empire,” he writes,
“is suffocating in Central Europe. With all its nervous energy it
is striving to break through to the North Sea. It must have shores,
canals, straits, fleets, and a sea-going population. Its Baltic ports
are too remote from the high seas. They are in constant danger of
being choked up. The straits leading to them are narrow and dangerous.
To create a great fleet on those desolate and sandy shores is out of
the question. Bismarck realises that he cannot raise Germany to the
rank of a first-rate Power without giving her a fleet as formidable as
her army. This design is Holland’s death-sentence.”

And Gambetta goes on to express his profound admiration of Holland,
which he has just visited, and of the marvellous energy of the Dutch.

When the crisis of 1875 was past, when the elections of 1876 had
resulted in a Republican majority in the Chamber, although MacMahon
still remained President, Gambetta became more hopeful. At length
the Republic had been placed upon a definite footing. The four
years’ provisional government was now over. The constitution had
been established. On the eve of the election, towards the end of the
debates on the constitution, Gambetta had written to Mme. Adam:[296]
“At last we are nearing the end of our difficulties. And despite the
malcontents and the mere office-seekers, we (_i.e._ the republican
party) shall appear before the country in great force, offering it the
two things we had promised—the dissolution of the Assembly[297] and
the Republic. Thus we shall place the country in a position to send us
a new political generation worthy to complete the work and capable of
successfully accomplishing the regeneration of _la patrie_.”

Throughout the debates on the constitution, as we have seen, Mme.
Adam’s salon continued to serve as a lobby to the chamber. Every new
stage in the progress of that republican constitution she had so long
desired, filled her with rejoicing. “On the 24th of February,” she
writes,[298] “was passed the law establishing the Senate. Imagine
our joy. Imagine the meetings in our salon.... Of course, as yet our
Republic is but in its infancy; but it will grow. And we are certain
that in a few days’ time the law defining the various parts of the
constitution will be passed. All our gratitude as old republicans is
due to Gambetta, who has conducted the negotiations with marvellous
tact and diplomacy.”

Encouraged by the success of his labours, Gambetta began to take a
more hopeful view of the European situation. The crisis of 1875 having
been tided over, the French army having attained to a high degree of
excellent organisation, something approaching universal service for
five years having been instituted, he began to see his country in a
position to hold her own against Germany. Alas! how very far this
was from being the case was born in upon Gambetta when, in 1877,
he visited that country. On his return Gambetta sent Mme. Adam an
account of his journey. “This idea (the idea of the German visit),
_chère amie_,” he wrote,[299] “originated with you in a friendly
conversation.... We said to one another: ‛How useful it would be
... to go to Germany, and to take the opportunity afforded by the
manœuvres of studying on the spot, and with one’s own eyes, the
results of that vast military organisation of which we have been the
victims, and of which we remain the objective.’

“My only difficulty was how to carry out such an idea, how to observe
closely, how to penetrate everywhere without exciting attention and
suspicion, without being recognised.”

The simplest plan Gambetta found was to shave off his beard,
thus rendering himself—as he puts it—uglier than ever, and quite
unrecognisable even by his most intimate friends.

The result of that tour was to fill Gambetta with admiration of the
work accomplished by M. de Bismarck. But he was quick to see also that
Germany’s prosperity depended on the Prussian sword. Once that was
allowed to rust, then the whole mechanism of the German State would
fall out of gear. “The men of this nation,” he writes, “were well
advised to concentrate their attention on the army. Their efforts have
met with the most complete success. Unhappily,” he continues, “we
possess no force which is worthy to be compared with the troops I have
just seen.”

There is little doubt of the profound effect produced upon Gambetta
by this and other visits to Germany. They convinced him that France
was far from ready for _la Revanche_, at any rate for a _revanche_
by force of arms. He did not, however, abandon altogether the hope
of regaining the lost provinces by some diplomatic arrangement with
Bismarck. He could not believe that Germany would long be able to
endure the enormous burden of such vast military expenditure. To
a deputation of Alsatians who visited him he held out this hope,
adding,[300] “that the time would come when Germany would be willing
to enter into some friendly agreement with France, and that for such
an agreement there could only be one basis.”

Meanwhile, until that happy day should dawn, Gambetta advocated the
strengthening of the French army. And henceforth, with renewed vigour,
he never ceased to urge on the Government the necessity of perfecting
every means of defence. No doubt it was partly due to this impulsion
given by Gambetta that seven years after his death the German military
attaché in Paris was compelled to admit to Prince von Hohenlohe that
the French army was superior to the German.[301]

But while France was improving and strengthening her defences,
Gambetta was inclined to seek elsewhere compensation for the lost
provinces. He advocated colonial expansion. He also advocated powerful
alliances, notably with England; and with this object he more than
once met the Prince of Wales (afterwards Edward VII) in Paris.

On every one of these points, with the exception of the strengthening
of the army, he found himself in disagreement with Mme. Adam. “If
I did not regard the establishment of a Republic as an absolute
guarantee of the reconquest of Alsace-Lorraine,” she had said to
Gambetta on the eve of the passing of the 1875 constitution, “then I
would not support the Republic.”

“I thought you were a republican above all things.”

“No. I am first a Frenchwoman, then a passionate adorer of liberty,
then a republican!”

“And you are always out of rank,” added her friend, not without
impatience.[302]

It was during a picnic at Fontainebleau that Mme. Adam first heard
Gambetta advocate the return of France to her old colonial traditions.
It seemed to Juliette that by so doing he was postponing _la Revanche_.

“For love of France,” she entreated, “do not think of these
diversions.”

Neither would she hear of an alliance with England. The Picard
blood ran too strong in her veins.[303] Not until our entrance into
this great war did she consistently display sympathy with great
Britain.[304] Even during the Entente Cordiale she wondered whether
England would not, after all, prove herself _perfide Albion_. Her
grandmother had taught her to mistrust the English, hate the Prussians
and love the Russians. As a young girl she detested the idea of
fighting the Crimean War in alliance with England; and when peace
came she rejoiced that now France could return to friendship with
Russia and enmity with England.[305] So now, if France must seek for
an ally, let her go to Russia, not to England. Bismarck was eager
to avert any understanding between France and Russia. For that very
reason, she said to Gambetta, we should seek it.[306]

As to Gambetta’s real opinion of a Franco-Russian alliance there
is considerable uncertainty. André Tardieu in his book _Nos
Alliances_[307] quotes Gambetta as having said to a French Ambassador,
Chaudordy, about to set out for Petrograd: _appuyés sur la Russie et
sur l’Angleterre, nous serons inattaquables_. Mme. Adam tells of a
mysterious journey she and her husband took with Gambetta to Geneva,
where Princess Lise Troubetzkoi had arranged for him an interview with
Gortschakoff.[308] The interview did not take place, however. And it
is perfectly clear from Gambetta’s correspondence with Mme. Adam that
then, for the time being, at any rate, he thought France should hold
herself free from any alliances.

“_La France_,” he wrote to Mme. Adam, “_doit se tenir à l’écart, elle
doit, tout en faisant des vœux pour la paix, ne rien faire, ne rien
dire, qui puisse de près ou de loin l’engager même en parole avec
personne_.”

“Europe,” he continued, “had stood by while France was conquered. Let
Europe now arrange her own affairs. It was the turn of France to stand
aloof, to concern herself entirely with her own resurrection, to put
her own house in order. When the day of her power and her strength
returned, then would be the time for her to make her voice heard, and,
as the price of her support to say, ‛What will you give me?’ On that
day,” wrote Gambetta, “we may receive attractive proposals from a
quarter whence we least expect them.”

What that quarter was Mme. Adam knew perfectly. Gambetta, it seemed
to her, over-rated Bismarck’s power and influence. Her friend,
she thought, was inclined to reduce the whole of French policy to
the mere expectation of a day when from the Omnipotent, from the
quarter “whence they were least expected,” France might receive
propositions.[309]

Mme. Adam suspected Gambetta of being influenced in this direction
by a certain salon which he had begun to frequent. With a few
exceptions, those of Duclerc, de Reims and Gambetta, there were
no people who, after Bismarck, were more bitterly hated in Mme.
Adam’s circle than Count Henckel de Donnersmarck and his wife, the
widow of the Vicomte de Païva. Mme. Adam believed that la Païva, as
she called her, had been Bismarck’s spy before the war; and it was
rumoured that her husband, the Vicomte, on discovering it, had hanged
himself. Count Donnersmarck was certainly on the best of terms with
the German Chancellor, who after the surrender of Metz had made him
its Prefect. The holding of such an office was in itself enough to
make the Count detested in Paris. Nevertheless, finding Metz too hot
for him, with brazen effrontery he returned to the French capital and
to the mansion in the Champs Elysées, which before the war he had
built on the site of the Jardin des Fleurs, and which has now been
converted into the Travellers’ Club. The rumour that he had advised
Bismarck to demand five milliards war indemnity instead of three did
not increase the cordiality of his reception. And one of Mme. Adam’s
friends, Xavier de Feuillant, so she tells us, horsewhipped him up the
Champs Elysées.[310] Other Frenchmen, however, deemed it politic to
cultivate the acquaintance of one who was in Bismarck’s confidence.
And it was apparently in order to ascertain Germany’s real attitude
towards France that politicians like Thiers and journalists like Émile
de Girardin accepted invitations to the magnificent dinner-parties at
Païva House.

To Mme. Adam such breaking of bread at an arch-enemy’s board was
nothing short of the basest treachery. She wrote to her friend de
Reims, who had visited the Donnersmarcks,[311] that if he continued
to frequent Bismarck’s agent she would break with him for ever and
deliver him up to Xavier Feuillant, who would treat him as he had done
Henckel.

Imagine her horror, therefore, when Spuller told her that Gambetta,
above all people, had actually dined at la Païva’s table. Spuller
swore her to secrecy. She could not, therefore, unburden her mind
in those torrential reproaches to which she was now in the habit of
treating her former hero. But after Spuller had left her she gave way
to despair. “I felt something die within me,” she writes.[312]

Yet another blow was in store for her; and again it was Spuller’s
hand that was to inflict it. That Spuller who had been and was still
thought to be Gambetta’s devoted friend, his right hand, his shadow,
his Achates, should thus have sowed discord between Mme. Adam and
Gambetta seems unaccountable until one considers that, while Spuller
was a fervent deist, Gambetta was constantly inclining more and
more to the extreme anti-clerical side, and to so-called atheists,
represented by such politicians as Paul Bert. Further, after Edmond
Adam’s death in 1877,[313] if rumours may be credited, both Spuller
and Gambetta aspired to marry his widow.[314] Adam himself, in view of
his wife’s impulsive temperament, and well aware how numerous would
be the suitors who, after his death, would solicit her hand, on his
death-bed exacted from her a promise not to remarry for three years.
The promise was unnecessary. Mme. Adam, who has always believed in a
life after death, feels that she and her husband have not been finally
parted. _Nous continuerons à vivre notre vie tous les deux_,[315] were
some of the last words she spoke to him. And in that belief she has
continued faithful to his memory for forty years.

It was after Adam’s death that Spuller committed what one cannot help
regarding as a treacherous betrayal of Gambetta’s confidence. He made
a communication to Mme. Adam which for ever destroyed her belief in
Gambetta as _l’Homme de la Revanche_. On the 23rd of December, 1877,
Spuller wrote from Paris to Mme. Adam at Bruyères[316] that Gambetta
was contemplating an interview with Bismarck at Varzin. Let us say
at once that, as far as we know, the interview never took place. But
that Gambetta ever should have entertained the idea was enough for
Mme. Adam. Apparently the scheme had originated with Count Henckel and
Prince von Hohenlohe,[317] then German Ambassador in Paris. They had
communicated it to Thiers shortly before his death. He had passed it
on to Gambetta.

A few weeks after she had received Spuller’s letter, Gambetta visited
Mme. Adam at Bruyères. He was on his way from a conference at Rome
with the Italian Prime Minister, Crispi, well known to be Bismarck’s
fervent admirer and staunch supporter. Mme. Adam determined,
without betraying Spuller’s confidence, to reproach her friend
with his _politique bismarckienne_. And in the last volume of her
_Souvenirs_[318] she relates that memorable conversation in which she
took him to task not alone for his abandonment of _la Revanche_, but
also for his bitter anti-clerical policy.

They had been wandering along the shore till they found themselves on
the point which forms the extremity of the Baie des Anges. There they
sat down on a rock. Against it, at their feet, the waves were beating
persistently.

Half joking, half in earnest, Mme. Adam said to Gambetta, “That
sighing wave for ever repulsed by the rock is I.”

“And who is the rock?”

“You and your perverse foreign policy.”

“What policy?”

To avoid a direct reply, she asked a question: “And what was your
object in going to Rome if not to seal your Crispian and Bismarckian
policy?”

“I was compelled to choose between two evils: that of national
effacement, called isolation, and that of participation in the
diplomacy of Europe. I chose the latter, because it furnished me with
a support, the importance of which you cannot divine, in my domestic
policy.”

“I do divine it,” she replied. “My Russian friends tell me things
which enable me to draw my own conclusions. But, my dear friend, in
coming to terms with Bismarck (here Gambetta could not refrain from
a movement of surprise, which Mme. Adam feigned not to notice) you
are involving yourself in a _Kulturkampf_ of which Bismarck himself
is weary, for it disintegrates all parties. Your French _Kulturkampf_
may serve Italy and her feud with the papacy, and Victor Emmanuel must
have welcomed you as a friend. But it also benefits Paul Bert, Ranc,
Ferry, Brisson, Clemenceau. Now, although they may call themselves
your friends, they, the two last especially, have only one idea: viz.
to remove you when you have removed all obstacles to the rise of these
demagogues.”

“So you think me Bismarckian because I am anti-clerical.”

“Certain of your restrictions, the change in your way of referring to
our lost provinces, have tortured me. As soon as you refrained from
sympathising with Russia at the beginning of the Russo-Turkish War, I
concluded that you had abandoned the idea of _la Revanche_; for the
only way to regain Alsace-Lorraine is by winning the hearts of nations
whose interests like our own render them the enemies of Germany and of
England. This we may do by displaying our sympathy with those nations
in their hours of trial.”

“My dear friend,” remonstrated Gambetta, “you must know that it is
madness to think of reconquering Alsace-Lorraine.”

“Now; yes, I know. But later? Duclerc, whose efficiency and devotion
as president of the army commission you yourself have so often admired
in my presence, constantly tells me we shall be ready in 1880.”

Gambetta shrugged his shoulders and replied impatiently—

“We must experiment in a policy of expansion, we must conquer or by a
tactful neutrality win the equivalent of that we have lost. Afterwards
we shall see. As for my anti-clericalism at home, so much the better
if it furthers my policy abroad. But rest assured, it will not blind
me so far as to risk the loss of the advantage to France of being
regarded as the upholder of Catholic traditions.”

“To carry out so double-faced a policy on a question which is so
vital, surely that is impossible?”

Gambetta was convinced that it was possible. He went on to speak of
Italy, of Victor Emmanuel, of his friendship for France, provided
she would undertake not to restore the Pope’s temporal power, of the
benefits of Italian unity. “Italy,” said Gambetta, “is now what France
once was, a perfect organisation.”

“While with us,” replied Mme. Adam, “the loss of two of our organs is
constantly destroying our equilibrium more and more.... Never shall
we regain it until we have reconquered Alsace-Lorraine, as Italy has
reconquered Lombardy and Venetia. Ah, my friend, how can I tell you my
grief at suspecting you more and more implicated with Germany? You,
our national defender—you, whose words, whose acts galvanised in her
humiliation the France to whom you promised a resurrection, you are
false to your mission! You must forgive me, but the cruel words must
be spoken: you betray your destiny. Never will Bismarck raise you to
that pinnacle of greatness on which you were placed by your fidelity
to Alsace-Lorraine. But I wound you.”

It argues well for Gambetta’s magnanimity and also for his patriotism
that he could hear such reproaches and still remain the friend of her
who uttered them.

“You cannot wound me, my dear friend,” he replied. “For you speak to
me as you must speak—you, an idealist, whom reality does not restrain
from arriving at contradictory conclusions.... You follow the dictates
of your heart, I of my reason. We must each go our road.”

“Mine,” she replied, “is the national road, marked out by the great
proud past of my race; yours is a _combinazione_ with a scoundrel.”

“Whatever our differences,” replied Gambetta, smiling, “let us promise
to remain faithful to our friendship.”

“I swear it,” she replied.

In taking that oath Mme. Adam was sincere. Despite their disagreement
on such vital matters, she valued highly Gambetta’s friendship.
Nevertheless, each pursuing so widely divergent a road, it was
inevitable they should drift apart. The one great disagreement was
magnified by a thousand minor differences. She, who had first made
him _un homme du monde_, grew appalled to observe his increasing
passion for luxury, for ostentation; his susceptibility to the
flatteries of fashionable women who gathered round him; his neglect
of the simple folk from whom he had sprung; his financial and amorous
embarrassments.[319] Now that Adam was no longer at hand to extricate
him from the latter, she did what she could. But it was obvious to
Gambetta that he had forfeited her approval. Their meetings too often
passed in mutual recrimination. Mme. Adam’s disappointment in her
former hero was accentuated by a series of events: first, when on
MacMahon’s fall in 1877, Gambetta, instead of, as she hoped, becoming
President of the Republic, accepted the office of President of the
Chamber; again, when in 1879, as President of the Council, he roused
immense opposition by the irony of appointing as Minister of Public
Worship so pronounced an agnostic as Paul Bert; finally, when after
a few months in this highest political eminence to which he ever
attained, he was defeated on a motion for electoral reform, and went
out of office.

By that time Mme. Adam and Gambetta had ceased to correspond. They met
but seldom.

Of the mystery which surrounds his death in the December of 1882 she
refuses to talk. “We never speak of those things,” she said sadly,
when one day at Gif I referred to them. Equally silent is Mme. Adam
about that veiled figure dominating the background of Gambetta’s later
years, that Mlle. L. L——, who never missed one of Gambetta’s speeches
in the Assembly, whose letters Gambetta used to read to Mme. Adam in
the early years of their friendship.[320]

With her innate cheerfulness she now prefers to dwell on the early
years of her friend’s career, when as an ardent young Bohemian
meridional he was first making his appearance in her salon, or when
at the height of his fame he kept his state at her evening parties,
remaining in an ante-room apart and there receiving in solemn conclave
those whom, as likely to help him in his political designs, his hosts
thought it desirable he should meet. In those days he was still living
with his old Aunt Tata in Paris, and in affectionate intimacy with
his parents and sister in the south. His sister’s sons are to-day
as dear to Mme. Adam as if they were her own. Of one of them, Léon,
the younger, who is now a cavalry officer at the front, she relates
with pride that he has sworn to be the first to ride into reconquered
Strasbourg.

FOOTNOTES:

[288] See Marcel Sembat, _Faites un Roi ou faites le Paix_ (1915),
_passim_.

[289] _Souvenirs_, V. 2.

[290] _Ibid._, IV. 316.

[291] _Mr. Britling Sees it Through_, 378.

[292] _Souvenirs_, VI. 330.

[293] _Ibid._, 198.

[294] _Souvenirs_, VI. 157.

[295] _Ibid._, 182.

[296] _Souvenirs_, VI. 290.

[297] It had been sitting since February 1871.

[298] _Souvenirs_, VI. 226.

[299] _Ibid._, 388.

[300] Henri Galli, _Gambetta et l’Alsace-Lorraine_, p. 315.

[301] Prince von Hohenlohe, _Mémoires_, II. 405.

[302] _Souvenirs_, VI. 16.

[303] _Ibid._, I. 208.

[304] Her references to England in her articles contributed to
_La Nouvelle Revue_ are somewhat contradictory. When a commercial
treaty between our two nations was on foot, she would argue that our
interests are identical. Generally she maintained that we are doomed
to be rivals.

[305] _Souvenirs_, II. 22.

[306] _Ibid._, VI. 405.

[307] p. 9.

[308] _Souvenirs_, VI. 272.

[309] _Ibid._, 405.

[310] _Souvenirs_, V. 297.

[311] _Ibid._, VI. 84.

[312] _Ibid._, VII. 73.

[313] _Souvenirs_, VI. 472.

[314] For those rumours with regard to Gambetta, see _ante_, 186.

[315] _Souvenirs_, VI. 471.

[316] _Ibid._, VII. 112.

[317] See Henri Galli, _Gambetta et l’Alsace-Lorraine_, 314.

[318] _Souvenirs_, VII. 121-7.

[319] See Mme. Adam’s story of the “Affaire de la Rue Roquépine,”
_Souvenirs_, VII. 55-60.

[320] See _ante_, 186; also _Souvenirs_, VI. 80, and _Le cœur de
Gambetta_, by Laur.



CHAPTER XV

DISILLUSIONMENT

     “_Petit à petit, la guerre, nos malheurs, la Commune, l’abandon de
     la revanche, m’auraient détachée du jacobinisme et de la grande
     Révolution._”—Mme. Adam.

     “_L’âme de la France est-elle donc catholique, et ne peut-on être
     en contact absolu avec elle que par le catholicisme et sa plus
     pure tradition?_”—Ibid.


“Something is dying within me” (_quelque chose agonise en moi_) Mme.
Adam had written at the close of her most memorable talk with Gambetta
in 1878. That something was not only her faith in her friend’s
determination to achieve _la Revanche_, it was also her hope for the
establishment of an ideal Republic. To her mind the Republic, for the
sake of whose stability Gambetta had found it necessary to sacrifice
_la Revanche_ and to enter into an understanding with Bismarck, was
not worth having.

“One does not make use of a Bismarck,”[321] Mme. Adam had said to her
friend.

“Who knows?” was his rejoinder. “Perhaps it will be he who will give
us the Republic.”

“Then it would be fatal to us,” she replied. And that this Republic
was proving fatal to liberty and fatal to her hopes she was becoming
more and more fully convinced. “It is disenchanting us all, alarming
us all,” she wrote. “It is disappointing our dreams of greatness at
home and showing itself incapable of any effort towards heroism and
greatness abroad.”[322]

From the time of her rupture with Gambetta until the Great War, Mme.
Adam was indeed what one of her contemporaries has most happily called
her, _la grande désabusée de la troisième république_.[323]

Almost as strongly as of his abandonment of _la Revanche_ did Mme.
Adam disapprove of Gambetta’s virulent anti-clerical policy. She began
to agree with Mérimée, who, though an agnostic, feared lest so-called
free-thinkers might prove as intolerant as the Church. “Do you
think,” he had said, referring to the anti-clericals of those imperial
days,[324] “that these men, if they were in the Government would ever
give you liberty? They are the sons of Robespierre, Saint-Just and
Marat. If ever they come into power, they will follow the example not
merely of the Terrorists but of the Church in its darkest days. For
they themselves, the fanatics of anti-clericalism, they are a church,
smaller than the other but equally dogmatic.”

In his first speeches after the war Gambetta had declared himself
in favour of strict liberty of opinion. But, finding the Republic’s
enemies too often in close alliance with the Church, he had become
embittered against the Catholic party.

Thirty years later Combes’ bitter attack on the Church was to
arouse in many a free-thinker Catholic sympathies. In like manner
Gambetta’s extreme anti-clericalism helped to make a Catholic of Mme.
Adam. Towards the end of his life he tended more and more to throw
in his lot with the extreme anti-clericals led by Paul Bert, who,
adapting to the moment Peyrat’s famous phrase, _le cléricalisme c’est
l’ennemi_,[325] declared _le cléricalisme c’est le phylloxera_.

That wily deist Spuller did not neglect this further opportunity
of stealing a march on his rival.[326] He encouraged Mme. Adam in
the idea that by waging war against the Church Gambetta was playing
Bismarck’s game, and helping the Chancellor to carry on in France the
_Kulturkampf_ he was conducting with so much vigour in Germany. Had
not Gambetta himself admitted that the _Kulturkampf_ had changed the
whole aspect of the struggle against the Church![327] In France, he
had come to regard the separation between the Church and State as an
almost necessary condition of any durable alliance with the Italian
kingdom. “As long as we remain the eldest daughter of the Church,” he
said to Mme. Adam,[328] “the papacy will rely upon our support, and
this will inevitably endanger our friendly relations with Italy.”

Gambetta’s attitude in these vital matters was certainly changing
his friend’s religious point of view. She was beginning to feel that
she could no longer, as in 1866, describe herself as a pagan and an
anti-clerical.[329] Then to oppose the Church had been to oppose the
Empire. Now it seemed to her that to oppose the Church was to unite
with Bismarck. The Catholic traditions of her country were beginning
to appeal to her. “I remembered,” she writes,[330] “how for centuries
Catholic France had been superbly patriotic, how for centuries the
association between God and the King, God and _la patrie_, had perhaps
been more essential than I had ever believed.”

Already she had travelled far from the days of the siege of Paris,
when, in admiration of the nuns’ fearlessness during the small-pox
epidemic, she had reflected, “Ought not my philosophy to give me as
much courage as they derive from their religion?”[331]

By a strange contradiction Mme. Adam’s passion for revenge was
carrying her towards a religion whose Founder had refused to
countenance such a sentiment. But in wending her way Romewards she
was obeying not so much the dictates of reason as ancestral voices,
impulses arising from her subconscious self, beckonings from that
Catholic past which is never far removed from any child of France.

The years 1876 and ’77 were dark years for Juliette Adam. They had
reft from her George Sand, her father, Dr. Lambert, and then her
husband. Dr. Lambert had died early in 1876, while his daughter was
at Bruyères. Mme. Sand’s death occurred on the 8th of June. In the
August of the following year, it fell to Mme. Adam’s lot to perform
a melancholy mission. George Sand, shortly before her death, had
expressed a wish that her study should remain under lock and key for
one year, at the end of which it should be opened by her son Maurice
and Juliette Adam. For this purpose Mme. Adam went to Nohant, where
she found awaiting her a strange and sorrowful experience. When the
seal was broken, there was the study just as George Sand had left it,
with a partly finished manuscript on the desk, with the arm-chair half
turned round as when its occupant had risen from it for the last time.
During those moments the spirit of the departed seemed to come very
near to her friend.

By that time Mme. Adam was a widow. Her husband had died in the
previous May. Throughout her bereavement, there was no one to whom she
turned more willingly for consolation than to Adam’s friend Thiers. He
never tired of hearing her talk about her husband, whom he had known
long and intimately, and whom he had never failed to appreciate. But
three months after Adam’s death, Thiers followed him to the grave.

“Blow after blow falls upon me,” writes Mme. Adam. “Thiers’ loss
creates another blank in my life.”

Her buoyant cheerfulness, however, her unquenchable hopefulness, her
innate optimism would not permit her to remain long a prey to grief
and melancholy. If earthly things disappointed her, if she failed to
find here below the fulfilment of her hopes, the realisation of her
dreams, then she would look elsewhere. She refused to be altogether
disappointed. With Jean Jacques Rousseau she felt that she had wept
too much in this life not to believe in another. Henceforth she began
to dwell more and more on that other world, of faith in which her
paganism had never succeeded in depriving her. With her the unseen had
ever been vividly present.

Her exuberant Celtic imagination had projected itself into the spirit
world. She believes that her grandmother appeared to her after her
death, and that many important events of her life have been prophesied
to her by some soothsayer, palmist or somnambulist. She herself used
to tell fortunes; and, at the close of her evening receptions, to
a few favoured guests, Gambetta, Girardin, Spuller, for example,
who liked to linger after the rest had gone, she would predict the
future by cutting cards. But her own soothsaying must not be taken
too seriously. For she admits she was glad to take this opportunity
of telling some home truths, and giving to her friends useful advice
which, administered in any other way, might have offended them.
Gambetta was frequently the recipient of such counsel. The cards,
for instance, warned him that by a meeting as “diabolical as that
of Christ’s temptation on the mountain” he was risking the loss of
his prestige.[332] He was also enjoined to beware of women and their
advice. Some would dash him into the abyss of ruin, he was told,
while others would raise him on to dizzy heights no less dangerous.
He was bidden to be a lover and a friend, but to choose only men
for his confidants. Refusing to recognise in such warnings anything
but the advice of the fair necromancer herself, Gambetta replied
mischievously, “You are rather hard on yourself. But perhaps it is in
order that you may be still harder on others.”

In the past, the main object of Mme. Adam’s adoration had been _la
patrie_. So it will continue to be until the end. In her pagan days,
after _la patrie_, she had adored the gods and heroes of Greece and
Rome. They had represented to her the ideals of a civilisation which
she regarded as the highest and most complete to which humanity has
yet attained. When Mme. Adam became a Christian the gods and heroes
of antiquity made way for Christ and His Saints, and for Mme. Adam’s
patriotic soul first among the latter is Jeanne d’Arc.[333] For even
now _la patrie_ remains enthroned in the first place in her hierarchy.
Indeed, she has returned to the Catholic Church chiefly because thus
she hopes best to fulfil her mission as a patriotic Frenchwoman. “I
believe,” she said to me, “that a true French patriot can no more
escape being a Catholic than can a truly patriotic Turk escape being a
Mussulman.” Nevertheless, that it may not always be easy to reconcile
patriotism and religion is suggested by the following letter, which
Mme. Adam wrote in reply to my inquiry as to her views of the reputed
pro-German attitude of the present Pope—

                                                “_Abbaye de Gif_,
                                                    “14.ii.16.

     “.... _Pour le Pape—Je suis catholique, apostolique et romaine.
     Revenue aux croyances de ma grand’mère.... Vous comprendrez que je
     n’ai pas, si tardive croyante, le droit de discuter les actions
     du St. Père. Mais mes vœux étaient pour le Cardinal Rampolla, que
     l’Autriche détestait et que la France eut tant aimé! Là encore je
     dois me taire. Vous pouvez seulement dire à quel point mes vœux
     accompagnaient le Cardinal Rampolla, que j’avais la fierté de
     connaître._”

[Illustration: (1885)]

We have seen how Mme. Adam’s father had brought her up in communion
with the Hellenic soul; how in Mme. d’Agoult’s salon she delighted
to fraternise with those enthusiastic Hellenists, de Ronchaud,
Paul Saint-Victor, and Louis Ménard. After her rupture with Mme.
d’Agoult, and throughout all the vicissitudes of the intervening
years, this _Grecque ressuscitée_, as Victor Hugo used to call her,
had never ceased, whenever she met her Hellenic friends, with them
to live and move and have her being in the world of ancient Greece.
Together they dreamed of seeing established in France what they
described somewhat vaguely as “the Athenian Republic.” Together
they welcomed the advent of those young poets, “the incomparable
Parnassians,” whom Ménard fathered, François Coppée, Sully
Prudhomme,[334] Hérédia, Alphonse Daudet, Baudelaire, Villiers de
l’Isle Adam, Anatole France and Lecomte de Lisle. Mme. Adam had been
delighted when Gaston Paris brought to her salon that wonderful Sully
Prudhomme, who from a workman in Creusot’s factory had developed
into a poet, scholar and philosopher.[335] Volume by volume, as they
appeared, she devoured Lemerre’s edition of the Parnassians’ collected
works, becoming every day, she writes, _sauf quelques réserves_, a
convinced admirer and an ardent propagandist of the new school of
poets.[336]

The reserve she referred to was this: she could not bring herself to
admire the marmoreal immobility cultivated by the Parnassians. “_Ils
ne rêvent pas comme moi_” she writes,[337] “_de draperies flottantes
au vent qui souffle du golfe de Phalère ou du mont Hymette: ils
veulent le pli statuaire, moi je l’aime vivant_.”

One, who attended Mme. Adam’s reception when her salon was at the
height of its political influence, tells how eager she was to withdraw
from political discussion whenever an opportunity offered of talking
about Greece and things Greek.

Her three best novels, _Laide_, _Grecque_ and _Païenne_, are inspired
throughout by these Hellenic sympathies. In a delightful article on
_Le Néo-Hellenisme_,[338] Jules Lemaître, that most eminent of French
critics since Sainte-Beuve, bestows high praise on this trilogy
of novels, which he describes as “a rare effort of sympathetic
imagination.” Nevertheless, though in all sincerity Mme. Adam strove
hard to attain to the Greek point of view, a mind so essentially
actual as hers could not fail to introduce a certain modernity
into her portrayal of what seemed to her the Greek atmosphere and
temperament. As Lemaître points out, in these novels every passion,
every impression, every phrase, is obviously three thousand years
older than a line of Homer, twenty-four centuries older than a line of
Sophocles.

Mme. Adam, with her antipathy to everything Gothic, Teutonic and
mediæval, may try to cultivate a dislike of romanticism, she remains
notwithstanding, and her criticism of the Parnassians quoted above
proves it, a romanticist, the child of Chateaubriand and Mme. de
Staël. She may try to ignore the Middle Ages, but she cannot suppress
them. And Jules Lemaître may well inquire whether “if the whole Middle
Ages had not groaned and bled beneath the Cross Mme. Juliette Lamber
would be able to rejoice so rapturously in her Greek gods.” For the
vague paganism of that day depends for its very existence on the
Christianity of which it was the negation. The paganism of Mme. Adam
and her friends was provoked by the Christian’s enmity to all things
carnal. It was a protest in favour of that _joie de vivre_, of that
physical beauty, of those natural joys which the mediæval Christian
had condemned as the works of the devil. When life’s joyfulness began
to fade, Mme. Adam, like so many others, turned to Christianity.
She had always, as she had confessed to Littré at Mme. d’Agoult’s
dinner-party,[339] had the will to believe.

“Would you know how and why I became a Catholic, then you must read
_Chrétienne_,” said Mme. Adam. And indeed this novel describes her
conversion from paganism to Christianity. Here we see how that
adoration of Greece, which she owed to her father’s upbringing had
ceased to be a living inspiration, how it had been relegated to
the past. That old conflict of her childhood between her father’s
paganism and her grandmother’s Christianity recurring, resulted in her
grandmother’s influence gradually alienating her soul from Greece, and
transforming into a mere literary preference what was once a religious
inspiration.

_Chrétienne_ is the sequel to _Païenne_. The two novels tell the
story of a beautiful Frenchwoman, Melissandre. She is married to a
heartless rake, whom she has never loved, a M. de Noves. She has a
lover, a gifted painter, Tiburce. Both novels are in the form of
letters. They contain few incidents. But they tell the story of a
consuming passion, which in _Païenne_ burns with fierce ardour and
in _Chrétienne_ cools down into serene affection. The death of the
husband, M. de Noves, which occurs in a duel at the close of _Païenne_
does not, as one might expect, lead to the lovers’ immediate marriage.
Before the consummation of their legal union intervenes the whole
of _Chrétienne_. For religious misgivings, which have arisen in the
heart of Melissandre, cause her to banish her lover for a while. He
goes to Greece. She remains in France. In the interval, Melissandre
and Tiburce, who had both been fervent pagans, fall under Catholic
influences, which convince them that their Hellenic ideals are only to
be cherished so far as they lead to Christ. In the words of Tiburce,
they follow “the great pagan” St. Paul on the road to Damascus.[340]
And not until they have been received back into the Church of their
fathers do they become man and wife.

In these two books Mme. Adam brilliantly displays one of her most
eminent literary gifts, which she has shown in all her writings: her
passion for the beauties of nature and her power of describing them.
It was their love of nature that had first attracted her to the Greeks.

The idea of race has ever played a dominant part in Mme. Adam’s
mentality. “_Je suis Gauloise, je suis Grecque, Latine, mais rien
d’autre_,” she writes.[341] In returning to Christianity she flattered
herself that she was returning to the traditions of her race, to the
Roman Church which she regards as the highest expression of Latin
culture, and of that Mediterranean tradition, which embodies all
that she loves and respects, and which is the direct antithesis to
the northern tradition, to the _Kultur_ of Berlin.[342] Bismarck she
hated, not only as the conqueror of France and the persecutor of
Catholics, but as the sworn foe of Latin culture. Spuller had told
her that the Chancellor had a horror of everything Latin, that in his
_Kulturkampf_ he was warring not merely against the religious idea,
but against Latin influence in letters, philosophy and art.[343]

FOOTNOTES:

[321] _Souvenirs_, VI. 30.

[322] _Ibid._, VII. 356.

[323] Arthur Meyer, editor of _Le Gaulois, Ce que mes yeux ont vu_,
158-9.

[324] _Souvenirs_, III. 15.

[325] _Ibid._, VI. 128.

[326] _Ibid._, VII. 48.

[327] _Ibid._, 124.

[328] _Ibid._

[329] _Souvenirs_, III. 86.

[330] _Ibid._, VII. 380.

[331] _Ibid._, IV. 119.

[332] _Souvenirs_, VII. 164.

[333] Technically, Jeanne d’Arc is not a saint. At present she is only
“blessed,” having not yet attained to the third and final stage of
canonisation.

[334] _Souvenirs_, III. 106.

[335] _Ibid._, 36, 37.

[336] _Ibid._, 106.

[337] _Ibid._, VII. 404-5.

[338] _Les Contemporains_, 1ère série, 119-64.

[339] See _ante_, 69.

[340] _Chrétienne_, 224.

[341] _Souvenirs_, III. 401.

[342] Hanotaux, _Histoire de la France Contemporaine_, I. 504.

[343] _Souvenirs_, VII. 395-6.



CHAPTER XVI

“LA NOUVELLE REVUE”

1879-1899

     “La Nouvelle Revue _devait être le foyer, de l’idée, de la
     revanche et le lien de réunion de la France régenerée_.”—Léon
     Daudet.

     “_La Nouvelle Revue_ ... was to be the organ of the young Republic
     in periodical literature.”—Richard Whiteing.


Intensity is a dominant note of Mme. Adam’s nature. It characterises
alike her hatred and her loves, her preferences and her prejudices.
While, as Gambetta remarked, she lets her rancour run dangerously near
ferocity,[344] she treasures her friendships as the most precious
gifts of the gods. Nothing pleases her better than to help her
friends. “The surest way to my friendship,” she declares, “is to ask
me to render some service.”

Sitting next to Edmond de Goncourt at one of Alphonse Daudet’s
dinner-parties, she said, “I have a hundred friends ... and that is
about the number I need.... I am always grateful to people who make
demands on me. It is my life.... My energy loves to be serviceable.”
She has ever been ready to wear herself out in the cause of the
unfortunate, _pour s’intéresser aux pauvres diables_, as her friend
Léon Daudet expresses it. I find in one of her letters to me this
sentence: “_Chacune de vos lettres m’attache maternellement à vous;
c’est ainsi que j’aime le plus_.” In another letter she expresses this
very characteristic sentiment: “_C’est tout de suite ou jamais avec
moi. Vous avez senti qu’avec vous c’était tout de suite._” At a glance
she has always decided whether she likes or dislikes a person. If the
former, then she gives her confidence absolutely and completely. But
woe to the unhappy wight whom she finds in any fundamental matter
unworthy of that confidence. “I don’t envy any one who is Mme. Adam’s
enemy,” said Changarnier. “But,” replied Jules de Lasteyrie, “I do
envy any one who is her friend.”

In everything which concerns the welfare of her friends Mme. Adam
takes the deepest interest. I shall never forget her solicitude for
my safety in my numerous war-time Channel crossings. Immediately the
_Sussex_ went down, she wrote asking if I knew any one who was on
board. As the submarine menace grew more serious, whenever I returned
to England she would bombard me with letters and postcards clamouring
to be assured of my safety: “_Chère amie, ecrivez-moi vite que vous
êtes bien arrivée_”; then another card: “_Chère, très chère amie, je
vous supplie de m’envoyez ce simple mot sur une carte ‛arrivée.’_”
Finally, after the torpedoing of a French man-of-war and the loss
of the crew of six hundred, she writes: “_Il ne faut plus venir en
France sans une nécessité absolue, car je crois que les affreux Boches
ajouteront des crimes à leurs crimes_.” In another letter she had
written: “_Le dieu teuton demande des crimes journaliers_.”

Some of the most entrancing pages of Mme. Adam’s _Souvenirs_ tell
the story of her literary friendships with Victor Hugo, Gustave
Flaubert, Alphonse Daudet. It was in friendship that she found her
greatest consolation at the time of Adam’s death. Gambetta was with
her when the doctor gave up all hope of his recovery. “I shall return
this evening,” said her friend, “and many of us will come.” Her
husband during his last days liked to know that she was receiving as
usual.[345]

As the breach between Mme. Adam and Gambetta widened, her salon
underwent a change. Its mistress, disappointed with politics, turned
more and more to her artistic and literary friends. “If in politics
there is much to sadden me,” she wrote,[346] “I have my literary
consolations.” Coquelin was now to be found frequently at her
receptions, so were the Alsatian painter, Henner, the battle-painter,
Detaille, and Carolus Duran.

“My salon is quite changed,” she writes, “but it is no less lively
than of yore. Conversation has gained in brilliance what it has lost
in weight.”[347] Artists, authors, sculptors, musical composers were
delighted to meet one another; and the politicians who still visited
her were pleased to _se dépolitiquer_.

In this transformed salon there gradually materialised an idea which
Mme. Adam had long cherished.

Even before the war it had more than once been suggested to the
Adams that they should found a review. George Sand, while she was
visiting Bruyères, had tried to induce her host and hostess to start
a fortnightly magazine which might rival _La Revue des Deux Mondes_,
from the tyranny of whose editor, Buloz, she was suffering much.
“Adam,” she argued,[348] “has been a journalist, you are literary.
He with his critical gift and sound common sense would be an ideal
editor, you with your zeal and your passion for admiring would
discover new talent; you would revel, as I have always done, in the
joy of bringing others into notice.”

But Adam was too much of a politician to entertain the idea of
inaugurating a publication which should have a strong literary as well
as political strain. After Adam’s death, however, George Sand’s words
often recurred to his widow.

She first communicated her idea to Flaubert. That consummate master
of literary style had never made much money by his books. Mme. Adam,
who had been his friend for years, was seriously distressed by his
financial embarrassments, which he had vainly tried to conceal from
her. His pride rendered him one of the most difficult people to help.
But Mme. Adam, with his friends Taine, Tourguénieff, and others,
succeeded in persuading Jules Ferry, then President of the Chamber, to
appoint Flaubert librarian of the Arsenal Library. It was when he came
to thank Mme. Adam for her kindness in this matter that she broached
to him the subject of a magazine, in which he should be “the master of
masters,” if he would agree to contribute one article a month.[349]

“What!” he exclaimed in horror; “like that—by the yard, so much a
line!”

“No,” she replied, “so much the word, the letter! For anything by
Flaubert is gold, it is rubies.”

“That is enough,” he interrupted. “When I have completed my revision
of _L’Education Sentimentale_, of which I am publishing a new edition,
I will finish _Bouvard et Pecuchet_, and you shall have that.”

“You will swear it?”

“I swear it.”

Flaubert was greatly taken with the idea of the new venture. He
demanded a place in the review for his young disciple, Guy de
Maupassant. Littré, too, approved of the enterprise. He agreed to
write articles on philosophy. But Girardin was appalled at the
capital such an undertaking would require. Mme. Adam was known to
be wealthy, her husband having left her a considerable fortune.
Nevertheless, so many other similar enterprises—_La Revue Nationale_,
_La Revue Germanique_, _La Revue de Paris_—had foundered miserably,
having failed to hold their own against the veteran _Revue des Deux
Mondes_. Girardin had grave doubts as to the possibility of success.
Nevertheless, he thought it an excellent idea to replace the waning
influence of her salon by that of a review in which she could say
anything and criticise everything. He advised her to found a company,
in which she should take half the shares; and he himself promised to
become a shareholder.

Gambetta Mme. Adam found far from encouraging. “Whatever is this mad
idea of founding a review?” he exclaimed.

“Nothing is more serious,” she replied. “As republican politics
seem to have resolved themselves into nothing more nor less than a
distribution of rewards, my political salon has ceased to interest me.
It is about to be transformed into a literary salon with the solid
support of a review.”

“You won’t carry on your review for six months,” he retorted.... “You
don’t know what you are undertaking. How could a woman ever possess
enough authority, knowledge, energy, and business faculty to direct a
review?” Gambetta carefully ignored the famous _Revue Internationale_,
founded and successfully edited for some years by Napoléon I.’s
great-niece, Mme. Ratazzi, better known by her _nom de guerre_ of
“Baron Stock.”

“My dear friend,” replied Juliette Adam, “will you take the trouble
to remember this? I shall carry on my review for twenty years, and I
shall introduce to my readers twenty new authors.”

The question of the title puzzled her for some time. Then she writes—

“_Tiens, j’ai trouvé mon titre_ La Nouvelle Revue. _Ce titre me plaît
et plaît à tous. Je l’ai tant cherché, et il est venu tout seul._”

Her old friend Laurent Pichat, one of those who had always recommended
Adam, “that millionaire in wisdom and moderation,” as he called him,
to found a review, threw himself heart and soul into the project. “You
cannot have too many contributors,” he said.

It was chiefly among the young authors and writers that these
contributors were recruited. “Our review,” they called it, for them
it was founded. One of its main objects was to give the chance to the
young and the unknown which _La Revue des Deux Mondes_ denied them.

But, as we have seen, many of Mme. Adam’s old friends were also to
be represented in its pages: Challemel-Lacour, Spuller, and her
fellow-Hellenists Saint-Victor and de Ronchaud. Nothing pleased her
more than the interest taken in it by M. Ferdinand de Lesseps, a new
acquaintance whom she owed to Girardin.

Another of her great acquisitions was Alphonse Daudet, the writer
who to her seemed more essentially French than any other author of
that day. She considered him the equal of Balzac and Flaubert. She
had hardly dared to hope for his collaboration. All the greater,
therefore, was her joy when he assured her that any project destined
to help forward young writers might count on his support. And Daudet
was not one to give his name alone. As long as he lived the editress
of _La Nouvelle Revue_ found in him one of her most trusted supporters.

But the course of editing, like that of true love, does not always
run smooth; and Mme. Adam had her disappointments. One of these was
Taine’s refusal to collaborate. On the 29th of March, 1879,[350] he
wrote excusing himself on account of bad health and absence from
Paris. Though he was by no means devoted to _La Revue des Deux
Mondes_, he reminded the new editress that when an attempt had been
made fifteen years earlier to give that journal a rival, it had been
calculated that such a project could not be realised in less than six
years, and would necessitate an expenditure of a million of francs.

Mme. Adam hoped to carry out her design in two years, and with an
expenditure of five hundred thousand francs. On this basis and before
the summer of 1879 was over, the company had been formed. In June,
Mme. Adam had left her Paris flat for a house in the Parc de Séchan
at Montmorency. But on a lower floor of the Maison Sallandrouze she
established the office of the review. All through July, August and
September she was busy buying paper, negotiating with printers, making
all the preparations for her first number, which was to appear on the
1st of October.

Her salon—all that was left of it, for she had little time
for receiving visitors either at Montmorency or at La Maison
Sallandrouze—was becoming more and more _le Salon de la Nouvelle
Revue_. “_Je suis tout à la littérature_,” she writes.[351] On her
editor’s desk were accumulating piles and piles of MSS.—poems, plays,
stories, novels, political articles.

There was no lack of contributors. “_Les adhésions me viennent
en foule_,” she writes.[352] “All those who are suffering from
disillusionment, who are indignant to see our politicians prefer their
personal interests to the national cause, come to me.” On the whole,
she displayed in her choice of contributors a certain eclecticism.
Among her earliest collaborators we find women as well as men,
Protestants as well as Catholics, not only Frenchmen but foreigners,
the Russian novelist Tourguénieff, the Spanish statesman Castelar,
the Hungarian general Turr, the Italian publicist Gioia, the Turk
Abdul-Hakk, while English letters were represented by Sidney Colvin.
Sarcey and Théodore Reinach were to contribute literary articles,
Theuriet, François Coppée, Lecomte de Lisle poetry, General Gallifet
and Paul Marchand military articles, Joseph Reinach political.
Science was represented by Camille Flammarion and Stanislas Meunier,
history by Thierry and Gebhart, mythology by Elie Reclus, fiction by
Erckmann-Chatrian, and others whose names are to-day less known.

The first number appeared, as announced, on the 1st of October, 1879.
It received an excellent welcome.

The main object of the review was avowedly nationalist, to glorify
France. “With all my heart and soul,” writes the editor,[353] “I am
determined to make my review a credit to French letters, a reflection
of republican disinterestedness, patriotism and dignity. What should I
do ... did I not feel that I am about to create a work which shall be
essentially republican and liberal?”

Disappointed by the Government’s abandonment of the policy of
a territorial _revanche_, Mme. Adam set her heart on realising
_la revanche intellectuelle_. The more she thought of gathering
together all the talents, the more forcibly was she impressed by the
intellectual vigour, the scientific, literary and artistic superiority
of her country. “_Notre France est grande_,” she exclaims. “But every
one plunders her, and no one dreams of making her wealth known. This
is what I shall do.”

Gambetta, realising how far they had drifted apart, betrayed not a
little anxiety as to the political line she was likely to follow.

“Shall you be as hostile to me as you are to my policy?” he asked.[354]

“The home truths that I can no longer tell you in my salon I shall
certainly tell you in my review,” she replied.

“Why, this is practically a declaration of war,” he exclaimed.

“No, it is a proclamation of independence.”

In her opening address to her readers she did not fail to appear as
_la grande désabusée_. Disappointed with party politics, she looked
forward to a time when party strife should cease and politics rise
into the serene air of social science. For the next twenty years
of her life Juliette Adam, or Juliette Lamber, as she still signed
herself, was to live her life in _La Nouvelle Revue_. Henceforth
her editorial duties absorbed her too completely to permit of her
taking notes of conversations and keeping the diary which she has
reproduced in her _Souvenirs_.[355] The last of her seven volumes of
reminiscences closes with the inauguration of _La Nouvelle Revue_.

Not content with a nominal editorship, Mme. Adam worked
conscientiously in her office, herself reading most of the MSS. sent
in. Methodically planning out her time, she rose early to read MSS.,
receive contributors, dictate to secretaries. She saw her milliner
at breakfast, dispatching the meal and her orders together. To avoid
wasting precious moments in trying on her own garments, she would
criticise their fit on a dummy, another famous _mannequin d’osier_,
moulded exactly to her shape. Then her work would be resumed until it
was time for the afternoon drive and dinner, followed by a party or
the play. The small hours of the morning often found her again at her
desk.

Such an expenditure of energy could not possibly continue indefinitely
without a breakdown. There came a time when the doctor offered the
alternative of rest or death. But Mme. Adam has always been one of
those who would willingly die at her task. She prefers to wear out
rather than to rust out. The doctor found his warning unheeded,
consequently he changed his tactics. When he threatened her with the
loss of her good looks, she immediately gave way. Leaving the review
in the hands of a competent editor, she took several months’ rest; and
when she returned to her directorship it was no longer to work with
the feverish energy of yore. By that time she was surrounded by a band
of talented and zealous helpers, _les jeunes_ whom she had discovered
and to whom she could entrust much of the personal supervision which
in earlier years had devolved upon her alone. One of these lieutenants
was M. Léon Daudet, the son of her friend Alphonse, and to-day
editor of _L’Action Française_. In his book, _L’Entre-deux-Guerres_,
published in 1915, M. Daudet draws to the life _la grande Française_,
whom for a quarter of a century he has been proud to call _ma chère
patronne_.

He illustrates Mme. Adam’s social tact in the story he tells of a
dinner-party at his father’s house. That evening the guests were the
Duc d’Aumale, M. de Freycinet, the General de Gallifet, Magnard,
editor of the _Figaro_, the ill-fated Calmette, who was to succeed
him, and about twenty others. Henry James used to say that French
dinner-parties always somewhat resemble a session of the Convention.
And at this party the noise of debate waxed especially high, for the
talk fell on a subject still delicate: the Commune. And the discussion
might well have culminated in more than one of the invited sending his
representatives next morning to some fellow-guest, had not Mme. Adam
skilfully smoothed down the angles of controversy and finally led the
conversation on to less dangerous ground.

Fulfilled beyond her greatest expectations were Mme. Adam’s hopes
that her review might serve young writers and French literature by
revealing new talent. For it was in the pages of this magazine that
French readers first became acquainted with many of _les jeunes_
who to-day occupy the very first rank. Pierre Loti, Paul Bourget,
Marcelle Tinayre and Anatole France are some of those who in _La
Nouvelle Revue_ first began to climb the ladder of fame. Here appeared
Pierre Loti’s first novel, _Le Mariage de Loti_, followed by _Le
Roman d’un Spahi_ and _Fleurs d’Ennui_. Those _Essais de Psychologie
Contemporaine_, which many regard as Paul Bourget’s most valuable
contribution to French letters, Mme. Adam had the honour of publishing
in 1884, as well as several of the same author’s early novels:
_L’Irréparable_, _Deuxième Amour_, _Cruelle Enigme_, _Crime d’Amour_,
which all appeared in the early eighties. Many years later, in 1898,
advised by Alphonse Daudet, who had read the manuscript, Mme. Adam
introduced to her readers the first novel of that gifted woman writer,
Marcelle Tinayre.

One of Mme. Adam’s first meetings with Anatole France was in 1879,
when they travelled together to a party given by La Société des Gens
de Lettres in Edmond About’s park at Malabry. Then, as we may well
imagine, Mme. Adam was so charmed by the gifted young French author
that she enrolled him among _les jeunes_ of her review; and in the
next year appeared in its pages _Le Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard_,
followed two years later by _Le Petit Bonhomme_, which was to be
published in volume under the title of _Pierre Nozière_.

Mme. Adam and Anatole France remained friends until the Dreyfus
affair. Then, like so many other friends, they parted company.
Mme. Adam’s nationalism involved antagonism to the Jews, whom she
believed incapable of espousing the cause of any race but their
own. It involved also a belief that the army can do no wrong. Hence
she regarded as final the court-martial’s condemnation of Alfred
Dreyfus. Anatole France, on the other hand, who was at that time _le
grand homme_ of a famous Semitic salon, became a fervent Dreyfusard.
The _Affaire_ resulted in a curious reshuffle in French social and
political life. M. France found himself ranged with some who had
once been his enemies. One of these was Émile Zola. In the past, his
gross realism had outraged the classical and aristocratic taste of
M. France as much as it had that of Mme. Adam. But now, battling in
a common cause, these two former foes found one another by no means
antipathetic. While reconciled with old enemies, however, M. France
found himself parted from old friends; not from Mme. Adam only, but
from one who had been a close comrade of his earlier literary career,
from Paul Bourget. With Pierre Loti and with her whom they were
both proud to call their intellectual mother, M. Bourget took the
nationalist side. He also, disappointed with the Republic’s failure
to realise his ideals, was turning Romewards. We may regard him, with
Mme. Adam, as the first fruits of that Catholic revival which was
to be the dominant note of French intellectual society in the early
twentieth century.

FOOTNOTES:

[344] _Souvenirs_, VII. 87.

[345] _Souvenirs_, VI. 470.

[346] _Ibid._, VII. 241.

[347] _Ibid._, 331.

[348] _Souvenirs_, III. 227.

[349] _Ibid._, VII. 321.

[350] _Souvenirs_, VII. 365.

[351] _Souvenirs_, VII. 404.

[352] _Ibid._, 366.

[353] _Ibid._, 392.

[354] _Souvenirs_, VII. 324.

[355] _Après l’Abandon de la Revanche._



CHAPTER XVII

VIEWS ON FOREIGN POLITICS

1878-1917

     “_La Politique extérieure qui a toujours été la grande
     préoccupation, le grand apprentissage de ma vie._”—Mme. Edmond
     Adam, _Souvenirs_, VII. 218.


A fortnight after the appearance of the first number of _La Nouvelle
Revue_, on the 17th of December, 1879, Émile de Girardin gave a
dinner-party; _un dîner de gala_ it was called by Mme. Adam, who was
one of the guests. Among other distinguished persons present were Mr.
and Mrs. Gladstone and Gambetta.[356] At dessert the talk fell on the
new review; and Mr. Gladstone asked the editress what were its objects.

“I have three,” she replied: “to oppose Bismarck, to demand the
restoration of Alsace-Lorraine, and to lift from the minds of our
young writers the shadow of depression cast by national defeat by
giving them fame ten years earlier than they would otherwise have
acquired it.”

“And you expect to accomplish your three objects?” Mr. Gladstone
inquired.

“Perhaps not all of them,” replied Mme. Adam. “But of one thing I am
certain: that I shall see Bismarck’s fall during the existence of the
review.”

“Gambetta, who was listening,” adds Mme. Adam, “smiled defiantly at
these words. _Gambetta, qui écoutait, eut un sourire et un regard
de défi._” He may have smiled. But it is more than probable that
his defiant air existed alone in his friend’s imagination. For, as
she herself has frankly confessed elsewhere, Gambetta was never
malicious.[357]

“What are you yourself going to write in your review?” Gambetta
asked. “Doubtless you will appropriate foreign politics.”[358]
Gambetta was right. And by no means the least valuable and striking
contributions to the review were those fortnightly letters on foreign
politics—_Lettres sur La Politique Extérieure_, which for twenty years
Mme. Adam never ceased to contribute, and which she continued to
write for some months after the magazine had passed out of her hands.
Her last letter appeared in June 1900. In 1916 she collected all her
articles bearing on Bismarck and his policy and published them in a
volume entitled _L’Heure Vengeresse des Crimes Bismarckiens_. Her
articles on the Emperor William II have likewise been collected and
published in book form under the title of _Guillaume II_. (1890-1899).

In everything Mme. Adam wrote throughout these one-and-twenty years,
_la Revanche_ was the dominating idea. Nevertheless, we cannot too
often repeat that which we have said in a foregoing chapter:[359] she
never advocated an aggressive war with Germany, even for the purpose
of regaining the lost territory.

In 1887, at the close of the Schnœbele Incident, one of those Teutonic
pin-pricks by which Germany was for ever stirring up French hostility,
Mme. Adam wrote in _La Nouvelle Revue_:[360] “Whatever our enemy may
think, his neighbours on the west have long ago lost their craving for
the battle-field. Thither they no longer hasten madly; but thither if
attacked they will march resolutely.”

Mme. Adam’s object in perpetually harping on _la Revanche_ was to
keep France in a state of preparedness for the attack she felt
convinced could not fail to come, and also to assure her brethren
in Alsace-Lorraine that they had not been forgotten. Her policy was
the reverse of Gambetta’s _pensons y toujours n’en parlons jamais_.
She believed in for ever, in season and out of season, speaking and
writing of _la Revanche_.

_La Revanche_ was by no means the only subject on which Juliette
Adam and Gambetta had fundamentally disagreed. They had differed,
for instance, on the question of the attitude which France, after
her defeat, should assume towards Europe, notably at the time of the
Berlin Congress, in 1878.

The place of the meeting alone would have sufficed to provoke Mme.
Adam’s hostility to the Congress. For France, at the conqueror’s
bidding, to go to his capital there to discuss, without mentioning
her own wrong, the affairs of Europe on the basis of the _status
quo_, seemed to _la grande Française_ nothing but a new humiliation.
And this view finds justification in Professor Oncken’s contribution
to the _Cambridge Modern History_.[361] Here, in accents of pride,
the German Professor describes the Congress, which brought statesmen
from every European country to the capital of the new empire, as a
magnificent acknowledgment of the position of Germany, and one of
Bismarck’s greatest achievements. One cannot help sympathising with
Mme. Adam’s patriotism when she protests against a French contribution
to this new crown of glory for the German Empire.

While Gambetta argued that France, by standing out of the Congress,
would lose in prestige, Mme. Adam maintained that she would gain
by standing aloof as a Power which it was necessary to win over.
Moreover, she told Gambetta that her friend, Cialdini, the Italian
Ambassador in Paris, had assured her that if France should refuse to
be represented at the Congress Italy would follow her example.

Such having been Mme. Adam’s attitude towards the Congress from the
beginning, she naturally inclined to find fault with all the decisions
and arrangements made at Berlin.

She was in Rome when the Congress closed on the 13th of July. “_Jour
néfaste_,” she writes, “_s’il en fût jamais. Le Congrès de Berlin
se termine. L’encouragement aux troubles, aux ambitions futures est
signé._”[362] And now that well-nigh forty years have passed she
still regards ce jour néfaste as a black-letter day. “_Le Congrès de
Berlin_,” she wrote only last year, “_ma bête noire, l’un des deux
motifs pour lesquels je me suis brouillée politiquement avec mes
meilleurs amis_.”[363]

As Russia’s faithful friend[364] and the ardent advocate of a
Franco-Russian alliance, Mme. Adam strongly resented Russia’s
treatment at Berlin. She suspected that one of Bismarck’s ideas in
summoning the Congress had been to rob Russia of the fruits of her
victories in the Russo-Turkish War. She saw that as a result of the
Congress Russia had become as isolated in the East as was France in
the West. That Russians were themselves of this opinion was proved,
when on leaving Berlin the Russian Chancellor Gortchakoff declared
“the Congress to have been the darkest page in his career.”

Gambetta’s attitude towards Russia has puzzled not a few. It must
ever be difficult to discover the personal views of so opportunist a
statesman. “The real truth about Gambetta’s life, death and opinions
will never be known,” said recently one of those with whom he was
most intimately acquainted. In his early conversations with Mme.
Adam he annoyed her extremely by his mistrust of Russia, which he
shared with most French Radicals of that day, and which resulted
from Russia’s autocratic Government and her treatment of the Poles.
For Mme. Adam, to be the enemy of Germany was to be the friend of
Russia. “_Anti-allemande passionnée et violente, j’étais logiquement
slavophile_,” she writes.[365] And in one of the numerous quarrels
with Gambetta at the time of his proposed interview with Bismarck, she
confesses that she darted at him this insult: “You are Prussian, I
remain Cossack.” But Gambetta was well inured to such venomous words
from his too candid friend; and the patient endurance with which he
suffered them speaks volumes both for his equanimity and for Mme.
Adam’s powers of fascination.

If France must needs emerge from her isolation and form an alliance
with some European Power, Gambetta would have preferred that Power
to be England rather than Russia. Mme. Adam, animated by her Picard
dislike of England, unable to forgive us for standing aloof in 1870,
would not hear of an English Alliance. There came a time, however,
when Gambetta began to see that both an English and a Russian alliance
might be necessary to protect France against German aggression.
Dimly foreshadowing the Triple Entente of a quarter of a century
later, he began to overcome his dislike of Russia. Writing to Mme.
Adam in January 1877,[366] he says in reference to Russia’s alarm
at Bismarck’s designs on the Baltic Provinces: “_Le ressentiment
est flagrant chez les Russes, il s’agit de l’exploiter_.” Gambetta,
however, does not take to himself the credit of originating the idea
of the Franco-Russo-British Entente. In his recently published
letters to his friend and supporter Ranc,[367] he ascribes this idea
to the Prince of Wales (afterwards Edward VII), whom, in February
1878, he met more than once at the Café Anglais. By the Prince’s
insight into European politics Gambetta was deeply impressed. In this
matter he was far from sharing the views of a recent English writer
on King Edward.[368] Was that growing passion for luxury, that love
of fashionable life, which Mme. Adam so frequently deplores, casting
a spell over Gambetta and warping his judgment so far as to make him
attribute to his royal acquaintance opinions which were really his
own? We cannot say. But at any rate, in this letter to Ranc, Gambetta
describes His Royal Highness as predicting that Russia would find
her political aspirations in the Near East thwarted by Austria, that
Austria would influence Roumania, that together Austria, Roumania
and Turkey would ally themselves against Russia. “What a conflict!”
exclaims Gambetta. “Nevertheless, this is what the Prince of Wales
foresees. He does not share that hostility to Russia which animates
part of his nation. With all his young authority he opposes any
measures likely to injure Russia. He has in him the stuff of a great
statesman.”

That Gambetta over-rated the Prince’s “young authority” (_jeune
autorité_) will be obvious to all acquainted with the British
constitution, and to those who know what was the position accorded to
the Prince of Wales during his mother’s reign.

The enthusiasm of the Prince of Wales for Russia ought to have
pleased Mme. Adam. But she does not record that Gambetta confided
it to her, although he spoke to her frequently of his meetings with
the Prince.[369] Gambetta protested to her that the Prince was far
from being what rumour represented him, a mere _festoyeur_. “He loves
France seriously as well as gaily,” said Gambetta. “His great dream of
the future is an understanding (_une entente_) with us.”

Thereupon Mme. Adam rejoined bitterly: “We know what an understanding
with England brings to any country, which is so simple as to enter
into it.”

In those days, when Disraeli was Prime Minister, Mme. Adam regarded
what she described as “the insatiableness of Great Britain” with an
apprehension almost as grave as that inspired by her fear of Germany.
While for our liberal statesmen, for Mr. Gladstone and John Bright
notably, she had a profound admiration; Lord Beaconsfield and Lord
Salisbury she regarded as hand and glove with Bismarck.

It was with this triumvirate, she believed, and not without
reason,[370] that had originated at Berlin an idea, which, realised
three years later, was to prove disastrous not to France alone,
but to the peace of Europe. This idea was the French occupation of
Tunis. The colonisation of Tunis had long been an Italian dream. To
northern Africa Mazzini had directed the ambitions of his countrymen
as early as 1838.[371] Probably British statesmen, by suggesting
Tunis to France merely intended to give her something which should
atone to her for the British occupation of Cyprus. But Bismarck
had other designs: he wished above all things to distract French
attention from the north-eastern frontier. As later he was to say
to a French diplomatist: “Go to Morocco, it will help you to forget
Alsace-Lorraine,” so now for the same reason he encouraged France
to go to Tunis. But there is little doubt that when he gave this
encouragement the wily fox at Varzin was entertaining a yet subtler
design: already he had come to an understanding with Austria, and to
the German-Austrian Entente he was eager to add Italy. By embroiling
Italy with France he hoped to achieve this object, and he succeeded.
The year after the French occupation of Tunis, Italy joined Germany
and Austria; and on the 20th of May, 1882, the Triple Alliance was
concluded. Its formation and its periodic renewal[372] rendered yet
more imperative the conclusion of the Triple Entente. And it will
generally be admitted that one of the causes of the present conflict
lies in this unfortunate, though possibly inevitable, arrayal of the
great European Powers in two hostile camps.

Here, therefore, in the French colonisation of Tunis, we have an event
fraught with momentous consequences. How did Mme. Adam regard it?
In the last volume of her _Souvenirs_, which we must remember were
compiled nearly twenty years later, she sees in it one of Bismarck’s
designs for the ruin of France. But, in her articles contributed
at the time to _La Nouvelle Revue_, it is interesting to find her
refusing at first to believe in the possibility of any alliance
between Italy and Austria. Bismarck may plot if he likes; but in that
direction, not even such an arch-schemer as the German Chancellor
could possibly succeed. Mme. Adam, herself an irreconcilable
_Revancharde_, felt confident that her Latin brethren in Italy could
never so far forget their unredeemed territory as to ally themselves
with the Austrian plunderer, “and to consent to be dragged behind the
chariot of Hapsburgs and Hohenzollerns.” But alas! that swift Gallic
intuition, which had often led her to see into the future of European
politics, had for the moment forsaken her. Italy was not true to _la
Revanche_. She came to terms with the conqueror. When the Triple
Alliance was formed Mme. Adam saw one of her brightest dreams vanish.
She had hoped to substitute for Gambetta’s Triple Entente between
France, England and Russia another three-cornered understanding, one
between France, Italy and Russia.

Now that Italy had joined the enemy Mme. Adam turned with more
enthusiasm than ever to Russia. Writing[373] of her articles on
foreign politics in _La Nouvelle Revue_, she announces that she will
give Russia a prominent part. “_Pour mes lettres sur la politique
extérieure_,” she writes, “_mon siège est fait, la lutte à plume
armée contre Bismarck et pour l’alliance russe_.”[374] Already her
friendship with Tourguénieff had taught her something of the Russian
soul. She studied Russian history, especially the history of the
revolutionary movement. She was in constant correspondence with
General Chanzy, the French Ambassador at Petrograd. Finally, in 1882,
she visited Russia.

She stayed at the Hôtel de l’Europe. There she was visited by numerous
persons of distinction. No one impressed her so much as General
Skobeleff, the heroic defender of Plevna. They were well matched,
these two passionate patriots—this handsome Western woman, _la grande
Française_, and this typical Cossack, this fervent Slav. He was called
“the white General,” because it was his custom to wear, in battle,
a white coat, which challenged the enemy’s bullets to defile its
spotless purity with blood-stains. Alike for the Russian Pan-Slavist
and the French _Revancharde_ there was but one device, “the German is
the enemy.” No one in Russia did Mme. Adam long more to see than this
hero of the Russo-Turkish War. Their meeting, which occurred in the
vast yellow drawing-room of the Hôtel de l’Europe in January 1882, she
has vividly described in her little book on Skobeleff, first published
in 1886, and reprinted in a revised edition in 1916.

“We looked at one another,” she writes, “not wishing to make any
trivial remarks.... It was of his cause I spoke to him before my own.
And this is what he said to me about the Balkan peoples: ‛I assure you
they are tyrannised over. They must fill you with pity. For example,
in Bosnia, in Herzegovina, the oppressor forces the children to serve
in the very army which has slain their fathers and brothers. Into
their hands is put a gun all dripping with the blood of Slavs. This
thought drives me mad, as it must you when you think of the people of
Alsace-Lorraine serving in the Prussian army.’

“‛Yes, but they were actually our brethren, they were so near to us,
the Slavs of Bosnia and Herzegovina are not so intimately related to
you.’

“‛Not these Slavs! Why, they are our brethren,’ he said in a tone
which thrilled me through and through. ‛Pray do not let us argue about
the relative acuteness of our suffering. Russia waged war in order to
deliver the Slavs beyond the Danube from the Turkish yoke.... And now
she cannot permit Austria’s yoke to be substituted for Turkey’s. The
former is also more oppressive, for it tyrannises not merely over the
individual’s person, but over his conscience....’

“‛Austria,’ I argued, ‛has for some years been hardly responsible for
her action in the East. It is Germany who is urging her to dominate
over the peoples of the Balkan Peninsula, and to conquer them both by
force of arms and by diplomacy.’

“‛Germany!’ he repeated, and into that one word he breathed all the
fire of his hatred.

“The preachers of the Crusades must have looked like that apostle of
the Slavs.

“‛I no longer love war,’ said Skobeleff. ‛No, I love it no longer; I
have waged it too often,’ he added, as if replying to his own inmost
thought. ‛No victory is worth all it costs of energy, of strength,
of public money and of men. Yet there is a war for which I should
ever be ready, and which I should never deem too costly. It is a holy
war. Sooner or later the devourers of the Slavs must be themselves
devoured. On that day, I see it, I will it, I predict it, Germany will
be devoured by the Slavs, the Latins, the Franks.’”

Mme. Adam and her new friend had far too much in common for their
friendship to cease with her departure from Petrograd. He followed her
to Paris. There he visited her salon. They agreed to work together,
to unite all their forces in order to oppose what Skobeleff described
as _le système d’enveloppement bismarckien_. But their hopes were
disappointed by Skobeleff’s early death at the age of thirty-nine.
Shortly before he died he said to one of his compatriots: “Carry
on my work, and do not neglect to bring into all your plans our
friend in Paris.” Mme. Adam is one of those who lay at Bismarck’s
door the sudden passing of this brilliant soldier and irreconcilable
Germanophobe. But the Chancellor has enough crimes accredited to him
without this. A distinguished French journalist, who knew Skobeleff,
and in many ways greatly admired him, wrote to me recently: “I do
not believe he was assassinated by orders from Bismarck. I know too
much of his death to believe that. _Mais les défauts de ses propres
qualités l’ont conduit à une mort rapide._”

The effect of Skobeleff’s influence on Mme. Adam was to render truer
than ever the words of her friend, Mme. Novikoff: _elle a la Russie au
cœur_.[375] Now with all her heart and soul she began to work for a
Franco-Russian Alliance. It was precisely this alliance that Bismarck
feared. Mme. Adam’s persistent advocacy of it in the columns of _La
Nouvelle Revue_, and the numerous charges on which she never ceased to
indict the Chancellor, provoked him on one occasion to cry out: “Is
there no one who can silence _cette diablesse de femme_?” The German
Ambassador at Paris is said to have repeated this question to M. Jules
Ferry, then Prime Minister. “Only one person,” he replied, “and he
unhappily is dead: her husband, Edmond Adam.” Ferry, however, Mme.
Adam has told me, desiring to obtain German support or acquiescence in
his policy of colonial expansion, and wishful, therefore, to please
the German Government, did ask her to discontinue her Germanophobe
articles. “Only if you imprison me,” she replied. “And what an honour!
To be imprisoned for attacking Bismarck.”

Keeping closely in touch with her Russian friends Mme. Adam was
overjoyed as the years went on to find sympathy with France growing in
Russia. At first it had existed only among Russian Revolutionaries.
But it began to spread to the conservatives, and finally to the Czar,
Alexander III, himself. Then came the glorious days of Cronstadt and
Toulon. When the French squadron, under Admiral Gervais, entered
Cronstadt harbour, on the 25th of July, 1891, Mme. Adam was in an
ecstasy to hear with what immense enthusiasm it had been received.
When, in the following August, the Treaty of Alliance between France
and Russia was signed, Count Ignatieff, the ex-Minister of Interior,
sent her a telegram beginning: “To you is due the honour of having
predicted the sentiments which unite French and Russian hearts,” and
ending with the wish that “the bond which unites our two countries may
endure for ever.”[376]

In October 1893 a detachment of the Russian fleet entered Toulon
harbour on a return visit. Mme. Adam, we may be sure, took care to
be in the South of France during that visit. In the festivities with
which the Russian soldiers were entertained at Toulon, and later in
Paris, she played a prominent part. On behalf of the women of France
she presented the Russian sailors with numerous gifts, and each
married officer received from her hand a gold bracelet for his wife.
On another occasion, a distinguished Russian, visiting Paris, was
proud to find that Mme. Adam had been deputed to bestow upon him his
_brevet de commandeur de la légion d’honneur_.[377]

Mme. Adam’s sympathies as an ardent Slavophile were by no means
confined to Russia. No Slavonic people is without a place in her
heart. Their struggles against Teutonism have always appealed to her.
With Gambetta she believed that one of the surest ways of pulling
down the Germanic Tower of Babel is to hold out a helping hand to
the Slavs of the Lower Danube.[378] She has ever been the friend of
Roumania. In _La Nouvelle Revue_ she wrote on the 1st of September,
1881: “Roumania’s attitude will never be aggressive.” Again, in the
same publication, on the 15th of the month, she continued to preach
confidence in Roumania: “I believe,” she wrote, “that Roumania,
by reason of her smallness, constitutes the best safeguard of
international interests and the surest guarantee of the liberty of a
river (the Danube) which she has no intention of exploiting for her
own personal ends.”

Throughout the eighties and nineties, whenever she could escape
from her editorial duties in Paris, Mme. Adam would start off on
some journey to Central Europe—to Vienna, Hungary, North Italy or
Montenegro.[379] Thus she has been able to study on the spot the
Near Eastern question. And for twenty years she conducted in Austria
and the Balkans a veritable crusade on behalf of nationalism,
anti-Teutonism and Slavism. Everywhere her charm of manner and her
acquaintance with Ambassadors in Paris obtained for her an entry into
diplomatic circles; and it may well be imagined that the insight she
thus gained into the most complex of European problems was invaluable
to her in writing her articles on foreign politics for _La Nouvelle
Revue_.

In 1884, during her visit to Hungary, which she has described in
her book, _La Patrie Hongroise_, she found herself up against a
difficulty, the stubbornness of which she had not suspected. She was
dismayed by the Magyar indignation at her Slavist propaganda. For
the Magyars Russia was as much “the enemy” as was Germany for French
_Revanchards_. Socially, the Nationalist party was charmed to receive
her; on that field, as always, she proved irresistible; but her
Slavist gospel they rejected with scorn. After her return to Paris
the leader of the Hungarian nationalists, Count Apponyi, wrote her a
letter expressing irreconcilable antagonism to Russia. He declared
that in case of a conflict between Russia and Germany, Hungary’s
instinct of self-preservation would lead her to place her army of
600,000 men[380] at Germany’s disposal. Again, in June 1888, Count
Apponyi wrote: “Even under the charm of your pen, madame, the most
ingenuous of readers cannot help smiling to see the name of Russia
coupled with any ideal whatsoever.... We for centuries have been the
safeguard of civilisation. We arrested that wave of barbarism, the
inflow of the Turks, which broke against our frontier. The same fate
will attend the Russian wave.”

In no country did Mme. Adam more passionately espouse the national
cause than in Egypt. Here her motto was, “Egypt for the Egyptians.”
She had great faith in the Egyptian people, and she strongly approved
of the French refusal to join the British in their bombardment of
Alexandria.

Mr. Gladstone’s action in this matter was a sad blow to her admiration
of this illustrious statesman. She had regarded him as the apostle
of the oppressed, as “the initiator of democracy.” She had admired
his championship of Armenia and Bulgaria and of Home Rule in Ireland.
Of the Irish problem, she had written: “Mr. Gladstone is the only
man, not in Great Britain alone, but in Europe, capable of dealing
with such a desperate situation.”[381] Contrasting the British Prime
Minister with the German Chancellor, she writes:[382] “While Europeans
are accustomed to await in agonising suspense the acts and speeches of
M. de Bismarck, they await in hope and in confidence the utterances of
Mr. Gladstone.”

When she saw Mr. Gladstone taking what seemed to her the
anti-nationalist side in Egypt, she could only believe that he had
been forced into this _concession fatale_ by “British mercantile
Chauvinists” and Palmerstonians.[383] Mr. Gladstone’s good-will
towards France she never doubted; but she deplored that it had been
unable to permeate the British Foreign Office.[384]

The influence of mercantile Chauvinism Mme. Adam discerned in the
Fashoda Affair. It was then giving birth to that British Imperialism,
which whether advocated by Mr. Chamberlain or Lord Rosebery[385]
seemed to her equally dangerous. In the South African War she saw what
she had described as _l’insatiable ambition des agents britanniques_
in Egypt, developing into _la voracité scandaleuse de l’Angleterre en
Transvaal_.[386]

It was with some dismay, however, that on this question of the Boer
Republic’s Independence Mme. Adam found herself in line with her
arch-enemy, the Emperor of Germany. And one can hardly congratulate
her on the fiction with which she tried to extricate herself from
such a lamentable position; for she genuinely persuaded herself that
William II was only supporting Kruger in order to please his subjects,
and that in reality Queen Victoria’s grandson could not fail to side
with his grandmother.

Mme. Adam’s hereditary suspicion of _la perfide Albion_ was, as she
herself confessed to me, by no means allayed by the Entente Cordiale.
It was not until Great Britain retrieved the error of 1870, and
definitely entered the Great War as the Ally of France, that this
_grande Française_ began to trust us.

That she has completely changed her opinion of us, and that she is not
ashamed to own it, is proved by this extract from one of her letters
written to me in 1916. She is referring to an Englishman who had
recently visited her at Gif....

                                        “_Abbaye de Gif_,
                                          “_S. et Oise_,
                                              “_Le 8 octobre, 1916_.

     “... _Comme le grand député capitaine respire la volonté, la
     conviction, le patriotisme! Quelle joie d’apprendre nos alliés si
     autrement que je croyais les connaître._”

One of her British _confrères_, she describes as _le plus parfait
gentilhomme du monde_. Now in 1917 she writes: “_L’Angleterre est
admirable. Vive l’Angleterre._ Her improvised army is worth the most
ancient of armies. Be proud of it. Such words on my lips are not
without their value. For I was once your enemy. I blamed your policy
at the Berlin Congress and in Heligoland.” “Now, side by side, _fer à
fer_, France and the United Kingdom will drive out of France, out of
Lorraine, out of Belgium, the German, who is the enemy of us all.”[387]

In conclusion, we must not omit to note that Mme. Adam’s classical
interests could not fail to lead her to sympathise with the national
movement in Greece and with the ideals of her friend, Venizelos,
with whom she has corresponded during the present war. We are not
surprised to learn that the leader of Greek Nationalists welcomed with
enthusiasm the publication of Mme. Adam’s book, _L’Heure Vengeresse
des Crimes Bismarckiens_. For his poor distracted land has indeed
been one of the worst sufferers from Bismarck’s crimes, and from the
decisions taken by that _bête noir_ of Mme. Adam, the Berlin Congress.

FOOTNOTES:

[356] _Souvenirs_, VII. 419.

[357] _Ibid._, VI. 312.

[358] _Ibid._, 324.

[359] See _ante_, 189.

[360] _L’Heure Vengeresse des Crimes Bismarckiens_, 100.

[361] Vol. XII. 143.

[362] _Souvenirs_, VII. 204.

[363] Article in _Le Gaulois_, February 20, 1916.

[364] The Russian Revolution has but served to strengthen Mme. Adam’s
friendship for Russia. In a letter which appeared on April 4, 1917,
in the _Gaulois_ and other French papers, she writes, “_Mon activité
passionnée servira jusqu’à mes derniers jours la Russie slave, les
Yougo-slaves, la cause Tchèque_.”

[365] _Souvenirs_, VI. 166.

[366] _Ibid._, 440.

[367] See _Le Matin_, 29 December, 1915.

[368] See Sir Sidney Lee’s article on King Edward in the _Dictionary
of National Biography_.

[369] _Souvenirs_, VII. 15, 16, 146.

[370] See Tardieu, _La France et Ses Alliances_, 46.

[371] _Ibid._, p. 99.

[372] Signed at first for five years, it was renewed in 1887 for
another five years, in 1891 for six or twelve, in 1902 for another six
or twelve; and, as we know, it endured for the longer term, until 1914.

[373] _Souvenirs_, VII. 373.

[374] _Ibid._, 380.

[375] _Souvenirs_, VII. 421.

[376] See article, _The Birth of an Alliance_, contributed by Mme.
Adam to _The Daily Chronicle_, 18 May, 1916.

[377] De Goncourt, _Journal_, VI. 200.

[378] _Souvenirs_, VII. 165.

[379] See her picturesque article on “Montenegro” in _La Nouvelle
Revue_, 1898.

[380] See _The Daily Chronicle_, 23 September, 1916, Mme. Adam’s
article “Teuton and Slav,” where she quotes these remarkable letters
in full.

[381] _La Nouvelle Revue_, XVI. 459.

[382] _Ibid._, XII. 897.

[383] _Ibid._, XVII. 496, 736, 739.

[384] _Ibid._, XVI. 978.

[385] _La Nouvelle Revue_, Vol. I. Series 2, December 9, 1899.
“_L’impérialisme de Lord Rosebery est le même que celui de M.
Chamberlain d’une nuance de près. L’un veut aggrandir à tout prix
l’Angleterre, accaparer tout ce qui peut être accaparé, et cela par
tous les moyens: Lord Rosebery veut conserver tout ce qui aura été
accaparé par M. Chamberlain._”

[386] _Ibid._, Vol. I. Series 2, 254.

[387] While the first quotations in this paragraph occur in Mme.
Adam’s letters to me, the last sentence is taken from her Preface to
_L’Heure Vengeresse des Crimes Bismarckiens_.



CHAPTER XVIII

THE ABBESS OF GIF

    “... a Soul whose master-bias leans
  To homefelt pleasures and to gentle scenes.”—Wordsworth.

     “_La vieillesse ... cet âge heureux où l’on n’est plus qu’amie,
     mère et grand’mère._”—Juliette Adam, _Souvenirs_, III. 211.


The editing of _La Nouvelle Revue_ had, as we have seen,
revolutionised Mme. Adam’s life. It had put an end to her salon and to
her Mémoires. It had also prevented her from wintering in the South
of France. Only at rare intervals could she find time to spend a few
weeks at her beloved Bruyères. As time went on and as family, as well
as business, ties multiplied in the north, Bruyères was more and more
neglected, then entirely forsaken, and finally sold.

Now, in order to be near her work, and also to be near her daughter
and her daughter’s children, she exchanged her villa on Le Golfe Juan
for a picturesque country house, L’Abbaye de Gif, in Seine et Oise.
This new abode is but an hour’s train journey from Paris. It also
borders on the lands of that famous convent, Port Royal des Champs.
With the spirit of the great Port Royalists, of Pascal and of Racine,
Mme. Adam communes as she writes. It was in the Abbey of Gif that
some of the nuns from Port Royal took refuge when their settlement
was broken up and their lands confiscated by Louis-Quatorze. Now the
present Abbess of Gif, as her friends like to call Mme. Adam, sitting
up in her Abbey tower far on into the night, watching the white mist
rising from the valley, beholds in it forms which seem to her the
sisters of Old France beckoning _la grande Française_ away from her
early paganism.

[Illustration: RUINS OF THE ABBEY OF GIF IN THE PARK OF MADAME ADAM’S
PRESENT HOME]

It would be difficult to imagine surroundings more essentially French
than those amidst which Juliette Adam spends the evening of her days.
High above the large and commodious house, with its spacious salon,
filled with memorials of its mistress’s travels, rise in the park
the ruins of the Abbey refectory and chapel. The ivy which covers
them our Abbess, who has ever been an enthusiastic gardener, tenderly
trims with her own hand, despite her fourscore years. Gradually, under
her direction, new portions of the ruins are being excavated. Every
time one visits Gif one finds some fresh part of the Abbey has been
unearthed. Each stone as it is dug up Mme. Adam reveres as a relic of
_le Grand Siècle_. There is not one of those mute memorials of past
glory which Mme. Adam’s vivid Gallic imagination does not invest with
some special physiognomy; this is like Juno’s sacred owl, that bears
the semblance of a Gorgon. “And is not this the image of _le Père
Eternel_?” she said to me, pointing to a rocky fragment in the centre
of her _bois sacré_. I, alas! was afflicted with blindness. I was as
dull of comprehension as the mother of the little boy who, asking her
son what he was drawing and being told it was God, answered, “But no
one knows what He is like,” and was promptly crushed by the answer,
“When I have finished they will know.”

In this beautiful country home Mme. Adam practises with a success no
less signal than that of her old friend, Victor Hugo, the art of being
a grandparent.

Her daughter Alice had married in February 1873 a brilliant young
medical student, Paul Segond, who became one of the leaders of the
medical profession in France.[388] “Do not marry your daughter into
a circle too political,” had been George Sand’s advice. But George
Sand’s young friend “Topaz” had married herself; for her mother had
suffered too much from a _mariage de convenance_ to wish to impose
one on her daughter. Though the bridegroom was no politician, his
mother-in-law’s political fervour could not refrain from introducing
into the wedding ceremony a political significance. The chief
witnesses who signed the marriage register were Louis Blanc, the
leader of the old Republicans, and Gambetta, the leader of the new.
At the ball in the evening the appearance of the ex-Mayoress of the
conquered town of Mulhouse, Mme. Koechlin-Schwartz, wearing in her
white hair a tricolour cockade, reminded the guests of the national
defeat and of _la Revanche_. The ex-Mayoress was escorted by her
husband the Mayor, whom the Prussians had two years before held as a
hostage.

A few weeks before the wedding George Sand, in her New Year’s letter
to Juliette Adam, had written: “Who knows whether the year which opens
to-morrow may not make you a grandmother?”[389]

“_C’est aller vite_,” exclaimed her friend. “My daughter will be
married in February. But if the year does not bring me the joy
of being a grandmother, it may give me the hope of being one. In
any case, it will make me the mother of a big son, my daughter’s
husband. To have children by my two children! Ah! I should go mad
with joy. No persons in the world have I envied so much as Mme. Sand
and Mme. Dorian, who are grandmothers. And I, who am much younger
than they, I shall see my granddaughters marry and I shall become a
great-grandmother. _Ah! les superbes chaines enchainantes que celles
de la famille!_ And to think that there are those who would break
them! _Les malheureux et les misérables!_”

Things did not move quite so quickly as George Sand had anticipated.
Three years elapsed before Juliette Adam, at the age of forty, could
revel in the raptures of grandmotherhood, before she could place in
the _adorable Moise_, the gift of George Sand, Alice’s wee daughter,
Pauline. Mme. Sand sent with the cradle a long letter of advice as
to the conduct of a grandmother. Juliette had her own views on that
subject: on the day of Pauline’s birth she began to powder her hair
and to wish henceforth to be taken not so much for a woman of charm as
for _une femme de valeur_.

“At what age did you first begin to love your grandchildren?” asked
Victor Hugo, during one of their long talks on the mysteries of
grandparentage.

“I loved my first little granddaughter passionately from the very
first,” Mme. Adam replied; “as soon as I received her in my apron.”

“Ah! What blessed privileges you grandmothers enjoy!” sighed the mere
grandfather. “You who can receive new-born infants in your apron!”[390]

Mme. Adam’s one regret as a grandmother is that her three
granddaughters did not marry earlier. Had they only taken to
themselves husbands at her own early age, she would by now have been a
great-great as well as a great-grandmother.

Nevertheless, it is a numerous _petit monde_ which flocks out to Gif
in the Easter and summer holidays to play round the palm-tree from
Pierre Loti’s garden in the south, to act charades in the rustic
theatre, to partake of _goûter_ in the cabaret with its quaintly
frescoed walls, and to awake with their merry laughter the shades of
those gay damsels of _la Vieille France_, Mlle. de Sévigné and Mlle.
Marie Racine, who in the days of _le Grand Monarque_ were educated
within the Abbey walls.

“_Ah! que c’est beau, que c’est Français_,” we exclaim with an eminent
French artist, as we gaze down from the terrace of Gif over the broad,
fertile valley, with its white ribbon of a road winding up from the
little railway station, to the low distant hills fringed with those
graceful, feathery trees which Corot loved to paint. Here, at the
arched Abbey gate, stands the Abbess herself, receiving her guests
with the stateliness of _une grande dame_, a winning smile lighting up
her grey eyes and illuminating her clear-cut features.

Mme. Adam has never been one who could completely cut herself off
from Paris. Though she seldom goes to Paris now, Paris comes to her.
And in her salon at Gif she keeps alive _cette causerie française_,
which, alas! tends to disappear from the salons of the metropolis.
In the hurly-burly of modern life that leisurely talk which alone,
writes Mme. Adam, _entretient les vitalités de notre esprit_ grows
more and more impossible. Before the war conversation was already
a lost art. “When I begin to talk in a modern drawing-room,” says
Mme. Adam, “I am told to be silent because I am interrupting a game
of bridge, or because some one is going to dance the tango.” And
even on those rare occasions when conversation was permitted, it was
found that the dull weight of the Germanic spirit, then permeating
French intellectual society, had extinguished the sparkle of French
talk, had blunted the rapier of French irony. The professor with his
monologue had insinuated himself into French drawing-rooms, silencing
those scintillating interruptions, forbidding the smart give-and-take
of brilliant repartee. “We are told,” protests Mme. Adam, “that our
conversation is not _documenté_.”

_La causerie française_, banished from the salon, was taking refuge in
the club and the café. Has not Mme. Adam’s own _fils adoptif_, Léon
Daudet, lately written:[391] “_Le café est l’école de la franchise et
de la drôlerie spontanée, tandis que le salon est en général l’école
du poncif et de la mode imbécile_”?

But of Mme. Adam’s salon Daudet makes a notable exception. Of
the Sunday and Tuesday afternoons at Gif he has painted a vivid
picture,[392] to which may be added not a few interesting features.
While of yore to the Sundays and Tuesdays of Gif Paris came by
carriage or train, to-day it comes by automobile. Motorists have
everything made easy for them: they are provided with a clear
road-plan printed on a neat little card indicating the route from the
Suresne Gate of the Bois de Boulogne as far as the spot where, but a
few miles from their destination, friendly sign-posts begin to point
_à l’Abbaye de Gif_. Before the war, on fine Sunday afternoons, on the
terrace of Gif, might be found assembled sometimes as many as fifty
persons, Royalists and Republicans, generals and admirals, bishops
and deputies, academicians and journalists, among whose conflicting
opinions their hostess’s tact and cordiality contrived to keep the
peace in a marvellous manner.

With a merry laugh as gay as the blue sky of France, she would set
to play together or to act in a charade journalists and authors who
but a few days before had been at loggerheads. To Judet of _L’Eclair_
she would give the opportunity of being revenged at skittles on his
antagonist, that abusive Léon Daudet who in _L’Action Française_ was
given to denouncing him as _ce vain colosse_, “outvying in foppishness
the goose and the peacock.” She would compel Maurice Barrès to
disguise his boredom as he listened to the latest lucubration of his
aged fellow-academician, Jean Aicard. She would severely lecture Paul
Bourget on the looseness of that unacademical expression _cependant
que_. She would dispel the melancholy of the author of _Fantôme
d’Orient_ and _Fleurs d’Ennui_ until, like the gayest of butterflies,
he disported himself in the sunshine of her presence. And then, with a
wave of her wand, she would summon the whole company to her theatre
to help in devising a charade which should render that impossible word
_autobus_ set by la Duchesse d’Uzès.

In the quietude of week-days at Gif, and after she had retired from
_La Nouvelle Revue_ in 1899, Mme. Adam found time to review the
varied episodes of her romantic life, to sort her old papers, to fix
her recollections of persons, things and movements, and to arrange
and publish them in seven volumes of _Souvenirs_, which appeared at
intervals between 1902 and 1910.[393]

“It may be well,” she writes in her Preface to the first volume, “to
fix a departing age before the eyes of those who are hurrying towards
an age which is dawning. It is the pleasure and the privilege of old
people to tell of yesterday’s happenings, especially if they do not
insist upon the superiority of and perpetually draw a moral from that
which has disappeared.”

Juliette Adam had from an early age cultivated the excellent habit of
keeping a diary, and making notes of the interesting conversations she
heard while they were fresh in her memory.[394] Sometimes, in order to
make sure of their accuracy, she would revise these notes with friends
present on the same occasions. One of her volumes of _Souvenirs_, _Mes
Illusions et nos Souffrances pendant le siège de Paris_, had appeared
earlier, in 1871, first as a serial in the newspaper _Le Rappel_, and
later in volume, with the title _Journal du Siège_. This part of her
diary, originally intended for her daughter, had a great success. When
it was appearing in _Le Rappel_, Mme. Adam’s life-long friend, Henri
de Rochefort, was undergoing imprisonment for the part he had played
in the Commune. He wrote to her from his prison:[395] “The success
of your _Siège de Paris_ here is insupportable. Every one tries to
steal my newspaper, and I do nothing but endeavour to recover it.
Some of our convicts are actually copying the serial. After the next
amnesty you will have the greatest difficulty in the world in escaping
nomination as candidate for the chamber of deputies. So exactly have
you photographed the physiognomy of Paris that every day, as I read
you, I discover things which I had entirely forgotten, and which I see
again as I did when they were happening.”

Mme. Adam had distinguished herself among her fellow-countrywomen
by the foundation and brilliant editing of _La Nouvelle Revue_. Now
in these seven volumes of recollections, written in a forcible and
dramatic style, stamped each one with the hall-mark of sincerity,
virility and passionate patriotism, she stood out above all other
Frenchwomen. That such striking volumes should create a sensation,
that they should cause antagonism as well as admiration, was
inevitable.

Ardent republicans of the Gambettist school accused Mme. Adam of
injustice towards one who had once been her idol and her friend. A
fellow-nationalist, M. Henri Galli, wrote a book, _Gambetta et Alsace
Lorraine_, with the set purpose of proving that Gambetta had not, as
Mme. Adam declared, abandoned the policy of _la Revanche_. The only
answer to such a contention is that Gambetta was an opportunist, and
that passages from his speeches may be quoted to prove the correctness
of both Mme. Adam’s and M. Galli’s points of view. To those who
accuse Mme. Adam of having vilified and belittled the Great Tribune,
we may reply that she passed over many things, revealing only those
matters of his private life which were intimately connected with his
public career. Against the attacks made upon her, the author of _Mes
Souvenirs_ defended herself ably in the columns of the _Figaro_ and
the _Gaulois_.

The most serious of the charges brought against Mme. Adam is that
of being _un génie démolisseur_. To those who make this accusation
we would reply that it reveals a complete misunderstanding of Mme.
Adam’s mind and temperament. It is true that her recollections show
_la grande Française_ to be also _la grande Désabusée_, disappointed
with the imperfect realisation of those high republican ideals held up
before her youthful mind by her revolutionary father and his comrades
of 1848. But that one in whom hopefulness and optimism had ever
predominated should now give way to despair, that one so passionately
patriotic should ever completely lose faith in _la patrie_, is
impossible.

Even in the days when she saw, to her sorrow, _la patrie_ forgetting
_la Revanche_ and pursuing what seemed to her the disastrous dream of
colonial dominion, she could still write: “_L’esprit ailé de l’avenir
s’est posé aux confins de notre horizon; il nous apparaît là-bas, là
bas, mais clairement_.”[396] M. Léon Daudet believes that her great
strength, _sa principale force_, resides in the fact that she has
never despaired.[397]

In the most desperate of situations she is always convinced that _il y
a toujours dans un coin une petite chance que l’on n’a pas entrevue_.
And what is this _petite chance dans un coin_ which, when the war is
over and Frenchmen have time to think about domestic politics, Mme.
Adam believes may deliver _la patrie_ from the evils of political
corruption and maladministration, the existence of which cannot be
denied by the most fervent admirers of France? Mme. Adam’s opinion
is that these serious flaws in the body politic proceed largely from
over-centralisation.

With her fellow-nationalist, Charles Maurras,[398] Mme. Adam advocates
decentralisation. She would like to see the revival of the old
provincial assemblies. When, in Alsace, France comes into her own
again, might not that ancient institution, the Alsatian Landschutz,
respected by the autocratic Louis XIV and even to a certain extent
by the despotic German, serve as a model for similar assemblies
throughout the French provinces? Thus might provincial France be
delivered from the octopus of Paris.

Enthusiastic for “her Paris” as Mme. Adam has ever been, she
nevertheless realises that the hereditary virtues of France are
best exemplified in the provinces. With the literary movement of
“regionalism” initiated by Taine, continued by Mistral and Maurice
Barrès, she has ever sympathised. Her own early novels are redolent
with the breath of her native Picardy, her later books with the spirit
of that gay Provence which is the land of her adoption.

We in England, with our age-long experience of local government,
are only too well aware of its drawbacks. But institutions work
differently in different countries. And there is no doubt that the
over-centralisation of French administration does aggravate the
evils of bureaucracy. Of the multiplicity of petty officials Mme.
Adam constantly complains in her _Souvenirs_. Would they be reduced
if another of her favourite schemes were carried out? With René
Bazin,[399] with her dead hero Skobeleff,[400] and other conservative
reformers, she would like to see parliamentary government replaced
by an assembly elected separately by and representing the various
interests of the different classes, professions and trades throughout
the country.

From such an assembly Mme. Adam would not exclude women. All her life,
from the days when she wrote her first book[401] to champion George
Sand and Daniel Stern, she has been an ardent feminist. In response
to my inquiry as to whether she has in any way modified her feminist
principles, she writes—

                                             “_Callian Var_,
                                                    “28.xi.16.

     “No, I am no less feminist than in the beginning. I have merely
     proved as editor for twenty years of an important review ...
     that a woman may be something besides a housekeeper and a
     _courtisan_.[402] I am not a suffragette, because I am an
     anti-parliamentarian. I desire to see great professional councils,
     of which, without any alteration in the law, women in France
     may become members. We have women bankers, women farmers and
     women traders. A great national council, composed not of the
     favourites of the licensed victuallers, but of men chosen by
     provincial councils and of exceptional women, would not present
     the lamentable spectacle offered by the parliaments of to-day.



     “After the war we shall see so many widows, sonless mothers,
     taking the places of those who are dead. Woman, alas! will have
     paid dearly for the place to which she has a right, the place
     which she occupied in the great school of Alexandria and during
     the Renaissance.”

Among the numerous organisations with which Mme. Adam has associated
herself since the war is that excellent movement _La Croisade des
Femmes Françaises_, the object of which is to deny the calumnies
circulated by Germans against Frenchwomen, and intended to prove that
the typical woman of France is not, as Teutons have asserted, “a doll
without morals, without heart, without courage, a creature of mere
coquetry, an instrument of perdition.” It was in the early months
of the war that this crusade was initiated. Since then it has been
rendered superfluous by the heroism, the endurance, the marvellous
adaptability of our French sisters, which, eliciting the admiration of
the whole world, has proved them veritable queens of womanhood.

[Illustration: THE CASTLE OF VAVEY, RECENTLY CONVERTED INTO A HOME FOR
PERMANENTLY DISABLED FRENCH SOLDIERS]

Mme. Adam herself, despite her eighty years, engages valiantly in
war work, toiling unceasingly in aid of those who have suffered from
Teutonic violence. One of the works of mercy which is nearest to her
heart is the voluntary effort she has initiated for the provision of
a home and sustenance for those warriors of France who have suffered
permanent disablement in the defence of their country. For the
housing of these heroes Mme. Adam’s friend, le Comte de Rohan Chabot,
has placed at her disposal his beautiful château of Vavey, at St.
Jean-le-Vieux in the Department of Aisne. The fees Mme. Adam receives
for her numerous articles on the international situation, which are
now appearing throughout Europe, she consecrates to the prosecution
of this good work, in which she is supported by the generals,
whom she is proud to call her _Fils d’Adoption_—General Nivelle,
Ex-Commander-in-Chief, General Lyautey, ex-Minister of War, General
Marchand of Fashoda fame, Admiral Fournier, Commandant Viaud (Pierre
Loti), and many others.

Pages would not suffice to describe all of Mme. Adam’s war activities.
One might note in passing her gratification when certain artillerymen
of the 21st Army Corps serving at the front had the happy idea of
christening with her name, “Juliette Lamber,” one of their guns on
the spot where the first Frenchman was killed in the war. Many a
distinction has been conferred upon her in her long life. She has been
godmother to a newly observed star, a Paris street has been called by
her name. But none of these honours has pleased her like this homage
rendered to _la grande Française_ by a few brave gunners; not by the
officers, she is proud to remark, but by _les servants_, _les poilus_.

Marvellous as are her activities, especially for a woman of her
years, it is even more by her spirit than by her deeds that Juliette
Adam deserves well of her country. For forty-four years she has seen
this war coming—she foresaw even the route of the invading forces,
maintaining always that they would march through Belgium. She has
realised how German aggressiveness “was placing the peace of Europe at
the mercy of an incident.” But she has never for a moment doubted that
when the struggle came _la patrie_ would be triumphant. With Gambetta
she has always believed that, however dark might be _la patrie’s_
horizon, the spirit of France could not be overcast for ever. For this
apostle of _l’idée française_ has never failed to read aright the
history of her noble land, to behold in it the country of reawakenings
and resurrections.

There is hardly a family in France to which the war has not brought
the sorrow of bereavement. Mme. Adam’s family is no exception.
Lieutenant Madier, her youngest granddaughter’s husband, fell in the
Battle of the Marne. He alone of all the officers of his battalion
remained alive, when he was seriously wounded in the knee. Refusing
to allow his men to bear him to a place of safety, he endeavoured to
rise. “I am the only one left,” he cried. “Forward!” Barely had he
uttered the word when a shell shattered the dwelling-place of this
brave spirit.

Despite the unspeakable sufferings of France, despite her personal
sorrows, she whom Gambetta used to call _Madame Intégrale_ has ever
flouted the remotest suggestion of a premature peace. When some of the
women of the allied countries consented to go to the Hague, there to
confer with the women of Germany, Mme. Adam addressed to them in the
columns of the _Figaro_ a stern rebuke, explaining at the same time
how impossible it was for any Frenchwoman so much as to entertain the
idea of taking part in such a conference. The heroic endurance, the
unflinching faith of this stalwart woman animated the victors of the
Marne, the defenders of Verdun. Now in this, the third year of the
war, she is convinced that ultimate triumph cannot long be delayed.
“1917,” exclaims _la grande Française_, “’71 reversed. That blessed
date rings like the joy-bells of victory in my old veteran’s ears.”


THE END

FOOTNOTES:

[388] _Souvenirs_, V. 159.

[389] _Souvenirs_, V. 365.

[390] _Ibid._, VII. 79.

[391] _Salons et Journaux_ (1917).

[392] _L’Entre-deux-Guerres_ (1915).

[393]
Vol.   I. Le Roman de mon Enfance et de ma Jeunesse.
 ”    II. _Mes Premières Armes Littéraires et Politiques._
 ”   III. _Mes Sentiments et nos Idées avant 1870._
 ”    IV. _Mes Illusions et nos Souffrances pendant le siège de Paris._
 ”     V. _Mes Angoisses et nos Luttes_, 1871-3.
 ”    VI. _Nos Amitiés Politiques avant l’Abandon de la Revanche._
 ” VII. _Après l’Abandon de la Revanche._

[394] _Souvenirs_, I. 150; II. 264.

[395] _Ibid._, V. 334.

[396] _L’Heure Vengeresse des Crimes Bismarckiens._

[397] _Op. cit._, 237.

[398] See his _Étang de Berre_ (1915), _passim_.

[399] See his article “Crise de Metier,” _Echo de Paris_, 17 Dec. 1916.

[400] _Cambridge Modern History_, XII. 313.

[401] _Idées Anti-Prudhoniennes_, 1858, see _ante_, 51-61.

[402] That she must be one of the two Proudhon had contended in _La
Justice_.



INDEX


  Abbaye-aux-Bois, 63

  Abdul-Hakk, 217

  About, Edmond, 56, 167, 220

  Achates, 199

  Adam, Edmond, 98, 99, 103, 104-119, 123, 127, 128, 130, 133-136,
      141-143
    Prefect of Police, 145-152, 159, 162-166, 172-179, 184, 192, 197,
      214, 216
    Death of, 183, 199, 206, 207, 213, 231

  Adam, Juliette, Anti-Parliamentarianism, 244
    Birth, vi, 4
    British statesmen, opinions of—Bright, 227
      Chamberlain, 234
      Disraeli, 227
      Gladstone, 227, 233
      Rosebery, Lord, 234
      Salisbury, Lord, 227
    Builds Villa Bruyères, 95.
      _See also_ Bruyères
    Daughter. _See_ Lamessine, Alice
    Decentralisation, advocate of, 243
    Feminism, advocate of, 244
    Foreign Politics, Views of—Berlin Congress. _See_ Berlin
      Bulgaria, 233
      Cyprus, 227
      Egypt, 233-234
      Fashoda, 234
      Franco-British Alliance, 226-227, 233-235
      Franco-Russian Alliance, 224-225, 228-231
      Germany. _See_ Bismarck
      Hungary, 232
      Italy, 74-76, 227-228
      _Lettres sur la Politique Extérieure_, 223, 228, 232
      Montenegro, 232 and _n._
      Roumania, 226, 232
      Slavophile, 229-232
      Triple Alliance, 227-228
      Tunis, 227-228
    Friendships, Literary, 122 _et seq._, 213
    Gambetta’s Egeria, 173 and _passim_
    Grandchildren, 238-239, 246
    Marriage with M. Lamessine. _See_ Lamessine
      Edmond Adam, 106, 107, 123, 127
    _Nom de Plume_, 93
    _Nouvelle Revue. See Revue, Nouvelle_
    Paris, first visits, 42.
      Resides in, 46.
      Siege of, 141, 143, 144, 151
    Quarrels with Gambetta, 187, 196 _et seq._
    Religious opinions, 69, 121, 205, 207
    Riviera, first visits, 94
    Salon, after the war, on the Boulevard Poissonnière, 171-173,
        183-186, 194, 207, 213, 230
      _Grand salon_ on the Boulevard Poissonnière before the war, 97,
        99, 108, 110-113, 116, 118, 119, 134, 152, 161, 167, 208
      Introduction to salon life, 65
      L’Abbaye de Gif salon, 237-241
      _La Nouvelle Revue_ supersedes, 215
      Learns the _salonniere’s_ art, 97-98
      Salon in the Police Préfecture, 146, 152
      _Salon minuscule_ in the Rue de Rivoli, 97-101, 108
    Schooldays, 11 _et seq._
    Social tact, 219
    _Souvenirs_, vi, vii, 1, 110, 116, 120, 122, 125, 129, 149, 160,
        183, 188, 200, 213, 214, 228, 241 and _n._^1, 242, 244
    Style, literary, 58
    Suitors, 199
    War work, 245
    Writings: Fiction, 68, 70, 92, 93, 94, 96, 105, 118, 122, 167, 186.
      Christian novel, 210-211.
      Hellenic, 209-210.
      First book, 51-61.
      First newspaper article, 44-45.
      Foreign affairs. _See_ Foreign Politics.

  Adam, Villiers de l’Isle, 209

  Agadir, 190

  Agoult, la Comtesse d’. _See_ Stern, Daniel

  Aisne, department of, 245

  Aix, 192

  Albert, Prince, 43

  Alfieri, the Marquis, 117

  Alpes Maritimes, les, the department of, 158

  Anderson, Mrs. Garrett, 58

  André, the Mlles., 22, 24, 25, 30, 43, 61, 89

  Alexander III, Emperor of Russia, 231

  Alexandria, Bombardment of, 233
    School of, 244

  Alliance, Triple, 227

  Anges, Baie des, 200

  Antoine, Saint, Faubourg de, 138

  Apponyi, Count, 233

  Arago, Emmanuel, 140

  Arc, Joan of, 126, 208

  Arles, 192

  Armenia, 233

  Arnaud de l’Ariège, Mme. de, 186

  Arpentigny, Captain d’, 121

  Arthémise, 10, 11

  Artigues, d’, 111

  Aumale, Duc d’, 219

  Auvergne, 154

  Auxerre, 192

  Avron, Plateau of, 155


  Babel, Tower of, 232

  Balkan Peninsula, 229

  Baltic Provinces, 225

  Balzac, Honoré de, 3, 8, 15, 40, 64

  Bamberger, Louis, 134, 135

  Barbereux, Pauline, 44, 45

  Barot, Odillon, 14, 21

  Barrès, Maurice, v, 240, 243

  Bastille, Place de la, 138

  Batbie, 174

  Baucel, 118-119

  Baudelaire, 209

  Baudin, 113

  Bazaine, 136

  Bazard, 89

  Bazin, René, 244

  Beaconsfield, Lord. _See_ Disraeli

  Beaune, Rue de, 84, 86

  Beauvais, the Archbishop of, 2

  Beethoven, 95

  Belfort, 163

  Belleville, 118, 148

  Béranger, 46, 47

  Berlin Congress, 223-225, 235

  Berlioz, 72, 73, 74

  Bernard, Claude, 107

  Bernhardt, Dr., 4
    Mme. Sarah, 154

  Berry, 128

  Bert, Paul, 107, 179, 180, 199, 200, 203, 205

  Besançon, 81

  Beuque, Mlle. Aimé, 84-86

  Billot, General, 186

  Bismarck, 99, 133, 135, 136, 157 _n._^5, 158-168, 171, 177, 191, 193,
        195, 197-206, 211, 222, 223, 228, 230, 231, 233, 235

  Bixio, Alessandro, 76, 77, 104, 117
    Nino, 77, 117, 118, 132, 134

  Blanc, Louis, 15, 19, 25, 26, 33, 108, 148, 152, 164, 174, 237

  Blanche, Dr., 106

  Blanqui, 93, 148-149

  Blatier, 35

  Blérancourt, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 20, 26, 27, 30, 33, 36, 39, 40,
        41, 82

  Blondeau, 38

  Bocca, la, Villa of, 95

  Bonnard, Dr., 46, 47, 84, 94

  Bordeaux, Gambetta’s speech at, 172
    National Assembly meets at, 158, 160, 162, 164
    Thiers forms government at, 171

  Bosnia, 229

  Boulogne, Bois de, 240
    -sur-mer, 2, 22, 43

  Bourbaki, General, 170

  Bourges, 164

  Bourget, le, Fort, 145-148, 167
    Paul, v, 69, 220, 221, 240

  Brébant, Café, 106, 129, 152

  Bright, John, 178, 227

  Brionne, 108, 109

  Brisbane, Albert, 83, 184

  Brisson, 200

  Brook Farm, 84

  Brougham, Lord, 95

  Brussels, 93

  Bruyères, Gambetta visits. _See_ Gambetta
    George Sand visits, 124, 126-128, 181, 206
    Sale of, 236
    Villa of, 95-96, 102-103, 106-107, 114, 116, 123, 154, 159, 162,
        165, 167, 169, 178, 182, 199

  Bülow, Hans von, 73

  Bulgaria, 233

  Buloz, 76, 214

  Buonaparte, After Sedan, 137
    Deposition, 140
    Emperor of the French, 50, 66, 75-77, 91, 118, 119, 134
    Louis Napoléon, 23, 26, 33, 34, 39, 66, 70, 76, 81, 104 _n._^5

  Burke, Edmund, 178

  Buzenval, Battle of, 156, 157 _n._^4


  Cabarrus, Dr., 94

  Café Anglais, 226

  Cahors, 109, 116, 180

  Calmette, 219

  Camille Ambrosine (Juliette Adam’s baptismal names), 12

  Cannes, 94, 96, 159, 169

  Carnot, Hippolyte, 56, 68, 104, 118
    Mme. Hippolyte, 70

  Carrel, Armand, 104, 184

  Cassandra, 49

  Castelar, 217

  Castor, elephant in the Jardin des Plantes, 152

  Catherine, Empress of Russia, 65

  Cavaignac, General, 32

  Cavour, Count, 77

  Challemel-Lacour, 98, 111, 113, 179, 180, 182, 216

  Champigny, Battle of, 154

  Champion, Honoré, 85

  Changarnier, 213

  Chanzy, General, 163 and _n._^1, 170, 228

  Chapelle, la Sainte, 145

  Charlemagne, 86

  Charles I, King of England, 139

  Charles, Professor, 10, 29, 30

  Charles the Bold, 3

  Charnacé, la Comtesse de, 73

  Charpentier, 71

  Chateaubriand, 63, 160, 210

  Châtelet, le, 119

  Chatrian, 72

  Chaudordy, 197

  Chauny, 5, 8, 11-16, 21, 23, 24, 29-32, 38-40, 45, 54, 56, 61, 71,
        75, 78, 82, 89, 93-96

  Chavannes, Puvis de, 72

  Chenevard, 152

  Chivres, 14-16, 19, 22, 31, 39

  Chopin, 95

  Cialdini, Italian Ambassador in Paris, 224

  Citeaux, 83

  Clavel, Dr., 100

  Clemenceau, 200

  Cobden, Richard, 91, 92

  Coblentz, 159

  Colvin, Sir Sidney, vii, 173 and _n._^2, 186, 217

  Combes, 205

  Compiègne, 3, 4

  Comte, Auguste, 46, 47, 68, 69, 87

  Concorde, Place de la, 138, 163

  Condé-sur-Vesgres, 83

  Considérant, Victor, 83

  Constant, Benjamin, 89

  Coppée, François, 209, 217

  Coquelin, 213

  Corday, Charlotte, 71

  Corinne, 63

  Corniche Road, 118, 133

  Corot, 239

  Corsica, 96

  Cousin, Victor, 47, 94

  Creusot, 209

  Crevant, 130

  Crimean War, 43, 196

  Crispi, 200

  Croissant, Rue, 179

  Croissy, Château de, 63

  Cronstadt, 231

  Cyprus, 227


  Damascus, 211

  Danton, 110, 193

  Daudet, Alphonse, v, 71, 110, 111, 189, 209, 211, 213, 216, 219, 220
    Léon, v, vi, 38 _n._, 189, 211, 219, 240, 243

  Deffand, Mme. du, 65, 102

  Delescluze, 113, 148

  Déroulède, Paul, 189

  Detaille, 213

  Diderot, 65

  Disraeli, 227

  Donnersmarck, Count Henckel de, 198

  Dorian, Family of, 152
    Minister of Public Works, 1870, 140-151, 179
    Mme., 150, 151, 238
    Charles, 151
    Mlle. Aline (later Mme. Ménard), 151

  Dréher, beer-house, 119

  Dreyfus Affair, 220

  Druses, the, 77

  Duclerc, 100 and _n._^3, 101, 104, 111, 198, 201

  Dudevant, Aurore, George Sand’s granddaughter, 123
    Maurice, George Sand’s son, 126, 128-130, 135, 206

  Dufaure, 173, 174, 176, 186

  Dufey, Mme., 11, 22

  Dufour, Arlès, 90-93, 135, 162, 165, 168, 191

  Dumas, Alexandre, 54
    _fils_, 49, 72, 124

  Dupanloup, Monseigneur, 176

  Dupont-White, 68, 78

  Duran, Carolus, 213

  Duval, Raoul, 184


  Edward VII, King, 196, 226

  Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 62

  Enfantin, Barthélemy Prosper, 88-90, 95

  Entente, Triple, 227, 228

  Erckmann, 72

  Erckmann-Chatrian, 217

  Ethelbald, King of Wessex, 3

  Eugénie, Empress, 134, 139


  Faguet, Émile, 99

  Faidherbe, General, 170

  Fashoda, 234

  Fauvety, Charles, 47-49, 53
    Mme., 47-50, 52, 53, 64, 105

  Favre, Jules, 140, 156, 157 and _n._^5, 161, 162, 164, 170

  Ferrières, 161

  Ferry, Jules, 111, 119, 200, 214, 231

  Feuillant, Xavier de, 198

  Feuillantines, Rue de, 122

  Feuillet, Octave, 56

  Flameng, Léopold, 71

  Flammarion, Camille, 217

  Flaubert, Gustave, 9, 102, 117, 123, 124, 125, 213, 214, 215

  Flavigny, Comte de, 62, 63
    Marie de, afterwards la Comtesse d’Agoult. _See_ Stern, Daniel

  Florence, 117

  Flourens, Gustave, 148, 149

  Fontainebleau, 164, 196

  Forbach, 137

  Fortou, 185

  Fourier, François Marie Charles, 47, 80-84

  Fournier, Admiral, 245

  France, Anatole, 65, 85, 126, 209, 220, 221

  Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austria, 75

  Frankfort, city of, 62
    Treaty of, 177

  Freycinet, de, 186, 219


  Gabriel, architect, 175

  Gallifet, General, 167, 184, 217, 219

  Gambetta, Benedetta. Later, Mme. Léris, 180, 181
    Léon, v, 7, 43, 108-110, 113-115, 118, 119, 120 139, 140, 170-187,
          237, 242, 246
      Anti-clericalism, 205
      Army reform, 195
      Berlin Congress, 223, 224
      Bruyère visits, 180-182, 192
      Contemplated interview with Bismarck, 199 _et seq._, 207
      Death, 203
      Expresses opinion of Mme. Adam’s friendships and antipathies,
          212
      Goes to Geneva with the Adams, 197
      In Mme. Adam’s salon, 111-112, 167, 207
      Letters to Mme. Adam, 182, 192, 193, 194, 195, 197, 225
      Minister of Interior (1870), 140, 156, 157, 171
      National Assembly, 176
      _Nouvelle Revue_, disapproves of, 215, 218, 222
      Prince of Wales, interviews with, 226
      _République Française_, foundation of, 179-180
      _Revanche_, 177 _et seq._, 223
      Russia, attitude towards, 225
      Speeches, 172, 176, 177, 178, 182, 192
    the younger, 180, 203
      Mme., 109, 180
      Tata, 180, 203

  Garibaldi, 75, 77

  Garnier-Pagès, 116, 140, 176

  Gautier, Théophile, 64

  Gay, Delphine. _See_ Mme. de Girardin

  Gay-Lussac, Rue de, 130

  Gebhart, 217

  Geneva, 87

  Genoa, 77, 117

  Georges, St., Place, 139, 147

  Germain, St., Faubourg de, 64

  Gervais, Admiral, 231

  Gif, Abbess of, 236 _et seq._ Abbey of, 14, 99, 181, 203, 208, 234,
          236, 237, 239 _et seq._

  Gioia, 217

  Girardin, Émile de, 56, 62, 64, 91, 92, 104, 184, 198, 215, 216, 222
    Mme. de, 64, 125

  Gladstone, Mr., vi, 222
    Mrs., 222

  Godin, 84

  Goncourt, Edmond de, 71, 124, 136, 148, 153, 212 Jules de, 124, 125

  Goncourts, the, 101, 102, 124

  Gorce, Pierre de la, 113

  Gortschakoff, the Russian Chancellor, 197, 225

  Granville, Lord, 161 watering-place, 138, 141

  Grévy, Jules, 56, 104, 108, 162

  Grosjean, 163

  Guise, town of, 83 _n._^1, 84

  Guizot, 18, 22


  Hapsburgs, the, 228

  Hague, the, 246

  Hanotaux, Gabriel, 161, 162

  Haussman, 89, 152

  Havre, le, Gambetta’s speech at, 178

  Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 80, 84

  Heine, Heinrich, 62

  Helier, St., 144

  Heligoland, 235

  Henner, 213

  Hérédia, 209

  Héricourt, Jenny d’, 48, 49, 52, 53, 70, 71

  Herzegovina, 229

  Hetzel, 56, 76, 92, 93, 110, 111, 116, 135

  Hippocrates, 68

  Hobson, J. A., 58

  Hohenlohe, Prince von, 196, 199

  Hohenzollern, House of, 134, 135, 228
    Prince Anthony of, 134

  Homer, 8, 15, 32, 43, 96, 210

  Honoré, St., Rue, 153

  Huegel, 55

  Hugo, Victor, v, 54, 64, 72, 123, 148, 174, 209, 213, 237, 238

  Hymette, Mont, 209


  Ignatieff, Count, 231

  Ireland, 233

  Isambert, 180


  James, Henry, 219

  Jauréguiberry, Admiral, 185

  Jena, Battle of, 133

  Jeremiah, 99

  Jersey, I. of, 144

  Jérusalem, Rue de, 145, 152

  Jourdan, 152

  Juan, Don, 63

  Juan, Golfe, 95, 103, 106, 116, 123, 127, 129, 236

  Judet, 240

  Judith, Princess, 3

  Jumièges, 124


  Karr, Alphonse, 44, 45

  Koechlin-Schwartz, Mme., 237

  Kossuth, 62, 66

  Krompholtz, Mme., vi

  Kruger, President, 234


  L——, Mlle., 186, 203 and _n._

  Labouchère, Henry, 148, 149 _n._^1, 161

  Lafayette, General, 111

  Lafitte, Rue, 64

  Lalanne, 28 _n._^2

  Lamartine, Alphonse de, 64, 70, 98, 101, 102

  Lamber, Juliette. _See_ Adam, Juliette

  Lambert, Dr. Jean Louis, Mme. Adam’s father, v, vi, 2, 4, 6-10,
        12-18, 20, 21, 23-26, 28, 32-42, 46, 51, 54, 56, 57, 62, 66,
        78, 79, 82, 85, 93, 95, 96, 103, 105, 107, 128, 167, 206

  Lambert, Juliette. _See_ Adam, Juliette

  Lambert, Mme. Olympe, Mme. Adam’s mother, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 35,
        57, 95

  Lamessine, Alice (later Mme. Segond), Mme. Adam’s daughter, 42, 45,
        53, 71, 93, 95, 102, 103, 106, 107, 109, 117, 123, 126, 128,
        129, 130, 138, 141, 144, 153, 162, 165, 167, 237

  Lamessine, Juliette. _See_ Adam, Juliette

  Lamessine, _avocat_. Mme. Adam’s first husband, 39, 40, 41, 50, 92,
        93, 102, 103, 123

  Laon, 137

  Lasteyrie, Jules, Marquis de, 111, 112, 176, 213

  Lazare, _Gare_ St., 174, 175

  Lebanon, Mt., 77

  Ledru-Rollin, 19, 20, 22, 33, 148

  Lemaître, Jules, 209, 210

  Lemerre, 209

  Léris, Mme. _See_ Gambetta, Benedetta

  Lespinasse, Mlle. de, 102

  Lesseps, Ferdinand de, 91, 92, 216

  Lévy, Michel, 54, 55, 92, 93, 124

  Lille, 192

  Lisle, Lecomte de, 209, 217

  Liszt, Franz, 63, 64, 66, 73, 121 _n._^3

  Littré, 56, 63, 66, 68, 69, 78, 176, 210, 215

  Lombardy, 201

  Longchamps, Review at, 178

  Loti, Pierre, v, 220, 221, 239

  Louis XIV, 175, 236, 243
    Philippe, 6, 13, 14, 23, 70, 88, 111

  Louvois, Place, 43

  Louvre, Museum of, 65, 106
    Palace of, 46, 63
    Shop of, 89

  Lyautey, General, 245

  Lyons, city of, 84, 91, 192
    Lord, 161


  McLaren, Donald, 83 _n._^1

  MacMahon, Marshal, 179, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 193, 202

  Macon, 98

  Madier, Lieutenant, 246

  Magnard, 219

  Magny, restaurant, 115, 124

  Malabry, Park of, 220

  Malaquais, Quai, 63, 85

  Manet, 101

  Marat, 205

  Marchand, General, 245
    Paul, 217

  Marie Antoinette, 63

  Marne, Battle of, 246

  Marrast, Armand, 104

  Marseilles, 192

  Marx, Karl, 168

  Matthieu, _notaire_, 103

  Maupassant, Guy de, 215

  Maure, Dr., 94, 95, 107, 117, 162

  Maurice, George Sand’s son. _See_ Dudevant

  Maurras, Charles, 189, 243

  Maximin, Emperor, 59

  Mazarin, Cardinal, 193

  Mazas, Prison, 145

  Mazzini, 66, 227

  Melissandre, 210

  Ménard, Louis, 67, 72, 73, 102, 209

  Menilmontant, 90

  Mentone, 127

  Mercadier, M. Elie, vii

  Meredith, George, 9, 59

  Mérimée, Prosper, 56, 94, 116, 117, 135, 136, 139, 204

  Metz, capitulation of, 147, 198
    Treaty of Frankfort cedes to Germany, 163

  Meunier, Stanislas, 217

  Meuse, valley of, 130

  Meyerbeer, 49, 50

  Michelet, 101

  Milan, 117, 118

  Mille, Pierre, 9

  Millet, 72

  Mill, John Stuart, 58, 60, 68, 91

  Mistral, 243

  Mohl, Mme., 72

  Molière, 11

  Moltke, 136

  Monaco, 127

  Montaigne, 109

  Montdidier, 170

  Montessori, 12

  Montijo, Eugénie de. _See_ Eugénie, Empress

  Montmartre, Cemetery of, 113 Rue, 137

  Montmorency, 217

  Montparnasse, _Gare_, 141, 142

  Montretout, Fort, 155

  Morley, Lord, 88

  Morocco, 227

  Moscow, 156

  Motte, 148

  Mulhouse, 237

  Myers, W. H., 120


  Napoléon I, v, 81, 215
    II. _See_ Buonaparte, Louis

  Napoléon, Prince, 78

  Nefftzer, 75, 98-100, 119, 133, 134, 154

  Nice, 96, 127, 180.
    Edmond Adam’s candidature at, 159-160

  Nivelle, General, 245

  Nohant, 126, 143.
    The Adams visit George Sand at, 132, 134, 135, 206


  Odéon, theatre, 125, 154

  Offenbach, 67, 72

  Ollivier, Émile, 50, 66, 118, 119, 132, 137, 162
    Mme., 66 _n._, 98

  Oncken, Professor, 224

  Orsini, 50


  Païva, house, 198
    La, 198
    Vicomte de, 198

  Palmerston, Lord, 76, 77, 92

  Panama, Isthmus of, 87

  Paris, Gaston, 168, 209

  Parnassian School of Poets, 102, 209, 210

  Pascal, 236

  Pas-de-Loup, circus, 146

  Paul, St., 211

  Pedro, Don, 111

  Péguy, Charles, 85

  Pélagie, Ste., prison, 145

  Pelletan, Eugène, 57, 93, 100, 110, 111, 140, 152

  Pereires, the, 89

  Peruzzi, the, 74

  Petrograd, 228, 230

  Peyrat, 98-99, 100, 113, 117, 148, 152, 179, 205

  Phalère, 209

  Picard, Ernest, 140, 150, 157, 161, 162

  Pichat, Laurent, 110, 111, 174, 216

  Pierreclos, la Comtesse de, 70, 78, 95, 98, 101, 102, 105, 144

  Pierrefonds, the Adams and George Sand visit, 131

  Pio-Nono, Pope, 75

  Planet, 126, 128

  Plato, 167

  Plevna, 229

  Pliny, 68

  “Ploërmel, Pardon de,” opera, 50

  Poissonnière, Boulevard, 99, 106, 108, 118, 145, 152, 153, 167, 179

  Pollux, elephant, 152

  Porte-Saint-Martin, theatre, 130

  Port Royal des Champs, 236

  Presbourg, Rue, 64.
    Mme. d’Agoult’s salon in, 62, 64, 68, 75, 76, 77, 78, 102

  Prim, General, 134

  Procope, Café, 109

  Proudhon, Pierre Joseph, 15, 17, 19, 20, 47, 50, 51-61, 71

  Prudhomme, Sully, 209


  Rabelais, 109, 181

  Rachel, 48

  Racine, Jean, 32, 236
    Mlle. Marie, 239

  Raincourt, Anastasie, 14
    Constance, 14, 19
    Pélagie. _See_ Seron, Mme.
    Sophie, 14, 15, 20

  Rambouillet, la Marquise de, 60

  Rampolla, Cardinal, 208

  Ranc, 179, 200, 226

  Ratazzi, Mme., 215

  Récamier, Mme., 4, 63, 68

  Reclus, Elie, 217

  Reims, de, 111, 198

  Reinach, Joseph, 115 _n._, 217
    Théodore, 217

  Renan, Ernest, 54, 62, 66, 72, 78, 79, 135, 168

  Renouvier, Charles, 47, 48, 53

  Réservoirs, Hôtel des, 175

  _Revue, La Nouvelle_, v, vi, vii, 99, 189, 191, 212 _et seq._, 223,
        236, 241, 242.
    Foundation of suggested by George Sand, 214

  Reybaud, Mme. Charles, 86, 91

  Reynaud, Jean, 95
    Mme., 95

  Richelieu, Cardinal, 193

  Ripley, George, 84

  Rivoli, Rue de, 46, 96, 98, 99, 101, 102, 106, 107, 108, 118

  Robespierre, 205

  Robinson, Mary (Mme. Duclaux), 3

  Rochefort, Henri de, Marquis, 119, 140, 146, 152, 159, 160, 241
    Bibi, 159, 160, 162, 163, 164

  Rodrigues, 89

  Roger, actor, 131
    Mme., 131

  Rohan-Chabot, Comte de, 245

  Romagna, 76

  Romainville, Fort, 148

  Rome, 224

  Ronchaud, Louis de, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 72, 75, 98, 102, 105, 111,
        208, 216

  Rouen, 124

  Roumania, 226

  Rousseau, Jean Jacques, 16, 207

  Royer, Mme., 70, 71


  Saïd Pasha, 92

  Saint Jean-le-Vieux, 245

  Saint-Just, 205

  Saint-Simon, Claude Henri, Comte de, 80, 86-88

  Saint-Victor, Paul de, 67, 100, 102, 135, 208, 216

  Sainte-Beuve, 54, 124, 209

  Sainte Pélagie, prison of, 93

  Sallandrouze, la Maison de, 106 and _n._^1, 171, 179, 186, 217

  Salomon, Adam, 71, 72

  Sand, George, v, 8, 15, 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 62, 80, 86, 92, 191, 214,
        237, 244.
    Friendship with Mme. Adam, 120-132.
    Letters to Mme. Adam, 62, 121, 128, 131, 141, 143, 168, 169, 238.
    Visits Bruyères. _See_ Bruyères.
    Death, 206

  Sappho, 120

  Sarcey, 217

  Scheurer-Kestner, 179

  Schneider, 140

  Schnœbele Incident, 223

  Scholl, Aurélien, 55 and _n._^1

  Séchan, Parc de, 217

  Sedan, Battle of, 137, 190

  Segond, Mme. _See_ Lamessine, Alice
    Dr. Paul, 237

  Seine et Oise, 236

  Senlis, 3

  Seron, Dr., 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 23, 33, 34, 40, 42
    Mme., 1, 2, 5, 6-14, 16, 17, 20, 21, 23, 26, 27, 30-32, 36-42, 120
    Olympe. _See_ Lambert, Mme.

  Sévigné, Gambetta “makes his,” 182
    Mlle. de, 239

  Simon, Jules, 119, 140, 176

  Sismondi, 14

  Skobeleff, 228 _et seq._, 244

  Soissons, 14, 42, 44, 46

  Sophocles, 210

  Sorbonne, Rue de la, 85

  Spuller, 172, 179, 180, 198, 199, 200, 205, 207, 211, 216

  Staël, Mme. de, 65, 87, 90, 125, 187, 210

  Stanislas, collège, 65

  Stern, Daniel, 52, 54-57, 62-64, 94, 102, 105-106, 112, 120-125, 209,
        244
    Salon, 65-70, 73, 74, 75, 76-77, 80, 98, 104, 162, 184, 208, 210

  Stevenson, Robert Louis, 2

  Stock, Baron. _See_ Ratazzi, Mme.

  Strasbourg, 203

  Sue, Eugène, 64

  Suez Canal, 89, 90, 91

  Suresne, 240

  _Sussex_, the, 213

  Syria, 77


  Taine, Hippolyte, 48, 214, 216, 243

  Taitbout, Rue, 90

  Talleyrand, 193

  Tangier, 190

  Tardieu, André, 197

  Taride, 56

  Texier, Edmond, 98

  Texiers, the, 106

  Thelema, Abbey of, 127

  Theuriet, André, 217

  Thierry, Augustin, 87, 217

  Thiers, v, 75, 95, 107, 108, 111, 114, 117, 134, 146, 147, 161, 162,
        164-167, 171, 174, 176, 177, 183, 184, 198.
    President of the Republic, 160, 172.
    Resignation, 173.
    Death, 199, 207

  Thomas, Emile, 126

  Tiburce, 211

  Tinayre, Marcelle, 220

  Toulon, 94, 127, 231

  Tourguénieff, 214, 217, 228

  Toussenel, Alphonse, 85, 86, 98, 99, 100, 136

  Transvaal War, 234

  Trélat, 28

  Trochu, General, 140, 145, 146, 147, 156, 157 _n._^4

  Troubetzkoi, Princess Lise, 197

  Tuileries, 106, 166

  Tunis, French occupation of, 227, 228

  Turin, 76, 117

  Turr, 217


  Uzès, la Duchesse d’, 241


  Var, department of, 124

  Varzin, 199, 227

  Vavey, Château de, 245

  Vendôme Column, 166

  Venetia, 201

  Venice, 178

  Venizelos, 235

  Verberie, 2, 3, 4

  Verdun, 246

  Versailles, Peace of, 162, 164, 174
    National Assembly at, 164-166, 174-176

  Viardot, Mme., 72

  Viaud, Commandant. _See_ Pierre Loti

  Victor Emmanuel, King, 77, 133, 200, 201

  Victoria, Queen, 43

  Vigny, Alfred de, 63

  Villafranca, Peace of, 75, 76

  Villars, 193

  Vinoy, 157 and _n._^4

  Voisin, 185

  Voltaire, Café, 109


  Wagner, Richard, 72-74, 104

  Wales, Prince of. _See_ Edward VII

  Washington, City of, 86

  Wells, H. G., 191

  Whiteing, Richard, 172

  William I, King of Prussia, later Emperor of Germany, 135, 136
    II, Emperor of Germany, 223, 234

  Wissembourg, Battle of, 137

  Woerth, Battle of, 137


  Zola, Emile, 102, 220



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  │ Italicized words are surrounded by underline characters, _like    │
  │   this_. Words in bold characters surrounded by equal signs,      │
  │   =like this=.                                                    │
  │                                                                   │
  │ Errata listed following the List of Illustrations have been       │
  │   corrected in the text.                                          │
  │                                                                   │
  │ Errors corrected:                                                 │
  │ p. 14: Odillon Barot changed to Odilon Barot.                     │
  │ p. 21: “daughter” changed to “granddaughter” (… take her          │
  │   granddaughter back….)                                           │
  │ p. 44: “Jamessine” → “Lamessine” (… young Mme. Lamessine          │
  │   despaired….)                                                    │
  │ p. 54: “Saint-Beuve“ → “Sainte-Beuve” (… the publisher of Victor  │
  │   Hugo, of Sainte-Beuve….)                                        │
  │ p. 55 and others: “Lamber” → “Lambert” (… “L’œuvre de Mme.        │
  │  Juliette Lambert”….)                                             │
  │ p. 71: “feminity” → “femininity” (… discarded none of her         │
  │   feminity.)                                                      │
  │ p. 108: “absentionistes” → “abstentionistes” (… all parties in    │
  │   opposition: for abstentionistes….)                       │
  │ p. 142: “courrones” → “couronnes” (…leur tresser des couronnes….  │
  │ p. 145: “forboding” → “foreboding” (… now foreboding and          │
  │   doubtful….)                                                     │
  │ p. 197 and 251: “Gortschakoff” → “Gortchakoff” (… an interview    │
  │   with Gortchakoff.)                                              │
  │ p. 213: “crime journalières” → “crimes journaliers” (… demande    │
  │   des crimes journaliers.)                                        │
  │                                                                   │
  │ Variants unchanged: Mme. Reynaud and Mme. Reybaud.                │
  └───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘





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