« PrethodnaNastavi »
AMERICAN RELIGIOUS LEADERS.
A series of Biographies of Men who have exerted great influence on the Religious Thought and Life of America. This series is designed to serve the same purpose with regard to the religious history of America which the series of American Statesmen serves with regard to its political history. It will include biographies of eminent men who represent the theology and methods of the various religious denominations of America. first volume, now ready, is on
By Professor A. V. G. ALLEN, author of "The Continuity of Christian Thought." 16mo. Gilt top. $1.25.
Succeeding volumes will be devoted to Dr. HODGE, Dr. WAYLAND, Dr. MUHLENBERG, Archbishop HUGHES, WILBUR FISK, THEODORE PARKER, and others.
These books are not intended merely as interesting biographies of these illustrious men, but to set forth clearly and impartially the opinions they held and their reasons for holding them, and the relation of these opinions to the religious life and thought of the nation.
In the Series of American Statesmen. By JOHN T.
An admirable account of Franklin as a statesman, and of his great and varied public services.
A Novel. By MARY AGNES TINCKER, author of "Sig- Thackeray's Works.
nor Monaldini's Niece." 12mo. $1.50.
A noteworthy story, with characters and scenes of Italy and New England. The sharp contrasts of life, character, and custom in the two countries form the background of a story full of movement, social engineering, and conspiracy, with quiet areas of genuine New England family affection and content.
Riverside Aldine Series.
Three new volumes in this series of choice books of
WALDEN. By H. D. THOREAU. In two vols.
A Guide to Good Reading for Young People, and
Illustrated Library Edition. In twenty-two volumes.
The Introductions to the several volumes, the excellent typography, paper, and binding, make this a very acceptable edition of Thackeray's works.
ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH POPULAR BALLADS. Edited by Prof. FRANCIS J. CHILD, of Harvard University. In eight parts, each part containing about 250 pages. "Prof. Child's books, exquisitely printed on fine paper, supply at once a joy to the bibliophile, and an opulent treasure to the student of old customs and old songs. Mr. Child's learning, perseverance, sense, and good taste are all beyond praise."-London Saturday Review.
An Edition de Luxe, strictly limited to 1,000 copies. Part VI. Imperial quarto. $5.00 net.
By Mrs. M. G. VAN RENSSELAER, author of "Henry
Miss Burt's successful experience as a teacher of literature has enabled her to prepare a hand-book which
is not merely a guide to the best books for young peo- The Heritage of Dedlow Marsh,
ple, but an economical system of reading, good for all ages.
AND OTHER TALES, including A Knight Errant of the Foot-Hills, A Secret of Telegraph Hill, and Captain Jim's Friend. By BRET HARTE. 16mo. $1.25.
A Mediæval Epic, excellently translated from the Mid-
Selected from the novels of W. D. HOWELLS. By MIN-
A tasteful little book of those noteworthy and delicious sentences which abound in Mr. Howells's stories.
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO., BOSTON.
VOL. X. OCTOBER, 1889. No. 114.
THE DREADFUL TRUTH ABOUT NAPOLEON.
AMERICAN LOCAL CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY
BRIEFS ON NEW BOOKS
Croll's Stellar Evolution and Its Relation to Geo-
LITERARY NOTES AND NEWS
TOPICS IN OCTOBER PERIODICALS
THE DREADFUL TRUTH ABOUT
Bourrienne's Napoleon is no "parlor biography." It is either brutal truth or brutal falsehood-I think it is the former. The author's opponents, whose contradictions and criticisms are given with the text, in the form of foot-notes, attack him furiously. Indeed, this is the only thing possible for a Napoleonist: for Bourrienne's position is the key of the field, and unless it can be carried the battle of Napoleonism is lost. Bourrienne cannot be turned and left in the rear, except at the sacrifice of the whole base of operations. The attack on Bourrienne seems to me to kill him, but to leave his position intact. His enemies show him, with reasonable certainty, to have been corrupt, grasping, deceitful, time-serving and double-faced; false in all his later life to the great friend of his youth and patron of his early manhood. Able? Yes, he must have
MEMOIRS OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. By L. A. F. de Bourrienne, his private secretary; with Anecdotes and Illustrative Extracts from all the most Authentic Sources. Edited by R. W. Phipps, colonel, late Royal Artillery. New and Revised Edition, with Numerous Illustrations. In four volumes. New York: T. Y. Crowell & Co.
been able, to deceive the arch-deceiver, and to steal under the eyes of the arch-thief.
All this would be fatally convincing, if it were Bourrienne who is on trial. But it is not Bourrienne, it is one greater than he; greater, perhaps, in single-eyed, selfish power, than any other character in history.
It is related that once, in Napoleon's hearing, a lady said that she would have liked Turenne better if he had not burned the Palatinate. "What of that," replied Napoleon, "if it was necessary to the object he had in view?" That ancient Seignory, the very jewel and garden of Europe, Turenne made into a desert place; and its ruins stand to this day, more than 200 years later, a memento of his flaming sword. "What of that?" There is a world of significance in this question.
Even Bonaparte's stupendous vigor would have availed little if it had not been for the circumstances to which he was born. He fell upon France as if one should alight from a stray comet on a virgin world whereon the foot of man had never trodden; where the treasures of air and earth and ocean lay open and unclaimed. All powers, clerical, seignoral, and royal, were dead and gone. Every old debt was discharged by statutory repudiation. Every landlord had died or disappeared, and every tenant enjoyed soil and mansion free of rent-charge or control. The law, the church, and the throne were ousted, and the people left without court, king, or god.
The ebullition that threw off the incubus was great-excessive proportionately with its weight; and the subsequent reaction and supineness were proportionate to the excess. This, too, in a strain of blood not Anglo-Saxon, but Gallic, with a racial tendency to trust, to admire, to adore, and to be led. In America the usurper would have been ridiculed, alive : and have died unwept, unhonored, and unsung. What do we do with "Napoleons" in war, politics, or finance? We sit down on them. The only terms on which we let genius thrive are those of constant avoidance of a suspicion of conscious superiority. Never, in peace or in war, has there been a time and place wherein a man of all Napoleon's ability, or twice as much, could have said aloud, "I will take the reins and drive the chariot," without being laughed down. Any such childish trick as
that of 18th Brumaire (1799), when Napoleon struck his first blow at French liberty by forcibly dispersing the Council of the Five Hundred, would be received by us with a laugh, spreading from the council to the army, the press, and the whole people.
But whether by luck or by management, or both, Napoleon did great things in little time. In 1796 he drove the Austrians out of Italy, and robbed her. In 1799 he was worsted in Africa and returned to France, deserting his army, as he always did in disaster-Acre, Moscow, Leipsic, Waterloo. He was a commander who pushed every advance, and led every retreat. Once in Paris (communication with Egypt being cut off), he lied his failure into a success, on the strength of which he destroyed the Directorate and made himself Consul. In 1800 he killed the liberty of the press. By Desaix's battle of Marengo, and Moreau's battle of Hohenlinden, he defeated Austria; and he promptly again despoiled Italy. In 1804 he made himself Emperor and established an Imperial Nobility. In 1805 he had himself crowned king of Italy. He defeated the Austrians and Russians at Ulm and Austerlitz, and dictated peace at Vienna. In 1806 he made his brother Louis king of Holland. He attempted to establish the "Continental System "-an imaginary blockade of all English ports, by which any nation trading with England became an enemy of France. He defeated the Prussians and Russians at Auerstadt and Jena, and took Berlin. Eylau was a drawn battle, but Friedland was a victory, followed by the treaty of Tilsit in 1807, and the establishment of his brother Jerome as king of Westphalia, his brother Joseph as king of Spain, and his brother-in-law Murat as king of Naples and Sicily, in 1808. It was in 1807 that he began to demand contributions of troops from conquered countries, to supply the place of Frenchmen killed in conquering them. In 1808 Austria again declared war; and in 1809, by the help of Bavarian troops, he gained the battle of Wagram, and once more seized Vienna. He annexed the Papal States to France. Wagram was the last of his overwhelming victories. He had taught his old enemies how to fight, and he was meeting a new one; for Wellington defeated Soult in Spain. This was the year of Napoleon's divorce and re-marriage; the year of his culmination. 1812 saw the invasion of Russia, and 1813 the allied occupation of Paris and Napoleon's exile to Elba.
1796-1813 sixteen years; merely the space of time which has elapsed since the HayesTilden election: this is the interval wherein so much took place; wherein one man caused a million other men to perish for his elevation; and then fell to where he started from.
Napoleon was, like other men, a mixture of good and evil; only, in his case the good was in words, the evil in actions.
(1794) "To declare a patriot suspected is to deprive him of all that he most highly values confidence and esteem. Since the commencement of the revolution have I not always been attached to its principles ? Restore to me the esteem of the patriots." (1796) "I should like the era of representative government to be dated from my time."
(1806) "I am not strong enough to protect the wretches who voted for the death of
Louis XVI., from the contempt and indignation of the public."
(1799) "I have razed the palace of the Djezzar and the ramparts of Acre. Not one stone remains upon another. All the inhabitants have left the city by sea.' 99 This bulletin he dictated to Bourrienne, who blushed, and hesitated to write the lies. His master said: My dear fellow, you are a simpleton; you do not understand this busi
(1794) To Josephine: "I shall ever remain your fond lover. Death alone can break the union which sympathy, love, and friendship have formed."
(Always) "No man shall steal." When Emperor, he one day entered his cabinet, full of joy at having caught a man who had robbed the army of Italy. "Thank God, I have found him, and I shall make him a severe example."
(1799) He dispersed the Assembly by force of arms, and (1806) usurped Imperial power.
(1806) He had the King's nephew, the Duc d'Enghien, seized on neutral territory, hurried to París, and there tried, shot, and buried in a grave which had been dug before the " trial" began.
(1799) He besieged Acre, spent sixty days and 3,000 lives in fruitless assaults, retired utterly beaten; reached Cairo with a remnant of his force, more dead than alive.
He fell violently in love with Madame Fourés, established her in a house in Cairo, and through a feeling of delicacy" sent her husband home to France on a ship which was captured by the English, who, being informed of the cause of his mission, were malicious enough to send him back to Egypt, instead of keeping him a prisoner." Bonaparte wished to have a child by Madame Fourés, but this wish was not gratified."
(1810) He divorced Josephine for no cause except childlessness.
(1813) The accumulations of the Emperor's "privy purse amounted to 350,000,000 francs; and in his will, made at St. Helena, he pretended to dispose of 260,000,000 francs; doubtless the frugal savings of his thirteen years of productive industry just twenty million francs a year.
So utterly, monstrously, abnormally repulsive is Napoleon's general character, that it is a relief to find in him some "redeeming vices." He had at least one illegitimate child (by Countess Walewski), and wished for others. (See the Madame Fourés episode; ante.) As to the petition of Madame Récamier in behalf of her father, Bourrienne says: "I have not forgotten on what conditions the re-establishment would have been granted. He, on his side, claimed a very different sentiment from gratitude."
Bonaparte liked, too, to be ostentatiously merciful and benevolent; and anyone who managed to fall on his knees (more often her
knees) in public, before the great man, was very likely to be raised up by him, dissolved in tears of gratitude. He liked vain extravagant display, and spent unheard-of sums of the public funds to support it. He knew that literature, science and art shed glory upon him, and he encouraged them in consequence; identifying his name with great public works. In short, he achieved grand feats of abstracting money from unknown persons and giving it away in the sight of all the world. By an extreme of condescension--who can witness it without a sympathetic smile?-he even composed and recounted a poor and commonplace romance of guilty love, sacrilege, despair, and death! ("Guilio "; 2 Bourrienne, 375-391.) On the other hand, he indulged in undignified outbursts of temper; but to one who expressed surprise at his apparent want of self-control he said, coolly: "Oh, don't be alarmed; my anger never rises above here "-placing his hand at his chin, to indicate that there was method in his madness. Most human of his weaknesses, he suffered fearfully under the abuse and ridicule of the London press. To control this, he would gladly have fought Pitt, or fawned upon him. The tyranny of a dictator cannot live in face of an unbridled press-it is the one good point in each of these oppressions, that it makes the other impossible.
Bonapartists insist, as he did, that he hated war, and only fought to defend France from aggression. To agree with this view, one must attribute to him wonderfully bad luck. It passes belief that France needed defence at Arcola and Lodi and Marengo in Italy, at Jaffa and Acre in Egypt, at Austerlitz and Hohenlinden in Austria, at Jena and Eylau and Friedland in Prussia, and at Borodino and Moscow away off in Russia; not to speak of hundreds of forgotten fields in Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and in all the countries of Europe. Now, as Bourrienne says: "Peace is always dear to a people." So! To whom, then, is war dear? To the ruler who alone can gain by war, and who therefore tries by all devilish arts to lead his people into a double error: first, that when war comes it is not his fault; second, that the gain and glory is theirs rather than his. This was the business of Napoleon's life, and he did it to perfection. The survivors of carnage shouted and threw up their schakoes, unmindful of the silence and quietude of the mangled dead.
Thanks to Tolstoi and Verestschagin, the days of this humbug seem to be numbered.
Even then, when in 1813 the butcher was forced to abdicate his stolen throne, the first inimical cry he heard in Paris was: " No more conscription!" There rises to the memory a French picture full of touching pathos. It simply represents an aged man yoked with a cow to a plough, which a woman is guiding in the furrow; and it is entitled "Les jours de la Conscription." What idiocy, in a people which had broken its shackles, to hold out its wrists again for the gyves! But this is no justification to him who replaced them.
After the abdication, Bourrienne was made, by Louis XVIII., Director-General of the Post-office; and among his first duties was the distribution of letters which had been intercepted by the Imperial police-a mass whereon the postage alone amounted to 300,000 francs. Post and press had been throttled alike.
One curious fact in connection with Bonaparte's abdication is this: Among all the discussions preceding it as to who should rule France-Napoleon, his son under a regency, Bernadotte, the Bourbons, or what not-there is not a suggestion made that the usurper should surrender the sceptre to the people from whom he had wrested it.
He who loves war should read of Napoleon to learn how to wage war; and he who hates it, to find new reasons for his hatred. The worshipper of power may read to admire; the lover of liberty, to note some of the dangers that threaten her. Besides all these, the mere student of biography will find in Bourrienne a typical story-teller, fairly rivalling Boswell in his naïve personalisms and gossippy small-talk, exercised on a theme of absorbing interest. JOSEPH KIRKLAND.
SOME PHASES OF DARWINISM.*
Mr. Wallace has long been known as an earnest advocate of those theories of modern science concerning the origin and development of the varied forms of living things, vegetable and animal, which found in Charles Darwin their most famous exponent. The theories of evolution had long before been propounded. It remained for Darwin to show ways in which the slow processes of change, in the progress of heredity from generation to generation, could operate, while following lines that occa
* DARWINISM. An Exposition of the Theory of Natural Selection, with some of its Applications. By Alfred Russell Wallace, LL.D., F.R.S. New York: Macmillan & Co.
sionally bifurcated and continually diverged to produce the infinite varieties of living things found together upon the earth. Darwin's work was that of a large-minded architect, whose fertile invention devised some grand edifice, symmetrical in outline, multitudinous in detail, harmonious in purpose and in adaptation thereto. Mr. Wallace is the thrifty conservator, who goes about with loads of fresh material to repair breaches, strengthen weak places, complete and embellish unfinished apartments, and maintain the whole in a fresh, cheerful, and attractive condition, ready for visitors. His book is pleasant reading for one who has a lively and abiding interest in Nature's processes and vagaries. In it is collected a multitude of observations, classified as to the phases of the general subject which they illuminate. They who have already accepted the leading principles of the Darwinian scheme of world-building and world-peopling will find abundant food for enjoyment and for the refreshing of their faith.
Copernican theory of the motions of the heavenly bodies at the time of its promulgation." If Professor Huxley says this, and means exactly" what he says, then this secure foundation is no foundation at all; for the Copernican theory of the motions of the heavenly bodies had no demonstration until in after days Kepler and Newton showed the reasons for those motions and their uniformity. The case of the series from Eohippus to horse is one in which it is evident that evolution may have occurred. We may go farther, and agree that there is strong probability that it did occur. But strong probability is not demonstration, at least in any other department of exact science. It is one of the notable things in this work, as it is in others of its class, that the statements and explanations constantly culminate in the word "may.” The evidence that a certain thing may happen must be very strongly buttressed before it crystallizes into the certainty that it did occur. There is a large gap, often an impassable gulf, between the assertion this may be " and the conclusion "therefore it is." Yet this transfer is so often made in discussions of this subject, so subtly, so naively-as if logic never dreamed of anything more drastic-as to make the second of the three singular things referred to.
The theory of Copernicus was in his day only a case of may: it might be true. Later, Kepler gave it enduring life by demonstrating for it the condition of must: it must be true; it cannot be otherwise. This is the condition demanded of the physical science of to-day. This is the form of answer given by Newton, La Place, Faraday, Bunsen, Kirchhoff, Pasteur the astronomers, chemists, spectroscopists, and bacteriologists, whose methods and whose logic are worthy the name of demonstration.
A criterion of the truth of a physical law is the uniformity of its operation. The law of gravitation, as formulated by Newton, acts always, everywhere, and without variation. But even if we admit, in the case of the Eohippus-horse, that here was evolution, the theory of evolution is not proved until it is shown that this is a complete example of all animal progression. Of course this does not mean that all animals would be evolved after the same exact fashion; for example, that each one which had a surplus of hoofs, like the Eohippus, should lose them from time to time, so that whereas it once may have had four hoofs on each foot, it has kicked them off suc
Without saying how many more might be found and considered, there are three respects in which all works of this class are singularly alike, if not as singularly open to criticism. The first is the method of selection, whether "natural" or other, by which facts are gathered and grouped. The maker of a mosaic gathers bits of stone from all quarries, of all hues and grades of brilliancy. One by one he selects and assembles these separated fragments, until the outcome is an artistic design, which, as such, is faultlessly beautiful and admirable. But when it is finished, is it not evident that the chef-d'œuvre is not the reproduction of nature, but a purely artistic creation, the fruit of a vigorous and active imagination? The student who is searching for "Facts for Darwin" often appears to be most interested in selecting those which will fit kindly into the mosaic; while he unconsciously neglects, or more positively rejects, other and possibly more abundant items for which the mosaic appears to have no place.
For example, we find Mr. Wallace repeating the account of the very remarkable series that has come down to us through successive geologic epochs, beginning with the Eohippus, and continuing through oro-, meso-, mio-, proto-, and plio-hippus, until it ends in the modern hippus equus, or horse. Professor Huxley is quoted as saying that this case" is demonstrative evidence of evolution; the doctrine resting upon exactly as secure a foundation as did the