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the Chanson de l'Alouette, the Chant du Retour, and the Gaîté, and how much freshness in Lina, and · À ma fille !' But the best pieces of all are Au delà, Homunculus, La Trompeuse, and especially Frère Jacques, its author's masterpiece. To these may be added the Marionettes and the national song, Helvétie. Serious purpose and intention disguised in gentle gaiety and childlike badinage, feeling hiding itself under a smile of satire, a resigned and pensive wisdom expressing itself in rustic round or ballad, the power of suggesting everything in a nothing, — these are the points in which the Vaudois poet triumphs. On the reader's side there is emotion and surprise, and on the author's a sort of pleasant, slyness which seems to delight in playing tricks upon you, only tricks of the most dainty and brilliant kind. Juste Olivier has the passion we might imagine a fairy to have for delicate mystification. He hides his gifts. He promises nothing and gives a great deal. His generosity, which is prodigal, has a surly air ; his simplicity is really subtlety ; his malice pure tenderness; and his whole talent is, as it were, the fine flower of the Vaudois mind in its sweetest and dreamiest form.
10th February 1871. – My reading for this morning has been some vigorous chapters of Taine's History of English Literature. Taine is a writer whose work always produces a disagreeable impression upon me, as though of a creaking of pulleys and a clicking of machinery ; there is a smell of the laboratory about it. His style is the style of chemistry and technology. The science of it is inexorable ; it is dry and forcible, penetrating and hard, strong and harsh, but altogether lacking in charm, humanity, nobility, and grace. The disagreeable effect which it makes on one's taste, ear, and heart, depends probably upon two things: upon the moral philosophy of the author and upon his literary principles. The profound contempt for humanity which characterises the physiclogical school, and the intrusion of technology into literature inaugurated by Balzac and Stendhal, explain the underlying aridity of which one is sensible in these pages, and which seems to choke one like the gases from a manufactory of mineral products. The book is instructive in the highest degree, but instead of animating and stirring, it parches, corrodes, and saddens its reader. It excites no feeling whatever; it is simply a means of information. — I imagine this kind of thing will be the literature of the future - a literature à l'Américaine, as different as possible from Greek art, giving us algebra instead of life, the formula instead of the image, the exhalations of the crucible instead of the divine madness of Apollo. Cold vision will replace the joys of thought, and we shall see the death of poetry, flayed and dissected by science.
15th February 1871. — Without intending it, nations educate each other, while having apparently nothing in view but their own selfish interests. It was France who made the Germany of the present, by attempting its destruction during ten generations ; it is Germany who will regenerate contemporary France, by the effort to crush her. Revolutionary France will teach equality to the Germans, who are by nature hierarchical. Germany will teach the French that rhetoric is not science, and that appearance is not as valuable as reality. The worship of prestige - that is to say, of falsehood; the passion for vainglory
that is to say, for smoke and noise ; these are what must die in the interests of the world. It is a false religion which is
being destroyed. I hope sincerely that this war will issue in a new balance of things better than any which has gone before new Europe, in which the government of the individual by himself will be the cardinal principle of society, in opposition to the Latin principle, which regards the individual as thing, a means to an end, an instrument of the Church or of the State.
In the order and harmony which would result from free adhesion and voluntary submission to a common ideal, we should see the rise of a new moral world. It would be an equivalent, expressed in lay terms, to the idea of a universal priesthood. The model state ought to resemble a great musical society in which every one submits to be organised, subordinated, and disciplined for the sake of art, and for the sake of producing a masterpiece. Nobody is coerced, nobody is made use of for selfish purposes, nobody plays a hypocritical or selfish part. All bring their talent to the common stock, and contribute knowingly and gladly to the common wealth. Even self-love itself is obliged to help on the general action, under pain of rebuff should it make itself apparent.
18th February 1871. – It is in the novel that the average vulgarity of German society, and its inferiority to the societies of France and England, are most clearly visible. The notion of bad taste' seems to have no place in German æsthetics. Their elegance has no grace in it; and they cannot understand the enormous difference there is between distinction (what is gentlemanly, ladylike), and their stiff vornehmlichkeit.. Their imagination lacks style, training, education, and knowledge of the world ; it has an ill-bred air even in its Sunday dress. The race is poetical and intelligent, but common and ill-mannered. Pliancy and gentleness, manners, wit, vivacity, taste, dignity, and charm, are qualities which belong to others.
Will that inner freedom of soul, that profound harmony of all the faculties which I have so often observed among the best Germans, ever come to the surface? Will the conquerors of to-day ever learn to civilise and soften their forms of life? It is by their future novels that we shall be able to judge. As soon as they are capable of the novel of good society' they will have excelled all rivals. Till then, finish, polish, the maturity of social culture, are beyond