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FORTY YEARS OF PARIS




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Anatole France.



[Boyer



Frontispiece.



FORTY YEARS OF PARIS



W. F. LONERGAN

AUTHOR OF THE " NEW PARISIANS," ETC.



WITH THIRTY-TWO PORTRAITS



BRENTANO'S

NEW YORK
1907



^-^^4^3



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{All rights reserved)



Contents



CHAPTER I

First glimpses of Paris — The days of the Empire —
The Imperial " Smart Set " — Offenbach and Schneider
— Jose Dupuis and the ladies — Louis Veuillot — Pere
Hyacinthe at Notre Dame — The two Dumas — Church
and State then — General de Failly's chassepots — The
Empress Eugenie then and now — The Court ladies
— Princess Metternich — Prosper Merimee at Com-
piegne — The Dryad in gauze — The Duchesse de
Persigny and the living pictures — The Due de Per-
signy's memoirs and the Empress ....



CHAPTER II

Republicans and the Empire — Ollivier, Rochefort, Rouher
— The Empress a matchmaker — The Victor Noir affair
— In Normandy with the Germans — The Prussian
deserter — In the Latin Quarter — Recollections of
Renan — His view of Christianity — Taine on London —
His descriptions of Somerset House, the Strand, and
Trafalgar Square — Max O'Rell and Taine — Debates
and discussions in the Latin Quarter . . . .10



vi FORTY YEARS OF PARIS

CHAPTER III

PAGE

Royalists, Bonapartists, and Republicans— The May dates
—The Due de Broglie and Marshal MacMahon— The
Romance of the MacMahons— The doctor and the
widow— Bismarck and the Republic— Gambetta's
dinners— Madame de Paivre— The onyx staircase . 27

CHAPTER IV

The Grevy family — Daniel Wilson— Madame Grevy and
the King of Greece— M. Wilson and M. de Blowitz —
The Daily Telegraph Paris office — Newspaper work in
Paris — The Morning News and Galignani's Messenger —
Thackeray on Galignani's staff — His " Ballad of Bouil-
labaisse" 38

CHAPTER V

La haute politique — The Egyptian Question — The Near
East — Mr. Lavino and Russia — M. de Blowitz saves
France — The real importance of M, de Blowitz — His
remarkable position — Bismarck and Ferry — Bits of
big news — The fall of Ferry 50

CHAPTER VI

At the Chamber of Deputies — The Fenians in Paris — James
Stephens and Eugene Davis — The " j-esources of civili-
sation" — The "Irish Ambassador" — Trial of Madame
Clovis Hugues — Tragedy in a newspaper office — Victor
Hugo's death and funeral — Pasteur and his rabbits —
My meetings with Pasteur — His views on Gladstone
and Parnell — My meeting with M. Clemenceau —
Mrs. Crawford, Mr. Cremer, and M. Clemenceau —
M. Clemenceau then and now — M. Clemenceau and
M. Jaures 59



FORTY YEARS OF PARIS vii

CHAPTER VII



More about M. Clemenceau — A smasher of Cabinets — The
numerous ministries of the Republic — Rise of General
Boulanger — The present German Emperor and
Boulanger — My meeting with the General — Events
and episodes of the Boulangist period — Boulanger's
flight and fall — His Boswell, Charles Chincholle — The
king of reporters — Fictionist first, journalist after —
The Opera Comique fire — Pranzini's execution —
Close to the guillotine 78



CHAPTER VIII

President Carnot's election — Paul Deroulede and the
patriots — Hatred of Ferry — M. Clemenceau's "out-
sider" — The " Marriage a Failure " question — My talks
with Zola, Dumas, and others — Emile Zola at home —
M. Sardou's anger — M. Ludovic Halevy's letter — War
clouds — Rupture with Rome foreshadowed — The
Floquet programme of 1888 lOO



CHAPTER IX

The Exhibition of 1889 — A Lord Mayor's banquet in Paris
— M. Tirard, Sir James Whitehead and the City
magnates from London — Mysterious disappearance
of a journalist — The so-called "reptiles " of the German
Press — Bismarck's double — Boulangist tentative de
regonflement — The Duke of Orleans and the
Gamelle — Boulanger's suicide — The British Embassy
in Paris — Lord Lyons and the Republicans — The
Jubilee garden party 113



viii FORTY YEARS OF PARIS

CHAPTER X

PAGE

More about the British Embassy — Lord Lytton's reception
— Earl Lytton as a Parisian — His religious views —
His sudden death — His successors at the Embassy —
Sir E. Monson at Brest and M. Gosselin at Ushant —
The Drummond Castle medals — The EngHsh and
American colonies in Paris — Notable English and
American Residents — Count Boni de Castellane and
Miss Anna Gould — The imitation Trianon — The
divorce - . 126



CHAPTER XI

Americans in Paris — Mr. J. G. Bennett — Mr. Joseph Pulitzer
— Other Americans — Sardou's " Thermidor " — Origin
of the bloc — Empress Frederick in Paris — Her
cold reception — Death of Prince Napoleon — The
blood-stained shirt and M. Constans — Franco-Russian
foregatherings — A prelate's prosecution — M. Constans
and M. Laur — The ** '^otirnee des Gifles," or a political
Boxing-day — Ravachol the dynamiter . . . 144



CHAPTER XII

Dynamite outrages — The Panama bubble-— The anti-Semitic
campaign — M. Drumont and the Jews — Jewish officer
killed in duel — Baron de Reinach's mysterious death
— M. Clemenceau and Dr. Herz — The sick man of
Bournemouth — The Clemenceau- Deroulede duel —
The "Pot de Vin" ballet— The Panama cheques-
Foreign Correspondents expelled— Admiral Avellan's
visit — The question of Siam — Anti-Enghsh feeling —
The dynamiters Henry and Vaillant .... 158



FORTY YEARS OF PARIS ix

CHAPTER XIII

PAGE

Death of Marshal MacMahon and Charles Gounod — Death
of Jules Ferry and H, Taine — Max Lebaudy and
Liane de Pougy — The Delilahs of the Third Republic
— The assassination of President Carnot — His funeral
described by Clement Scott — President Casimir-Perier
— Verdi at the Opera — French and Italians — M. Casimir-
Perier's resignation — Death of M. Waddington . . 173



CHAPTER XIV

Leonide Leblanc and her rivals — Auguste Burdeau's career
— Madame Alboni and her gendarme — The passing of
the " reptiles " — The Madagascar Expedition — Roche-
fert's return from Portland Place — A famous couturier's
career — Charles Worth, of Lincolnshire — His Royal
and Imperial patrons — His methods of work and his
prices — Death of Dumas the Second — A theatrical
funeral — Max Lebaudy 's sad end — The Vampires —
The romance of Armand Rosenthal . . . .189



CHAPTER XV

M. Meline and the Affaire — Ambroise Thomas and the
Conservatoire — Cleo de Merode and the kings — M.
Cernuschi the Bi-metallist — The coming of the Tsar —
Dr. Dillon on the Imperial visit — The Charity Bazaar
fire — A visit to Fleet Street — Opening of the Affaire
— My talk with Maitre Demange, defender of Dreyfus
— Madame Hadamard's tears — Maitre Demange's pre-
diction — The " Leakages " and the bordereau, . . 205



X FORTY YEARS OF PARIS

CHAPTER XVI

PAGE

Alphonse Daudet's death — His family and friends — M.
Leon Daudet on France and England — Emile Zola's
letter " J' accuse " — His trial — Colonel Henry's suicide
— The Fashoda alarm — Lord Kitchener in Paris when
Sirdar — His arrival with Baratier at the Gare de Lyon
— Death of Mr. Hely Bowes — A notable journalist —
The mysterious death of President Faure — His
secretary's statement — Legends of " La Belle Juive "
and the lady with the violets — M. Faure's person-
ality and picturesqueness 222



CHAPTER XVn

President Loubet — M, Deroulede's attempted coup d'etat
— M. Loubet at home — M. Waldeck-Rousseau's return
to politics — His career at the Bar — General the
Marquis de Galliffet — From carpet knight to hero —
Home-coming of Dreyfus — Baffling the Press — Fort
Chabrol and its defender — The French and the Boers
— Paul Kruger and President Loubet — The Exhibition
of 1900 — The Tsar and Tsaritsa at Compiegne —
Repubhcan ladies — Madame Waldeck- Rousseau and
the cake 237



CHAPTER XVHI

M. Emile Combes at work — The Humbert hoax — M.
Waldeck- Rousseau and the hoax — The " biggest
fraud of the century" — Maitre Labori and the
Humberts — M. Jaures and M. Gohier — The expulsions
of the Orders — Rising in Brittany — Death of Sir
Campbell Clarke — Death of Emile Zola — His enemies
and his friends — Zola's children — Some famous
French journalists — Death of M. de Blowitz — The
suicide of Sir Hector Macdonald — The coming of
King Edward — The entente cordiale and its results . 253



FORTY YEARS OF PARIS xi

CHAPTER XIX

PAGE

King Edward in Paris — At the Hotel de Ville — Great
popular and official reception — The King and Queen
of Italy in Paris — Voices against the visit — Attacks on
Victor Emmanuel and the Republicans who receive
him — M. and Madame Jaures at the Elysee banquet —
The Socialist citoyenne and her diamonds — The
Republic and the Church at war — Real and pretended
anti-clericals — Two famous actors, Delaunay and Got
— Herman iMerivale and John Hollingshead in Paris
— J. Clifford Millage, of the Chronicle — Death of
Princess Mathilde — Her literary and artistic receptions
— Marinoni and the Petit Journal — Death of
M. Waldeck- Rousseau at Corbeil — His last cigarette —
Resignation of his successor, M. Combes — Exultation
of the Catholics over the defeat of the petit pere —
Gabriel Syveton's career — The Patrie Frangaise and
its literary and artistic supporters — Syveton's ruin and
death — Return of Paul Deroulede .... 269



CHAPTER XX

The Church and State conflict — Both sides of the question
— M. Viviani's speech and Professor Huxley on
Christian mythology — M. Camille Pelletan and the
Pope — Hatred of the Vatican in France and England
— The Harlot of the Seven Hills — War against Rome
begun in 1882 — What the Catholics complain of —
Religion and politics 287



CHAPTER XXI

The speculations as to a schism — Ultramontanism versus
Gallicanism — Inside troubles of the Church in France
— The cases of the Bishops of Laval and Dijon
— Effects of the Higher Criticism — Abbe Loisy's



xii FORTY YEARS OF PARIS

PAGE

work— Ernest Renan, Hyacinthe Loyson, and Alfred
Loisy — Attacks on Abbe Loisy's teaching — His
views on the Old Testament— His " L'Evangile et
I'Eghse" 304



CHAPTER XXn

Abbe Loisy on the New Testament— The Chicago god—
The Jesuits and the new critic— Archbishop Mignot's
views — Loisy and Renan compared — Their styles —
Their arguments in Christology— Abbe Loisy's friends
and foes — His condemnation by Rome . . • 3^5



CHAPTER XXni

French literary men at home and abroad — M. Anatole
France and his critics — M. France and M. Lemaitre —
Their special knowledge of French — M. France on
his master Renan — M. Joris Karl Huysmans — His
views on modern novelists — M. Maurice Barres and
his books — Some vanished literary celebrities — James
Darmesteter as I knew him — Darmesteter and Spinoza
— " L'Esprit Juif " — Ferdinand Brunetiere and M.
Buloz — Brunetiere's " Discours de Combat" — His
death 328



CHAPTER XXIV

Pierre Loti at Aden — The French dramatists — The old
playwrights and the new — Rise of M. Antoine — His
early efforts and failures — His series of new men —
Henri Becque — The " Comedie Rosse " — The men
from Antoine's — Lavedan, Donnay, Brieux, Francis de
Curel, Courteline — M. Capus at home — M. Brieux



FORTY YEARS OF PARIS xiii

PAGE

and his '' Avaries " — Courteline's bag of tricks — M.
Paul Hervieu and the " Dedale " — M. Edmond
Rostand and M. CoqueHn — The French poets — Hugo,
Lamartine, Baudelaire, Verlaine — The only comic
poet 344



CHAPTER XXV

Return to politics after literature — President Loubet's
retirement — His new home in the Rue Dante — His
successor, M. Armand Fallieres — A Republic of
lawyers — Close of the Dreyfus case — M. Clemenceau,
President of the Council, and General Picquart, War
Minister — General de Galliffet on Picquart's rise —
General Andre and his revelations — The mysteries of
modern Paris — Farewell to France .... 363



List of Illustrations



ANATOLE FRANCE . » . . Frontispiece

EMPRESS EUGENIE . . . . To face page 5

MARSHAL MACMAHON . . . .,,,,31'

JULES GREVY . . . . n )i 39 "^

M. DE BLOWITZ . . . . „ „ 56

JULES FERRY . , . . ,j n 5^

LOUIS PASTEUR . . . . . „ „ ^7

JEAN JAURES . . . . m n 74

DUC DE BROGLIE . . . . „ „ 79

ARMAND FALLIERES . . . „ „ 80

GENERAL BOULANGER . . . . „ „ 87

GEORGES CLEMENCEAU ... M v lOI

ALEXANDRE DUMAS . . . • ij v I04

VICTORIEN SARDOU ... M n ^^^

DUC d'orleans , . . . „ „ 120 '

EDOUARD DRUMONT ... )5 » ^59 ^



xvi FORTY YEARS OF PARIS

JEAN CASiMiR-PERiER . . . To face page 185

HENRI ROCHEFORT . . . . „ „ I97

EMILE COMBES .... rj n 209

ALFRED DREYFUS . . . . „ „ 2l8

M. WALDECK-ROUSSEAU ... » d 24O

CAMILLE PELLETAN . . . . „ „ 257 '

PRINCESSE MATHILDE ... m i» ^7^

JULES LEMAITRE . . . . h 1) 283

PAUL DEROULEDE . . . . „ „ 285

FERDINAND BRUNETIERE . . . „ „ 297

ABBE LOISY .... jj 17 310

PIERRE LOTI . . . . • jj » 344

ALFRED CAPUS . . . • „ „ 349

EDMOND ROSTAND .... » >, 355

MAITRE DEMANGE . . . . „ „ 367

GENERAL PICQUART . . . „ „ 369



Forty Years of Paris



CHAPTER I

First glimpses of Paris — The days of the Empire — The
Imperial "Smart Set" — Offenbach and Schneider — Jose
Dupuis and the ladies — The other side — Louis Veuillot —
Pere Hyacinthe at Notre Dame — The two Dumas —
Church and State then — General De Failly's chasse-
pots — The Empress Eugenie then and now — The Court
ladies — Princess Metternich — Prosper Merimee at Com-
piegne — The Dryad in gauze — The Duchesse de Per-
signy and the living pictures — The Due de Persigny
and the Empress.

ACCORDING to Benvenuto Cellini, who has
been called "the Supreme Scoundrel of the
Renaissance," every man, past forty years of age,
who has done anything should write a record of
his life. In my opinion, to write reminiscences, or
to narrate one's experiences of life, one must be
a great egotist, or a remarkable personage. I hope
that I am not an egotist, and can assuredly lay no
claim to being a person of importance in what William
Morris terms " the world's great game." I am not
conscious of any notable achievements such as were

2 1



2 FORTY YEARS OF PARIS

accomplished by those famous in history and literature
as recorders of reminiscences. What I have to do,
however, is not to give a record of my whole life, a
vita travagliata, like that of the renowned Renais-
sance artist and adventurer, to whom in this respect
I may compare myself, but of my life in that most
interesting of European cities which, according to an
old and worn French saying, is the Paradise of women,
the Purgatory of men, and the Hell of horses. My life
in Paris comprised a period of twenty-five years' actual
residence, but I have had experience of the place, on
and off, for nearly forty years. During my residence
and my previous visits I had an opportunity of keep-
ing my finger on the pulse of the French capital, as it
were. Even as a youth I had some opportunities of
studying the place and its people. My first glimpse
of the capital of France was obtained in a curious way.
I was sent to study philosophy and theology in France
with a view to entering a calling which was too good
for me. At that time the Second Empire was still in
existence, and I had glimpses of Imperial Paris. It
is almost needless to say that it was a much livelier
place then than it is to-day.

In Imperial Paris, before the great collapse, men
and women who had any money seemed, as is well
known, to live for luxury. The " Smart Set" of the
day were, of course, at the Tuileries, and they led
the way in the pursuit of pleasure. There is no need
to dwell on that, for the grandeur and follies of the
Offenbach and Schneider era have been only too
frequently described. I must offer an apology here
to that estimable man, M. Robert Mitchell, a true
Bonapartist, who has objected before now to my



FORTY YEARS OF PARIS 3

allusions in print to his father-in-law, the famous
composer of the " Grand Duchess." Whatever
M. Mitchell may say, it must be stated, with all
due respect to the memory of his father-in-law,
that the years preceding the fall of the Second
Empire were full of the influence of that composer
of the merriest and most tuneful " musical comedies '
ever staged. Meilhac and Halevy, those entertaining
distorters of mythology and caricaturists of small
German Courts, had their part in the fun and frivolity
of that period ; but it was Jacques Offenbach who
was predominant, and after him ranked Hortense
Schneider.

The latter is still living in a villa at Auteuil — a
wrinkled relic of the past. Hortense Schneider was
born in Bordeaux in the year 1835. She was married
formerly to a M. de Buone. She was not only famous
in Paris but also at Baden-Baden, where the dandies
of the Empire gambled before the War. Jose Dupuis,
who acted with Schneider in Offenbach's operettas,
lives also in retirement outside Paris. He used to be
as great a favourite with the women as Schneider was
with the men.

In those days I had little or no opportunity of
listening to Offenbach or of hearing the song of
the sabre. My path was in a far different direction.
I was then chiefly concerned with the great French
ecclesiastical writers, and was reading diligently
Bossuet, Massillon, Lacordaire, and also Monta-
lembert. Occasionally I heard and read Louis
' Veuillot, the publican's son, who attacked the vices
of the period with a caustic pen, and who, as the
journalistic champion of the Catholic Church, fre-



4: FORTY YEARS OF PARIS

quently made his anti-clerical opponents wince under
the whip of his scathing satire. I heard, too, a good
deal then of Pere Hyacinthe, now known as M. Loy-
son, of whom I have more to say later on. He had,
as a Carmelite friar of great eloquence, been capti-
vating Parisians from the pulpit of Notre Dame, and
his falling away was naturally as much discussed in
the ecclesiastical circles in which I found myself as
was that of Ernest Renan years before.

Occasionally I had in my ears vague rumours of
Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, Sainte-Beuve, and
the statesmen and generals of the Second Empire.
Dumas naturally appealed to my schoolboy instincts
through his romances, and during my early Bohemian
wanderings in Paris, after I had cut adrift from
patrons and friends, I had a wild notion that the
great fictionist who wrote " Monte Cristo " and the
" Three Musketeers " would give me employment on
his staff, for I knew, nebulously, that he had assistants
who, as I learned in later times, were called "ghosts."
I never met the great French story-spinner, but I was
destined, long after his death, to meet his son in
peculiar circumstances, to be recorded hereafter.

My notions of political matters were crude in those
days. I knew nothing about the trouble in store for
France after Sadowa, and the roseate declarations of
M. Rouher in the Legislative Assembly when, in
answer to Thiers, who said " Le gouvernment n'a
plus dallies," he added, " Ni d'ennemis," were as
unknown to me as the developments of the Luxem-
bourg question and the Mexican campaign. What I
was interested in, however, was the great Italian, or
rather the Vatican, question, which is uppermost to-day




The Empress EuoiNiE.
After Winterhalter.



To face p. 5.



FORTY YEARS OF PARIS 5

as well as then. The Garibaldians had marched into
the States of the Church, and yielding to the solici-
tations of the Empress, who was backed by M.
Rouher, Napoleon the Third sent French troops
into Italy under General de Failly, author of the
famous phrase referring to the defeat of the Gari-
baldians at Mentana, " Les chassepots ont fait mer-
veille." It was after this M. Rouher declared, on the
opening of the legislative session of 1867-68, that the
Pope had need of Rome for his independence, and
that the French Government would never allow it to
be taken from him. "Jamais! Jamais!" cried the
majority who applauded the Minister. Times have
changed since then, and to-day we see a French
Government vehemently opposed to the Pope, and
utterly unmindful of his influence and his position.

This Roman or Vatican policy of the Imperial
Cabinet was, as is above said, due to the interference
of the Empress, always a most pious Catholic. Even
her bitterest enemies have admitted that in her
seemingly most frivolous moments, when the Germans
called her a "■ Zierpuppe,'' or ornamental doll married
to a melancholy dreamer, and when, as a French
historian wrote, she " passed from her fashion studio
in the Tuileries to the Council of Ministers, there
to interfere in State Matters of which she understood
nothing," she always remained true to her religion.

I saw the Empress once in the height of her
grandeur and glory, and I have seen her in these
later days, a sad and pensive phantom taking furtive
walks in the gardens of the Tuileries, during one of
her periodical sojourns at the Hotel Continental in
the Rue de Rivoli, where she is near the scenes of



6 FORTY YEARS OF PARIS

her former splendour. The contrast is striking —
none more so. While observing her movements,
marred by the debility of age, I could not help going
back in memory to days when I saw her starting for
Biarritz surrounded by ladies of honour, courtiers,
and friends, such as Princess Metternich, wife of the
Austrian Ambassador, Prince Richard Metternich,
who died in March, 1895 '> Vicomtesse Aguado, whose
pretty hands Winterhalter drew from in his official
portraits of the Empress ; the Duchess de Persigny,
and many more. Who those ladies were, friends
and favourites of the Empress, I could not have
known then, but I subsequently learned a good deal
about them from the book of that interesting
chronicler of memories of the Tuileries, Madame
Carette. You have to go to Madame Carette,
undoubtedly, for inner lights on the Court of the
Tuileries. She gossips as only ladies can, and she
must have kept a most careful diary while she was
reader and maid of honour to the Empress. I am
not quite sure if she relates everything that she heard
and saw, but she goes very near it, leaving the worst
to the scandal-mongers who have published more
or less fanciful reports of the secret vices of the Court
of the Tuileries. Such books abound in Paris, but
I have avoided them, and having always had a strong
liking for the Bonapartes, for various reasons, one of
which is that I have invariably found their adherents
to be most courteous and kindly persons, and far
more interesting than many of the Republicans who
succeeded to their places and their power, I have
never been moved by the scandal-mongers, nor even
by M^rim^e, who was the friend of the Empress, or



FORTY YEARS OF PARIS 7

Maxime du Camp, both of whom have left on record
some strange things about the Second Empire. It
was Prosper M^rimee, for instance, who wrote in his
" Lettres a une inconnue " that at a ball given at
Compiegne there was a young lady " en nymphe
Dryade avec une robe qui aurait laissee toute la
gorge h decouvert si on n'y eut remedi^ par un
maillot, ce qui semblait presque aussi vif que le
ddcolletage de la maman dont on penetrait tout
I'estomac d'un coup d'ceil." And Maxime du Camp,
in his " Paris, ses organes et sa vie," wrote that in the
period before the storm of 1870 one hundred and
twenty thousand women composed the "arm^e de
depravation, de debauche et de ruine," these persons
ranging from the wretched grisette to the " grande
dame qui, avant de se rendre, exige et re9oit un
million en pieces d'or nouvellement frappte." These
grand ladies did not want, you see, cheques or notes,
but gold fresh from the Mint.

Now, it is true that there was a bad example given
by the Court in those days, but I believe that the
scandals have been much exaggerated. A German
whom I know, and who has lived a good deal in
Paris, once declared that many of the stories told of
the Court ladies were apocryphal. He particularly
defended Princess Metternich, who, he said, always
remained a lady, a high-born aristocrat, despite the



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