Walter F Lonergan.

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of the Government toward the Church, and said to
her husband, '^ Emile, tu nous f eras excommunier,"' and
after having received the dying benediction of Pope
Leo the Thirteenth she contributed 15,000 francs to
the " Denier de Saint Pierre,'' or Peter's Pence. M.
Loubet himself has always been a Catholic " under the
rose," and signed the decrees against the orders and
for the suppression of the Public Worship Estimates
with a heavy heart. Socialist critics have often made
merry over the first communions of M. Loubet's
youngest son and of the daughter of " Citizen "
Jaures.. The latter is likewise " chaffed " periodically
for having sent his daughter to be educated in a
country convent, while her name was registered as a
pupil in a lay educational establishment in Paris, and,
above all, for having procured water from the river
Jordan for the baptizing of his youngest children. M.
Leon Bourgeois is another official anti-clerical who
has sent his children to convents, and other men could
also be mentioned, notably M. de Pressense, who
wrote an enthusiastic life of Cardinal Manning, and
who in public takes to priest-eating with a keen

The death of Pope Leo the Thirteenth, which has
led to this digression on French anti-clericals, was
followed by that of Lord Salisbury, which also caused
some discussion in France. Apart from his career
as a great statesman, Lord Salisbury, was known as
the owner of houses in France and as a lover of
the French climate. His house, the Chalet Cecil at
Le Puy, near, Dieppe, has been given up by the


family. While they were there formerly the country
people around had a good deal to say about them.
Lord Salisbury was particularly liked for his simple
habits and his unassuming appearance. An old
Dieppe man once told me that the '' grand Seigneur
Anglais y Lor Salsbiree " walked along the country
roads for miles, looking for all the world like a
Norman farmer. In the south, at Beaulieu, the
famous English statesman was less sheltered from
the public gaze than he was at Dieppe. Alexandre
Dumas fits, who was a near neighbour of Lord
Salisbury at Le Puy during the summer months, used
to relate how the English peer ingratiated himself
with him by professing a boyish interest in the novels
of Dumas /^r«?. There was nothing that could please
the younger Dumas better than to praise his father,
for whom he had an unbounded veneration. It is
doubtful if Lord Salisbury took a deep interest in the
plays of Dumas fils, but he was at least a reader of
the stories spun by the father and those who worked
with him in turning out fascinating, romantic tales
which still allure both the young, who are not critical,
and those of the old who have acquired no taste for
the newer fiction.

Reference to Dumas y^/i' and his father reminds me
that another remarkable man whom I knew in his
retirement died in this year. Louis Arsene Delaunay,
the finest jeune premier ever possessed by the
Comedie Fran^aise, died at Versailles in September,
1903. He was the grandest romantic actor whom
I have seen. He retired from the Comedie Fran9aise
in 1887, having passed the limit of age. He was
over seventy then, but in the " Don Juan" of Dumas


pere, or as a hero in any of Casimir Delavigne's plays,
he looked to the last almost as young and as blooming
as when he left the Conservatoire. My old friend
Herman Merivale was an intense admirer of De-
launay, and when I last saw him in Paris, in 1902, he
almost wept when he heard that the famous old actor
was breaking down in health. Merivale at the time
had given up going to the theatre, but the mention
of Delaunay's name reminded him of his youth and
of the deep interest in the French stage and French
literature which he took in his Oxford days and long
after. Much as he adored the Comedie Fran9aise,
he never went near it during his last visit to Paris.

He stayed, on my recommendation, while he was
paying this last visit to Paris, at the Marlboro, near
the Opera, and there he and Mrs. Merivale met their
old friend John HoUingshead of ** Sacred Lamp "
fame. HoUingshead was then still full of fun, and
I recollect that as he, Mr. and Mrs. Merivale, and I
were having tea at the Elysee Palace Hotel in the
Champs Elysees one afternoon he made a grim joke.
A Tzigane band was playing rather discordantly
during the fashionable " five o'clock tea " and Meri-
vale objected to the discord. " What will you do,"
said HoUingshead, with his queer old smile, "when
you have to listen all day long to the music of the
spheres ? " We all laughed at the sally, and I little
thought at the time that both Merivale and HoUings-
head were so near the end of their days. John
HoUingshead reminded me always distantly of
Delaunay the actor, whom he resembled a little.
Also a favourite with Merivale was Edmond Got of
the Theatre Frangais, who died about two years


before Delaunay. Got was another incomparable
comedian whose place has not been filled. He won
his triumphs as "Triboulet" as the Alsatian Rabbi
in Erckmann-Chatrian's "Ami Fritz," " Poirier,"
" Mascarille," and above all as " Giboyer " in Emile
Augier's two plays in which the dramatist was
accused of caricaturing Louis Veuillot, the celebrated
Catholic journalist. John Hollingshead, above referred
to, had Got and the others of the Comedie Fran9aise
at the Gaiety in London in 1879. Got complained
at that time of the preponderance of Sarah Bernhardt
who was the person whom the British playgoers
particularly wanted to see and of whom, in Got's own
words, they made an idol.

I must also call to mind here another man who
disappeared for ever in 1903. This was John Clifford
Millage, who had long been Paris Correspondent of
the Daily Chronicle. He died at Bournemouth in
August, 1903, nearly on the first anniversary of the
death of Sir Campbell Clarke, and about seven
months after M. de Blowitz had gone. These deaths
of Paris Correspondents followed in strangely quick
succession. First Bowes went, and then the others,
who included several men representing weekly papers,
as well as the better known Correspondents. The
fatal scythe swept off about ten English pressmen
in a comparatively short space of time, and all died
more or less suddenly. At any rate, none of them
were long ill before they passed away. Millage was
a very able man, although he had attained no dis-
tinction beyond that of the ordinary journalist, who
wrote always in an interesting and sometimes in a
brilliant way. I have seen work by Millage which


was rare, unique, but this had nothing to do with
his daily correspondence. He was an undoubted
authority on questions connected with the Church
of Rome, of which he was a zealous member. In
early youth he studied as an ecclesiastical neophyte
in colleges in England and also in Rome itself.
Abandoning the ecclesiastical state before reaching
priestly orders, he took to journalism, and was also
for a time manager of a theatre. Throughout his
long career as a Paris Correspondent Millage num-
bered among his friends Cardinal Richard, Cardinal
Manning, Cardinal Vaughan, and many English
prelates. He was also closely connected at one
time with Monsignor Capel, whose work in London
will be remembered by many, and whose gifts as
a fashionable preacher have been admitted by such
an authority as Mr. W. D. Howells, the American
novelist, who once heard him addressing an aristo-
cratic gathering of English-speaking visitors to
Florence. Millage took a very active part in the
Dreyfus case, and was one of the most ardent
champions of the wrongly -convicted officer, who
was, when he returned to his family, presented by
the Correspondent of the Chronicle with a sword
on the part of the proprietors of that paper.

In 1904 many more people of note, some of whom
I had known, died in Paris. Princess Mathilda
Bonaparte, who had long been separated from her
husband, Prince Demidoff, died in January, 1904,
genuinely regretted by the numerous literary and
artistic friends whom she used to gather around her
in her summer residence at Saint Gratien, outside
Paris, or in her town residence in the Rue de Berri



Princess Mathilde.


To face p. -m.


Her death brought to Paris for some weeks her
nephew, General Prince Napoleon of the Russian
Army, and her sister-in-law. Princess Clotilde of
Savoy, widow of Prince Jerome Napoleon. There
also passed away at this time Marinoni, who success-
fully developed the Petit Journal, and the painter and
sculptor Gerome. Marinoni was a man who had
risen from nothing, and who died proprietor of a
most prosperous newspaper. He was in early life
a cowherd, became apprenticed to the printing trade
in Paris, invented the Marinoni press, and reorganised
the one-sou daily, which, in spite of numerous rivals,
holds its own to this day. The Petit Journal enriched
Marinoni without leading him to any high office in
the State. He conducted it on absolutely correct
lines, so that it could be read by schoolgirls. It used
to be regarded at one time as the favourite paper of
the concierges of Paris and the provinces, but the
middle-class people read it as well. One of its
principal writers for years was Francisque Sarcey,
dramatic critic of the Temps, and who also wrote
social articles for half a dozen newspapers. He was
regarded as the apostle of common sense, the man
who wrote exactly as the bourgeois people wanted.
He made a mistake, however, when he penned for
the Petit Journal an article which Marinoni deemed
objectionable, and he had to leave the paper. Another
able writer for the Petit Journal in Marinoni's time
was Ernest Judet, a Nationalist and strong anti-
Drey fusard, who raked up the scandal about Zola's
father at the time when all France was in a state
of agitation over Captain Dreyfus.

Marinoni, it must be remembered, did not found


the Petit Journal, but, as I said, he developed and
reorganised it. The paper, which was the first
journal a tin S021, was started in 1863 by Moses
Millaud, a business man, who made a large fortune
but lost it before he died. He was assisted by his
son Albert Millaud, afterwards a dramatist of the
lighter order, a chronicler of the Figaro, and the
quasi-husband of Madame Judic. Millaud junior
used to distribute the Petit Journal in the provinces
after its foundation. The initial success of the little
paper was due to L^o Lespes, who, over the once
well-known signature of Timoth^e Trim, wrote a
daily omniu^n-gatherum article, and to the sensa-
tional story-spinner, Ponson du Terrail, author of
Rocambole's stirring adventures. The Millauds one
day got rid of the big and burly Lespes, as he
was becoming too unmanageable, and their serial
man, Ponson du Terrail, died at Bordeaux in 1871.
The Petit Journal then declined, and passed into the
hands of that famous journalist Emile de Girardin.
Its revival was not effected by the new director, but
by Marinoni, who took it over in the seventies, and
it soon killed all its rivals except the Petit Parisien,
which still flourishes. When Marinoni died, the paper
was directed by his son-in-law, Desir6 Cassigneul,
who passed away in December, 1906. His successor
is M. Privet, Senator for the Seine-et-Marne depart-
ment, who was Chairman of the Board of Directors
of the prosperous halfpenny paper which has made
the fortunes of several proprietors.

The deaths to which I have been alluding attracted
less public attention than that of M. Waldeck- Rousseau,
whose busy life ended after a painful operation in his


country house at Corbell, on August ii, 1904.
France thus lost for ever one of her ablest men, and
one who seemed destined for greater work than had
been accomplished by any of his political colleagues
and contemporaries. His end was pathetic, but not
unworthy of the man. Before being operated upon,
by a great German specialist, he called for a cigarette,
remarking that it would probably be his last. He
met his fate without flinching, and he knew that he
was doomed long before he died. While slowly dying
at Corbeil he lost interest in politics, both home and
foreign. The great struggle between Russia and
Japan which was raging at the time left him unmoved.
As to what was happening in France under his suc-
cessor, M. Combes, one of his last pronouncements
before he became utterly feeble was that the Associa-
tions Law, or Laws, with which he was identified,
were not applied with proper discrimination. His
words were : " II ne fallait pas transformer une loi
de controle en loi d'exclusion."

Five months after the death of M. Waldeck-
Rousseau, his successor as head of the Cabinet, M.
Combes — le petit pere as he was known even by
some of his supporters, who complained that he had
the Vatican on the brain — resigned, as he had only a
small majority. Naturally there was great exultation
in the camp of the Catholics over the downfall of the
petit pere, who only a short time before his resignation
seemed to be firm in the saddle. They attributed his
overthrow to the charges brought against his son
relative to the "tapping" of the Carthusians for
money, and so forth. Anyhow, down he went, and
returned, after an active term of office, to his cheres


Hudes, which are of the philosophical order. But the
triumph of the Catholics was of brief duration, for
the edicts of M. Combes were carried out by his
successors ; and then came the greatest blow of all,
the abolition of the " Concordat," or " Convention du
26 Messidor An IX. entre le Gouvernement Fran^ais
et sa Saintetd Pie VII.," and the separation of Church
and State.

The ever indispensable M. Maurice Rouvier, who
had been Finance Minister in the Cabinet of
M. Combes, became President of the Council on
January 24, 1905. In the intervals of political
happenings the Parisians derived a good deal of
entertainment from the Syveton case and the esca-
pade of the bank clerk Gallay. The Syveton case
began by blows and ended in the asphyxiation of the
principal character. Gabriel Syveton was what is
known as an arriviste. He had been a schoolmaster
or professor in a country college, married a Belgian
widow who was as ambitious as himself, and both
resolved to conquer Paris. After a good deal of
trouble they managed to live in the capital ; Syveton
joined the Nationalist party, wrote for the papers,
composed political articles for Count Boni de
Castellane — husband, now divorced, of Jay Gould's
daughter — and by degrees succeeded in becoming a
deputy and treasurer of the Patrie Francaise. He
slapped General Andr^, War Minister, in the Chamber,
and soon afterwards it came out that he was leading
a disreputable life, that he was depraving his step-
daughter, and squandering the funds of the Nationalists
who had over-trusted him. And so he fell a victim
to his ambition to conquer Paris. He was found one

Jules LemaItre.

To face p. 283.


morning dead in his study, his face inhaling coal-gas
near a stove.

In England the case of Syveton, and that of the
bank clerk Gallay, who led a double life, being a
scribe at the Comptoir d'Escompte by day and an
imitation millionaire at night with the aid of ;^30,ooo
stolen from his employers, would only attract passing
attention, and would be consigned to the back lanes
of the newspapers.

In Paris, on the other hand, such things are
magnified beyond measure. We had the Syveton
case and the Gallay escapade on the front pages of
the daily newspapers for months, and every detail
about the two men that could be raked up by pains-
taking reporters with the instinct of detectives was

One capital fact emerged from the Syveton case
at least, for it had a connection with politics, whereas
the Gallay affair belonged to the realm q{ fails divers.
The revelations about Gabriel Syveton's home life
gave a death-blow to the Nationalists, who at one
time seemed destined to become powerful, and thus
General Andr^, the Ministre gifl^, and his friends had
consummate revenge. Syveton, Dausset, and some
others had succeeded in enlisting for the Nationalist
cause a whole crowd of literary men. They managed,
after much difficulty, in drawing M. Jules Lemaitre,
Academician and dramatist, into politics. I call to
mind the great overflow meeting in the Agricultural
Society's Hall, quite close to where I lived, of the
would-be saviours of France, the men of the Patrie
Frangaise or Nationalist League, one evening in
January, 1899. I went to the meeting and saw


Jules Lemaitre in the chair, with Frangois Copp^e,
another Academician, as honorary president. With
them on the platform were Syveton and Dausset,
the great organisers of the meeting, Maurice Barres
the novelist, and half a dozen other literary men and
women. All were full of enthusiasm, and after several
speeches, resolutions were passed and a strong
committee of active workers and propagandists was
formed. The improvised politicians of the League
included also artists as well as literary men. Jean
B^raud, Raffaelli, Detaille, and even the magnificent
Carolus Duran patronised the work of national salva-
tion, and so, too, did the caricaturists Caran d'Ache
and Forain. Madame Adam was heart and soul
with M. Syveton and his colleagues, and so were
the titled lady who signs sparkling society novelettes
as "Gyp " and the indefatigable Madame Marie Anne
de Bo vet. Mistral, the Proven9al poet, was with
them, as well as Jean Maria de Heredia, the forger
of flawless sonnets about Andalusia, the conquis-
tadoreSy and the great Spanish sea-captains and
discoverers. Even M. Ferdinand Brunetiere, the
austere scholar and critic, was drawn into the
Nationalist net, as well as Lemaitre, Paul Bourget,
Henri Lavedan, Albert Sorel the historian, Ren^
Doumic, and many more of the ablest and most
distinguished writers in prose and verse of modern
France. Ruin came when Gabriel Syveton was
exposed. It is true that Francois Copp^e and a few
others of the literary and artistic group forming part
of the Patrie Fran^aise Salvation League professed
to believe in Syveton even after the exposure. They
erected a monument to his memory in Montparnasse


Paul DERouLfeDE.


To face p. 285.


Cemetery, but their cause was doomed, and the
Nationalists, last vestiges of the Boulangists, received
their quietus. The literary men and the artists
returned to their ordinary work, M. Jules Lemaitre
at their head, and most of them vowed to have
nothing more to do with politics.

The Nationalists were so beaten after the affaire
Syveton that they had not energy enough left to
give a welcome home to the exile, Paul Deroulede,
another poet, but of the lesser order, who was allowed
to return to France in December, 1905. He reached
home quietly, without any of the demonstrations such
as were organised in honour of Henri Rochefort when
he came back from Portland Place. Deroulede owed
his return to King Alfonso of Spain and the Queen-
mother, who used to patronise him when he was in
exile at San Sebastian. They interceded for him
when M. Loubet went to Madrid to return the visit
paid by King Alfonso the Thirteenth to Paris in
May, 1905. M. Deroulede, having entered Paris
without any reception, went to live the simple life
in the villa near Paris left to him by his uncle,
Emile Augier, the dramatist.

This simple life he seems at present determined
to lead after a stormy political career. I have no
means of knowing the extent of M. Deroulede's
private fortune, but, in common with most French
political men, he is well provided with funds. He
had a considerable fortune of his own, which he shared
with his sister, who acted as his housekeeper, and he
was also left a legacy by his celebrated uncle. The
latter is much despised as a dramatist in these days,
when M, Paul Hervieu, M. Maurice Donnay,


M. Alfred Capus, M. Romain Coolus, M. Henri
Lavedan, M. Henry Bernstein, and the ideologue,
M. Brieux, fill the playbills and rivet the attention
of the intellectual world. Anyhow, Augier was a
great man in his day, and his ** Effrontes," his ** Fils
de Giboyer," and three or four other plays caused
as much discussion twenty-five and thirty years back
as do any of the dramatic productions of the moderns.
Moreover, he made money by the stage, and was able
to retire before the managers, the critics, or the public
could say that he had written himself out. Augier
gave up writing for the stage after a meeting with
Scribe at a theatrical manager's office. While the
once prolific and popular Scribe was waiting to see
the manager, the latter was overheard by Augier
saying to his secretary: ''Que veut-il ce vieux birbe''
("this old buffer"). Augier was struck by this, and
saw Scribe so crestfallen after an interview with the
manager that he wrote very little for the theatres, and
retired to the villa near Bougival which now belongs
to his nephew the patriot politician, Deroulede. The
latter has since his return home written a volume of
souvenirs entitled "1870." In this he shows how,
when he went to offer his services in the war against
Germany, he was upbraided by an officer, an old
friend of his, as being one of the Republicans who
had, before the campaign, insulted the Imperial army
and tried to sap the allegiance of soldiers to their
superiors. Deroulede, it seems, had before the war
described the profession of arms as un metier de
brute. This did not prevent him from facing the
Germans in 1870 with the courage of a true patriot,
and there were very few of the Republicans who
imitated his example in this respect.


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.

THE great conflict between Church and State in
France, or rather between France and the
Vatican, reached an acute stage during my closing
years in Paris. It was just before the return of Paul
Deroulede from exile, noticed in the preceding
chapter, that the Concordat was abolished and the
separation of Church and State effected. This was
followed by the feeble struggles of the Catholics
against the taking of official inventories of church
treasures and furniture ; by the Papal letters, first
against the ""^ associations cultziellesj" and next
against acceptance of the law of 1881, which would
assimilate meetings for public worship to ordinary
assemblies dissolvable at any moment by the police ;
and by the expulsion of Mgr. - Montagnini, the
Papal agent, formerly "auditor" of the Legate, who
had remained in Paris in charge of the nunciature
long after diplomatic relations ceased between France
and the Vatican.



This conflict, which I have been watching during
my long years of residence in Paris, wondering how it
would end, is only another case of history repeating
itself. The Church of Rome, in England, Germany,
and elsewhere besides France, has had many desperate
struggles to maintain the supremacy which she has
insisted upon as her right since the days of Pope
Gregory the Seventh, the famous Hildebrand, and of
Boniface the Eighth, in the fourteenth century. Pius
the Tenth has only imitated his predecessors in
fulminating his encyclicals Vehementer Nos, in which
he promised to give his instructions to the French
prelates, and his Gravissimo officii, in which he re-
fused to authorise the ^^associations cultuellesr ^ The
Quanta Cura and the Syllabus of Pius the Ninth were
equally assertive as to the supremacy of Church over
State. Pius the Tenth and his advisers have carried
on the old traditions, and will not have Erastianism in
any shape or form. He is God's Vicar, the represen-
tative of Catholic unity, and rules the Church, which
must not be subservient to man. He is the chief
of those who were once described by the late
Cardinal Meignan, Archbishop of Tours, as "admir-
ables vieillards qui m'ont semble etre les gardiens
d'un precieux tresor. lis sont pench^s autour de ce
depot de verity que les siecles leur ont porte, et Ton
admire le zele avec lequel ils restent les sentinelles de

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Online LibraryWalter F LonerganForty years of Paris → online text (page 18 of 25)