« PreviousContinue »
It is the French that have come closest to the secret of Ireland. De Beaumont, that great pupil of De Tocqueville, in 1839, Cardinal Perraud in 1869, painted our national life with the authoritative brush of masters. In addition to these we have had an unbroken line of studies, sketches, and monographs, in which Daryl, Béchaux, Le Roz, Fournier, Schindler, Potez, Filon, Flach, De Lavergne, and a cloud of other witnesses have said their word. Edouard Rod shaped the personal tragedy of Parnell into a novel ; and in one of his most recent stories Paul Bourget has shuddered at the dresses of fashionable Dublin,"and yielded with lyrical abandon to the drowsy and purple magic of the Western lotus-land. M. Paul-Dubois finds one half of the explanation of this old alliance in history, and the other in likeness of blood and temperament. In exchange for the swords of the Wild Geese, France sent us back priests, or at least the learning that turned Irish boys into priests. She sent too, in later and not less disastrous years, Hoche and Humbert; and both nations have good memories, and until a very little while ago they shared a common hatred. The Irish mind, is, moreover, like the French, “ lucid, vigorous and positive,” though less methodical, since ? it never had the happiness to undergo the Latin discipline.
France and Ireland have been made to understand each other.