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everything belonging to them, with the loss to himself of but ten men and eight horses. It is true, says the honest official account, that the ground favored the charge, and that the shells fired by the usually skilled Austrian gunners flew high. But during the last 100 yards grape was substituted for shell, and Bredow deserved all the credit he got. Still stronger against my argument was Bredow's memorable work at Mars la Tour, when, at the head of six squadrons, he charged across 1000 yards of open plain, rode over and through two separate lines of French infantry, carried a line of cannon numbering nine batteries, rode 1000 yards further into the very heart of the French army, and came back with a loss of not quite one half of his strength. The Todtenritt, as the Germans call it, was a wonderful exploit, a second Balaclava charge, and a bloodier one; and there was this distinction, that it had a purpose, and that that purpose was achieved. For Bredow's charge in effect wrecked France. It arrested the French advance which would else have swept Alvensleben aside; and to its timely effect is traceable the sequence of events that ended in the capitulation of Metz. The fact that although from the beginning of his charge until he struck the front of the first French infantry line, Von Bredow took the rifle-fire of a whole French division, yet did not lose above fifty men, has been a notable weapon in the hands of those who argue that good cavalry can charge home on unshaken infantry. But never more will French infantry shoot from the hip as Lafont's conscripts at Mars la Tour shot in the vague direction of Bredow's squadrons. French cavalry never got within yards of German infantry even in loose order; and the magazine or repeating rifle held reasonably straight will stop the most thrusting cavalry that ever heard the "charge" sound. Fortifications of the future will differ curiously from those of the present. The latter, with their towering scarps, their massives enceintes, their portentous ditches," will remain as monuments of a vicious system, except where, as in the cases of Vienna, Cologne, Sedan, etc., the dwellers in the cities they encircle shall procure their demolition for the sake of elbow-room, or until modern howitzer shells or missiles charged with high explosives shall pulverize their naked expanse


of masonry. In the fortification of the future, the defender will no longer be "enclosed in the toils imposed by the engineer," with the inevitable disabilities they entail, while the besieger enjoys the advantage of free mobility. Plevna has killed the castellated fortress. With free communications, the full results attainable by fortress artillery, intelligently used, will at length come to be realized. Unless in rare cases and for exceptional reasons, towns will gradually cease to be fortified, even by an encirclement of detached forts. Where the latter are availed of, practical experience will infallibly condemn the expensive and complex cupola-surmounted construction of which General Brialmont is the champion. "A work," trenchantly argues Major Sydenham Clarke, "designed on the principles of the Roman catacombs is suited only for the dead, in a literal or in a military sense. The vast system of subterranean chambers and passages is capable of entombing a brigade, but denies all necessary tactical freedom of action to a battalion.'

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The fortress of the future will probably be in the nature of an entrenched camp. The interior of the position will provide casemate accommodation for an army of considerable strength. Its defences will consist of a circle at intervals of about 2500 yards, of permanent redoubts which shall be invisible at moderate ranges, for infantry and machine guns, the garrison of each redoubt to consist of a half battalion. Such a work was in 1886 constructed at Chatham in thirty-one working days, to hold a garrison of 200 men housed in casemates built in concrete, for less than 30007., and experiments proved that it would require a prohibitory expenditure" of ammunition to cause it serious damage by artillery fire. The supporting defensive armament will consist of a powerful artillery rendered mobile by means of tramroads, this defence supplemented by a field force carrying on outpost duties and manning field works guarding the intervals between the redoubts. Advanced defences and exterior obstacles of as formidable a character as possible will be the complement of what in effect will be an immensely elaborated Plevna, which, properly armed and fully organized, willfulfil all the requirements of defence," while possessing important potentialities of offence.

An illustration is pertinent of the preeminent utility of such fortified and strongly held positions, of whose characteristics the above is the merest outline. In the event of a future Franco-German war, the immensely expensive cordon of fortresses with which the French have lined their frontier, efficiently equipped, duly garrisoned and well commanded, will unquestionably present a serious obstacle to the invading armies. The Germans talk of vive force-shell heavily and then storm; the latter resort one for which they have in the past displayed no predilection. Whether by storm or interpenetration, they will probably break the cordon, but they cannot advance without masking all the principal fortresses. This will employ a considerable portion of their strength, and the invasion will proceed in less force, which will be an advantage to the defend


But if instead of those multitudinous fortresses the French had constructed, say, three such entrenched-camp fortresses as have been sketched, each quartering 50, 000 men, it would appear that they would have done better for themselves at far less cost. Each entrenched position containing a field army 50,000 strong, would engross a beleaguering host of 100,000 men. positions of the type outlined are claimed to be impregnable; they could contain supplies and munitions for at least a year, detaining around them for that period 300,000 of the enemy. No European power except Russia has soldiers enough to spare


so long such a mass of troops standing fast, and simultaneously prosecute the invasion of a first-rate power with approximately equal numbers. France at the cost of 150,000 men would be holding supine on her frontier double the number of Germans-surely no disadvantageous transaction.

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In conclusion, it may be worth while to point out that the current impression, that the maintenance by states of bloated armaments" is a keen incentive to war, is fallacious. How often do we hear, "There must be a big war soon; the powers cannot long stand the cost of standing looking at each other, all armed to the teeth!" War is infinitely more costly than the costliest preparedness. But this is not all. The country gentleman for once in a way brings his family to town for the season, pledging himself privily to strict economy when the term of dissipation ends, in order to restore the balance. But for a state, as the sequel to a season of war, there is no such potentiality of economy. Rather there is the grim certainty of heavier and yet heavier expenditure after the war, in the still obligatory character of the armed man keeping his house. Therefore it is that potentates are reluctant to draw the sword, and rather bear the ills they have than fly to other evils inevitably worse still. Whether the final outcome will be universal national bankruptcy or the millennium, is a problem.-Nineteenth Century.




IF literary criticism may be said to flourish among us at all, it certainly flourishes immensely, for it flows through the periodical press like a river that has burst its dykes. The quantity of it is prodigious. and it is a commodity of which, however the demand may be estimated, the supply will be sure to be, in any supposable extremity, the last thing to fail us. What strikes the observer above all, in such an affluence, is the unexpected proportion the discourse uttered bears to the objects discoursed of the paucity of examples, of

illustrations and productions, and the deluge of doctrine, suspended in the void, the profusion of talk and the poverty of experiment, of what one may call literary conduct. This, indeed, ceases to be an anomaly as soon as we look at the conditions of contemporary journalism. Then we see that these conditions have engendered the practice of "reviewing"-a practice that, in general, has nothing in common with the art of criticism. Periodical literature is a huge open mouth which has to be fed-a vessel of immense capacity which has to be filled. It is like a regular train which starts at an advertised

hour, but which is free to start only if rather one of a certain kind of pretentious every seat be occupied. The seats are and unprofitable gloom?" The vulgarity, many, the train is porderously long, and the crudity, the stupidity which this cherhence the manufacture of dummies for the ished combination of the off-hand review seasons when there are not passengers and of our wonderful system of publicity enough. A stuffed manikin is thrust into have put into circulation on so vast a scale the empty seat, where it makes a credit- may be represented, in such a mood, as an able figure till the end of the journey. It unprecedented invention for darkening looks sufficiently like a passenger, and you counsel. The bewildered spirit may ask know it is not one only when you perceive itself, without speedy answer, What is the that it neither says any thing nor gets out. function in the life of man of such a reThe guard attends to it when the train is verberation of platitude and irrelevance ? shunted, blows the cinders from its wood- Such a spirit will wonder how the life of en face and gives a different crook to its man survives it, and above all, what is elbow, so that it may serve for another much more important, how literature rerun. In this way, in a well-conducted sists it; whether indeed literature does periodical, the blocks of remplissage are resist it and is not speedily going down. the dummies of criticism-the recurrent, beneath it. The signs of this catastrophe regulated billows in the ocean of talk. will not, in the case we suppose, be found They have a reason for being, and the too subtle to be pointed out the failure situation is simpler when we perceive it. of distinction, the failure of style, the failIt helps to explain the disproportion I just ure of knowledge, the failure of thought. mentioned, as well, in many a case, as the The case is, therefore, one for recognizing quality of the particular discourse. It It with dismay that we are paying a tremenhelps us to understand that the "organs dous price for the diffusion of penmanship of public opinion" must be no less copious and opportunity, that the multiplication than punctual, that publicity must main- of endowments for chatter may be as fatal tain its high standard, that ladies and gen- as an infectious disease, that literature tlemen may turn an honest penny by the lives essentially, in the sacred depths of free expenditure of ink. It gives us a its being, upon example, upon perfection glimpse of the high figure presumably wrought, that, like other sensitive organreached by all the honest pennies accumu- isms, it is highly susceptible of demoralilated in the cause, and throws us quite into zation, and that nothing is better addressed a glow over the march of civilization and than irresponsible pedagogy to making it the way we have organized our con- lose faith in itself. To talk about it veniences. From this point of view it clumsily is to poison the air it breathes, might indeed go far toward making us en- and the consequence of that sort of taint thusiastic about our age. What is more is that it dwindles and dies. We may, of calculated to inspire us with a just com- course, continue to talk about it long after placency than the sight of a new and flour- it is dead, and there is every appearance lishing industry, a fine economy of pro- that this is mainly the way in which our duction? The great business of review- descendants will hear of it; not, perhaps, ing has, in its roaring routine, many of that they will much regret its departure, the signs of blooming health, many of the with our report to go by. features which beguile one into rendering an involuntary homage to successful enterprise.

Yet it is not to be denied that certain captious persons are to be met who are not carried away by the spectacle, who look at it much askance, who see but dimly whither it tends, and who find no aid to vision even in the great light (about itself, its spirit and its purposes, among other things) that it might have been expected to diffuse.

"Is there any such great light at all?" we may imagine the most restless of the sceptics to inquire, "and isn't the effect

This, I am aware, is a dismal impres sion, and I do not pretend to state the case gayly. The most I can say is that there are times and places in which it strikes one as less desperate than at others. One of the places is Paris, and one of the times is some comfortable occasion of being there. The custom of rough and ready reviewing is, among the French, much less rooted than with us, and the dignity of criticism is, to my perception, in consequence much higher. The art is felt to be one of the most difficult, the most delicate, the most occasional; and the material on which it

is exercised is subject to selection, to restriction. That is, whether or no the French are always right as to what they 'do notice, they strike me as infallible as to what they don't. They publish hundreds of books which are never noticed at all, and yet they are much neater bookmakers than we. It is recognized that such volumes have nothing to say to the critical sense, that they do not belong to literature, and that the possession of the critical sense is exactly what makes it impossible to read them and dreary to discuss them-places them, as a part of critical experience, out of the question. The critical sense, in France, ne se dérange pas, as the phrase is, for so little. No one would deny, on the other hand, that when it does set itself in motion, it goes further than with us. It handles the subject, in general, with finer finger-tips. The bluntness of ours, as tactile implements addressed to an exquisite process, is still sometimes surprising, even after frequent exhibition. We blunder in and out of the affair as if it were a railway station-the easiest and most public of the arts. It is in reality the most complicated and the most particular. The critical sense is so far from frequent that it is absolutely rare and that the possession of the cluster of qualities that minister to it is one of the highest distinctions. It is a gift inestimably precious and beautiful; therefore, so far from thinking that it passes overmuch from hand to hand, one knows that one has only to stand by the counter an hour to see that business is done with baser coin. We have too many small schoolmasters; yet not only do I not question in literature the high utility of criticism, but I should be tempted to say that the part it plays may be the supremely beneficent one when it proceeds from deep sources, from the efficient combination of experience and perception. In this light one sees the critic as the real helper of mankind, a torch-bearing outrider, the interpreter par excellence. The more we have of such the better, though there will surely always be obstacles enough to our having many. When one thinks of the outfit required for fine work in this spirit, one is ready to pay almost any homage to the intelligence that has put it on; and when one considers the noble figure completely equipped-armed cap-à-pie in curiosity and sympathy-one falls in love with

one's conception. It certainly represents the knight who has knelt through his long vigil and who has the piety of his office. For there is something sacrificial in his function, inasmuch as he offers himself as a general touchstone. To lend himself, to project himself and steep himself, to feel and feel till he understands, and to understand so well that he can say, to have perception at the pitch of passion and expression in the form of talent, to be infinitely curious and incorrigibly patient, with the intensely fixed idea of turning character and genius and history inside out

these are ideas to give an active mind a high programme and to add the element of artistic beauty to the conception of success. Just in proportion as he is sentient and restless, just in proportion as he vibrates with intellectual experience, is the critic a valuable instrument; for in literature, assuredly, criticism is the critic, just as art is the artist; it being assuredly the artist who invented art and the critic who invented criticism, and not the other way round.

And it is with the kinds of criticism exactly as it is with the kinds of art-the best kind, the only kind worth speaking of, is the kind that the most living spirit gives us.

There are a hundred labels and tickets, in all this matter, that have been pasted on from the outside and appear to exist for the convenience of passers-by; but the critic who lives in the house, ranging through its innumerable chambers, knows nothing about the bills on the front.

He only knows that the more impressions he has the more he is able to record, and that the more he is saturated, poor fellow, the more he can give out. His life, at this rate, is heroic, for it is immensely vicarious. He has to understand for others and to interpret, and he is always under arms. He knows that the whole honor of the matter, for him, besides the success in his own eyes, depends upon his being indefatigably supple, and that is a formidable order. Let me not speak, however, as if his work were a conscious grind, for the sense of effort is easily lost in the enthusiasm of curiosity. Any vocation has its hours of intensity that is so closely connected with life. That of the critic, in literature, is connected doubly, for he deals with life at secondhand as well as at first; that is, he deals. with the experience of others, which he

resolves into his own, and not of those in- ings of other critics, daily or weekly, are vented and selected others with whom the often so ignorant, so prejudiced, so spitenovelist makes comfortable terms, but ful, so careless, that perhaps no printed with the uncompromising swarm of matter is more entirely valueless and conauthors, the clamorous children of history. temptible. It may be said that the topics He has to make them as vivid and as free with which the ordinary reviewer deals, as the novelist makes his puppets, and yet the books on which he pronounces judghe has, as the phrase is, to take them as ment, are not much better than the judgthey come. We must be easy with him ments he pronounces. This is very true, if the picture, even when the aim has but it seems a pity that bad books should really been to penetrate, is sometimes con- not be barren, but should beget bad refused, for there are baffling and there are views. That great George Dandin, the thankless subjects; and we compensate public, has willed it so. him in the peculiar purity of our esteem, when the portrait is really, as it were, like the happy portraits of the other art, a translation into style.



Let us define Criticism as the form of skilled labor which is occupied in writing about other men's books, old or new. If Sainte-Beuve wrote on Dante, that is Criticism; and if a paragraphist in a newspaper compose a column of printed matter out of the prefaces of new books which he has not read, that is Criticism also. It is Criticism which discovers that Homer's works were compiled, in about five hundred years, by about fifty different authors. And it is Criticism which finds out that Mr. Smith or Mr. Brown steals his successful novels from Bishop Berkeley or Thomas Moore. The former is an example of the Higher Criticism, the latter of the lower species, and, really, both seem about equally valuable. It is not easy to find a common factor in Criticism, in the studies of which Aristotle and Longinus, Matthew Arnold and Sainte-Beuve, are masters, while unsuccessful lady novelists and uneducated pressmen form, perhaps, the majority of the school. All of them write about the works of other people, all distribute praise and blame; these are points common to all critics, though in reading, knowledge, taste, and temper there is every sort of diversity. All critics are contemplating works of literary art through the medium of their own temperaments, looking at them with their own eyes, estimating them by their own standards. Yet the writings of some critics are eternal possessions; always good to know and to live with, like the Poetics of Aristotle, or the Ars Poetica of Horace, or the Treatise of Longinus on the Sublime. The writ

Perhaps the only kind of Criticism worth reading or writing is that which narrates the adventures of an ingenious and educated mind in contact with masterpieces. The literary masterpieces of the world are so rich, so full of beauties, so charged with ideas, that some or many of these must escape most readers. We wander as in a world full of flowers: we cannot gather all, nor observe all. It is pleasant and profitable to hear the experiences of another in the same paradise, of another whose temper, whose knowledge of the world and of books, are very different from our own. We may agree with what he tells us, or may differ, but even in our differences we feel that we learn much, that our mind is moved to new activities. Thus, for example, if a critic's chief duty is to be correct, to be sound in his judg ments, it is plain that neither Mr. Matthew Arnold nor, to take a modern instance, M. Jules Lemaître is always an impeccable critic. Mr. Arnold's Lectures on Translating Homer, a most lively and enlivening book, was vitiated (to my taste) by his extraordinary zeal for the English hexameter. It also contained many examples of his pet form of injustice. He chose an admirable passage from Homer, and as bad a passage as he could find from a ballad or from Scott: he placed them beside each other and drew conclusions. How a critic could ever persuade himself that this childish process was an argument we are not able to guess. But, on the other hand, the Lectures were full of deeply thought and keenly felt ideas on and impressions from Homeric poetry. Homer's admirers were delighted with new, and sound, and well expressed reasons for their admiration. In the same way M. Jules Lemaître confesses to more ignorance and more prejudice than, perhaps, he would like his enemies to charge him with. But he possesses, in

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