The story, as told by George Sand in her later novel, Elle et Lui, is substantially the same as one related by De Musset in his Confession d'un Enfant du Siècle, published two years after these events, and in which, if it is to be regarded as reflecting personal idiosyncrasies in the slightest degree, the poet certainly makes himself out as the most insupportable of human companions.
Elsewhere Emile de Girardin's Presse strove to oust the Constitutionnel and Siecle, opposition papers, from public favour, and to establish a Conservative Liberalism that should receive the support of moderate minds. Doctrines many, political and social, were propounded in these eighteen years of compromise.
The other night, when we were heading off a steamer and firing six-pounders across her bows, the band was playing the "star" song from the Meistersinger. Wagner and War struck me as the most fin de siecle idea of war that I had ever heard of. The nights have been perfectly beautiful, full of moonlight, when we sit on deck and smoke. It is like looking down from the roof of a high building.
By a devout, consecrating self-denial which manifests itself in eating and drinking, in singing and dancing, at kirmess, charity balls, amateur theatricals, garden parties; where the cost of our XV. Siecle costume is quadruple the price of the ticket that admits to our sacrifice of black and white kids in the same sanctuary.
She was the predecessor of the more modern training-ship for naval cadets, which turns them out now au fin de siecle, all ready-made, full-blown officers, so to speak; though it is questionable whether they are any the better sailors than Nelson himself, Collingwood amongst the older sea captains, or Hornby and Tryon of a later day.
But, as I have said, he was a bad parishioner, a bunch of tare in the field of God, a scabby sheep in the flock of the Lord. Taking no heed of his religious duties, reading the Siècle, speaking evil of priests and refusing the blessed bread, he was the scandal of the godly and not one of them in the village augured any good of him.
The whole place, with its repeated steps, its balustrades, its massive and plentiful stonework, is full of the air of the last century sent bien son dix-huitième siècle; none the less so, I am afraid, that, as I read in my faithful Murray, after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes the block, the stake, the wheel had been erected here for the benefit of the desperate Camisards.
In the fin de siecle atmosphere every one was crying out that literature should be free from all causes and all ethical creeds. Art was to produce only exquisite workmanship, and it was especially the note of those days to demand brilliant plays and brilliant short stories. And when they got them, they got them from a couple of moralists.
This was the result he had anticipated, and the next evening he returned to Paris to consider with the Government what was to be done. Bismarck meanwhile had taken care that some information as to these secret negotiations should become known; with characteristic cleverness he caused it to be published in a French paper, Le Siècle, that France had asked for the Rhine country and been refused.
Darwin has given, and see nothing there but a "derniere erreur du dernier siecle" a personification of Nature leads us indeed to cry with him: "O lucidite! O solidite de l'esprit Francais, que devenez-vous?" M. Flourens has, in fact, utterly failed to comprehend the first principles of the doctrine which he assails so rudely.