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is true) have no function in the preservation of the orbs of heaven? May there not be powers which, as we men may clear a channel for a river, are capable of clearing a course for the sun's radiant heat, so that it shall not be choked up in the inertia of an everlasting death?

The physicists themselves tell us that energy can never be destroyed, only they say that it cannot help being dissipated or locked up; but is it not the function of all others most proper to mind to prevent this happening ? Nay, is it not natural to think that the very meaning of creation is the greater and greater revelation of hidden powers ? Suppose (to take one of the most probable losses that may befall the race of man) that in the course of the next two or three thousand years the world's coal supply should be exhausted ; is it irrational to hope that other sources of latent energy may by that time be brought to light which to us now are as unknown as the manifold uses of coal were to the contemporaries of Julius Cæsar? We cannot prove that this will happen, of course; but why should it not happen? why should not the future history of the earth be the continual development of new energies which, up to the time of their discovery, were hidden and unsuspected ? and why should this process ever end? If, out of what seems the pure void of ether, suns and galaxies of suns may arise--as astronomers assume that they can-who shall say what latent energy there may be in every grain of the earth's dust? Only it is the mind of man which must elicit this hidden energy of the earth; without the mind of man coal would never have given to steam or electricity their working power; and, whatever energies of terrestrial things may be turned to use in the future, it is the mind of man that will turn them to use. The mind of man is the great practical agent for drawing the earth's stored-up power into continuous and increasing action; and the mind of man receives its stimulus from the emotions of man. Where is it that the emotions of man have their organising centre? We reply, as religious men have always replied, in God. We are co-workers in the creative process which eternally goes on, and that process in its root is divine.


Art. V.-A GREAT FRENCH SCHOLAR. 1. Histoire littéraire de la France. Par des religieux

bénédictins de la Congrégation de Saint-Maur, continuée par des membres de l'Institut. Tomes i–xxxii.

Paris, 1733-1897. 2. Romania ; recueil trimestriel consacré à l'étude des

langues et des littératures romanes. Publié par Paul Meyer et Gaston Paris. Tomes i-xxxii. Paris : Bouillon,

1872–1903. 3. Chansons du xv° siècle, and other works published by

the Société des anciens textes français. Paris : Firmin

Didot, 1875-1903. 4. La vie de Saint Alexis, poème du xi' siècle, et renouvellements des xii, xiii, et xiv siècles.

Publiés par Gaston Paris et Léopold Pannier. Paris: Bouillon,

1872. 5. Manuel d'ancien français-la littérature française au

moyen âge (1888; revised, 1890): La poésie du moyen âge (1" série, 1885, 2e série, 1895): Penseurs et poètes (1896): Poèmes et légendes du moyen âge (1900): François Villon (1901): Légendes du moyen âge (1903); and many other

works by Gaston Paris. TAE recent death of Gaston Paris was felt as a personal loss by many who had never known him; such was the influence of his character, exerted through the long series of his published works. It is rarely that an author so purely scientific and specialist, so little inclined to court the popular favour, receives such a tribute of regret. The death of a poet or a novelist may touch a number of people all over the world ; but the death of a man of learning, whose work was conducted always with regard for the subject, and never with any unfair device to catch applause, can seldom make the impression which that of Gaston Paris made on all who laboured in the same fields. A rare candour and simplicity of aim and procedure made Gaston Paris what he was, and won for him his many friends. The beginners, the half-learned, were drawn into his circle and made partners in his industry, by virtue of the perennial youthfulness of his spirit.

With all his knowledge and all his skill in methods of work, the product of his long experience, he never grew out of humour with his subject. In freshness of interest, in the keen appetite for learning, he was the equal of the ‘juniorest sophister. This was his genius and his charm. Those who listened or who read had no need to be afraid of any bondage to formulas, any respectable orthodoxy taking the place of freedom. Their master was ahead of them all, pressing forward and exploring; stopping to defend his views only when such a defence was forced upon him as part of the day's work. Gaston Paris was always more ready to discover new things than to dwell upon his former attainments. Not that he had any want of respect for positions which he thought he had secured; his work was too solid for that. Nor did he try to lighten his studies by forgetting what he had once known, and allowing new interests to drive out the old. But new interest was unfailing, wherever he turned. His followers were kept busy; and that was why they followed him.

Gaston Paris, as a child, received from his father the right of entry into the old literature of France, and never lost the simple pleasure in romances and chansons de geste, as poems and stories. In his university days, keeping still to the subjects in which Paulin Paris was at home, he added a more exact training in philology under Diez at Bonn. But language did not usurp upon the other province; in Germany there was not yet the division between literary and linguistic teaching which is now generally observed, perhaps inevitably. Diez himself, the historian of Provençal poetry and author of the ‘Comparative Grammar of the Romance Languages,' refused to be limited exclusively to one portion of the field; and the work of Gaston Paris was comprehensive in the same way. Although literary history was always his chief interest, he did not neglect what is called in the narrower sense philology. He was not wholly occupied with the medieval literature of France. Problems of linguistic science engaged him, as the pages of Romania show. It may be that division of labour is more and more required for the progress of these studies; it is not easy for any one scholar to speak with authority on matters so various as were handled by Gaston Paris. But no number of specialists can quite make up for the

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genius, wide in range and at the same time discriminating, of the old type of great scholars. The acuteness, the finer work, of Bentley or Lachmann cannot well be taken apart from their substantial historical learning. Gaston Paris had the same sort of ideal. Language cannot be understood from words alone; and the emendation of a phrase in an old French text might require the help of wide and miscellaneous reading, far away from the immediate matter in hand. There are obvious dangers for the pure scholar in the attractions of historical research ; and it is possible for a narrow man to be more active than one who carries a burden of learning. But the greatest scholars are not word-catchers, that live on syllables’; they find it possible to be both strong in the weighty matters and alert with the more subtle problems, as Gaston Paris was.

He learned much from his father, as has been said already, and he carried on his work. Paulin Paris* represented an older stage of interest in medieval French, older methods and views, mainly of the eighteenth century, with some colouring from the romantic school. His manner often recalls that of Scott in his antiquarian essays, e.g. the introduction to 'Sir Tristram,' or, from an earlier generation, that of Warton's ‘History of English Poetry. He writes like a free man, as if it were all for his own pleasure, whatever amount of industry he may have put into his description of chansons de geste, or romances of the Round Table, or French lyric poetry of the thirteenth century. He refused to be pitied for the time spent in deciphering' old manuscripts.

•Car pour moi je ne demande pas qu'on me sache le moindre gré de les avoir déchiffrés. En effet, combien d'heures ai-je vues passer rapidement en poursuivant cette lecture! Combien de romans du jour et de gazettes ai-je fermés pour étudier plus longtemps ces admirables compositions, images de l'esprit, des mæurs et des croyances de nos ancêtres ! Combien de fois alors n'ai-je pas mis un frein à mon enthousiasme, en me rappelant avec une sorte d'effroi l'aventure du chevalier de la Manche! Honnête Don Quichotte! les romans coupables de ta folie n'étaient que de longues paraphrases décolorées des

* Notice sur Paulin Paris,' 1881; see also ‘La poésie du moyen âge,' i, p. 211 et seq.


“ Chansons de Geste"; que serais-tu devenu si tu avais lu les originaux!'*

Yet, deeply plunged as he was in the literature of the Middle Ages, full of knowledge and enjoyment of all the things that appealed to the Romantic school, Paulin Paris at the same time judged his ground with a rational and sceptical coolness, and never forced his admiration or allowed it to interfere with his historical sense.

His controversy with Fauriel, over the hypothesis of a Provençal origin for French epic, is still delightful reading for the ease with which he manages the discussion and corrects the too enthusiastic reasoning of the other side. Gaston Paris, with a much severer training, followed the same tradition, and displayed, though in a different way, the same enjoyment of medieval literature, the same good sense in criticism.

Neither Paulin Paris nor his son belonged to the Romantic school, though they passed their time among the books and in the centuries from which modern romantic poets are supposed to have drawn their most effective scenery, properties, ideals, and emotions. Paulin Paris was glad to call the attention of poets to the riches of the chansons de geste, but it did not matter to him very much whether they took his advice or not. He had his books, and could use them for his own profit or entertainment whatever the contemporary fashion might be. In spite of the humorous reference to Don Quixote, his very sincere delight in the old heroic poems was never wrought up to the extreme romantic pitch. Like George Ellis, and like Scott himself, he kept a sane estimate of medieval romance. Gaston Paris was equally free from any extravagant romanticism, but not quite in the same manner. It was not the old-fashioned ironical worldliness of the eighteenth century that determined his views and tastes. The second half of the nineteenth century never escaped from the romantic influence, however it might protest and rebel; the realists are all romanticists disguised—'unfrocked,' as Flaubert expressed it. Men of learning were of course protected from the violent revolutions that tormented the poets and novelists; some were drawn to the Middle Ages by purely scientific

* Preface to “Garin le Loherain' (1833), p. iii; quoted by Gaston Paris in his account of his father, op. cit. p. 217

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