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works; he died without debts and left no inheritance. It is this urbane, magnificent, and generous Fénelon who has taken all hearts, and the picture of whose daily life, drawn by a Boswell like the ill-conditioned Le Dieu, is no less natural than it is affecting. The finesse and the florid of earlier days have been pruned by severe trials ; and a Christian prelate is shown us in whom we recognise a purity and detachment not unworthy of St Francis de Sales.

One crowning disappointment lay in wait for him. Burgundy had clung to his master with a boy's ardent devotion; they corresponded like lovers by stealth, and when at last they met it was with rapture, though in public and under jealous eyes. The youth had overcome his worst faults, but he could never walk alone; during the campaigns in which he was pitted against Eugene and Marlborough as nominal captain, he lost heart as well as fame. His Mentor sermonised the unhappy lad with a pitiless calm which hurts us while we read; but they knew one another as we do not know them, and Burgundy took no offence; he was only, as always, despondent. Then his father, le grand Dauphin, who had never been more than an heraldic figure, died. Fénelon's pupil might be King. The Archbishop piled Memoir upon Memoir, drew out his map of Salentum, sketched a new and a better France. Those ten months, from April 1711 to February 1712, were the happiest he had ever spent at Cambrai among his Belgians, 'last of human-kind.' A court seemed to be forming round the future Richelieu. He dreamt of States-General, a restored noblesse, decentralised government, peace and good laws, instead of arbitrary rule. His name was heard at Marly. But one of the deadly plagues that so often swept over Europe in former times, broke out in Paris, entered the royal chambers and struck down the prince, his wife, his eldest son. Fénelon cried out in anguish; his unruffled temper

forsook him: all was over. He could not live now to any purpose. The 'good Dukes' soon bade him an everlasting farewell. His intimate, Langeron, went the same dark way, after a friendship which had lasted thirty-four years, and had been his life's happiness. He was but a walking shadow. An accident when out driving gave him a shock from

which he did not recover; and with Augustan grace, conscious to the last, as in some impressive ritual, he lay down to die. His last letter, dictated within a few hours of his passing, and intended for Louis XIV, is lofty, unselfish, haughtily serene. It made a profound impression, though least perhaps on the royal heart. The world of Versailles did not know what it had lost when Fénelon expired, January 7, 1715.

His century, the eighteenth, idolised him. We, more fortunate, may see the man as he was, an exquisite blending of new and old; a visionary with open eyes; singularly prescient of things far away; in politics, religion, letters, an innovator whose thoughts are slowly mounting to fulfilment, while that in him which was mortal is given to the fire. On a brilliant and memorable page, Lord St Cyres holds up to us the contrast between Bossuet, 'orator of the Last Judgment,' and this spiritual Correggio, painting his seraphs in the clouds. But Fénelon was something more. To the tragic incidents of a life rich in sorrows, so unlike the summer days which passed over his rival at Meaux, there corresponded a depth within, a passionate yearning after the experience in which Revelation becomes, not a hearsay, but an acted and felt reality. • Alone with the Alone' is a word that he would have cherished. As Newman afterwards, so Fénelon 'rested in the thought of two only absolute and luminously selfevident beings'-himself and his Creator. He stood aloof from the many; to none did he give his whole heart or confidence; of him it is ever true to say, “his soul was like a star and dwelt apart.'

While Bossuet remains the prophet of the commonplace,' sublime but not unique, Fénelon, with his slighter achievements and his broken story, is an endless fascination. We read the imperfect writing as they could not who died two hundred years ago. In Bossuet what Prometheus Unbound can we discover? None, it would appear. But in Fénelon the lineaments of a thousand moderns come and go. He is Greek, not because he imitated the Odyssey from afar off, but because he could never believe in the false classic of Racine. He is Rousseau and Wordsworth, and like those children of nature, is at home in landscape when it has been touched with emotion. He is, too often perhaps, a sentimentalist

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and a revolutionary. We think of Chateaubriand, the sincere actor, and forgive his audacious herald. The eccentricities of Quietism repel and astonish us; but who can measure the need of a return to the Great Silence,' or the benefit of insisting on the limits and shadows of human speech when controversy had .flung its fury into theses,' when to be clear, however shallow, was to be convincing, and when Pascal had written in vain that

Nature confounds the sceptic, and Reason the dogmatist'? Fénelon, though apparently beaten, held to his dying breath that love of the Highest cannot be mere pleasure; nor could Bossuet persuade his Church into defining happiness as our being's aim and end.' With mistakes in abundance, with an underplot of motives more human than edifying, and in spite of the tragical farce in which Madame Guyon plays columbine, the aspirations of the soul dreaming on things to come had been vindicated. If ever dogma and science are to exchange the kiss of peace; if inward and outward are to make one perfect life; and if the inadequacy of speech, the symbolic nature of human thought, the presence and potency of an Infinite which we feel but cannot define, should be recognised as antecedents of all fruitful argument, posterity will bear in mind that Fénelon pointed the way to this reconciliation, as Newman, by a like instinct, but with genius more splendid and piercing, carried it a further stage when he combined the evolution of doctrine with the Divine Light of conscience.



1. Reports of the Indian Famine Commissions appointed

in 1878, 1898, and 1900. 2. General Sir Arthur Cotton : his Life and Work. By

his daughter, Lady Hope. London: Hodder & Stoughton,

1900. 3. The Great Famine and its Causes. By Vaughan Nash.

London: Longmans, 1900. 4. Indian Famines. By R. C. Dutt. London: Kegan Paul,

1900. RUDYARD KIPLING writes of the Indian rayat, “His life is a long-drawn question between a crop and a crop.' Of late years this may be said of the Indian Government also. Twenty-two famines in the one hundred and thirty years of British authority in India, from 1770 to 1900, are a sad proof of human weakness in face of the tremendous forces of nature. We propose here to summarise briefly what has been done in the past, and what can be done in the future, to diminish the severity of famines or to place the people in a better condition for enduring them.'

It is a truism that the primary cause of famine is deficient, or rather unevenly distributed, rainfall; but it is not so generally known that Sindh, with the most deficient rainfall in India-an annual average of no more than fifteen inches—completely protects itself against famine by irrigation. It is the districts in which the rainfall is a little more plentiful--an annual average of from fifteen to thirty inches—which have suffered most from famine. The south of the Panjab, between the Sutlej and the Jumna; the southern and western districts of the North-West Provinces south of the Jumna below Agra; Rajputana ; the Central Provinces north of the Nerbudda, and the districts bordering on Orissa; the Bombay and Madras Deccan; Kathiawar and Mysore—these are the chief districts which come under this category and are constantly liable to famine. Famines in Behar, Orissa, and Gujarat are exceptional.

Famines before the Mutiny were managed on principles very different from those applied in the present day. The

* Secretary of State's despatch, January 10th, 1878.

importance of the vital and agricultural statistics of a district was not realised; and no machinery existed for collecting information about such matters as population and normal death-rate, the average consumption of foodgrain per head, the cultivated area and the proportional distribution of the various crops, the estimated quantity of each crop per acre, and the current price-lists-information on all which points is now carefully collected by the provincial agricultural departments. There was perpetual interference with trade, and penalties were inflicted on all who hoarded or enhanced the price of grain. Government found work only for the able-bodied; the helpless were left to private charity. It will suffice, therefore, to commence our survey with the period immediately succeeding the Mutiny.

A slight preliminary explanation is needed to make what follows clear. There are two classes of Indian crops. The kharif or autumn crop is gathered in October or November, and consists mostly of rice and sugar-cane. The rabi or spring crop is sown about November and reaped about March, and consists of wheat, barley, pulses and millet.

The famine of 1860–61 was due to the failure of the monsoon of 1860. It chiefly affected the country round Agra and Delhi, and the adjacent districts of the Panjab which had not yet recovered from the devastations of the Mutiny. Public and village relief-works were started; and gratuitous relief, in the shape of cooked food, was for the first time given to the helpless who would consent to reside in enclosed poor-houses. The Government spent upon this famine about seventeen lacs * of rupees.

The Orissa famine of 1866 was caused by the failure of the rains of 1865. This disaster was a glaring example of the errors brought about by ignorance of the resources of the people and of the state of the crops. The local officers were unfamiliar with famine and slow to recognise the signs of the times. Some warning reports were sent, but they were neglected as exaggerations by the Board of Revenue and by the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Cecil Beadon. In May 1866 it was suddenly discovered that there was

* A lac (= 100,000) of rupees was worth, in 1860, about 10,0001. It is now worth about 66661.

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