In the early hours of Monday morning M. Anatole France
died. He had lived to possess the fruits -of his genius ; he was in his eighty-first year when he died, and if any one discussed the literature of modern Europe, his name would invariably come to mind among the first. He was awarded the Nobel Prize, and all of his works were proscribed on the Roman Catholic Index : he had well earned both of these distinctions. He was in the true succession of the great men of France ; he stands by Rabelais, Voltaire and Renan in kind, though he was smaller than they in genius. He, more than any other writer, seemed to be a pure expression of the French qualities of mind, and, in a way, this keeps him from supreme greatness : to that intellectual clearness, that polite scepticism, and that occasional tenderness of sentiment he brought no inexplicable vigour and no uniqueness of visions.