2 DECEMBER 1899, Page 18

There is an old story of an Austrian Archduke which

Englishmen will do well to bear in mind. While on a visit to Paris a Frenchman who had some grievance against his Imperial Highness trod on his foot in a drawing-room. The Archduke took out his handkerchief, brushed his boot of the dust, and remarked to his host "What an awkward person that is." He was too highly placed in Europe to acknowledge the possibility of intentional insult. The French are just now under an access of Anglophobia. They simply cannot endure to see their old rivals not only prospering, but carry- ing through a great war, while they remain inactive, and to avenge themselves they are pouring insults on the Queen. Their libellers and caricaturists are all at work, and in the fury of competitive baseness they have become fouler even than our own caricaturists of a century ago. That is a reason for lamenting the disappearance alike of grace and decency from French caricature, once a weapon with an edge, but it is no reason for growing wrathful on behalf of the Queen. A mud-storm may choke people in the streets, it cannot smirch the snow on the hills. We should regret deeply to see any official notice taken of any caricaturist, however base. When the boys in the gutter throw mud, the di anified course for the coachman is to drive on unheeding.