Who Are These French?

Who Are These French?

Who Are These French?

Who Are These French?

Excerpt

WHY I AM WRITING ABOUT FRANCE

BECAUSE I rate the progress of ideas above the idea of Progress;

Because I want to hold my breath and pause just once more before Life washes me away from the old world and dashes me against that destiny which is to transform me from a man who enjoys into a 'consumer';

Because I cannot bring myself to equate human happiness with the advance from sloppiness to sanitation;

Because I only want to save time on condition that I have the time thus saved to myself, and am allowed to spend the capital of hours accumulated through hustle in perfect peace — lying in a field and doing nothing, for choice;

Because I would rather, weakling that I am, live in an old- fashioned and untidy paradise than in a spick-and-span, dreary model-world;

Because I want to perpetuate the tear with which I take leave of an obstinate, superseded France before I enrol, without enthusiasm but against my worser judgment, as an active member of the European community;

Because I want to communicate to my fellow men something of the pain it gives me to have to pass from Eternity to the Order of the Day;

Because I hold that an unbounded belief in the future is always a dangerous thing, unless it is damped by love for that lost and yet unlosable thing, the past;

Because in France everybody bears within him a hand-made soul, though it is often of doubtful quality, whereas in other countries even the noblest sentiments are in danger of being mass-produced one day;

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