Page:François-Millet.djvu/198

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JEAN FRANgOIS MILLET

faggot, staggering under the burden, thin, wan, hollow-cheeked and lean of body, seems an emblem of man crushed by fate, un- resisting, and knowing all struggles to be in vain.

The same spirit of generalisation causes Millet to be always seeking the type behind the individual. " If it were only a question of my will," he wrote to Lemonnier on the 15th of February 1873, "I should express the type very strongly, the type being, to my mind, the most powerful truth. You are perfectly right in attributing to me the intention of I doing so." And this French classic, who Idevotes himself less to the observation of (individuals than to the comprehension of social types, and less to passing gestures than to permanent acts, setting his whole strength to discriminate the transitor from the abiding, felt nothing and expressed nothing more firmly and more greatly than that primordial and Eternal existence from which everything comes and to which everything returns the Earth. The earth is the real hero of his rustic poem ; and living creatures are, to use Andre Michel's expression, only (< lumps of it

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