CHAUVIN?

Anyone who takes an interest in the doings of our late allies across the Channel will have noticed that when one French politician wishes to accuse another of having too narrow an outlook on international affairs, of being so intensely patriotic that he puts the glorification of France above the rights of other nations, he will hurl at him the title of " Chauviniste." A mysterious word, this, but one with a very simple explanation. Its history goes back to the early nineteenth century, when Napoleon sought to establish a great French empire, and bring all Europe under his sway. His plans failed, but his dreams of France as a great military nation lived on in the breasts of his compatriots, and are not extinct to-day. Nicholas Chauvin, a character in a play by the French dramatist Scribe, was one of the emperor's old soldiers, who worshipped even " the shadow of Napoleon's shoe-string." He was taken as typifying the wild enthusiast for national supremacy, and from his name the word " Chauvinisme" has been constructed to symbolise exaggerated patriotism. Roughly speaking, " Chauvinisme " is the French parallel to the English " Jingoism."