|Knight of the Legion of Honor, Paris Correspondent of The New York Tribune, President of The Association of the Foreign Press in Paris, Chairman of the Harvard Club of Paris|
EDITOR OF THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE
IN AFFECTIONATE MEMORY
OF HIS FATHER, THE LATE
This is not a story of the world-wide war. These notes, jotted down at odd moments in a diary, are published with the idea of recording, day by day, the aspect, temper, mood, and humor of Paris, when the entire manhood of France responds with profound spontaneous patriotism to the call of mobilization in defense of national existence. France is herself again. Her capital, during this supreme trial, is a new Paris, the like of which, after the present crisis is over, will probably not be seen again by any one now living.
As a youth in the spring of 1871, I witnessed Paris, partly in ruins, emerging from the scourges of German invasion and of the Commune. As a correspondent of the New York Herald, under the personal direction of my chief, Mr. James Gordon Bennett---for whom I retain a deep-rooted friendship and admiration for his sterling, rugged qualities of a true American and a masterly journalist---it was my good fortune, during fourteen years, to share the joys and charms of Parisian life. I was in Paris during the throes of the Dreyfus affair when, at the call of the late Whitelaw Reid, I began my duties as resident correspondent of the New York Tribune. I saw Paris suffer the winter floods of 1910. Whether in storm or in sunshine, I have always found myself among friends in this vivacious center of humanity, intelligence, art, science, and sentiment, where our countrymen, and above all our countrywomen, realize that they have a second home. With a finger on the pulse, as it were, of Paris, I have sought to register the throbs and feelings of Parisians and Americans during these war days.
I acknowledge deep indebtedness to the European edition of the New York Herald, and to the Continental edition of the Daily Mail, from whose columns useful data and information have been freely drawn.
C. I. B.
Paris, October, 1914.
Saturday, August 1, 1914
This war comes like the traditional "Bolt from the Blue!" I had made arrangements to retire from active journalism and relinquish the duties of Paris correspondent of the New York Tribune, which I had fulfilled for sixteen consecutive years. In reply to a request from Mr. Ogden Reid, I had expressed willingness to remain at my post in Paris until the early autumn, inasmuch as "a quiet summer was expected." Spring was a busy time for newspaper men. There had been the sensational assassination of Gaston Calmette, editor of the Figaro, by Mme. Caillaux, wife of the cabinet minister. Then there was the "caving-in" of the streets of Paris, owing to the effect of storms on the thin surface left by the underground tunnelling for the electric tramways, and for the new metropolitan "tubes." The big prize fight between Jack Johnson and Frank Moran for the heavy-weight championship of the world followed. Next came the trial of Mme. Caillaux and her acquittal. Then followed the newspaper campaign of the brothers, MM. Paul and Guy de Cassagnac, against German newspaper correspondents in Paris. The Cassagnacs demanded that certain German correspondents should quit French territory within twenty-four hours. As several German correspondents were members of the "Association of the Foreign Press," of which I happen to be president, I was able to smooth matters over a little. Although my personal sympathies were strongly with the Cassagnacs, who are editors of L'Autorité, especially in their condemnation of the severity of the German Government in regard to "Hansi," the Alsatian caricaturist and author of Mon Village, I managed with the help of some of my Russian, Italian, English, and Spanish colleagues to avoid needless duels and quarrels between French and German journalists. Finally, the day of the "Grand Prix de Paris" brought the news of the murder at Sarajevo of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. My friend, Mr. Edward Schuler, was despatched by the Associated Press to Vienna, and when he returned, I readily saw, from the state of feeling that he described as existing in Vienna, that war between Austria and Servia was inevitable, and that unless some supreme effort should be made for peace by Emperor William, a general European war must follow.
Wednesday, July 29, the day after Austria's declaration of war against Servia, I lunched at the Hotel Ritz with Mrs. Marshall Field and her nephew, Mr. Spencer Eddy. Mrs. Field was about to leave Paris for Aix-les-Bains. We talked about the probability of Russia being forced to make war with Germany. I warned Mrs. Field of the risk she would run in going to Aix-les-Bains, and in the event of mobilization, of being deprived of her motor-car and of all means of getting away. At that time no one seemed to think that war really would break out. Mrs. Field finally gave up her plan of going to Aix-les-Bains and went to London. The following evening Maitre Charles Philippe of the Paris Bar and M. Max-Lyon, a French railroad engineer who had built many of the Turkish and Servian railroads, dined with me. They both felt that nothing could now avert war between France and Germany.
Yesterday (July 31) a sort of war fever permeated the air. A cabinet minister assured me that at whatever capital there was the slightest hope of engaging in negotiations and compromise, at that very point the "mailed fist" diplomacy of the Kaiser William dealt an unexpected blow. There seems no longer any hope for peace, because it is evident that the Military Pretorian Guard, advisers to the German and Austrian emperors, are in the ascendency, and they want war. "Very well, they will have it!" remarked the veteran French statesman, M. Georges Clemenceau.
After dinner last evening I happened to be near the Café du Croissant near the Bourse and in the heart of the newspaper quarter of Paris. Suddenly an excited crowd collected. "Jaurès has been assassinated!" shouted a waiter. The French deputy and anti-war agitator was sitting with his friends at a table near an open window in the café. A young Frenchman named Raoul Villain, son of a clerk of the Civil Court of Rheims, pushed a revolver through the window and shot Jaurès through the head. He died a few moments later. The murder of the socialist leader would in ordinary times have so aroused party hatred that almost civil war would have broken out in Paris. But to-night, under the tremendous patriotic pressure of the German emperor's impending onslaught upon France, the whole nation is united as one man. As M. Arthur Meyer, editor of the Gaulois, remarked: "France is now herself again! Not since a hundred years has the world seen 'France Debout!'"
At four o'clock this afternoon I was standing on the Place de la Bourse when the mobilization notices were posted. Paris seemed electrified. All cabs were immediately taken. I walked to the Place de l'Opéra and Rue de la Paix to note the effect of the mobilization call upon the people. Crowds of young men, with French flags, promenaded the streets, shouting "Vive La France!" Bevies of young sewing-girls, midinettes, collected at the open windows and on the balconies of the Rue de la Paix, cheering, waving their handkerchiefs at the youthful patriots, and throwing down upon them handfuls of flowers and garlands that had decked the fronts of the shops. The crowd was not particularly noisy or boisterous. No cries of "On to Berlin!" or "Down with the Germans!" were heard. The shouts that predominated were simply: "Vive La France!" "Vive l'Armée!" and "Vive l'Angleterre!" One or two British flags were also borne along beside the French tricolor.
I cabled the following message to Mr. Ogden Reid, editor of the New York Tribune:
Tribune, New York, Private for Mr. Reid. Suggest supreme importance event hostilities of Brussels as center of all war news. Also that Harry Lawson, Daily Telegraph, London, is open any propositions coming from you concerning Tribune sharing war news service with his paper. According best military information be useless expense sending special men to front with French owing absolute rigid censorship.
I based this suggestion about the supreme importance of Brussels because it has for years been an open secret among military men that the only hope of the famous attaque brusquée of the German armies being successful would be by violating Belgian neutrality and swarming in like wasps near Liège and Namur, and surprising the French mobilization by sweeping by the lines of forts constructed by the foremost military engineer in Europe, the late Belgian general, De Brialmont.
I subsequently received a cable message from the editor of the Tribune expressing the wish to count upon my services during the present crisis. To this I promptly agreed.
Sunday, August 2.
This is the first day of mobilization. I looked out of the dining-room window of my apartment at Number 8 Rue Théodule-Ribot at four this morning. Already the streets resounded with the buzz, whirl, and horns of motor-cars speeding along the Boulevard de Courcelles, and the excited conversation of men and women gathered in groups on the sidewalks. It was warm, rather cloudy weather. Thermometer, 20 degrees centigrade, with light, southwesterly breezes. My servant, Félicien, summoned by the mobilization notices calling out the reservists, was getting ready to join his regiment, the Thirty-second Dragoons. His young wife and child had arrived the day before from Brittany. My housekeeper, Sophie, who was born in Baden-Baden and came to Paris with her mother when a girl of eight, is in great anxiety lest she be expelled, owing to her German nationality.
I walked to the chancellery of the American Embassy, Number 5 Rue de Chaillot, where fifty stranded Americans were vainly asking the clerks how they could get away from Paris and how they could have their letters of credit cashed. Three stray Americans drove up in a one-horse cab. I took the cab, after it had been discharged, and went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where I expected to find our Ambassador, Mr. Myron T. Herrick. M. Viviani, the President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs, was there awaiting the arrival of Baron de Schoen, the German Ambassador, who had made an appointment for eleven o'clock. It was now half-past eleven, and his German excellency had not yet come.
I watched the arrival of the St. Cyr cadets at the Gare d'Orsay station on their way to the Gare de l'Est. These young French "West Pointers" are sturdy, active, wiry little chaps, brimful of pluck, intelligence, and determination. They carried their bags and boxes in their hands, and their overcoats were neatly folded bandelière fashion from the right shoulder to the left hip. Then came a couple of hundred requisitioned horses led by cavalrymen. Driving by the Invalides, I noticed about five hundred requisitioned automobiles. I was very much impressed by the earnest, grave determination of the reservists, who were silently rejoining their posts. Some of them were accompanied by wives, sisters, or sweethearts, who concealed their tears with forced smiles. Now and then groups of young men escorted the reservists, singing the "Marseillaise" and waving French, British, and Russian flags. At the Place de la Concorde, near the statue of "Strasbourg," was a procession of Italians, who had offered their military services to the Minister of War in spite of Italy's obligation to the Triple Alliance.
Later, at the American Embassy, Number 5 Rue Francois Premier, I found Ambassador Herrick arranging for a sort of relief committee of Americans to aid and regulate the situation of our stranded countrymen and women here. There are about three thousand who want to get home, but who are unable to obtain money on their letters of credit; if they have money, they are unable to find trains, or passenger space on westward bound liners. Mr. Herrick showed me a cablegram from the State Department at Washington instructing him to remain at his post until his successor, Mr. Sharp, can reach Paris; also to inform Mr. Thomas Nelson Page, American Ambassador at Rome, to cancel his leave of absence and stop in Rome, even if "Italy had decided to remain neutral." As soon as the German and Austro-Hungarian ambassadors quit the capital, Mr. Herrick will be placed in charge of all the German and Austro-Hungarian subjects left behind here. I met also M. J. J. Jusserand, French Ambassador at Washington, who intends sailing Tuesday for New York. M. Jusserand informed me that official news had reached the Paris Ministry of the Interior of Germany's violation of the territory of Luxemburg, the independence of which had been guaranteed by the Powers, including of course Prussia, by the Treaty of London in 1867. M. Jusserand was very indignant at this reckless breach of international law.
At the suggestion of Mr. Herrick, a committee of Americans was chosen to co-operate with him in giving such information and advice to Americans in Paris as the efforts of the committee to ascertain facts and conditions may justify. The committee think there is no cause for alarm on the part of those who remain in the city for the present; and that Americans will be able to leave at some later date, if any desire to do so.
The committee will endeavor to learn what can be done in securing money on letters of credit or travelers' cheques, or in getting means of transportation to such places as they may desire to go.
The committee includes Messrs. Laurence B. Benet, W.S. Dalliba, Charles Carroll, Frederick Coudert, James Deering, Chauncey M. Depew, E.H. Gary, H. Herman Harjes, William Jay, F.B. Kellog, Percy Peixotto, and Henry S. Priest. The chairman is Judge E.H. Gary.
Mr. Herrick asked me to convey a private message to one of his friends, but as the telephone service was interrupted, Mr. Laurence Norton, the Ambassador's secretary, loaned me his motor-car for the purpose. On the Cour La Reine a procession of young men escorting reservists and bearing a French flag appeared. I naturally raised my hat to salute the colors. The crowd, noticing the red, white, and blue cockades on the hats of the chauffeur and the footman, mistook me for the American Ambassador or for a cabinet minister, and burst into frantic cheers.
In the German quarter, near the Rue d'Hauteville, a couple of German socialists who were so imprudent as to shout "A bas l'armée!" were surrounded by angry Frenchmen, and despite an attempt of the police to protect them, were very roughly handled. A German shoemaker who attempted to charge exaggerated prices for boots had his windows smashed and his stock looted by an infuriated crowd.
The news that the German shops were being attacked soon spread, and youths gathered in bands, going from one shop to the other and wrecking them in the course of a few moments. Further riots occurred near the Gare de l'Est, a district which is inhabited by a large number of Germans. A great deal of damage was done.
Measures were taken at once by the authorities, and several cavalry detachments were called to the aid of the police. The youths were quite docile on the whole, a word from a policeman being sufficient to turn them away.
The cavalry, too, only made a few charges at a sharp trot and were received with hearty cheers. Policemen and municipal guards were, however, stationed before shops known to be owned by Germans.
In spite of this rioting, responsible Parisians may be said to have remained as calm as they have been all through this critical time. Among those taking part in wrecking shops were few people older than seventeen or eighteen.
Already the familiar aspect of the Parisian street crowd has changed. It is now composed almost exclusively of men either too young or too old for military service and of women and children. Most of the younger generation have already left to join corps on the front or elsewhere in France. It is impossible to spend more than a few minutes in the streets without witnessing scenes which speak of war.
There are long processions of vehicles of all sorts, market carts, two-wheeled lorries, furniture vans, all of them stocked with rifles for the reserves and all of them led or driven by soldiers.
Not a motor-omnibus is to be seen. The taxi-cabs and cabs are scarce. Tramway-cars are running, although on some lines the service is reduced considerably. In spite of the disorganization of traffic, the majority of Parisians go about their business quietly.
There is deep confidence in the national cause. "We did not want this war, but as Germany has begun we will fight, and Germany will find that the heart of France is in a war for freedom," is an expression heard on all sides.
Everywhere there are touching scenes. In the early hours of the morning a chasseur covered with dust, who had come to bid farewell to his family, was seen riding through the city. As he rode down the street, an old woman stopped him and said: "Do your best! They killed my husband in '70." The young soldier stooped from his saddle and silently gripped the old woman's hand.
Monday, August 3.
This is the second day of mobilization. A warm, cloudy day with occasional showers. Thermometer, 20 degrees centigrade.
At six this morning Félicien, with a brown paper parcel containing a day's rations consisting of cold roast beef, sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, bread, butter, and potato salad, walked off to the Gare St. Lazare, which is his point of rendezvous indicated by the mobilization paper. His young wife wept as if broken-hearted. Félicien, like all the reservists, restrained his emotions. I shook him warmly by the hand and said that I would surely see him again here within six months, and that he would come home a victor. "Don't be afraid of that, sir!" was his reply, and away he went.
I watched the looting of the Maggi milk shops near the Place des Ternes. The marauders were youths from fifteen to eighteen years old, and seemed to have no idea of the crimes they were committing. The Maggi is no longer a German enterprise, and the stupid acts of these young ruffians can only have the effect of depriving French mothers and infants of much-needed milk. I bought a bicycle to-day at Peugeot's in the Avenue of the Grande Armée, because it is hopeless to get cabs or motor-cabs. While there, the shop was requisitioned by an officer, who took away with him three hundred bicycles for the army.
The aspect of the main thoroughfares in the Opéra quarter, the center of English and American tourist traffic, was depressing in the extreme this afternoon. All the shipping offices in the Rue Scribe closed in the morning. The Rue de la Paix is never very brilliant in August, but now it is an abode of desolation. Nine tenths of the shops have their shutters up and the jewelers who keep open have withdrawn all their stock from the windows.
Many of the closed shops on the boulevards and elsewhere bear placards designed to protect them from the possible attentions of the mob. On these placards are such texts as "Maison Française" or even "Maison ultrafrançaise."
On the Café de la Paix is the following announcement, in several places: "The proprietor, André Millon, who is mayor of Evecquemont (Seine-et-Oise), has been called out for service in the army and left this morning." Similar messages, written in chalk, are to be seen on hundreds of shutters.
Steps have been taken at the American Embassy to supply credentials, in the form of "a paper of nationality," to citizens of the United States, which will make it possible for them to register as such with the police, as required by the French Government. The proposed American Ambulance has been organized under the official patronage of Ambassador Herrick, and the auspices of the American Hospital of Paris.
Beginning to-day, all cafés and restaurants will be closed at eight in the evening. They were left open till nine yesterday as an exceptional measure, owing to the fact that there was not time to distribute the order for early closing by eight o'clock.
The aspect of the boulevards last night was the completest possible contrast to what was seen on Sunday night. The city was under martial law, and the police showed very plainly that they did not intend to be trifled with.
Instead of shouting crowds and stone-throwing by excited youths and women, one saw only a few citizens walking slowly along. One group of policemen took shelter from the intermittent showers under the marquise of the Vaudeville Theater, and other detachments were in readiness at corners all along the line of the boulevards, which were dotted with isolated policemen.
No one was allowed to loiter. To wait five minutes outside a house was to court investigation and possibly arrest. There was no sound except that of footfalls and a low murmur of conversation. It was the first night of war's stern government.
Germany officially declared war upon France at five forty-five this evening. The notification was made by Baron von Schoen, the German Ambassador to France, when he called at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ask for his passports.
Baron von Schoen declared that his Government had instructed him to inform the Government of the Republic that French aviators had flown over Belgium and that other French aviators had flown over Germany and dropped bombs as far as Nuremberg. He added that this constituted an act of aggression and violation of German territory.
M. Viviani listened in silence to Baron von Schoen's statement, and when the German Ambassador had finished, replied that it was absolutely false that French aviators had flown over Belgium and Germany and had dropped bombs.
Immediately after this interview, M. Viviani telegraphed to M. Jules Cambon, French Ambassador in Berlin, instructing him to immediately ask for his passports and to make a report on France's protest against the violation of the neutrality of Luxemburg and the ultimatum sent to Belgium. M. Cambon will leave Berlin to-morrow.
Since acts of war were committed by German troops two days ago, the delay in the recall of the German Ambassador had appeared inexplicable to the great majority of French people, to whom Baron von Schoen appeared to be decidedly outstopping his welcome.
The Ambassador himself seemed conscious of this feeling, for not only did he take care to proceed to the Quai d'Orsay in as inconspicuous a manner as possible, but he also applied to the authorities to detail a policeman to accompany him in his automobile.
Baron von Schoen's departure from Paris was a solemn affair. He left the Embassy last, after a vast collection of luggage had gone off in motor-wagons and other vehicles. A few minutes before ten o'clock, wearing a soft felt hat and black frock coat adorned with the rosette of the Legion of Honor and carrying a rainproof coat over his arm, he left in a powerful automobile, which, by way of the Invalides, the Trocadéro, and the Boulevard Flandrin, conveyed him to the station.
The station employes and the police on duty at the station formed a silent cordon, through which the departing Ambassador passed with downcast eyes.
Not a word was spoken as the baron stood for a few minutes on the platform.
Then the stationmaster said quietly: "En voiture," there was a shrill whistle, and the train, composed of five coaches and three goods trucks, glided slowly out of the station.
Tuesday, August 4.
We are now in the third day of mobilization. Weather slightly cooler, 17 degrees centigrade, with moderate southwest wind.
At seven this morning I went with Sophie to the registration office for Germans, Alsatians, and Austro-Hungarians, Number 213 Place Boulevard Perière. A crowd of some five hundred persons---men, women, and children---were waiting at the doors of the public schoolroom now used as the Siège du District for the seventeenth arrondissement. Although a German by birth, Sophie is French at heart. She came to Paris when only eight years old and has remained here ever since---she is now sixty-one---and has been thirty-two years with me as housekeeper and cook. All her German relatives are dead. Hers is a hard case, for if expelled from France, she would have to become practically a stranger in a strange land. Fortunately she has all her papers in order, and can show that she has nine nephews actually in the French army. I made a statement in writing for her to this effect, which she took to the registration office, but she had to wait, standing without shelter from eight in the morning to six o'clock at night. After carefully scrutinizing her papers, the officials told her that her papers must go for inspection to the Prefecture of Police, and that she must come back for them to-morrow. She had with her photographs of three of her nephews in military uniforms. One of these nephews had received a decoration during the Morocco campaign for saving his captain's life during an engagement.
I managed to see the Commissary of Police of the quarter and spoke to him about Sophie, explaining her case and saying that as she was such a splendid cook it would be a great pity if Paris should lose her services. The commissary smiled and said: "It will be all right. Sophie will be allowed to remain in Paris!" I profited by the occasion to obtain a permis de séjour, or residence permit, for myself. The commissary, after noting on paper my personal description and measuring my height, handed me the precious document authorizing me to reside in the "entrenched camp of Paris." These papers must be kept on one's person, ready to be shown whenever called for. Outside of the office about three hundred foreigners, including Emile Wauters, the Belgian painter, and several well-known Americans and English, were waiting their turn to get into the office. I congratulated myself on having a journalist's coupe-file card that had enabled me to get in before the others, some of whom stood waiting for six hours before their turn came. This is an instance of stupid French bureaucracy or red-tapism. It would have been very easy to have distributed numbers to those waiting, and the applicants would then have been able, by calculating the time, to go about their business and return when necessary. Another instance of this fatal red-tapism of French officialdom came in the shape of a summons from the fiscal office of Vernon, where I have a little country place on the Seine, to pay the sum of two francs, which is the annual tax for a float I had there for boating purposes. This trivial paper, coming in amidst the whirlpool of mobilization, displays the mentality of the provincial officials.
After doing some writing, I went on my new bicycle to the chancellery of the United States Embassy and saw a crowd of about seventy Americans on the sidewalk awaiting their turn to obtain identification papers. I met here Mr. Bernard J. Schoninger, former president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Paris. The news of the outbreak of war found him at Luchon in the Pyrenees. All train service being monopolized for the troops, he came in his automobile to Paris, a distance of about a thousand kilometers. All went smoothly until he reached Tours, when he was held up at every five kilometers by guards who demanded his papers. Chains or ropes were often stretched across the roads. Mr. Schoninger showed the guards his visiting card, explained who he was, and said that he was going to Paris on purpose to get his papers. The authorities were very civil, as they usually are to all Americans who approach them politely, and allowed him to motor to Neuilly, just outside the fortifications of Paris.
I proceeded on my wheel to the Embassy, where I found our Ambassador very busy with the American Relief Committee and with the American Ambulance people.
Several Americans at the Embassy were making impractical requests, as for instance that the American Ambassador demand that the French Government accept the passports or identification papers issued by the American Embassy here in lieu of permis de séjour. If the French Government accorded this favor to the United States, all the other neutral nations would require the same privilege, and thus in time of war, with fighting going on only a little over two hundred kilometers from Paris, the French Government would lose direct control of permission for foreigners to remain in the capital.
It is estimated that there are over forty thousand Americans at present stranded in Europe, seventy-five hundred of them being in Paris. Of these fifteen hundred are without present means.
The Embassy is literally besieged by hundreds of these unfortunate travelers. There were so many of them, and their demands were so urgent, that the Military Attaché, Major Spencer Cosby, had to utilize the services of eight American army officers on leave to form a sort of guard to control their compatriots. These officers were Major Morton John Henry, Captain Frank Parker, Captain Francis H. Pope, Lieutenants B.B. Summerwell, F.W. Honeycutt, Joseph B. Treat, J.H. Jouett, and H.F. Loomis. The last four are young graduates of West Point, the others being on the active list of the United States army.
Ambassador Herrick set his face against any favoritism in receiving the applicants, and some very prominent citizens had to stand in line for hours before they could be admitted. Mr. Oscar Underwood, son of Senator-elect Underwood, is organizing means to alleviate the distress among his countrymen and countrywomen in Paris. He has also asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to extend the time allowed for Americans to obtain formal permission to remain in France, and his request will no doubt be granted.
Doctor Watson, rector of the American Church of the Holy Trinity, in the Avenue de l'Alma, has offered that building as temporary sleeping quarters for Americans who are unable to obtain shelter elsewhere, and is arranging to hold some trained nurses at the disposal of the feeble and sick.
War is a wonderful leveler, but there could hardly be a greater piece of irony perpetrated by Fate than compelling well-to-do Americans, who have no share in the quarrel on hand, to sleep in a church in France like destitutes before any of the French themselves are called upon to undergo such an experience.
At the Chamber of Deputies I witnessed a historic scene never to be forgotten. Some of the deputies were reservists and had come in their uniforms, but the rules prevented them from taking their seats in military attire. In the Diplomatic Tribune sat Sir Francis Bertie, the British Ambassador, side by side with M. Alexander Iswolsky, the Russian Ambassador. The Chamber filled in complete silence. The whole House, from royalists to socialists, listened, standing, to a glowing tribute by M. Paul Deschanel, president of the Chamber, to M. Jaurès, over whose coffin, he said, the whole of France was united. "There are no more adversaries," exclaimed M. Deschanel, with a voice trembling with emotion, "there are only Frenchmen." The whole house as one man raised a resounding shout of "Vive la France!"
When M. Deschanel concluded, there was a pause during the absence of M. Viviani. The Premier entered, pale but confident, amid a hurricane of cheers and read amid a silence broken only by frenzied shouts of "Vive la France!" a speech detailing the whole course of the diplomatic negotiations, in which he placed upon Germany crushing responsibility for the catastrophe which has overtaken Europe.
The Chamber, before rising, adopted unanimously without discussion a whole series of bills making provision for national defense and the maintenance of order in France.
M. Viviani's speech was interrupted by terrific cheering when he referred to the attitude adopted by the British and Belgian governments. All rose to face the diplomatic Tribune, cheering again and again.
M. Viviani's last phrase, "We are without reproach. We shall be without fear," swept the whole Chamber off its feet.
The vast hemicycle was a compact mass of cheering deputies, all waving aloft in their hands papers and handkerchiefs. From the Tribunes of the public gallery shout after shout went up. At the foot of the presidential platform the gray-haired usher, with his 1870 war medals on his breasts, was seated, overcome with emotion, the tears coursing down his cheeks.
Paris is back in the days of the curfew, and at eight o'clock, by order of the Military Governor of Paris, it is "lights out" on the boulevards, all the cafés close their doors, the underground railway ceases running, and policemen and sentinels challenge any one going home late, lest he should be a German spy. Paris is no longer "la ville lumière"--- it is a sad and gloomy city, where men and women go about with solemn, anxious faces, and every conversation seems to begin and end with the dreadful word "War!"
There is no more rioting in the streets. The bands of young blackguards who went about pillaging the shops of inoffensive citizens have been cleared from the streets, and demonstrations of every kind are strictly forbidden. So far is this carried that a cab was stopped at the Madeleine, and a policeman ordered the cab driver to take the little French flag out of the horse's collar.
In the evening the city is wrapped in a silence which makes it difficult to realize that one is in the capital of a great commercial center. The smallest of provincial villages would seem lively compared with the boulevards last night. But for large numbers of policemen and occasional military patrols, the streets were practically deserted.
There is, however, nothing for the police to do, for the sternly worded announcement that disturbers of the peace would be court-martialed had the instant effect of putting a stop to any noisy demonstrations, let alone any attempts at pillage. Policemen can be seen sitting about on doorsteps or leaning against trees.
Parisians are already going through a small revival of what they did during the siege of 1871. They are lining up at regular hours outside provision shops and waiting their turn to be served. Many large groceries are open only from nine to eleven in the morning and from three to five in the afternoon, not because there is any scarcity of food, but on account of lack of assistants, all their young men being at the front or on their way there.
Great activity is already being shown in preparing to receive wounded soldiers from the front, and all the ambulance and nursing societies are working hand in hand.
The women of Paris are being enrolled in special schools where they will be taught the art of nursing, and thousands of young women and girls in the provinces have promised to help their country by making uniforms and bandages. Others will look after the children of widowers who have gone to the front, and in various other ways the women of France are justifying their reputation for cheerful self-abnegation.
The Medical Board of the American Hospital held another meeting at the hospital in Neuilly, to consider further the organization of the hospital for wounded soldiers, with an ambulance service, which it is proposed to offer as an American contribution to France in her hour of trouble.
Just how extensive this medical service will be depends upon the amount of money that will be obtained from Americans. The enterprise was given its first impulse at a meeting of the Board of Governors and the Medical Board of the American Hospital held on Monday at the request of Ambassador Herrick.
It is intended to establish at first a hospital of one hundred or two hundred beds, fully equipped to care for wounded French soldiers. Several places are under consideration, but at present no information of a definite character can be given on this subject. Later, if Americans are sufficiently generous in their contributions, it is proposed to obtain from the French Government the use of the Lycée Pasteur in Neuilly, not far from the American Hospital. In this building a thousand beds could be placed, and it is hoped that funds will be available to undertake this larger ambulance service.
Meanwhile the American Hospital at Neuilly is not to be affected in any way by this emergency undertaking, but it will continue its work for Americans in need of medical attention. The special hospital for soldiers is to be an American offering under the auspices of the American Hospital and under the direction of the Medical Board of that institution.
The Medical Board of the American Hospital consists of Doctor Robert Turner, chairman; Doctor Magnier, who is well known as the founder of the hospital; Doctor Debouchet, Doctor Gros, Doctor Koenig and Doctor Whitman.
Mrs. Herrick, Mrs. Potter Palmer, Mrs. Carolan, and other prominent American women have applied for service with the Red Cross.
Wednesday, August 5.
Fourth day of mobilization. Cloudy weather with southwesterly wind, temperature at five P.M. 21 degrees centigrade.
Looking out of the window this morning I noticed British flags waving beside French flags on several balconies and shops. England's declaration of war against Germany arouses tremendous enthusiasm. The heroic defense made by the Belgians against three German army corps advancing on the almost impregnable fortress of Liège---a second Port Arthur---is a magnificent encouragement for the French. At some of the houses in Paris one now sees occasionally assembled the flags of France, Russia, Great Britain, Belgium, and Servia.
Paris is beginning to settle down more or less to the abnormal state of things prevailing in the city since the departure of the reservists. Those who remain behind are showing an admirable spirit. Nowhere are complaints voiced in regard to the complete disorganization of the public services. M. Hennion, chief of police, has devised an excellent means of clearing the streets of dangerous individuals. He has arranged for half a dozen auto-busses containing a dozen policemen to circulate in the different quarters at night. The auto-busses stop now and then, and the police make a silent search for marauders. Any one found with a revolver or a knife is arrested, put in handcuffs, and placed in the auto-bus and carried to the police station.
Sophie at last got her permis de séjour this evening. The expelled Germans will be sent to a remote station near the Spanish frontier. The undesirable Austro-Hungarians will be relegated to Brittany, where perhaps they may be utilized in harvesting the wheat crop. Germans in the domestic service of French citizens are allowed to remain in Paris.
The French Institute is participating in the campaign reservist mobilization. M. Etienne Lamy, Perpetual Secretary of the French Academy, is a major in the territorial army and is about to take the field. M. Pierre Loti, who is a captain in the navy, will be provided with a suitable command. M. Marcel Prévost, graduate of the Polytechnic School, is a major of artillery, and will command a battery in one of the forts near Paris.
Among American ladies added to the list of those who have volunteered for service with the Red Cross are Mrs. Gary, Mrs. E. Tuck, Mrs. Hickox, Mrs. George Munroe, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Bell, Mrs. French, Mrs. G. Gray, Mrs. Gurnee, Mrs. Burden, Mrs. Harjes, Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Dalliba, Mrs. Burnell, Mrs. Farwell, Mrs. Blumenthal, Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Walter Gay, Mrs. Tiffany, Mrs. Allan, Miss Gillett, and Miss Gurnee.
A number of American and English-speaking physicians and surgeons responded to the appeal made by Doctor J.M. Gershberg, of New York, visiting physician to the Hopital Broca, and attended a meeting held at Professor Pozzi's dispensary to form an organization offering their medical and surgical services to the French Government and the Red Cross Society.
Doctor Gershberg explained that the plan is to form three bodies: a body of English-speaking physicians and surgeons, a body of English-speaking nurses, and a body of English-speaking attendants. The proprietor of the Hotel Chatham, a reserve officer in the artillery, and M. C. Michaut, ex-reserve officer of artillery, have decided to place the establishment at the disposal of the Red Cross Society for the reception of wounded soldiers.
Americans arriving in Paris from Germany and Switzerland continue to bring stories of hardships inflicted on them by the sudden outbreak of war. Mr. T.C. Estee, of New York, who reached Paris with his family, reported that he left behind at Zurich two hundred Americans who apparently had no means of getting away.
He and his family were lucky enough to catch the last train conveying troops westward. They traveled for two days without food or water, one of the ladies fainting from exhaustion, and after the train reached its destination they had to walk several miles across the frontier, where they were taken on board a French troop train. They lost all their baggage.
Eight other Americans reported a similar experience. They had a tramp of ten miles into France, and one of their number, a lady partly paralyzed, had to be carried. They could procure no food until they reached France. Finally they obtained a motor-car which brought them to Paris. This memorable journey began at Dresden.
Thursday, August 6.
Fifth day of mobilization. Cloudy in the morning, fair in the afternoon. Thermometer at five P.M. 17 degrees centigrade.
Our Ambassador, Mr. Herrick, whom I saw in the afternoon, is delighted with the progress being made with the American Hospital for the French wounded. Mrs. Herrick is getting on famously with her organization of the woman's committee of the American Ambulance of Paris, which is to be offered to the French Military Government for the aid of wounded soldiers.
Mrs. Herrick was elected president of the committee, Mrs. Potter Palmer vice-president, Mrs. H. Herman Harjes treasurer, and Mrs. Laurence V. Benet secretary. An executive committee was then elected, consisting of Mrs. Laurence V. Benet, Mrs. H. Herman Harjes, Mrs. Potter Palmer, Mrs. Carroll of Carrollton, and Mrs. George Munroe.
Among the women present at the meeting, in addition to those already named, were: Mrs. Elbert H. Gary, Mrs. William Jay, Mrs. A. M. Thackara, Mrs. James Henry Smith, Mrs. J. Burden, Mrs. Dalliba, Mrs. Blumenthal, Mrs. Walter Gay, Mrs. Tuck, Mrs. Charles Barney, Mrs. Whitney Warren, Mrs. Philip Lydig, Mrs. Hickox, Mrs. F. Bell, Mrs. French, Mrs. Frederick Allen, Mrs. Farwell, Miss Edyth Deacon, Mrs. Cameron, Mrs. William Crocker, Mrs. Herman B. Duryea, Mrs. Roche, Miss Hallmark, Mrs. Robert Bliss, Mrs. Crosby, Mrs. Webb, Mrs. Howe, Miss Allen, Mrs. Carolan and Mrs. Marcou.
At the Embassy, I met Colonel William Jay, whom I had known as a boy when he was aide-de-camp to General Meade, then in command of the Army of the Potomac. We talked about the prospects of the war and especially of the Belgians' superb defense at Liège and also discussed the report that a British force had been transported to Havre. I called at the Ministry of War this morning, and Colonel Commandant Duval, chief of the press bureau there, gave me a laisser-passer to enter the Ministry three times a day: ten in the morning, three in the afternoon, and at eleven o'clock at night to get the official news communicated by the War Department to the newspapers. It is odd to notice the martial aspect of the doorkeepers and ushers at the War Office. Their moustaches have become longer and fiercer, and their replies to most trivial questions are pronounced with an air of impressive mystery. At the War Office, I met M. Louis Barthou, former prime minister, who expressed genuine enthusiasm at the heroic fighting of the Belgians. I afterwards went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to see about having my coupe-file, or special pass, viséd with a laisser-passer label. This can only be obtained at the Prefecture of Police upon the special authorization of the Foreign Office. I was told that although a few such permits had been granted, no decision will be taken in the matter before Saturday.
M. Jusserand, French Ambassador at Washington, together with his wife, made a vain attempt a few days ago to reach Havre in time to catch the France, which sailed before her schedule time---a precautionary measure, taken, it is said, to elude German cruisers. M. and Mme. Jusserand consequently failed to catch the liner and returned to Paris.
Much to my surprise, Félicien, my servant, turned up at six P.M., having obtained leave from the reserve squadron of his regiment, the Thirty-second Dragoons at Versailles, to visit his wife in Paris. The active squadrons of his regiment are at Chalons. The married reservists are held back until the others have gone to the front. This system is likely to be an economical one, for all the widows of soldiers killed in the war will have fairly good pensions.
There is probably no more forlorn street in Paris at the present moment than the Rue de la Paix, the headquarters for dressmakers and milliners. Upwards of seventy-five per cent. of the shops are closed, and on both sides the street presents a long, gray expanse---broken only at intervals---of forbidding iron shutters.
It is not here, however, that one must look for the effect of the war on American business, but rather along the Avenue de l'Opéra, the Grand Boulevards, and other well-known business streets.
In the Avenue de l'Opéra, at the intersection of the Rue Louis-le-Grand, the Paris shop of the Singer Sewing Machine Company is closed, while on the other side Hanan's boot and shoe store is also shut. Just off the avenue, where the Rue des Pyramides cuts in, the establishment where the Colgate and the Chesebrough companies exploit their products likewise presents barred doors. Two conspicuous American establishments remaining open in the Avenue de l'Opéra are the Butterick shop and Brentano's.
Mr. Lewis J. Ford, manager of Brentano's, said that they had lost a quarter of their employes and fifty per cent. of their trade by reason of the war, but proposed to keep open just the same.
In the Grand Boulevards the Remington typewriter headquarters are closed, as is the Spalding shop for athletic supplies; but the establishments of the Walkover Shoe Company, both on the Boulevard des Capucines and the Boulevard des Italiens, are open.
In spite of the hardship entailed upon American firms, they are far from complaining. On the contrary, there is a concerted movement among American business men at this time to assist the French in keeping the industrial life of Paris going as normally as possible during the war.
At night Paris is still dark and silent, but in the daytime the city is beginning to adapt itself to the new state of things. Many places from which the men have been called away to serve their country are being filled by women.
Women are becoming tramway conductors, and there is talk of their working the underground railway. Girl clerks are taking places in government and other offices.
The unusual state of things prevailing in Paris is the cause of many picturesque scenes. This morning there was an unwonted sight of a hundred cows being driven by herdsmen of rustic appearance along the Boulevard des Capucines. A little further on, the eye was arrested by a brilliant mass of red and blue on the steps of the Madeleine, where a number of men of the Second Cuirassiers were attending special mass.
The cheerful tone which prevails among the people in the street is very noticeable. All faces are smiling and give the impression of a holiday crowd out enjoying themselves at the national fête, an impression which is reinforced by the gay display of bunting in most of the streets in the center of Paris.
A remarkable sight is the Rue du Croissant in the afternoon, at the time when the evening newspapers are printed. The unusual number of papers sold in the streets has brought thousands of boys, girls, women, and old men from the outlying districts of the city.
There are thousands of them eagerly awaiting the appearance of the Presse, Intransigeant, and other papers. The narrow, picturesque old street is one seething mass of human beings. Hundreds also wait in the Rue Montmartre. As they wait, they pass the time by playing cards or dice.
Many industries are severely affected owing to the absence of men. One of them is the laundry industry, which is unable to deliver washing, owing to the want of vehicles and drivers. In consequence, many Parisians have now adopted the soft collar. No one at this hour pays attention to questions of toilette or personal elegance.
However, no one dreams of complaining of lack of comfort. All want to do their best to help the national cause in any way they can. The warmth of patriotic feeling is magnificent.
Already it is proposed to name streets in Paris after Samain, the young Alsatian who was shot in Metz for French sympathies, and after the curé of the frontier village who was murdered by German soldiers because he rang his church bells to give the alarm of their approach. Never did a nation rise to repel attack with a deeper resentment or a more vigorous élan.
One effect of the war has been to anathematize the name of Germany. The Villette district, through its local representatives, has presented a petition to the City Council praying that the name Rue d'Allemagne shall be changed to that of Rue Jean Jaurès, in honor of the assassinated socialist leader.
Scenes of extraordinary enthusiasm marked the departure of the Fifth Regiment of Line from the Pepinière barracks to-day. Long before six o'clock, the appointed hour of departure, the Avenue Portalis and the steps of the Church of Saint-Philippe du Roule were black with people.
At six o'clock the bugles sounded, the iron gates opened, and the regiment, with fixed bayonets, swung out into the road amid ringing cheers and shouts of "Vive la France!" As the standard-bearer passed, the cheer increased in volume, and men stood with bared heads and waved their hats in the air. The regiment entrained last night for the Belgian frontier.
Friday, August 7.
This is the sixth day of mobilization. Steady rain during the morning. Temperature at five P.M. 16 degrees centigrade.
Disembarking of British troops in France has begun, and the greatest enthusiasm is reported from the northern departments. I went to see the Duc de Loubet this morning and met there Mr. De Courcey Forbes, who told me that the French mobilization was working like clock-work two days ahead of scheduled time. He said that about a hundred Germans and Austrians had been arrested as spies. They were tried by court martial at eleven o'clock yesterday morning, and fifty-nine of them, who were found guilty, were shot at Vincennes at four o'clock the same afternoon.
It subsequently turned out that these spies had not been shot, after all, but had been imprisoned and kept in close confinement.
When Baron Schoen left the German Embassy in Paris, he was treated with great courtesy and escorted by the Chef de Protocol, M. William Martin, to the railway station, where he was provided with a special train de luxe with a restaurant car. Upon the arrival at the frontier, the Germans actually seized and confiscated the train! Reports of French families returning from Germany show that not only individual Frenchmen but French diplomatists and Russian diplomatists have been greatly insulted in Germany, especially in Berlin and Munich.
Contrast with this the attitude of a crowd which I saw to-day watching about a thousand Germans and Austrians tramp to a railway station, where they were entrained for their concentration camp. They marched between soldiers with fixed bayonets ready to protect them. But the crowd watched them almost sympathetically, with not an insult, not a jeer.
The mobilization in France has caused an extraordinary increase in the number of marriages contracted at the various Paris town halls. From morning till night the mayors and their assistants have been kept busy uniting couples who would be separated the same day or the next, when the husband joined his regiment. At the bare announcement of the possibility of war, the marriage offices at the town halls were literally taken by assault. As there was no time to be lost, arrangements were made by the chief officials to accept the minimum of documentary proofs of identity in all cases where the bridegrooms were called upon to serve their country. The other papers required by the law will be put in later.
The statistics of the first five days of the mobilization show that one hundred and eighty-one marriages were performed a day as against the ordinary figure of one hundred and ten. In the suburbs the increase is even greater, and a notable fact, both in Paris and outside, is that the largest number of marriages took place in the most populous districts. In the eleventh arrondissement the ordinary figures were trebled. All wedding parties wear little French, English, Russian, and Belgian flags.
General Michel, Military Governor of Paris, has issued an order formally forbidding any one to leave or enter Paris either on foot or in any kind of vehicle between the hours of six at night and six in the morning.
At a meeting of the executive committee of the American Ambulance of Paris, it was announced that more than thirty thousand francs had been received, exclusive of the sums obtained by the women's committee, and apart from the promises of larger subscriptions.
Up to yesterday morning twelve physicians and surgeons and twice that number of nurses had volunteered to assist the regular staff of the American Hospital in the work of caring for wounded French soldiers. Among the physicians and surgeons who have volunteered are Doctor Joseph Blake, of New York; Doctor Charles Roland, formerly a surgeon of the United States army; and Doctor George B. Hayes, of Paris.
The women's committee held a meeting at the American Embassy, when further subscriptions were received, that brought the total amount obtained by this committee up to eighteen thousand francs.
The executive committee now consists of Mrs. Laurence V. Benet, Mrs. H. Herman Harjes, Mrs. Potter Palmer, Mrs. Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Mrs. George Munroe, Mrs. Edith Wharton, Mrs. William Jay, Mrs. Tuck, Mrs. C.C. Cuyler and Mrs. Elbert H. Gary.
I was to-day with an American journalist who has an apartment in the Rue Hardy at Versailles. He is a single man, and his house is a fairly roomy one. The other day he was waited upon by a military officer, who told him that sixty thousand soldiers were to be billeted on the inhabitants---making one to every man, woman, and child in the city of the "Roi Soleil." They would need some part of his house---which, by the way, was formerly the domicile of Louis David, the great painter of Napoleon--and he would be glad if he could make arrangements to lodge four soldiers. My friend at once consented, and out of the five rooms he has kept two to himself. In the other three are billeted a cavalry officer and four soldiers. The only thing the American has had to complain of up to now is that every morning at six o'clock the officer wakes him up by playing the "Pilgrims' Chorus" from "Tannhauser" on the piano.
Germans are still found in strange places, considering the fact that the French are at war with them. I saw one man ask for his papers at the Gare de l'Est this afternoon, where with incredible assurance he was watching the entraining of French troops. He was led away between two policemen, and ought to feel thankful that the crowd did not get hold of him. He might have shared the same fate as that which befell one of his imprudent compatriots last Sunday at Clarendon. It was the day after mobilization had been declared, and the German knew that he must leave the country. But in a swaggering mood he said he would not leave until he had killed at least one of these condemned Frenchmen. His words were reported, and he fled into an entry and made his way into an adjoining house, where the crowd lost sight of him. When he emerged a cavalry escort protected him against the mad people who wanted to lynch him, and bundled him into a cab. He had been very badly handled, and his face was streaming with blood. He drove away as fast as the horse could gallop, but bystanders went after him, climbed up behind at the rear of the cab, and shot him dead through the little window.
Foreigners who know the women of France, who have lived in the country, have always given them a very high place as wives, mothers, and managers. But to-day they merit the admiration of the world more than ever.
I have seen them taking farewell of their husbands, sons, and brothers during the past few days, and nothing could surpass the courage with which they have sent them off to the war. They have struggled bravely to conceal their emotion, and only after the men have gone have the women given their feelings free play. An American lady who has seen some of these departures told me the other day that the sight of the children clinging to their fathers' hands so as to prevent them going away to the war was one of the saddest sights she had ever witnessed.
Saturday, August 8.
Seventh day of mobilization. Ideal summer weather. Temperature, 16 centigrade, with light westerly breezes. The moon is now full---a first-rate thing for the British fleet in search of German ships; also useful for French military operations, and for lighting the streets of Paris, thereby enabling economy in gas.
The news of the capture of Altkirch, in Alsace, by the French troops, reached Paris at about five o'clock this afternoon. It spread like wildfire through the city, and a rush was immediately made to buy the special editions of the newspapers announcing the victory.
To those who are not familiar with the Parisian character, the comparative silence with which the news was received came as a surprise. There was no enthusiastic outbreak of popular sentiment, no cheering, no throwing into the air of hats or sticks.
After forty-three years of weary waiting, the Tricolor floated over an Alsatian town. "At last!" That was the word that was heard on every side. The moment was too solemn to Frenchmen to allow them to say more.
The existence of war will be further brought home to Parisians on Monday by the disappearance of the morning breakfast rolls. In consequence of the great number of bakers now serving with the colors, it has been decided to simplify bread making in Paris so as to ensure the supply being regular, and consequently the only kinds obtainable after to-day will be those known as boulot and demi-fendu.
The regulation of the milk supply is being rapidly organized. Those households in which milk is a necessity, for children, invalids, or the old, can obtain certificates giving them the preference. On the day after application for these certificates they are delivered, together with full particulars as to the amount, quantity, price, and place of purchase.
The position of other food supplies is excellent. The only difficulty is to get them delivered. Housekeepers must fetch their bread and milk if they want them to time.
Few articles of food have reached the maximum price laid down for them by the authorities. Fresh vegetables and fruit are very cheap. The only important articles which the shops have difficulty in supplying are sugar, condensed milk, and dried cereals.
During the past week about three thousand papers of nationality were issued at the American Consulate-general, and some sixteen hundred at the Embassy. This number may be taken as approximately coinciding with the number of American tourists now in Paris, as virtually all of these had to secure papers of nationality in order to register with the police.
Post-office regulations are still very strict. Following the discovery of numerous spies in and about Paris, General Michel has issued an order strictly prohibiting conversations on the telephone in any other language but French. When this order is not obeyed, the communication is immediately cut off.
Sunday, August 9.
Eighth day of mobilization. Hot summer day, with light southwesterly breezes. Temperature at five P. M. 26 degrees centigrade.
This may be regarded as the first Sunday of the war. Last Sunday was a day of rush and clamor in Paris. All shops were open and filled with eager customers; the streets were crammed with shouting crowds and hurrying vehicles; everything was forgotten in the outburst of national enthusiasm. In the afternoon and evening the city was the scene of riots and pillage.
To-day Paris presented a strong contrast. The news of French and Belgian successes at the front had cheered the hearts of Parisians, and, in spite of the strange aspect of the boulevards, denuded of their gay terraces, and of most of the ordinary means of locomotion, the city had something of a holiday aspect about it.
In the afternoon the city was crowded with promenaders dressed in Sunday garb. The proportion of women to men has largely increased, but the arrival of numerous reservists from the provinces caused Paris to appear, temporarily at least, somewhat less empty of men.
Indeed, the aspect of the city very much resembled that of any Sunday in summer, when the city is normally far from crowded.
I met MacAlpin of the Daily Mail, who said to me:
"I took a walk in the Bois de Boulogne yesterday afternoon. In a lonely alley I was stopped by three cyclist policemen. They asked for my papers. Fortunately, I had with me my passport and the 'permission to remain' issued to me as a foreigner. If I had happened to have left these in another coat, I should have been arrested.
"The policemen told me those were their orders. They added confidentially that they were looking for Germans. After this I saw many more cyclists on the same errand. They are hunting the woods systematically, because many Germans of suspicious character have taken refuge there.
"I rang up a friend on the telephone, and began, as usual: 'Hullo, is that you?' I was immediately told by the girl at the exchange that 'speaking in foreign languages was not permitted.' 'Unless you speak in French' she said, 'I shall cut you off at once.' I suppose she listened to what we were saying all the time.
"I went into a post-office to send a telegram to my wife. 'You must get it authorized at a police office' I was told. Not the simplest private message can be accepted until it has passed the censor."
No one is to be allowed from now on to have a complete wireless installation in Paris. Many people have set up instruments, some for amusement, some, it appears, for sinister purposes. No one may send messages now, though they are allowed to keep their receivers. In order to hear the messages which come through from Russia, the Eiffel Tower station, it is explained, needs "dead silence" in the air.
It was even announced two days ago that no one would be allowed to pass in or out of Paris between six at night and six in the morning. But this caused such inconvenience to so many people that the Military Governor of Paris was asked by the police to rescind his order, which he at once did.
The tenors and baritones and sopranos of the Opéra and other theaters are going round singing in the courtyards for the benefit of the Red Cross. The Salon is turned into a military stable. Where the pictures hung, horses are munching their hay. The Comedie Francaise is to become a day nursery for the children of women who, in the absence of their husbands, are obliged to go out to work.
Mr. Herrick told me this afternoon that a few days ago the Telegraph Office refused his cipher cables to Washington. The Ambassador at once protested at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the Minister, M. Doumergue, forthwith gave orders authorizing the telegraph office to accept his cipher messages. The Austrian Ambassador, who is still here, is not permitted to communicate by cipher telegrams with his Government. This is quite natural.
Monday, August 10.
Ninth day of mobilization. Hot, sunny weather. Temperature at five P.M. 29 degrees centigrade. Light southerly breeze.
Depicted on all faces this morning is anxious but confident expectation, for the public are conscious that a desperate encounter between two millions of men is impending in Belgium and on the Alsace-Lorraine border from Liège to Colmar.
The French capital is, at the present moment, a city of strange contrasts. Mothers, wives, sisters, and brides were last week red-eyed from the sorrow of parting. Now these same women have decorated their windows with bunting and have no thought other than of working as best they may to help the national cause.
In the streets, the shrill voices of children pipe the latest news from the front; small girls cry grim details of the war.
All prisoners charged with light offenses who are mobilizable have been allowed to go to the front to rehabilitate themselves. The central prison of Fresnes, which ten days ago contained nine hundred criminals, has now only two hundred and fifty left.
And all the time Paris lives an every-day, humdrum life, makes the best of everything, and never complains.
Day by day the aspect of the streets becomes more normal, for the reason that more and more vehicles are freed from military service and can now resume their ordinary duties of transporting the public. Pending the return of the motor-omnibuses, a service of char-à-bancs has been started on the boulevards, which reminds Parisians of the days of the popular "Madeleine-Bastille" omnibus.
Diplomatic relations between France and Austria-Hungary were broken off to-day. War however has not been declared between France and Austria.
I met to-day M. Hedeman, the correspondent of the Matin, who recently witnessed in Berlin the arrival of Emperor William and the Crown Prince, which he compared to the departure of Napoleon III for Sedan in 1870. We were talking at the Ministry of War, where I also met the Marquis Robert de Flers, the well-known dramatist and editor of the Figaro, and M. Lazare Weiler, deputy. M. Hedeman told me that two days after the declaration of war a skirmish took place near the village of Genaville in the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, between French custom-house officials and a squadron of German cavalry. The commander of the German detachment was shot in the stomach, fell to the ground, and was captured. He was Lieutenant Baron Marshall von Bieberstein, son of the former German Ambassador at Constantinople. A French lieutenant of gendarmes helped the prisoner to his feet. Lieutenant von Bieberstein, who was mortally wounded, said: "Thank you, gentlemen! I have done my duty in serving my country, just as you are serving your own!" He then died. M. Charles Humbert, senator of the Meuse, gave the helmet and sabre that had been worn by Lieutenant Marshall von Bieberstein to the editor of the Matin.
Tuesday, August 11.
Tenth day of mobilization. Warm, sunny weather, with light northerly breezes. Temperature at five P.M. 27 degrees centigrade.
Expectation of the great battle believed to be forthcoming to the north of Liège dominates the situation here.
I breakfasted to-day at the restaurant Paillard with M. Max-Lyon and M. Arthur Meyer, manager of the Gaulois. Mlle. Zinia Brozia, of the Opéra Comique, who remains in Paris, was also of our party. All sorts of war rumors were current, but as M. Messimy, the minister of war, has given to M. Arthur Meyer the assurance that while the news given out "might not be all the news, it would nevertheless be invariably true news," confidence in the official communications to the press, which are the only authentic source of war news, is unshaken. The French Ministry of War, in its official communiqué of the military situation, issued at 11.30 this evening, states that the French troops are in contact with the enemy along almost the entire front. The only fighting that has taken place, however, has been engagements between the outposts, in which the French soldiers everywhere showed irresistible courage and ardor.
A Uhlan who was captured near Liège on Saturday was found to be the bearer of a map marked with the proposed marches of the German army. According to this map, the Germans were to be in Brussels on August 3 and at Lille on August 5.
Wednesday, August 12.
Eleventh day of mobilization. Hot weather, with light northerly breeze. Temperature at five P.M. 29 degrees centigrade.
Breakfasted with M. Galtier at the Cercle Artistique et Litteraire, Rue Volney. Several members of the club had just arrived from various watering-places. One of them, who came from Evian-les-Bains, said that he was sixty-two hours en route. The trains stop at every station so that they have uniform speed, thus rendering accidents almost out of the question. Only third-class tickets are sold, but these admit to all places.
It seems certain that the first part of the German plan---namely to come with a lightning-like, overwhelming crash through Belgium, via Liege and Namur---has failed. But the battle of millions along the vast front of two hundred and fifty miles between Liège and Verdun has opened, and the opposing armies are in touch with each other. Every one in Paris has confidence in the final result.
There is news of stupendous importance in the official announcement that Germany is employing the bulk of her twenty-six army corps against France and Belgium between Liège and Luxemburg. The disappearance of the German first line troops from the Russian frontier is now explained. By flinging this immense force upon France, Germany gains an advantage of numbers. How will she use it?
Paris seems to have seen very little, after all, of the mobilization. Most people may have seen an odd regiment pass, or perhaps numbers of horses obviously requisitioned. But they realize none of the feverish bustle of the mobilization centers.
Versailles relieves Paris of all this, and Versailles, since the first day of August, has been amazing. The broad avenues of the sleepy old town have been packed from side to side with men in uniform, men only partly in uniform, or men carrying their uniforms under their arm. At the first glance there seemed nothing but confusion, but the appearance was misleading, for at the Chantiers Station trainload after trainload of troops--men, guns, horses, material---have been despatched, taking the route of the Grande Ceinture Railway around Paris to Noisy-le-Sec, and on to the Est system.
At Versailles one realizes very fully that France is at war. For there are lines and lines of guns awaiting teams and drivers, hundreds upon hundreds of provision wagons, rows and rows of light draught-horses, many being shod in the street, while out along the road to Saint-Cyr, in a broad pasturage stretching perhaps half a mile, are thousands of magnificent cattle tightly packed together. They are to feed some of France's fighting force.
And at Saint-Cyr there is unheard-of activity. The second army flying corps is being organized. It consists of nearly eighty certificated volunteer pilots, including Garros, Chevillard, Verrier, Champel, Audemars, and many more well-known names. There are others than French airmen in the corps. Audemars is Swiss, while there are also an Englishman, a Peruvian, and a Dane. These men are all waiting eagerly the order to move.
Those at the American Embassy who are in charge of advancing funds to Americans in need of them had their busiest day since the work began, on Monday. Forty-six persons received a total of 3,514 francs.
The total amount of money distributed for the three days has been 8,869 francs. This has gone to 105 persons, which gives an average of the modest sum of 84 francs apiece, or less than seventeen dollars.
At least nine out of ten of the applicants are virtually without bankable credit of any kind. One man gave as security---because the money is advanced as a loan, not as a gift---a cheque on a Chicago bank, but he admitted that the cheque was not negotiable, as it was drawn on one of the Lorrimer banks of Chicago, which had gone into the hands of receivers since he left for Europe.
Callers included a number of negro song and dance artists who had come to the end of their resources.
The work of distributing money is entirely in the hands of American army officers, and they investigate every case which has not already been investigated by the relief committee appointed by the Ambassador. Major Spencer Cosby, the military attaché at the Embassy, is the treasurer of the fund. Investigations are made by Captain Frank Parker, assisted by Lieutenants William H. Jouett and H. F. Loomis. The cashier is Captain Francis H. Pope, with Lieutenants Francis W. Honeycutt and B.B. Somervell as assistants.
When the history of the great war is written, a very honorable place will have to be reserved for the women of Paris. In the work of caring for the destitute and unemployed of their own sex, and anticipating the needs of great numbers of wounded men, they are showing extraordinary energy. Every day new and special philanthropic institutions are started and carried on by women in Paris.
Comtesse Greffulhe has taken in hand the provision of food and lodging for convalescent soldiers, so as to relieve the pressure on public and private hospitals and ambulances. Mme. Couyba, wife of the Minister of Labor, is arranging for the supply of free food to girls and women out of work. Marquise de Dion, Mme. Le Menuet and other ladies are opening temporary workshops where women can obtain employment at rates that will enable them to tide over the hard times before them.
The Union des Femmes de France is doing wonderful work in the organization of hospitals and in sending out nurses to wherever they are most likely to be needed.
One of the finest examples of energy and devotion is being set by the wife of the Military Governor of Paris, Mme. Michel. She has identified herself specially with what may be briefly described as "saving the babies." Her idea is to see that the coming generation shall not be sacrificed and that expectant mothers whose natural defenders have gone to the war shall not feel themselves forsaken.
Mme. Michel is the president of a committee of ladies who have undertaken, each in her own district, to seek out needy mothers, to see that they and their children receive assistance, and to give them all possible moral support.
Mme. Michel is putting in about eighteen hours' work a day in the discharge of her duties. She is up at daylight, and after dealing with a mass of correspondence, is out in her motor-car before seven o'clock, on a round of the various mairies, to see that the permanent maternity office, which it has been found necessary to start in every one of these municipal centers, is doing its work properly.
At eleven o'clock she is back at the big house which is the official residence of her husband, close to the Invalides, and is presiding over a committee meeting. She lunches in about a quarter of an hour, and plunges into more committee work, which usually lasts until well after four o'clock.
The latter part of the afternoon is taken up in another tour of inspection, dinner is a movable feast to be observed if there happens to be time for it, and then there is another pile of letters and telegrams a foot high to be gone through and answered; and so to bed, very late.