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PARIS WAR DAYS
[Illustration: Myron T. Herrick, American Ambassador in Paris.
PARIS WAR DAYS
DIARY OF AN AMERICAN
CHARLES INMAN BARNARD, LL.B. (HARVARD)
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
_Ogden Mills Reid_
EDITOR OF THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE
THIS DIARY IS DEDICATED
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
C. I. B.
_Paris, October, 1914._
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Myron T. Herrick, American Ambassador in Paris. _Frontispiece_
Shop of a German merchant in Paris, wrecked by French mobs
Sewing-girls at work in the American Episcopal Church
American Ambulance Hospital at Neuilly
Paris workmen hastening to join the colors
Woman replacing man in traffic work
General Victor Constant Michel, Military Governor of Paris until August
The Statue of Strasbourg, after the capture of Altkirch in Alsace by
Americans in Paris besieging the American Express Company's office for
funds for their daily bread
French Negro troops from Africa entraining in Paris
Flag of the 132nd German Infantry Regiment, captured at Saint-Blaise by
the 1st Battalion of Chasseurs à Pied
Robert Woods Bliss, First Secretary of the United States Embassy in
Paris, September, 1914
A party of American volunteers crossing the Place de l'Opéra in Paris on
their way to enlist
General Joseph Simon Galliéni, appointed Military Governor and Commander
of the Army of Paris, August 26, 1914
Étienne Alexandre Millerand, Minister of War, August 27, 1914
Parisians watching the German air craft that drop bombs on the city
Eiffel Tower's searchlight to reveal bomb-throwing air craft and air
scouts of the Germans
Wounded French soldiers returning to Paris with trophies from the
29th Infantry Reserves, Army of the Defence of Paris
General Joffre, Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Armies in France
M. Émile Laurent, appointed Prefect of Police of Paris, September 3,
Workmen erecting a barricade in Paris
"Sauf-Conduit" issued by the Prefecture of Police to persons wishing to
One of the wards in the American Ambulance Hospital at Neuilly
PARIS WAR DAYS
_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 Maître 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 Clemençeau.
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
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 Liége 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
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 _bandélière_ 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 François 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
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. Benét, 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
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.
[Illustration: Shop of a German merchant in Paris, wrecked by French
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 Trocadero,
and the Boulevard Flandrin, conveyed him to the station.
The station employés and the police on duty at the station formed a
silent cordon, through which the departing Ambassador passed with
Not a word was spoken as the baron stood for a few minutes on the
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
Periere. 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
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 Pyrenées. 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
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
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.
[Illustration: Photo. H.C. Ellis Paris. Sewing-girls at work in the
American Episcopal Church, making garments for the American Ambulance
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
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.
[Illustration: Photo. H.C. Ellis, Paris American Ambulance Hospital at
Neuilly. Ambulance train of motor-cars ready to start out to get the
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
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
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
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 Debuchet, Doctor Gros, Doctor Koenig and Doctor
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 Liége--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 Hôpital 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
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
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
Mrs. Herrick was elected president of the committee, Mrs. Potter Palmer
vice-president, Mrs. H. Herman Harjes treasurer, and Mrs. Laurence V.
Benét secretary. An executive committee was then elected, consisting of
Mrs. Laurence V. Benét, 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 Liége 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.
[Illustration: Photo, by Paul Thompson. Paris workmen hastening to join
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 employés 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.
[Illustration: Photo by Paul Thompson. Woman replacing man in traffic
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
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
Scenes of extraordinary enthusiasm marked the departure of the Fifth
Regiment of Line from the Pépinière 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
_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. Benét, 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.
[Illustration: Photo. Henri Manuel, Paris. General Victor Constant
Michel, Military Governor of Paris until August 27, 1914.]
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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 Comédie Française 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 Liége 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-a-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_.
[Illustration: The Statue of Strasbourg, after the capture of Altkirch
in Alsace by French troops.]
_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 Liége 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 Liége 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
It seems certain that the first part of the German plan--namely to come
with a lightning-like, overwhelming crash through Belgium, via Liége and
Namur--has failed. But the battle of millions along the vast front of
two hundred and fifty miles between Liége 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 Liége 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
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.
_Thursday, August 13._
Twelfth day of mobilization. Hot, sultry weather with faint
northeasterly wind. Thermometer at five P.M. 30 degrees centigrade.
Breakfasted to-day at the restaurant Paillard and met there M. Arthur
Meyer, M. Max-Lyon, Maître Charles Philippe of the French Bar, and Mr.
Slade, manager of the Paris branch of the Equitable Trust Company. War!
War! War! was the subject of the conversation, but no real news from the
front except of outpost fighting, with success for the French and the
Belgians. Gabriele d'Annunzio's flaming "Ode for the Latin
Resurrection," published to-day in the _Figaro_, is evidently
intended to excite Italians to seize an opportunity to abandon
neutrality and join France and the Allied Powers against Austria, and
thereby win back the "Italia Irredenta." D'Annunzio invokes the Austrian
oppression of bygone days in Mantua and Verona, calls Austria the
"double-headed Vulture," and summons all true Italians to take the
war-path of revenge. "Italy! Thine hour has struck for Barbarians call
thee to arms! _Vae Victis!_ Remember Mantua!"
After lunch I met Mrs. Edith Wharton, who had made some valuable mental
and written notes of what she has seen in Paris. She is about to leave
So sure were the Germans of advancing rapidly into France that they had
decided to complete their mobilization on French territory. According to
the _Figaro_, an Alsatian doctor, who came to France on the
outbreak of hostilities, had been ordered to join the German army at
Verdun on the third day of mobilization. A German tailor, living in
Paris, had instructions to join at Rheims on the thirteenth day.
Although the early closing hour of all cafés and restaurants causes some
inconvenience, it is being taken in good part by Parisians. It has not
the slightest effect on the habits of the city as far as keeping late
hours is concerned--no power on earth could make the Parisian go to bed
at nine o'clock.
People cannot spend their evenings in the cafés, so they spend them
either strolling or sitting about in the streets, smoking and chatting
for hours. But the new closing hour has had the effect expected by the
authorities. It has made Paris the most orderly city in the world. The
police are, however, kept very busy, for the regulation as to carrying
papers is being rigorously enforced, and the belated pedestrian is
invariably challenged by a cavalry patrol or by the ordinary police. If
his answers are unsatisfactory, he undergoes a more searching
examination at the police station.
Paris has become a paradise for cyclists. Owing to the lack of
transportation facilities, hundreds of Parisians have taken to using
bicycles as a practical mode of locomotion, and the city now swarms with
them. This state of things is not, however, likely to last very long,
for every day brings more vehicles back to the capital, and every day
brings a further step towards a more normal situation.
Some cars requisitioned will hardly be returned,--as is evidenced by
the experience of Mrs. Julia Newell and her sister, Miss Josephine
Pomeroy, two Americans just returned to Paris.
Before the war broke out, Miss Pomeroy left Frankfort by automobile, but
in passing through Metz her $5,000 Delaunay-Belleville machine was
confiscated by the Germans, and her footman and chauffeur, who were
Frenchmen, were put into prison. All her luggage was lost. No attention
was paid to her protests that she was an American citizen.
_Friday, August 14._
Thirteenth day of mobilization. Another hot, stifling day with
thermometer (centigrade) 31 degrees at five P.M.
Lunched at the Cercle Artistique et Litteraire, Rue Volney. Only the old
servants remain. The club is no longer open to non-member dinner guests.
The price of meals is reduced to three and a half francs for lunch, and
to four francs for dinner, including wine, mineral water, beer, or
cider. There is great scarcity of small change. To alleviate this, ivory
bridge or poker counters, marked fifty _centimes_, and one
_franc_, are given in change and circulate for payment of meals,
Greater military activity is noticed in the streets than for some days
past. Many movements of troops took place all day, and long convoys of
the ambulance corps, including several complete field hospital staffs,
were seen driving and marching through the city.
This was due to the fact that within the last few days large bodies of
the territorial forces had concentrated in the environs, notably at
Versailles, from whence they left for the front.
Early this morning certain districts of Paris literally swarmed with
soldiers of the territorial reserve.
Although most of them are married men and fathers, they display as fine
a spirit as their younger comrades. They may, perhaps, show less
enthusiasm, but that they are quite as calm is shown by the fact that a
number of them spent the last hours before their departure fishing in
the Ourcq Canal.
A detachment of naval reserves has been brought to Paris to assist the
police and the Municipal Guards in assuring order in the capital. The
men wear the uniform of _fusiliers marins_, and correspond to the
marines in the British navy. They will be placed under the orders of the
Prefect of Police.
Mr. A. Beaumont of the _Daily Telegraph_ has had a very narrow
escape from being shot as a spy. He is a naturalized American citizen,
but was born in Alsace. When the present war broke out, he started in a
motor-car to the front without the necessary passes and permits. He
circulated about and obtained good and useful news for his paper. The
other day, however, he was brought to a standstill in Belgium and was
arrested. The Belgian authorities asked at the French headquarters:
"What shall we do with him?" The reply was: "Send him on here to
headquarters, and if he proves to be a spy he will be court-martialed
and shot." This arose from the confusion of names. It seems that the
doings of a German spy named Brémont, of Alsatian birth, had become
known to the military authorities in France and Belgium. Beaumont
stoutly asserted that he was the victim of mistaken identity, and only
after very great difficulty, and with the exceptional efforts of Mr.
Herrick and of Sir Francis Bertie, the British Ambassador, was he able
to establish his true identity, when he was released by the French
Headquarter Staff, and handed over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Arrivals of detachments of German prisoners continue to be reported from
various parts of France. A Prussian officer, speaking French fluently,
was among a convoy of prisoners at Versailles yesterday. The officer, on
seeing some French territorials march past, singing the "Marseillaise,"
remarked to his guard: "What a disillusion awaits us!"
_Saturday, August 15._
(_Feast of the Assumption._)
Fourteenth day of mobilization. Heavy thunder storms set in at three
A.M. Showers followed until one o'clock; cloudy afternoon with variable
wind. Thermometer at five P.M. 22 degrees centigrade.
Huge crowds lined the streets leading from the Gare du Nord to the
British Embassy, to welcome Field-marshal Sir John French, Commander of
the British expeditionary force, who came to visit President Poincaré
before taking command of his army. At quarter to one, three motor-cars
rapidly approached the Embassy. In the second I could get a glimpse of
Sir John in his gray-brown khaki uniform. His firm, trim appearance and
his clear blue eyes, genial smile, and sunburnt face made an excellent
impression, and he was greeted with loud cheers. He had a long talk with
M. Messimy, Minister of War.
I am having a very busy time trying to obtain permission for American
war correspondents to accompany the French armies in the field. Mr.
Richard Harding Davis and Mr. D. Gerald Morgan have arrived in London on
the _Lusitania_ from New York to act as war correspondents in the
field with the French forces. As president of the Association of the
Foreign Press, and as Paris correspondent of the _New York
Tribune_, I made special applications at the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and at the War Office for authority for them to act as war
correspondents for the _New York Tribune_. These applications were
endorsed by Ambassador Herrick, who also did everything possible to
secure permission for them to take the field.
The official regulations for war correspondents are much more severe,
however, than those enforced during the Japanese and Turkish wars. In
the first place, only Frenchmen and correspondents of one of the
belligerent nationalities, that is to say French, British, Russian,
Belgian, or Servian, are allowed to act as war correspondents. Frenchmen
may represent foreign papers. All despatches must be written in the
French language and must be sent by the military post, and only after
having been formally approved by the military censor. No despatches can
be sent by wire or by wireless telegraphy. No correspondent can
circulate in the zone of operations unless accompanied by an officer
especially designated for that purpose. All private as well as
professional correspondence must pass through the hands of the censor.
War correspondents of whatever nationality will, during their sojourn
with the army, be subject to martial law, and if they infringe
regulations by trying to communicate news not especially authorized by
the official censors, will be dealt with by the laws of espionage in war
time. These are merely a few among the many rigid prescriptions
governing war correspondents.
I talked with several editors of Paris papers on the subject, notably
with M. Arthur Meyer of the _Gaulois_, Marquis Robert de Flers of
the _Figaro_, and M. Georges Clemençeau of the _Homme Libre_.
They one and all expressed the opinion that war correspondents would
enjoy exceptional opportunities, enabling them to get mental snap-shots
of picturesque events and to acquire valuable first-hand information for
writing magazine articles or books, but that from a newspaper standpoint
there would be insurmountable difficulties preventing them from getting
their "news to market," that is to say, in getting their despatches on
the wires for their respective papers. However, Mr. Herrick is doing
everything he can to obtain all possible facilities for Mr. Davis and
for Mr. Morgan.
Almost every day brings some fresh measure in the interest of the
public. Yesterday the Prefect of Police issued an order forbidding the
sale of absinthe in the cafés under pain of immediate closure, and again
called the attention of motorists to the regulations which they are
The sanitary authorities, too, have their hands full. So far, however,
the present circumstances have had no influence on the state of health
in Paris. The weekly bulletin published by the municipality shows that
the death and disease figures are quite normal.
Mr. Bernard J. Schoninger, chairman of the committee which has recently
been formed by the American Chamber of Commerce in Paris with the object
of settling difficult questions which may arise in Franco-American
commercial relations, states that his committee is collaborating with
the ladies' committee founded by the wife of the American Ambassador to
assist wounded soldiers. In a few days this committee collected one
hundred and seventy-five thousand francs. His own committee has issued
an appeal to all Chambers of Commerce in the United States, and he
trusts that considerable funds will be forthcoming for the ambulance
corps created under the auspices of the American Hospital in Paris. The
Minister for War has granted the use of the Lycée Pasteur, where it is
hoped to establish an ambulance of two hundred beds, which may later be
increased to one thousand.
The committee has also taken up the question of the payment of customs
duties on American imports into France, and Mr. Schoninger states that
he has met with the greatest kindness and that the French customs
authorities have agreed to accept guarantees from various commercial
syndicates instead of actual immediate cash payments. This will obviate
difficulties occasioned by the refusal of French banking establishments,
acting under the terms of the moratorium, in handing over funds which
they have on deposit.
_Sunday, August 16._
Fifteenth day of mobilization. Gray, cloudy day with occasional showers
and westerly wind. Thermometer at five P.M. 17 degrees centigrade.
I drove out in the Bois de Boulogne after lunch with the Duc de Loubat.
The Bois was rather deserted; only a few couples were strolling about or
seated on benches reading newspapers. Went to the Cercle des Patineurs,
where fences were being put up on the lawns to enclose sheep and oxen to
provision Paris. In the tennis court we saw about two hundred Kabyles
from Algeria, who had been found astray in Paris. They sleep on straw
beds in the tennis court and are provided with rations. They are all
men, and will be drafted into the Algerian reserves.
Madame Waddington, formerly Miss King of New York, and widow of the late
William Henry Waddington, senator, and member of several French
Cabinets, and one of the French delegates to the Berlin Conference in
1878, remains in Paris, and is stopping with her sister, Miss King, at
her apartment in the Rue de La Tremouille. Madame Waddington was a great
friend of the late King Edward VII, who never passed through Paris
without calling to see her and lunching with her and her family. Madame
Waddington, who is in excellent health and spirits, told me that the
feeling was so strong against the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, Count
Szecsen de Temerin, during the last few days of his stay here after
hostilities had begun with Germany, that one evening, as he was about to
sit down to dinner with his fellow diplomatist, M. Alexandre Lahovary,
the Roumanian Minister, at the Cercle de l'Union, which is one of the
most select and restricted clubs of Paris, the secretary of the club
requested M. Lahovary to announce to the Austrian Ambassador that the
committee of the club expressed the wish that he should no longer take
his meals at the club nor appear on the premises, because his presence
under prevailing political conditions rendered the Austrian Ambassador
an "undesirable personage." The Austrian Ambassador, who had just
ordered an excellent bottle of Mouton Rothschild claret for his dinner,
at once left the club.
[Illustration: French Negro troops from Africa entraining in Paris.
Photo by Paul Thompson.]
Parisians flocked in thousands to-day to the basilica of the Sacre Coeur
of Montmartre, where special services were held. This church was planned
and built in expiation of the war of 1870. It was finished only a few
months ago, and was to have been definitely "inaugurated" next month.
A detachment of about four thousand men of the Naval Reserve, most of
whom are Bretons, is encamped to the north of Paris at Le Bourget, and
there have been stirring scenes in the little church there. It has been
crowded with sailors and soldiers at every service, for Bretons are
among the most religious of all peoples of France.
Abbé Marcadé, the curé of Le Bourget, has had magnificent congregations.
On the Feast of the Assumption the Abbé decided to hold Mass in the open
air. An altar was accordingly set up in a large field beside a haystack.
Thirty-five hundred soldiers attended. At the end, the Abbé, standing on
a table, preached a sermon in the falling rain.
These military services at Le Bourget have been strikingly picturesque.
The Abbé's sermons are interrupted from time to time by cheers, as if he
were making a political speech. His words on patriotism and soldiers'
duty have been greeted with shouts of "Vive la France." Loudest of all
was the applause when he declared that feelings of party were now
drowned in love for the country. In the evening, after the service at
which this sermon was preached, the Abbé dined with the officers of the
regiment and with the socialist mayor of the commune, a thing which
would have been impossible in ordinary times. The war has made Frenchmen
stand together in closer unity than they have ever done before.
One of the strangest changes brought about by the war is that of the
fashionable race-courses of Auteuil and Longchamp. These have been
turned into large grazing farms for sheep and cattle requisitioned by
the military authorities. Another curious requisition is that of all
French military uniforms in the wardrobes of the Paris theaters.
Mobilization orders to rejoin his regiment at Rheims on August 7 have
been found in the possession of a wounded German soldier in hospital at
Brussels. The man stated that several of his comrades had received
orders to join the colors at other French towns on specified dates. This
shows how the German plans were upset by the resistance at Liége.
Field-marshal Sir John French slept at the British Embassy last night,
and after a rousing reception left Paris at seven o'clock this morning
in an automobile for an "unknown destination."
Every man in France is envying the young dragoon officer, Lieutenant
Bruyant, who has been given the first Cross of the Legion of Honor in
the war. The lieutenant with six men was scouting near the frontier,
when suddenly he saw a number of horsemen moving a good way off, and
made them out to be a patrol of twenty-seven Uhlans. Shots were
exchanged and a German fell. Then the Uhlans cantered away. They were
four to one, but did not care to fight.
The French followed up resolutely, but the Germans kept their distance.
When the dragoons trotted, the Uhlans trotted too. Now the former would
gallop across a bit of open country, and the Germans would gallop away
just as quickly. Evidently they were making for shelter.
Soon Lieutenant Bruyant saw that they were trying to reach a wood, where
they could take cover. No time was to be lost. He knew that if they got
there they would escape him. Now was the moment to unchain the ardor of
his men. He gave the orders "Draw swords!" "Charge!"
The seven spurred their horses and fell upon the twenty-seven with
shouts of defiance. The shock demoralized the Germans, who made no stand
at all. One was killed by a lance thrust. The officer in command was
drawing his revolver when Lieutenant Bruyant cut him down with his
sabre. Six more were wounded and knocked off their horses. The rest fled
_Monday, August 17._
Sixteenth day of mobilization. Gray, cloudy weather with northerly
breezes. Thermometer at five P.M. 17 degrees centigrade.
The first trophy of the war, the flag of the One Hundred and
Thirty-second German Infantry Regiment (First Regiment of Lower Alsace),
arrived in Paris this morning, having been brought by motor-car from the
front, where it was captured at Sainte-Blaise by the Tenth Battalion of
Chasseurs-à-Pieds (riflemen), a corps which distinguished itself in the
Franco-Austrian war of 1859 by capturing the first Austrian flag at
Solferino. In 1840, the Tenth Chasseurs-à-Pied were commanded by Patrice
de MacMahon, then a major and afterwards Marshal of France and Duc de
Magenta, and whose name is remembered by the corps in their march song:
"L' dixièm' batallion,
N'a pas peur du canon,
Nom de nom!"
The captured flag is of magenta colored silk, with a white St. Andrew's
cross, on which the imperial eagle and the regimental insignia are
embroidered in gold. The news that a German flag was being shown spread
rapidly, and a large crowd gathered. There were no insulting remarks,
merely quiet observation. Among the first to see the trophy were some
school-children headed by their master, who explained the significance
of the capture. The flag was taken to the Elysée Palace and shown to
President Poincaré, who is himself a major of chasseurs-à-pied. It was
afterwards placed in the Invalides.
General Michel, the Governor of Paris, has notified all places of public
entertainment that their programmes must henceforth be submitted to the
censors under pain of closure of the establishment.
Except for trifling drawbacks, inevitable in times like the present,
Paris has little to complain of. There are everywhere signs of a gradual
return to normal conditions. Among these is the reappearance of flowers
on the costermongers' carts and at the kiosks. In the early stages of
the mobilization, when many thousands of families were saying good-by to
their men, no one had the heart to buy flowers, even had any supply been
available. The conveyance to Paris of flowers grown in the neighborhood
of the capital has now been reorganized, and roses and carnations are
being sold on the main thoroughfares at normal prices.
Women and girl newspaper-sellers have become familiar figures in Paris,
and their number is increasing steadily as the needs of the army are
depriving more and more families of their bread-winners. A pathetic
figure seen on the Boulevard des Italiens yesterday afternoon was a
woman toiling along under the weight of a sleeping child about five
years old, and calling her newspapers gently, so as not to wake him.
_Tuesday, August 18._
Seventeenth day of mobilization. Cloudy weather with occasional patches
of blue sky. Thermometer at five P.M. 17 degrees centigrade. Light
It is now for the first time officially announced that the British
expeditionary force has safely landed in France and in Belgium. The
transportation has been effected in perfect order, promptly on schedule
time, and without the slightest hitch or casualty. British troops were
everywhere received with immense enthusiasm. Not only have they landed