Part 2 out of 3
at Ostend, Boulogne, and Havre, with all their field transports, but
they have been taken up the Seine in steamers to Rouen, whence they were
entrained on the strategic lines for Belgium. M.J.A. Picard, a young
Frenchman, and his wife arrived from New York and reached Paris via
Boulogne. M. Picard will join the army to-morrow as a reservist employed
in the general staff. His wife will act as a correspondent of the
_Tribune_ in France. M. Picard said that Boulogne was full of
British troops. They marched through the narrow streets of the city
wearing their khaki uniforms, thousands upon thousands of them, roaring
as they pass the new British war slogan: "Are we downhearted?
_No-o-o-o-o! Shall we win? Ye-e-e-e-e-s-s-s!_" Then came an Irish
regiment with their brown jolly faces beaming with fun, and singing:
"It's a long way to Tipperary ... It's a long way to go!" A Welsh
battalion followed, whistling the "Marseillaise." The prettiest girls in
every town throw flowers and kisses to these stalwart British lads. As
soon as the order to break ranks is given, bevies of smiling lasses
surround the troops, offering them sandwiches, fruit, wine, and flowers,
and even kisses. There would be thousands of jealous girls in England,
Scotland, Ireland, and Wales to-day if they could but witness the
reception. Highland regiments wearing the kilt have stupendous success
with the blushing young women of France.
From the seat of war in Belgium, and also in the North Sea, the same
awful silence continues, and Parisians manifest growing impatience for
the inevitable great battle. I went to the Ministry of War with M. and
Mme. Picard, but no news of military importance was communicated.
_Wednesday, August 19._
Eighteenth day of mobilization. Fine summer weather, with light
northerly wind. Temperature at five P.M. 17 degrees centigrade.
Absolute silence concerning military movements in Belgium. No official
communication was made to-day at the Ministry of War. Parisians feel
that momentous events are about to take place but look forward with calm
I called upon my old friend, M. René Baschet, manager of the
_Illustration_, which is the only illustrated weekly paper in
France to continue its issue. I hastened to tell M. Baschet that I had
received a private telegram from Rome announcing that the Pope was so
ill that his physicians, and above all Monseigneur Zampini, did not
think that His Holiness could live through the night. M. Baschet paid
genuine tribute to Lord Kitchener's instructions "to every soldier of
the British expeditionary forces," and said that the British War
Minister showed himself at once "heroic and hygienic," and cited the
passage: "You may find temptations, both in wine and women. You must
entirely resist both temptations, and while treating all women with
perfect courtesy, you should avoid any intimacy."
At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I met M. Jules Cambon, French
Ambassador at Berlin, who after being treated discourteously by the
Germans and dealt with practically as a prisoner, reached Paris by way
of Denmark and England. It would have been indiscreet to ask M. Jules
Cambon to disclose diplomatic secrets, but after conversing with persons
who accompanied him, it seems certain that there had been complete
understanding between Germany and Austria about the sending of Austria's
ultimatum to Servia. It is true that German diplomacy had not accepted
the exact terms of the ultimatum communicated to Servia on July 23 and
had asked for certain modifications in the text, which Austria refused
to make. M. Cambon drew an important distinction between German
_diplomacy_, and the German _military clique_. The former were
willing only to go so far as _risking_ a war, while the latter
seized the opportunity to _bring on_ the war and to attack France.
The discussion lasted two or three days, and the military caste,
receiving the strong personal encouragement and support of Emperor
William, became omnipotent, and from that moment war was inevitable. In
regard to France, Germany constantly repeated the formula: "Put strong
pressure upon Russia, your ally, to prevent her from helping the
Servians!" To this France replied: "Very good, but you yourself should
put strong pressure upon Austria, your ally, to prevent her from
provoking a catastrophe!" To this Germany rejoined: "Ah! But that is not
the same thing!" Thus it was in this "_cercle vicieux_" that the
diplomatic conversation continued, which, under the circumstances, and
especially owing to the attitude of Emperor William, could end in
nothing else but war.
_Thursday, August 20._
Nineteenth day of mobilization. Ideal summer weather. Light northerly
breezes. Temperature at five P.M. 16 degrees centigrade.
Good news of further French advances in Upper Alsace and the recapture
of Mülhausen make Parisians cheerful. The death of the Pope during the
present tension is scarcely noticed. All thoughts and expectations are
centered on Belgium, where the great battle is impending.
It is announced at the Ministry of War that it was not the Tenth but the
First Battalion of Chasseurs-à-Pied that captured the German regimental
flag now hung in the Invalides. The French tobacco factories are working
night and day to supply the armies with tobacco, for in all countries
soldiers and sailors are ardent devotees to "My Lady Nicotine." In honor
of the Belgians, a special cigarette, _La Liégeoise_, has been
produced, which is naturally tipped with cork (_liége_). The stock
of "Virginia" has run short for supply to the British soldiers. The
"Virginia," being slightly scented, is known in France as _tabac à la
confiture_, but large quantities are being imported from Liverpool
expressly to satisfy Tommy Atkins.
I met at the War Office, M. Pégoud, inventor of "looping the loop," who
was being congratulated by M. Messimy, Minister of War. He came here to
get a new aeroplane, his own having been riddled through the wings by
ninety-seven bullets and two shells when he was making a raid of one
hundred and eighty miles into German territory. He naturally did not
tell me _where_ he went, but simply said he crossed the Rhine with
an official observer and blew up, by means of bombs, two German convoys.
"Captain Fink," he stated, "destroyed the Frascati airship shed near
Metz, where there was a Zeppelin which was wrecked. He also destroyed
three Taube aeroplanes, which were also in the shed."
General Bonnal, formerly professor of strategy at the Ecole Militaire,
says: "The greatest piece of good fortune for France that can be
expected, is that Emperor William will take personal command of all the
German armies. This is now an accomplished fact, and it gives us all
[Illustration: From _L'Illustration._ Flag of the 132nd German
Infantry Regiment. Captured at Saint-Blaise by the 1st Battalion of
Chasseurs à Pied (riflemen) and exhibited at a window of the Ministry
_Friday, August 21._
Twentieth day of mobilization. Threatening weather with overcast sky.
Northwesterly wind. Temperature at five P.M. 19 degrees centigrade. No
clouds prevented the eclipse of the sun from being seen in Paris. Most
people however were profoundly indifferent to the celestial phenomena.
Thousands of foreign volunteers assembled on the Esplanade des Invalides
this morning to offer their services for the war. These young foreigners
are mostly strong, active youths and have all received more or less
military training. They marched through the streets in detachments of
from two to six hundred, grouped together according to nationalities,
bearing French flags alongside flags of their own countries. There were
about five thousand Russians, five thousand Italians, two thousand
Belgians, numerous Czecs, Slavs, Roumanians, and Armenians, together
with smaller contingents of Americans, British, and Greeks. Mr. Arthur
Bles and his second in command, Mr. Victor Little, are busy organizing
the "Rough Riders" in a riding-school in Rue Avenue des Chasseurs.
M. Geissler, manager of the Hotel Astoria, who was recently reported as
having been shot as a spy for arranging disks on the roof of his hotel
to interfere with the French wireless telegraphy, was tried today, not
by court martial, but by a civil judge, M. Tortat, to whom the court
martial had referred the matter for further evidence. It appears that M.
Geissler had been denounced on insufficient grounds by a clerk in his
employment. His innocence was established, this morning, and he was
released from the Santé prison and handed over to the military
authorities, who will probably let the matter drop.
_Saturday, August 22._
Mobilization is now completed. This is the nineteenth day since the
declaration of war (August 3). A sultry day with light northwesterly
breezes. Thermometer at five P.M. 22 degrees centigrade.
"All that I can say to you is that the battle has begun. That is all I
know," is the statement made by M. Malvy, Minister of the Interior, as
he stepped into his motor-car at the Elysée Palace on his way home this
evening after the meeting of the Council of National Defence.
Remarkable, impressive silence prevails everywhere. If people speak, it
seems to be in a whisper. Never before was Paris so full of
motor-ambulances, all driving hurriedly hither and thither, bearing
nurses or Red Cross attendants, but never a wounded. The whole of the
Rue François-Premier is lined on both sides with Red Cross motor-cars.
The railway stations have an unusual appearance, with hundreds of wooden
booths forming a sort of barrier to approaches. The calm, confident,
silent, patriotic expectation augurs well for the future and vividly
contrasts with the noisy, braggadocio spirit of 1870. Paris at the
present moment is the most orderly, well-behaved city in the world.
I met at the Café Napolitain, a favorite resort of journalists, my
friend Laurence Jerrold, chief Paris correspondent of the _London
Daily Telegraph_. We spoke of the stories showing the amazing
ignorance in which German officers have been kept regarding the
situation. Mr. Jerrold told me that a relative of his, who is a French
officer, saw yesterday two Prussian lieutenants, who, as prisoners of
war, were being taken around Paris, to a town in western France. Both
spoke French perfectly. At Juvisy station, where the train stopped, they
said to the French officer: "Of course, we know why you are taking us
around Paris and not _into_ Paris. Paris is in a state of
revolution, and you don't want us to see what is going on there."
Argument followed; the Prussian officers persisted that Paris was in
revolt, that France stood alone, that England had declared neutrality,
that an Italian army had already crossed the French frontier and had
invaded the department of Haute Savoie, etc. The French officer rushed
to the waiting-room, bought all the newspapers he could find, and
brought them back to the Prussian prisoners, who fell aghast and read
them in silence, as the train proceeded.
The curator of the Louvre Museum has taken every possible precaution to
ensure the safety of the works of art under his care. The Venus of Milo
has been placed in a strong-room lined with steel plates--a sort of
gigantic safe--and stands in absolute security from any stray Zeppelin
bombs. The Winged Victory of Samothrace is also protected by armor
plates. Mona Lisa once more smiles in darkness. The Salle Greque,
containing masterpieces of Phidias, is protected by sand bags. Many
unique treasures of statuary and painting are placed in the cellars.
Similar precautions are taken at the Luxembourg and at other museums.
The upper stories of the Louvre, which are roofed in glass, are being
converted into hospital wards, and thus the collections of the national
museum, which belong to all time and to all nations, enjoy the
protection of the Red Cross flag.
I made a brief trip to Versailles, which has been transformed into an
arsenal and a vast supply depot for food and forage. Troops of the
military commissariat train are cantoned in the parks and shooting
preserves of Prince Murat and of Mr. James Gordon Bennett. The
attractive little summer residence of Miss Elsie de Wolff and Miss
Elizabeth Marbury is occupied by cavalry officers. Versailles is the
mobilization center or assembly for the southwestern military regions,
and over fifty thousand men have been equipped here and sent on to their
destinations at the front. Herds of cattle and flocks of sheep are
grazing contentedly on the lawns and meadows of the chateau.
The membership of the executive committee of the women's committee of
the American Ambulance has been increased by the addition of Mrs. Robert
Woods Bliss, Mrs. Cooper Hewitt, and Mrs. Barton French.
Among the American women who have volunteered to serve as nurses in the
hospital now being established in the Lycée Pasteur, in Neuilly, are the
following: Mrs. H. Herman Harjes, Mrs. Frederick H. Allen, Mrs. Laurence
V. Benét, Mrs. Whitney Warren, Mrs. Charles Carroll, Miss Ives, Miss
Edith Deacon, Mrs. Barton French and Miss Treadwell.
_Sunday, August 23_.
Twenty-first day of the war. A hot sultry day, with southerly wind.
Temperature at five P.M. 25 degrees centigrade.
The fourth Sunday of August finds Paris silently awaiting news from the
great battle going on for a distance of one hundred and five miles
extending from Mons to the Luxemburg frontier, and which is expected to
rage for several days. Parisians receive with enthusiasm the news
communicated by M. Iswolski, the Russian Ambassador, announcing that
three of the five army corps which Germany has in East Prussia have been
defeated by the army of General Rennekampf, near Gumbinnen.
I drove to-day with the Duke de Loubat, who is a close friend of
Cardinal Ferrata, now spoken of as foremost favorite among the
_Papabili_ Cardinals. Monseigneur Ferrata enjoys great popularity
not only at Rome but abroad, and is a warm friend of the United States.
He has also a keen sense of humor. Not long ago a distinguished member
of the French parliament lunched with Monseigneur Ferrata and remarked:
"How is it that the Church requires such a long lapse of time before
pronouncing a decree of nullity of marriage?" "Well," replied Cardinal
Ferrata, "before the end of the ten years' delay, it is usually found
that _one of the three_ dies or disappears, and that the petition
consequently is no longer pressed!" A great change is noticeable in the
Paris churches. They have been more crowded since the war than for many
years past. I entered the Madeleine to-day and found, to my surprise, an
unusually large proportion of men among the congregation. Most of them
were reservists called to arms. In other churches the congregations were
almost entirely composed of women and children.
Our Ambassador, Herrick, is a sort of guardian angel for Americans in
Paris. I saw him to-day working with Mr. Robert Woods Bliss, first
secretary of the Embassy. He rose at six in the morning, and except for
a brief repose for breakfast and dinner, is constantly ready to give
advice to Americans or to attend to intricate diplomatic duties that
crop up here at every turn. Our Ambassador also has on his shoulders the
affairs of all the Germans and Austrians who remain in France. Some of
our countrymen are very hard to please. Everything possible is being
done for those who wish to return home, and money, when necessary, is
advanced to them for the purpose. But they strongly object to waiting
in line for their turn, whether at the Embassy, the Consulate, or at the
Transatlantic Company, where, owing to the crowd of applicants, there is
some necessary delay in attending to them.
[Illustration: Robert Woods Bliss, First Secretary of the United States
Embassy in Paris, September, 1914.]
A number of complications have arisen by discharged servants filing
statements against their former employers, denouncing them as "probable
spies." Several examples of this have already occurred with prominent
American ladies who permanently reside here. I spoke with M. Hennion,
the prefect of police, on the subject, and he said that "such malicious
accusations"--and he showed me a pile of denunciations nearly a yard
high--"were never acted upon, unless under _really suspicious
One of Mr. Herrick's callers at the American Embassy was Mme. Henri de
Sinçay, a grand-daughter of General Logan, of Civil War fame. She is the
wife of a French army officer and when the war broke out was living in a
chateau near Liege. She fled to Brussels with her child, and then,
leaving the latter there with her sister-in-law, came to Paris to say
good-by to her husband, who is attached to the aviation corps near
Versailles. Now Mme. de Sinçay cannot return to her child, but she is
not worrying over the situation and has offered her services to the
American Ambulance here in Paris.
The earnest, practical way in which General Victor Constant Michel,
Military Governor of Paris, carries out his work, is admirable. General
Michel has quietly despatched large numbers of the unruly youths of
Belleville, Montmartre, and Montparnasse,--known as the "apaches"--to
the country, in small gangs, to reap the wheat harvest, and he also
employs them in the government cartridge and ammunition factories. In
Paris, they have completely vanished from sight. The prohibition of the
drinking and sale of absinthe, not only in Paris, but throughout France,
was also due to the foresight of the Military Governor. General Michel,
although a rigid disciplinarian and a masterful organizer, is extremely
affable and agreeable. He was born at Auteuil in 1850, and after
graduation from Saint-Cyr, the French West Point, served in the war of
1870-1871 as second lieutenant of infantry. In 1894 he was made colonel
of an infantry regiment and showed such proficiency during the
manoeuvers that he became general-of-brigade in 1897. He was made
general-of-division in 1902; he is member of the Supreme War Council,
and in 1910 was awarded the high distinction of Grand Officer of the
Legion of Honor.
_Monday, August 24._
Twenty-second day of the war. Hot day with bright blue sky and
southeasterly wind. Thermometer at five P.M. 27 degrees centigrade.
Terrific night and day fighting continues on the Sambre and Meuse. The
French attack seems to have been repulsed. The allies remain on the
defensive, awaiting further German attacks. The losses on both sides are
terrible. Some days yet must elapse before the final result of the great
battle can be known. Meanwhile, Paris waits with patriotic confidence.
Russian victories in East Prussia, the Japanese bombardment of Tsin-Tao,
in Kiao-Chow, the advance of the Servians, and the increasing probability
of Italy claiming eventually her "_irredenta_" territory, are all
encouraging factors in this world-wide war.
The American volunteers mustered to-day at their recruiting offices in
the Rue de Valais and marched to the Invalides, where they passed the
French medical test prior to enrolment in the French army. The men are
wonderfully fit, and their splendid muscular, wiry physique was greatly
admired as they marched through the streets. Out of the two hundred
present, only one was not passed by the army surgeons, and even he was
not definitely refused. The corps will proceed to-morrow to the Gare
Saint-Lazare for entrainment. They will be sent, at first, to Rouen.
M.F.A. Granger, a young Frenchman, arrived to-day in Paris from New
York, where he left his wife and family. He sailed on the
_Rochambeau_ with many of his countrymen, coming, like himself, to
join the colors. M. Granger tells me that he saw near Lisieux a train of
German prisoners, mostly cavalrymen, some of whom had been wounded by
lance thrusts. They seemed resigned to their fate, without enthusiasm,
and on the whole rather pleased at the prospect of being confined and
fed in France, instead of remaining at the front. They said that they
had no idea that England and Belgium were fighting against them, until
they crossed swords with the Belgian cavalry, which they at first
supposed were French.
_Tuesday, August 25._
This is the twenty-third day of the war. Another warm, sunny day, with
northwesterly breezes. Thermometer at five P.M. 24 degrees centigrade.
Better news from the front this morning. The great battle that has been
raging for three days from Mons to Virton, during which the French and
British attacks were repulsed, has been resumed, and renewed German
attacks have been checked. Considerable anxiety as to the result
nevertheless prevails. My concierge, Baptiste, for instance, shakes his
head in a mournful way and says: "Ah! Monsieur, there is already
terrible loss of life. My brother-in-law, who left Luxemburg three weeks
ago to join his reserve regiment in France, is without a cent in the
world, and what will become of his wife and two little children--the
Lord only knows! Their little farmhouse, with all their belongings, has
been burned, and nothing is left."
I breakfasted to-day at the restaurant Champeaux, Place de la Bourse.
Two agents-de-change (official members of the Paris Stock Exchange) took
very gloomy views of the situation. It seems, however, that the French
rentes maintain their quotation of seventy-five francs. Mr. Elmer
Roberts of the Associated Press and Mr. Hart O. Berg sat at our table.
Both thought that the war would be much longer than at first expected
and would depend upon how long Germany could exist, owing to the
impossibility of obtaining food from abroad. "Eight months," said Mr.
After lunch I went with Roberts to see the departure of the first
contingent of American volunteers from the Gare Saint-Lazare. These
youths are a tall, stalwart lot, marching with a sort of cowboy swing.
They were not in uniform, but wore flannel shirts, broad-brimmed felt
hats, and khaki trousers. They carried a big American flag surmounted
with a huge bouquet of roses, and alongside this a large French flag.
They were loudly cheered as they were entrained for Rouen, where they
will be drilled into effective shape.
I met Mrs. Edith Wharton, who remains in Paris, and is doing good work
with her _ouvroir_, or sewing-circle, which, with Mrs. Thorne, she
has organized in the Rue Vaneau. This _ouvroir_ is to supply work
to unmarried French women and widows. Among those who have liberally
subscribed to this are Mrs. William Jay, Mrs. Elbert H. Gary, Mrs. Beach
Grant, and Mrs. Griswold Gray.
I went in the afternoon to see Madame Waddington at her _ouvroir_,
156 Boulevard Haussmann. Madame Waddington makes an appeal by cable to
the _New York Tribune_, calling upon all American women and men to
aid her indigent French sewing-women, who are employed in making
garments for the sick and wounded, for which they receive one and a half
francs (thirty cents) and one meal, for a day's work. Madame Waddington
wore a gray linen gown, with a red cross, and was working away very
merrily, distributing materials to the women. She told me that her son
had joined the colors as a sergeant in an infantry reservist regiment
and was at the front.
M. Maurice Maeterlinck, the Belgian writer and philosopher, is living at
his quaint Abbaye de Sainte-Wandrille, on the Seine near Caudebec. The
author of _La Vie des Abeilles_ has been helping the peasants
gather the wheat harvest.
[Photograph: Photo by Paul Thompson. A party of American volunteers
crossing the Place de l'Opéra in Paris on their way to enlist.]
After three weeks, during which relief funds have been advanced to
Americans at the Embassy, the demands for money continue to be as heavy
as ever. Paris is a human clearing-house, into which new arrivals are
now coming every day from Switzerland and elsewhere. Although many
tourists have been helped and started on their way for the United
States, new ones take their places before they are fairly out of the
Thus, although the Embassy hoped that it had succeeded in getting the
persons in most urgent need off to America on the _Espagne_, the
departure of that vessel has caused no let-up in the demand for funds,
and some individuals who have already been helped once are now coming
back for further assistance.
One of the negro song and dance artists, who was given some money a
couple of weeks ago and who was supposed to have left on the
_Espagne_, presented himself and asked for further funds after that
vessel steamed. When asked how it happened that he did not go, as
arranged, he replied: "'Deed, Ah overslept mahself."
"Considering that the boat train left at six o'clock in the evening,"
remarked Major Cosby, who has charge of the administration of the relief
fund, "he would seem to be a good sleeper."
In the case of all persons who are helped, the stipulation is made that
they must take the earliest possible means of transport to America. The
Government has no intention of financing tourists who desire to visit
Europe at this time. The sole object of the relief fund is to get them
back to the United States as soon as possible.
In addition to the ordinary relief fund, one hundred and seventy
thousand francs have been paid out at the Embassy this week by cable
orders against funds already deposited with the Department of State.
This is a purely business transaction, the Government having already
received the full amount of the payment made, but it has been a source
of much relief to many travelers.
_Wednesday, August 26_.
Twenty-fourth day of the war. Dull, cheerless weather, with a Scotch
drizzle in the afternoon and heavy rain in the evening. Southwesterly
wind. Temperature at five P.M. 20 degrees centigrade.
The great battle on the Sambre and Meuse continues with frightful
slaughter on both sides. The allies have been partially forced back but
resist with dogged determination.
Mrs. Hermann Duryea, a family relative of mine, and whose husband's
horse "Durbar" won the English Derby this spring, has come to Paris for
a few days from their country place near Argentan in Normandy, and is
stopping at her apartment in the Avenue Gabriel. Mrs. Duryea's
chauffeur, who is a young Frenchman, says that Belgian chauffeurs have
reached Normandy from the north, telling harrowing tales of the
brutality and cruelty of the Germans, and announcing that the "German
cavalry and armored motor-cars would soon prevent people from leaving
Paris." Mrs. Duryea, who is an exceedingly cool-headed, plucky woman,
came to me for advice. I told her that there was no probability at
present of communication from Paris to the westward being interfered
with. She sent some of her servants home to the United States and made
arrangements to rejoin her husband at Bazoches-en-Houlme, near Argentan.
The château has, through the generosity of the Duryeas, been turned into
a Red Cross hospital.
President Poincaré has taken a leaf from Great Britain, and Premier René
Viviani has reconstructed a new Cabinet with eminent men, representing
all political parties, making a government of national defence. Since
the outbreak of the war, the Cabinet has been taking advice from
statesmen such as MM. Millerand, Delcassé, Briand, and Ribot. These men
now form part of the Ministry, the formation of which was announced to a
group of journalists at 11.30 this evening at the Ministry of War, when
we assembled there for the usual nightly _communiqué_. The new
Cabinet is made up as follows: Prime Minister (without Portfolio), M.
René Viviani; Vice-President of Council and Minister of Justice, M.
Aristide Briand; Interior, M. Malvy; Foreign Affairs, M. Delcassé; War,
M. Millerand; Navy, M. Augagneur; Finance, M. Ribot; Agriculture, M.
Fernand David; Public Works, M. Marcel Sembat; Labor, M.
Bienvenu-Martin; Commerce, M. Thomson; Public Instruction, M. Albert
Sarraut; Colonies, M. G. Doumergue; Minister without Portfolio, M. Jules
M. Etienne Alexandre Millerand is an illustrious member of the Paris
Bar, who has been several times a cabinet minister. As head of the War
Department, two years ago, he did more than any living Frenchman towards
the reconstitution of true _esprit militaire_ in the French army.
He prepared the way for the three years' service, and reorganized the
forces of the nation that had grown rusty during the decade that
preceded the alarm caused by the German Emperor at Agadir. It is quite
probable that M. Millerand will prove to be the Lazare Carnot--"The
Organizer of Victory"--of the present war. With M. Théophile Delcassé as
Minister of Foreign Affairs, French diplomacy cannot be in better hands.
In calling upon M. Jules Guesde, socialist deputy for Lille, and upon M.
Marcel Sembat, a red-hot socialist--both unified socialists and trusted
friends of the late Jean Jaurès, the Government is assured of the hearty
support of the extreme "revolutionary" parties.
MM. Guesde and Sembat can certainly do the Government less harm _inside_
the Cabinet than they might do _outside_ of it. No better evidence that
all bitterness of political parties is now in the melting-pot can be
found than in the comment of the reactionary, ultra-Catholic, royalist
_Gaulois_, which says: "We are to-day all united in the bonds of
patriotism in face of the common enemy. We place absolute confidence in
the men who have assumed a task, the success of which means the salvation
of France and the triumph of civilization." M. Georges Clemençeau was
offered a place in the Cabinet, but declined to accept it.
The appointment of General Joseph Simon Galliéni as commander of the
army of Paris, and military governor, in succession to General Michel,
means that France is resolved to put Paris in a thoroughly efficient
state of defence, and to be ready for the worst possible emergencies.
General Michel is an admirable organizer and administrator, but he has
not had the vast military experience of General Galliéni, who is, by the
way, a warm friend and comrade of the former military governor. Moreover
General Michel will now serve under General Galliéni's orders.
[Photograph: Photo. Henri Munuel, Paris. General Joseph Simon Galliéni,
appointed Military Governor and Commander of the Army of Paris, August 26,
General Galliéni, as a strategist, enjoys the same high reputation as
the commander-in-chief, General Joffre. He was born on April 24, 1849,
at Saint-Béat in the department of the Haute Garonne. He entered the
Saint-Cyr military academy in 1868, and was appointed a sub-lieutenant
in the Third Regiment of Marine Infantry two years later, and he fought
with his regiment through the war of 1870. Since then he has
distinguished himself in Tonkin, Senegal, and Madagascar. Everywhere he
has shown exceptional qualities, both as a soldier and administrator.
His brilliant career finally led to his appointment as a member of the
Higher Council of War, and, in acknowledgment of his great services, he
was maintained on the active list after passing the age limit. He is a
Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor.
President Poincaré to-day confers further extraordinary powers upon
General Joffre, authorizing him to exercise the almost sovereign right
of promoting officers on the spot, just as Napoleon did, by simply
naming them to the posts where he thinks they may be most useful. Thus,
General Joffre can make a captain a colonel or a full-fledged
general-of-division, by word of mouth. This privilege was not even
granted by Napoleon to his marshals. These promotions are, however, only
provisional during the war, and when peace is made, must be ratified by
Parliament. This renders it possible to replace general officers, killed
or wounded, by officers selected on the battlefield, and above all
enables important commands to be filled by young officers, who give
proof of their qualities in face of the enemy.
An idea of the infinite tragedy of war was brought home to many
Parisians by a visit to the Cirque de Paris, where twenty-five hundred
Belgian refugees, men, women, and children, have been provided with at
least a temporary shelter.
The vast building, where so many famous boxing-matches have taken place,
is now completely transformed. The ring has been cut in two, and
hundreds of fauteuils have been placed in small groups so arranged as to
form substitutes for beds. The boxes have been reserved for the many
women with infants in arms.
Hardly were they installed, and hardly had the news spread in Paris of
their miserable plight, than hundreds of Parisians visited the Cirque de
Paris, all bringing gifts of food, drink, or clothing. It was a pathetic
and at the same time a cheering sight to watch the refugees hungrily
eating the midday meal which their French sympathizers had helped to
provide. These refugees, many of whom carry babies in arms, will
probably be sent into Normandy and Brittany to be cared for.
_Thursday, August 27._
Twenty-fifth day of the war. Rain, severe thunderstorm at noon,
northwesterly wind. Temperature at five P.M. 17 degrees centigrade.
The huge German army, making its desperate struggle to invade France at
many points from Maubeuge to the Vosges, is still held in check.
Meanwhile the hand of fate, in the shape of the gigantic "Russian
steam-roller," steadily advances in East Prussia. Cossacks have
penetrated to within two hundred miles of Berlin.
Minister of War Millerand has revived the daily meetings of heads of
departments at the War Office. To-day the defensive condition of Paris
was discussed. Work already in progress, under the supervision of
General Galliéni, is pushed forward rapidly and methodically, and
obstructions to artillery fire are being cleared away in the suburbs.
I rambled this morning through the so-called German quarter of Paris
around the Rue d'Hauteville and between the main boulevards and the Rue
Lafayette. All the German and Austrian _teutons_ shops and places
of business are closed. The _brasseries_, where the best Munich or
Pilsener beer, with _wiener Schnitzel_ or _leber-knoedel
suppe_ could be obtained until the end of July, are invisible behind
signless iron shutters. The "intelligence section" of the German general
staff had for years obtained precious military information through the
enterprising, affable German commercial agents, restaurant keepers,
commission merchants, waiters, and hotel errand boys (_chasseurs_)
who thrived in this thrifty quarter.
A wounded sergeant of a Highland regiment, in talking yesterday with an
American friend of mine at Amiens station, bitterly denounced the German
practice of concealing their advance by driving along in front of them
numbers of refugee women and children. The Scottish sergeant said: "Our
battalion was badly cut up. We were using our machine guns to repel a
German advance. Suddenly we saw a lot of women and children coming along
the road towards us. Our officers ordered us to cease firing. The
refugees came pouring through our lines. Immediately behind them,
however, were the German riflemen, who suddenly opened fire on us at
short range with terrible effect. Had it not been for this dastardly
trick of shoving women and children ahead of them at the points of their
bayonets, we might have wiped out this German rifle battalion that
attacked us, but instead of that, we were driven back. Damn these
Germans!" With these words the Scottish sergeant, his right arm
shattered from shoulder to elbow, climbed into the train of British
wounded and was carried off towards Rouen.
A number of French wounded soldiers from the Northern Army arrived in
Paris during the night and were sent to the Military Hospital, Rue des
Récollets, to the Hospital of Saint-Louis, and to a hospital installed
in the College Rollin. Among them were a number slightly wounded, but
very few severely. Their spirit seems excellent, and all agree that few
were killed considering the number of wounded.
All promise to obey orders more closely when they are well and back in
the firing line, and not to be too rash. Rashness and too great anxiety
to get at the foe seem, indeed, to have been the cause of a great many
_Friday, August 28._
Twenty-sixth day of the war. Bright, clear weather with northeasterly
breezes. Temperature at five P.M. 20 degrees centigrade.
I saw, in the Rue Franklin, M. Georges Clemençeau, the veteran
demolisher of cabinets, and former Prime Minister, who in his youthful
days was a mayor of the eighteenth arrondissement of Paris, the
turbulent Montmartre quarter. M. Clemençeau severely criticizes the new
Viviani Cabinet. "Viviani," said he, "asked me twice to form part of it.
I declined because, in addition to personal reasons, the Ministry did
not seem to me to realize the elements of power and action required by
this war. Having this opinion, it would not be fair either to Viviani or
to myself to enter into a combination where I should have to assume the
responsibility for acts that to my mind would not adequately meet the
emergency. Under the circumstances, there are only three ministers that
count for anything; those of war, foreign affairs, and finance." M.
Clemençeau said: "There must be something wrong with the mobilization
scheme, because when our troops were outnumbered at the front, there
were great quantities of young officers and men who for ten days had
been awaiting, at their various points of assembly, orders to join their
corps, and at the last moment were told to go home."
On the other hand, M. Millerand, Minister of War, has visited General
Joffre at the army headquarters and returned to Paris to-night "very
satisfied with the situation."
I took a spin in an automobile to-day to Versailles, and thence to Buc
with its red brick aerodrome tower, sheds, and long rows of hangars.
Here were groups of airmen in the rough, serviceable French sapper
uniform--loose-fitting blue coat, blue trousers with a double red
stripe, blue flannel scarf about their necks, as if they had all got
sore throats, and blue pointed forage caps. Here is Chevillard, that
wonderful gymnast of the air. There is Verrier, and here, driving a
sporting-looking car, is Carpentier, whose more familiar costume is a
pair of white slips and a pair of four-ounce gloves. For Carpentier has
been mobilized, too. Instead of making thousands of dollars this month
by his fight with Young Ahearn, and possibly other matches with
Bombardier Wells and Gunboat Smith, he, too, is on the pay list of the
army at next to nothing a day. He is attached to the flying center as a
chauffeur, and that car he is driving is his own, only he cannot take it
out without orders now.
[Photograph: Étienne Alexandre Millerand, Minister of War, August 27,
Morning and evening they fly at Buc. They are constantly testing new
machines, and then, when they have tested them, they fly off to the army
on the eastern frontier, or to Amiens, perhaps. The other day a pilot
even flew to Antwerp right across the German lines over the heads of the
German army, but so high up that they never even guessed he was there.
Then they practise bomb-dropping, too, and they are always on the alert
for a possible Zeppelin raid on Paris. The other night a wireless
message reached the Eiffel Tower from the frontier that one had started.
It was midnight, and instantly the alarm was given at Buc. The airmen
sleep in the hangars there, and in five minutes they had their machines
By the light of lanterns you could see mechanics running to and fro. The
airmen themselves were hurriedly putting on helmets and woollen gloves
and leather coats, for it is cold work hunting airships at midnight.
Their little armory of bombs was quickly overhauled, and the belt of the
machine gun that the man in the passenger's seat uses--the "syringe" as
they call it--was filled, and the engines were set running to see that
they were all right. But it was a false alarm after all, for, although a
close lookout was kept everywhere between Paris and the frontier for the
adventurous Zeppelin, and a hundred guns were craning up into the sky
ready for her if she hove in sight, she never came, and the tired airmen
turned in again to snatch a little sleep before morning parade.
Constantly airmen fly off to the front. Those who have been there say
that the supply trains and the whole service is working splendidly. They
have organized a new sport among the air-scouts. Every day, at the end
of the day's reconnoitring, the airmen count the bullet-holes in the
wings and body of their machines. The aeroplane that has the most is the
cock machine of the squadrilla--six in the squadrilla--and holds the
title until some one gets a bigger peppering and displaces him. They are
very jealous of this distinction, and the counting has to be very
carefully carried out by an impartial jury, for the cock aeroplane has
the honor of carrying the mascot of the squadrilla.
_Saturday, August 29._
Twenty-seventh day of the war. Sultry weather, with light northerly
breezes. Temperature at five P.M. 26 degrees centigrade.
"Hold tight!" Such is the watchword given by the French Government, and
French and British soldiers are holding tight for all they are worth
against the slowly advancing German armies. Heavy fighting all along the
lines from the Somme to the Vosges continues without a break. The
Prussian Guard Corps and the Tenth German Army Corps have been driven
back to Guise, in the department of the Aisne (one hundred and ninety
kilometers from Paris), but on the French left the Germans have fought
their way to La Fère (northwest of Laon, about one hundred and forty
kilometers from Paris). In the eastern theater of the war, Koenigsberg
has been invested by the Russians under Rennenkampf, who continue their
advance towards Berlin.
Paris begins to realize that the war is coming closer to them, by the
following official announcement:
DEFENCES OF PARIS
_The Military Governor of Paris, in view of the urgent military
requirements, has decided:
1. Within a delay of four full days, starting from August 30, all
proprietors, occupants, and tenants of all descriptions of houses and
buildings situated in the military zone of old and new forts must
evacuate and demolish the aforesaid houses and buildings.
2. In the event of these instructions not being fulfilled within the
prescribed delay, these houses and buildings will be immediately
demolished by military authority and the materials taken away.
The Military Governor of Paris, Commander of the Armies of Paris.
General Pau, the gallant one-armed general who commands the French Army
of the East, arrived in Paris at four o'clock this afternoon, but the
reason for his visit is naturally kept secret. He had a conference at
the Ministry of War with M. Millerand. He called for a few moments at
his residence in the Boulevard Raspail. General Pau's son, a
sub-lieutenant of infantry, is lying wounded at the hospital at Troyes.
General Pau had an informal conversation with President Poincaré at the
Elysée Palace, and leaves again for the front to-morrow morning.
Refugees from Belgium and northern France continue to pour into Paris.
But the authorities, having had time to organize, are sending them on
with very little delay to various places in the west and south of
It is impossible to prevent these frightened people from taking refuge
in Paris, which they regard as a place of safety, and the only course
open is to send them on as soon as possible.
Among the financial victims of the war are a number of Chinese students
who have found their supplies of money from home suddenly cut off. A
body of about sixty went to the Chinese Legation in the Rue de Babylone
on Friday evening, and clamored for money.
The Minister, Mr. Liu Shih-shên, was out but, to the great disgust of
the staff, the students invaded the dining-room and kitchen and
commandeered the dinner which was being prepared for the Minister.
A message was sent to his Excellency, who dined at a restaurant.
Meanwhile the students, having dined, began to gamble, and several made
preparations to spend the night in the Legation. They were, however,
expelled by the police.
At the meeting of the women's auxiliary of the American Ambulance at the
Embassy this afternoon, many details in connection with the
establishment and maintenance of the hospital in the Lycée Pasteur were
A committee was appointed for the special purpose of supplying with
clothing such wounded soldiers as may be brought to the hospital.
It was announced that Miss Matthews will succeed Miss Cameron as the
chairman of the sewing committee, the latter having been called to
America by her brother's illness.
Mrs. W.K. Vanderbilt has offered to contribute many articles needed in
the installation of the hospital, particularly such things as window
curtains and other furnishings designed to make the institution as
comfortable as possible for the sufferers.
For just four weeks now the American Government has been advancing money
to citizens in need of it at the Embassy, and still the stream of
applicants continues in about the same proportions as ever.
The undiminishing demand for funds is due largely to the fact that there
are new arrivals in the city every day, but Major Cosby, who is in
charge of the distribution of the money, believes that with the
departure of the _Rochambeau_ and the _Flandre_ there will
come a gradually lessening demand for assistance.
So far about five hundred persons have received money, and the total
paid out for the four weeks is 62,100 francs. This represents about one
hundred and twenty-five francs, or twenty-five dollars, apiece.
In addition to the Government fund, which is paid only to persons who
accept it as a loan, about twenty-seven thousand francs, raised here in
Paris, has been given outright to persons who for various reasons could
not be assisted out of the Government fund.
Captain Brinton has also paid out from sixty to seventy thousand dollars
to various persons upon cable orders from the Department of State in
Washington. This represents a purely business transaction, as the money
has first been deposited with the Government by friends in the United
States. It has, however, been an exceedingly practical means of helping
persons who otherwise might have had to fall back on the relief funds.
_Sunday, August 30._
Twenty-eighth day of the war. Sunny, but sultry, August Sunday. Light
northerly breeze, thermometer at five P.M. 26 degrees centigrade.
No let-up in the fighting. The Germans continue with wonderful tenacity
their favorite tactics of rolling up their forces on their right, and
then enveloping and striving to turn the Anglo-French left. The French
left, as officially announced at the War Office, has been forced to
yield ground. But the result of the gigantic battle in the department of
the Aisne near La Fère, Guise, and Laon, on the road to Paris, still
hangs in the balance.
It seems pretty certain that the French armies were concentrated too far
to the east. The temptation to enter Alsace, where strong force is
needless, was too great for the then war minister, M. Messimy, to
withstand. France is paying for this now. For over twenty years it was
an open secret among military authorities that the main German attack
upon France would burst in through Belgium and the northern departments
of France, which seem to have been left without adequate fortifications.
Here is France's vulnerable point. For France to be now outnumbered in
this theater of the war is strong evidence of her also being
out-generaled. While the French have wasted needless troops in futile
excursions beyond the Vosges and in the Ardennes, they seem to have been
blind to the tremendous concentration of German fighting strength in the
north. Had it not been for the solid, heroic resistance of the British
army under Field-marshal Sir John French, on the extreme French left at
Mons and Cambrai, it is very likely that the French would have sustained
a crushing defeat. That the French should be outnumbered on the lines
near La Fère seems incomprehensible and requires satisfactory
explanation from the Ministry of War. Further proof of this primary
fault is forthcoming in the proclamation issued to-day, calling to the
colors the 1914 class, some two hundred and fifty thousand young men of
twenty, due to join the army in October. Moreover, those classes of the
reserves of the territorial army called up when the general mobilization
order was issued and for some unaccountable reason _actually sent home
again_, have also been recalled.
[Photograph: Copyright by American Press Association. Parisians watching
the German air-craft that drop bombs on the city.]
In broad daylight, at 1.15 this afternoon, the Germans left their first
visiting-card in Paris. This came in the shape of three bombs dropped
from a German aeroplane, that made a curved flight over the city at an
altitude of two thousand meters. The first bomb fell at the corner of
the Rue des Vinaigriers and the Rue du Marais, another in the Rue des
Récollets, and a third near an asylum for aged workmen on the Quai
Valmy. The airman also let fall an oriflamme, two and a half meters
long, bearing the black and white Prussian colors, ballasted by sand in
an india-rubber football, attached to which was a letter, written in
German, which ran as follows: "The German Army is at the gates of Paris.
The only thing left for you to do is to surrender! (Signed) LIEUTENANT
The first bomb wounded two women, one of whom died of her injuries at
the hospital shortly afterwards. She was concierge of the house Number
39 Rue des Vinaigriers. No other damage was done. There were thousands
of Parisians promenading the streets at the time. The news spread like
wild-fire, but no panic, nor even undue excitement, ensued; the people
of Paris are totally different to-day from what they were in 1870. Of
course the intention of these aeroplane bomb-throwers, of whose exploits
we shall probably hear a great deal, was to create a panic and
demoralize the inhabitants, and especially to terrify women and
children. This utterly failed. After dropping the three bombs and his
_carte de visite_, the German aeroplane vanished towards the east.
It seems strange that the flotillas of air-craft at Buc were thus caught
napping and allowed the German air-lieutenant to escape.
I called in the afternoon upon Madame Waddington and her sister, Miss
King. Madame Waddington was anxious about her grandchildren, who are at
their country place not far from Laon, where the battle is now raging.
Madame Waddington says that Mr. Herrick, whom she saw this morning, told
her that if worse came to the worst, the seat of government would
probably be transferred to Bordeaux.
A large sum in gold coin, it is said, has been taken from the vaults of
the Bank of France and sent to Rennes. Sharp comment is elicited by an
incident at the Travellers Club, a somewhat select resort of Americans,
English, and other foreigners, in the former hotel of the famous beauty
of the Second Empire, Madame de Paíva, in the Champs-Elysées. It appears
that a wealthy and prominent German by birth, but naturalized American,
Mr. X., casually remarked one day at the club that he did not intend to
trouble himself to get a _permis de séjour_ (permission to reside
in Paris), because "when the German troops arrived in the capital, these
papers would no longer be needed." Mr. X. was told that if he persisted
in expressing such views, offensive to the members of the club and to
the hospitable city in which the club was situated, his resignation
would be forthwith accepted by the house committee. Mr. X. paid no
attention to the warning, but when next he entered the club--a few days
after the incident--he was informed that his name had been stricken from
the list of members.
M. Adrien Mithouard, President of the Municipal Council, states that
arrangements were made months ago to store a large quantity of flour in
the city, so as to provide the civilian inhabitants with bread. This
flour is in the hands of the military authorities, who have a
considerably larger supply than was originally intended, and are still
adding to it.
There will be no lack of coal. The army has accumulated enormous
quantities, and the Gas Company has enough coal for five months. M.
Mithouard also says he recently made a personal investigation of the
water supply, and found that, even if the aqueducts were cut, the city
would have two hundred and sixty thousand cubic meters of filtered water
available every day from the Ivry and Saint-Maur waterworks; and even
without these, Paris could still have two hundred and sixty thousand
cubic meters a day chemically purified.
The Municipal Council has also approved a proposal to buy up certain
provisions to be added to the necessaries of life for the civilian
M. Georges Clemençeau, the "parliamentary tiger," who, although
remaining outside the Cabinet, is one of the greatest personal forces of
France, has made a stirring statement to Mr. Somerville Story, editor of
the _Daily Mail_. M. Clemençeau said:
"Yes, their guns are almost within sound of Paris. And what if they are?
What if we were yet to be defeated again and again? We should still go
on. Let them burn Paris if they can. Let them wipe it out, raze it to
the level of the ground. We shall still fight on.
"This is not my personal resolve alone. The Government, too, is just as
grimly determined. Do you know, it is strange that one should have been
able to come to feel like this, but the Germans could destroy all these
beautiful places that I love so much; they may blow up the museums,
overthrow monuments--it would only leave me still determined to fight
"France may disappear, if you like. It may be called Frankreich, if you
like. We may be driven back to the very Pyrenees. It will not abate one
fraction our vigor and our decision.
"And in this terrible war we must all realize how unutterably great are
the stakes. It is we in France and our friends in Belgium who are doomed
to suffer the most bitterly. England will be spared much that we must
endure. But we must all make sacrifices almost beyond reckoning. We are
fighting for the dignity of humanity. We are fighting for the right of
civilization to continue to exist. We are fighting so that nations may
continue to live in Europe without being under the heel of another
nation. It is a great cause; it is worthy of great sacrifices.
"I say this to convince you of the unbreakable spirit of the French
"But the situation is not yet so grave. We knew our frontier would be
invaded somewhere. We have many troops in reserve for the big battle
that will follow this one.
"The Germans cannot besiege or invest Paris. Its size is too vast. Its
defence will be assisted by the armies now fighting on the Oise, seventy
"The fortifications of Paris are by no means the feeble things they were
in 1870. From the Eiffel Tower we can control the movements in
co-operation with our armies in the provinces of France.
"The situation is in no way desperate, although the Germans have invaded
France. France will fight on and on until this attempt to establish
tyranny in Europe is overthrown."
[Photograph: Copyright by Underwood & Underwood, N.Y. Eiffel Tower's
searchlight, to reveal bomb-throwing air craft and air-scouts of the
_Monday, August 31._
Twenty-ninth day of the war. Hot, somewhat hazy, summer weather, with
faint northerly wind. Thermometer at five P.M. 27 degrees centigrade.
Kaiser William, who it appears was on the field during the battle of
Charleroi, is pressing forward in hot haste, regardless of consequences,
on the road to Paris, close behind the steel-tipped élite of his vast
armies, consisting of the Royal Prussian Guard Corps and the famous
Third Army Corps. To-morrow will be the anniversary of the Battle of
Sedan. The "Mailed Fist" is doing his best to celebrate it by leading
his legions to Paris. It is daredevil desperation that spurs him on, for
nowhere, as yet, have the Franco-British armies been broken through, and
they continue to present successive stone walls to the Teuton invasion,
and oppose every inch of ground with dogged tenacity. The allied left
wing has been forced--always by the traditional enveloping tactics on
their right--to retreat, but they do so sullenly and in good order,
making the Germans pay dearly for every step gained. The battle is
raging continuously, and much depends upon which side first receives
strong reënforcements to fill up the gaps made by tremendous losses. The
Russian advance in East Prussia, according to accounts from Brussels,
has already forced the Germans to send back to Berlin from their center
at least one army corps.
There is hurry and skurry all day long among Parisians and foreign
residents to get away from Paris to more peaceful towns in the south and
west. The railway stations are so crowded that it is almost impossible,
at the Gare of Saint-Lazare or at the Quai d'Orsay to get anywhere near
the booking office. Motor-cabs are being hired at extravagant prices to
convey families to Tours, Orléans, Le Mans, or Bordeaux. The bearing of
the public however by no means resembles that of "nerves," and less
still a panic.
[Illustration: Copyright by International News Service. Wounded French
soldiers returning to Paris with trophies from the battlefields.]
I lunched to-day with Mr. Hulme Beaman, correspondent of the _London
Standard_, and his charming wife, who live just across the way from
me, in the Boulevard de Courcelles. Mr. Beaman passed Sunday at Poissy,
where he usually goes fishing for gudgeon. At Achères, the junction of
the lines from Picardy and Belgium, he saw train after train filled with
wounded French soldiers, who seemed in good spirits and who, in spite of
their suffering, were burning to get back again to the front.
Another German air-lieutenant made a flight over Paris this afternoon
and dropped two bombs near the Notre Dame Cathedral, but caused no
damage; one of the projectiles fell into the Seine. The airman also
tossed into Paris a German flag, to which was tied a postal card calling
upon Paris to surrender. Groups watched the aeroplane, which never came
lower than fifteen hundred meters, and women and children seemed rather
amused at the sight.
A fugitive from Belgium, who was at Louvain shortly before the wilful
destruction of the once beautiful university town, tells a curious story
of a Dutchman who had a thrilling escape on the arrival of the Germans.
He rushed for the Dutch flag, which, in his nervousness, he hoisted
outside his door upside down. This then represented the French flag, and
the Dutchman, who spoke no German, was immediately seized by the enemy
and ordered to be shot. He was placed upright against a wall and was
about to be riddled with bullets when his employer rushed up and told
the Germans that they were going to shoot a Dutchman, which saved his
General Galliéni, Governor of Paris, has issued a decree prohibiting
newspapers to publish "spread-head" lines extending over two columns in
width. The news vendors are not allowed to shout out the news, or even
the names of the papers on the streets. The type of headlines must not
be of alarming size. In fact, a worldwide war was required to check the
march of the sensational Paris "yellow" press.
The Minister of War has suppressed _sauf-conduits_ for travelers
leaving Paris by rail, but they must be provided with proper
identification papers. The _laisser-passer_, delivered by the
Prefecture of Police, is still required however for all who leave Paris
The American committee, in a circular to Americans, signed by Judge
Elbert H. Gary, chairman, and H. Herman Harjes, secretary, gives a
warning against sensational reports about the "imminent occupation" of
the city by the Germans, but expresses the opinion that "it would be
wise for Americans who cannot be of special service during the war, or
who are not required to remain by their business or professional
interests, to leave the city in an orderly and quiet way, whenever
reasonable opportunity is offered."
_Tuesday, September 1._
Thirtieth day of the war, and forty-fourth anniversary of the Battle of
Sedan. Oppressive sultry weather, with northeasterly wind. Thermometer
at five P.M. 23 degrees centigrade.
The War Office _communiqué_ to-night states that: "on our left
wing, in consequence of the enveloping movement of the Germans and with
the object of not entering into a decisive action under bad conditions,
our troops have fallen back, some towards the south and others towards
the southwest. The action which took place in the district of Rethel has
enabled our forces to stop the enemy for the time being. In the center
and on the right (Woëvre, Lorraine, and the Vosges), there is no change
in the situation."
This means that Emperor William is hacking his way still nearer to
Paris. The failure however to realize his boast that he would celebrate
the anniversary of Sedan by appearing within striking distance of the
French capital may indicate that the turning point of this phase of the
war is near at hand.
The allied troops north of Paris have established themselves in a
fighting position more favorable than that into which an attempt was
made to draw them. The dam still holds good, and breaches are being
The people of Paris are quite calm, in spite of false rumors and of
pyrotechnics aloft executed by the German _taubes_.
At quarter past five this afternoon, I was walking across the Place de
la Bourse to file a cable message to the _New York Tribune_. I
heard a loud explosion, followed by clashing of broken glass. A
projectile had fallen a hundred yards distant and hit the top of a house
in the Rue de Hanovre. The _pompiers_ were on the spot within three
minutes, having been summoned by the fire-alarm box near the Bourse. No
serious damage was done, but little lead pellets were found in
profusion. When I heard the explosion, I looked up and saw an aeroplane
at an altitude of about fourteen hundred meters vanishing towards the
northeast. It was pale yellow, and white near the after part. It was a
German _taube_. A sand-bag with a German Uhlan's pennant was
dropped, bearing a card reminding Parisians that it was "the anniversary
of Sedan, that they would soon be obliged to surrender the city, and
that the Russians had been crushed on the Prussian frontier." Another
bomb had been dropped on the roof of Number 29 Rue du Mail and broke
into an empty room, but did not explode. A third bomb fell on a
schoolhouse in the Rue Colbert; ricochetting off the wall, it fell into
a courtyard, where it exploded and made a hole in the ground. Other
bombs were dropped in the Rue de Londres and in the Rue de la Condamine;
the last one injured a woman and a little girl, who were hit in the
chest and head by fragments of the projectile. As the _taube_
passed over the Pépinière barracks, and the Place de l'Opéra, at an
altitude of perhaps twelve hundred meters, some soldiers fired at it
with their rifles, but without effect. The German air-lieutenants have
so far avoided the Eiffel Tower, where machine guns are placed.
The War Office announces that a flotilla of armored aeroplanes provided
with machine guns has been organized to attack the German aeroplanes
that fly over Paris. Spectacular sights are thus in store for us.
[Photograph: Photo. Henri Manuel, Paris. 29th Infantry Reserves, Army
of the Defence of Paris.]
The American committee, constituted by the American Ambassador and
including some of the most eminent Americans residing in Paris on the
day of the declaration of war, has requested the Minister of War to
supply it with formal proofs of the fact that the bombs which have
fallen in Paris were thrown from a German aeroplane.
M. Millerand, in response to this request, has submitted to the American
Ambassador and two delegates from the committee the complete "dossier."
The Ambassador, after having examined the evidence submitted to him, and
to the members of the committee, decided to cable a report to his
Government concerning these methods of warfare, which are not only acts
against humanity, but, further, are in absolute violation of The Hague
Convention, signed by Germany herself.
The committee has also decided to ask the American Government, while
remaining loyal to its declaration of neutrality, to make a strong
protest to the German Government.
The Minister of War has issued a decree calling up territorial
reservists of all classes in the north and northeastern districts of
France, not yet with the colors.
The French "left wing," which, as foreseen more than twenty years ago,
must be the vulnerable spot in the defence of Paris, will very likely be
forced to retire still nearer to the capital. In that case, a battle
would be likely under the shelter of the Paris forts, which encircle the
city at from thirty to forty kilometers from the Notre Dame. This belt
of forts, connected by three lines of formidable entrenchments and rifle
pits, now being dug, not only by the troops, but by thousands of Paris
workmen out of regular employment, make a circumference of two hundred
kilometers, or about one hundred and twenty-five miles. This line of
defence would protect Paris and also a field army with all its own
resources, and probably make it impossible for the Germans to completely
invest the city, as they did in 1870. Meanwhile the allied armies
outside of Paris would be able to keep the rest of the German armies
"busy," and threaten the long line of German communications. Paris would
thus be able to hold out for a long time. The Germans would obtain food
supplies from the rich country that they occupy, but their supplies of
ammunition, and of men to fill gaps in the fighting units of the first
line, must become precarious. Meanwhile the Russian "steam-roller" is
moving towards Berlin.
At six o'clock this evening the following decree was issued by the
Prefecture of Police:
"By order of the Military Governor of Paris, no civilian automobile
carriage will be allowed to leave Paris from today. This order has
been immediately enforced."
Streams of people from the regions to the north of Paris within the
sphere of the German operations are swarming into Paris, bringing their
belongings with them. I saw a train pull slowly into the Gare du Nord
laden with about fifteen hundred peasants--old men, women,
children--encumbered with bags, boxes, bundles, fowls, and provisions of
various kinds. The station is strewn with straw, on which country folk
fleeing from the Germans are soundly sleeping for the first time in many
days. These refugees are being shunted on to the _chemin de fer de la
ceinture_ and proceed around the city to other stations, from which
they are transported towards the south.
Tens of thousands of Parisians throng the railway stations, seeking
their turn to buy tickets to points outside the city. At the Gare de
Lyon, Montparnasse, d'Orsay, d'Orléans, people are standing in lines ten
abreast and a quarter of a mile in length, waiting for hours and hours
to book for Bordeaux, Biarritz, Brest, Rennes, or Nantes. Some of these
people have waited from seven in the morning until three in the
afternoon to obtain tickets.
If matters get worse, President Poincaré and the Ministry will establish
themselves at Bordeaux. Ambassador Herrick intends to remain in Paris,
as Minister Elihu Washburne did in 1870. He will delegate a secretary to
represent the United States Embassy at the seat of government. Perhaps
Mr. Sharp, the newly appointed Ambassador, might be utilized for this
A convoy of one hundred and forty British soldiers, wounded in the
recent fighting in the Aisne Department, arrived at nine o'clock this
morning at the Gare du Nord.
Most of them were shot in the legs and arms, but in spite of their
sufferings, none of them showed the least sign of being broken in
spirit. As they were transported from the train, there were touching
demonstrations of sympathy from the crowd, which the wounded men
acknowledged to the best of their ability.
By a pretty little attention on the part of the Red Cross workers in
Chantilly, all the men wore a flower and had been the recipients of
refreshments and fair words of encouragement.
There was quite a procession of wounded of various nationalities at the
station, and scenes were witnessed which caused the tears to start in
many eyes. A group of Belgian soldiers, including several wounded,
encountered the British convoy on their arrival, and hearty handshakes
Half an hour after the arrival of the British wounded, a party of thirty
Turcos wounded in the battle of Guise came in and were in turn accorded
an ovation. According to one of the men, they fought for nine days and
nights without a break, but were gratified in the end by beating back
the enemy. With one voice they declared that they are impatient to get
back again into the fighting line.
A British private, wounded in the leg by a German shell, described the
fighting around Mons on Sunday week as "terrific." They first got the
German shell fire quite unexpectedly near the railway station. Two of
their battalions marched through the streets of Mons and were fired on
from house windows by the Germans. Some of the German shells, he said,
were filled with broken glass and emitted a suffocating gas when they
Mr. Elbert H. Gary, chairman of the American Committee, left to-day by
automobile for Havre, whence he expects to start for New York on
Saturday on the _France_. It was decided at the meeting of the
committee yesterday afternoon that Mr. Gary should, though absent,
retain the chairmanship, with Mr. H. Herman Harjes, the secretary,
acting as presiding officer. Mr. Lazo, the assistant secretary, becomes
secretary in Mr. Harjes' place.
Mr. F. E. Drake, Major Clyde M. Hunt, Mr. Henry S. Downe and Mr. W. H.
Ingram were added to the membership of the committee.
_Wednesday, September 2_.
Thirty-first day of the war. Beautifully clear weather, cloudless sky,
northeasterly wind. Temperature at five P.M. 25 degrees centigrade.
German prisoners declare that Emperor William has made it known to every
soldier that his orders are to "take Paris or die." A German cavalry
division came into contact with British troops yesterday in the forest
of Compiègne. The British captured ten field guns. But the right wing of
the German army, which ever since the battles of Charleroi and Mons has
enveloped and turned the allied left, continues its advance. The allied
troops have retired partly to the south and partly to the southwest. A
great battle must consequently take place within the range of the Paris
forts. Work on the entrenched lines connecting the forts is actively
carried out and is said to give every satisfaction. The positions,
believed to be impregnable, are strengthened by ingenious arrangements
of barbed wire. It is reported that some of this barbed entanglement
contains live wires fed by the electric batteries of the defence.
In a stirring editorial in his newspaper _L'Homme Libre_, M.
Georges Clemençeau frankly faces the situation now that "the Germans are
close to Paris." He adds: "We have left open the approach to Paris,
while reserving to ourselves flank attacks on the enemy. If the forts do
their duty, this move may be a happy one. From what we have seen of him,
General Joffre belongs to the temporizing school. At this moment there
are no better tactics. The supreme art will be to seize the instant when
temporization must give way to a carefully prepared offensive movement.
I have full confidence in General Joffre."
Lord Kitchener made a rapid incognito visit to Paris yesterday, where he
met Field-marshal Sir John French. As far as can be ascertained, Lord
Kitchener went to the front and had a conference with General Joffre.
There seems to be no doubt but what General Joffre's plans have the
heartiest approval and support of Lord Kitchener. French troops from the
eastern theater of the war are being brought up rapidly, so as to attack
the German lines of communications, possibly near Rethel. Reënforcements
are coming in rapidly from England, and a large new army has formed, at
Le Mans, and will soon be ready to take the field with great effect.
[Illustration: General Joffre, Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Armies
The usual six o'clock serenade of the German air-lieutenants this
afternoon drew forth a few rifle shots from roofs of Paris houses, and
even a quick-firing gun was discharged at one of these _taubes_.
But the distance was too great, and the two German aeroplanes vanished
shortly before seven in a northerly direction.
This evening President Poincaré and the French Government removed the
seat of government from Paris to Bordeaux, and the following
proclamation was issued:
For several weeks, during desperate fighting, our heroic troops have
struggled with the enemy's army. Our soldiers' valiance has brought them
marked advantages on several points. But to the north the advance of the
German forces has compelled us to draw back.
This situation imposes on the President of the Republic and the
Government a painful decision. To safeguard the national salvation, the
public powers have as a duty momentarily to leave the city of Paris.
Under the command of an eminent leader, a French army, full of courage
and zest, will defend the capital and its patriotic population against
the invader. But the war must be pursued at the same time over the rest
of the land.
Without peace or truce, without halt or faltering, the sacred struggle
for the honor of the nation and the reparation of violated right will be
None of our armies is cut into. If some of them have undergone
losses--too great losses--the vacant places have been immediately filled
by the dépôts, and the call of the recruits ensures for us for to-morrow
further resources of men and energies.
Fight and stand firm--such must be the watchword of the allied armies,
British, Russian, Belgian, and French.
Fight and stand firm; while on the sea the British help us to cut our
enemy's line of communications with the outside world.
Fight and stand firm; while the Russians continue to advance to strike
the decisive blow in the heart of the German Empire.
It is the duty of the Government of the Republic to direct this stubborn
Frenchmen will rise on every side for the sake of independence. But in
order that this formidable struggle shall be conducted as efficaciously
and with as much spirit as possible, it is essential that the Government
should be left free to act.
At the request of the military authorities, therefore, the Government
will be temporarily transferred to a point in French territory where it
can remain in constant relations with the whole of the country.
The Government requests members of Parliament not to remain too distant
from it, in order that, in conjunction with them and with their
colleagues, they may be able to form a solid core of national unity in
the face of the enemy.
The Government leaves Paris only after having assured, by every means
within its power, the defence of the city and the entrenched camp.
It knows that there is no necessity to recommend the admirable
population of Paris to remain calm, resolute, and self-possessed. Every
day the people show that it is equal to this highest duty.
Let us be worthy of these tragic circumstances. We shall win the victory
We shall win it by untiring will, endurance, and tenacity.
A nation which is determined not to perish, and which recoils neither
before suffering nor sacrifice, is sure to conquer.
* * * * *
This proclamation had a good effect on the population.
The wife of my concierge voiced the popular sentiment when she said this
evening: "Ah! Monsieur! We may have some pretty bad _quarts
d'heures_ here, but we have such confidence that all must end well,
that my husband's old mother and our little children will remain in
Paris with us." This remark was made five minutes after a German
air-lieutenant had flown over the roof of the houses in my street, Rue
Théodule-Ribot, and had dropped near the Parc Monceau a bomb that made a
terrific noise, but did no damage.
_Thursday, September 3._
Thirty-second day of the war. Dazzling sunshine, cloudless sky, and
light northeasterly wind. Thermometer at five P.M. 27 degrees
The forward movement of the Germans, the "Paris or Death" rush of the
Kaiser, seems, for a moment at least, to have come to a standstill.
Although precautions had been taken in expectation of a German attack
from the region of Compiègne-Senlis, no contact, says the French
official _communiqué_, occurred to-day. In the northeast all is
Disappointed Parisians scanned the sky in vain for their five o'clock
_taube_. A _marchand-de-vin_ on the famous "Butte" of Montmartre
arranged a tribune with numbered seats commanding a splendid view of the
city. Field-glasses were on hand for hire. Orchestra stalls were paid
for at the rate of ten cents a seat. The performance was announced to
begin at half-past five. This worked very well yesterday, when the
evolutions of the two German air-lieutenants, accompanied by pyrotechnic
display, netted a lucrative harvest. To-day, however, the enterprising
theatrical manager was forced by his public to return the money at the
"box office;" this was promptly done, the performance "being postponed."
The postponement was due to the appearance of several French aeroplanes,
which evidently had been sighted by the Germans.
Now that the French Government has gone to Bordeaux and temporarily
transferred the capital to Gascony, the only heads of the diplomatic
corps remaining in Paris are the American Ambassador; the Spanish
Ambassador, the Marquis de Villa Urrutia; the Swiss Minister, M. C.
Lardy; the Danish Minister, M. H.A. Bernhoft; and the Norwegian
Minister, Baron de Wedel Jarlsberg.
That American property may be safeguarded, in the extremely improbable
event of an occupation of the city by the Germans, Ambassador Herrick
requests all American citizens owning or leasing houses or apartments in
the city of Paris or its vicinity to register their names, with
descriptions of their dwellings, at the Embassy. If worse comes to the
worst, notices will be posted on American dwellings, giving them the
protection of the American flag.
Mr. Robert Bacon, former Ambassador to France, is stopping at the Hôtel
de Crillon in the Place Vendome. He lunched to-day with Mr. Herrick, and
both express optimistic views of the situation from military,
diplomatic, and financial standpoints.
My servant, Félicien, telephoned me from Aubervillier, some ten
kilometers from Paris, saying that he, together with four men of his
squadron, had become separated from his regiment, the Thirty-second
Dragoons. They had lost their horses in the marshes and woods near
Chantilly during a cavalry engagement and had been instructed to make
their way to Paris and rejoin their regimental dépôt at Versailles. The
party was in charge of their sergeant, who explained that the regiment
had at first been sent towards Metz, where they took part in the daily
fighting all along the line there, and that suddenly they were entrained
and rushed across country to Péronne, to check the advance of the
Germans in their march upon Paris. This seems to indicate that the
French generals did not fully appreciate until too late the really vital
importance of the concentrated rush upon Paris of the right wing of the
German armies, where all their strength had been assembled. The dragoons
seemed pretty worn out, but were in good spirits and anxious to get back
again in the fighting line. But they must go to Versailles to obtain
their remounts. Sophie made a succulent lunch for them in the kitchen.
They ate beefsteak, potatoes, cabbage, fruit, rice, and cheese, washed
down with half a dozen bottles of light claret.
Every one seems to be trying to get away from Paris. It is a sort of
exodus. I watched my opposite neighbors, Baron and Baroness Pierre de
Bourgoing--the latter better known as Suzanne Reichenberg of the Comédie
Française--getting into their motor-car at half-past five this morning,
accompanied by a maid and a pet dog. Baron de Bourgoing was in the
uniform of a captain of territorials. He will go with his wife as far as
the outer fortifications in the direction of Versailles.
The news of the election of Cardinal Jacques della Chiesa as Pope, with
the title Bénoit XV, does not arouse as much public interest here as
does the nomination of M. Emile Laurent as Prefect of Police, in place
of M. Hennion who, on account of ill health, retires at his own request.
M. Laurent has for twenty-three years been secretary-general of the
Prefecture of Police. He was born in 1852. He is thoroughly familiar
with every phase of Paris life. He is a man of great energy and of
prompt decision. He is a very kind-hearted man and has done much toward
relieving misery in the capital. The appointment is a very popular one
and gives general satisfaction.
[Photograph: Photo. Henri Manuel, Paris. M. Émile Laurent, appointed
Prefect of Police of Paris, September 3, 1914.]
_Friday, September 4._
Thirty-third day of the war. Hot, sultry day with light northeast wind.
Thunderstorm, with heavy rain in the evening. Temperature at five P.M.
28 degrees centigrade.
Americans still left in Paris were very busy to-day registering their
addresses at the chancellery of the Embassy in the Rue de Chaillot. They
had to have their leases with them. I registered for my little place at
Vernon and also for my apartment in the Rue Théodule-Ribot. Among well
known Americans whom I saw at the chancellery were Messrs. James Gordon
Bennett, De Courcey Forbes, Julius and Robert Stewart, William Morton
Fullerton, Mrs. Duer, formerly Mrs. Clarence Mackay, Dr. Joseph Blake,
and about a hundred others. All sorts of wild rumors about the
approaching Germans were current. One tremulous little lady said that
"when the Germans entered the forest of Compiègne, the French set fire
to the woods, and then shot down the Germans like rabbits as they fled
from the burning thicket!"
I met here Mr. Robert Dunn, war correspondent of the _New York Evening
Post_, who is the only newspaper man I have talked with who really
saw the fighting near La Câteau and Saint Quentin. Mr. Dunn went on a
train with his bicycle last week, provided only with a _laisser-passer_
for Aulnay in the Department of the North. The train was brought to a
stop near Aulnay, and the passengers were informed that German cavalry
occupied the line a couple of kilometers further on. Every one got out.
Mr. Dunn jumped on his bicycle and wheeled off to La Câteau. Here he met
the British retreating in good order. He remained with them as they
retired toward Saint Quentin. He saw them spread out in thin lines and
pick off the German gunners by their splendid marksmanship. Most of the
British were wounded by shells. Very few of them had bullet wounds. At
Saint Quentin a few Highlanders came limping along, thoroughly exhausted
with their five days' continuous fighting. But although pale and hungry,
their jaws were set with determined grit. Their superb pluck impressed
Mr. Dunn immensely. As they were sitting at a café, some French soldiers
led away a German spy, with a towel wrapped around his eyes. The man
I met a British staff officer at Brentano's bookstore, as he was buying
maps of the environs of Paris. I told him that Lord Kitchener had been
to Paris and had conferred with M. Millerand, the French Minister of
War. The officer said: "I am glad to hear of _that_, because at a
certain phase of the fighting in the north, the _French completely
failed to support us_."
I called upon Mr. William G. Sharp, the newly appointed United States
Ambassador, and upon Mr. Robert Bacon, the former United States
Ambassador. Both are stopping at the Hôtel de Crillon. The Paris
newspapers seem highly pleased at this "strong diplomatic
manifestation"--the American Ambassador of yesterday, the American
Ambassador of today, and the American Ambassador of tomorrow
--constituting a delegation from the United States to see that
the rights of universal humanity are respected. Parisians salute the
Star Spangled Banner as it floats over the American Embassy as the
symbol of the "World's Vigilance against Barbarity,"--such are the
words of _La Liberté_. M. Gabriel Hanotaux, writing in the _Figaro_,
attaches equal importance to the attitude of the United States as
interpreted by its three representatives, saying: "Mr. Herrick is very
happily not leaving us. He has followed the whole course of events which
led to this fatal war, watching with a just and noble spirit. He has
kept his Government accurately informed of all, and he will continue at
the head of the Embassy."
The _Matin_ says, "that of all the diplomatists accredited to
France, it was Mr. Herrick who took the gallant initiative to remain in
Paris, and Parisians deeply appreciate this. In making this choice, Mr.
Herrick said that he regarded Paris not only as the capital of France,
but as that 'Metropolis of the World' spoken of by Marcus Aurelius. He
feels that he is the American Ambassador to both these cities. In his
eyes this 'Metropolis of the World' possesses a Government, invisible
doubtless, but perpetually present, and one with which he wishes to
remain in touch. It is at one and the same time to Paris, in its period
of trial, and to the fatherland of the human race, that Mr. Herrick
wishes to give the pledge of his affection. Thus he is remaining as a
link between those of his compatriots who are residing among us and the
citizens of the free Republic across the sea that has more than once
declared itself the sister Republic and which professes as much love for
our 'traditions' as we ourselves esteem the passion for 'progress', of
which it gives the example."
_Saturday, September 5._
Thirty-fourth day of the war. Hazy autumnal morning, clear and hot in
the afternoon, with light northerly breeze. Thermometer at five P.M. 26
Germans appear to have evacuated the Compiègne-Senlis region, and are
apparently moving towards the southeast, thus continuing a movement that
began on Friday. General Cherfils, the military critic of the
_Gaulois_, taking a very optimistic view of the situation, thinks
the movement may be to assure a retreat by some route other than by a
return through Belgium. General Cherfils says: "This rush of the German
right wing upon Paris is the last bluff of terrorism of the last German
Emperor! The Kaiser thought that he could frighten us and induce France
to make peace. After which he would be free to return with his armies
Mr. d'Arcy Morel, the financial correspondent of the _London Daily
Telegraph_, came to see me to-day. He lives at Reuil, in the military
zone northwest of Fort Mount-Valérian. He had been up all night, getting
his belongings to Paris, and had just sent his little daughter to Dieppe
on her way to England. Mr. Morel said that the night trains out of Paris
at the Gare Saint-Lazare were filled to overflowing. No lights were
permitted in the cars, and a dozen soldiers with loaded rifles were
placed in a car just behind the locomotive, and a dozen more soldiers at
the rear end of the train. These trains stop at every station and take
about ten hours to reach Dieppe, instead of four hours as usual.
Precautions of guarding the trains are made because several German
armored motor-cars had been signalled dashing about near Marly and
Pontoise. The gardener of my little place at Vernon, which is on the
western line of the Seine, at a point where it is intersected by a
strategic line between Chartres in the south and Gisors and Beauvais in
the north, seems to be confident that Vernon will not be occupied by the
Germans, for he managed to send me today a big basket full of peaches,
pears, string beans, and green corn.
To-day the first oysters make their appearance! This event, trivial in
itself, is significant as showing that the Paris central markets are
able to supply Parisians not only with necessities but with luxuries.
The mute oyster that comes in with the months having the letter "R" in
their names bears eloquent testimony to uninterrupted communications.
I looked in for a few moments this afternoon at the National Library in
the Rue de Richelieu. No signs of war here! A score of inveterate
bookworms were pondering over dusty volumes, inquisitive writers were
exploring literature bearing upon the war of 1870, seeking precedents
and parallels for coming events; a few ladies were looking up files of
old newspapers and fashion plates. The National Library seemed exactly
as in the most peaceful days.
I lunched to-day at the restaurant Beaugé, in the Rue Saint-Marc, a
favorite resort of journalists. The manager told me that it would be
closed that evening. It seems that he had received a "third warning" not
to keep open after half-past nine. As he could never pluck up courage to
eject his customers while enjoying succulent repasts, he decided to shut
up his place altogether. The suggestion made by an Irishman, Mr.
Sullivan of Reuter's Agency, to employ a London "chucker-out" did not at
all appeal to his notions of the traditions of Parisian gastronomic
I met to-day another British officer buying books at Brentano's. He gave
me a picturesque description of the German method of advance. "It is the
scientific development of the wild, fanatic, life-regardless, condensed
rush of the Soudan dervishes," he said. "The Germans mass together all
their big field guns. They close in around them serried infantry, goaded
on by their wonderful, machine-made, non-commissioned officers, who
prick them with sword bayonets, and whenever, from wounds or from sheer
exhaustion, men fall out, they are shoved aside, to die by the roadside,
or to be trampled under foot, like mechanical tools that have become
useless. The German officers and non-commissioned officers are utterly
regardless of life. The German flanks are protected by quantities of
machine guns placed so close together that their gunners jostle one
another. This strange engine of modern warfare creeps on like a monster
of the apocalypse, carrying all before it. Aeroplanes hovering over the
fronts of the columns direct movements by signalling. The dense, serried
mass of infantry offers a splendid target. The losses must have been
frightful--exceeding anything recorded in modern war. The German
infantry are poor marksmen. They don't know how to shoot. Scarcely any
of our men were wounded by bullets. Nearly all the wounds were inflicted
The Marquis de Valtierra has been appointed Spanish Ambassador to the
French Republic, in place of the Marquis de Villa Urrutia, who has
resigned. The new Ambassador, who has presented his credentials to
President Poincaré at Bordeaux, and who is expected to arrive in Paris
to-morrow, has not followed a diplomatic career. He is a captain-general
--a title corresponding with that of an army corps commander in
France--and until a few days ago was in command of the military region
News that the representatives of France, Great Britain, and Russia have
signed an agreement in London not to make peace without previous
understanding with the others, meets with popular approval here, and is
taken as further evidence that the allies are determined to fight the
war to a finish.
_Sunday, September 6._
Thirty-fifth day of the war. Ideal September weather, with light
easterly wind. Temperature at five P.M. 24 degrees centigrade. The moon
is now full.
Instead of making a ferocious _attaque brusquée_ on Paris, the four
army corps composing the German right wing are moving southeastward, in
a supreme effort to crush the left flank of the French center, which is
reported to be engaged with the main German forces near Rethel, striving
to cut off and surround the French center, and thus achieve a second,
but far more gigantic, Sedan. In any event, the Germans are certainly
moving away from Paris to the southeast.
Paris assumes a holiday aspect. Thousands of people made excursions to
the suburbs of the city, and particularly to the Bois de Boulogne, to
see something of the preparations for the defence. Boys and girls from
boarding-schools, under care of their teachers, were among those who
watched gangs of men digging wide and deep trenches, while trees that
obstructed the ground in the vicinity were being cut down.
The daily crop of Paris newspapers is becoming beautifully less. The
_Temps_ published its last Paris issue on Friday and has transferred its
headquarters to Bordeaux. M. Georges Clemençeau's _Homme Libre_ has
ceased to appear. So also have the _Gil Blas_ and _Autorité_. The _Daily
Mail_ has migrated to Bordeaux. Most of the newspapers that remain are
published on a single sheet. The veteran _Journal des Débats_ announces
that for one hundred and twenty-five years it has appeared in Paris,
being interrupted only at rare and brief intervals when provisional
governments, resulting from violence, by brute force prevented
publication. _Le Journal des Débats_ will continue to be printed and
published in Paris "so long as it is materially possible to do so." M.
Arthur Meyer, editor and proprietor of _Le Gaulois_, announces that he
will "remain in Paris in 1914 as he did in 1870." He will continue to
edit and publish the _Gaulois_ in Paris, having around him "a small
family of editors and reporters, who replace my own family, now, Alas!
far away!" The _Echo de Paris_ continues to publish each day an edition
of four pages. So also does _Le Figaro_. The _Matin_ and _Liberté_
appear on single sheets.
[Photograph: Photo. by Paul Thompson. Workmen erecting a barricade in
The European edition of the _New York Herald_ appears every day on
its nice white glazed _papier de luxe_, in a four-page edition
Sundays, and on a single sheet on week days. The _Paris Herald_, as
it is familiarly called, is printed half in English and half in French.
The war has not frightened away the venerable "Old Philadelphia Lady,"
who daily continues, as she has done since Christmas eve, 1899, to put
the following question:
TO THE EDITOR OF THE HERALD:--
I am anxious to find out the way to figure the temperature from
Centigrade to Fahrenheit and vice-versâ. In other words, I want to know,
whenever I see the temperature designated on Centigrade thermometer, how
to find out what it would be on Fahrenheit's thermometer.
OLD PHILADELPHIA LADY.
Paris, December 24, 1899.
_Monday, September 7_.
Thirty-sixth day of the war. Hot September weather, with brisk east
wind. Temperature at five P.M. 24 degrees centigrade.
The great battle begun Sunday morning continues with slight advantages
obtained by the allies and extends over a front of one hundred and
thirty miles, from Nanteuil le Haudoin, on the allied left, to Verdun.
The allies occupy very strong positions. Their left is supported by
Paris, their right by the fortresses of Verdun, and their center by the
entrenched camps of Mailly, just south of Vitry-le-François.
About thirty American and English newspaper men met at lunch to-day at
the restaurant Hubin, Number 22 Rue Brouot. Among those present were
Fullerton, Grundy, MacAlpin, Williams, Knox, Reeves, O'Niel, Sims, and
others. Every one was in fine spirits, the trend of feeling being that
Paris was the most interesting place to be in just now, and that perhaps
the best story of the war may yet be written in Paris.
I drove in a cab with MacAlpin to the Gare du Nord to meet a train of
British wounded that was expected to arrive there. We found the station
almost deserted. A reserve captain of the Forty-sixth Infantry, whose
left forearm had been smashed by a shell, arrived and was very glad to
get some hot soup provided by the railroad ambulance women. Saw a
brigadier-general and his staff going full speed in a motor-car to the
east. Artillery firing was heard this morning to the east of Paris, but
was no longer audible after eleven A.M. While sitting at a café opposite
the Gare du Nord, I noticed the huge statues of "Berlin" and "Vienna"
over the front of the building, and wondered if they would remain intact
during the war. Driving to the Gare de l'Est, we saw gangs of workmen
with entrenching tools, going into trains, under the direction of
engineer officers, to dig rifle pits.
The sanitary condition of Paris is excellent. No epidemic of any kind is
reported. There were several cases of scarlatina, but the number is
The board of governors of the American Hospital has turned over its
responsibility to the American Ambulance Committee, which will manage
the Hospital service for the benefit of the French army, at the Lycée
Pasteur, Neuilly. The committee is composed of William S. Dalliba,
honorary chairman, Reverend Doctor S.N. Watson, chairman, Messrs.
Laurence B. Benét, Charles Carroll, F.W. Monahan, and I.V. Twyeffort.
I met in the Rue de la Paix two Irish cavalry soldiers, who had become
detached from their squadron during the operations north of Paris. "The
last place we remember fighting at was _Copenhagen_," said one of
the men. But on being further questioned, it turned out that Copenhagen
was Tipperary dialect for Compiègne.
The _Herald_ has decided to remain in Paris, but its price will be
twenty-five centimes instead of fifteen centimes. The reasons for the
increased price are that advertisements, the main source of revenue for
a newspaper, have almost completely disappeared. The _Herald_ at
present is being run at a loss of thirty-five thousand francs a week. As
the editor points out: "This may be journalism, but it is not business."
The increased price will probably diminish the weekly loss.
_Tuesday, September 8._
Thirty-seventh day of the war. Cloudy weather with rain in the
afternoon. Brisk southeasterly wind. Thermometer at five P.M. 22 degrees
The allied armies are more than holding their own on the vast line
between the Ourcq and Verdun. Meanwhile all precautions are being taken
by the Military Government of Paris for an eventual siege. The Bois de
Boulogne resembles a cattle ranch. The census of the civil population of
the "entrenched camp of Paris," just taken with a view of providing
rations during a possible siege, shows that there are 887,267 families
residing in Paris, representing a total of 2,106,786 individuals of all
ages and both sexes. This is a decrease of thirty percent since the last
census in 1911. The health of the city is excellent. The census sheets
notify inhabitants that gas during a siege must be used exclusively for
lighting purposes and never for cooking or heating. This will cause some
tribulation in the small ménages, where the cheap, popular, and handy
gas-stove has replaced the coal or charcoal ovens and ranges.
The ram came on this afternoon at four, while a large crowd of Parisians
stood in the square in front of the church of Saint-Etienne du Mont,
beside the Pantheon, but it failed to disperse the faithful, who were
taking part in the outdoor service of homage to Sainte-Geneviève, the
protectress of Paris, whose remains are buried in this small church of
the Gothic-Renaissance period (1517-1620), one of the most beautiful of
all the sacred edifices of France.
Those who recently hastened away from Paris in search of a place of
refuge, quiet, and safety, have met with many disappointments. The roads
to Tours are blocked with vehicles of every description, many of them
filled with refugees who have turned them into temporary dwellings.
Automobiles are brought to a standstill for lack of benzol. Everything
on the way from Paris to Bordeaux is requisitioned. At Orléans, people
wander about vainly seeking a place in which to sleep. The town is
filled. People buy ham and sausages, which they eat in cafés or in the
streets. At Blois, the citizens offer to lodge refugees and travelers at
the rate of five francs a day. The Blois people are very hospitable and
do not seek to unduly profit by the situation. The Grand Hotel is of
course overflowing, but the prices remain the same as in ordinary times.
At Tours, the inhabitants are less hospitable and more avaricious. One
of the biggest hotels in the town asks fifty francs (ten dollars) for a
simple armchair in which to pass the night. Three special trains
yesterday carried away to Provence the inmates of the insane asylums of
Bicêtre and Charenton. It was a weird sight to see these men and women,
utterly unconscious of the war, gazing with nervous uncertainty upon the
strange scenes through which they were conducted to the Orléans Station,
somewhat like helpless flocks of sheep.
Shortly after leaving the large room at Number 31 Boulevard des
Invalides, where the official _communiqués_ are now given out to
the French and foreign press, I met a sergeant of an infantry regiment
who had been wounded during the fighting between Coulommier and
Ferté-Gaucher. "At daybreak on Sunday," he said, "we were sent forward
to prevent the German infantry from making their favorite turning
movement on our left wing. Our orders were to hold on to the enemy and
prevent his advance until the allied troops near Meaux had repulsed the
German attack being made in their direction. Early in the afternoon, the
Germans retired from Meaux before the allied divisions. We advanced and
drove them north of Ferté-Gaucher. The fighting lasted all night and
became very severe on Monday morning, but shortly afterwards the Germans
offered but slight resistance. For thirty kilometers we followed up two
German infantry regiments, supported by their cavalry and a section of
artillery. During their retreat, the Germans did not fire a single shot.
We soon succeeded in cutting off a detachment of infantry and in
capturing seven field guns and two machine guns. One of the prisoners,
an infantry sergeant, admitted that his men were short of ammunition,
and that their orders were to use as little of it as possible. It was
during the last combat that I was wounded in the thigh by a Prussian
officer, who cut me with his sword as I was trying to disarm him."
A wounded French infantry lieutenant says that the German troops seem
"fatigued and fagged out." Another officer says that in the trenches
near Coulommier, a dozen German infantry soldiers were found dead,
having been killed by French .75 millimeter shells, and were in the same
attitudes of firing that they had taken at the moment when they had been
"crisped" by death. An Algerian Turco was found dead, grasping his
rifle, the bayonet of which had pierced and killed a German soldier.
Both were corpses, but stood in grim death like a group of statuary.
I received to-day a letter from my gardener at Vernon. He says that the
roads are filled with refugees, who are being sent on to Brittany by way
of Louviers. Motorists along the roads say that they have passed
continuous lines of refugees, sometimes seventy kilometers in length.
The Château de Bizy is transformed into a hospital and so also is the
Château des Pénitents at Vernonnet. Most of the injured have slight
wounds in the arms or legs. Many of them, after five days' treatment,
are able to go back to the front.
_Wednesday, September 9._
Thirty-eighth day of the war. Somewhat cooler weather, with cloudy sky
and with south to southwesterly wind, at times blowing in sharp gusts.
Thermometer at five P.M. 21 degrees centigrade.
The air is still overcharged with uncertainty as to the result of the
great battle along the front of one hundred and twenty miles between the
Ourcq and Verdun. Will the Germans succeed in forcing their tremendous
wedge through the French center near Vitry and separate the allied
armies to the west and around Paris, from the great French armies to the
east and around Verdun?
A German repulse means a German tragedy. But if they succeed in their
bold move on the center, and separate the allied armies, they will gain
a very great strategic success and can then turn their attention to the
investment of a segment of the fortifications of Paris.
Meanwhile the official _communiqués_ given out at three P.M. and at
eleven P.M., at the Military Government of Paris, are, to say the least,
hopeful. Every attempt to break through the French lines on the Ourcq
has failed. No change noted on the center and on the allied right.
At two this afternoon I saw a small, low, dusty motor-car come spinning
along the Boulevard des Invalides, containing four soldiers, who had
with them two German flags, captured this morning during the fighting
near the Ourcq. They were bringing their trophies to General Galliéni,
who conferred the Military Medal--the highest French distinction for
valor in action--on the reserve infantry soldier Guillemard, who
captured one of these flags in a hand-to-hand encounter. The flag
belonged to the Thirty-sixth Prussian Infantry Regiment, the Magdeburg
Fusiliers, and had been decorated with the Iron Cross in 1870.
One of the French biplanes that scour the sky daily in search of German
_taubes_ met with sad disaster yesterday while flying over the Bois
de Vincennes. The aeroplane contained a lieutenant and a corporal of the
aviation corps. A violent gust of wind capsized it, and it fell to the
ground, burying the occupants in a heap of débris. When extricated, both
were dead. A few moments after the biplane struck the earth, either its
motor, or the bombs that it had on board, exploded, and four passers-by
were killed by flying fragments. Two of them were ten-year-old lads. A
little girl and several other persons were more or less bruised. It so
happened that I had watched this biplane from the Boulevard de
Courcelles as it soared over Paris at a height of fifteen hundred