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meters. It was very steady in its movements and was going in an easterly direction. This must have been some ten minutes before the catastrophe.

The committee of the National Society of Fine Arts held a meeting today at the Grand Palais, to render aid to painters, sculptors, and artists in need of assistance, without regard to nationality, passed resolutions of indignation at the injury of works of art in France and Belgium committed by the German armies, and at the destruction of the objects of art solicited by Germany and entrusted by France to the International Exhibition at Leipsic, and unanimously voted to strike from the list of members the names of all artists of German nationality.

The art critic of the _Gil Blas_, M. Louis Vauxelles, whose scathing criticisms of the “classic” _pompier_ academic school of painting and of sculpture, and whose intelligent censure of the extreme “futurist” clique elicit the hearty approval of all true lovers of art, in the United States, as well as in France, is serving as a simple soldier in an infantry regiment, but finds time occasionally to write to the _Intransigéant_ picturesque descriptions of military life.

I received a letter from a friend at Tours, where the refugees are becoming less numerous, but the hospitals on the contrary are nearly full of wounded. Comtesse Paul de Pourtalès is doing splendid work there as the head of the Red Cross, and M. Gaston Ménier, the popular senator, a warm personal friend of Mr. Andrew Carnegie and the owner of the great chocolate works, has turned his Château of Chenonceaux into a perfectly organized hospital with a corps of surgeons and professional nurses, which he maintains at his own expense. Nearly a hundred French wounded are already being cared for in the Chenonceaux hospital. As soon as they get well enough, they are sent back to rejoin their regiments. All the villas in the neighborhood of Tours are already leased to families that have gone away from Paris.

In accordance with the notices of the Military Governor of Paris, I was vaccinated against smallpox to-day, together with all those now living in the house–in all twelve persons.

Mr. William G. Sharp, who has been appointed to succeed Mr. Myron T. Herrick as American Ambassador in France, remains here with his son, George, and is preparing to make himself familiar with the situation, so that when the proper time comes, he may take over his office. Mr. Sharp is already making headway with his somewhat theoretical knowledge of French. He told me that the war had upset many diplomatic and other precedents. “It is quite obvious,” he said, “that at this critical period, Mr. Herrick could not desert his post, where his knowledge and experience have been so valuable.” Mr. Sharp added: “It is needless to say that there will be no change of policy with my arrival as Ambassador to France. The friendship between the United States and France was never firmer than it is to-day. Personally, I am a fervent admirer of France, of French art, culture, and science.

“Probably no country in the world is more universally admired for its high degree of civilization than France. But it is my duty, as the future representative of the United States, to be absolutely neutral in everything concerning the present conflict. It cannot be too strongly stated that the United States Government will not swerve from its attitude of strict neutrality. The more impartial we remain, the stronger our position will be, and the better it will be, indeed, for all the belligerents when the time comes for discussing the conclusion of peace.

“For I shall not be indiscreet if I give voice to the thought held by many people that the role of the United States is bound to be a most important one at that moment.

“President Wilson’s recent offer,” he said, “was timely, and although every one knew that it could not then be accepted, yet it had the effect of setting men’s minds thinking.

“What nation could be more fitted than the United States to take the lead in the peace negotiations?” asked Mr. Sharp. “In our nation are amalgamated all the races now at war. Our sincerity is undoubted. Our natural position of impartiality and neutrality is such that America’s voice would be surely listened to at the opportune moment.”

Mr. Sharp himself belongs to several peace organizations in America. He believes that after the present war there will be a complete revulsion of public opinion throughout the world in favor of peace. Never, he said, will there have been a riper moment for some scheme of general disarmament.

Mr. Sharp would like to see the United States a party to an epoch-making treaty sealing such an international accord. In this respect he believes that, atrocious as this European conflagration is, good will be the outcome for all nations, whoever the victors may be, if Europe reaps a lasting peace.

Mr. Sharp comes to Paris with a general knowledge of international political affairs, having served as a member in the United States Congress for three terms, and holding position of ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the time of his appointment.

_Thursday, September 10._

Thirty-ninth day of the war. Cloudy weather, with a brisk shower and some thunder at three this afternoon. Afterwards fine. Southerly wind. Temperature at five P.M. 22 degrees centigrade.

Favorable news was communicated at eleven o’clock this evening at the headquarters at the Invalides. After four days of steady fighting, the allied left wing has crossed the Marne near Charly and driven back the enemy sixty kilometers, the British taking many prisoners and machine guns. Near Sezanne, the Prussian Guard Corps has been driven back, north of the marshes of St. Gond. No change is noted in relative positions on the allied center and right, where fighting still continues with great violence.

I went to the official press bureau at three this afternoon and met there M. Arthur Meyer, the genial and venerable editor of the _Gaulois_, and about forty French and foreign journalists. M. Arthur Meyer, as “dean” of our calling, had a pleasant word and smile for all. Just before the official _communiqué_, the director of the Press Bureau, Commandant Klotz, former Minister of Finance, instructed his assistant to notify all present that “any reproduction of or even allusion to the interview published in an American morning paper (the _Paris Herald_) with an American diplomatist would not pass the censor if handed in at the telegraph or cable offices, and also that its appearance in any French newspaper was prohibited. The reason for this is that the interview might cause misunderstanding, and that it merely reflected the personal opinions of a private individual who in no way was an accredited representative of the United States.”

This “official rebuke” was of course intended for Mr. William G. Sharp, whose interview was printed in today’s _Herald_. According to European custom, diplomacy is a special calling or profession like those of the soldier, sailor, lawyer, or physician. Amateur diplomacy has no place in Europe, and to the French mind, the presence in Paris of an unaccredited, although designated, ambassador, who expresses his personal opinions on every subject, while there is a duly accredited ambassador here, is an anomaly, causing no little annoyance to the authorities, and tending to hamper and discredit the official representative of the United States in Paris.

It is whispered that this “diplomatic indiscretion” of Mr. Sharp may lead to a refusal of the French Government, when the time comes, to grant his credentials. All the more so, because when Mr. Sharp was first spoken of as a possible ambassador to Russia, the Russian Foreign Office notified Washington that Mr. Sharp was not exactly a _persona grata_, owing to certain public statements attributed to him concerning the attitude of the Russian Government in regard to passports to Jews of American and other nationalities. When Mr. Sharp was nominated as American Ambassador to France, the French Foreign Office discreetly inquired at St. Petersburg whether the Russian Government had any objection to Mr. Sharp being accepted in Paris as the United States Ambassador. The reply from St. Petersburg was that “there were no objections,” consequently the usual intimation was given by the Quai d’Orsay that Mr. Sharp would be an agreeable person in Paris. The arrival here of Mr. Sharp, in the midst of the war, and his interview on the situation, however, has not influenced the French officials at the Foreign Office in his favor. Mr. Sharp is unquestionably a patriotic, clear-headed, capable, and highly intelligent representative of our countrymen, and moreover, he is now obtaining diplomatic experience.

Spain has also had some tribulation with its ambassadors to France. When President Poincaré and the French Cabinet decided to transfer the seat of government to Bordeaux, the Spanish Ambassador, Marquis de Villa Urrutia, was about to quit Paris with President Poincaré, but the King of Spain wished his representative to remain in Paris. The marquis, however, to use an American expression, got “cold feet” and expressed a wish to go to Bordeaux. When this news reached King Alfonso, it so happened that Lieutenant-general de los Monteros, Marquis de Valtierra, Captain-general of Northern Spain at Burgos and San Sebastian, was in conference with the king. King Alfonso asked the Marquis de Valtierra where in his opinion would be the proper place in France for the Spanish Ambassador. “Why,” was the quick reply, “Paris, of course.” “Well,” said the king, “that is not the opinion of the Marquis de Villa Urrutia, but it is also my own opinion, and I have now decided to send you to Paris as my ambassador!” Consequently, the Marquis de Villa Urrutia was forthwith replaced by the Marquis de Valtierra, who is already duly installed in the Spanish Embassy in the Boulevard de Courcelles. The new Spanish Ambassador speaks English perfectly, as well as French, and he is a personal friend of Ambassador Herrick.

The condition at the outbreak of the war of some of the French fortresses in the north near the Belgian frontier, as well as around Rheims and Vitry-le-François, for which the French Chamber of Deputies refused in 1899 to vote appropriations, is being paid for a thousandfold to-day. In 1885, when experiments made at Malmaison with the newly-invented torpedo shells, then about to be adopted by the German artillery, showed that no forts could resist them unless provided with armor plates and with _béton_ protection for men and ammunition, a new plan of defence was drawn up. As the cost of the new armor and protection for the forts was very great, it was decided to _déclasser_ a number of fortresses, among which were Lille, Douai, Arras, Landrecies, Péronne, Vitry-le-François, and others. It had already been foreseen that the main German attack would some day be made through Luxemburg and Belgium. The fortresses of Maubeuge, Charlemont (Givet), Montmédy, and Longwy then became of supreme importance, for the defence of northern France against an invading army through Belgium. The Chamber of Deputies persistently refused to vote the necessary money, and the result of this want of foresight became painfully apparent during the present war, when the Germans made their broad sweep from Belgium to Compiègne, meeting on their way with no permanent works of defence.

The civil and religious wedding of Mr. James Gordon Bennett, proprietor of the _New York Herald_, with Baroness George de Reuter took place to-day at the Town Hall of the ninth arrondissement of Paris, and at the American Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity, in the Avenue de l’Alma. The witnesses of the bride were the Duc de Camastra and Vicomte de Breteuil. Those for Mr. Bennett were the American Ambassador, Mr. Herrick, and Professor Albert Robin, the well-known scientist and member of the French Academy of Medicine. The bride was the widow of Baron George de Reuter, and was formerly Miss Potter of Baltimore. The ceremonies were very simple, the only guests being Mrs. Herrick and the Vicomtesse de Breteuil. The ceremony in the church was performed by the Reverend Doctor Watson. Those present afterwards took tea at the residence of Mrs. Bennett in the Rue de Lubeck. The day before the wedding Mr. Bennett had been confirmed by the Reverend Doctor Watson in the faith of the American Episcopal Church. It will be remembered that Mr. Bennett’s father was a Scotch Roman Catholic, while his mother was an Irish Protestant, a combination that seldom occurs, and which often induced Mr. Bennett to playfully remark: “I take after both my father and my mother, for when I find myself surrounded by genial conviviality, I feel that I am an Irishman, but when amidst grave cares and weighty business, I am a Scotchman.”

_Friday, September 11._

Fortieth day of the war. Overcast sky from dawn to noon, then steady, heavy rain all the afternoon. Southwest wind, blowing in gusts. Thermometer at five P.M. 17 degrees centigrade.

The Germans continue to retire north of the Marne towards Soissons. The British army has captured eleven guns, stores, ammunition, and fifteen hundred prisoners. The German retreat measures seventy kilometers in four days. All seems to go well with the allies. The heavy rain is bad for the German retreat, especially in the swampy ground they must pass through.

All this cheerful news from the front gives renewed confidence to the two millions of Parisians remaining at home, who begin to feel that there is no longer any imminent danger of being besieged.

What might be called a side-issue of the war appeared to-day in the shape of a new English daily newspaper published in Paris, called the _Paris Daily Post_. It consists of a small single sheet–the _Figaro_, and the _Echo de Paris_, are the only papers now printed on double sheets–and in an editorial note declares that its policy is to “preach courage and confidence.” It is an unpretentious, lively, amusing little production and may eventually have a brilliant career.

Many of the wounded now coming in to the hospitals are being treated for rheumatism contracted in the trenches during days and nights of exposure to the rain. A man of the East Lancashire Regiment, who had his left arm smashed by a shell, said that when his detachment were attacked at dawn in a village near Compiègne, “the terrified women and children rushed into the streets in their night gowns. Their houses were being smashed like pie-crust. It made us feel badly to see some of these poor women and children blown to pieces by the German shells. We tried to put them in whatever shelter was available.”

Professor Pierre Delbet, of the Paris Faculty of Medicine, relates an extraordinary conversation between a young general commanding a division of the Prussian Guard Corps and Doctor Delbet’s mother, who is a venerable lady of seventy-seven. Professor Delbet went yesterday to visit his mother at her country house situated in a village on the Grand Morin River, in the heart of the region where the fighting took place a few days ago. Madame Delbet’s house is in the center of the village, and on her grounds a small wooden bridge connects the courtyard and flower garden with the vegetable garden on the other bank. There are two public bridges at the ends of the village, but these had been blown up by the French engineer soldiers. Last Friday morning the Germans arrived and smashed open the double gate of Madame Delbet’s house. A young general, with an eyeglass fixed to his left eye, approached, while a soldier stood with a loaded revolver pointed at the old lady’s head. The general remarked with politeness: “Madame, you will let us pass over your private bridge.”

“I have no means of preventing you, but I warn you the bridge is not very solid.”

“Ah! we will see to that.”

The general gave orders, and in fifteen minutes the rickety bridge was braced up with three strong trusses. Then thirty soldiers were put on the bridge and jumped six times in unison at the word of command. After this test, the passage of troops began, while the _pontoniers_ were repairing the two public bridges. The general approached Madame Delbet and with great courtesy placed two comfortable armchairs in a shady nook of the courtyard, and by an invitation that seemed to be a command, requested her to take a seat and see “the little Prussian review that would surely be interesting.” The old lady sat beside the general and witnessed the _défilé_ that lasted seven hours–from 11.30 in the morning to 6.30 in the evening. The general scrutinized his men through his monocle. By and by he had his servant make some tea and toast, which he offered to his “hostess.” While sipping tea, the general said: “Madame, when you become a German, as will surely be the case, you will be proud to recollect that you witnessed the passage of my troops over your bridge. I shall have a bronze tablet made and placed over your gate to commemorate the event.”

When Madame Delbet protested, the general burst into a hearty laugh, and said: “Why, Madame, that is already settled. You cannot defend yourselves. Oh, yes! you have in mind your friends the English and your friends the Russians. But your good friends the English can only fight on the sea; they are of no value on land. As for the Russians, they don’t know what an army is!”

At this moment the cavalry was passing over the bridge three abreast, and a lancer accidentally knocked over a bison’s head that was hung in the court as a hunting trophy. The general severely reprimanded the trooper for his carelessness, and ordered the cavalry to cross two abreast. The conversation continued. Madame Delbet said that she thought the Russians had made considerable progress since the Japanese war. “Ah, yes, perhaps, but they have no real army _yet!_”

The general then remarked: “Now about the French. You, yourself, Madame, must be aware, as you belong to a medical family, that the French are absolutely degenerate. The French have come to the end of their tether! I will let you into one of our secrets. This will be our _ultimatum_, of which I have already read the text. Voilà! We have decided to preserve a selection of the best and healthiest Frenchmen and marry them to well-chosen North German girls of strong shape and build. The result of this cross may be useful children. As to the other Frenchmen who survive the war, we have arranged to export them all to North and South America!”

“But, General,” replied Madame Delbet, “we have had at least _some_ success during the war.”

“None whatever, Madame!”

“Why! We have captured some flags, anyway!”

“Where did you see that?”

“In the newspapers.”

“The French, English, and American newspapers publish nothing but lies. In two days we shall be in Paris.”

The general then gave a fresh turn to his eyeglass and called Madame Delbet’s attention to the splendid physique, smart appearance, perfect order, method, and discipline of his troops. Madame Delbet admitted that this praise was fully justified, for the troops and horses were quite fresh, their uniforms and equipments were all spick and span, and the officers even wore fresh, unspotted gloves.

On Sunday the general took his departure. As he came to bid Madame Delbet good-by, he said: “I am going to Paris, Madame, and if I can be of any service to you there, kindly let me know.” He then mounted his beautiful bay charger and rode away, followed by his staff. A couple of officers and a small detachment were left in the village.

Monday morning a German automobile dashed through the village at fourth speed. A sentry discharged his rifle as a signal. The same troops came trotting back again over the three bridges. One of them, who had been particularly attentive to Madame Delbet’s maid, passed through the little courtyard. The maid slyly asked: “Is that the road to Paris?” She received the reply from her admirer: _”Plus Paris! Plus Paris!”_

Soon afterwards, some French dragoons galloped into the village over the bridges that the Germans had had no time to destroy. Then came two battalions of British infantry, at a double, over Madame Delbet’s little garden bridge, and they deployed and opened fire on the retreating Germans. _”A Paris!”_ and _”Plus Paris!”_ are words that Madame Delbet says will always ring in her ears, for these phrases exactly describe the picturesque side glimpse of the war that passed in her pretty little courtyard, lined with rose-bushes, near her rustic wooden bridge. Professor Pierre Delbet vouches for the implicit accuracy of this characteristic conversation between his mother and the young lieutenant-general of the Prussian Guard Corps.

_Saturday, September 12._

Forty-first day of the war. Rain and drizzle with southwesterly wind. Thermometer at five P.M. 15 degrees centigrade.

Good news. Six days’ steady, hard fighting results in a French victory all along the line of the Marne. The German retreat is general. It is astonishing to see how quietly and calmly Parisians receive the welcome news. They are naturally delighted, but there are no wild outbursts of enthusiasm. They fully realize that this is merely one of the phases of the long, hard struggle.

Both General-in-Chief Joffre, and the German General Staff, foresaw that the great battle of the Marne must be decisive. General Joffre, in his order of the day of September 6, impressed upon his troops that “upon the coming battle the salvation of the country would depend,” and admonished his soldiers that “if they should be unable to advance further, they must hold their ground or be killed on the spot, rather than retire.” When the French cavalry made a sudden dash into Vitry-le-François and entered the house that had been occupied by the headquarters staff of the Eighth Army Corps, which had been hastily abandoned a few minutes before, they found, signed by Lieutenant-general Tulff von Tscheppe und Werdenbach, a general order which ran as follows:

Vitry-le-François, September 7, 10.30 A.M.–The goal pursued by our long and painful marches is reached. The principal French forces have had to accept battle after withdrawing continually. The great decision is undoubtedly near at hand. To-morrow, therefore, the total forces of the German army, as well as all those of our army corps, will have to be engaged all along the line going from Paris to Verdun. To save the happiness and honor of Germany, I expect from each officer and soldier, despite the hard and heroic fighting of the last few days, that he will accomplish his duty entirely and to his last breath. All depends upon the result of to-morrow’s battle.

_Sunday, September 13._

Forty-second day of the war. Cloudy weather, with strong westerly wind. Temperature at five P.M. 19 degrees centigrade.

I took one of the four daily trains for Havre, leaving the Gare Saint-Lazare, for my little country place in Vernon at 9.33 this morning and met in the same compartment Captain Decker, commander of the U.S.S. _Tennessee_, and two officers of his ship, which acts as a sort of ferry-boat for Americans stranded in France, carrying them to England. The _Tennessee_ will sail from Havre to-morrow for Falmouth. The United States naval officers were in uniform and were constantly mistaken for British army officers. The military commanders at the stations came on board the train to ask if they could be of any service to them, and they were saluted with enthusiasm whenever they showed themselves. The train, conforming to the war regulations on all the railroads, went at the uniform prescribed pace of thirty miles an hour and stopped at every station, consequently we were four hours, instead of the usual one hour and ten minutes in getting to Vernon, which is only fifty miles from Paris. At Achères, the junction with the northern lines, two carloads of wounded were hitched to our train. I found barricades on the outskirts of Vernon and the beautiful bridge, that had been blown up by the French in 1870 in a vain attempt to prevent the German occupation, was mined, so that it could be instantly destroyed. I found my little garden rather neglected, for the man who looks after it had been “mobilized” and is now lying in a hospital at Bordeaux, getting over a shrapnel wound in the leg. The place nevertheless was full of pears, peaches, figs, green corn, American squashes, beans, tomatoes, and no end of roses, gladioli, tobacco plant, hollyhocks, heliotrope, dahlias, morning-glories, verbena, and sunflowers.

[Photograph: Photo H. C. Ellis, Paris. “Sauf-Conduit” issued by the Prefecture of Police to persons wishing to travel.]

I visited the Red Cross Hospital which, under the direction of Madame Steiner, wife of the mayor of Vernon, is doing splendid work at Vernonnet. There were two hundred wounded officers and soldiers here; among them were a dozen Belgians and a score of “Turcos,” Algerian riflemen, who seemed very patient and docile. Some twenty wounded Germans here receive exactly the same treatment as the French. The German soldiers were from Prussian-Polish and Saxon regiments. The officers, five altogether, in a separate ward, were extremely reticent, and it was only with great difficulty that they could be induced to give their names and the numbers of their regiments. Happening to speak German, I acted as interpreter during the inspection by the French Medical Director. These young officers seemed greatly depressed and mortified at finding themselves prisoners.

While strolling about Vernon, I met Frederick MacMonnies, the American sculptor, and his wife, riding on bicycles. They had come from Giverny, some three miles away, where MacMonnies has his studio, not far from that of Claude Monet. MacMonnies told me that his studio was now a hospital with fifty beds, all of which were occupied by French and Belgians. Mrs. MacMonnies aids the surgeons in tending the wounded. During the approach of the Germans towards Beauvais, it was thought that Uhlans would soon appear at Vernon, and orders had been given to evacuate the hospitals. MacMonnies buried his valuable tapestries and rare works of French and Italian Renaissance art and prepared for the worst. Fortunately Vernon, Giverny, Paris, and its delightful neighborhood seems no longer to be in danger from invaders, and the people are recovering their peace of mind.

_Monday, September 14._

Forty-third day of the war. Dull morning with slight showers. Sky overcast all the afternoon. Southwesterly wind blowing strong. Thermometer at five P.M. 16 degrees centigrade.

Back in Paris again, after a five hours’ ride in a second-class compartment intended for ten, packed with twelve. Most of my fellow-passengers were refugees returning to Creil, Beaumont-sur-Oise, and other places north of Paris, now evacuated by the Germans.

Within living memory Paris has rarely seen so dense and vast a throng as that which assembled on Sunday in the Cathedral of Notre Dame for the special service of “intercession for the success of French arms,” when Monseigneur Amette, Cardinal of Paris, preached a stirring sermon, exhorting people to “make extreme sacrifice for their native land.” There must have been eight thousand persons in the cathedral. Not only were the five naves densely packed, but all the chapels along the side aisles were crowded with worshippers. An imposing procession was formed, including many religious bodies, associations of young girls, and all the Roman Catholic clergy of Paris. This cortège left the cathedral through the three gates of the great façade and took up its position between the basilica and the exterior railings. Here a temporary platform had been erected, from which Monseigneur Amette addressed the enormous crowd that filled the Rue d’Argonne, the Pont Notre Dame, and the Place Notre Dame, right up to the Prefecture of Police. After the Cardinal had pronounced the benediction, the crowd joined with impressive solemnity in the invocation of Sainte-Geneviève, Saint-Denis, Joan of Arc, and other saints on behalf of the French armies, and afterwards dispersed quietly and reverently.

_Tuesday, September 15._

Forty-fourth day of the war. Gray, cloudy day, with occasional glimpses of sunshine. Brisk southwest wind. Temperature at five P.M. 15 degrees centigrade.

The Franco-British armies are close on the Germans’ heels, but as everybody in Paris expected, the enemy is inclined to resist along their new lines. They are throwing up defences on the northwest, from the forest of l’Aigle to Craonne, and in the center from north of Rheims and the Camp of Chalons to Vienne-la-Ville on the west fringe of the Argonne.

The outlook seems so encouraging to the _Herald_ that it has returned to ante-bellum conditions and reduced its price to fifteen centimes in France, and twenty-five centimes abroad, and usually appears in double sheet form.

Another American wedding to-day at the Town Hall of the sixth arrondissement. The bridegroom was Mr. John R. Clarke of New York, and the bride was Miss Marion Virginia Goode, also an American. Mr. Clarke went to the front immediately after the wedding, having volunteered in the British army for automobile service. He was arrayed in the regulation khaki uniform, and as he drove to the Mairie in his car just brought back from the Aisne with a number of bullet-holes in it, he was greeted with cheers. The bridal party was accompanied by Mr. Charles G. Loeb, of the American law firm of Valois, Loeb and Company.

The American Ambulance Hospital at Neuilly is doing really effective work. Among the wounded being treated there are French, Belgians, a few “Turcos,” British officers and men, and some wounded German prisoners. Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt, who has been entrusted by the French Red Cross Association with the charge of the hospital, is indefatigable in her personal attention and efforts. The organization seems perfect. The funds so far subscribed exceed five hundred and seventy-four thousand francs. During a brief visit to the hospital, I noticed that Mrs. Vanderbilt herself visited the wounded, and with the aid of her experienced staff of trained nurses, prepared them for surgical operations. Mrs. Vanderbilt wore the white Red Cross uniform. Half concealed about her neck was a double string of pearls. Rose-colored silk stockings were tipped with neat but serviceable white shoes, and in this attire she seemed to impersonate the presiding “good angel” of the hospital.

[Illustration: Photo. H.C. Ellis, Paris. One of the wards in the American Ambulance Hospital at Neuilly.]

Through the courtesy of a friend who was going to Meaux in charge of a Red Cross automobile to distribute hospital stores to a field hospital near Plessis-Pacy, I had an opportunity to visit the scene of the recent battles along the Ourcq Canal, where General von Kluck’s army met its first signal defeat. We came near to the villages of Chambry, Marcilly, Etrepilly, and Vincy–along the road from Meaux to Soissons–and found that the trenches dug by the Germans were filled with human corpses in thick, serried masses. Quicklime and straw had been thrown over them by the ton. Piles of bodies of men and of horses had been partially cremated in the most rudimentary fashion. The country seemed to be one endless charnel-house. The stench of the dead was appalling. Of the fifty odd houses that form the village of Etrepilly, not one remained intact. Some of them had been hit by a shell that penetrated through the roof, falling into the cellar, and by its explosion bringing down from garret or second story all the furniture in one confused mass of ruin. But many other houses had been simply sacked and looted. Cupboards, chests of drawers, and wardrobes were smashed open, and their contents scattered pell-mell in the streets, courtyards, and fields. Here was the portrait of an ancestor ripped to shreds by a bayonet; there was a child’s cradle. An old-fashioned grandmother’s armchair, with its cushions and ear-laps, lay smashed in fragments in the gutter. The village had fortunately been deserted by its inhabitants at the approach of the Germans, who, furious with rage, had looted, sacked, or wantonly destroyed whatever they found.

How thirsty the Germans were! The roads and fields and trenches were strewn with bottles, full or half-empty. The Germans must have been obliged to retreat suddenly, for heaps of unexploded shells for the three-inch and five-inch German field-guns were abandoned, and in wicker baskets were loads of three-inch unexploded shells, apparently about to be served to the gunners. Wanton, ruthless devastation everywhere! In a field was a wrecked aeroplane, a white and yellow _taube_, with its right wing reaching into the air, looking like some gigantic, wounded bird. Towards sunset, an automobile passed along the road through this terrible desolate valley of death. In it sat Monseigneur Marbeau, the venerable Bishop of Meaux–the successor of Bossuet, the famous “Eagle of Meaux”–who now and then raised his right finger aloft and then lowered it with the sign of the cross, as he pronounced benedictions on this vast charnel-house. A great number of German killed and wounded wearing uniforms of the Eleventh Prussian Infantry Regiment indicated that this corps had occupied the village of Etrepilly. As there were no civilian villagers noticed in this part of the country, this seems presumptive evidence that the Eleventh Prussian Infantry participated in this looting and wanton devastation.

As we were about to return to Paris, we met a friend of M. Gaston Ménier on his way from the latter’s country-house near Villa-Cotterets, where the memorable _chasses à courre_ take place in the forest, which, under normal conditions, abounds in deer and stags. The château had been used as the headquarters of a brigade of Bavarian infantry. The house was intact, but some valuable furniture of the Louis XV period and some paintings had been destroyed, and the cellar, that had contained over two thousand bottles of excellent wine, including forty dozen bottles of champagne of the admirable vintage of 1904, had been “visited,” and only seven bottles remained. The Bavarians, in pursuance of their practice in 1870, carried away all the clocks in the château.

_Wednesday, September 16._

Forty-fifth day of the war. Sky heavily overcast. Southwesterly wind. Thermometer at five P.M. 15 degrees centigrade.

After the victorious contest of the Marne, we are now to have the gigantic struggle of the Aisne. The battle now engaged, because the Franco-British pursuit has compelled the German armies all along the line to reënforce their rear guards and fight, extends some one hundred and fifty miles in length on one front from Noyon, the heights north of Vic-sur-Aisne, Soissons, Rheims, to Ville-sur-Tourbe, west of the wooded ridge of the Argonne. Another “front,” where vigorous defence is made by the German eastern armies, extends from the eastern border of the Argonne to the Forges forest north of Verdun, some fifty miles long.

Now that the Germans are fighting on the defensive, it is not too soon to record the fact that their extraordinary raid of a million of soldiers through Belgium to within twenty miles of Paris has failed. Nothing in military history approaches this avalanche of armies. The German invasion of France and the threat to invest and capture Paris is coming to an end. Yet this war can only be ended by an invasion either of France or of Germany being driven to a triumphant conclusion. The theater of war must soon be transferred from France to the east. The curtain falls upon the German invasion of France, and for the present, at least, Paris is no longer in danger. I see that a change has come over the Parisians, and I can read in their calm, confident faces the brighter phase that the war has assumed. Parisians of every class, from the _grande dame_ of the Faubourg Saint-Germain to the _midinette_ of the Rue de la Paix, or the professional beauty of Montmartre, are subdued and chastened by the sudden change that overtook their bright and exuberant existence. During this first period of the war, Paris assumed the aspect of a Scottish Sabbath. Feverish pursuit of pleasure, earnest hard work, luxury, elegant distinction, thrift, thronged boulevards, crowded theaters, clamorous music halls, frisky supper parties, tango teas, overflowing gaiety, sparkling wit, boisterous fun, and sly humor, have all vanished. The machinery of Parisian life is working at quarter speed. Streets are nearly deserted, except for rapidly flitting automobiles, used mostly for military purposes. The Rue de la Paix is a vacant pathway, where one might play lawn tennis all day long. Probably three fourths of the Paris shops are still closed. The underground trains are as yet few and far between. Now and then a tramway rumbles along the streets, but there is not a solitary omnibus running in the city. The popularity of the bicycle is regained, for well-to-do folk whose motor-cars have been requisitioned now make use of the humble wheel. The quaint, one-horse cab, evoking souvenirs of Mürger, Paul de Kock, and Guy de Maupassant, with venerable _cocher_, re-appears. There are some auto-taxicabs about, and their slowly increasing number indicates that Paris is beginning to shake off the paralysis imposed by the outbreak of the war. Undisturbed by the turmoil, the forty “immortal” Academicians are continuing their labors on the Dictionary of the Academy. They are approaching the end of the letter “E” and are to-day discussing, with singular actuality, the word “Exodus.” May that mean the German exodus from French soil!

THE END