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have enough to eat. A famine was prophesied, and the credulous who know nothing of the vast sources which supply France with food clamored to get to England. Then there were frenzied stories of hotels closing and prices soaring. None of which happened or had any chance of happening. Food was never better, and today we have fruit that melts in the mouth; fish that swims in the sauce, the lack of which Talleyrand deplored in England; little green string beans that no other country produces or knows how to cook.
Prices never rose for the fraction of a sou. If one had a credit at a hotel, all was well, but unless one had ready money in small notes, none of the restaurants would accept an order. Here, and here only, was a snag concerning food. It is true that women went for twenty-four hours without food, but the reason was the lack of small change, not of eatables.
After the panic caused by a thousand rumors annexed to a dozen disheartening and revolutionary conditions, after the people felt that the Commune was the figment of imagination, not inspired prophecy; that money was getting easier; that, above all, America was looking after its own, though her move toward that end seemed to take months instead of days, and because we counted by heart-beats, not calendars; after all this, we found time and interest to observe the phenomena around us. We began to feel ashamed of our petty madness on the worldly subject of money and ships and safe passage home; our passionate, twentieth century, overindulged selves who were neither fighting nor giving our beloved in battle, and who were harassing those who were in a death struggle. Never throughout the centuries to come, whether the map of Europe is changed or not, should the stranger within her gates ever forget the courtesy of Paris.
At night powerful searchlights backed up by artillery guard the city from the monster of the air.
This if fiction come true. It is Conan Doyle, Kipling, Wells come to measure. From the moment of sunset until sun
rise those comets with an orbit patrol the skies. Pointing with blazing fingers to the moon and the stars, to the horizon, they proclaim that Paris watches while her people sleep.
The idea has given comfort to thousands. You, in your safe, tranquil homes, cannot know the pleasure it gives to look out of the window in the wakeful nights and watch those wheeling comets circling, circling to catch the Zeppelin that may come.
And behind the light is the gun. Rooftop artillery! The new warfare! On the roof of the fashionable Automobile Club on the Place de la Concorde the little blue firing guns wheel with the blazing fingers. Always ready to send shot and shell into a bulging speck in the sky that does not return the luminous signals. So on the roof of the Observatoire, so on the encircling environs; sometimes three, sometimes six, they are always going. People stand in the streets to watch, hypnotized by the moment into horizon gazing. There will be a speck in the sky; people grow tense; the comet catches it; is that wigwagging on the roof, those challenges in fire, returned? No. The speck passes; we breathe again. And so it goes; a ceaseless centre of interest. It is the novelty of the world war.
The highest artillery in the world is on the Eiffel Tower. At its dizzy top, pointing to the sky, are machine guns that are trained to fire at an enemy's balloon. It is an answer to the prayer of the people that these guns have not yet been used.
But it is not only in the artillery on the top of the Eiffel Tower that interest centres; it is in the wireless that sends the messages to land and sea, safeguarding armies and navies, patrolling the earth and water. Strange, isn't it, that the plaything of a nation has become its safeguard?
That was a stirring day when Paris sang "God Save the King." Gen. French arrived from London, coming quietly to confer with M. Viviani, the Minister for War, and with President Poincaré. He was the first English General to come
to the aid of France since Cromwell commissioned the British Ambassador to go to the aid of Anne of Austria. And the French heart responded as only it can; the people stood, with raised hats, in quadruple rows wherever he passed, as English, French, and foreign voices sang a benediction to Britain's King. History was made there.
That night Gen. French dined at the Ritz among a few friends. Even the newspapers seemed not to know it, and those of us who had the good chance to be there enjoyed him at leisure. He wore his field uniform of khaki in strong contrast to the French Generals, who are always in glittering gold, although he represents an empire and they a republic. He is an admirable looking soldier, somewhat small of stature, firmly knit, bronzed, white haired, blue eyed, calm. He spoke of their responsibilities without exaggeration or amelioration. He did not make light of the task before his soldiers, and his grave manner seemed a prophecy of that terrible fight near Mons, above the French frontier, which was so soon to take place and where English blood was freely spilled for France's sake.
Another day that we shall be glad we saw when it it written into the narrative history of this Summer by some future Mme. Sévigné was when the first German flag arrived. Before it came, two soldiers exhibited a German frontier post in front of a café on the boulevard, which started the excitement, but the reception of the flag by the Government and its placement in the Invalides, where is Napoleon's tomb, was an hour of dramatic tenseness.
The only music heard in Paris since the first day of August, the day of mobilization, accompanied this flag to its resting place along with those historic relics of former French victories. The procession went over the Alexander Bridge, that superb structure dedicated in honor of the Russian Czar, whose son is now fulfilling his pledge of friendship to France. The flag was met at the Invalides by the old soldiers who bore medals of the Franco-Prussian war. In the solemn inclosure, where all stood at
salute, the veterans stood with lances. The flag was presented to an old sick soldier, who stumped forward on a wooden leg, his breast covered with the medals of the Crimea and the Italian campaign. He received it for France, and when it was placed over the organ, the listening crowds that jammed the Place des Invalides heard the singing of the "" Marseillaise by the cracked old voices first, then by the sturdier younger voices, and so it joined in, this vast concourse of solemn listeners.
France has gone into this war with the spirit of the Crusaders, but the spirit of French wit cannot be repressed even under the most terrifying conditions. So after the news of the superhuman effort made by that national baby, Belgium, in detaining the huge German forces for many days, there was a placard on one of the gates at the station, placed there by some gay refugee, saying that a train de luxe would leave for Berlin the next day.
It tickled the sensibilities of travelers very much, and it gave rise to the sale of postcards by an enterprising soul. These cards gave one the right, so they said, of a daily train to Berlin to visit the tomb of Guillaume. They were bought by the thousands as souvenirs of the war and as one of the few things that caused a smile in this saddened city.
Another incident that amused the people was the remark of a young soldier who had single-handed taken some German prisoners, and who, when asked whether he had done it by the revolver or the bayonet, answered that he had only held out a slice of bread and butter and the Germans had followed him.
Amusement and irritation followed the order that all telephoning must be done in French. The sensation produced depended on the temperament of the person. Certainly queer things were said over the lines, and no one could blame the Allo girl" for laughing. The majority of Americans tool: it in good part by saying that it was a French lesson for five cents.
Another accomplishment that has been furthered in Paris during the last three weeks is bicycle riding. With the paucity
of transportation some means of getting over the magnificent distances of this city had to be found. So people who could ride rented bicycles, and those who had not learned began to take lessons. The girls who work, and those who go on errands for the Croix Rouge, wear a most
attractive costume of pale blue or violet. It has a short divided skirt, a slim blouse with blue-and-white striped collar; there is a small hat to match, and the young cyclists whirling around on their missions of mercy are a pleasant sight for very sad eyes.
Paris in October
PARIS, Oct. 19.
HE more one studies the life of Paris at the present time, and especially its patriotic and benevolent activities, the more is one impressed by the unanimous determination of its inhabitants to face whatever may befall and to make the best of things. It is difficult to realize at first sight how completely, in the hour of trial, the traditional light-heartedness of the Parisian has been translated to a fine simplicity of courage and devotion to the common cause and to a high seriousness of patriotism. There is something splendidly impressive and stimulating in the spectacle of civilization's most sensitive culture suddenly confronted by the stern realities of a life-and-death struggle, and responding unanimously to the call of duty. Without hesitation or complaint, Paris has put away childish things, her toys, her luxury, and her laughter; today her whole life reflects only fixed purposes of united effort, of courage never, never to submit or yield, and this splendid determination is all the more significant for being undemonstrative and almost silent.
We English people, who, observing chiefly the surface life of the French capital, have generally been disposed to regard the Parisian temperament as mutable and often impatient of adversity, must now make our confession of error and the amende honorable; for nothing could be more admirable than the attitude of all classes of the community in their stoic acceptance of the sacrifices
and sufferings imposed upon them by this war at their gates. Especially striking is the philosophic acquiescence of the city, accustomed to know and to discuss all things, in the impenetrable veil of secrecy which conceals the movements and the fortunes of the French armies in the field. Go where you will, even among those of the very poor who have lost their breadwinners, and you will hear few criticisms and no complaints. The little midinette thrown out of employment, the shopkeeper faced with ruin, the artist reduced to actual want-they also are in the fighting line, and they are proud of it. The women of the thrifty middle class consider it just as much their duty to devote their savings of years to the common cause as their husbands and brothers do to bear arms against the enemy; only in the last extremity of need do they make appeal to the "Secours National" for assistance. And when they do, they are well content to live on a maintenance allowance of 1s. a day and 5d. for every child.
The other Sunday morning at the hour of mass, when two German aeroplanes were engaged in their genial occupation of throwing bombs over the residential and business quarters of the city, I assisted at several sidewalk conversations in the district lying betwen the Madeleine and the Rue de Rivoli. Nowhere did I find the least sign of excitement. Indeed, there was curiously little interest shown as to the results of the explosions in that neighborhood; only a grim acceptance of this daily visitation as
something to be added to the score in the final day of reckoning and some expression of surprise that the French aeroplanes (supposed to be constantly on the alert for these visitors) should not have found some means of putting an end to the nuisance. At the same time I heard several spectators express their admiration of the German aviators' courage and appreciation of the ease and grace with which they handled their beautiful machines. In the cafés that evening, when the full list of the casualties and damage had been published, one heard a good deal of criticism, seasoned with Attic salt, on the subject of the belated appearance of the French aeroplanes on the scene, and hopes that the boulevards might soon be rewarded by the spectacle of a duel in the air. They seem to think they have earned it.
But in the afternoon all Paris was out -in the Jarden des Tuileries, in the Bois, at Vincennes, basking in the sunshine of a glorious Autumn day, Madame et Bébé bravely making the best of it in the absence of Monsieur. (Not that Monsieur is always absent; the proportion of men in the crowd, and men of serviceable age, was considerably larger than one might have expected.) If the object of the German aviators is to instill terror into the hearts of the Parisians they are wasting their time and their bombs.
Those people in London who complain about not being able to get supper after the theatre, and other minor disturbances of their even tenor of existence, should spend a few days in Paris. They would observe how easily a community may learn to do without many things, and how the lesson itself becomes a moral tonic, unmistakably stimulating in its effects.
Paris is reminded every morning of duty and discipline when it begins by doing without its beloved petits pains and croissants for breakfast, the order having gone forth that bakers, being short-handed, are to make only pain de ménage. Similarly, because the majority of journalists and popular writers are under arms, Paris does without its accustomed daily refreshment of ephe
meral literature, its comic and illustrated press, its literary and artistic causeries, its feuilletons, and chroniques. It does without its theatres, its music halls, without politics, art, and social amenities, without barbers, florists, and motor cars, partly because there are not men enough to keep these things going, and partly because, even if there were, la patrie comes first, so that thrifty self-denial has become the duty of every good citiIf the telephone breaks down, (as it usually does,) there is no one to repair it, so the subscriber goes without; if the trains and trams cease running on regular schedules the Parisian accepts the fact and stays at home.
In normal times life is made up of the sum of little things, but at great moments the little things cease to count. How true this is in Paris today one may judge from the correspondence and records of the "Secours National "; they reveal an intense and widespread impulse of personal pride in self-denial, and prove that the heart of the Parisian bourgeoisie is sound to the core.
To a foreigner, accustomed to the Paris of literary and artistic traditions, perhaps the most remarkable feature in the life of the city today lies in the absence of articulate public opinion, and apparently of public interest, in everything outside the immediate issues of the war. With one or two exceptions, such as the Temps and the Débats, the press of the capital practically confines itself to recording the events and progress of the campaign; nothing else matters. So far as Paris is concerned, all the rest of the world, from China to Peru, might be nonexistent. Neither the political nor the economic consequences of the war are seriously examined or discussed; the sole business of the newspapers consists in supplementing, to the best of their abilities, the meagre war news supplied through official channels. Some interest attaches, of course, to the attitude of Italy; but, beyond that, all things sublunary seem to have faded into a remote distance of unrealitysufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
The explanation of this attitude of complete detachment lies, no doubt, chiefly in the fact that the men who make and exchange political opinions have gone to Bordeaux, while most of those who create and guide public (as distinct from political) opinion, have exchanged the pen for the sword. Just as Paris, for want of bakers, has only one kind of bread, so, for want of the men who usually inspire public opinion, her press has concentrated upon one absorbing idea, écraser les Allemands. Moreover, for want of printers and of
advertisers, most of the daily papers have now dwindled to microscopic proportions. The virile intelligence of Paris journalism and the nimble and adventurous inquisitiveness, which are its normally distinguishing characteristics, have gone, like everything else, to the front. As the editor of Gil Blas says in a farewell poster to his subscribers: "Youth has only one duty to perform in these days. Our chief and all the staff have joined the colors. Whenever events shall permit, Gil Blas will resume its cheerful way. A bientôt."
France and England As Seen in War Time
An Interview With F. Hopkinson Smith
HOPKINSON SMITH was in France when the war broke out, he spent September in London, and is now back in New York. He has brought home many sketches. Not sketches which suggest war in the least, but which were made with the thought of the war lurking in the background.
"Curiously enough," he said, without waiting for any opening question from THE TIMES reporter-Mr. Smith often interviews himself—“ curiously enough, I was on my way to Rheims to make a sketch of the cathedral when the war broke out. I had started out to make a series of sketches of the great European cathedrals. Not etchings, but charcoal sketches.
"Let me say here, too, that cathedrals for the most part ought not to be etched. You lose too many shadows, though you gain in line; but in the etching you have to cross-hatch so heavily with ink that the result is just ink, and not shadow at all. Charcoal gives you depth and transparency. I was eager to do a series of the cathedrals, as I had done a series for the Dickens and Thackeray books, and
had planned to give my entire Summer to it.
"I had been in London for some time. I had sketched in Westminster, in St. Bartholomew's. Everything peaceful and quiet. It seems now as if we ought to have felt-all of us, the people on the streets, I, shopkeepers, every one-the approach of this tremendous war. But we didn't, of course. No one in England had the faintest suspicion that this terrible, inhuman thing was going to happen.
"I went on to France. I sketched Notre Dame, over which they exploded shells a month or so later. I did some work in the beautiful St. Etienne. sauntered down into South Normandy and was stopping for a little color work at the Inn of William the Conqueror before going on to Theims."
These water colors of French farms, French inns, and French gardens are glimpses caught at the very eleventh hour before France put on a totally different aspect.
"The war broke out. There at the quiet little French inn everything suddenly changed color. It was quick, it