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One last word, my dearest brethren: At the outset of these troubles I said to you that in the day of the liberation of our territory we should give to the Sacred Heart and to the Blessed Virgin a public testimony of our gratitude. Since that date I have been able to consult my colleagues in the episcopate, and, in agreement with them, I now ask you to make, as soon as possible, a fresh effort to hasten the construction of the national basilica, promised by Belgium in honor of the Sacred Heart.
•As soon as the sun of peace shall shine upon our country we shall redress our ruins, we shall restore shelter to those who have none, we shall rebuild our churches, we shall reconstitute our libraries, and we shall hope to crown this work of reconciliation by raising, upon the heights of the capital of Belgium, free and Catholic, that national basilica of the Sacred Heart. Further
more, every year we shall make it our duty to celebrate solemnly, on the Friday following Corpus Christi, the festival of the Sacred Heart.
Lastly, in every region of the diocese the clergy will organize an annual pilgrimage of thanksgiving to one of the privileged sanctuaries of the Blessed Virgin in order to pay especial honor to the protectress of our national independence and universal mediatrix of the Christian Commonwealth.
The present letter shall be read on the following dates: On the first day of the year and on the Sundays following the day on which it shall severally reach you.
Accept, my dearest brethren, my wishes and prayers for you and for the happiness of your families, and receive, I pray you, my paternal benediction. D. J. CARDINAL MERCIER, Archbishop of Malines.
APPEAL TO AMERICA FOR BELGIUM
By THOMAS HARDY
Seven millions stand
Emaciate, in that ancient Delta-land:
We here, full charged with our own maimed
And coiled in throbbing conflicts slow and
Can soothe how slight these ails unmerited
Seven millions stand.
No man can say
To your great country that, with scant delay,
We know that nearer first your duty lies;
Albeit that aught you owe and must repay
No man can say?
With the German Army
By Cyril Brown
Staff correspondent of THE NEW YORK TIMES
GREAT HEADQUARTERS, FRANCE, Dec. 1, 1914.There is a certain monotony about the "scientific murder" of the firing line-a routine repetition of artillery duels, alarums, and excursions which can be (and being) vividly described by war correspondents " from the safe vantage ground of comfortable cafés miles away. The real human interest end of this ultra-modern war is to be gleaned from rambling around the operating zone in a thoroughly irresponsible American manner, trusting in Providence and the red American eagle sealed on your emergency passport and a letter from Charles Lesimple, the genial Consul at Cologne, to keep you from being shot.
turnal trail led in a military train from Luxemburg over Longwy to Longuyon, where at 3 o'clock in the morning I met an old reader of THE NEW YORK TIMES, Herman Herzberger, a wealthy glove leather manufacturer of Berlin, well known to the trade in New York and Gloversville.
"What a coincidence," Mr. Herzberger remarked in good American. "I am going to the front with my wife to see my 18-year-old son, who is in a hospital at Vonziers. My son, who was in the high school, enlisted as a volunteer, with practically the whole school, at the outbreak of the war.
With constant reader," I boarded a troop transport at Longuyon and crawled on through the night to the front. It was a reserve battalion of a Prussian infantry regiment of the line, and a little research work produced the interesting discovery that it was composed of men who had been wounded, were recovered, and going back for the second time. They were delighted to have an American in their midst, and promptly made me an honorary member. They had no idea where they were going, but eagerly hoped "they would be back in the trenches by evening."
and this one is going back, although he has a wife and six children at home."
It was an interesting revelation as to the morale of the German reinforcements.
At 9 o'clock in the morning the troop transport stopped for refreshments at the French village of X, and here a funny phenomenon was witnessed. From all sides the shrewd inhabitants of the village came running, scores of them, with bottles of wine. The laughing German soldiers got out and, negotiating over a picket fence, returned with the refreshments while the inhabitants made off with German coin. I saw bottles of champagne change hands here for the sum of 25 cents. In spite of the cheapness of wine, however, the German soldier is well disciplined and does not "go the limit "; I have never seen an intoxicated specimen afield.
One of the soldiers told the following story to illustrate the iron discipline enforced in the Kaiser's army in the case of the inevitable black sheep: "A French woman, who kept a small tavern, came to our commandant and complained because a Bavarian soldier had wantonly turned the spigot and allowed a whole cask of red wine to run out on the ground. After an investigation the offender was found guilty and for punishment tied to a tree for two hours. To be tied fast by your head and legs is the most dreaded punishment, because you are disgraced before all your comrades."
From X I started out on a foot tour, and entered the Grosses Hauptquartier (Great Headquarters) unchallenged, by the back door. Journalistically it was disappointing at first, for it was Sunday morning, and apparently Prussian militarism keeps the Sabbath holy. There was no interviewing the Kaiser, for he had gone "way down East" and with him his War Minister, Gen. von Falkenhayn. The courteous commandant, Col. von Hahnke, was not on the job. Even the brilliant chief of the press division, Major Nikolai, was out of town when I called on the Great General Staff.
But there were compensations, for at a turn of the road I saw a more impressive
sight than even the motoring Kaiser—a mile of German cavalry coming down the straight chaussé, gray horsemen as far as the eye could see, and more constantly coming over the brow of the distant hill, with batteries of field artillery sandwiched between, while on the railroad track, paralleling the highway, infantry and heavy artillery troop trains crawled past in endless succession, as closely together as subway trains during the rush hour at home. An allied aeroplane, hovering overhead, would have learned something to its advantage.
I had innocently blundered into one of the most important troop movements of the war, but how many and where they were coming from or where they were going to I pledged myself not to disclose. The inevitable company of cyclists rode at the head of the long column that was still passing when I went to bed. Next came an imposing staff-then a mounted band blaring away, then a crack guard cavalry regiment, proud standard flying, then cavalry less élite, here and there a pale-faced spectacled trooper who looked like a converted theological student. Whole regiments came riding down the pike singing "The Red, White, and Black in unison-a stirring, marching song, which for patriotic fervor and fighting spirit "puts it all over the British "It's a Long Way from Tipperary."
It was a Roman holiday for the French inhabitants of the town of lined the roads en masse quivering with suppressed emotion and happiness, thinking they were eyewitnessing a great German retreat. "Our French soldiers will soon be here again,” they whispered to one another. But it wasn't a retreatit was one of those mysterious strategic shifts you read about in the papers without really realizing what it means till you see it great masses being rushed from one battlefield to another on the long line.
For weeks these same regiments had been daily" decimated," "cut to pieces," and otherwise badly mauled by English war correspondents, but you would never have suspected it. Bearded dragons and Uhlans were still able to sit up and smoke
big Hamburg cigars as they rode along, the horses looked fresh, the guns of the batteries were spick and span, the men seemed to have "morale " to spare; they looked as if they were just going for the first time-and not coming from the scrimmage.
By way of digression and as illustrating the military "discipline on which the Germans pride themselves so, the following whimsical interlude took place in front of the sacred portals of the Great German Staff: A famous German professor of philosophy, adorned in civil life with the high title of Privy Councilor, 65 years old, white-haired, white-bearded and with big yellow horn-rimmed spectacles, incongruously wearing the field gray uniform whose collar and shoulder straps indicated that he was an unterofficier of the reserve regiment of a German university town well known to Americans, was waiting patiently outside of the guarded gate in company with a young Feldwebel, (a non-commissioned officer of higher rank.) The old philosophy professor had enlisted with practically his whole class at the outbreak of the war, but on account of his age was not sent to the front with them at the time, but finally was allowed to go with a transport of four automobile loads of gifts and supplies for the regiment. He and the Feldwebel had to hang around outside while the Lieutenant in charge went inside to do the talking in the Great General Staff Building. Presently the old philosophy professor ransacked his pockets, produced an apple, clicked his heels together in regulation fashion and, saluting his young superior, (infinitely inferior in the civil social scale,) said: "Am I permitted to offer you an apple, Herr Feldwebel?"
His ranking superior acknowledged the gift with curt military punctilio, then added respectfully, "I thank you, Herr Privy Councilor."
In the afternoon a forced march of two miles brought me to the handsome villa occupied by the foreign military attachés, where Major Langhorne, the American expert, was again found in good health and spirits, and particularly happy be
cause in a couple of days he was again to see some real fighting. The Great General Staff continues to give our Miiitary Attaché every possible opportunity to see things for himself and give Uncle Sam the benefit of the military lessons to be learned from the big scrap, no matter which way it goes.
Today I again dropped in on the Great General Staff and found it not only at home, but very much interested on discovering that I had no pass to come or go or be there at that time. The wartime mind of Prussian militarism is keen and right to the point. It saw not the chance of getting publicity in America, but the certainty that other more dangerous spies could come through the same way. By all the rules of the war game, Prussian militarism would have been thoroughly justified in treating me as a common spy in possession of vital military secrets, but it courteously contented itself in insisting on plucking out the heart of the journalistic mystery. All attempts at evasion and humor were vain-here was the ruthless reality of
It was the mailed Prussian eagle against the bluff American bird of the same species, and the unequal contest was soon ended when Major Nikolai, Chief of Division III. of the Great General Staff, stood up very straight and dignified and said: "I am a German officer. What German violated his duty? I ask you as a man of honor, how was it possible for you to come here?"
The answer was quite simple: "The German military machine was so perfect that it covered every contingency except the most obvious and guarded every road except the easiest way. All you have to do is to take a passenger train to Luxemburg, and hang around the platform until the next military train pulls out for Belgium or France, hop aboard, and keep on going. In case of doubt utter the magic phrase, 'I am an American,' and flash the open sesame, the red seal of the United States of America-to which bearded Landsturm guards pay the tribute of regarding it as equally authoritative as the purple Prussian eagle stamped on a military pass."
Followed a two-hour dialogue in the private office of the chief of the Kaiser's secret field police, as a result of which future historians will find in the Kaiser's secret archives the following unique document, couched in Berlin "detectivese" and signed and subscribed to by THE TIMES Correspondent:
Secret Field Police, Great Headquarters, Dec. 1, 1914.
There appears the American war correspondent, and at the particular request of the authorities, explains:
On Saturday, Nov. 30, I arrived at Trier on a second-class ticket at about 10:30 P. M. There I bought a third-class ticket and boarded a train leaving about 11:10 P. M. and reached Luxemburg at about 12:15 A. M. I did not go into the railroad station, but, trusting to my papers, boarded a military train leaving at 12:45 A. M.,
going over Longwy to Longuyon, where I arrived at 3:30 A. M. Sunday. There an official whose name I do not know took me to a troop train and made a place for me in the brake box. I left the train at X. and went on foot to H. (the Great Headquarters,) where I reported myself to the Chief of Police.
I recommend that a sharper control be exercised on the station platform at Luxemburg, as it is a simple matter to avoid the only control which is at the ticket gate, by simply not going out and therefore not having to come in.
The lot of the professional spy will be harder in the future. Meanwhile, I expect to shake the dust of the German Great Headquarters from my reportorial feet early tomorrow morning, for pedestrianism is not a safe pastime in the war zone.
Story of the Man Who Fired on the Rheims Cathedral
while squinting through an artillery telescope at the cathedral and hearing the man who fired the famous shots tell all about it was the unique combination I experienced today, and in retrospect the ham sandwich stands out as the most important feature, for it symbolizes the morale of the men before Rheims.
The post of observation was in a sometime French fort, now riddled by French shells, on the crest of a hill affording a fine panoramic view of the city, and my sightseeing predecessors here had included the Imperial Chancellor, von Bethmann Hollweg; Muktar Pasha, the Turkish Ambassador to Berlin; Major Lang
horne, the American Military Attaché, and other celebrities.
Rheims Cathedral was said to be about four miles away, but through the powerful magnifying telescope (of the scissors type and so contrived that only its two eyes peered over the breastworks while the observer was completely hidden from view) it showed up as clearly as Caruso through an opera glass. The top of one of the two towers had a decidedly motheaten appearance-it looked as if one of the corners had been shot away, and the roof was evidently gone, but otherwise the exterior of the cathedral lookedthrough the telescope to be in a good state of preservation and likely to enjoy a ripe old age. No French observer was seen on the cathedral towers, and I was informed by First Lieut. Wengler of the