Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
themselves. The sobriety of their
thoughts is reflected in their habits
and the driking of alcoholic bever
ages has fallen off amazingly.
For the time being the typical citi
zen was not thinking of profits or
business but of France and the com
mon lot. This has always been an
individualistic country, almost as in
dividualistic as our own. It became
now in a way a country given over
to the .spirit of co-operation, the in
dividual lost sight of before the oh
vious needs of the community.
The government had no practical
needs of acts enabling it to take over
railroads, factories and property; all
persons expected their government to
take what was wanted. No one ap
pealed to the workingmen to be pa
triotic and do their best in the muni
tion factories; they would do that
anyway for France.
What is still more remarkable, no
body seemed to have any thought of
glory or reputation. The newspapers
never make mention of any act of
service; acts of service are expected'
of all. The most distinguished men
in France are doing humble labor
every day and nobody notes it Emil
Loubet, formerly president of the re
public, almost 80 years old, is serving
as a member of an obscure commit
tee that does not end of hard work
without recognition. So is Armand
Fallieres, his successor in the presi
Service in the army is universal,
but I doubt if it can truly be called
compulsory. Judge for yourself. You
might say that the soldiers serve
without pay; the compensation is
merely nominal; two cents a day.
Yet, think! not a word of complaint
is raised on that score.
Because her soldiers fight gratui
tously is one reason why France has
been able to manage in the war on
so moderate an expense.
Then, too, separation allowance
for soldiers' dependants are very
small. The wife gets but 25 cents a
day and 10 cents a day for each child,
as against $3.62 a week for the wife
and $1.25 to 50 cents a week for each
child in Great Britain.
But the French government com
mandeers the houses in which the de
pendants live and they pay no rent.
Incredible as it may seem, I do not
hear that landlords make much com
plaint. It is for France.
Youget no rolls with your break
fast now in Paris. Guess why not it
is a fine reason. Well, here it is.
Roll making is an art. When the war
came some of the bakeries lost their
roll artists, who went to the front.
Then the other bakers said: "It would
be unfair to take advantage of our
brother bakers that have been crip
pled thus by the war of France. None
of us will make any rolls." So the
roll has been abolished in Paris.
If that is not French I know not
Mourning is widespread and deep;
for so far more than 300,000 sons of
France have been killed on the battle
line; 700,000 have been wounded or
taken prisoner. It is an inconceiva
ble sorrow. Yet the mourning has a
certain dignity and reserve, and he
would be a poor observer that could
not see what it is that sustains the
mothers and wives of France in the
sacrifice they are making.
I would not seem too sanguine
about all this, but I do believe that
with it goes some perception, at least
among many people, that the France
for which they are giving up so much
is not certain leagues of land but an
idea. It is democracy against serving
feudalism, the republic against abso
lutism. And I do believe further that
when this storm shall have passed the
fine spirit that has been developed
here will not wholly die. The thing is
too deep and the trial has been too
fiery. It is perfectly evident that
Frenchmen have been brought to
gether in a new bond and the bond is
spiritual as well as material.
No less an authority than Georges
Clemenceau, cool, steady, seasoned
observer, looks for a great forward
-- - r f ria.BiaiBafiiiagflai