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splendid belfry towered above the city, yet the complete destruction of the hôtel and was the first landmark to be sighted de ville was a more distressing picture as one approached by motor. It was sup- than any I had imagined in my sordid posed to be the finest Gothic edifice in dreams. The irregular arches at the base northern France. At the top of the tower were still standing, badly cracked, puncwas a crown, below were three bronze tured with holes, and covered on the left clocks, and in the belfry was an enormous by huge piles of broken masonry. Of the bell the people called "La Joyeuse." This Renaissance building on the same side was a shining mark for the German guns. only a single jagged fragment remained; After they had been driven out beyond that fell before a shell the next afternoon. the walls of the town in October, and On the right, the building retained someplaced their batteries on the hills to the thing of its former outline, but it was east, they began the endless bombardment gutted inside, and the elaborate detailsof Arras, with the belfry of the town hall columns, lintels, arches, and porticoas the bull's-eye on the target.
were smashed out of all semblance to their The first shell fired at the town hit the former graceful beauty. A huge pile of tower, and little by little it was shot away powdered white stone was heaped against until it was only slightly higher than the the lower walls; against it an automobile, near-by housetops. Military necessity evidently struck during the first bommight again be offered here as an excuse, bardment, stuck out of the ruins, its bonfor the top of the tower undoubtedly af- net smashed, and its upholstery and tires forded an unobstructed view of the sur- burned off. rounding country-side; but one must look There was only a shapeless mass of calfor a better reason in a war where scout- cined stone left, like a jagged tooth, to ing aëroplanes and captive balloons have suggest what had been the famous tower superseded more stable methods of making in the center. White plastered walls beobservations.
hind, bits of broken furniture and wainAn excuse as logical as any other can scoting burned to cinders, great holes in be found in the amazing statement of a
the points of the arches German officer. Following the shocked broken, and the remnants of the sculptured protests of the neutral countries after the detail crushed beyond recognition that German devastation of last autumn, Ma
It was a ghastly sight. The rain jor-General von Ditfurth thus expressed increased as we stood in the Petite Place; himself in the "Hamburger Nachrichten" the thunder that followed was almost of November, 1914:
drowned by the roar of artillery from the
German and French positions to the east, It is of no consequence if all the monu
and the occasional explosion of a shell ever created, all the pictures ever
against the gabled houses. painted, and all the buildings ever erected
I began a sketch from the left arcades by the great architects of the world were
of the Petite Place, but there was a sendestroyed, if by their destruction we pro
try after me in a moment.
It was a mote German victory over her enemies.
"mauvais côté," he said, and he pointed to The commonest, ugliest stone placed to mark the burial-place of a German grena
the marks of shrapnel on walls and win
dow-shutters and to the Aagstones litdier is a more glorious and perfect monument than all the cathedrals in Europe put
tered with fragments of shell. Later,
from a more sheltered spot beneath the together. Let neutral people cease their
arches at the far side of the place, we saw talk about the Cathedral of Rheims and all
a bomb swipe off the tiles and part of the churches and castles in France that have
the chimney of that same old gabled shared its fate. These things do not inter
house. It was, as the sentry had said,
“bad side." Toward dusk, as the artillery I had been in a way prepared for it, fire slackened, we made our way through
“At the end of a cul-de-sac, the shells tearing through the narrow street had blown
out the walls of a house from beneath its roof”.
tortuous, deserted streets back to the mo- mining and hard fighting with grenades tor-cars and slipped through the mist to in the environs of Arras," I think of our headquarters at Doullens over the Blangy. We crept gradually up to it way we had come.
late in the afternoon. The boyau, or
communicating trench, began in the rear LATER.
of a very much shot-up factory building on Blangy is a suburb of Arras. I had the edge of the town. So gradually we never seen the name in print before the approached, in fact, that we were well war, but whenever I read in the brief within the trenches before we realized communiqué "that there has been counter- that we were in the actual front line.
We encountered tired-looking soldiers enveloping Arras on three sides, was powcoming out after what might be called a erless to come to the aid of its infantry. hard day's work. Others followed us in, With hand-grenade or bayonet they carrying long poles on their shoulders, sus- were backed out of Blangy until they were pended from the middle of the pole a clinging by their toes to the battle-scarred steaming earthen pot of soup for the eve- outbuilding in the far corner of the brewning meal. There were others with pick- ery. These brewery buildings are like a axes, intrenching-tools, and sand-bags to Chinese puzzle-a confusion of vats, bolster up a threatened spot. The air was store-rooms, sub-cellars, broken walls, charged with moisture, and as we stum- rafters burned to a crisp, sand-bag inbled forward, - the trenches were rough trenchments, corrugated iron bomb-proofs, and slippery with mud, -we were sprayed ditches, and crumpled brick and stone. with drops of water from the red poppies Such a maze it is that the French themhanging over the edge of the long ditch. selves do not know it. The field-hospital At irregular intervals, either ahead or be- is in a protected spot in a sub-cellar behind, my ears caught a muffled sound like hind a brewer's vat. For the benefit of the spit of a firecracker exploding on a those who carry the wounded, at every wet pavement.
This was the report of doubtful turning the way to it is marked the modern French rifle. It seemed a on the walls by a red cross with a red very mild affair when I thought of the arrow beneath it. kick and heavy detonation of the Spring- Near the far end of the brewery is an field “45" of my militia days. There was old house. The dormer-window is blown little noise, no smoke.
out, leaving a gaping hole, and the tiles The trenches were exceedingly roomy, on the roof are shot off. We climbed up and they were so high that we could keep to the garret by a rickety stairway litwell below their upper crust without tered with discharged cartridges and stooping. We felt secure and reasonably broken bits of plaster. We stooped low, well protected; it seemed incredible that to avoid being seen as we passed the openonly a short distance away prying Ger- ing where the dormer-window had been. man eyes were watching the line for the A soldier had cut a larger hole in the inslightest movement.
terstices between the boarding. Through As we emerged from the boyau we had it we could glimpse a gray ditch sixty to bend nearly double; then some dead yards away, wagons in the ditch as a walls intervened, and we could stand up- barricade, shell-torn houses on each side, right again. There was more whining of a clump of trees beyond, and round white shells as we followed a circuitous route, puffs of shrapnel hanging close to the hills taking advantage of a hedge or a garden in the distance. There was no sign of life wall wherever possible, up to the brewery in the German line, but you had that mysat Blangy. At this point, I believe, the terious feeling that thousands of unseen trenches are closer together than at any eyes were watching you. Then, apparother in the long line from the Vosges ently without the slightest excuse, for to the channel. To be exact, they are there was no one at all in sight, there twenty yards apart. The Germans occupy would be the spit of a rifle in the French a small outbuilding, the French all the trenches at our feet. rest of the establishment. It is the only I carefully poked my camera through recorded case where the Germans ever the hole between the boarding, and pressed occupied a brewery, and then were forced the bulb. Then we dived under the opento give it up again. When they were ing where the dormer-window had been, driven outside the walls of Arras, they and quietly made our way down the rickfell back on Blangy. Bit by bit they ety stairway. yielded in the street fighting, the lines so A little farther we reached the point close together that the German artillery, where the French and German lines almost meet. There was a hush over every- blackened rafters, showed through the thing. We were cautioned to whisper drizzle of rain. This was the German and to walk on tiptoe. The sand-bag line, not farther away than the width of
. barricades somehow gave us an abnormal a city street, so close that we felt almost sense of protection. There were, to be as though we could reach out and touch sure, the desultory reports of rifle-fire the
enemy. The Poilus, with their heads from both sides, and occasionally a soldier against the butts of their rifles, were alert immediately in front of us would launch and watchful. But I experienced a a hand-grenade, just as a boy would swing greater feeling of security here than in the a crab-apple off the end of a stick. Be- garret with the narrow slits between the yond the topmost line of the trench a shat- boards and the open space where the dortered gable, with skeleton chimneys and mer-window had been.
The British Foreign Policy
and Sir Edward Grey
By ARTHUR BULLARD
Author of "Are We a World Power?” etc.
HY do the Conservative papers bers of the cabinet have to submit to
never attack Sir Edward Grey ?” I hostile discussion of their acts; on the floor asked an English friend a few months be- of the House of Commons and in the fore the outbreak of this war.
newspapers their policies are threshed out Partizan politics in England were at in open debate. There is no official crititheir worst: Mr. Lloyd George was be- cism of the conduct of foreign affairs. ing hanged in effigy; several members of Now and then an individual member the Asquith cabinet were being charged breaks away from "party discipline". and with scandalous manipulation of the Mar- asks an embarrassing question. The coni shares; the Tory newspapers were foreign minister, or the premier, speaking vehemently and often scurrilously attack- for him, makes a few eloquent and platiing the policies and personalities of the tudinous remarks about the grandeur of Liberal ministers, but there was never a the British Empire; the party whips are word against the Secretary of State for snapped; the loyal party-men on both sides Foreign Affairs, though to me he seemed of the house cheer wildly, and proceed to the one man in the cabinet who was most the next item of business. vulnerable. I was told that it was a tra- Sir Edward Grey has filled his office dition of British politics not to drag for- protected by this comfortable tradition. eign affairs into the quarrels of domestic The interests that he represents are politics.
stupendous that he is placed above perThe word "tradition" has a peculiar sonal criticism. To embarrass him would
” charm to Englishmen. They like to label be considered treasonous. There is no as “traditional” anything of which they other person of like importance in British approve. This idea, that international re
public life who is so little known. lations must not be mixed in with home From many sides we are assured that disputes, is comparatively new. Foreign Sir Edward is a typical English gentleman; policy was the prime issue in the party but this is a most uninforming description. fights between Gladstone and Disraeli. This war has tended to make us think of
But whether it should be called the various European countries as units. dition or a recent policy, it is the present In times of peace we knew that they, practice of the British not to criticize the like ourselves, were all houses divided foreign minister. The leaders of the op- against themselves. In France the naposition are informed of all important de- tion had been forced into two camps by velopments in international politics, and the passionate struggle between church so the "outs” share responsibility with the and state; in Russia there was desperate “ins" in the relations of Great Britain warfare between the czar and his subwith the rest of the world. It results jects; we knew that in imperial Germany that whoever happens to be foreign minis- there was a growing Social Democratic ter is shrouded in mystery. Other mem- party which already cast four million