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grew nearer and louder-the But when peace came it was gallop of a squadron of horse, another affair. An officer's life and shouts of “ St Denis ! in garrison had little to content “St Denis ! ”
was full of
cereThe garrison too heard it monials and amusements, for now, and made one last des- which I had no taste. perate effort.
I asked leave to resign, My They nearly broke through, request was granted on the They forced us back and back. understanding that I should Could they but close the gate rejoin in case of another war. the game was lost.
I returned to Entrevaux, But the priest had kept a and there learnt that our gracfew good men in reserve, and ious king had presented me he now joined in. He flung with a fine and well-stocked himself upon the pikes, and farm, which I have ever since died gloriously. His ears must cultivated. have caught the note of victory, One of my uncle's daughters, for, even as he charged, the with her husband and their French horse charged ventre only child—the little Maria
à terre into the town.
whom you rescued from the
flames,-in course of time came He ceased. The thunder of to live with me and help me the hoofs, the roar of con- to cultivate the farm. flict, the shouts of St Denis, the crackling of flames, and the " Monsieur François," I said, screams of the wounded seemed it is a very noble story. slowly to die away in my ears. But there is one incident in a
After a long pause he re- man's life that seems to me sumed :
to be sadly lacking. You have
never taken a wife to give There is little more to tell. France brave sons to fight for I rejoined my regiment, and her when you are gone." for my share in the freeing of He looked up at me like a the town was promoted to the hurt child, and in a flash I rank of captain.
knew what I had done, and I My brother officers treated could have bitten my tongue me as a comrade, and while out as he answered the war lasted my life was as * But, monsieur, I also loved happy as it could be.
RIGHTLY considered, the most recklessly telephones or teleimportant executive newspaper graphs rumours and unverified post in the world is that of information. He is constantly the Paris correspondent of the in search of news, and all is Times.' It has great tradi- grist that comes to his mill, tions, and Paris has during This is an entirely erroneous the past few years become the conception. The newspaper corvery centre of diplomacy. I respondent, speaking generally, remember the late Lord North- is conscious of the need of cliffe once telling me that, accuracy; and for myself, I from the British point of view, found many hours of each day he put the capitals outside consumed in attempts to conGreat Britain in the following Arm facts which in themselves order: 1, Paris ; 2, Washing- were trivial, but which were ton; 3, Tokio. Afterwards nevertheless deserving of attencame Berlin and other Euro- tion. It is not enough that pean capitals. What was sur- a Paris newspaper should have prising about his list, as it published a piece of news ; it seemed to me, was the place is necessary to make personal which he gave to Tokio. Doubt- inquiries and be assured of its less this reflected the mood of a strict truth. Nor can one ride moment, and it should be off by merely quoting a French remembered that we were talk- journal and explicitly repudiating of capitals not so much in ing any personal responsibility, terms of their intrinsio import. That would be too easy. The ance as in terms of their news harm which might be done by value.
the reproduction of false news Certainly the years since the always haunts the conscientious Armistice fully justify the posi- correspondent. Three-quarters tion which was ascribed to of the messages which he conParis. The period which I templates sending, and which spent in the serviee of the have perhaps necessitated care
Times' may be properly said ful investigation, he does not to have been the most critical send at all. If the public were period in modern history. Since aware of the
infinite pains the duties of a correspondent that are taken to assure accuof a newspaper in a foreign racy there would be a better capital are little understood, appreciation of men who, beit may be interesting to set cause they usually must write down a few notes.
quickly, are regarded as slapIt is popularly believed that dash in their methods. the correspondent is a man who The ordinary writing man,
as I know from a varied ex- swift ; he must see the signifiperience as author and journal- cance of this or that event ist, lives a quiet, simple, desir- without hesitation; he is there able life as compared with the to interpret as well as to record. correspondent, who is never On this quick interpretation free from cares. There is noth- much may turn; the current ing more wearisome and re
of national opinion may posmorselessly wearing than the sibly be directed by what day-by-day gathering, verify- a responsible correspondent ing, and sending of news, espe- thinks in the first five minutes cially the diplomatic news; and after learning a piece of news. my strong view is that no A sure and swift eye is necesdaily newspaper correspondent sary. That is why I think in an important post should that an overworked man should ever, in modern conditions, be never, as is now often the case, allowed to stay for more than be permitted to continue ina limited number of years. If definitely. Either his judghe has not the good sense ment will fail him, or he will voluntarily to seek a change play for safety, and instead of kept to his task perhaps by giving his own downright views, his passionate interest in dip- will be content to quote the lomatic events, his sense of views of the Temps' or the duty, his inability to escape
Journal des Débats,' or some from the terrible round of other partisan French journal. grinding habits,—then it should On this point I feel strongly, be arranged, if he is to main- and I insist upon the overtain his efficiency and not break whelming national and interdown, that he be transferred national importance of having from time to time to lighter first-rate men who technically posts. The pace of the world's know their business, and dipaffairs is too much for the daily lomatically know as much as correspondent in Paris unless the experts, and who are not he is relieved at intervals.
tired. The statesman, though ob- It certainly cannot be said liged to put forward the most that the standard of British strenuous efforts in these criti- journalism abroad has been as cal days, can occasionally sit high as it should have been. back and leave the conduct This is largely because the key of affairs to others; but the position of the foreign correcorrespondent in a city like spondent has not been ade. Paris is essentially—to use a quately realised, and no serious
— colloquial expression—a one- effort has been made to recruit man show, and there is some- the best type of man. The thing happening every day, representative of a leading month after month, year after British newspaper on the Con. year, that demands his imme- tinent or in America may be diate and most earnest atten- fairly described as an unofficial tion. His reactions must be ambassador, and perhaps his
rôle, properly fulfilled, is greater nection, mere suburbs of Paris. than that of the official am Sometimes while the statesmen bassador. To live in Paris were elsewhere, the real interest without the smallest break for lay at Paris. Thus, while Mr the whole six years which have Lloyd George and M. Briand followed the Armistice, as I were at Cannes, it was not what have done, was to be conscious they said and did at Cannes of a perpetual crisis in the that was interesting; it was world's affairs centring on Paris. what the French Parliament One stood in the very midst and the French President were of the unceasing agitation. In saying and doing at Paris that Paris there has been one long really mattered. controversy concerning repara- Paris has dominated the big tions, concerning security, con- news, the permanent news, as cerning Franco-German rela- no other city has ever domitions, Franco-British relations, nated it for so long a period Franco-Italianrelations, Franco- before. If the American PresiRussian relations, and the rela- dent made a declaration, one tions of France with every immediately asked, "What does country in Central Europe Paris think?" If the German and with America, ever since Chancellor drew up a diplo.
bia the beginning of 1919. The matic document, the question end is not yet; the end will was, “How will Paris receive not be reached for some time it 8 If the British Prime to come. Partial settlements Minister made proposals, inwill doubtless be effected, but stantly the cry was, " But how whether there will be peace will Paris take them ?” Did or war cannot yet be deter- bankers' meet and elaborate mined. There was a constant their plans ; did experts concrash of Cabinets - German, duct investigations and make French, British, Italian,-all of recommendations, the problem which had their repercussions was still the same, “ Will Paris in the French capital. There accept or reject them." was and will be a continuous the meantime Paris was makrumour of lively discussion, ing declarations, drawing up experts clamouring against ex- diplomatic documents, putting perts, and Prime Ministers forward proposals, and assertbusily scratching out new notes. ing its own policy. Now and again, it is true, we As a successor of the great would set out on little excur- de Blowitz in this stirring sions from Paris; we would city, one might well wonder in visit some little casino town or all modesty how de Blowitz, health resort, where the tur- the undoubted king of newsmoil could be conducted with paper correspondents, would variations ; but indeed Bou- have coped with the work logne, San Remo, Spa, and to-day. In his time conditions other places were, in this con- were surely easier, partly beVOL. OCXVI. —NO. MOCOVII.
cause the technical resources phone the messages which have were limited and nothing like been prepared. At the London 80 much was expected, and end a staff of stenographers partly because there has never takes down from this dictation been such passionate public the messages in shorthand. discussion as now. The develop- Nor is it Paris alone which ment of the telephone has thus employs the telephone. made it possible for the Paris Paris has become a centre with correspondent to enter into which Madrid and Geneva, , communication with the Lon- Milan and other places comdon office of the Times' at municate. Rome telephones in all hours of the day and night. two stages to Paris. Sometimes If London chooses to do so, Brussels, and occasionally Berit can inform Paris of some- lin in bad weather, forward thing that has occurred in their messages through the Great Britain-perhaps in the French capital. It is the busilate evening with a view to ness of Paris, of course, to take the Paris impressions being re- down in shorthand the mescorded together with the event sages from these cities, and to in the same issue of the news- transmit them to London. Thus paper which will be published Paris has become a busy cleara few hours later,
ing-house. Seldom indeed does It may surprise many readers the service break down. There to learn that the telephone has is a large number of telephone become almost the sole method lines from Paris to London, of transmission of messages and even after the worst storm from the Continent to the there are always some lines London office of the Times.' available. In my experience,
. A few years ago the telegraph not more than two or three was still largely used, but I emergencies have arisen, and found it to have disadvantages I am convinced that with the as compared with the tele- inevitable further development phone. One did not know of long-distance telephoningwhat delay there might be ; cable telephone and wireless one was never certain that a telephone,-the day will soon message had been received. come when every newspaper With the long-distance tele- which has an office on the phone one knows that one's Continent will rely upon the despatch has been delivered. spoken word, which is safer Special padded boxes are and surer and can be easily erected in the Paris office of checked, rather than upon the the 'Times,' and at fixed hours, telegraphed word. It may well from six o'clock in the evening be that New York and Washuntil midnight-and whenever ington, too, will communicate necessary at other times,-à directly with London. professional telephonist (for it It was not 80 necessary in requires a trained man to trans- the days of de Blowitz to send mit the copy) reads over the tele- off the news the same night,