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two great countries in a direc- account give him no

no other tion they did not intend to name. take. Yes, and all this marches You will remember also, mes quite silently, so that never a amis, that two weeks ago, and ripple on the pool of politics even since a week, there was stirs the shallow emotions of some talk of those agreements the public press. At the very in the Press. They were quite bottom of the pool, I, René as important as the gentlemen Guizet, sit like a little frog, who were busy making them. invisible, nevertheless respon- The diplomats bent their august sible for the troubling of the backs over many maps, and pool. And now, mes amis, I divided peoples magnificently dare not appear.

That, you between themselves in accordwill understand, is the thought ance with their profound ignorthat has pained and saddened ance of ethnology and geog

raphy. Sometimes, feeling genI give you the story. You erous, they graciously gave will remember, messieurs, how away little territories to other not two weeks since there came powers

without consulting from England a nice little man either the gift or the recipient, who was warmly welcomed at presently to be informed of the Quai d'Orsay. I will not their generosity. They juggled mention names, nor may I mythical billions of francs bespeak of his important posi- tween them as a mountebank tion. It is enough to say that tosses his coloured balls. One he was a member of the British amuses oneself well like that, Government, an exalted mem- without doubt, and sometimes ber of that Government, and no harm comes of it. On other he came armed with sufficient occasions, certainly, the effect of power to settle the dostinies of such sport may be calamitous. Europe for another hundred Presently, as 'Le Grand years—if, by talking, one may Bavard 'so ably reported, there settle anything. It was in

came a time

vhen this playing tended, one believes, that there began to be serious even for should be agreements between Messieurs les Diplomates. Varithis important gentleman and ous reasons were assigned for another gentleman, equally im- the difference of opinion that portant, at the Quai d'Orsay. inevitably arose. One, unThey would be private agree- wisely, granted an interview. ments possibly, that some later The other retorted, in print, public conference would make and the echo of that utterance, public agreements by which our Dieu sait pourquoi, made a respective Governments would considerable noise in be bound. We will, then, if pected quarters. It was a you please, speak of this anony- rather banal utterance. The mous British gentleman as Mon- power of thought thereby exsieur le Diplomate, and in this hibited might

might justly

justly have

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shamed a schoolboy in the There was nothing dishonourfifth class. But, as has been able in any part of this, it is explained, these gentlemen had understood. But diplomats, no power, so that even their silence less than other men, also comwas eloquent. How much more prehend that money is useful, effective, alors, the words that and without it, in the life of should not have been whispered politics, nothing can be made even in the privacy of a locked to march at all. Again do you room ?

permit me to quote Boileau ! By general consent it was taken for granted that such "L'argent, l'argent, dit-on, sans lui

tout est stérile; gaucherie was for the benefit of

La vertu sans argent est un meuble their respective countries. Our inutile. diplomats were, it was supposed, jealous for national ad- You realise why one is not vantage to be obtained. Be- permitted to follow with Boilneath such masks do men dis- eau's conclusion ?-“L'argent, guise themselves. Journalists, en honnête homme trige in this connection somewhat scélérat.There is here no wiser, are therefore more cyn- question of dishonest intention, ical than other men. There even of too much selfwere those of us earning our interest. Yet, working at the bread with ' Le Grand Bavard' job which is necessary to their who, even while writing those existence, even such great men exciting reports, tongue in can find a thousand sound cheek, shrieking for the glory mouth-filling arguments to keep of France arraigned against la their hands from casting the perfide Albion, were perfectly mud of undesirable policy into aware that behind Monsieur the springs from whence their le Diplomate Français there power flows. The intellectual crouched in the background effort required is entirely subsome few hundreds of worthy conscious, for as the charitable bourgeois of the north with are not permitted to allow one undeniable influence in making hand knowledge of the actions and unmaking governments. of the other, the diplomats And behind Monsieur le Diplo- have developed the curious mate Anglais

also, faculty of keeping one lobe of shadowy, some hundreds of the brain entirely ignorant of worthy steel and cotton mer- the other's operations. They chants from the north of his are thus able to speak with own country, consistent sub- entire frankness

on many scribers to certain funds that themes that might otherwise one needs in politics-among prove embarrassing, and they them Monsieur, the cousin of may often convince others withMonsieur, possessed of a deep out the necessity of first being purse, which could close or convinced themselves. open with equal readiness. All this, however, is beside


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the question. You will remem- Prefect of Police, a gentleman ber the sensation that was you have previously met in caused by the brief announce- connection with the famous ment that an impasse had Affair Mouchard. been reached which seemed I introduce also a number quite impossible of solution. of gentlemen collectively conNotes passed between the re- sidered—the Société des Amis spective Governments. On de la République Française, an either side of the Channel a organisation whose activities, certain section of the Press no doubt, are known to you. became rabid in frenzied ap- These are the two factors. peals to the unwashed mob in With some timidity, alors, at an

effort to arouse public last I call attention to myself, opinion. We have seen the although in this business I had same phenomenon before. It but a little part. is true that such appeals, in- You will recognise that, with tended primarily to increase the exception of my modest circulation, have but little in- self, all other actors in this little fluence on the decisions of play have a single quality in diplomats, although the biassed common. In their various ways opinions thus presented to the they are all intensely, almost unthinking are often a useful offensively, conservative. Whatpreliminary in persuading large ever their private convictions, numbers of them to go forth to whatever politically they may be shot. One realises also believe or expound, by no that most of this outcry, de- possibility could one find any manding that the diplomats of them sitting on the left. stand fast for the sake of their And this is true, as truth may respective countries, was quite sometimes be a paradox, even unnecessary. These gentlemen, in the case of Messieurs les having their own affairs to Diplomates, who, both French think about, were firmly bound and English, loudly asserted to their opposite decisions. that they were Socialists, but Nothing could move them from who, by the nature of their their respective positions short Conservative convictions, leaned of the removal of themselves with a sharp tilting toward the from the offices which they so right. Therefore, they had no ably held.

difficulty whatever in finding We must now consider two certain bonds of sympathy beother factors that enter the tween themselves and the genproblem, without relation to tlemen of the Society of Friends the world of diplomacy, never- of the French Republic. They, theless important because a as you know, are for the most pathway out of the impasse part Royalists, the fascisti of would have been impossible France, who have as the first except for them.

object of their association the I introduce M. Forgeron, overthrow of the Republic ;


and second, the preservation munard is the uncouth rhetoric of France from many evils of Attila, the Hun, whose arguwhich, they feel, would over- ment, all bluntly, was just take our country should the this: “Give all, lest I require Socialists gain power enough also life from you !” And to put their theories into de- who, when all was given, in structive practice.

mere jest often took life as Paradox? No, mes amis, but well, because blood-spilling apconsider this ! First, the name peals to a primitive sense of of that distinguished Society : humour. Logic, mes amis, is to overthrow the Republic~ wasted on such men. On this would that not be a friendly point Socialists and Royalists act ? Both Royalists and find themselves quite in agreeSocialists have

have thought so. ment. Socialists look to the aris- It becomes understandable, tocracy to supply them with then, how, as a matter of all their most telling argu- courtesy between enemies on ments in their appeal to igno- the field who are friends berance and greed. Therefore hind pavilion curtains, this Engall aristocrats are useful to lish diplomat should receive an them. Both aristocrats and invitation to address the memSocialists are alike in seeking bers of the famous conservative to lead the people by the nose. association, Les Amis de la They are alike in their con- République Française." The tempt for either sans culotte invitation was a beau geste on or bourgeoisie. Also, to whom the part of the Society by should the fascisti look if not which they honoured both to the Socialists of the right themselves and the famous man. to stand between themselves The English diplomat accepted and the dangerous communards, graciously. One may suspect impossible people as one knows, that he welcomed this opporwho state quite frankly that tunity to display his oratorical loot and destruction are their ability in French, the natural aim-savages with whom it is language of diplomacy-a lanunsafe to enter into any kind guage which, being master of of political combination. They his trade, Monsieur le Diplohave no conception of the mate spoke with fluency and science of politics, those fellows. great assurance. Seeking, then, Their methods are not the a subject of the greatest commethods of either sound Social- mon interest, he chose as the ists or the diplomats who have title of his discourse The faith in talk, and who, like European Menace," by which gentlemanly highwaymen, de- he made reference to certain mand a purse most courteously, Radical doctrines which even though their courtesy is a threaten the control of Europe kerchief covering a gun. No, by England and France. the diplomacy of the com- Enters now M. Forgeron, a figure in the background, who lean, and one was chiefly disin his métier as Prefect of tinguished by a magnificent Police had of necessity been black beard. M. Forgeron, who informed of the intended meet- was responsible for their every ing. For all that follows one action, little reckoned the diffimust not censure him. He did culties that diplomacy and his his duty as he has always done. policemen would prepare for Quite in the usual course of him. such procedure there were ap- Imagine it now : the night pointed, possibly by a sub- of the speech arrives. There ordinate, three policemen of a gathers a numerous and fairly kind to attend the meeting. intelligent audience, including They were expected to do the most of the Royalist intellectusual thing, purely formal. uals of Paris, who bring their That is, one of them would women with them, so that the give perfunctory attention to odour of scent in the heated the speech, while the others, by salle de réunion presently bea private arrangement, took comes overpowering. There are their ease in the back room of many gentlemen of the Press, an adjacent café. There would anxious only that the English be, then, a report to be filed diplomat should make some in a dossier with a thousand startling faux pas that would other similar reports, and there deliver him into their hands, conveniently forgotten.

or, failing this, would say someHélas, mes amis, that public thing worth printing in regard servants take so little interest to the impasse into which diploin the destiny of the country macy had so ignobly toppled. which they serve ! These men, The platform was banked with whom one admits were loyal, flowers and draped with interfaithful, but indeed somewhat twined French and British flags, stupid, were given the number for this was an occasion of where the meeting would be importance, you

you understand. held ; the name of the pre- One could add a description siding Society, which was mean- of the very dignified English ingless to them; the name of diplomat who, clothed in garb the speaker, who was to them of ceremony, presently appeared as any other of a million Eng- upon the platform bowing to a lishmen; also the title of the thunder of applause, but even address, and this, as they had here one must preserve his been casually conscious of a thinly veiled anonymity. European menace for quite ten To be impartial, one must years, had ceased to have any not forget the bearded agent de significance. There were, then, police, chosen by lot among the three of them, all of the bis comrades for this distastesame type of mind, although ful duty, who strolled aimlessly one of these policemen was up and down the foyer, denied short and fat, one was tall and even the consolation of a cigar

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