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country-side; but one must look for a better reason in a war where scouting aëroplanes and captive balloons have superseded more stable methods of making observations.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