The Great War Part 88, April 22nd 1916

FRENCH REGIMENT RETURNING TO CAMP. THE INNER LIFE OF FRANCE IN HER TIME OF TRIAL. By M. Henri D. Davray the Eminent French Critic. In the earlier volumes o f The Great War chapters have been included on the conditions o f war-time life in Great Britain Russia, and Germany and also in America as it has been thought desirable b they Editors that this historical survey should include every aspect of the war's effect on the belligerent nations a swell a sits reflection on the life o f the neutrals. I t is now possible in the following chapter to add a highly important contribution to this series o f studies in national life and the Editors are fortunate in having been able to secure so distinguished a con trib u tor a sM. Henri aD.D v ray to Write it. M.D a v ray has long held a foremost position in France a san interpreter to his compatriots o f British life and character. A s foreign editor o f the"M ercure de France ”he has introduced to the French public all the more notable English Writers o four time and for fully twenty years has been rendering the most brilliant service to the Entente co u n tries b y helping our French allies to a bette run derstan dingo f ourselves. His know led geo f British life and character is profound and accurate and the name o f no living French critic commands greater respect among English scholars than his. I t is therefore peculiarly appropriate th atone who has done much to bring the two peoples together should enrich our pages with the following intimate account of the life o f his own c o u n try during the earlier months of the Great War.N eminent English writer who knows contemporary France as intimately as France of former days has written :“We are all of one mind in ad­miring and often with an admiration bordering on amazement, the magnificent temper in which the heroic French nation has faced its stupen­dous hour of trial.” This “hour of trial” has assuredly been more “stupendous than it is possible for an English islander to imagine. Will war be imposed upon us ?Such was the question, repeated anxiously in all French circles political and financial commercial and industrial but the bulk of the population in the pro­vinces whether at manu­facturing centres orin agricultural districts was ready to believe still that the storm would pass. With more lessor clearness each imagined for himself the disastrous consequences which such a cataclysm Would bring in its train for all those affected one pictured the losses and ruin which a modern war would accumulate with its GENE R ALGAL LIEN IS SUCCESSOR. When General Gallieni owing to ill-health resigned office as French War Minister in March 1916 General Roques (who is seen seated in the. above photograph) was appointed to succeed him. For his services as commander of the First Eastern Army General Roques was awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour and the Croix de Guerre. murderous arms and numberless masses of men and the people refused to believe that there could be anywhere responsible heads of States mad enough to provoke such a frightful Armageddon. When the definite rupture came between Austria and Serbia public opinion realised that the conflict could not remain local and that the efforts of the British and French diplomatists had been pure waste of time. A fortunate issue from the crisis was anticipated less and less the fatal denoue­ment was perceived to be approaching and one of the first effects of this pessimism Was the almost total dis­appearance of gold and the scarcity of change. The difficulty arose of regulating purchases and of changing notes of one hundred and fifty francs. Immediately, economists and bankers demanded that notes o f twenty and five francs should be putin circulation. Very quickly public imagination foresaw the almost inevitable menace of war and everywhere it was accepted without braggadocio or terror even when hopes of intervention Were reduced to a feeble Z 197
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