I looked up at the row of wounded. One man held his bandaged head between his hands and was crying. An officer in a box, wearing the gorgeous uniform of the headquarters staff, held a handkerchief over his eyes.
Through the second verse the audience alternately cheered and stamped their feet and wept. Then came the wonderful “Amour sacre de la patrie”—sacred love of home and country—verse. The crashing of the orchestra ceased, dying away almost to a whisper. Chenal drew the folds of the tricolor cloak about her. Then she bent her head and, drawing the flag to her lips, kissed it reverently. The first words came like a sob from her soul. From then until the end of the verse, when her voice again rang out over the renewed efforts of the orchestra, one seemed to live through all the glorious history of France. At the very end, when Chenal drew a short jeweled sword from the folds of her gown and stood, silent and superb, with the folds of the flag draped about her, while the curtain rang slowly down, she seemed to typify both Empire and Republic throughout all time. All the best of the past seemed concentrated there as that glorious woman, with head raised high, looked into the future.
And as I came out of the theatre with the silent audience I said to myself that a nation with a song and a patriotism such as I had just witnessed could not vanish from the earth—nor again be vanquished.
A War of Commerce to Follow
By Sir William Ramsay
That commerce in Germany is regarded as war, that the “powerful mass of the German State” is projected into methods meant to kill off the trade of other nations, and that after the war between the nations the German war with British trade will be resumed, is the burden of this address. Sir William Ramsay delivered it in Manchester on Jan. 22, 1915, before representatives of British associations of employers and of leading industrial concerns in many parts of the United Kingdom, making up the Employers’ Parliamentary Association. Sir William is one of the world’s great chemists.
I suppose that among my audience some are convinced free traders, while some believe that our commercial interests would be better served by a measure of protection. This is neither the time nor the place, nor have I the knowledge and ability for a discussion of this much-debated question. Nor will I reveal my own private views, except in so far as to say that I agree with the majority. But, as the question cannot be ignored, I should like to say that I hold firmly the conviction that all trade should be carried on for the mutual advantage of the parties engaged. The old fable of AEsop may be quoted, which relates to a quarrel between the different members of the body. Every one of us can be, and should be, helpful to every other, independent of nation, country, and creed. That is, I am sure, what lies on the conscience of each one of us, as an ultimate end to be struggled for, although perhaps by many considered unattainable.