with star-dust or decay. But in themselves nothing. It is the directing vision working through them which is everything. We French seek shape, not colored clouds.

Myself. I am not prepared lightly to abandon words, either alone or in the strange harmonies of rhythm. I believe that, both in themselves and so grouped, they have a definite objective value. And, indeed, I have often thought that it is the strange superficial lucidity of your words that makes poetry in your language difficult. That gold elusive essence seems to slip between the smooth surfaces. I can never forget my astonishment and sense of growing estrangement as I read the French Bible. When, for our slow grave granite words there were substituted your glittering fishlike shapes, it seemed to me that all the haunting quality had


At the very top and climax of all French verse I am still conscious of the reins, and I believe it is, in the last resort, the language itself, and not the rules, that imposes them.

française est la seule qui ait une probité attachée à son génie.' That 'probity' of our tongue is exactly what we miss in the Teuton languages, and it seems to me to be reflected in our thought. You said a little earlier, almost eloquently, 'At its highest moment verse trembles on the edge of thought, and we peer, awe-stricken, over the tall battlements of life.' Well, we French take the view that beyond thought is chaos, and we do not wish to peer over the battlements of life, because there would be nothing to see. We will carry thought to the ends of the earth, but where thought ends there the earth ends. Perhaps this difference is indeed fundamental. We have heard much over here of your poetry of the Celtic twilight. I have read in the essays of your W. B. Yeats these phrases: 'I see, indeed, in the arts of every country these faint outlines and faint energies . . . which I call the autumn of the body.' We French should call it the winter of the mind.

ultimately light on the same best poems in the two languages. We shall, I fear, never reach a point when the English will like French poetry for French reasons, or the French, English for English.

First Intelligent Frenchman. You see how far apart you are, in spite of your M. Jocquelin. Well, you will hardly hopeful belief that the two of you would expect me to agree with your last conclusion. My view is, most clearly, that the French language, of all media ever created, is the best fitted for perfect expression, both in prose and verse. It has a suppleness, a lightness, almost a fragrance, but it can assume a Ciceronian pomp, or a Demosthenic vehemence, with equal effect. But, over and above all, I adhere firmly to Rivarol's famous dictum: 'La langue

Myself. Perhaps a thousand years hence, when they are both dead languages!

M. Jocquelin. French will never be a dead language!



THE Frenchman traveling in Germany soon discovers the excellence of the Dawes Plan, and may console himself with the calculation that he is paying part of the Reparations when he buys a railway ticket. Of course, he can use his bicycle if he wants to. The streets, paved with a kind of mosaic stone whose virtue is just beginning to be recognized in Paris, are excellent, unless they are closed for repairs. This, I am told, is the result of the war. Retreating artillery and the growth of automobile traffic, together with a lack of funds during the inflation period, postponed these activities until now, when everything is being done at once. Next year the streets will be as smooth as a billiard table.

Godesberg is a conglomeration of villas and little houses on the banks of the Rhine, and has for some time been free from French occupation. It is inhabited by former officers and resigned officials, old capitalists who were heavily hit by the inflation and the revaluation of German securities at twelve per cent of their face value. I ask the way, and, though my pronunciation ought to scorch the ears off the old gentlemen, workmen, and ladies whom I address, their replies surprise me. I had expected much rudeness, and find, not only the greatest politeness, but a genuine desire to be of assistance. Passing before a store, I find that four or five languages are spoken. English spoken,' and so on,

From Le Progrès Civique (Paris Radical weekly), December 11, 18, 25

but 'Ici on parle français' is at the head of the list.

What sort of time am I going to have here? I am acquainted with my host only through correspondence, and am expected to give him French lessons.

quickly perceive that there is no question of my giving a lesson, as such, in the house that I am going to, or in any other family where I shall be received. My hosts and their friends are glad enough to receive Frenchmen in their midst and through them to get into contact with France. All of them told me that they know France already through books, and through experiences before the war or during it. Their knowledge is often profound, especially regarding our past and present literature. It astonished me that I met scarcely any educated person who could not speak more or less French. The Germans found themselves morally and materially shut off after the war, partly on account of general hostility, and later on account of the fall of the mark, and they seem to aspire to breathe new air again, and especially the air of France. They did not fail to point out to me that it was not they, but the English and American tourists, who have been hissed in Paris. Recently, they assured me, a German was hissed by the crowd because he had been taken for an American.

It would seem that in many of their activities, intellectual and moral as well as economic and political, the two countries have need of each other up to a certain point. When that point of

saturation is passed, hostility sets in, no matter how great friends they may have been. If, however, this need for an exchange of ideas has not been satisfied for a long time, as is the case with Germany and France, hostility disappears and a great eagerness to understand each other takes its place.

Walking through the town in the evening, my first impression was confirmed, for I saw no signs of the proverbial hatred. It seemed that there were no more of those high collars strangling every self-respecting Herr Doktor. Instead they wore soft shirts open at the neck; and many of them were in sport clothes.

Few of the men wore hats. On a fine day those who had hats pinned them to a buttonhole on their waistcoat. They must be specially constituted to be able to expose their heads in this way to the hottest rays of the sun, protected only by a little tuft of hair above the forehead for the rest is clipped close. Many of the women also walk about without hats, showing their bobbed hair. This practical style is, it appears, now admitted in all classes of society.

They have one-way streets here. The Schupo, as the Schützpolizei are called, stands in the middle of the square. He carries no stick, but his white gloves make his arms look like the wings of a semaphore, and he shows the automobiles which way to go. I was particularly anxious to observe how much respect the German crowds showed for the police, and how obedient and well disciplined they were. I once noticed a number of people crowding their way into a theatre, directed by three Schupos. A door opened, and without any discipline whatever the crowd rushed forward, pushing my three policemen to one side as they cried in vain, Zurück! Zurück!

and a young lawyer who were setting forth on a long tramp into the country. They invited me to go with them, but I hesitated a little before accepting their cordial invitation. We climbed to the top of the massive Siebengebirge, the last range of hills through which the Rhine flows before entering on the plains of Holland, and a magnificent view greeted us. I need not have had any scruples about being a damper on the party, for I soon learned that the young man no more knew the young lady than I knew either of them. Each of us had provided himself with food for the journey, and each paid his own bill when we stopped at an inn to slake our thirst.

This easy simplicity was due in part to the districts of the country from which my two companions came. One of them was from Silesia and the other came from the Rhine, where they had been members of the Quickborn, a kind of Roman Catholic scout organization.

This procedure is common throughout Germany, where it appears a young man can freely go to girl's house or she to his. They can work together if they are students, play music, or just talk, and no one makes any comments. Indeed, people here are astonished that there are still civilized countries where things are done in a different way, and they are especially surprised that France, where theoretic feminism had advanced as far as it had before the war, should have made so little progress since.

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Going out for a walk, I ran into a girl Bible. All that is left of this now is that

they wear very scanty costumes when they go swimming.

My host received a number of students who had been in France to attend a congress, and, of course, to take advantage of the fall of the franc. Every cloud has a silver lining, and thanks to the pitiful state of our exchange many foreigners will be able to make the acquaintance of France.

The speeches they heard made only a slight impression on them, for they are not much given to this kind of oratory. They do not care for an art which too often embellishes the truth, and they have a tendency to see only the false sentiment involved. Their direct contact with France was much more fruitful. The attitude of the inhabitants of the devastated regions made an especially profound impression on them. Although many of them were too young to have been incriminated in any damage done, they met with a hostile reception. They returned, however, believing in the psychological possibility of reconciliation. Naturally they visited Paris from end to end, and their descriptions of it were interminable. Among other things, they were particularly impressed by the fact that Paris did not strike them as the capital of honeymooners and debauchery. Our women did not seem indecent or eccentric, and they soon understood that certain places in the Montmartre were especially designed for foreigners from across the sea. Apropos of this, I have since learned that, if Leipzig furnishes France with pornographic books, Paris returns the favor. But one cannot judge a country by this sort of export.

In Germany there is unemployment, in France they need laborers, and I asked why Germans did not go to France as workers if they liked it so much as visitors. They are afraid of being enrolled in the Foreign Legion,'

I was told and people related to me extraordinary tales of disguised recruiting agents making the acquaintance of foreign workers, getting them drunk and in that condition inducing them to sign an enlistment paper, shipping them off to Africa, treating them badly, and not giving them enough to eat. Former Legionaries with more or less authentic records make a living showing their wounds and mutilations and telling about their misfortunes and misery.

Life in the Legion is no bed of roses, but I cannot believe that this forcible enrollment, of which French opinion is totally ignorant, can actually have taken place. In fact, that is what I said in Germany. It might perhaps be urged that in France we try to show how false are these stories, which everyone here firmly believes.

Mohammedan mosques are pointed toward Mecca. In Germany most of the statues and public monuments point west, toward France. Is this a symbol of attraction manifesting itself in many different ways?

On arriving in Elberfeld, we come upon an arch decorated with wreaths and with flags proclaiming 'Welcome to Elberfeld.' I have seen similar inscriptions in all of the German stations. It is a good way of laying tourists' anxieties to rest. Soon I discovered that this welcome is extended particularly to people who have come here to participate in the various congresses that are being held. I run into a number of soldiers dressed in gray, members of the Reichswehr; discipline reigns here, and even on the sidewalks are signs, 'Rechts gehen,' telling pedestrians to go to the right, as if they were street vehicles; traffic is thick, and people shove each other about left and right even in the middle of the road. The traffic officer has a hard time to keep the crowd moving.

Street parades are very frequent. Every Sunday people march with flags and music; and week-day demonstrations are not rare either. People in France would be amazed at the photographs of some of the Nationalist gatherings, but there is nothing essentially seditious about them. All Parties march quietly in the streets provided they have secured police permission, which is always freely granted.

Furthermore, each Party waits its turn: this coming Sunday is Communists' day, next week is the Nationalists', and the week after the Social Democrats'. This variety undoubtedly breeds a certain amount of danger, and unfortunate incidents occur all too frequently. It is Friday, and the trees are decorated with wreaths, red flags, and ribbons stretched from window to window. Placards are displayed attacking capitalism, militarism, the reaction, and nationalism, and praising Soviet Russia and the Third International. On all sides are the words Rot Front with a red fist behind them. The hammer and sickle are not significant enough to please German Communists. Meanwhile the Fascisti salute each other by stretching out their arms, while the Communist greeting is to shake your fist and shout Rot Front!'


The visitor who has not been warned in advance might well believe that they hate each other, judging from posters announcing their programmes. Saturday groups from the suburbs bearing torches concentrate in the main square; on Sunday morning they march in front of the town hall, where speeches are delivered and music is played; in the afternoon there is a congress in the great municipal meeting hall.

On Saturday evening the streets are crowded. A few more policemen are on duty, but they are here simply to keep order, and not to suppress any mani

festation; some of them are collaborating with the Communist authorities. They are not grouped, as the police in Paris are, at places where manifestations are likely to occur. They walk about freely and alone among the crowd of Communists. Small boys are selling propaganda sheets. Here goes the band, the leader at its head with his huge baton. Musicians dressed in white play fifes, drums, and bass drums; there are not many cymbals. You hear generally the sound of the fifes and the beating of the bass drum, and it takes some time to recognize the Internationale.

Next come men carrying red flags and placards showing red fists, hammers, and gold mallets. They are dressed in uniforms, with the Soviet star in their hats; their blouses are gray, and they wear belts around their waists and over their shoulders. On their arms are red bands bearing their insignia. They march by in columns of three or four, singing. Red fire glows in many windows, and finally sections of women, also dressed in uniforms, pass by, followed by young people, and finally by a group of unemployed. The poorer class wear only a hat by way of uniform.

More music and more flags. The crowd in the rich parts of the town is quiet and offers no counter-manifestations; for the squad of policemen at the end of the parade would make any such activity dangerous. These policemen are not out of place here, for many of them are Socialists themselves. The Nationalists are supposed to be much more bitter against Severing, the chief of the National Police, who is himself a Socialist, than they are against the French.

On Sunday there is open-air oratory and music. People do not applaud, but simply wave their fists, shouting 'Rot Front!' The speeches are just like

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