(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Children's Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The true story of Alsace-Lorraine"

THE TRUE STORY OF 
ALSACE - LORRAINE 



BY 



ERNEST ALFRED VIZETELLY 



(LB PETIT HOMMB ROUGB) 



WITH A MAP 



NEW YORK 

FREDERICK A. STOKES COMPANY 
PUBLISHERS 



-.>. ^ 

h 



PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN 



A MES AMIS DE FRANCE 
1870-1918 

POST TENEBRAS SPERO LUCEM 

E. A. V. 



TWENTY CBNTUBIES AGO 

" Right and wrong being confounded, many are the 
wars and many the instances of wickedness throughout 
the world. Unpaid is the honour due to the plough, 
forsaken lie the fields, their husbandmen have been taken 
away, and the curved sickle is forged into the unbending 
sword. Strife is roused on one side by Euphrates, on the 
other by Germany. Neighbouring communities, having 
broken their treaties, bear arms one against the other, 
and Mars, to whom nothing is sacred, rages over all the 
world." 

VIBGIL, Georgics, Bk. I 



PREFACE 



THE idea of writing this book occurred to me when I found, 
both by conversing with friends and acquaintances and by 
listening at odd moments to remarks passed by " men in 
the street," how very little is known about Alsace-Lorraine 
in Great Britain. The general ignorance appeared to me to 
be the more regrettable as my acquaintance with all the more 
important German utterances and writings on this subject 
since 1871 convinced me, already at the outset of the Great 
War, that whatever conditions the Allies might resolve to 
exact of Germany, the one which, more than any other, she 
would resist to her utmost would be the restitution of Alsace- 
Lorraine to France. Nevertheless, it was absurd for Baron 
von Kiihlmann to assert, as he did shortly after his appoint- 
ment as German Minister for Foreign Affairs, that the sole 
obstacle to peace was the question of Alsace-Lorraine. As 
our Foreign Secretary, Mr. Balfour, replied virtually re- 
peating the utterances of our successive Prime Ministers, 
Mr. Asquith and Mr. Lloyd George we undoubtedly desire 
to see Alsace-Lorraine restored to France ; but it is ridiculous 
to imagine that this one question " stands out solitary, pre- 
eminent, unconnected with any other of the objects of the 
war." " We are fighting," as Mr. Balfour said, " in order, in 
the first place, that Europe may be freed from the perpetual 
menace of the military party in Germany " ; and, assuredly, 
if that object is to be attained, questions affecting quite a 
number of countries will require solution. 

It is true that at one moment certain doubts arose in 
France as to how far her Allies might be with her in her 
legitimate desire to recover the territory lost in 1871 ; but, 
assuredly, those doubts have been dispelled by the important 
pronouncements which have emanated from Mr. Lloyd George 

vii 



viii PREFACE 

and President Wilson of the United States whilst this volume 
has been passing through the press. France, it may be 
pointed out, claims the unconditional restoration of the lands 
wrenched from her by Germany ; but in Great Britain and 
elsewhere there has been considerable talk of consulting the 
present inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine by means of a ple- 
biscitum. Quitting, for a moment, the lofty standpoint of 
our French friends, and taking an independent and, I trust, 
practical view of the matter, I have discussed this question 
of a plebiscitum in the concluding chapter of the present 
volume. As the reader will find, the conclusion at which 
I have arrived is that, owing to the changes which have 
occurred since 1871, a genuine plebiscitum is impossible. 
Thus, even from a lower standpoint than that of the French 
government, unconditional restoration seems to me to be 
imperative. 

In the course of my work I have sketched the history of 
Alsace and Lorraine down to the time of the Great War. 
Some readers may think that I have given too much space 
to ancient history, but I have dealt with it at some length 
precisely because it is largely on ancient history that the 
Germans have based their claims to the territory annexed by 
them. For a similar reason I have touched on racial and 
linguistic questions, on which, indeed, I might have said a 
great deal more had I wished to produce a scientific treatise. 
What I have written respecting these matters will, I think, 
suffice to give the reader an adequate idea of the rival con- 
tentions of the Germans and the French. 

In the historical part of my narrative I have made no 
attempt to conceal the fact that at the time of the Old 
Regime in France the government of Alsace and Lorraine 
was often very bad. But the reader must remember that 
bad government then prevailed throughout the kingdom, 
and was in no wise peculiar to the eastern provinces. That 
widespread misrule was, indeed, the raison d'etre of the 
Great Revolution. But whatever occurred during the last 
century of the old monarchy's existence, the attachment of 
the Alsatians and the Lorrainers to France itself remained 
as steadfast as that of the folk of Picardy, Burgundy, Gascony 
or any other part of the country, and was exemplified in the 



PREFACE ix 

most striking manner throughout the wars both of the 
Revolution and of the First and also the Second Empire. 
I may add that at an early stage in the present gigantic 
struggle, though more than forty years had elapsed since the 
severance of 1871, it was officially estimated that 30,000 
Alsatians were already serving with the French colours and 
that a score of French general officers were connected by 
parentage with the lost territory. 

With respect to the union of Strasburg with France at the 
time of Louis XIV, I would direct the reader's attention to 
the historic document of which I give a verbatim translation 
in the Appendices to this volume. This document shows how 
the magistrates of the Alsatian capital, before accepting 
French sovereignty, laid down a number of specific conditions, 
nearly all of which were immediately accepted by the Marquis 
de Louvois on behalf of Louis XIV. The convention which 
was entered into thoroughly disproves the often-repeated 
German assertions respecting the " forcible seizure " of 
Strasburg in 1681. Elsewhere in my pages, I also relate 
how the little Republic of Mulhouse elected to become a part 
of the Republic of France. Further, I have touched on the 
appropriation of parts of the Sarre valley by Prussia and 
Bavaria in 1815, the districts in question having previously 
pertained to Alsace and Lorraine. Certain French aspirations 
with respect to those districts have been construed by some 
ignorant British politicians as signifying on the part of France 
a resolve to annex a great stretch of absolutely German 
territory. I can in no wise claim to speak for France on 
such a matter, but I take it that, even if some flight recti- 
fication of frontier in the Sarre valley should for security's 
sake appear advisable, the Republic's one essential claim is 
the restoration of the territory torn from her by Bismarck 
at the end of the Franco-German War. 

In the map serving as a frontispiece to this volume the 
names of localities are given in the German forms which have 
been current during the last forty-seven years. Many 
localities never had German names before 1871. Throughout 
my narrative I have generally used the French ones, which 
are more familiar to me, and I have therefore appended to 
my work two alphabetical lists, which, in cases of doubt, will 



x PREFACE 

help the reader to identify a number of places. With respect 
to the Alsatian capital I have used neither the French 
spelling of its name Strasbourg nor the German spelling 
Strassburg but have adhered to the old English practice 
of writing Strasburg, just as we write Brussels instead of 
Bruxelles, Florence instead of Firenze, and Vienna instead of 
Wien. 

E. A. V. 

LONDON, January 1918 



CONTENTS 



CHAP. PAGE 

I. INTRODUCTORY : CHARACTERISTICS AND RESOURCES 

OF ALSACE-LORRAINE 1 

II. CITIES, TOWNS, AND NOTED SPOTS 25 

III. ALSATIAN HISTORY TO THE TREATY OF 

WESTPHALIA 55 

IV. ALSATIAN HISTORY TO THE WAR OF 1870 91 

V. THE STORY OF LORRAINE TO THE LAST NATIVE 

DUKES 142 

VI. THE STORY OF LORRAINE FROM THE TIME OF 

STANISLAS TO 1870 172 

VII. ALSATIANS AND LORRAINERS 198 

VIII. THE WAR OF 1870-71 228 

IX. UNDER GERMAN RULE 267 



APPENDICES 
A. PLACE-NAMES DIFFERING IN FRENCH AND GERMAN 293 



B. STRASBURG UNITED TO FRANCE 



297 



INDEX 



301 



"We mean to stand by the French democracy to the 
death in the demand they make for a reconsideration of - 
the great wrong of 1871, when, without any regard to the 
wishes of the population, two French provinces were torn 
from the side of France and incorporated in the German 
Empire. This sore has poisoned the peace of Europe for 
half a century, and, until it is cured, healthy conditions 
will not have been restored." 

MB. LLOYD GEORGE to the delegates of the Trade 

Unions, January 5, 1918. 

" All French territory should be freed, and the invaded 
portions restored, and the wrong done to France by 
Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which 
has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, 
should be righted, in order that peace may once more be 
made secure in the interest of all." 

PRESIDENT WILSON to Congress, January 8, 1918. 




I 



INTRODUCTORY : CHARACTERISTICS AND 
RESOURCES OF ALSACE-LORRAINE 

Territories and Nationalities : Napoleon III and the Principle of 
Nationalities : Great Britain's Position in 1870 : Bismarck, Napoleon, 
and Belgium : Gladstone's Championship of Belgium : The special 
Treaty guaranteeing Belgian Independence : Why Britain did not 
support France in 1870-71 : The Cession of Alsace-Lorraine to 
Germany : Configuration, Characteristics, and Resources of the 
annexed Territory : Its Extent and its Frontiers : Its chief Water- 
ways : Its many Railways : The Mountainous Zone of the Vosgea : 
Chief Mountains and Forest-lands : The Zone of the Slopes : Orchards, 
Vineyards, and Wines : The Zone of the Plain : Characteristics of 
Lorraine : Chief Crops of the Reichsland : Beer : Live Stock : Salt, 
Coal, and Iron : Sundry Manufactures : The Alsatian Cotton Industry : 
Other Textiles. 

SMALL States or communities have generally found it 
difficult, if not impossible, to prevent the encroach- 
ments of powerful neighbours. History has again 
and again exemplified the truth of the saying that 
they shall take who have the power and they shall 
keep who can. Broadly speaking, it was only in the 
nineteenth century that the principle of the inde- 
pendence of individual nationalities made any head- 
way, and that mainly as a matter of theory, not one 
of practice. The twentieth century, however, has set 
itself the task, or, perhaps one ought to say, the task 
has been imposed upon it, of settling territorial ques- 
tions according to the desires of the different popula- 
tions. Real national unity has always been a plant of 
slow growth. Monarchs have repeatedly combined 
several States under their sway, but without achieving 



2 THETHUESTORYOF 

homogeneity. Perhaps we in England were the first 
in Europe to attain to something of the kind in spite 
of the many diverse elements of our population. The 
English part of our island became, broadly speaking, 
united long before France had developed into any- 
thing like the State that she is to-day. 

Joan of Arc did not merely drive us from France, 
she laid (in my opinion) the first foundations of 
French unity and patriotism. In her time, however, 
even when we had been constrained to abandon our 
conquests, " the gentle King " whom she led to 
Reims to be crowned and anointed in that city's then 
splendid fane, only exercised direct sway over a 
portion of the land which now constitutes the French 
State. The royal dominions were built up by slow 
degrees, either before Joan's time or afterwards, and 
largely with the help of matrimonial alliances, but 
sometimes also by conquest and cession, until at last 
Brittany, Burgundy, Normandy, Dauphine, Gascony, 
Provence, Poitou, Languedoc, Auvergne, Navarre, 
Foix, Picardy, Artois, French Flanders, Lorraine, 
Alsace, and other provinces all at one time indepen- 
dent or quasi-independent States became part and 
parcel of the Kingdom of France. All that was the 
work of centuries, whereas in our island, after the 
subjugation of Wales, there remained but two rulers, 
two crowns, those of England and Scotland. 

On the other hand, Germany, down even to our 
own times, remained a conglomeration of many 
States, often in conflict one with another and having 
different ambitions, different outlooks upon life. 
Spain, although its crowns were united by Ferdinand 
and Isabella, w r ould seem, in spite of political entity, 
to have resisted all attempts to weld its people 
properly together. There are still more points of 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 3 

difference between, for instance, the Catalan, the 
Castillian, and the Andalusian, than between the 
Northumbrian and the man of Wessex, or between 
the Picard and the French southerner. Italy, we 
know, remained for long centuries a land of inter- 
necine conflict under the oppressive sway of foreign 
or native tyrants. Austria, peopled by hostile races, 
has never been much more than a geographical 
expression, and although held together until our 
period by stern personal rule, seems fated, at some 
time or other, to fall to pieces. We English, however, 
with our friends the Scots and the Welsh, and, one 
may add, at least a very large proportion of the Irish, 
have become to all intents and purposes one com- 
munity, and although the stress of twentieth-century 
life may demand certain devolutions of authority, 
there can be no real question of sundering us one from 
another. 

During the nineteenth century the foremost cham- 
pion of the principle of nationalities was the French 
Emperor Napoleon III. In certain respects he de- 
serves to be judged severely, and I do not desire to 
withdraw or to qualify anything which I have written 
about him in former volumes of mine, but it must be 
put to his credit that he freed at least a part of Italy 
from Austrian tyranny, that he desired to free the 
Poles when they attempted their last great rising 
against the Russian autocracy, and that he also 
wished to intervene on behalf of Denmark against 
Prussia and Austria. But in regard neither to the 
Danes nor to the Poles could he obtain any effective 
support from the British Government. 

Our rulers were unwilling to embark on any policy 
that suggested adventure. During the earlier sixties 
Great Britain, in the heyday of the Free Trade policy, 



4 THE TRUE STORY OF 

was waxing richer and richer. Her middle classes 
were growing fat, sleek, smug, and egotistical. More- 
over, the German sympathies of the sovereign were 
notorious. Although, by reason of her sex, Queen 
Victoria could not reign in Hanover, she had inherited 
Hanoverian traditions, and was influenced far too 
much by her German family-connexions and interests. 
Our present generation is now harvesting the bitter 
fruit of some of the tendencies, prejudices, and 
mistakes of her reign. 

A short time after the Franco-German War of 
1870-71 the late Lord Kitchener, then quite a young 
man, remarked to a friend that if only 10,000 British 
troops had been landed in Normandy, France would 
not have been defeated so grievously as became the 
case. Kitchener's view was that British action would 
have had a powerful moral effect, and have encouraged 
the other chief Powers Italy, Austria, and Russia 
to intervene and stop the struggle. It is, however, 
not at all unlikely that the course which Kitchener 
suggested would have had a very different effect, and 
have proved the signal for a general European War, 
particularly as the Russian Tsar (Alexander II) was 
at that period much more inclined in favour of 
Germany than in favour of France. 

One thing is quite certain : we were in no position 
to give any really effective help to the French. In 
1870 we were suffering from commercial depression. 
Cotton was " up," owing to the shortage of supplies. 
Trade unions were agitating. Many joint-stock enter- 
prises had fallen into discredit. Agrarian crime was 
rife in Ireland, where reform of the land laws was 
being planned. In England the question of elemen- 
tary education had come to the front. Our naval 
estimates for that year voted before the war broke 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 5 

ou t_ W ere lower by 1,700,000 than those of 1868-9, 
and lower by 750,000 than those of 1869-70. Since 
1859 never had they been so low. The staffs at 
Woolwich, Sheerness, Portsmouth, etc., had all been 
reduced. We had only 28 broadside ships afloat, 
and we could only have mustered 40 vessels of all 
categories, mounting altogether 550 guns. As it 
happened, the w r ar proved essentially a land war, and 
our army estimates amounted to merely some 13 
millions sterling, Cardwell, then Secretary for War, 
pluming himself on the fact that he had reduced those 
of the previous year by 1,136,000. Our total avail- 
able forces amounted to 22 regiments of cavalry and 
75 battalions of infantry, with some artillery and 
engineers. It is true that the militia establishment 
represented 111,000 men, and that we had 300,000 
breech-loaders in store. There was also the Volunteer 
Force, but virtually the whole of our military organiza- 
tion was in the melting-pot, the abolition of the 
purchase of commissions and other reforms devised 
by Cardwell being in progress. Briefly, when war 
broke out between France and Germany in July 1870 
we were even less ready for participation in a European 
conflict than we were when the present war began in 
August 1914. 

At the outset it seemed that if we should side with 
either belligerent it would be with Germany rather 
than with France ; and curiously enough this will 
show that history does repeat itself it was the 
question of Belgium which led our statesmen to take 
that view. Both Gladstone and Disraeli were in 
agreement on the subject, which came to the front 
owing to Bismarck's statements that Napoleon III 
had been hankering for the possession of Belgium ever 
since 1862. The truth appears to be that when the 



6 THE TRUE STORY OF 

German statesman prevailed on the French Emperor 
to remain neutral in the conflict between Prussia and 
Austria in 1866 he hinted that France might, with 
Prussia's assent, even assistance, find compensation 
in the direction of Belgium. Unfortunately Napo- 
leon's ambassador, Benedetti, blundered badly, and 
Bismarck possessed himself of a memorandum or 
draft treaty on the subject which Benedetti drew up, 
this document being disclosed when war broke out 
in 1870. 

Great Britain naturally became alarmed. States- 
men of all parties demanded that the neutrality of 
Belgium should be respected. On the last day of the 
parliamentary session Gladstone expressed himself in 
these vigorous terms : 

If Belgium should be absorbed to satisfy any 
greedy appetite for aggrandizement, come whence 
it may, the day that witnesses that absorption will 
hear the knell of public right and public law in 
Europe. Can this country quietly stand by and 
witness the perpetration of the direst crime staining 
the pages of history, and thus become a participator 
in the sin ? 

Great Britain answered that question in 1914, and 
is answering it still. In 1870 the King of Prussia was 
more reasonable and sensible than is his grandson the 
German ruler of to-day. A treaty was signed between 
Great Britain, France, and Prussia, covenanting to 
maintain Belgian independence and neutrality intact. 
And it was stipulated that if either belligerent should 
violate the treaty, Great Britain would combine with 
the other to ensure observance of it. It was further 
set down that this treaty should remain in force for 
one year after the cessation of hostilities, after which 




ALSACE-LORRAINE 7 

the signatories should revert to the Quintuple Treaty 
of 1839. 

Thus, at a time when our naval and military 
power was at its lowest, we contrived to save Belgium. 
None can say, however, what might have happened 
if France or Germany or both of them had refused to 
listen to reason. The case against Napoleon III was 
not in reality so black as Bismarck's artful diplomacy 
made it appear to be, but, naturally, the affair created 
no little prejudice against the French Emperor at the 
outset of the Franco-German War. What ! The so- 
called Champion of Nationalities was himself harbour- 
ing evil designs against a small, weak, and inoffensive 
nation ? It seemed monstrous ! Napoleon cannot 
be held blameless in the matter. He had allowed 
himself to be ensnared by Bismarck when the latter 
baited him with the promise of an accession of territory 
at the expense of Belgium. 

All who participated in the affair carried with 
them to their graves the real truth respecting the 
negotiation. But, remembering Bismarck's repeated 
trickery, including the falsification of the Ems tele- 
gram, the conviction deepens that Benedetti's " draft 
treaty " was virtually dictated by the Prussian 
statesman, and that the idea of the conquest of 
Belgium (in which Prussia was to have assisted 
France " with all her military and naval forces ") 
and the contemplated purchase of the Grand Duchy 
of Luxemburg from the King of the Netherlands, 
originated in the Wilhelmstrasse and not at the 
Tuileries, and had as its sole object the desire to 
keep France quiet whilst Prussia was prosecuting 
her designs. Benedetti's error was to commit 
Bismarck's suggestions to writing, and to leave that 
writing with him. 



8 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Whatever the truth may have been, it is at least 
certain that apart from Napoleon III and a few 
members of his immediate entourage nobody in France 
entertained the slightest desire to annex Belgium. 
Both sides respected the treaty which they signed 
with Great Britain, and although the Sedan disaster 
might have been averted had Marshal MacMahon's 
army crossed the Belgian frontier, this was not 
attempted those French troops who, amidst the 
debacle, passed into neutral territory being only 
fugitives, who laid down their arms. 

After the fall of the Empire, British sympathy 
with France became aroused, and it increased steadily 
during the seven months of resistance in which 
Gambetta figured so conspicuously. Various abortive 
diplomatic endeavours, in which Great Britain par- 
ticipated, were made to bring about an armistice, but 
no Power attempted to succour France by force of 
arms. Bismarck, who was well acquainted with the 
state of our military organization, laughed at the idea 
of actual intervention on our part. It is a question 
whether we should have been capable at that time of 
a really great effort proportionate to that which we 
have been making since 1914. Circumstances, more- 
over, were at least on the surface very different 
from those prevailing at the outset of the present war. 
There was not the same incentive to participation in 
a great struggle, particularly as the Belgian question 
had been settled. Prussia was striding onward, 
undoubtedly. For the third time in six years she 
had embarked on war, but in 1870 it was not generally 
imagined that she would become a perpetual menace 
to the peace and the liberties of Europe. Only a few 
men of foresight really apprehended the far-reaching 
consequences of her triumph over France. The British 






ALSACE -LORRAINE d 

nation generally was opposed to participation in any 
foreign entanglements. The sovereign, who then 
undoubtedly exercised great influence on our foreign 
policy, was, by reason of her relationships, decidedly 
pro-German. Further, as I said before, young 
Kitchener's suggestion of trying the moral effect of 
landing a few thousand men in Normandy might 
well have resulted very differently from what he 
anticipated. 

Thus the struggle between Germany and France 
continued. Gallant, desperate, but almost vain were 
the efforts of the French National Defence Govern- 
ment to stem the tide of invasion. Bazaine sur- 
rendered to the enemy the flower of the forces of 
France, and the chief stronghold of his native Lorraine ; 
the Loire armies were driven back ; Paris was con- 
strained to capitulate by lack of food, and the victors 
imposed upon the vanquished, not only the payment 
of what then appeared to be a huge war indemnity 
(200 millions sterling), but also the cession of 5600 
square miles of territory, inhabited by 1,200,000 
souls. That territory was turned by the Germans 
into the Reichsland of Alsace-Lorraine. 

I propose to recount in other chapters of this 
volume the earlier history of the annexed country, 
the circumstances attending and immediately follow- 
ing the annexation, and the chief incidents of the 
German rule from 1871 to 1914. In the first place, 
however, I wish to give the reader some idea of 
the configuration, characteristics, and resources of the 
so-called Reichsland, such as they were at the time of 
the annexation, and such as they had become when 
war broke out in 1914. 

During French rule Alsace was divided into two 



10 THE TRUE STORY OF 

departments called Upper and Lower Rhine Haut- 
Rhin and Bas-Rhin. Both of these departments 
passed to Germany with the exception of the fortified 
town of Belfort (Haut-Rhin) and an adjacent strip of 
territory comprising about a hundred small communes. 
Lorraine in the ninth century a kingdom stretching 
from the North Sea to the Mediterranean, between 
the Rhine, the Vosges, the Jura, and the Alps on the 
east, and the Scheldt, the Meuse, the Saone, and the 
Cevennes mountains on the west, in such wise as to 
include several regions which afterwards became 
known by other names had gradually dwindled in 
old regime days to the status of a duchy, and its name 
applied only to four departments of modern France, 
those of the Meuse, the Meurthe, the Moselle, and the 
Vosges. Of these the Germans of 1870-71 annexed 
portions of the Moselle and the Meurthe (646 com- 
munes, or from a fifth to a quarter of the former 
duchy), so that the French were left in possession of 
the Meuse, the Vosges (less eighteen communes cover- 
ing some 50,000 acres), and fragments of the other 
two departments, which they amalgamated under the 
name of Meurthe-et-Moselle. 

The north-western frontier, that affecting Lorraine, 
was traced in a very arbitrary fashion, in order to 
give the Germans possession of important strategical 
positions and localities which for one or another reason 
they particularly coveted. For the southern half of 
the western frontier a more natural boundary that 
of the Vosges Mountains was found, these heights 
remaining mainly in the hands of the French, though 
the Germans possessed themselves of certain important 
summits, slopes, and spurs. South of Belfort, how- 
ever, and as far as the Swiss frontier, an arbitrary 
line was drawn across the famous Trouee or Gap, 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 11 

which had always been a vulnerable point of Eastern 
France. 

Such, then, became on the western or French side 
the frontier of the Reichsland of Elsass-Lothringen, 
otherwise Alsace-Lorraine. In other respects the 
annexed territory retained its previous boundaries, 
extending on the north to (1) the Grand Duchy of 
Luxemburg, (2) that part of Rhenish Prussia which is 
known as the Sarre or Saar Valley (niched from 
France by Prussia in 1815), and (3) the Bavarian 
Palatinate, in like way extended in that year. On 
the east the boundary remained the Rhine, skirted 
on the right by the Grand Duchy of Baden. On the 
south the short strip of frontier facing Swiss terri- 
tory remained unaltered. The Germans followed the 
French system with respect to the chief administrative 
divisions of their new acquisition. The former Haut- 
Rhin department became Oberelsass (Upper Alsace), 
the Bas-Rhin Unterelsass (Lower Alsace), whilst the 
Meurthe and the Moselle lands were joined together 
and called Lothringen or Lorraine. The respective 
areas of the three divisions (Bezirke in German) were 
as follows : Upper Alsace, 1354 square miles ; Lower 
Alsace, 1848 square miles ; Lorraine, 2403 square 
miles. Altogether the annexed territory is rather 
more than 120 miles in length. Its least breadth, in 
the south, is about 22 miles ; its greatest 105 miles, in 
the north. 

Bordered on the east by the Rhine, Alsace, or 
rather most of it, is traversed by that river's tributary 
the 111, from which it is supposed by certain writers 
to have derived its name, some decomposing the 
latter as follows : Ell or Ele = 111 ; sass = inhabi- 
tants ; these two forming the word Elsass. Others 
trace the name back to Alsa, which was applied to the 



12 THE TRUE STORY OP 

111 in certain Latin documents of the tenth century. 
In the seventh-century Merovingian chronicle ascribed 
to Fredegarius the Scholastic, the land is for the first 
time called Alesatia, and its inhabitants are referred 
to as Alesaciones. In the eighth century one finds 
the names Elisacia and Alsazas ; in the ninth, Elsazo 
and Elisazo are occasionally met with ; in the thir- 
teenth one comes upon Elsaz, equivalent to the 
modern German Elsass, whilst three hundred years 
later a variant, Edelsaz, appears. Briefly, the etymo- 
logy of the name is obscure, but it may well have been 
derived from the river known in modern times as 
the 111. 

This river is the most important of the Rhine's 
Alsatian tributaries, and has for many miles an 
almost parallel course. It is joined by such streams 
as the Bruche (Bruch, Breusch), the Doller, the 
Thur, the Lauch, the Fecht, the Weiss, the Andlau, 
etc. The Moselle carries other rivers notably the 
Saar or Sarre to the Rhine. North of the 111, 
moreover, the Rhine receives first the Moder, with 
the latter 's tributary the Zorn, and afterwards the 
Lauter, which separates Alsace from the Bavarian 
Palatinate. Of the above-mentioned rivers only the 
Rhine and the 111 the latter from Colmar to its 
junction with the Rhine are navigable, but the 
minor streams tend to enhance the land's fertility 
and to assist its industries. 

Moreover, the country is crossed by navigable 
canals, dating from the French regime, which created 
a great network of artificial waterways connecting all 
parts of French territory. One of these canals, that 
from the Rhone to the Rhine, crosses Alsace between 
the 111 and the Rhine (taking the same direction as 
those rivers) from the vicinity of Belfort to Strasburg. 




ALSACE-LORRAINE 13 

The other canal, that from the Marne to the Rhine, 
comes from French Lorraine, and also runs to Stras- 
burg, passing Saverne (turned into Zabern by the 
Germans) on its way. There is a northern offshoot 
of this canal extending to Saaralben. 

Of course these waterways are not the only means 
of communication. Roads and railways have been 
multiplied by the Germans since the days of the 
annexation. Most of the railways were constructed 
for strategical purposes, but they have also added to 
the Reichsland's material prosperity. The main line 
from Paris to Strasburg, by way of Avricourt, meets 
at Strasburg a line which follows the left bank of the 
Rhine northward from Basle. Another links Stras- 
burg to Wissembourg (Weissenburg). Another runs to 
Rothau by way of Molsheim. Another joins Haguenau 
to Sarreguemines, now Saargemund. Saverne is 
connected by rail with Schlestadt (Schlettstadt) ; 
Schlestadt with Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines (Markirch) ; 
Colmar with Brisach (Breisach) and Miinster ; Sulz 
with Gueb wilier, Mulhouse with Mullheim in Baden, 
as well as with Cernay (now called Sennheim) and 
Wesserling. Nor have the French been idle in the 
little part of Alsace remaining to them the Belfort 
territory for since 1871 Belfort has been linked by 
rail with Giromagny, Montbeliard, and Delle. 

As in Alsace, so on the annexed plateau of Lorraine. 
You find direct rail from Metz to Strasburg via 
Saverne, rail to Metz from Kaiserslautern and Neun- 
kirchen by the alternate routes of Saarloiiis, Saar- 
briicken, and Saargemund, the first via Boulay (Bol- 
chen), the second and the third via Beningen, Falken- 
berg, and Courcelles ; whilst other lines run from 
Thionville (Diedenhofen) to Saargemund, and thence 
to Haguenau in Alsace, besides which many short 



14 THE TRUE STORY OF 

cross-lines cover the country in virtually every direc- 
tion, so that troops and materiel may be hurried 
northward, southward, westward, eastward as occasion 
may require. All those railways, extending to every 
possible point of the Reichsland (in 1914 there were 
1269 miles of normal and 50 of narrow gauge), form, 
as it were, a great spider's web, or, as some may say, 
suggest the tentacles of a formidable predatory 
monster. At the same time, as was previously men- 
tioned, the country has benefited by them in time of 
peace. 

Geographers have agreed to divide Alsace into 
three zones : that of the Mountains the Vosges ; that 
of the Slopes the last Jura and Vosgian spurs ; and 
that of the Plain near the Rhine. The chain of the 
Vosges starts from the vicinity of Belfort, and extends 
northward to Rhenish Bavaria. Generally speaking, 
its altitude decreases as it goes northward. Geologists 
divide the chain (whose total length is about 120 
miles) into two sections of different formation- 
southward the " Crystalline " and northward th<> 
"Limestone" Vosges. The highest mountain, the 
Ballon de Guebwiller or Soulz, which is in the annexed 
territory, has an altitude of about 4630 feet. Next 
in altitude come the Hohneck (4440 feet), the Rothen- 
bach or Rheinkopf the French and German Staff 
maps differ (about 4290 feet), and the Ballon d' Alsace 
(4062 feet). The name of ballon is given to several 
of these heights on account of their rounded summits. 
All of the above-named belong to the southern section 
that is, to the Crystalline Vosges. Among the Lime- 
stone heights the highest summit is that of Mount 
Donon (about 8292 feet). 

The three principal passes are those of the Col de 
Bussang, affording communication between Mulhouse 






ALSACE-LORRAINE 15 

and Epinal ; the Col du Bonhomme, by which you may 
go from Colmar to Epinal ; and that of Sainte-Marie- 
aux-Mines, between Schlestadt and Saint-Die. The 
Schlucht, Saales, and Saverne passes also have their 
importance. Of all the Vosges mountains the one 
whose name became the best known to British readers 
during the earlier period of the Great War was the 
Hartmannsweiler Peak, which is the last height of 
consequence among the Vosgian spurs in the direction 
of Mulhouse. There was fierce contention between 
the French and Germans for possession of the summit 
(3107 feet above sea-level), but it was eventually 
captured by the Chasseurs Alpins, and gave the 
French command of four roads and several miles of 
railway lines. The exploit was the more meritorious 
as the mountain sides are extremely abrupt and the 
German defences were formidable. 

North of Mount Donon and between Alsace and 
the annexed part of Lorraine, the Vosgian chain 
declines rapidly to altitudes of 1700 and 1600 feet. 
Near Saverne it is intersected by the valley of the 
Zorn, beyond which it becomes a succession of slopes 
and rounded summits which never exceed an elevation 
of 1300 feet. Generally speaking, along the whole 
length of the chain, the steepest acclivities are on the 
Alsatian side. Here you find dark ravines overlooked 
by picturesque feudal ruins, such as are seldom seen 
on the French side, together with wild or charming 
valleys, watered by rivulets the Doller, the Thur, the 
Lauch, the Lieprette, the Bruche, and so on, whose 
names the valleys take. The species of trees with which 
the mountains are so largely planted vary according 
to the altitude. The loftier parts are clothed with 
conifers of several kinds, and on the lower parts you 
find beech, oak, ash, birch, larch, hornbeam, chestnut, 



16 THE TRUE STORY OF 

and elm. There is good mountain pasture on many 
points, but the forest lands, though they diminished 
by 10 per cent, or so between the French Revolution 
and the German annexation, are still of great extent. 
In 1870 it was estimated that the Alsatian forests 
(not only in the Vosges, but in other parts also) 
covered nearly 730,000 acres. A return made to- 
wards the beginning of the present century showed 
an area of 685,000 acres in Alsace and of 412,000 
acres in the annexed part of Lorraine. Since then 
large clearings would appear to have been effected. 

The wild cherry (merisier) is grown extensively in 
the vicinity of the Vosges, its fruit being used (as in 
the Black Forest) for making Kirsch. Alsace, gene- 
rally, is a land of fruits. The late oblong plum 
(Prunus sebastica) called Quetsche and Zwetsche in 
German, predominates in all parts of the Reichsland, 
there being, perhaps, some three million trees of this 
kind. There are also more than a million apple-trees, 
three-quarters of a million pear-trees (about half in 
Lorraine) ; virtually the same number of cherry-trees, 
nearly half a million walnut-trees, and between 30,000 
and 40,000 chestnuts. 

In Alsace these trees thrive mostly in what is called 
the Zone of the Slopes, which also includes most of 
the vineyard land. 

Before the annexation the Alsatian vineyards 
covered between 60,000 and 62,000 acres, and 20,000 
families were more or less interested in viticulture. 
To-day (return of 1913) more than 67,000 acres in 
the whole Reichsland (which of course includes 
Lorraine) are under vines. The vintage of 1913 (a bad 
year) yielded, however, less than 4,000,000 gallons of 
wine. The growths of the annexed part of Lorraine 
are of less importance than those of Alsace. It was 




ALSACE-LORRAINE 17 

the Emperor Probus who, in the latter part of the 
third century, first ordered the plantation of vines in 
the Rhenish region, in which Alsace was included. 
Most of the vineyards are on the slopes below the 
Vosges, between Thann and Miitzig. There are vines 
also in the Sundgau, at Kochersberg, and along the 
slopes of Lower Alsace as far as Wissembourg, and 
others again near the 111 in the neighbourhood of 
Colmar, and in the plain near Ochsenfeld. The best 
wines are those of Ribeauville, Riquewihr, Guebwiller, 
and Thann, followed by those of Neuweiler and Wolks- 
heim, all in Upper Alsace. White wines predominate, 
but red are made also. In the vicinity of Colmar 
some vine-growers prepare what is called a vin de paille 
or " straw- wine," from the circumstance that the 
grapes are dried and ripened upon straw for several 
weeks before they are committed to the wine-press. 
This Colmar straw- wine enjoys considerable repute. 
It is on record that in the earlier part of the fourteenth 
century quantities of Alsatian wine were sent to 
England. Later there was a flourishing wine-trade 
with Holland. Of more recent times the Germans 
have either sent us Alsatian wines in their natural 
state as Rhenish or Moselle, or have blended them 
with their own growths. 

The Alsatian " Slope Zone " is well populated and 
very fertile. In the Upper section vines and fruit- 
trees are abundant, whilst in the part pertaining to 
Lower Alsace the cultivation of cereals is more 
extensive. In the Zone of the Plain the subsoil near 
the Rhine is often gravel, but the land becomes more 
and more fertile in character as you gradually recede 
from the river. The Rhine bed is said to have 
formerly had a width of from 330 to as many as 
1100 yards, but it has been gradually reduced by 



18 THE TRUE STORY OF 

dykes and drainage to 260 yards or thereabouts. 
There are still many marshy meadows and peat-beds 
on the Alsatian side of the river. Most of the large 
Alsatian towns are in the Zone of the Plain, and here 
the density of the population is often twice as great 
as in the Mountainous Zone. Cereal crops predomi- 
nate, but vegetables are grown extensively, notably 
potatoes and cabbages, the latter being sent largely 
into Germany to be transformed there into Sauerkraut. 
Hops are also grown in this Zone, and tobacco is 
cultivated there. 

The Lothringen or Lorraine section of the Reichs- 
land offers from the agricultural standpoint less 
interesting features than Alsace. Most of this Lor- 
raine land is a plateau, the highest ground being that 
nearest to the Vosges. In the valley of the Moselle 
the fruit-trees flower a fortnight earlier than on the 
plateau. The vine cannot be cultivated above an 
altitude of 1100 feet, or corn above 2600 feet, whereas 
in the Vosges it is grown at a height of 3000 feet and 
more. Thus the annexed part of Lorraine is more 
noted for its iron mines, smelting furnaces, metallur- 
gical manufactures, salt pits, potteries, etc. It is 
watered on the west by the Moselle, which passes 
Metz and Thionville before entering Rhenish Prussia, 
and towards the east by the Sarre or Saar (Saravius), 
which takes its rise in the Vosges and flows northward 
past Sarrebourg and Sarreguemines before inclining 
to the north-east in order to unite with the Moselle. 
Across the frontier of Rhenish Prussia it is joined by 
the Nied, which waters the more central part of the 
annexed Lorraine. Another river, the Seille, takes its 
rise in the southern part of the annexed districts, 
winds for a short distance through French territory, 
and ultimately joins the Moselle at Metz. The valleys 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 19 

and slopes near these various rivers are the most 
fertile parts of the Lothringen division of the annexed 
country. 

The following tables supply some particulars 
respecting the crops raised in the entire Reichsland : 

ACREAGE UNDER CULTIVATION 



Crops 


1900 


1913 


Hay and other fodder. 


462,154 


485,755 


Wheat ..... 


385,394 


342,695 


Oats 


274,656 


282,165 


Rye 


116,445 


138,632 


Barley ..... 


132,105 


122,727 


Potatoes ..... 


224,345 


226,790 


Vines ..... 





67,090 


Hops ..... 


9,796 


10,462 


Tobacco ..... 


2,810 


3,842 



PRODUCE IN METRIC TONS OF 2204 LB. 



Crops 


1900 


1913 


Hay and other fodder. 


630,715 


137,786 * 


Wheat . . . 


228,529 


238,048 


Oats 


155,301 


209,963 


Rye 


68,674 


92,889 


Barley 


92,518 


108,678 


Potatoes ..... 


1,135,474 


1,226,463 


Wine (gallons) . 


9,173,912 f 


3,934,442 


Hops ..... 


38,346 


15,950 


Tobacco ..... 


2,897 


4,878 



A little supplementary information may be added 
to those tables. Lucern and clover figure among the 
crops cultivated for fodder. Industrial plants, such 
as colza, cameline, poppies, hemp, and flax, are grown 

* Hay only. t I n 1897, 



20 THE TRUE STORY OF 

in various parts. The Alsatian-Lorrainer being a 
beer- as well as a wine-drinker, large quantities of the 
former beverage are brewed. Indeed, if one may 
trust certain returns, the beer produced in the Reichs- 
land in 1913 exceeded 31 million gallons. The 
quantity seems a large one, but it sinks almost to 
insignificance when one finds it stated that Bavaria 
brewed no less than 418 million gallons of beer in the 
same year. What a paradise that indicates for the 
devotees of Gambrinus ! Thirteen years previously 
(1900) it is recorded that 77 breweries in Alsace- 
Lorraine had an output of nearly 25 million gallons, 
representing a value of over 1,824,000 marks or 
approximately 90,000. I have found no figures 
respecting the quantity of spirits distilled, but it was 
valued in 1900 at rather more than 80,000. 

The cattle in Alsace-Lorraine belong largely to the 
Swiss and Jura breeds. The cheese of Minister near 
the Vosges has a reputation, but when it is placed 
upon the market it is usually too odoriferous and of 
too high a flavour to suit a palate with any pretensions 
to delicacy. Other cheeses are made at the many 
chalets a fromage among the high Vosgian pastures, 
the total output being perhaps 200 tons annually. 
The horses common to the Reichsland are said to be 
descended from an Asiatic breed. They are usually 
small. Formerly very hardy and vigorous in spite of 
their size, they appear to have been spoilt by inju- 
dicious crossings. The pigs, in which Celtic, Iberian, 
and English breeds are supposed to be combined, 
have big heads and narrow bodies. Geese are abun- 
dant in Alsace, particularly in the Rhenish districts. 
Virtually everybody has heard of Strasburg pates de 
foie gras. 

There are half a dozen salt mines in the Reichsland, 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 21 

the principal being those of Dieuze, Chateau- Salins, 
and Forbach. The annual output of common salt 
ranges from 70,000 to 77,000 metric tons, valued at a 
trifle less than 1 per ton. Sodium sulphate is also 
worked to the extent of about 8000 tons per annum. 
Alum is also met with. Since the annexation a mine 
of potassium alkaline has been found in Alsace, and 
has been acquired by the Prussian Government. It 
is estimated to be worth several millions of money. 
The production of sulphuric acid and other chemicals 
is very considerable. Petroleum wells exist at Lam- 
pertsloch, Schwabwiller, and Pechelbronn, but their 
output is extremely small. 

There are few coal and iron mines in Alsace. The 
latter are much more numerous in the annexed part 
of Lorraine. Large quantities of coal and ore are 
imported, but the statistics for 1913 give apparently 
as the Reichsland's own output 21,136,265 metric 
tons of iron ore (valued at over 2,736,000), and 
3,795,932 tons of coal (value about 2,256,000). These 
figures are far in excess of those for 1900, when the 
output of coal was stated to be little more than a 
million tons, whilst the iron ore did not amount to 
quite seven millions. It is possible that the figures 
for 1913 include imported coal and iron. Limestone 
and gypsum are quarried very extensively, and 
according to the returns for 1913 no fewer than 
38,500 persons were then employed in the mines and 
quarries. The metallurgical industries predominate 
in Lorraine. There are important forges at Ars-sur- 
Moselle. In Alsace one finds several works for the 
construction of machinery, notably at Mulhouse, 
Guebwiller, and Thann. 

Paper is made on the He Napoleon near Mulhouse. 
Rixheim specializes in wall-papers. Faience as well 



22 THE TRUE STORY OF 

as other pottery is produced at Sarreguemines, Sierck, 
and Niedwiller. Glass is manufactured in the vicinity 
of Sarreguemines and Sarrebourg. The Munzthal 
crystal works take the first rank. Further, the 
chemical works of Bouxwiller are important. One 
other establishment may be mentioned before passing 
to the textile industries that is the famous Piscicul- 
tural School of Huninguen on the left bank of the 
Rhine in Upper Alsace. Millions of salmon fry have 
been provided by this establishment founded under 
the French regime in 1852 for the rivers of Germany, 
France, Sweden, and other countries. 

Textiles represent in importance and value fully a 
third of the Reichsland industries. The cotton manu- 
factures are the most important in the whole German 
Empire. Virtually all the cotton goods imported by 
France from Germany prior to the Great War came 
from Alsace, and represented, on an average, a value 
of about 1,120,000 annually. The first cotton- 
printing works to be established at Mulhouse was 
founded by Samuel Kcechlin in 1746, but cotton- 
spinning did not begin in Alsace until 1810 (in the 
midst of the Napoleonic wars) when mills were built 
at Wesserling. The calico produced at Mulhouse 
under the First French Empire cost from three to 
four francs per metre ; the price of the printed 
cottons or indiennes being from six to seven francs. 
These printed goods became famous by reason of the 
variety and tastefulness of their patterns and the 
fastness of their excellent colours. Establishments 
sprang up in other localities, and in 1828 the Haut- 
Rhin (otherwise Upper Alsace) turned out 19,500,000 
yards of these textiles. In 1870, just prior to the war 
which led to the annexation, the output was nearly 
three times as large. In 1828 the business done by 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 23 

the cotton-spinners represented 600,000, which before 
the annexation became 3,600,000 ; whilst the printing 
trade increased from 1,120,000 to 2,000,000. At 
the outbreak of the Great War the figures were very 
much larger, although after the annexation in 1871 
the trade suffered severely some manufacturers re- 
moving their works to France, and others, whilst 
retaining their Alsatian establishments, founding 
additional ones on French territory. 

One of the descendants of the Kcechlin whom 
I previously mentioned took two partners named 
Schmalzer and Dollfus. The last-named became a 
distinguished economist and did much to improve the 
circumstances of his workmen. In 1853 he founded 
at Mulhouse a Workers' Dwelling Society, and within 
the next twenty years a thousand houses had been 
erected, and for the most part completely paid for 
by the workmen who bought them. They were of 
various styles and sizes, and far superior to anything 
else of the kind which then existed in France. The 
average price of these houses (freehold) was 140, 
and the purchaser was required to pay 10 down and 
the balance by instalments in fourteen years. Carried 
out with integrity and great solicitude for the workers, 
the scheme proved so successful that similar societies 
were established at Colmar and Guebwiller. 

The Alsatian woollen manufactures are less con- 
siderable than the cotton ones, but there are woollen 
as well as cotton mills at Mulhouse, which with its 
suburb of Dornach had a population of 105,488 
inhabitants at the census of 1910. Different kinds of 
machinery and various chemicals are made there. 
Textiles and textile machinery are also produced at 
Guebwiller. Textiles are made also at Colmar, Tiirk- 
heim, Winzenheim, Miinster, and Logelbach. Cloth is 



24 ALSACE-LORRAINE 

bleached, dyed, and finished in the valley of the Thur. 
Wesserling, Cernay, Thann, Wilier, Moosch, and Saint- 
Amarin manufacture yarn and cloth as well as 
machines and chemicals. In the valley of the 
Lieprette, at Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines and neighbouring 
localities, cotton and woollen mixtures are produced. 
Again, there are textile manufactures at Erstein and 
Schlestadt ; whilst at Massevaux and various villages 
in the valley of the Doller the manufacture of yarn 
and cloth is supplemented by that of chemicals and 
the preparation of leather. 



II 

CITIES, TOWNS, AND NOTED SPOTS 

The Divisions of Alsace-Lorraine : Strasburg Old and New : The 
Cathedral and the Squares : The " Marseillaise " : Mementoes of 
French Rule : Haguenau and some Battlefields : Saverne and its 
Palace : Bouxwiller, Marmoutier, Wasselonne, and Molsheim : The 
Ban de la Roche and Pastor Oberlin : St. Odilia, Patroness of Alsace : 
The Pagan Walls : Barr and Andlau : The Legend of the Empress 
Ricardis : Erstein and Schlestadt : Upper Alsace : Colmar : Ribeau- 
vil!6 and the King of the Musicians : Sundry small Towns : Baths for 
Lunatics : Marshal Lefebvre on Ancestry : Guebwiller and its Wine : 
Ensisheim, Thann, and Kleber : Little Towns in the Thur Valley : 
Democratic Mulhouse and the Chatterer's Stone : Massevaux and 
Catherine the Great : Altkirch and Ferrette : In annexed Lorraine : 
Metz Old and New : The Kaiser as Daniel : Adjacent Battlefields : 
Thionville : The Towns on the Sarre : Forbach and Spicheren : 
Niederbronn and its Waters : Brave Bitche and Phalsburg : Dieuze 
and Chateau-Salins. 

IT has previously been mentioned that after the war 
of 1870-71 the Germans allowed the chief administra- 
tive divisions of the annexed territory to remain 
much as they had been under the French rule, that is 
to say, the authorities of the new Reichsland consti- 
tuted three Bezirke, two of them corresponding with 
the former Alsatian departments of the Bas-Rhin and 
the Haut-Rhin which, indeed, represented in essential 
respects the so-called Nordgau and Sundgau of early 
times and the third embracing the annexed parts of 
the Meurthe and Moselle departments of Lorraine. 
Each Bezirk was subdivided into several so-called 
Kreise or circles, suggestive of French arrondissements, 
the result being as follows : First Bezirk : Lower 
Alsace. Capital : Strasburg, which also became the 

25 



2(5 THE TRUE STORY OF 

seat of government for the whole Reichsland. 
Kreise : Strasburg City and Strasburg Country, Wis- 
sembourg, Haguenau, Saverne, Molsheirn, Erstein, 
and Schlestadt. Second Bezirk: Upper Alsace. 
Capital : Colmar. Kreise : Colmar, Ribeauville, 
Guebwiller, Thann, Mulhouse, and Altkirch. Third 
Bezirk : Lothringen or Lorraine. Capital : Metz. 
Kreise: Metz City and Metz Country, Thionville, 
Sarrebourg, Chateau-Salins, Boulay, Sarreguemines, 
and Forbach. 

Strasburg, whose population increased from 70,000 
to 84,000 between 1840 and 1870, was in 1910 the 
year of the last census a city of 179,000 inhabitants, 
rather more than half of these being Catholics and the 
others Protestants, Freethinkers, and Jews, the last- 
named numbering some 5000. It would have been 
impossible to crowd so many people within the limits 
of the city's former fortifications, designed by the 
famous French engineer Vauban, and during the 
earlier years of the annexation these defences, with 
the exception of the southern ramparts and the 
citadel, were demolished by the Germans, and re- 
placed by a new enceinte which doubled the city's 
perimeter, most of the land thus enclosed within the 
municipal limits lying to the north and north-east of 
ancient Strasburg. The new fortifications were pro- 
vided with twelve gates ; such of Vauban's work, 
including the citadel, that was allowed to remain, 
was more or less modernized, and fourteen outlying 
detached forts were erected, eleven of them being 
west of the River 111 and three on the east. The 111, 
forming two principal and various smaller arms, inter- 
sects the city. Below the latter it is joined by the 
Marne to Rhine Canal, and above it by the Rhine and 
Rhone Canal, as well as by a tributary, the Bruch, 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 27 

which is partially canalized. Further, the principal 
canals are united by a subsidiary canal de ceinture. 
The Rhine, into which the 111 flows, is about two and 
a half miles distant from the Place Kleber in the 
central part of old Strasburg. More than once, in 
the long ago, I crossed the great river which, in its 
course between Germany and Alsace, bears almost 
countless little islands upon its bosom by one or 
another of the bridges conducting to the town of Kehl 
in the Grand Duchy of Baden. 

The new part of Strasburg is full of public edifices 
and private mansions erected by the Germans. Here 
are found the so-called Imperial Palace, the Palace of 
the Delegations, the German University, and the 
great central railway station. Some of these buildings 
are not displeasing to the eye. The German archi- 
tects adopted the style of the French Renaissance for 
the principal university building, erected between 
1878 and 1884, and that of the Florentine Renaissance 
for the Imperial Palace (1883-88). At the railway 
station an attempt is made to impress the traveller 
with a sense of the German domination by means of 
two large crude frescoes one depicting Frederick 
Barbarossa entering Haguenau in the twelfth century, 
and the other the present Kaiser's grandfather entering 
Strasburg in 1879. 

The pomposity of the new German town contrasts 
strongly with the picturesqueness of the ancient city, 
where high-gabled houses line narrow streets and 
cluster round little squares, whilst from the centre the 
spire of the renowned cathedral rises to a height of 
almost exactly 466 feet above the pavement.* It 

* I find old accounts saying 474 feet, but this may have been a miscal- 
culation, for I do not think that the spire was shortened during the many 
repairs which the cathedral underwent after the fiendish German bombardment 
of 1870. 



28 THE TRUE STORY OF 

thus soars to an altitude of 132 feet above the summit 
of Saint Paul's, and is sixteen feet higher than the 
principal Egyptian Pyramid. The first church raised 
on this site was one of clay and timber set up by the 
Frankish ruler Clovis. A better edifice was founded 
by Charlemagne, but was struck by lightning early in 
the eleventh century, when the present cathedral was 
begun. Thus a little is Romanesque though most is 
of the ogival style. The greater part, perhaps, dates 
from the thirteenth century, but only in the fifteenth 
were the towers, one of which bears the famous spire, 
erected. Long years ago I climbed to the lantern, 
thence to the crown, and thence to the rosette, and 
looked down upon the old faded tiled roofs of the city, 
and thence over the wonderful panorama of surround- 
ing country the Vosges on the west, the Rhine and 
the Black Forest on the east. Most of the cathedral's 
beautiful stained-glass windows were shattered by 
the bombardment of 1870 ; much of the general 
masonry and the sculpture -work which were de- 
stroyed or defaced, first during the French Revolution 
and later by the bombardment I have mentioned, 
are quite modern, as is also the roof, which the 
German shells perforated in many places ; but, on 
the whole, the work of restoration has been well 
performed. 

One of the cathedral's curiosities is a remarkable 
astronomical clock, the present mechanism of which 
dates from 1838-42, having been reconstructed in 
order to replace similar works of the sixteenth century, 
which after nearly 250 years of service absolutely 
refused to do any further duty. The mechanism sets 
quite a number of allegorical figures in motion such, 
for instance, as Father Time, the Four Ages of Life, 
the Seven Days of the Week ? the Apostles and the 




ALSACE-LORRAINE 29 

Christ. At noon every day the twelve Apostles pass 
before Christ, bowing to Him as they go, whilst He 
blesses them with upraised hand, and a cock crows 
thrice and claps its wings. This clock luckily escaped 
destruction in 1870. 

Another interesting church at Strasburg is that 
dedicated to Saint Thomas, where you may see the 
masterpiece of the great French sculptor Pigalle 
that is, the mausoleum of Marshal Saxe, who, German 
though he was, entered the service of France and 
gained victories for her at Raucoux, Lawfeld, and 
Fontenoy. Pigalle, who gave five and twenty years 
of his life to this work, portrayed the marshal expiring 
serenely, whilst France, personified by a beautiful 
figure, strove to detain him and to ward off the 
threatening approach of death. 

The largest of the city's squares before the annexa- 
tion was the Place Kleber, where stands a bronze 
statue of the famous general of that name a native 
of Strasburg, son of a stone-mason there, and in early 
life an architect who enlisted in the armies of the 
first French Republic, distinguished himself in the 
siege of Mayence, decided the defeat of the Austrians 
at Fleurus, and fought against us in Egypt, where he 
was assassinated in the year 1800. As the sequel of 
this narrative will show, Kleber was only one of many 
Alsatians who became glorious in the service of the 
France they loved. In 1838 his remains were de- 
posited in a vault under his statue, and they still lie 
there to-day. Another of the city's squares, the 
Place Gutenberg, is adorned with a statue of the 
famous printer, who worked at his inventions at 
Strasburg before perfecting them at Mayence. This 
fine monument, due to the French sculptor David 
d' Angers, depicts Gutenberg holding a " proof " which 



30 THE TRUE STORY OF 

he has just taken from his press, and which bears the 
words : " And there was light." * 

In the sixteenth-century building where the Stras- 
burg Chamber of Commerce meets another interesting 
statue may be found, one of Alsace, by Bartholdi, 
the Alsatian sculptor to whom France ow r es her Lion 
of Belfort and America her Liberty lighting the 
World. Further, in a garden on one of the Rhine 
islands the He des Epis a couple of miles south of 
the city, there is a monumental cenotaph to the 
memory of the valiant Desaix, who defended the 
passage of the river against the Austrians in 1796, 
helped Napoleon to gain the Battle of the Pyramids 
in 1798, and two years later fell on the field of 
Marengo at the very moment when victory was being 
achieved. The monument on the He des Epis bears in 
French the inscription, " To General Desaix, the Army 
of the Rhine, 1801," and is adorned with bas-reliefs 
and a medallion portrait of this famous French 
soldier. The Germans have done their best to dese- 
crate this tribute to his memory by capping it with 
an abominable helmet. Fortunately the remains of 
Desaix do not lie beneath any Teutonic symbol. 
They were interred on the Great Saint-Bernard. 

No. 4 on the Place de Broglie at Strasburg a 
square laid out in 1740 by the French Marshal of that 
name, who distinguished himself in the Seven Years' 
War is quite an historic house, for there in 1792 
dwelt Baron Dietrich, Mayor of Strasburg, and there 
in Dietrich's drawing-room, towards the end of April 
that year, was sung for the first time that immortal 
hymn of defiance, the " Marseillaise," f which Rouget 
de 1'Isle, then a young officer of engineers, composed 

* " And God said, Let there be light, and there was light." Genesis, i, 3- 

f The aged Madame Aimable Tastu, a Lorrainer by birth (she came 

into the world at Metz in 1798) and a family connexion of Rouget de 1'Isle, 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 31 

for his comrades of the Army of the Rhine, and which 
was directed essentially against the Prussian and 
Austrian invaders of French territory. As it hap- 
pened, when the revolutionaries of Marseilles marched 
on Paris they appropriated Rouget de 1' Isle's stirring 
words and notes, which had been carried southward 
by soldiers sent to defend Toulon ; and as they, the 
Marseillais, were the first to make the glorious hymn 
known in the capital, the Parisians called it the 
1C Marseillaise," a name it has ever since retained. It 
was dedicated by Rouget de 1'Isle to the septua- 
genarian Marshal Luckner, whom the Robespierrists 
guillotined two years afterwards for lack of energy in 
his old age. 

There is great uncertainty respecting the quarters 
which De 1'Isle occupied at Strasburg when he com- 
posed the "Marseillaise." Claims have been put 
forth on behalf of several houses, but none appears to 
be authentic. Many, however, are the quaint or 
interesting dwellings that one finds in the old city, 
some of them dating back to the latter part of the 
Middle Ages. In addition to the mementoes of the 
French rule to which I have referred, mention may 
be made of the Promenade de Contades, laid out by 
the Marshal Duke of that name in 1764, and of the 
Orangery, which owes its origin to Napoleon's first 
wife, the Empress Josephine. The university, re- 
established in new buildings by the Germans, sprang 
from a Protestant school founded in the first half of 

whom she well remembered (he died at Choisy-le-Roi, near Paris, in 1830, 
when seventy-six years old), told me in her last years that De 1'Isle was 
composing by way of pastime sundry little pastoral and love pieces when 
the " Marseillaise " suddenly exploded from his brain. This statement is 
borne out by an early edition of his collected verses, which are mostly dated, 
and a copy of which exists in the British Museum library. Mme. Tastu 
herself wrote some very fair poetry, but was best known by her many work* 
in prose for youthful reeding. She died in 1885. 



32 THE TRUE STORY OF 

the sixteenth century. About a hundred years later 
this school became a university, and in 1772 Goethe 
took his degree as Doctor of Laws there. The Revo- 
lution suppressed the foundation, but under the last 
Bourbons it was revived as an Academic royale. I 
shall refer more particularly to the new institutions 
when dealing in another chapter with the efforts to 
Germanize Alsace since the annexation. As for the 
city's public library, the building and its contents 
were largely destroyed by the Germans in 1870. 
Many precious manuscripts and incunabula were then 
annihilated among the former being the famous 
" Hortus Deliciarum " of the Abbess Herrade of 
Hohenberg, which was richly decorated with illumina- 
tions and miniatures of Byzantine style. As with the 
fathers, so with the sons, as witness the fate of the 
library of Lou vain. 

I have written at some length respecting Strasburg, 
because it is the capital of Alsace. The chief towns 
of the other Kreise directly attached to Strasburg 
under the German administrative system may be 
referred to more briefly. North of the capital city is 
Haguenau, a town of nearly 19,000 inhabitants, on 
the Moder. It was fortified by the Emperor Frederick 
Barbarossa, and there is a story that our Richard 
Cceur de Lion appeared there before a gathering of 
princes while he was a prisoner of Frederick's son and 
successor, Henry the Cruel, to whom he had been 
handed over by Leopold of Austria. Haguenau's 
most notable building is the church of Saint- George, 
dating principally from the thirteenth century. Pro- 
ceeding from this point in the direction of Wissem- 
bourg (Weissenburg), whose Kreis or circle is the most 
northern of Lower Alsace, one could visit, prior to 
the Great War, the scenes of some of the earliest 




ALSACE-LORRAINE 33 

encounters between the French and Germans in 1870. 
Here, for instance, are Worth, Froeseh wilier, and 
Reichshoffen, all associated with the unfortunate 
defeat of MacMahon's army, which was the first really 
severe blow that France received. Reichshoffen, 
whose name recalls the famous desperate charge of 
the French cuirassiers,* is the largest of these localities, 
having 3000 inhabitants, whereas Worth (which for 
us, as for the Germans, has given its name to the 
battle) counts but 1000, and Froeschwiiler only 600. 
It is, however, in the church of the last-named locality 
that one finds the chief memorials to the men of the 
contending armies who fell in the great fight an 
altar of black marble dedicated to the French, and 
one of red sandstone to the Germans. 

Wissembourg, associated with the earlier defeat of 
Abel Douay in the same war, stands on the Lauter, at 
the extreme northern limit of Lower Alsace. It is a 
place of some 6800 souls, and possesses a fine church, 
which comprises a twelfth-century Romanesque tower, 
but is in other respects an example of early Gothic. 
Here in 1704-6 Marshal Villars established some 
famous lines which saved this part of France from 
invasion. 

North-west of Strasburg will be found the Kreis 
or circle of Saverne, called Zabern by the Germans. 
This town one of 9000 people was the Tres Tabernae 
of the Roman itineraries. It passed in the course of 
time to the Duchy of Lorraine, and in 1525 was 
seized by a multitude of rebellious peasantry, known 

* The charge really took place in the vicinity of Morsbronn, which is 
about five and a half miles distant from Reichshoffen. A monument erected 
at Morsbronn in 1873 is inscribed, " Aux Cuirassiers dits de Reichshoffen." 
At Reichshoffen itself there is an obelisk to the memory of the heroic French 
troopers. The ironworks of this town were first established by Baron Dietrich, 
to whom I referred in connexion with the " Marseillaise." See p. 30, ante. 

C 



34 THE TRUE STORY OF 

as the Rustauds or Rustics. Duke Anthony of 
Lorraine having besieged them, they capitulated on 
the understanding that their lives should be spared 
provided they gave up their weapons. But no sooner 
was this effected than the hireling German lansquenets 
in the Duke's pay attacked them, and cut thousands 
of them down whilst they attempted to escape. The 
Duke himself could not restrain his ferocious soldiery. 
Later, Saverne (which often suffered during the 
Thirty Years' War) passed as a lordship to the Bishops 
of Strasburg, who retained possession until the French 
Revolution. One of these prelates, Cardinal Louis 
de Rohan, erected here a considerable part of an 
imposing chateau or palace with monumental facades 
and beautiful grounds. The work was carried on by 
his successor, the notorious Cardinal Edouard de 
Rohan, who was duped and swindled by the intriguing 
Countess de la Motte in the affair of the famous 
Diamond Necklace. To-day the once sumptuous 
palace of Saverne is but a German barrack. The 
town stands at an elevation of some 600 feet above 
the Zorn and the Marne and Rhine Canal, on the 
verge of the Alsatian Plain. Behind it rise some fine 
wooded heights, and by reason of its beautiful situa- 
tion Saverne was the favourite place of sojourn of 
that well-known writer, Edmond About, who was by 
birth a Lorrainer. Comprised within the Kreis of 
Saverne is the town of Bouxwiller (Buchsweiler), 
which is situated just under the Bassberg, one of 
the heights of the Lower Vosges. The little place 
derives some importance from the sulphate of 
iron and lignite deposits which are worked in its 
vicinity. 

Skirting the Vosges southward from Saverne, one 
passes Marmoutier (Germanized as Maursmiinster), a 




ALSACE-LORRAINE 35 

town of 3600 people, deriving its name from an abbey 
which, founded originally by a disciple of the Irish 
Saint Colomban, subsequently pertained to the Con- 
gregation de Saint-Maur. Farther southward is 
Wasselonne (now Wasselnheim), a locality of much 
the same size, with several quarries whence the stone 
for building Strasburg Cathedral was extracted. Yet 
more to the south and on the left bank of the Bruch, 
between the Alsatian vine slopes and the plain, stands 
Molsheim, a picturesque place of 3000 souls with 
a fourteenth- to sixteenth-century church, and a 
charming old town hall faced by a square where 
stands an obelisk bearing in French the inscription : 
"To the Children of the Town who died for 
the Country, 1870-71." * One needs no further 
evidence that the folk of Molsheim were attached 
to France. 

On ascending the Bruch towards its source in the 
Vosges there will be found a picturesque and interest- 
ing little region known as the Ban de la Roche or 
Steintal, the former name being derived from an 
ancient castle called the Chateau de la Roche. This 
district was desolated during the Thirty Years' War, 
and in the eighteenth century the inhabitants of its 
eight poor villages or hamlets were plunged in the 
greatest ignorance and deepest misery. In 1767, 
however, a Protestant pastor named Jean Frederic 
Oberlin, a native of Strasburg and the younger brother 
of a distinguished Alsatian philosopher and scholar 
(Jeremie Jacques Oberlin), was appointed minister 
at the village of Waldersbach in the Roche region. 
Distressed by the sight of so much misery one 
knows how terrible was the condition of the peasantry 
throughout France during the last years of the old 

* " Aux Enfants de la Ville morts pour la Patrie." 



36 THE TRUE STORY OF 

regime Oberlin set himself to work to remedy it. 
Assisted by his wife, his sons, his daughters, and a 
dependent, who was really more a friend than a 
servant, he helped the peasants to make roads, 
bridged the Bruch between Foil day and Rothau with 
his own hands, opened schools, gave instruction in 
weaving, procured fruit-trees and potatoes for plant- 
ing, in fact raised the inhabitants to a degree of 
cheerful comfort such as had never previously been 
known to them, nor, indeed, to their fathers either. 
Oberlin died in 1826, being then eighty-six years old. 
In the churchyard at Fouday (now called Urbach by 
the Germans) there is a stone bearing his name, and, 
in French, the words : " He was for Sixty Years the 
Father of this Canton. The Memory of the Righteous 
shall be Blessed." According to some accounts 
Oberlin's remains are not buried here, but rest beside 
those of his wife at Waldersbach, where he had his 
parsonage, and where, we believe, many mementoes 
of this most worthy man are still preserved. 

From the Ban de la Roche another interesting spot 
may be reached, the Hohwald and the famous con- 
vent of Saint Odilia, who is regarded as the Patroness 
of Alsace. She was ' the daughter of the seventh- 
century Alsatian Duke Adalric the Cruel, and was 
born blind, for which reason her father would have 
had her killed had not her nurse fled with her to a 
Burgundian convent. There, according to the legend, 
on being baptized, the sense of sight was miraculously 
bestowed on her. Her unnatural father repented, 
and in course of time, finding her unwilling to marry, 
gave her the Castle of Hohenburg in order that she 
might transform it into a convent. The spot is 
famous throughout Alsace, and is the scene every 
Whitsuntide of a great Catholic pilgrimage. The 






ALSACE-LORRAINE 37 

scenery, with its crags and forests, is very striking. 
There is a spring whither people repair when they are 
afflicted with complaints of the eyesight, and in the 
vicinity one finds some remains of a so-called Heiden- 
mauer or Pagans' Wall, composed of unhewn stones 
heaped together without cement, the whole averag- 
ing from eight to ten feet in height. Similar walls are 
found on the Taennichel, Frankenburg, Guerbaden, 
Ochsen stein, and Heiligenberg heights. Some writers 
have claimed that these structures date from abso- 
lutely prehistoric times, others have ascribed them to 
the Gauls or the Romans. There is reason to believe 
that they existed prior to the Roman dominion and 
were raised by the native Celts as barriers against the 
Germanic hordes which repeatedly poured across the 
Rhine, bent, like their descendants of to-day, upon 
overrunning Gaul. In some instances the more or 
less circular character of the structures indicates that 
they formed camps of refuge from the invaders. 
The Romans, doubtless, made use of them after Julius 
Caesar had vanquished the Swabian Germans of 
Ariovistus, and Alsace came under the protecting 
Roman rule. 

In normal times the town of Barr which is not 
far from Saint Odilia's convent, and where there are 
some mineral springs used to be extensively patron- 
ized for the excursions which may be made from it, 
not only to Sainte-Odile, but to other interesting spots, 
such as the castle and the town of Andlau, associated 
with the counts of that name. The last member of 
this family that we ever heard of was General Count 
d'Andlau, a Senator of France, who, after powerfully 
contributing to expose the conduct of Marshal Bazaine 
at Metz, became implicated, unhappily, in a great 
scandal respecting the sale of the Legion of Honour 



38 THE TRUE STORY OF 

in President Grevy's time, and thereupon fled to 
South America. Barr is associated with a singular 
legend respecting Ricardis, the repudiated wife of 
Charles the Fat, Emperor of Germany and Italy, and 
King of France. Ricardis, it is said,* was entreating 
Heaven to designate to her some suitable place of 
asylum when an angel appeared and told her to 
select a spot where she would see something remark- 
able. Soon afterwards, in her wanderings, she per- 
ceived a she-bear who, with the help of her cubs, was 
scratching the ground and throwing up a kind of 
enceinte. Ricardis took this as a sign from Heaven, 
and founded a famous abbey on the spot. I have 
given this legend, as I gave that of Saint Odilia, 
simply by way of exemplifying the many curious ones 
which are current in Alsace. 

East of the region at which I have just glanced, 
and on the River 111, south of Strasburg, will be 
found the old fortified town of Erstein (6000 inhabi- 
tants) which is the centre of another Kreis of Lower 
Alsace. Yet another is that of Schlestadt (Schlett- 
stadt), a town situated still more to the south and not 
far from the 111. Very ancient, the residence of some 
of the Frankish kings, and possessing in its church of 
Sainte-Foi (Saint Fides) one of the finest Romanesque 
fanes in the Reichsland, Schlestadt ranked under the 
French as a fourth- class fortress, but was dismantled 
by the Germans in 1872. At the last census the 
town had a population of 10,600. 

We now enter the Bezirk of Upper Alsace, whose 
chief town is Colmar. Situated in the Alsatian Plain, 

* She was the daughter of a Count of Nordgau, and was accused of adultery 
with a Lord of Verceil, against which charge she protested. She married 
Charles in 877 and was afterwards crowned with him at Rome by Pope 
John VIII. She died in 911 at the Alsatian monastery which she had 
founded. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 39 

it is watered by the Ill's tributary, the Lauch, and the 
Logelbach Canal coming from the Fecht. An arti- 
ficial waterway also connects it with the Rhone and 
Rhine Canal. The central part of Colmar is a typical 
old Alsatian town with irregular streets, wooden 
bridges over the Logelbach, and houses of far-away 
days, sometimes with painted fronts, sometimes with 
ornate gables, sometimes yet more elaborate in the 
Renaissance style, the whole contrasting strongly 
with what may be seen in the modern outskirts. In 
a word, there is much to interest the antiquarian and 
the artist in the older part of Colmar. Bartholdi, the 
sculptor,* was a native of the town, which displays 
with pride several examples of his work among 
others a statue of Jean Rapp, Napoleon's valiant 
general who, being besieged in Dantzig, defended 
it for a whole year in fact, to the last extremity; 
secondly, a statue of Admiral Bruat, who commanded 
the French Black Sea fleet in the Crimean War. 
Both of these, like Bartholdi himself, belonged to 
Colmar. Another example of the great sculptor's 
powers will be found in the cemetery. It is a monu- 
ment to the Colmarians who fell while fighting the 
Germans at the engagement of Horburg on September 
14, 1870. 

France first acquired Colmar from the Swedes at 
the time of the Thirty Years' War, but the union 
severed in 1871 may be said to have dated more 
precisely from January 1675, when Turenrie, after 
crossing the snowbound Vosges, routed the Germans 
on the plain between Colmar and Tiirkheim and threw 
them out of Alsace. The Alsatian Sovereign Council, 
which under the sway of the Hapsburgs had been 
accustomed to meet at Ensisheim, then removed to 

* See p. 30, ante. 



40 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Colmar. Since 1871 the Germans have made the 
little city the seat of the Alsatian Oberlandesgericht 
or Supreme Court. At the census of 1910 Colmar 
counted nearly 44,000 inhabitants. 

Ribeauville, the centre of the most northern 
Colmarian circle, and called Rappoltsweiler by the 
Germans, is very picturesquely situated below some 
spurs of the Vosges where several old castles may be 
seen, and where some of the best wine of Alsace is 
vintaged. The town, now one of 6000 souls, pertained 
anciently to the Lords of Ribeaupierre (Rappoltstein), 
who were accounted kings of all itinerant musicians 
and minstrels. There is an ancient house at Ribeau- 
ville where the corporation of these tuneful wanderers 
was wont to assemble, particularly on Pipers' Day, 
September 8. When the last Lord of Ribeaupierre 
and Ribeauville died, Louis XIV bestowed the seignory 
on a Duke of Zwei-Brucken-Birkenfeld, who was a 
general in his service. At the same time this duke 
belonged to the House of Bavaria (Zwei-Briicken is 
in the Rhenish Palatinate), and from him the present 
Bavarian king is descended. The action of Louis XIV 
in bestowing an Alsatian lordship on a foreigner 
added yet another and a quite uncalled-for complica- 
tion to the many in which Alsatian history was then 
already entangled. 

Not far from Ribeauville, but more among the 
Vosges, is a little place long known as La Poultroie 
but rechristened Schmerlach by the Germans, who in 
like fashion have given the name of Diedolshausen to 
the village of Le Bonhomme near the Vosgian pass of 
that name. In the same way Orbey, in the Ribeau- 
ville (or Rappoltsweiler) Kreis, has become Urbeis. It 
is a place of 4500 souls, and possesses some silk and 
cotton mills. Near it in the mountains are two 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 41 

lonely sheets of water known respectively as the 
White and the Black Lakes. 

Munster, a manufacturing town of 6000 souls, but 
noted more particularly, as was mentioned in my first 
chapter, for its odoriferous cheese,* stands in the 
narrow valley of the Fecht, not far from the Schlucht 
Pass of the Vosges, and about fifteen miles from 
Colmar. In the Munster Valley, but nearer Colmar, 
is Soultz (Sulzbad, 4800 inhabitants), noted for its 
acidulous mineral waters, which in French days were 
often called the baths for lunatics (bains des fous) as 
they were held to be beneficial in restoring the mind 
to equilibrium, particularly in cases of hysteria, 
hypochondria, and so forth. On the south-east of 
Colmar, beside the Rhone and Rhine Canal, and a 
couple of miles or so from the last-named river, stands 
Neuf-Brisach (Neu Breisach), built in Louis XIV's 
time by Vauban as a means of keeping the predatory 
Germans on their own side of the Rhenish waters. In 
this same part of Upper Alsace will be found a little 
place called Eguisheim, which prides itself less on its 
conspicuous towered castle than on the fact that no 
less a personage than a Pope was born there this 
being Leo IX, who occupied the chair of St. Peter 
from 1048 to 1054. It was at the time of this Alsatian 
Pontiff that the severance of the Greek and the 
Latin Churches was finally consummated. Ruffach 
(3800 inhabitants), midway between Munster and 
Neuf-Brisach, gave birth to another notable character, 
Marshal Lefebvre, Duke of Dantzig, the blunt gallant 
fellow who married his washerwoman, styled 
" Madame Sans-Gene " by playwrights, though the 
real Sans-Gene happens to have been quite a different 
person. It was Lefebvre who, when a Prussian 

* See p. 20, ante. 



42 THE TRUE STORY OF 

officer of the Junker strain sneered at Napoleon's 
commanders, asking who were their ancestors, retorted 
with well- justified pride : " Ancestors ? We are our 
own ancestors ! " 

Gueb wilier (Gebweiler) lies south of Ruffach, and 
is a busy town of 13,000 people engaged chiefly in one 
or another branch of the textile industries, though 
some are concerned in viticulture, the produce of the 
neighbouring vineyards, notably the wine known as 
Kitterle, being very good growths. There are some 
interesting ancient churches here, and on the south 
side of the Ballon de Guebwiller, the highest mountain 
in the Vosges, and near the Bussang Pass, one finds, 
in the valley of Saint- Amarin, the ruins of the Abbey 
of Murbach, dating from Charlemagne's time. Ensis- 
heim, to which I previously referred,* stands on the 
111 and the Bale to Strasburg railway line, but, though 
it was once the capital of the Alsatian possessions of 
the Hapsburgs and still displays an imposing town 
hall and several other Renaissance edifices, it is now 
decayed, and counts only 2500 inhabitants. 

Thann, occupied by the French in the earlier part 
of the Great War and still held by them at the time 
I write as I hope will be permanently the case 
ranked under the Germans as the centre of a Kreis 
of Upper Alsace. Inhabited before the war by some 
7500 people, it is placed in the valley of the River 
Thur, among the Vosgian spurs, and is overlooked by 
the ruins of the Castle of Engelburg, which Turenne 
blew up in 1674, when the upper part of one of the 
towers fell in a solid mass, and lies below the other 
ruins like a huge barrel staved in at both ends, in 
such wise that you may look through it as through 
a telescope. The good folk of Thann call it " the 

* See p. 39, ante. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 43 

sorceress's eye." The town, which existed already in 
the tenth century, contains a fine ogival church, sculp- 
tured profusely. The chief portal is* particularly 
remarkable for its statues and carvings depicting 
the story of Jesus and the Virgin, and there is a 
fine spire of delicate open work rising to a height of 
300 feet. Two towers of the old fortifications of 
Thann still remain, and the town hall is interesting, 
for it was designed by General Kleber, who also 
superintended the building work, he being at the 
time " architect of civil edifices " in Upper Alsace. 
Before the present war Thann was noted for its 
printed textiles, and particularly its chemical pro- 
ducts. On the north-west is the bourg of Wesserling 
(Hiisseren), also a little industrial locality, and in 
peaceful times a centre for various excursions among 
the mountains above the Thur Valley. Wesserling 
itself is of interest, as it is built round a castle-capped 
moraine of blocks of stone and gravel that fell from 
a glacier at some far-away period. Cernay (Sennheim), 
an old and formerly fortified town, now engaged in 
the textile industries, lies slightly south-west of Thann 
on the left bank of the Thur and at the foot of the 
Vosges. Between it and Guebwiller on the north 
rises the famous Hartmannsweiler Peak.f 

From Cernay one may reach Mulhouse (Mtilhausen), 
of whose industries some account was given in the 
previous chapter. J Although, combined with its 
industrial suburb Dornach, it is, in regard to popula- 
tion, the second city of Alsace (105,500 inhabitants), 
and at the same time the largest manufacturing centre 
in the whole Reichsland, it yields administratively 

* I don't know whether the church has suffered during the present war. 
Possibly instead of " is " I ought to have written " was." 

f See p. 15, ante. J See p. 22 ante. 



44 THE TRUE STORY OF 

the pas to Colmar. It came at an early date under 
the sway of the Bishops of Strasburg, and later under 
that of the Hapsburgs, but joined the Decapole 
League in the thirteenth century, drove out all nobles, 
and became a free democratic city allied with the 
Swiss of Basle, Soleure, and Berne already in 1466. 
Mulhouse was never conquered by the French. At 
the peace of Westphalia it was included among the 
Swiss cantons, but in 1798 it quitted the Confedera- 
tion and gave itself voluntarily to France. Watered 
by the 111 and the Rhone and Rhine Canal, on which 
there is a port, the town spreads out at the southern 
end of the great Alsatian plain. Its prosperity even 
in the days of French rule testified to the energy and 
industry of its democratic citizens, for the raw cotton 
for its manufactures had to be conveyed all the way 
from Havre and Marseilles, whilst the coals it needed 
were brought chiefly by canal from Saint-Etienne and 
Rive-de-Gier, in the southern part of France. 

The museum contains some good paintings and 
objects of archaeological interest, but the only old 
edifice of real account is the town hall, which was 
built in 1552 and combines features of the Gothic 
and the Renaissance styles. Inside there are some 
curious mural paintings by a sixteenth-century Colmar 
artist, and the council chamber has some windows of 
stained glass, recalling Mulhouse's alliances with the 
Swiss cantons and France. On the south-west front 
used to hang a stone carved so as to represent a 
human head and known as the Klapperstein or Pierre 
des Bavards, otherwise the Chatterers' Stone. Folk 
who were convicted of slander or picking quarrels 
were compelled to carry this stone, hanging from 
their necks, round the town on the market or fair 
day following their sentence. This punishment for 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 45 

unbridled loquacity was last inflicted on February 28, 
1781. 

Due west of Mulhouse, but in the Vosges near the 
French frontier, and separated by only a few heights 
from Thann, is Massevaux, otherwise Masmiinstex, 
a town of between three and four thousand people, 
which owes its name to a conventual establishment 
founded in 720 by a certain Mason who was related to 
Saint Odilia. It is called Coenobium Masonvillae in 
ancient deeds, and a list of its abbesses from its 
foundation until 1790 is extant. Occupied at one 
time by Benedictine nuns it eventually became a 
Chapter of Noble Dames, and there it was that 
Catherine of Anhalt-Zerbst, afterwards famous as 
Catherine the Great and the " Semiramis of the 
North," received her education. Her career seems to 
indicate that whatever accomplishments she may 
have acquired among the noble dames of Massevaux, 
no principles of morality were instilled into her. 

South-west of Mulhouse and on the way towards 
Belfort, Altkirch, the centre of the southernmost 
Kreis of Upper Alsace, rises in terraced fashion on 
an eminence above the right bank of the 111. Mulhouse 
is generally accounted the capital of the so-called 
Sundgau of Alsace, but in former times the term 
applied more exactly to Altkirch that is, after its 
southern neighbour Ferrette or Pfirt had declined. 
Nowadays, however, Altkirch has barely 3500 inhabi- 
tants. Its castle, where the archdukes of Austria 
generally resided when they visited their Alsatian 
possessions, has long been in ruins. The one existing 
building of Altkirch that presents features of interest 
is its old court of justice. The town is noted for the 
fine glazed red bricks made in its vicinity. 

Ferrette (Ferreta and Phirretum in old Latin 



40 THE TRUE STORY OF 

deeds) stands on a northern spur of the Jura Moun- 
tains, which hereabouts form the frontier of Alsace 
and Switzerland. I shall have occasion to speak of 
it more particularly in my next chapter in connexion 
with the early history of Alsace. Here it need only 
be said that Ferrette, after serving as a Roman post 
of observation, was ruled for some centuries by a line 
of independent counts springing from the house of 
Montbeliard, who acquired several other towns and 
lordships in this part of Alsace. In 1324 these 
possessions were conveyed by their heiress, Joan, to a 
member of the house of Austria whom she married. 
At a subsequent date they were mortgaged to Charles 
the Rash of Burgundy, but reverted to the Hapsburgs 
when Charles's only child and heiress, Marie, married 
the Emperor Maximilian I. Finally they were ceded 
to France, with virtually all the Sundgau and Upper 
Alsace, by the Treaty of Westphalia, otherwise 
Munster (1648), which was confirmed eleven years 
later by the Treaty of the Pyrenees. 

We have now reached the southern limits of Alsace, 
and must retrace our steps northward in order to 
glance at the other division of the Reichsland, the 
north-eastern part of Lorraine which the Germans 
annexed in 1871. The famous fortified city of Metz 
is its capital, subordinate, however, to Strasburg. In 
ancient days Metz was the chief town of the Gallic 
tribe of the Mediomatrici, and was known for a time 
as Divodurum. However, the Romans themselves 
subsequently called the place Metis and Metlis, after 
its original inhabitants. Already in the fourth cen- 
tury of our era Metz was a bishop's see, and between 
511 and 843 it became the capital of the Frankish 
kingdom of Austrasia (Eastern Gaul) where the Carlo- 
vingian dynasty arose. At the partition of Charle- 



I 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 47 

magne's empire (Verdun, 843) a kingdom was formed 
in favour of his great-grandson, Lothair II, whose 
father, Lothair I, sometime " Emperor of the West," 
had been vanquished at Fontenoy by his brothers, 
Charles the Bald and Louis, otherwise Ludwig, the 
Germanic. The new kingdom was called Lotharingia 
after its sovereign, this being the only example of the 
kind known in French history, other regions having 
derived their names from the folk who dwelt in them, 
as witness Brittany, Burgundy, Normandy, Gascony, 
and Auvergne ; or, as in the case of Champagne, 
Alsace, and the Ile-de-France, from physical circum- 
stances ; or, again, from the presence of some city in 
their midst, as is shown by Touraine (Tours), Anjou 
(Angers), Forez (Feurs). Dauphine certainly took its 
appellation from the title of its rulers, but only 
Lorraine's came from an individual. 

Metz afterwards passed to sundry German rulers, 
but at the time of the Emperor Otho II (tenth century) 
it became a free city of the Empire under its bishop. 
Although it was situated in Lorraine, its bishops, who 
were Princes of the Empire, never did homage to the 
Dukes of Lorraine, the situation being the same at 
Verdun and Toul, whose prelates also enjoyed a 
quasi-independence, being subject only to the Diet 
of the so-called Holy Roman Empire an institution 
which differed greatly from the German Empire of 
to-day. At last in 1552 the Three Bishoprics of 
Lorraine were annexed by Henri II, son of Francis I 
of France, and although 365 years have elapsed since 
then Toul and Verdun have never since been torn 
from French territory. Nor was Metz wrung from 
France until 1871, when she had belonged to her for 
more than three centuries. It is true that the 
Emperor Charles V was extremely wrathful when he 



48 THE TRUE STORY OF 

heard of what Henri II had done, and that he besieged 
Metz with an army of 100,000 men. But the defence 
had been entrusted to the young and famous Franois 
de Guise, who, six years later, to the great chagrin of 
our first Mary, recovered Calais for the French crown. 
Guise, who belonged to the ducal house of Lorraine, 
inspired the burghers of Metz with confidence and 
energy, and after efforts of two months' duration the 
Emperor, having lost 30,000 of his men, was obliged 
to raise the siege. " Fortune is a woman," said he 
bitterly, " she favours only the young ! " 

Metz stands at the confluence of the Seille and the 
Moselle, which here throws out several arms. At the 
census of 1910 the city had a population of over 
79,000. It has changed greatly since the fateful 
months of 1870 when Marshal Bazaine was invested 
within its lines and, w r hen listening to the voice of his 
personal ambition, he " failed," as the judgment 
pronounced upon him recorded, "to do what duty 
and honour required." Beguiled by Prince Frederick 
Charles of Prussia and Bismarck, he ended by 
capitulating without having made a single really 
strenuous effort to break through the German lines. 
I shall have occasion to refer to him again. Here it 
is merely en passant that I allude to his guilt. Metz, 
I have said, has greatly altered since his time. Its 
inner walls are now demolished, and new quarters 
have sprung up, extending on the east beyond the 
Seille to Plantieres and Queuleu, and on the south to 
Montigny and Sablons. Further, many new buildings 
have been erected in the older part of the city, though 
this still retains a number of interesting houses, 
including some which date from the thirteenth cen- 
tury. The outskirts are studded with new German 
forts, some of which are six miles or so from the city 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 49 

limits. Many of these forts are named after German 
princes and commanders. For instance, there is 
Kronprinz Fort, Prinz August von Wurttemberg Fort, 
Graf Haeseler Fort, and so on. There is likewise a 
so-called Bismarck Tower. 

The huge central railway station, designed by a 
Berlinese architect in the Romanesque style, dates 
from 1908. Virtually all the French names of streets 
have been Germanized. The old Place Royale has 
become Kaiser Wilhelm Platz. The names of Marshal 
Fabert and Marshal Belle-Isle, however, have been 
suffered to remain, and the Germans have at least 
had the decency to spare the statues of Ney and 
Fabert, contenting themselves with setting up, by 
way of counterpoise, some effigies of the present 
Kaiser's " illustrious grandfather " and of Frederick 
Charles, who so successfully bamboozled Bazaine. 
The cathedral, a stately Gothic edifice dating partly 
from the thirteenth, but only finished in the sixteenth 
century, has been renovated in various ways. It was 
reroofed with copper and iron in 1877, and at the 
same period other restorations were begun. Much of 
the new sculpture is ridiculous, however. For instance, 
the Gothic portal of the south-west front has been 
decorated with statues, one of which, set up in or 
about 1896, represents the present German Emperor 
the features are unmistakable and the fact is 
explicitly acknowledged by the German guide-books 
to Metz in the guise of the Prophet Daniel ! The 
first thought that arises in this connexion is that 
German idiocy could not well go further. Yet per- 
haps the sculptor of this effigy had some imperfect 
inkling of what time might bring to pass. He may, 
forsooth, have dimly foreseen another Daniel coming 
to judgment, another Daniel in the lions' den, another 



50 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Daniel reading the writing on the wall. But the end 
of the story was not disclosed to him ; he knew not 
that the fate of the Daniel he portrayed would differ 
greatly from that of the Hebrew prophet that he 
would give no heed to the writing, that judgment 
would be pronounced against him, and that he would 
not be spared by the lions. 

In addition to the cathedral there are various 
interesting buildings at Metz, such as the former 
church of Notre Dame de la Ronde, which belonged 
to the Knights Templars, the eighteenth-century 
Hotel de Ville, the Palais de Justice, the fine public 
library, and the municipal museum, where many 
remains of the Gallo-Roman era have been preserved. 
At no great distance from the city extend some of the 
most famous battlefields of the Franco-German War 
on the east Borny and Courcelles, and on the w r est 
Saint-Privat, Mars-la-Tour, Gravelotte, Vionville, and 
Rezonville. On an island cemetery, north of Metz, 
are two monuments erected by the townsfolk in 
1871, one to the French soldiers who died in the city 
during the siege, and a smaller one to the officers who 
fell in the outskirts. At the other localities I have 
mentioned there are several memorials both to French 
and to German combatants, as well as sundry tablets 
ad majorem gloriam of William I, Moltke, and Bis- 
marck. Another place of interest is the chateau of 
Frescati, where the capitulation of Metz was signed on 
October 27, 1870. Near it, prior to the present war, 
stood some large sheds for German airships. I believe 
that they have since been bombed. 

Following the Moselle northward from Metz one 
passes Maizieres (now Ueckingen), a little town 
with some blast-furnaces, before reaching Thionville 
(Diedenhofen, over 14,000 inhabitants), which is the 




ALSACE-LORRAINE 51 

chief centre of metallurgical industry in the annexed 
part of Lorraine, and also an extremely important rail- 
way junction, whither lines converge from Metz, 
Treves, Luxemburg, and Longuyon. Vauban fortified 
Thionville, which in his time was accounted quite a 
strong place, but in 1903 his works were razed by the 
Germans, who have demolished many other anti- 
quated fortifications elsewhere. However, Sarrebourg 
or Saarburg on the Saar not the town of that name 
across the frontier of Rhenish Prussia, but one in the 
south of the annexed part of Lorraine still retains 
its old gates and ramparts. There is some contention 
that this place, now a town of 10,000 people, was the 
Pons Saravi of the Antoninian itinerary, though 
Saarbriicken, a Prussian possession, where the hos- 
tilities of 1870 virtually began,* also claims the 
classical name. In the Middle Ages, when Saarburg 
belonged to the Bishops of Metz, some Lombards 
settled there, and the town became a noted place for 
commercial intercourse between France and Germany. 
The Bishops afterwards ceded this possession to the 
Duchy of Lorraine, whence it passed, also by cession, 
to France in 1661. The town was then partially 
rebuilt by Louis XIV. 

Several other localities derive their names from 
the River Saar on which they stand. For instance, 
there is Saarlouis, the birthplace of Marshal Ney, 
which Prussia wrung from France after Waterloo, 
and added to her Rhenish province. Just within the 
Lorraine frontier stands Sarreguemines (Saargemund), 
a town of over 15,000 inhabitants with important 
brass foundries as well as factories making faience and 
porcelain. At the railway station here some German 

* Napoleon Ill's young son, the Prince Imperial, received on that occasion 
the " baptism of fire." 



52 THE TRUE STORY OF 

railways are linked to those of the Reichsland system 
in such wise as to make the place particularly impor- 
tant in war-time. South of Sarreguemines or Saarge- 
mund one finds the little towns of Saaralben and 
Saarunion, each inhabited by some 3000 or 4000 
people, whilst, more southward still, going towards 
Saarburg, is Fenestrange (Finstingen), a yet smaller 
but an ancient place with the remains of two feudal 
castles. 

North-w r est of Sarreguemines stands Forbach 
(10,000 inhabitants), where large papier-mache works 
used to exist. On a height rising above the town are 
the ruins of its feudal castle ; and in the distance one 
can see the Spicheren or Spichererberg, a steep and 
sparsely wooded acclivity where the French under 
General Frossard entrenched themselves in August 
1870. They were dislodged, however, by the Germans, 
this being one of the first reverses suffered by the 
French at the outset of the war. 

The last slopes of the Vosges, separating Lorraine 
from Alsace, extend in a north-easterly direction. 
Hereabouts, just within Alsace and at the entry of 
the pleasant valley of Falkenstein, will be found 
Niederbronn, which I ought to have mentioned 
sooner. It is one of the ten or twelve spas of the 
Reichsland, and its waters are prescribed for com- 
plaints of the liver as well as for scrofula and lymphatic 
affections. In the eighteenth century the lordship of 
Niederbronn belonged to Baron Dietrich, Mayor of 
Strasburg, to whom I have previously referred. On 
the Lorraine side of the Vosgian slopes, and near the 
German frontier, stands Bitche (Bitsch), which has 
twice had the honour of keeping the Prussians at bay 
first, in 1793 when an inhabitant gave warning of 
their approach by setting his house on fire ; and, 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 53 

secondly, in 1870 when, like Belfort, Bitche held out 
until the end of the war. Only the annexation gave 
this gallant little place, now one of 4000 souls, to 
Germany, and some years ago the Germans revenged 
themselves in a peculiarly characteristic fashion for 
the resistance offered to their arms. Bitche rejoiced 
in a statue of Lorraine's most glorious child, the 
immortal Maid, Joan of Arc. One morning, however, 
it was taken down and carted away, and in its place 
was raised a statue of William I, German Kaiser by 
the grace of Bismarck ! 

Some miles south of Bitche, in a well- wooded part 
of the Vosgian spurs on the Lorraine side, is Petite- 
Pierre (rechristened Liitzelstein), which was formerly 
fortified. It possessed little or no garrison in 1870, 
and therefore had to surrender. The Germans after- 
wards demolished its defences. More southward yet, 
and on a barren, rocky plateau, stands another 
fortress of the old Lorraine Phalsbourg (now Pfalz- 
burg), the scene of one of Erckmann-Chatrian's 
famous stories. Twice was it besieged in the time of 
Napoleon, first in 1814, and next in the following 
year ; and on each occasion it offered a desperate 
resistance. Nor did Phalsbourg belie its reputation in 
1870, but held out right doughtily for four months, in 
spite of bombardment and conflagration. Nowadays, 
no doubt, Vauban's fortifications could not have 
offered anything like the same resistance. At the 
present time Phalsbourg is a town of about 3700 
people. 

On the south-western side of the annexed part of 
Lorraine that is, near the French frontier in the direc- 
tion of Nancy will be found the towns of Chateau- 
Salins (Salzburg) and Dieuze, both of which are 
associated with salt. The salt deposits of this district 



54 ALSACE-LORRAINE 

have certainly been worked since the eleventh century, 
and it has been held that they were known to the 
Romans. Chateau- Salins counted in 1910 less than 
2500 inhabitants, but Dieuze had nearly 6000, having 
progressed whilst its neighbour was declining. Both 
towns are situated in the Valley of the Seille, which 
emerges from a great mere called the Etang de Lindre. 
The water covers at times an expanse of over 1600 
acres, and has an average depth of about ten feet. 
Every three years, however, a part of the land is 
drained and cultivated with remarkable results. 



Ill 

ALSATIAN HISTORY 

(FROM EARLY TIMES TO THE TREATY OF WESTPHALIA) 

Primitive Man in Alsace : The Celts of Caesar's Time : Early German 
Incursions : Caesar and Ariovistus : Roman Defences of Alsace : The 
Alemanni : Rome and the German Invaders : Alsace abandoned by 
the Empire : Vandal, Burgundian, and Hunnish Invasions : Alsace 
under the Merovingian and Carlovingian Franks : The Disruption of 
Charlemagne's Empire : Alsace under German Rule : Dukes, Land- 
graves, and Landvogts : The Robber Knights : The Free Cities and 
the Decapolis League : Enguerrand de Coucy in Alsace : The Rhenish 
Confederation : The Hapsburgs and Alsace : The Thirty Years' War : 
The Swedes abandon Alsace to France : The Province ceded to 
Louis XIV by Austria : Assent of the Alsatians. 

THE history of Alsace begins with the advent of the 
Romans in that region, but it is held by scientists 
that the country was inhabited already during the 
latter part of the pleistocene or quaternian age. 
Rather more than half a century ago portions of a 
human skull of the dolichocephalic type, recalling the 
skulls of the Emps grotto and the Neanderthal, were 
found at Eguisheim, near Colmar, and on the same 
spot at the same time were discovered a tooth of the 
Elephas primogenius, otherwise the mammoth, to- 
gether with a knife and an arrow-head of silex. 
These discoveries were made in a bed of the clay, 
usually called loess, deposited by glaciers of Alpino- 
Rhenish origin ; and the conclusion at which the 
learned men of the time arrived was that the human 
species existed in Alsace at the diluvian period follow- 
ing the glacial age, and was contemporaneous with 

55 



56 THE TRUE STORY OF 

the aforesaid Elephas primogenius, the Rhinoceros 
tichorhinus, the Ursus spelceus, and the Felis spelcea 
bones and teeth of all those animals having been 
discovered in Alsace in soil of the same character. 
Hundreds of objects in shivered or split and also 
polished stone have likewise been found in one or 
another part of the region, showing that its inhabi- 
tants passed through a stone age, and, judging by 
the spots where most discoveries were made, that 
these inhabitants dwelt preferentially on slopes over- 
looking rivers and meres. Deposits of loess are 
found in various parts of Alsace, notably in districts 
extending from the River Bruch on the south to 
Niederbronn on the north, and again towards the 
Swiss frontier on the south. In the real mountain 
and plain regions, however, only few split or polished 
flints have been discovered. The lower ground at 
the period referred to was indeed still under water, 
and therefore uninhabited. The waters did not 
subside until the bronze and iron ages, and only 
then did man begin to spread through this part of 
the country. As for Lorraine, or at least the part 
of it annexed by Germany, it would not seem to have 
been inhabited at as early a period as Alsace. 

Whatever may have been the origin of the so- 
called Pagans' Walls and Castles, there are certainly 
a number of dolmen, peulven, cromlechs, etc., in the 
Vosgian districts, indicating the presence there of a 
Celtic population at an early date. Livy and Csesar 
are the first to mention the inhabitants of the region, 
the former asserting that as far back as the Roman 
year 163 that is, about 591 B.C. large bands of them 
made their way across the Rhine and through the 
Black Forest to the Danube, on whose banks they 
established themselves. That is more or less legen- 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 57 

dary, and may have little if any foundation in fact. 
Caesar, on the other hand, when he first became 
acquainted with Alsace, found it inhabited by Celtic 
tribes, which included, in the north (Metz and most 
of the Moselle country), the Mediomatrici and the_ 
Treviri, after whom the city of Treves is named. 
Southward dwelt the Rauraci and the Sequani. 
Along the Rhine, in parts of Upper Alsace, there 
was also a Helvetian tribe, called the Tulingi. At 
this period the first century before Christ many 
of the Mediomatrici Celts were constantly assailed 
by a Germanic people called the Tribocci, who flocked 
across the Rhine, compelled in a measure to quit 
their own lands by the constant incursions and, con- 
quests of another German tribe, the Suevi, from 
w^hom Swabia has derived its name, though the 
Suevi would appear to have had a more northern 
habitat at an earlier date. Some of the Mediomatrici 
Celts were gradually compelled to retreat before the 
Tribocci as far even as the Vosgian slopes. 

Now at last it happened that war broke out 
between the Sequanian Celts and the ^Edui another 
tribe of Gallia Celtica, dwelling in a region which is 
now represented by the departments of the Cote- 
d'Or, the Nievre, the Saone-et-Loire, and the Rhone. 
The jEduans were a powerful race, and the Sequanians 
and the Averni (of Auvergne), with whom they were 
allied, finding themselves hard pressed, eventually 
called in the foreigner to help them. The foreigner 
in question was a certain Ariovistus, otherwise, it is 
said, Ehrenvest a compound German word signify- 
ing " firm in honour " and he was the chieftain of 
various Germanic hordes, principally, it is asserted, 
Suevi or Swabians. According to Caesar, Ariovistus 
began by providing 15,000 men, but ultimately 



58 THE TRUE STORY OF 

120,000 poured down upon the ^Eduans, attracted 
by the abundance which was found in Gaul and the 
prospect of appropriating its rich lands in which 
respect they did not differ from their descendants, 
the Germans of to-day. 

They certainly defeated the ^Edui, who lost, 
Caesar tells us, all their nobles and councillors in the 
struggle, and had their cavalry annihilated. But 
the invaders also ravaged and pillaged Upper Alsace, 
through which they passed, and after claiming a 
third part of the Sequanian lands as recompense for 
their services, their appetite increased and they 
demanded a second third. Thereupon the Sequanians, 
tardily repenting of their folly in soliciting the help 
of the unscrupulous Germans, became reconciled to 
the uEdui, and Caesar's assistance was solicited. 
Before taking action the Roman general sent a mes- 
sage to Ariovistus requesting him to designate a 
suitable spot for an interview. The German chieftain 
replied that if he had needed anything of Caesar he 
would have gone to him, and that it was for Caesar 
to come to him if he desired anything of him. Ario- 
vistus's next proceeding was to descend on Vesontio, 
now Besanon, and attempt its capture. Foiled in 
that endeavour, he consented to an interview with 
Caesar, and when it took place his speech was every 
whit as bombastic and as mendacious as any of the 
orations or proclamations that have emanated from 
the present Kaiser. Tall and full-bodied, the leader 
of the great hordes from across the Rhine seems to 
have regarded with contempt the short and slender 
Roman and his far from numerous legions. It was 
an early illustration of that Teutonic conceit which 
prompted Germany's twentieth-century War Lord to 
refer to the contemptible little British Army. The 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 59 

sequel taught Ariovistus his mistake. He had to 
retire before Caesar's advance, and at last, after he 
had fixed his camp at Colmar, a great battle was 
fought on the plain between that town and Ensis- 
heim a tradition says near Rougemont, on the 
little River Saint Nicholas and the Germanic hordes 
were cut to pieces, 90,000 dead or dying being left 
upon the field. The remainder fled precipitately 
across the Rhine, and Ariovistus and his two wives 
were either drowned in that river or perished during 
the previous fighting. 

For a time this victory, achieved in the year 
58 B.C., annihilated all Germanic power in Alsace, 
which became a dependency of Rome and a bulwark 
against the German barbarians. In the following 
year the whole territory, which had belonged to the 
Mediomatrici Celts before the irruptions of the 
Tribocci, was annexed, and Caesar placed Labienus 
(father or grandfather of the famous orator and 
historian of that name) in charge of it. Nevertheless, 
from time to time bands of Germans still crossed the 
Rhine, and the Romans endeavoured to civilize them. 
Under Augustus certain lands were assigned to the 
Tribocci, who ended by clustering around Strasburg. 
A little later, during the same sovereign's reign 
(A.D. 9), occurred the memorable defeat of Varus by 
the ambitious German chieftain Arminius or Her- 
mann. Subsequently that defeat was partially avenged 
by Tiberius and Germanicus, and Hermann, having 
aspired to autocratic sway, was ultimately assas- 
sinated by some of his own countrymen. Later still, 
in Vespasian's time (A.D. 70), came the rebellion of 
the Batavian leader Civilis against Rome, and some 
of the Alsatian tribes participated in this affair. But 
the Sequanians remained faithful to the Empire, 



60 THE TRUE STORY OF 

and after Cerealis had defeated Civilis, fire and sword 
were carried through the rebellious districts of 
Alsace. 

Under the sovereignty of the Roman Emperors, 
the region, as we now know it, was divided between 
two provinces, Germania prima (capital, Mayence), 
in which Lower Alsace was included, and Maxima 
Sequanorum (capital, Besan9on), to which Upper 
Alsace was attached. In order to restrain the constant 
incursions of the Germans the Empire's frontier was 
fortified from the Danube and along the Schwarz- 
wald chain to the Ochsenwald. The Rhine front 
was protected by numerous castella and castra, such 
a,s those of Augusta Rauraeorum (now the village of 
Augst), near Basle, Mons Brisaci (Vieux-Brisach), 
Argentoraria (Horburg, near Colmar), Helvetus (near 
Benfeld), Brocomagus (Brumath), and Saletis (Seltz). 
Farther away from the river there was Tres Tabernae 
(Saverne). Winter camps and quarters were numerous. 
Strasburg, then called Argentoratum, was strongly 
fortified and garrisoned by the second, fourth, and 
eighth legions. It enjoyed at the time a reputation 
for the manufacture of weapons of war, and may be 
regarded as the chief Roman arsenal in this part of 
Gaul. The great road which passed from Italy 
through Switzerland was extended all along the 
Rhine, thus connecting the river fortresses which 
have been enumerated, arid from it diverged two 
western roads, one running towards Montbeliard, and 
the other crossing the Vosges by the Col Bonhomme. 
La Poultroie in this neighbourhood derived its name 
from Petrosa via. Further, the Theodosian Table 
shows that there was a great road running from 
Strasburg to Metz by way of Saverne, Sarrebourg, 
and Dieuze. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 61 

As time elapsed Alsace became more and more 
civilized, and its legendary lore seems to indicate 
that Christianity spread to this part of Gaul already 
in the third century. Nevertheless the German 
attempts upon the province were constantly repeated. 
In the century we have mentioned trouble began 
with a confederation of Germanic tribes located 
principally between the Upper Rhine and the Neckar, 
though some of them, it seems, pertained to the 
Danubian region. These people became known in 
Gaul as the Alemanni, an appellation derived from 
the German words Alle Manner (all men). Trans- 
mitted through the ages this name has always served 
among the French, in the forms Allemagne and Alle- 
mand, to designate Germany and the German people. 
The Italians, moreover, call Germany Alemagna. 
Very numerous and warlike, the Alemanni repeatedly 
attempted to seize Alsace, and again and again the 
Roman Emperors or their lieutenants had to drive 
them back across the Rhine. For instance, in the 
year 217 Caracalla had to discharge that duty, in 
237 it was the turn of Maximinus, in 265 that of 
Posthumus, a little later that of Aurelian, and in 281 
that of Probus to do so. The last-named did not 
mince matters, and even as to-day in rural France 
each person who brings proof that he has killed a 
wolf is entitled to a pecuniary reward from his munici- 
pality, so this Roman Emperor ordained that every 
man who brought in the head of a German invader 
should receive a piece of gold. 

Yet still the German attempts continued. In 
287 the intruders were beaten back by Maximianus 
Hercules, in 301 by Constantius Chlorus, and in 304 
by Constantine, aftenvaids the Great. At the time 
of his son, Constans II, the barbarians at last secured 



62 THE TRUE STORY OF 

an opportunity to seize Alsace, for after the defeat 
of the usurper Magnentius the Emperor utilized them 
to attack Decentius, one of Magnentius' s kinsmen. 
Thereupon a German host under a certain Chnodomir 
crossed the Rhine, and after routing Decentius, 
captured and pillaged forty-five flourishing localities, 
including the towns of Strasburg, Brumath, Seltz, 
and Saverne. Thus in the years 353-4 they virtually 
made themselves masters of Alsace. As they refused 
to depart Constans dispatched the future Emperor 
Julian against them, and the Battle of Strasburg, 
fought in 357, compelled them to flee across the 
Rhine. To prevent, or at least to delay, future 
incursions Julian invaded their territory and again 
punished them severely. Ten years of comparative 
quietude then ensued, but during the winter of 367 
that is, in the first Valentinian's time they crossed 
over the ice-bound Rhine, fell upon the Roman 
garrisons and defeated them. Once more they were 
expelled, and the river fortresses were rebuilt or 
repaired by Valentinian's orders. In 378, however, 
they came yet again, but were soundly beaten by 
Gratian near Colmar. Thus things continued until 
in or about the year 403, at the time of Honorius, 
Rome abandoned Alsace to its fate. 

This retirement has been related in conflicting 
ways. According to one account Stilicho, Honorius's 
general and also his father-in-law, wilfully withdrew 
from Alsace, dismantling all its fortresses, in order to 
give free admission to the Vandals, the Alans, and 
the Suevi or Swabians. Stilicho, be it noted, was 
of Vandal origin. The other account is more in 
keeping both with the eulogium of Stilicho, penned 
by Claudian of Alexandria, and with ascertained 
historical facts. It is that the general was constrained 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 63 

to withdraw the legions from Alsace in order to 
contend as he very ably did against Alaric and 
the Visigoths in Italy. On the other hand, the 
Vandals and the Alans certainly availed themselves 
of the departure of the Roman soldiers. In 406 
they overran Alsace, sacked and burnt its towns, 
demolished the Roman fortresses and monuments, 
and virtually destroyed all industry, commerce, and 
agriculture, in such wise that within a twelvemonth 
the province had become a waste. 

About the same time as the Vandals and the 
Alans other invaders appeared the' Burgundians, 
who, according to Pliny, were akin to the Vandals 
and the Goths. Other writers, Ammianus Marcel- 
linus and Orosius, claim, however, that they sprang 
from a Roman colony established in Central Ger- 
many some centuries previously; but, on the other 
hand, the Island of Riigen, in the Baltic, was once 
called Burgundaland and is known to have been 
inhabited by a Slavonic race. There may be some 
connexion between those facts. In any case, what- 
ever their origin was, the Burgundians gradually 
approached the Rhine, and at one time Valentinian 
urged them to attack and dispossess the Alemanni 
settled there. In 407 they at last crossed the river 
and appeared in Alsace, but were subsequently 
defeated both by the Huns and by Aetius (Attila's 
victorious antagonist), whereupon, going southward, 
they entered Savoy, and then spread westward to 
the region of the Rhone. 

Since the departure of the Roman legions Alsace 
had become, as it were, an open door by which any 
barbarian race might penetrate into Gaul. The Huns 
naturally availed themselves of this facility for in- 
vasion on setting out, during the first half of the 



64 THE TRUE STORY OF 

fifth century, to overrun the Gallo-Roman provinces. 
When in 451 Attila's innumerable host was at last 
defeated on the plain of Chalons-sur-Marne it was 
confronted by three forces, one of Gallo-Romans 
commanded by Aetius, one of Visigoths under their 
King Theodoric, and one of Franks, said to have been 
led by Merovius, from whom the Merovingian dynasty 
derived its name. These Franks had previously 
descended upon Gaul, and Aetius, though glad of 
their help on the Campi Catalaunici, repeatedly con- 
tended against them. They were divided into two 
branches, the Salic or Salian branch, which had come, 
it is said, from the vicinity of the Yssel, an arm of 
the Rhine flowing into the Zuider Zee, and another, 
the Ripuarian branch, located near the Rhine itself. 
There has been much speculation as to the origin of 
this people. They were one of the Germanic races, 
but it seems probable that they were more akin to 
the Batavians (or, as we should now say, the Dutch) 
than to the other German tribes, whom they certainly 
did not love, as was shown by frequent wars. 

Fierce and barbarous as these Franks first were, 
they gradually assimilated what yet remained of 
Gallo-Roman civilization, and after becoming pre- 
ponderant in Gaul, endeavoured, in spite of frequent 
contests among themselves, to keep out all German 
and other invaders. In 496 Clovis defeated the 
Alemanni on the Rhine somewhere in the vicinity 
of Tolbiac, now Zulpich, near Cologne but the 
struggle appears to have continued intermittently 
until 536, when the Alemanni had to acknowledge 
Prankish supremacy and evacuate all Gallic territory 
north of the wooded Eifel plateau, now in Rhenish 
Prussia. Exceptions were made at the time in favour 
of a few who were allowed to remain between the 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 65 

Eifel and the Forest of Haguenau upon undertaking 
to pay a tax. Others dwelt, comparatively free, in 
the southern dioceses of Strasburg, Basle, and Con- 
stance. Frankish immigrants settled among the 
Alemanni and the remnants of the Celtic and Gallo- 
Roman population, and some measure of law and 
order slowly began to prevail. 

It was the Frankish custom for a father to divide 
his possessions among his children, and thus, under 
the Merovingian dynasty, the Gallic territory was 
repeatedly split up into various kingdoms. Alsace 
followed the fortunes of that of Austrasia (the eastern 
kingdom), which was constantly at war with that 
of Neustria. In or about 630 there sprang up a line 
of Dukes of Alsace, but the dukedom was only a 
benefice and not hereditary, successive Kings of the 
Merovingian race appointing at their pleasure a new 
duke whenever any holder of the dignity died. Accord- 
ing to some accounts it was Charles Martel, mayor of 
the palace at the time of Clothaire IV, who, becoming 
alarmed by the increasing power of the Alsatian 
dukes, suppressed them and instituted in their place 
two counts, one for Upper and the other for Lower 
Alsace. Another version asserts that this change 
was effected by Pepin, the first of the Carlovingians. 
But it appears certain that there were already such 
counts or landgraves at the time of the early dukes, 
and that they acted as deputy*governors under the 
latter. When the dukes were abolished the land- 
graves became direct officials of the King, and were 
charged with the administration of justice, the collec- 
tion of the royal revenues, and the supervision of 
churches and conventual establishments. 

Alsace is said to have continued prosperous until 
the death of Charlemagne. Agiiculturejextgnded, and 



66 THE TRUE STORY OF 

there was Considerable jtrad~ in ...timhex-and wine. 
The Romanized Celts, dispossessed of most of their 
former "lands, dwelt chiefly in the valleys of the 
Vosges and among the hill-side pasturages. Even 
to-day a Romanesque dialect will be found in these 
parts. The rest of the province was peopled by 
Franks and Germans, and even as a Prankish dialect 
prevailed in Lower Alsace so an Alemanian one 
predominated in the Upper districts. 

It w r as on the Ochsenfeld, in Alsace, that in 810 
Charlemagne's son, Louis le Debonnaire, was dethroned 
by his rebellious children with the connivance of the 
crafty Pope Gregory IV, who, though described in 
the histories of the Church as a learned and pious 
man, did not shrink from abetting the enterprise to 
dethrone and despoil Charlemagne's heir and suc- 
cessor. For a moment Louis' son Lothair succeeded 
him, but Lothair's brothers rebelled, and after Lothair 
had been defeated at Fontenoy-en-Puisaye (841) 
Louis was momentarily reinstated. Two years later 
Charlemagne's empire was dismembered by the famous 
Treaty of Verdun. By this convention Louis le 
Debonnaire's son Louis took all Germany as far as 
the Rhine, on which account he became known 
historically as Louis the Germanic. His brother 
Charles, afterwards known as the Bald, secured 
France within limits formed by the Scheldt, the 
Meuse, the Saone, and the Rhone ; whilst Eastern 
France, inclusive of Alsace, and some Italian posses- 
sions were assigned to the son of the previously 
defeated Lothair. Shortly before the latter died in 
855 at a monastery at Treves, Lothair II assumed the 
title of King of Lotharingia or Lorraine, as I have 
already explained.* 

* See pp. 10, 47, ante. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 67 

In 867 this Lothair bestowed the title of Duke of 
Alsace on a natural son of his, called Hugh ; but 
two years later he died, and in 870 a Franco-German 
treaty was signed at Mersen, by which Alsace was 
transferred to Louis the Germanic. Hugh was there- 
upon debarred from exercising authority, but after 
Louis' death in 876 he regained it for a short time. 
Louis' son and successor, Charles the Fat, thereupon 
seized him, had his eyes put out, and shut him up 
in the Abbey of St. Gall. 

Further contestations arose. Charles the Fat 
ended, however, by uniting for a few years the Carlo- 
vingian possessions France, Germany, and Italy 
under his sway. Then the French deposed him, and 
Eudes (not Hugh) Capet reigned over them in his 
stead. In Germany Charles the Fat was followed by 
Arnulf, who was crowned as Emperor in 896. He 
had bestowed the kingdom of Lorraine, which again 
included Alsace, on a natural son called Swentibold,* 
who when a conspiracy broke out to reinstate the 
blinded Hugh committed him again to durance, and, 
in accordance with the Frankish custom, caused his 
head to be shaved, as one unworthy of reigning. In 
Alsace-Lorraine Swentibold' s exactions and cruelty 
were so great that after his father's death the people 
rose against him and recognized another of Arnulf's 
sons, Louis the Child, as sovereign. Swentibold was 
killed in some fighting in Westphalia in the year 900, 
and Louis the Child died eleven years later, whereupon 
Charles the Simple of France took possession of 
Alsace-Lorraine and came thither to be recognized 
as sovereign. From the standpoint of heredity his 
claim was indisputable, for he was descended from 
Charlemagne, and the death of Louis the Child had 

* Latinized both as Zventibuchus and as Centiboldus in ancient deeds. 



68 THE TRUE STORY OF 

extinguished the Carlovingian line in Germany, where 
other houses now arose to the chief power. The 
first of the new sovereigns in that country was 
Conrad I, previously Duke of Franconia, and he 
within a few months wrested Alsace-Lorraine from 
Charles the Simple. But the inhabitants drove him 
out and in 913 reinstated the French King. In 
fact, it was only after the French had deposed Charles 
the Simple in 923 he perished in captivity at Peronne 
six years later and at the time of the Emperor Henry 
the Fowler, that Alsace passed once more under German 
sway. 

Under earlier German rulers the province had 
been administered by certain fiscal agents termed 
nuntii camerce, whose exactions made them extremely 
unpopular. Conrad, during his brief spell of authority 
there, had appointed a Swabian lord as Duke, in 
order that the country might be better governed. 
Henry the Fowler followed this example, but it was 
only in 1080, at the time of the Emperor Henry IV 
(the adversary of the famous Hildebrand, otherwise 
Pope Gregory VII), that the dukedom of Alsace 
became a hereditary appanage of the house of 
Hohenstaufen, and continued as such until the last 
representative of that race, Conradin, suffered death 
on the scaffold at Naples in 1268. Under the Hohen- 
staufen Dukes of Alsace there were hereditary land- 
graves of the Upper and Lower Divisions, the first 
being appointed in 1138. These landgraves had no 
territorial status, their functions were chiefly judicial, 
and their courts of pleas were held in the open air 
until a so-called " regency " was established at 
Ensisheim. In Lower Alsace the landgraviate functions 
were exercised by several successive Counts of Wcerth, 
but in 1359 that county and the lordship of Erstein 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 69 

were purchased by John of Lichtenberg, Bishop of 
Strasburg, for 32,000 gold florins. Previously he 
had become Imperial Landvogt, or high bailiff, in 
Upper Alsace, and after his death one finds the 
Bishops of Strasburg styling themselves Landgraves 
of Alsace, and convoking and presiding the States of 
Lower Alsace down to the time when German rule 
ceased there. Before the Strasburg prelates acquired 
the landgraviate dignity its holders included, apart 
from the Counts of Wcerth, a number of other petty 
nobles, and also some high and puissant personages. 
Among the sons of the early dukes who were often 
invested with the functions was a certain Erchanger, 
or Erchangarius, who became the father of the 
Empress Ricardis, the repudiated wife of Charles 
the Fat, a legend respecting whom I related in a 
previous chapter.* In L^pper Alsace the first land- 
grave appears to have been Wernher of Hapsburg 
(1168), and several other members of his line took 
that title after abandoning the one of Count of 
Nordgau, which was last used, apparently, by the 
Emperor Henry IV of the Saxon line. Our Cceur de 
Lion's gaoler, Henry VI of the Hohenstaufen house 
called the Cruel, or the Sharp styled himself Land- 
gravius Alsatiae in a deed of 1192. The German 
term Landgrafschaft having no equivalent in French, 
Charles the Rash of Burgundy, who for a short time 
held the province, substituted the word vicomte, and 
even gave Alsace the name of Auxois. 

Of lesser rank than the landgraves were the 
officials known by the name of Landvogt. They 
appear to have been high bailiffs, or stewards, acting 
on behalf of the landgraves, more particularly when 
the latter were also Holy Roman Emperors. Among 

* See p. 38, ante. 



70 THE TRUE STORY OF 

these Landvogts were some Bishops of Strasburg, some 
Counts of Ferrette and Hohenberg, some Bavarian 
dukes, and Austrian dukes and archdukes, as well 
as sundry Burgraves of Magdeburg. After Alsace 
passed to France in the time of Louis XIV, that 
sovereign took to himself the title of Landgrave of 
Alsace, and at first conferred the landvogtei, or bail- 
liage, on Henri Count d'Harcourt of the house of 
Lorraine. A little later Cardinal Mazarin and his 
nephew-in-law, La Meilleraye Duke Mazarin and 
husband of Hortense Mancini, became Landvogts. 
Some members of the house of Chatillon followed 
them, and finally, just before the great Revolution, 
the famous Duke de Choiseul held this dignity. 

From the foregoing it will be seen that Alsace 
was ruled at various periods by dukes, counts, land- 
graves, or chief justices, and Landvogts, otherwise 
high stewards or bailiffs. The authority of these 
personages was often more nominal than real in early 
times. Soon after the feudaj_jystem originated quite 
a number of counts, barons, and so forth, many from 
across the Rhine, sprang up, some of them having 
extensive domains, and others owning little beyond 
the stone walls of their hill-side towers. Whilst the 
former were prosperous and afforded protection to 
their respective vassals and serfs, the latter subsisted 
by sheer robbery. Such was long the case all over 
the so-called Holy Roman Empire, throughout whose 
former Teutonic territory may still be found linger- 
ing many a legend of the old-time robber knights, 
the Landschaden the " Banes of the Land " as 
they became called. Commerce was throttled by 
these predatory " nobles " who " lived from the 
saddle," and who, as in the case of Eberhard of 
Wiirttemberg, entitled themselves " friends of God 




ALSACE-LORRAINE 71 

and enemies of all." Few roads were safe in their 
days. Travelling merchants went their way in fear 
and trembling, constantly repeating in their prayers : 

" From Kockeritze and Ltideritze, 
From Krocker, Kracht, and Itzenplitze, 
Good Lord deliver us ! " 

It was for purposes of self-defence against the 
enterprises of these plundering castellans, from whom 
many high and mighty folk of present-day Germany 
are descended, that several towns freed themselves 
and banded themselves together in confederations. 
Nowhere else were the so-called robber knights more 
plentiful than in Alsace, where they throve particu- 
larly by intercepting trade between Germany and 
France, and contrived, often for years, to secure 
impunity among their Vosgian fastnesses to which 
circumstance may be traced the origin of the term 
" Alsatia," given by us originally to the lawbreakers' 
sanctuary of Whitefriars in London, and afterwards 
employed as a generic name to designate any rookery 
of dishonest and unscrupulous folk. 

In 1255 the chief Alsatian centres joined the 
so-called Confederation of the Rhine, which included 
some three -score cities or towns allied together for 
purposes of self-defence. Already in the latter half 
of the previous century the Emperor Frederick 
Barbarossa, one of whose favourite places of residence 
was Haguenau, in Alsace, had made various Alsatian 
townships " free imperial cities," and granted them 
a number of privileges. Strasburg became a "free 
city of the Empire " (freie Reichstadt), and in July 
1205 (one account says 1201) the Emperor Philip 
(of Swabia) advanced Strasburg by diploma to the 
rank of an immediate city of the Empire unmittelbare 
Reichstadt. Under Frederick II that is, about 1219 



72 THE TRUE STORY OF 

the city's privileges were increased by another charter. 
Thus it was gradually freed from the tyrannical rule 
of the officials appointed by its bishops, and secured, 
in addition to municipal autonomy, rights of high 
and low justice within its territory. The city's 
last-mentioned charter sanctioned a senate of twelve 
members, partly nobles and partly burgesses. 

This state of affairs was by no means pleasing to 
the Strasburgian prelates, and one of them, Walter 
of Geroldseck, amidst the confusion which prevailed 
about the time of the last Hohenstaufen,* endeavoured 
to destroy the city's autonomy and extinguish its 
rights. The better to accomplish his design he ex- 
communicated the inhabitants ; nevertheless they 
resisted him, chose the famous Rudolph of Hapsburg 
to command them, and at a battle fought at Ober- 
hausbergen on March 8, 1262, signally defeated the 
episcopal forces the bishop's brother with seventy 
knights and ninety others of noble rank being taken 

* That is, Conradin, who in endeavouring to reconquer the Kingdom of 
the Two Sicilies was vanquished at Tagliacozzo and, although only sixteen 
years of age, was sent to the scaffold by Charles of Anjou, brother of the 
French King, Saint Louis. The Sicilian kingdom had come to the Hohen- 
staufen emperors by the marriage of Conradin's grandfather, the Emperor 
Henry VI, with the Princess Constantia of the Sicilian Norm;;n dynasty 
which followed the Saracen lule. Henry, however, in order to assert his 
'* rights," had to conquer Calabria and Sicily by force, and, as Gibbon put 
it, " against the unanimous wish of a free people." What the Sicilians 
thought of the irruption of the Germans is shown by the writings of Hugo 
Falcandus, the " Tacitus of the Middle Ages " : " Constantia, the daughter 
of Sicily," said he, " nursed from her cradle in the pleasures and plenty, 
and educated in the art* and manners of this fortunate island, departed long 
since to enrich the Barbarians with our treasures, and she now returns with 
her savage allies to contaminate the beauties of her ancient parental land. 
Already do I behold the swarms of angry Barbarians ! Our opulent cities, 
places flourishing after a long peace, arc shaken with fear, desolated by 
slaughter, consumed by rapine, and polluted by intemperance and lust. 
I see our citizens massacred or reduced to bondage, and our virgins and 
our matrons raped." Had Falcandus lived eight centuries later he could 
not have written differently of the Germans in Belgium and Northern 
France and other lands also. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 73 

prisoners by the burghers. Eleven years later, when 
Rudolph of Hapsburg became Emperor, he confirmed 
all Strasburg's rights and privileges. 

A long period of contention between the city's 
old patrician families and its burgesses and artisans 
ensued ; but the Strasburgian Government assumed 
by degrees a more and more democratic, in fact a 
republican, character, which culminated at last in 
1482 at the time of Frederick the Pacific in a 
famous charter called the Schwcerbrief. It took this 
name from the provision it contained that once every 
year one and all should swear obedience to it. The 
constitution confirmed by this charter subsisted with 
very few changes down to the time of the French 
Revolution, for it was respected by even so imperious 
a monarch as Louis XIV. The municipal Senate 
consisted at first of forty-seven members that is, 
eight nobles, fourteen burgesses, and twenty-five 
artisans the full number afterwards being reduced 
to thirty members, ten nobles, and twenty representa- 
tives of the guilds or corporations. At the head of 
the administration were two Stettmeister (joint mayors, 
so to say) and an Ammeistcr, or chief officer of the 
guilds. The number of guilds was limited to twenty, 
each of which chose fifteen representatives known as 
echevins. These (300 altogether) formed a Grand 
Council. One may take the Senate as an Upper 
House or Court of Aldermen, and the Grand Council 
as a Lower House or Common Council. The executive 
was composed of three Chambers or Committees known 
respectively as the Thirteen, the Fifteen, and the 
Twenty-one. The members appear to have been 
named for life, one-third of them being nobles, and 
two-thirds belonging to the other classes. The Thir- 
teen had charge of the city's Foreign Policy, the 



74 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Fifteen dealt with Home Affairs, and the Twenty-one 
were in charge of religious and judicial matters. The 
organization may seem to have been somewhat intri- 
cate, but it was regarded in the old days as a master- 
piece of political wisdom, and Erasmus remarked 
that the little Republic of Stiasburg was the ideal 
of its kind. 

I have written at some length on this subject in 
view of some of the latter-day pretensions of Germany 
respecting Strasburg. The city emerged from the 
Middle Ages essentially as a Republic, acknowledging 
no personal rule w r hether on the part of its Bishop, 
or any Alsatian Landgrave, or any German Emperor, 
or, later, any King of France. If its constitution 
was somewhat complicated, this was devised precisely 
to prevent any one man from attempting despotic 
rule. It may be added that the constitution of 
Strasburg served as a model for several other .cities 
in the region of the Rhine. 

It is now necessary to revert to earlier times. 
During the interregnum which elapsed between the 
death of Rudolph of Hapsburg and the accession of 
Adolphus of Nassau (1291-92) the Alsatians clergy, 
nobles, and burgesses made an attempt to sever 
their connexion with the Empire and secure absolute 
independence. They were not sufficiently powerful, 
however, to effect their object ; but in 1354, with 
the assent of the Emperor Charles IV (of the house 
of Luxemburg), ten of the free towns Colmar, 
Haguenau, Kayserberg, Mulhouse, Miinster, Obernai, 
Rosheim, Schlestadt, Turkheim, and Weissenburg 
formed for mutual support a league known as the 
Decapolis. Unfortunately the contracting parties 
constituting this Confederation were often remiss in 
fulfilling their obligations notably in regard to Mul- 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 75 

house, which, being coveted by some of the Haps- 
burgs and others, vainly appealed to its allies for 
assistance on two principal occasions during the 
fifteenth century. Mulhouse ultimately turned for 
help to the Swiss, and, in gratitude to them, joined 
their Confederation in 1513, in such wise that it 
afterwards took no part in Alsatian affairs, and even 
escaped annexation by Louis XIV. Indeed, only 
in 1798 did this democratic little State, for such it 
was, sever of its own free wdll its connexion with 
Switzerland and give itself over to the French Republic. 
The withdrawal of Mulhouse from the Decapolis 
League (into which, by the way, Strasburg, satisfied 
with its own independence, never entered) led to 
the League's decline and demise in the course of the 
sixteenth century. 

The famous Black Plague, of which Boccaccio has 
left us such a vivid account in the " Decameron " 
in Italy alone during seven months of the year 1348 
it carried off 120,000 persons, including Boccaccio's 
Fiammetta soon spread to France, passed through 
the Rhone region, where Petrarch's Laura succumbed 
to it, and, in the following year, made its appearance 
as far north as Alsace. Strasburg did not escape 
infection, 16,000 of its inhabitants perished, and the 
survivors, blindly accusing the Jews who dwelt 
among them of being the authors of this pestilence, 
fell upon them and are said to have put 2000 to death, 
a number of these being burnt at the stake. Seven- 
teen years later (1365) came a so-called " English 
Invasion " of Alsace. The invaders were, however, 
really mercenaries of all nations, desperadoes of some 
of the so-called Great Companies at one time employed 
by Edward III and the Black Prince, but dismissed 
after the Peace of Bretigny. They ravaged the 



76 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Alsatian rural districts, and several towns found it 
difficult to keep them at bay. For some years bands 
of these soldiery roamed about the country, and in 
1375 a large force of them, or others of a similar 
stamp, was gathered together by a French noble 
who suddenly laid claim to Alsace, Aargau, and Brisgau 
the last named now a district of Baden. 

The reader may remember that during the present 
Great War the Germans wantonly destroyed, in the 
vicinity of Soissons, one of the finest ruined feudal 
castles of France, that of Coucy, the admiration of 
archaeologists in modern times. Erected in the thir- 
teenth century by Enguerrand III, Sire de Coucy, 
this castle was partly blown up by Mazarin during 
the second Fronde rebellion in 1652, and forty years 
later its majestic circular keep (187 feet in height and 
325 feet in circumference) was cleft from top to 
bottom (though its walls were 34 feet thick) by the 
shock of a great earthquake. Since then, until the 
German barbarians came, Coucy had been but an 
imposing picturesque ruin, without military import- 
ance, but highly interesting as a memorial of feudal 
times. I have recalled those facts because the noble 
who laid claim to Alsace in 1375 was Enguerrand VII, 
the last of the old Sires de Coucy. It will give an 
idea of the position to which that house attained if 
I mention that the mother of Enguerrand VII was 
a sister of Duke Leopold of Austria, a granddaughter 
of the Emperor Albert I, and a great-granddaughter 
of the famous Rudolph of Hapsburg. It was by 
virtue of this descent that Enguerrand laid claim to 
the Hapsburg domains and rights in Alsace and other 
parts. Enguerrand, moreover, had a Scottish grand- 
mother, a daughter or sister of the first of the Baliols, 
and, further, whilst he was residing in England as 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 77 

a hostage for King John of France, Edward III gave 
him his daughter Isabella in marriage and conferred 
on him the barony of Bedford and other lordships. 

Such was the international grand seigneur who 
suddenly descended upon Alsace with a number of 
soldiers of fortune to enforce his claim to " his 
mother's rights." His uncle, the Landgrave Duke 
Leopold of Austria, was taken by surprise, but he 
obtained assistance from the Swiss, and Enguerrand's 
motley bands of mercenaries were worsted in various 
encounters, with the result that the Pretender aban- 
doned his claims upon being granted the lordships of 
Baren and Nidau as fiches de consolation. Subse- 
quently, the King of France being his suzerain, 
Enguerrand fought (somewhat unwillingly) against 
the English in various parts. He died, leaving two 
daughters, one of whom conveyed the lordship of 
Coucy to the house of Bar, whence it passed to 
that of Luxemburg and ultimately to the French 
crown. 

I have had occasion more than once to refer to 
the Hapsburg connexion with Alsace, and before 
going further it is as well to explain matters rather 
more clearly, particularly as it was the Austrian 
house which ultimately ceded Alsace to France. It 
may be said then that whilst the Hapsburg power in 
the province began (as was mentioned on p. 69) 
with the appointment of sundry members of the 
family as landgraves under the emperors, it was 
chiefly by the acquisition of the county of Ferrette 
a locality situated in the extreme south of Alsace * 
that this power was consolidated. Ferrette was first 
held by a line of nobles originating with a certain 
Frederick, son of Thierry or Theodoric I, Count of 

* Seep. 45, ante. 



78 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Bar, Mousson, and Montbeliard. Originally the county 
of Ferrette included, besides that locality, both 
Altkirch and Thann, and some villages now in Switzer- 
land. In the thirteenth century the lordships of 
Florimond and Rougemont were added to Ferrette, 
and subsequently both Delle and Belfort passed to 
the same house. The fourth of its counts, a certain 
Ulrich, became involved in hostilities with one of 
the Bishops of Strasburg, to whom he ended by 
ceding Thann and a few other localities. The cession 
was witnessed by Albert I of Austria, who, under 
his father, the famous Emperor Rudolph, acted at 
the time as Landgrave of Alsace, where the family 
possessed some little lordships. Ultimately Albert I 
also became Holy Roman Emperor. Now in 1275 
Ulrich of Ferrette was succeeded by his son Theobald, 
and in 1310 by his grandson Ulrich II, who at his 
death was followed by his only child, a daughter 
named Joan. She was married to another Albert of 
Austria (who did not reign as Emperor), and to him, 
in March 1324, she conveyed her inheritance, he 
afterwards styling himself, " Dei Gratia Dux Austrise, 
Landgravius Alsatiae, nee non Comes Phirretarum." 
Joan's marriage was a scandalous affair, for her 
husband was notoriously impotent. She favoured 
several lovers, by one or another of whom she had 
three sons, named respectively Rudolph, Albert, and 
Leopold. In this wise she transmitted through the 
centuries a strain of bastardy to the Austrian Imperial 
House. Joan was also privy, in 1347, to the poison- 
ing of the Emperor Louis (or Ludwig) V of the 
Bavarian line. She died in 1351, her husband surviv- 
ing her for seven years, whereupon Ferrette devolved 
upon her son Rudolph. At his death in August 1365 
the county was inherited conjointly by his brothers, 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 79 

and from them it passed with its dependent lordships 
Cernay and Massevaux had been added to them 
to others of the house of Austria. 

During the interregnum which followed the death 
of the Emperor Albert II, Alsace was raided by bands 
of soldiery who had previously been in the pay of 
the Count d'Armagnac during his struggle with the 
house of Burgundy. Called Armagnacs in France, 
these impecunious mercenaries became known to 
the Alsatian peasantry as the Arme Gecken, or " Poor 
Scamps." In 1444 five years after their first irrup- 
tion they returned under the orders of the French 
Dauphin (afterwards Louis XI), who had engaged in 
hostilities with some of the Swiss. When the latter 
had been worsted at Saint-Jacques, it occurred to 
Louis' soldiers to pillage Alsace, the Emperor of the 
time, a certain Frederick the Pacific, being virtually 
powerless. But the confederate Alsatian towns rose 
up against the Arme Gecken, and in 1445 compelled 
them to evacuate the province. 

Twenty-two years later Charles the Rash * ascended 
the ducal throne of Burgundy, and in 1469 Sigismund, 
a Duke of Austria, and a needy one, sold to him the 
Landgraviate of Upper Alsace, together with all 
proprietary rights over the Sundgau, Brisgau (on the 
right bank of the Rhine), the county of Ferrette and 
its dependencies, for the sum of 80,000 florins in gold, 
it being stipulated that the inhabitants should retain 
all existing rights and privileges, and, further, that 
Sigismund or his heirs should be entitled to repurchase 
the lordships which were thus ceded. Charles, how- 
ever, conceived the brilliant idea of immediately 

* Most English writers call this prince Charles the Bold ; but Bash is 
by far the better term, for it accords more closely i oth with the French 
appellation Temeraire and with the iacts of Charles's career. 



80 THE TRUE STORY OF 

recouping himself for his outlay by emptying the 
pockets of his new subjects, and the exactions of his 
deputy, a certain Peter von Hagenbach, were terrible. 
Strasburg, Colmar, Schlestadt, and Basle at last 
offered to raise enough money to buy out Charles 
and his rights. But the Burgundian ruler rejected 
the offer, preferring to retain his hold on Alsace and, 
at the same time, bleed its people. 

His envoy Hagenbach, to rid himself of the 
notables who resisted his oppression, endeavoured to 
have them murdered, but his plot being discovered 
his person was seized, and trial and sentence to 
decapitation followed ; whereupon Charles in the 
first place dispatched Hagenbach's brother to Alsace 
to avenge him, and afterwards proceeded thither in 
person. Some thirty localities, small towns and 
villages, were pillaged and set on fire, but when 
Charles turned upon the Swiss allies of the Alsatians, 
their memorable victories over him at Morat and 
Grandson (1476) gave him full cause to regret his 
impetuous rashness. It is said that Duke Sigismund 
recovered his Alsatian lordships after Charles's death 
at the Battle of Nancy, but this is by no means clear. 
The preferable account seems to be that Charles's 
only daughter and heiress Marie of Burgundy brought 
these Alsatian possessions, together with the Free 
County of Burgundy (Franche-Comte), to her husband 
Maximilian of Austria, afterwards the Emperor Maxi- 
milian I. 

In those old days Alsace did not suffer only from 
the exactions of princes and the irruptions of dis- 
orderly soldiery ; its own peasant folk, at times no 
doubt with good reason, repeatedly rose against their 
lords. One rebellion of the kind occurred in 1403, 
and was followed by others in 1503, 1513, and 1525. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 81 

This last, the most serious of all, was largely of a 
religious character, being connected with the Ana- 
baptist movement which spread to Northern Alsace 
rom Westphalia and the Netherlands. Townships, 
villages, castles, and convents were attacked, taken, 
and pillaged, and Duke Anthony of Lorraine had to 
intervene in order to suppress the rebellion. The 
upshot was the Saverne affair referred to in a previous 
chapter * : the peasantry surrendering, giving up 
their weapons, and then being massacred without 
any regard for the conditions arrived at by the 
Duke's bloodthirsty German mercenaries. 

The Reformation was received with favour in 
many parts of Alsace. The Lutheran zealots of 
Strasburg at first failed, however, in their endeavour 
to prohibit the celebration of Mass at the cathedral 
and other Catholic churches, though, generally speak- 
ing, they gained the mastery in the city. On the 
other hand, in the Sundgau or Upper Alsace, over 
which the Hapsburgs held direct sway, the Emperor 
Charles V caused the Reformation to be put down 
most mercilessly. It is said that no fewer than six 
hundred converts to the new doctrines were burnt 
at the stake. Strasburg, however, defied the Emperor, 
and went so far as to join the famous Protestant 
League of Smalkalde, which for political reasons was 
aided and abetted by Catholic France, where Francis I 
was reigning. In 1547 the League was defeated at 
Mlihlberg, but another eight years elapsed before the 
Religious Peace of Augsburg re-established some 
degree of tranquillity. About half a century later 
trouble arose over the Bishopric of Strasburg, two 
would-be administrators of the see, which was vacant, 
contending with one another for the office by force 

* See pp. 33, 34, ante. 

V 



82 THE TRUE STORY OF 

of arms. On the one side was John George of Hohen- 
zollern, Elector of Brandenburg, and on the other 
Cardinal Charles of Lorraine. The so-called Bishop 
War bischofliche Krieg lasted for eight months, 
during which several Alsatian towns and villages were 
once again sacked and fired. Finally, on November 26, 
1604, a treaty was signed at Haguenau by which the 
Hohenzollern desisted from his claims in return for 
the payment of a lump sum of money as " indemnity," 
and an annual allowance for life out of the revenues 
of the see. He was a Lutheran, but, like the Hohen- 
zollern he also was, he did not object to pocketing 
Catholic gold. 

At last came the famous Thirty Years' War (1618- 
1648), due in part to the antagonism of Protestants 
and Catholics, and in part to the overweening ambition 
of the house of Austria and the apprehensions which 
this excited. It was for the second reason that 
France, although governed by a Prince of the Church, 
Cardinal Richelieu, took part in the struggle, at first 
more or less covertly by supporting the Swedish 
King Gustavus Adolphus, but afterwards by direct 
intervention. At one and another period of the 
contest Alsace became one of the chief battlefields 
where all the participants committed the issue to the 
decision of arms. Nearly all the Alsatian nobility 
declared for the Protestant cause, but the province 
generally was very divided, and horrible excesses 
ensued on the part of the rival combatants. One of 
the first commanders on the German Protestant side, 
Count Mansfeld, levied heavy contributions of war 
on many towns, slaughtered the inhabitants of 
Rosheim, and afterwards destroyed the place. In 
1632 a Swedish army under Count Gustavus Horn, 
after overruning a large part of Lorraine, penetrated 



A r L S A C E - L O R R A I N E 83 

into Alsace where the Duke of Lorraine was holding 
the town of Saverne. The Lorrainers, however, could 
not stop the Swedes, who took town after town, and 
entering the Catholic Sundgau butchered many (one 
account says 2000) of its peasantry. At last the 
Catholic or Imperial forces retained little beyond a 
portion of Lower Alsace, including the town of 
Haguenau. In 1634 the Imperialists were beaten by 
the Swedes at Wattwiller, and in the same year 
Bernard of Saxe-Weimar defeated Duke Charles of 
Lorraine at the Champ-des-Boeufs, otherwise Ochsen- 
feld, and afterwards occupied Thann. In the same 
year, however, the Swedes and the German Protestants 
under Horn and Bernard of Weimar suffered a severe 
reverse at Nordlingen in Bavaria, where the Impe- 
rialists were commanded by the future Emperor 
Ferdinand III and Cardinal Don Fernando, an Infant 
of Spain. 

After this engagement the Swedes found it impos- 
sible to retain possession of the towns they held in 
Alsace. They ceded them,* therefore, temporarily 
to France, by a treaty which was signed in Paris 
that same year, and which provided that France 
should transfer the towns in question to Bernard of 
Weimar whenever peace should ensue. It would 
appear that Bernard was acknowledged by France 
as Duke of Alsace, but as he died at Huningen in 
1639 the country was never actually under his full 
control, though it is true that after he had taken 
Brisach in 1637, and defeated the Imperialists at 
Wittenwihr and the Lorrainers at Cemay, he occupied 
virtually all the territory excepting the towns which 
Richelieu had garrisoned with French troops. Among 

* That is, with the exception of Benfeld, which the Swedes subsequently 
transferred to the Bishop of Strasburg. 



84 THE TRUE STORY OF 

these towns was Saverne, which a force under Cardinal 
de Lavalette (prelates had no scruples about fighting 
in those days) captured in 1636. 

Hostilities were prolonged for some nine years 
after the death of Bernard of Weimar. France took 
a more and more prominent part in the great struggle 
in order to prevent the establishment of Austrian 
hegemony over Europe. The Emperor Ferdinand II, 
whose ambition and hatred of Protestantism had 
first lighted the torches of war, was dead, and his 
son Ferdinand III reigned in his place. Gustavus 
Adolphus had long since fallen on the field of Liitzen ; 
Wallenstein, his greatest adversary, had been assas- 
sinated with the connivance of his jealous sovereign ; 
Horn was still alive, but Baner, the most terrible of 
the Swedish commanders, had preceded both Richelieu 
and Louis XIII to the grave. Louis XIV was but a 
young lad, reigning under the regency of his mother, 
Anne of Austria, who, in all probability, was secretly 
married to her principal Minister, Cardinal Mazarin. 
Yet, though many high and mighty personages had 
joined the majority and been replaced by others, 
though millions of combatants and non-combat- 
ants had been slain, though scores of towns and 
many hundreds of villages had been sacked and 
at times set on fire, though countless acres of 
fertile land lay waste, though burgesses starved 
beside their empty larders and hinds in their 
wretched huts, the Great War, which was to decide 
whether the Hapsburg (like the Hohenzollern to-day) 
should or should not be the Master of Europe, still 
continued. 

In Alsace, by reason of the conspicuous and, one 
may add, sanguinary share of the Swedes in the 
struggle there, the war became known particularly 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 85 

as the Schwedenkrieg, and so terrible was the deso- 
lation it brought with it, so many and so ghastly 
were the tales of horror and infamy handed down 
in later days from father to son, through successive 
generations, that the memory of it was still often 
evoked in towns and in villages, on the Rhenish 
plain and on the Vosgian slopes, beside the rivulets 
coursing through the sequestered valleys, and in the 
dim depths of the great forest lands, even until the 
times in which we ourselves live. The Revolutionary 
and Napoleonic Wars left no such deep impression 
on the bulk of the Alsatians, though they shared the 
sufferings of that period ; it needed the Deutschenkrieg 
of 1870 and all which then occurred to bedim the 
fireside traditions lingering from the days of the great 
Swedish- Austrian contest. 

At last the victories of Freiburg and Nordlingen 
gained by Conde and Turenne over the Imperialists 
under Count Mercy, who fell in the last-mentioned 
battle, prepared the way for peace, though this was 
only finally concluded in 1648, after years of confer- 
ence and discussion at Osnabriick. The Treaty of 
Westphalia or Minister, as it is diversely called (it 
was signed in the old town hall of Miinster), provided 
for the enlargement of the territories of the North 
German princes, gave them and their subjects liberty 
of religion, and the right to enter into alliances with 
foreign States. Austrian domination in Germany 
thus received a very severe check. With respect to 
France, the Emperor Ferdinand III ceded to King 
Louis XIV (then ten years of age) the town and 
fortress of Breisach,* the Landgraviate of Upper and 
Lower Alsace, the Sundgau, inclusive of the county 
of Ferrette, all prefectoral rights over ten Imperial 

* See p. 41, ante. 



86 THE TRUE STORY OF 

towns, and likewise transferred to him all authority 
in respect to the Bishops of Strasburg and Basle, the 
Abbots of Lure, Andlau, Munster, etc., the Counts of 
Fleckenstein and Lichtenberg, and all others of the 
nobility who had been immediate vassals of the 
Empire. Briefly, the entire Hapsburg suzerainty over 
Alsace passed to the Crown of France, the historic 
rights and customs of the inhabitants being at the 
same time confirmed to them. Strasburg was excepted 
from the treaty (apart from the transfer of authority 
over the Bishop) and remained a Free City of the 
Empire with its Republican constitution. Further, 
Mulhouse was not included, as it had become part of 
the Swiss Confederation. 

Several clauses of the treaty were very vaguely 
worded, and led to contestation. Somewhat later, 
therefore, an instrument was signed at Osnabriick 
by which the old Treaties of Passau (1552) and Augs- 
burg (1555) were confirmed, in order that there might 
be full liberty of conscience in Alsace. With respect 
to ecclesiastical property it was decided that each 
party (Catholic and Protestant) should retain what 
it had possessed at the beginning of the year 1624. 
Such then were the conditions under which Alsace, 
excepting Strasburg and Mulhouse, became a province 
of France. 

Nevertheless, the settlement was not definitive. 
The next of the Germanic Emperors, Leopold I, en- 
deavoured to upset it, and Alsace was invaded by 
Imperialist forces. They were expelled by Turenne 
after his victory at Tiirkheim on January 5, 1675, 
and four years later the Treaty of Nimeguen con- 
firmed France in her possession of Alsace. This was 
again confirmed by the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697, 
and yet again by the Treaty of Rastadt in 1714, 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 87 

Charles VI, the father of the famous Maria Theresa, 
then having become Emperor. The Ryswick Treaty, 
by the way, expressly confirmed the annexation of 
Strasburg to France, which had taken place in 1681 
under circumstances which I shall soon narrate. 
With regard to the county of Ferrette, the real source 
of the Austrian dominion in Alsace, the Bishop of 
Basle raised a preposterous claim to this lordship, 
but in December 1659, after the Treaty of the Pyrenees, 
Louis XIV bestowed it, with Belfort, Thann, Alt- 
kirch, and Isenheim, on Cardinal Mazarin, reserving 
to himself only rights of sovereignty. From Mazarin 
the seigneuries in question passed to his niece, Hortense 
Mancini, and her husband, on whose death in 1713 
they reverted to the French Crown. 

Yet another matter of interest and not without 
importance must be mentioned here. At the time 
of the Treaty of Westphalia the actual Landgrave 
of Alsace under the Emperor Ferdinand III was an 
Austrian Archduke named Ferdinand Charles, a young 
man of twenty or thereabouts at the date of the 
treaty. In order to compensate him for the rights 
which this instrument extinguished, Louis XIV, or 
rather his Minister, Mazarin, offered to pay him the 
sum of three million limes tournois, which, as a lime 
tournois was equivalent to about three-quarters of a 
lime parisis* must have represented about 100,000 
of our money a large sum in those days. When in 
1659 the Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed between 
France and Spain, Philip IV, sovereign of the latter 
country and a Hapsburg by his descent from the 
Emperor Charles V, renounced for himself and his 
successors all contingent claims on Alsace proper, 
the Sundgau, and Ferrette, and that point being 

* Livres of Tours and livres of Paris. 



88 THE TRUE STORY OF 

settled Mazarin, on behalf of Louis XIV, promised to 
pay the 100,000 to Archduke Ferdinand Charles in 
five instalments to be spread over a period of three 
years. The Archduke died, however, at Innsbruck, 
in the Tyrol, on December 30, 1662, leaving no issue 
by his wife Anne, daughter of Cosmo II de' Medici, 
Grand Duke of Tuscany * ; and at that date at 
least the bulk of the money due to him from France 
had not yet been paid. In December the following 
year, however, it was remitted to his brother and 
heir, Archduke Sigismund Francis, who had been a 
party to the covenant ; and receipts for the three 
million lime s tournois are still preserved in the National 
Archives of France. Thus all claims of any descrip- 
tion which might have been urged in respect to 
Alsace by any member of the Imperial Family were 
extinguished, and no prince of that family ever after- 
wards assumed any Alsatian title. 

It is true, however, that the Bishop of Strasburg 
protested against the clause of the Treaty of West- 
phalia which virtually transferred his see from 
Germany to France. The motive of this protest may 
be easily fathomed. The prelate was a member of 
the Imperial family a certain Leopold William of 
Austria. These Hapsburgs were a very proud set 
of men, particularly vain of their lineage and the 
rank to w r hich they had risen. Their descent cannot 
be traced back w r ith exactitude farther than the 
time of Albert the Rich, who was favoured by Frederick 
Barbarossa in the twelfth century ; but although 
several spurious genealogies of the house have been 
concocted at various periods some forgers connect- 

* The mother of Ferdinand Charles was also a Medici, married to Archduke 
Leopold V. The Austrian pretensions to Tuscany originated in some of these 
matrimonial alliances. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 89 

ing it with the first house of Lorraine, others with 
Etichon, the early Duke of Alsace, others with the 
Zaeringen line, yet others with the Pierleoni, and one 
with the Scipios of ancient Rome they are known 
to have existed about the year 1000, when, indeed, 
a scion of the family, a certain Wernher, became 
Bishop of Strasburg.* 

In the course of centuries that see became an 
important one. Those who held it were Prince- 
Bishop-Electors of the Empire, and in the general 
Diet occupied the tenth place (between the Bishops 
of Speyer and Constance) in the first row of seats 
allotted to the College of Princes. It follows that 
Leopold William, Bishop of Strasburg at the time of 
the Peace of Westphalia, was by no means inclined 
to become a subject of the French Crown. Thus he 
protested loudly against the transfer of his benefice, 
and was not pacified until His Most Christian but 
very youthful Majesty Louis XIV who, throughout 
his long career, showed a great respect for bishops 
unless they presumptuously endeavoured to thwart 
his personal passions graciously signified that he 
would renounce this particular stipulation in the 
Treaty of Minister, and leave Leopold William in his 
dignity as a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire. 
Thus, for the time being, was the matter settled. It 
should, by the by, be noted that the Cathedral of 
Strasburg had been turned long previously into a 
Protestant church in spite of the protests of successive 
prelates, and that the town of Molsheim had become 
de facto the seat of the episcopal see. 

* The reader may be reminded that the historic ruined castle of Hapsburg, 
which would appear to be of a much later date than the family's origin, 
stands on the Walpelsberg above Schinznach, in the canton of Argovia, 
Switzerland. 



90 ALSACE-LORRAINE 

There remains still one important matter to be 
mentioned in connexion with the Treaty of Westphalia, 
one conveniently overlooked by many German writers. 
Alsace, with the exception of the Republics of Strasburg 
and Mulhouse, became a party to this treaty. The 
Emperor Ferdinand vainly tried to prevent what he 
regarded as an act of presumption. His opposition was 
disregarded. The imperial suzerainty over Alsace had 
long been only nominal. Thus a certain Dr. Mark Otton 
(or Otto) was dispatched to Miinster as Alsatian envoy, 
and signed the conventions. This fact clearly indicates! 
the willingness of the bulk of the Alsatians to become} 
definitely united to France. I shall soon show that in \ 
course of time Strasburg and, subsequently, Mulhouse \ 
followed the example of the rest of the province. 



IV 
ALSATIAN HISTORY 

(FROM THE PEACE OF WESTPHALIA TO THE WAR OF 1870) 

Strasburg united to France : Dietrich the Ammeister : The Curious 
Mission of the Count de Chamilly : The Convention between France 
and the Strasburg Authorities : The Edict of Nantes and the Persecu- 
tion of Dietrich : The Condition of Alsace under the Old Regime : 
The Great Revolution in Alsace : Schneider the Franciscan : Commis- 
saries Saint- Just and Lebas : Mul house chooses French Nationality : 
The Napoleonic Era in Alsace : The Bourbon Restoration : The 
Conspiracy of Belfort : The Reign of Louis Philippe : The future 
Napoleon III at Strasburg : Austrian Threats to seize Alsace : The 
Coup d'Etat and the Second Empire : Prussia and Neufchatel : 
Bismarck's Threat to Alsace : Last Years of the Second Empire. 

IN 1672 Germany and Spain, alarmed by the successes 
of Louis XIV in his war with Holland, invaded Upper 
Alsace and took up winter quarters there. The 
" Republic of Strasburg " resolved to preserve neu- 
trality, but according to the French this was not 
scrupulously observed, the citizens, it was said, allowing 
the Imperialists to make use of the bridge across the 
Rhine. Turenne, therefore, in the course of his 
operations endeavoured to seize a redoubt constituting 
a tete de pont, but the burghers defended themselves 
so vigorously that the French abandoned the enter- 
prise, and Turenne afterwards promised to respect 
the town's neutrality. He eventually drove the Im- 
perialists out of Alsace by his victories at Tiirkheim 
and Ensisheim, but was killed on July 27 that same 
year 1675 by a cannon-ball at Salzbach. Montecu- 
culli, the Imperialist commander, afterwards inflicted 

91 



92 THE TRUE STORY OF 

some reverses on the French, and the German forces, 
returning to Alsace, besieged Saverne and Haguenau. 
The great Conde at last threw them across the Rhine 
again, but before that was accomplished he attempted 
some negotiations with Strasburg, dispatching thither 
as his envoy a certain Marquis de Laloubere, who 
endeavoured to induce the burgesses to transfer the 
tele de pout to the French, in order to prevent any 
further irruption of the enemy from across the Rhine 
at this point. 

The town's Ammeister chief of the guilds and 
magistrate was then Dominic Dietrich, a Lorrainer 
by origin, whom the religious intolerance of the times 
(he was a convinced Protestant) had driven from 
his native town of Saint-Nicolas near Nancy. He 
listened to Laloubere's suggestions, but, realizing 
that the transfer of the tete de pout to the French 
might well compromise the independence of Strasburg, 
he would not consent to it, but assumed command of 
the redoubt in person. Subsequently, however, when 
Marshal de Crequi had succeeded Conde, one of his 
lieutenants, the Baron de Montclar, captured the 
redoubt at Kehl facing Strasburg on- the other side 
of the Rhine and set the bridge on fire this being 
done to prevent the Imperialists from again using the 
bridge and to punish Strasburg for its alleged breaches 
of neutrality in that respect. At the same time fresh 
endeavours were made to win the authorities of the 
town over to the French cause. The war fluctuated 
for some while longer, but eventually, in 1678, the 
peace of Nimeguen was signed, and Strasburg thought 
its cherished independence secured. 

Two years later Louis XIV instituted some special 
chambers (chambres de reunion) of the parlements of 
Metz, Brisach, and Besanon, and commissioned them 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 93 

to inquire into the status of the fiefs, townships, 
and landed estates of Alsace, the Three Bishoprics, 
Franche-Comte, and French Flanders provinces ceded 
to his crown in recent years, but where a certain 
number of nobles, municipalities, and others still 
claimed to be attached in one or another way to the 
Holy Roman Empire. An end was put to these 
anomalies in numerous instances, but the question of 
Strasburg remained. The town, with the neighbour- 
ing lands which it owned, claimed to be independent, 
yet still acknowledged the suzerainty of the Emperor. 
However, a certain Frischmann was appointed French 
Resident there, and gradually won the Bishop and the 
Grand Chapter over to the side of France. There 
can be no doubt that one of the chief inducements 
held out to these ecclesiastics was the restoration of 
the cathedral to the Catholic see. This Leopold 
William of Austria having died in 1662 was now held 
by Franz Egon von Fiirstenberg, who, in order to 
regain possession of property belonging to his Church, 
proved much more accommodating than his prede- 
cessor. Moreover, Frischmann, who installed a chapel 
in his house, gained over certain prominent Protestants 
of Strasburg and even induced them to abjure their 
religion. Among these folk were a certain Gauzer or 
Giinzer, secretary of the Senate, and a man named 
Obrecht, whose father, having committed some crime 
or other, is said to have suffered the extreme penalty, 
on which account the son detested the Ammeister 
Dietrich. The last named had repeatedly given proof 
of his desire to preserve the town's independence 
unimpaired, but he at last entered into the views of 
those who favoured union with France. 

Secret negotiations proceeded, and meantime, 
ostensibly for the purpose of enforcing certain de- 



94 THE TRUE STORY OF 

cisions of the previously mentioned chambres de 
reunion, Louvois, who had become Louis XIV's 
Secretary of State, strongly reinforced the troops 
which were garrisoned in Alsace under the command 
of that same General de Montclar who some years 
previously had fired the bridge of Kehl. It may be 
taken, I think, that the reinforcement of Montclar's 
troops was designed more to provide for eventualities 
should war ensue with Germany than to impose 
surrender on Strasburg, for there are many indications 
that Louvois (however imperious his nature may have 
been) did not desire to use force against the town, 
but wished to win it over by negotiation. 

There is a romantic, in some respects perhaps 
fabulous, but in any case interesting story respecting 
the negotiations, which may be repeated here. Among 
the French generals of the time there was a certain 
Noel Bouton, Comte de Chamilly, who had fought 
bravely and successfully in several campaigns. He 
was a tall, handsome, well-built man, and being at 
one time in Portugal he there attracted the attention 
of a beautiful young nun, who addressed to him some 
of the most ardently passionate letters existing in the 
epistolary literature of any nation. Chamilly replied 
to the young person in an equally fervid strain, but as 
he was recalled to France the correspondence was not 
of long duration. He appears to have boasted about 
his adventure on his return home, and to have shown 
his inamorata's effusions to his friends. Such was the 
origin of the famous " Lettres Portuguaises " trans- 
lated into English, I believe, as the " Letters of a 
Portuguese Nun " a few of them being held quite 
authentic, whilst others are regarded as concoctions. 
Chamilly may well be censured for circulating his 
billets-doux, but according to the memoirs of that 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 95 

venomous prig, the self -admiring Duke de Saint- 
Simon, he was so grossly stupid and so ponderously 
beefy that it was incredible any woman should ever 
have loved him, or that he should have had any 
talent at all for warfare. The Duke asserts that 
Chamilly's wife accompanied him wherever he went 
in order to assist him with her brains, but it is quite as 
likely that she was extremely jealous of him, and did 
not wish him to succumb to the fascinations of any 
other woman, Portuguese nun or otherwise. How- 
ever that may be, one day in 1684, when Chamilly 
was without a command, Louvois sent for him, and 
said that he wished him to go to Basle at once. The 
journey would take three days, and on the fourth, at 
two o'clock in the afternoon, he was to repair to the 
bridge spanning the Rhine, and carefully note in 
writing every incident he might observe there, how- 
ever insignificant this incident might be. At four 
o'clock he was to take his coach again, and return to 
Versailles with the utmost dispatch. At whatever 
hour he might arrive Louvois would be ready to 
receive him. 

Without asking any questions, for he well knew 
the Minister's disposition, Chamilly went his way and 
installed himself on the bridge at Basle. The first 
person whom he saw crossing it was a woman carrying 
some baskets of fruit. Next a horseman rode by. 
Afterwards some ragged peasants passed. Then came 
some heavily laden porters, and at last, at 3 p.m. or 
thereabouts, a man in yellow coat and breeches 
appeared, and, approaching the parapet near the 
centre of the bridge, gazed for some minutes at the 
water. At last, suddenly stepping back, he rapped the 
masonry three times with a stout stick, and then 
walked away. Later, other people, men and women 



96 THE TRUE STORY OF 

of all sorts and conditions, passed over the bridge, 
but at four o'clock Chamilly's coach drove up and he 
sprang into it and was soon rolling away from Basle. 
He had noted down all that he had seen, but could not 
imagine how any such trivial incidents could possibly 
interest Louvois. To his thinking either the Minister 
had made a fool of him, or else something which it was 
thought he would witness had not occurred. 

Nevertheless he carried out all his instructions. 
It was nearly midnight on the third day when he 
reached Versailles, but he at once waited upon Louvois, 
who received him eagerly, and without asking any 
questions hastily perused the notes which had been 
jotted down on the bridge. When the Minister came 
to the account of the man in yellow he raised an 
exclamation of delight, and although the King had 
retired some time previously he went to his apartments, 
caused him to be awakened, and told him that the 
authorities of Strasburg were willing to come under 
his rule, but wished it to appear that they surrendered 
to force. 

One is led to infer from this story, not altogether 
unworthy of the great Dumas, that the man in yellow 
was Gauzer or Giinzer, the secretary of the Senate of 
Strasburg, who is known to have quitted the town 
about this time on a so-called " mysterious journey." 
Apprehensive of the many German spies in Alsace, he 
was unwilling to have any interview there with a 
French emissary, and therefore proceeded to Basle to 
signify in an indirect but prearranged manner that 
the principle of French sovereignty was accepted. 
For the rest, the town laid down its ow r n terms, which 
with certain reserves, none of great importance, were 
accepted by France. In Appendix B to this volume 
will be found the full text of the " Articles proposed by 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 97 

the Praetors, Consuls, and Magistrate of the Town of 
Strasburg," with the annotations and reserves of the 
French plenipotentiaries, who were Louvois and General 
de Montclar. 

The former, in order to conduct the final negotia- 
tions, repaired in all haste to Alsace, and installed 
himself at Hlkirch, a few miles south of Strasburg, 
in an old pargeted, high-roofed house, with peaked 
corner turrets, which, I believe, still exists. Some 
points of interest in connexion with the historical 
document given in the Appendix may be discussed 
here. A certain discrepancy in dates will be observed. 
At the outset the t<k articles " are said to have been 
proposed on September 30, 1681. That is not so. 
September 30 was the date when the final ratifica- 
tion by Louis XIV was signified, the date when 
the convention became really binding; and it was 
doubtless for this reason that it was prefixed to the 
text I give. But the Proposals were made by the 
authorities of Strasburg twenty days previously. 
Above the signatures appear the words : " Done at 
Illkirch, September 10, 1681." In the preamble 
Louvois and Montclar promise the royal ratification 
within ten days' time, but it must have been delayed, 
as it seems to have been formally announced only on 
the 30th. 

Another point is this : If the authorities of Stras- 
burg desired the French to make a show of force it was 
to save their faces in various respects. There was, 
first, the fear of drawing upon the town the resent- 
ment of Germany, for, although, as I have shown, 
Strasburg had possessed for three centuries and more 
a constitution which practically made it independent, 
it still ranked as a Free City of the Empire, and held, 
municipally as well as ecclesiastically, certain lands 



98 THE TRUE STORY OF 

on the right bank of the Rhine that is, in what may 
be well called German territory. One could hardly ex- 
pect, then, that the Emperor (at that time Leopold I) 
would view with equanimity Strasburg's incor- 
poration with France. He might even declare war, 
and, as I previously remarked, if Montclar had a 
strong force of troops at his disposal it was largely 
to enable that eventuality to be met. A great army 
was not required for the sole purpose of blockading 
Strasburg. 

Further, the authorities of the town desired to 
save their faces in respect to those of their own com- 
patriots who did not wish to sever the German con- 
nexion. It is certain that many people were per- 
plexed respecting the best course to pursue. Ques- 
tions of race, manners and customs, and religion 
tended to divide opinion. In the first respect it 
should be said that the Alsatians, generally, never 
identified themselves with the Germans dwelling across 
the Rhine. They applied to the latter the same 
contemptuous appellation of Schwab which one finds 
prevailing still to-day among the Magyars of Hungary. 
They, the Alsatians, were a mixed breed in which 
Celtic, Roman, and other elements were blended with a 
Germanic one. In the last named, moreover, there 
existed a Frankish strain, differing in various respects 
from other German strains. It may be said of the 
Dutch and the Flemings that they belong more or less 
to the Germanic family of races, yet are not Germans, 
and, indeed, generally resent being likened to them. 
Much the same remark may be applied to the Alsatians, 
whose affinities, particularly in Upper Alsace, linked 
them more to the German elements of the Swiss 
population than to the people of Germany proper. 
German invasions and German domination had 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 99 

undoubtedly left their mark upon Alsace, but its 
inhabitants retained distinct characteristics of their 
own. I shall have something to say about their 
various dialects in another chapter, here I need only 
mention that Alsatian German was by no means 
readily understood across the Rhine. 

With respect to the position at the time of the 
incorporation of Strasburg with France there is 
reason to think that what most tended to divide 
public opinion was religion, on which subject, both 
among Catholics and among Protestants, much in- 
tolerance prevailed. The question of uniformity of 
religion was then still largely regarded by communities 
as being more important than that of nationality, a 
man's nationality often being determined by his creed. 
It is well known that many French Protestants left 
their country and became foreigners long before the 
Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Now both the 
Emperor and the King of France were Catholics, but 
whilst there were several powerful Protestant Princes 
in Germany, there was none in France, where, more- 
over, the rights and privileges conferred on Protestants 
by the Edict of Nantes, that act of wisdom emanating 
from Henri IV, had been gradually, but steadily, 
curtailed by his grandson Louis XIV. That must 
have appeared ominous to the Alsatian Protestants, 
but although since the Peace of Westphalia prose- 
lytism had been practised in their midst, in an in- 
creasing degree, by the Catholic clergy and others, 
and although the favours of Louis XIV's officials went 
generally to Catholics, there does not appear to have 
been so far any governmental interference with religious 
liberty in Alsace. Protected as they were by the 
solemn treaties of Minister and Osnabriick,the Alsatian 
Protestants can hardly have imagined that before 



100 THE TRUE STORY OF 

long their right to worship as they pleased would be 
very seriously threatened. 

Yet, on the whole, from the religious standpoint the 
question whether Strasburg should belong to France 
or to Germany was a perplexing one for many of its 
burghers. The officials who negotiated with Louvois 
must have realized that in any case the French would 
desire to restore the cathedral to the Catholic clergy. 
It will be observed that in Clause III of the town's Pro- 
posals this edifice is not specifically mentioned among 
the ecclesiastical buildings of which the Protestants 
wished to retain possession. Louvois' annotation to 
this clause is designed to make the question of the 
cathedral's future quite clear. 

Whilst Strasburg at that time contained partisans 
of France and partisans of Germany, there were also 
many folk who wished the town to retain its indepen- 
dence unimpaired. Dietrich, the Ammeister, had long 
been one of them, but the recent wars had shown 
how very difficult it was for such a comparatively 
small community to ensure respect for its neutrality 
amidst the contentions of great powers. In that 
connexion one cannot help thinking of Belgium 
and all her cruel misfortunes. 

I have said enough to show the reader that all 
sorts of reasons the fear of German enmity and of 
possible protests on the part of citizens influenced by 
considerations of religion and independence com- 
bined to induce the Strasburg authorities to require 
on the French side a show of force, which would make 
it appear that they yielded to sheer necessity. For 
the rest, the Proposals of the town's representatives 
prove how jealously they provided for the maintenance 
of the old constitution, religious liberty, the old 
privileges, rights, and revenues. At no moment was 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 101 

there any question of an unconditional sitfrencler, 
and historians have again and again misrepresented 
the facts by asserting that Strasburg was seized in 
an arbitrary fashion and in defiance of all right. 

The proposals of Illkirch having been submitted on 
September 10, and sent with Louvois' annotations to 
Louis XIV for ratification, matters remained virtually 
in stain quo until the night of the 27th, by which time, 
probably, the ratification had arrived. In any case 
it was then that various detachments of Montclar's 
troops invested that part of Strasburg' s fortifications 
a redoubt which was nearest to the Rhine, and seized 
the tele de pont. On the following day, apparently, 
some of the soldiers entered the town. There w r ere 
cannon on the ramparts, but no attempt was, or could 
be, made to use them, for the authorities had carefully 
kept the gunpowder under lock and key, in order to 
prevent any impulsive burghers from endeavouring to 
resist the entry of the French. Finally, on September 
30, the royal ratification of the Illkirch Proposals was 
delivered to the town officials. Thus Strasburg passed 
to the Crown of France. 

Louis XIV is said to have arrived there on the 
ensuing October 23, when, it would appear, the cathe- 
dral was handed over to the Bishop* ; but Edouard 
Siebecker, a prominent Alsatian writer of the last 
generation, tells us that the King only saw the town 
from the outside, being unwilling to enter it on account 
of the religious stipulations contained in the conven- 
tion. If that be correct, the King's attitude already 
foreshadowed future trouble. The municipality of 
course continued in office, but a royal military governor 
was appointed, the post being assigned to the M. de 

* Franz Egon von Fiirstenberg, who was succeeded in 1685 by his 
brother Wilhelm. 



102 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Chamilly whose more or less authentic expedition to 
Basle the reader will remember. About the same 
time the genius of Vauban was requisitioned to 
strengthen and increase the city's fortifications. 
Those then existing they were the work of a skilful 
local engineer named Daniel Speckle were already 
considerable, but Vauban added to them and built 
the citadel. There is a story that some time after- 
wards a German spy came to Strasburg to ascertain 
what the new defences might be like. Chamilly is 
said to have guessed his mission, and to have shown 
him over every bastion and casemate, after which he 
wished him a bon voyage, saying : " Now, monsieur, 
on your return to your master, the Emperor, you will 
be able to tell him that Strasburg is henceforth 
impregnable ! " 

It may well have been so in those days. What- 
ever we may think of Vauban' s many fortifications 
now, when the art of warfare has undergone such 
vast changes, they were the most perfect of their 
kind in the age to which this man of genius belonged, 
and, indeed, they rendered good service for a long 
time afterwards. To Vauban was allotted the great 
task of making all the frontiers of France secure, and 
according to his scheme Lille, Metz, and Strasburg 
became three mainstays of the country's defence. 
He built the fortresses of Huningen and Belfort to 
check any invasion coming from the direction of 
Basle ; Phalsbourg was designed to close the northern 
defiles of the Vosges ; the works of Landau, then a 
French possession, were an answer to those of Philipps- 
burg; whilst those of Ney's birthplace, Sarrelouis 
filched by the Prussians in 1815 protected the gap 
in the frontier between the Vosges and the Moselle. 
Central Europe became alarmed by Vauban's activity, 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 103 

rumours of war again arose, particularly as the Em- 
peror felt extremely sore on the subject of Strasburg; 
but a truce was patched up at Ratisbon, and was 
to have lasted for twenty years, during which the 
Empire agreed to leave the capital of Alsace in the 
possession of France. As we shall see, however, the 
truce was only a brief one. 

In 1685 Louis, yielding to the combined influence 
of his wife La Maintenon, whom he had married 
secretly the previous year, his reverend father con- 
fessor, and his Chancellor, Louvois' father, capped 
all the previous mistakes of his reign by a more 
stupendous one. To the lasting detriment of the 
French nation he revoked the Edict of Nantes. The 
Alsatian Protestants still imagined themselves pro- 
tected by the covenants of Minister and Osnabriick, 
but the royal intendant, a man named La Grange, as 
fanatically bigoted as was his master, did his utmost 
to extirpate " heresy." Moreover, shoals of Jesuits 
and Capuchins descended on the province, scoured 
the countrysides, and frightened whole villages into 
abjuration, in such wise that before very long the 
proportion of Protestants in Alsace dwindled from 
two-thirds to a quarter of the population. Many 
folk emigrated to Switzerland and some even to 
Germany. 

At the time of the Revocation, Dietrich, the 
Ammeister of Strasburg, was summoned to Versailles. 
It was known that he had contributed powerfully to 
the town's incorporation with France. His example, 
in giving up the idea of independence, had then 
exercised the greatest influence on many of his fellow- 
citizens. But he was a sturdy Protestant, and if 
Versailles so particularly desired that he should 
abjure his religious faith it was in the hope that his 



104 THE TRUE STORY OF 

example in this respect would again influence the 
people of Strasburg to follow in his steps. Promises 
were made to him, and when promises failed threats 
were tried, but nothing moved him. At last the 
exasperated, bigoted King caused him to be interned 
at Gueret (Creuse department), and there, in physical 
and mental suffering, he spent four weary years. 
When he was allowed to return to Strasburg it was 
only on the strict condition that he should not stir 
from his house, and that he should see nobody except- 
ing the members of his own family. In this seclusion 
he had to remain until 1692, at which time he was 
seventy-two years old. More liberty was then allowed 
him, but on March 9, 1694, he passed away. In such 
wise were old-time fanatical and tyrannical kings only 
too apt to treat those to whom they were indebted for 
signal services. 

By revoking the Edict of Nantes, however, 
Louis XIV had once more lighted the torch of war. 
In 1686, at the instigation of our Dutch William, 
the famous Augsburg League was formed. Many 
German Princes entered it as well as the Empire and 
Spain and Sweden. Hostilities did not begin until 
two years later, but they were only terminated in 
1697 by the Treaty of Ryswick, which instrument, by 
the way, confirmed the French King in the possession 
of Strasburg as well as the other parts of Alsace 
Mulhouse still excepted. Later, during the same 
reign, came the war of the Spanish Succession (1701- 
1714), during which the Imperialists again penetrated 
into some parts of Alsace, besieged and took Haguenau, 
and levied heavy contributions until they were ex- 
pelled by Marshal Villars. 

In spite of wars and religious persecutions the 
material prosperity of Alsace increased in Louis XIV's 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 105 

time.* Commerce expanded considerably during the 
ten years which elapsed between the Dutch and the 
Augsburg wars, and among the aristocracy, the 
upper bourgeoisie, and people of the educated classes 
generally, when these were Catholics, French ideas, 
tastes, and customs became more and more diffused, 
the literature of the grand siecle being particularly 
in great request. Only the narrow, bigoted policy of 
the King prevented a similar movement among the 
Alsatian Protestants. In the circumstances they were 
constrained to remain apart, and in their semi-seclu- 
sion the use of Germanic dialects and the practice of 
more or less Germanic customs persisted. 

With respect to religious matters Louis XV's reign 
brought only one change of any importance, and that 
was more of a political character than anything else. 
By the Peace of Ryswick the see of Strasburg had 
been separated from the Empire, the Bishop ceasing 
to exercise any jurisdiction over the see's tempor- 
alities on the right bank of the Rhine ; but in 1724, 
when the Duke of Bourbon was chief Minister in 
France, an arrangement was arrived at with the 
Empire by which the prelate was re-established in the 
aforesaid jurisdiction, with the right to sit and vote 
in the Diet by virtue of his German possessions. An 
extraordinary state of affairs again ensued. On the 
one hand the Bishop was and remained a member of 
the French Episcopacy, on the other he was at the 
same time a Prince-Bishop-Elector of the Empire. 
The anomaly was increased by the fact that since 1704 

* At an early period of his reign Louis XIV substituted for the archducal 
regency of Ensisheim a royal Council at Brisach, whose judgments were 
sovereign. In 1698 this Council was transferred to Colmar. Its decrees 
began as follows : " We, the Governors and Councillors of the Council of 
Alsace and the Lands dependent thereon, as established by His Most Christian 
Majesty the King of France and Navarre, hereby signify and decree," etc. 



106 THE TRUE STORY OF 

the Bishop of Strasburg had been Armand Gaston of 
Rohan-Soubise, who by birth and lineage had no 
connexion whatever with Germany. Until the French 
Revolution the Strasburg bishopric became, as it were, 
a family fief of the Rohans, for three more of them 
followed Armand Gaston, the last being the Cardinal 
who was involved in the Diamond Necklace scandal. 
Thus four members of this famous Breton house 
became ex-officio Electors of the Empire. 

The year 1741 brought with it the war of the 
Austrian Succession and an irruption of wild Hun- 
garian cavalry into Alsace. The " Pandour alarm " 
(Pandurenldrm) scared many of the villagers, but 
when Menzel, who commanded these barbaric horse- 
men, issued a manifesto peremptorily summoning the 
Alsatians to return to their allegiance to the Empire 
they stoutly refused to do anything of the kind. On 
the contrary, when, in 1744, Marie de Mailly-Nesle, 
Duchess of Chateauroux the one worthy woman 
among the many mistresses of Louis XV prevailed 
on him to bestir himself and assume the command of 
his armies, he was received in Alsace as in Lorraine 
with the utmost enthusiasm. The sufferings and the 
discontent brought about by the religious policy of the 
Crown were at once forgotten, and all combined in 
wishing success to France. In those days, even when 
no war was being waged, a considerable garrison was 
kept in Alsace on account of its situation as a frontier 
province liable to attack. The presence of many 
French troops, their intercourse with the inhabitants, 
and the frequency with which young Alsatians en- 
listed preferably in cavalry regiments, for although 
the region was never noted for its horses its men 
evinced great proficiency in horsemanship all tended 
to the diffusion of French ideas and promoted assimila- 






ALSACE-LORRAINE 107 

tion. The troops were under the command of a 
governor-general who resided at Strasburg, and was 
generally a Marshal of France. Marshal Saxe held 
the position for a number of years, and was succeeded 
by such men as Contades, Broglie, Stainville, and 
Rochambeau, the last named Lafayette's associate 
in the American War of Independence. 

Under the old regime the French peasantry suffered 
terribly throughout the whole kingdom, the middle 
class, or Third Estate, was also heavily taxed, and 
possessed few if any rights, these being reserved for 
the nobles and the clergy. Favouritism, corruption, 
shameful abuses, denials of justice flourished on all 
sides, and Alsace did not escape the common lot. 
But its people were a hard-working, thrifty, energetic 
race, and contrived to endure their burdens better 
than the folk of some other provinces. Under an 
official named Klinglin, Strasburg prospered exceed- 
ingly in industry and commerce during several years 
of the eighteenth century, but somebody discovered 
one day that this admired praetor, to whom the 
flourishing state of the municipal finances was attri- 
buted, had embezzled large sums of money, which he 
was alleged to have shared with one of the powerful 
D' Argensons, who were Ministers of State at that time. 
I am uncertain as to the identity of the particular 
statesman involved in Klinglin's affair, but in any 
case he was beyond the reach of the irate burgesses of 
Strasburg. They were, however, able to arrest the 
less fortunate praetor, who was cast into prison and 
eventually executed by strangulation. 

Now and again, at this period, Strasburg became 
the scene of sundry fetes and rejoicings. In 1747 it 
welcomed to France the Dauphiness Marie Josephe of 
Saxony, who became the mother of Louis XVI, and 



108 THE TRUE STORY OF 

in like way in 1770 it received that future monarch's 
bride, Marie Antoinette. After the accession of the 
last King of the old regime the greater equity and 
tolerance shown to the Alsatian Protestants an edict 
restored their civil rights in 1787 tended to increase 
the province's prosperity. At the Peace of West- 
phalia, which, it will be remembered, followed the 
Thirty Years' War, only 250,000 inhabitants were left 
in Alsace and the sum total yielded by the Crown taxes 
was but 48,000, paid with the greatest difficulty after 
incessant toiling and moiling. A hundred and forty 
years later that is, in 1789 on the eve of the Revolution 
notwithstanding all the losses caused by many more 
wars and much religious persecution, the population 
had doubled, and, according to Spach, one of the 
Alsatian historians, the people were able to pay 
360,000 in taxation annually, " not," be it said, 
" without complaining, but at least without being 
absolutely crushed by the burden." The amount 
mentioned represented in a time of great general cost- 
liness and penury fully l per head for every man, 
woman, and child of the classes subject to Crown 
taxation nobles, clergy, and others, including certain 
municipalities, like that of Strasburg, being exempted 
from such payment.* 

As was the case in other parts of France, the heavy 
taxation, and the exactions and immunities of the 
privileged classes, constituted a very bitter grievance 
among the lower orders, and it is not surprising, 
therefore, to find that when the States General of 
1789 were convoked, the cahiers of the Alsatian Third 
Estate embodied a suggestion that Alsace should be 
restored to full independence. Throughout the pro- 
vince generally as in Lorraine the first events of 

* See Clause VI of the Proposals of Ulkirch in Appendix B. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 109 

the Revolution were enthusiastically received by the 
masses. But various disorders occurred. When the 
news of the taking of the Bastille reached Strasburg 
a mob invaded the town hall and pillaged it. One 
must acknowledge that the old constitution of the 
town, so highly praised by Erasmus, was one of a very 
exclusive kind, under which the so-called " common 
people " had hardly any rights at all, and it was this 
undoubtedly which fomented rioting and pillage. 
Much satisfaction was evinced when Jean Frangois 
Rewbell, one of the Alsatian representatives in the 
States General, demanded the suppression of feudal 
and ecclesiastical privileges ; and after the " Night 
of August 4," when the States, gathered together 
as a Constituent Assembly, abolished those privi- 
leges, the old semi-feudal, semi-aristocratic corpo- 
ration of Strasburg realized that its time was up, 
and resigned office. A temporary administration was 
then installed, and a force of National Guards, that 
all but inevitable accompaniment to Revolution, 
established. 

Nevertheless extremist passions did not yet pre- 
vail. Early in 1790 came municipal elections, which 
resulted in the selection of Baron Philippe Frederic de 
Dietrich, Count of the Ban de la Roche, as mayor. 
He was probably a kinsman, if not a descendant, of the 
Dominique Dietrich of Louis XIVs time. An expert 
in mineralogy, he had previously acted as a Royal 
Commissary for mines, smelting-works, and forests. 
I had occasion to mention him in connexion with 
Rouget de 1'Isle and the "Marseillaise."* Die- 
trich was a friend of Lafayette and Bailly, mayor of 
Paris, and like them he favoured a Constitutional 
Monarchy, his opinions in which respect brought him 

* See p. 30, ante. 



110 THE TRUE STORY OF 

eventually to the scaffold in spite of the considerable 
services which he rendered in Alsace. 

In June 1790 he presided at a great fete held to 
inaugurate the so-called Federation of the Rhine, 
when 20,000 armed men assembled at Strasburg, and 
when all the authorities took a solemn oath to be 
faithful to the Nation, the Law, and the King, and 
to defend the new Constitution which had been set 
up. Later the National Assembly's decree ordering 
the sequestration of all ecclesiastical property led to 
great unrest among the Alsatian Catholics, and matters 
became worse when the prelates, priests, and others 
who refused to take the oath to the so-called Civil 
Constitution of the Clergy were deprived of their 
benefices. The Cardinal de Rohan, Bishop of Stras- 
burg, fled across the Rhine to Ettenheim, a German 
dependency of his diocese, and afterwards busied 
himself there in collecting recruits for the army of 
emigres who proposed to put down the Revolution.* 
At Strasburg Rohan was replaced by a certain Abbe 
Brendel, who took the oath of obedience, and became 
indirectly responsible for many horrible things which 
afterwards occurred in the town. 

There was a dearth of priests willing to accept the 
Civil Constitution of the Clergy, and it occurred to 
Brendel to import a number from Germany. Among 
those who came was a certain Eulogius Schneider, 
born in the vicinity of Wiirzburg, then an ecclesiastical 
principality and now in the Bavarian dominions. 
Schneider had originally been a Franciscan, and was 
endowed with a gift of fiery eloquence. Before long, 
however, he threw off the mask of religion and became 
a leader of the extremists. 

Different elections of those times show that a 

* Rohan died at Ettenheim in 1803. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 111 

moderate Constitutionalism was largely favoured in 
Alsace, and particularly in its capital. At the same 
time there was no lack of patriotism, and when on 
April 20, 1792, war was declared on Austria, Dietrich 
at once set to work to organize defensive measures 
against any possible attack on the Alsatian capital. 
But events occurred which he and others would not 
countenance. Immediately after the Parisian insur- 
rection of August 10, which led to the imprisonment 
of Louis XVI and his family, the municipality of 
Strasburg voted an address to the Government, 
demanding that the King's person should be regarded 
as inviolable. A few days later four commissaries 
arrived, suspended the audacious municipality from 
office, and ordered the arrest of Dietrich. He, how- 
ever, contrived to escape to Basle, where he remained 
for a time in safety.* 

Finding Constitutionalism so much in favour at 
Strasburg, the Government transferred the elections 
for the National Convention to Haguenau. The pace 
of the Revolution was then accelerated, and for a 
time the foreign menace became serious. In July 
1793 the Prussians and Austrians under Brunswick 
and Wiirmser, after retaking Mayence from the 
French, entered Alsace. The forces under Custine 
and Beauharnais (Josephine's first husband) had to 
retreat. The famous lines of Wissembourg, which had 
once saved France from invasion, were abandoned, 
and the enemy drove the defeated troops within 
gunshot of Strasburg. Great became the alarm there. 

* He subsequently returned to France, and on being arraigned before 
the Tribunal of Besan9on as an emigre, was acquitted. His enemies, however, 
contrived to have him removed to Paris, where he was sentenced to death 
by the Revolutionary Tribunal and executed on December 29, 1793. After 
Robespierre's fall seven months later, the National Assembly rehabilitated 
his memory. 



112 THE TRUE STORY OF 

It was alleged that the Germans had confederates in 
the town, and it is certainly true that at this time a 
number of emigre noblemen returned to Alsace and 
welcomed the invaders as deliverers. 

Elogius Schneider, the ex-Franciscan whom I pre- 
viously mentioned, now served as Public Prosecutor 
(Accusateur public) at the local Revolutionary Tribunal, 
and played on the smaller stage of Strasburg much 
the same part as Fouquier-Tinville played on the 
larger one of Paris. He had previously become the 
leader of a German Jacobin gang which had selected 
Alsace as a suitable field for its exploits. Besides 
perorating at the Jacobin clubs, Schneider founded 
a news-sheet entitled the Argus, and, allying himself 
for a while with a Savoyard Jacobin named Monet 
and a French one known as Laveau, who edited a 
paper called the Courrier Fran$ais, he steadily 
undermined the authority of Dietrich even before the 
affair of the address calling for royal inviolability. As 
Public Prosecutor Schneider cast off all restraint, 
demanding and obtaining whatever banishments, im- 
prisonments, and executions he desired, but even as 
he sent others to the guillotine, so was he himself at 
last committed to the swift offices of that busy 
instrument. 

Soon after the " suppression of Christianity " and 
the pompous celebration at Strasburg of the Feast of 
Robespierre's " Goddess Reason " (November 20, 
1793) that masquerade, be it remembered, was by no 
means confined to Paris a split occurred between 
the French and the German Jacobins. The latter 
were alleged to be in collusion with emigre nobles, and 
judging by what is known of the German character, 
even in the case of pseudo-Socialists, it is quite 
possible that the charge was true. Now at this time 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 113 

two Commissaries attached by the Convention to the 
Army of the Rhine arrived at Strasburg. They were 
zealous partisans and particular friends of Robespierre, 
one being the famous Louis de Saint-Just, who 
perished by the guillotine, and the other Joseph 
Lebas, who only escaped a similar fate by shooting 
himself. In order to provide some money for arrears 
of pay due to the Rhine army and for putting Stras- 
burg in a better state of defence, they levied nine 
million limes approximately 360,000 on the richer 
inhabitants, who had to provide the amount within 
four and twenty hours ; and at the same time they 
ordered, at Schneider's instigation, the arrest of about 
forty persons. 

However, Monet, the Savoyard, now mayor of the 
town, intervened, and nearly half of the arrested 
people were released, whilst Schneider, whom Monet 
and others denounced, was committed to prison. 
Various Alsatian writers praise Saint- Just for what he 
did in these matters. It was decided to send Schneider 
to Paris, but before his departure he underwent what 
was termed exposition on the scaffold, being pinioned 
to a stake, affixed to which, above his head, was a 
placard stating that he had " dishonoured the Revolu- 
tion." On being tried by the Revolutionary Tribunal 
in the capital, he was charged with having made 
excessive use of the guillotine besides evincing aris- 
tocratic tastes and tendencies. He was ultimately 
executed on April 1, 1794. 

At Strasburg a new Tribunal, in w r hich French 
Jacobins became prominent, was instituted. Its 
methods differed little from those of its predecessor. 
Monet became all-powerful, and waged war on Ger- 
man Jacobins. The recall of Saint- Just and Lebas, 
and later the fall of Robespierre, altered the situation. 



114 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Foussedoire, the next Government representative, 
released many prisoners. Monet was removed from 
the mayoralty and replaced by Bernard of Tiirkheim. 
Reaction followed a period of excesses, and in 1795 
the Jacobin party was defeated at the elections for the 
new legislature that is, the Conseil des Anciens and 
the Conseil des Cinq-Cents all the members for the 
Lower Rhine being moderate Republicans, whilst the 
Upper Rhine department returned former Conven- 
tionnels who had voted against Robespierre. Thus 
does the world go round, though, notwithstanding all 
the teachings of the past, the extremists of to-day 
appear to be unaware of it. 

Rewbell the Alsatian was elected a member of 
the Directory entrusted with the government of 
France, and contended in favour of democratic, but 
not extremist, principles. He was a party to the 
coup d'etat of the Eighteenth Fructidor (September 4, 
1797) directed against the more reactionary members 
of the Councils, and became, with Barras and Lare- 
velliere-Lepeaux, one of the Triumvirate which after- 
wards exercised supreme power. But the regime 
proved deplorable. The French arms suffered nume- 
rous reverses, and the State was reduced to bank- 
ruptcy. In Alsace the period was marked by one 
notable event Mulhouse at last severed the ties 
which linked her to Switzerland and joined the 
French Republic. 

For many centuries the little town had formed, 
with some adjacent territory, a self-governing repub- 
lican State, sometimes in close alliance with, sometimes 
virtually incorporated in, the Swiss Confederation ; 
and, generally speaking, it had only taken part in 
Alsatian affairs when its own interests were in ques- 
tion. Its commercial intercourse with France, though 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 115 

small, was constant, and its relations with the French 
authorities were generally satisfactory. Its inhabi- 
tants cordially detested the Germanic Empire, and 
in 1744, when Louis XV was besieging Freiburg im 
Breisgau, they dispatched a deputation to the castle 
of Miinzingen, then his head-quarters, in order to 
compliment him. In like way they sent deputations 
to Strasburg to compliment the Dauphinesses 
Marie Joseph e and Marie Antoinette on their arrival 
in French territory, and in 1777, three years after 
the accession of Louis XVI, they concluded a de- 
fensive military alliance with France and Switzer- 
land. 

In 1785, however, trouble arose. The empirical 
Calonne became Controller of French Finances, and 
projecting the formation of a new Compagnie des 
Indes, he prohibited the importation of foreign cotton 
goods. This threatened to nip, almost in their 
infancy, the cotton manufactures of Mulhouse, which 
since the establishment of the Koechlin, Schmalzer, 
and Dollfus works in 1746 had been gradually expand- 
ing. The negotiations with the French authorities 
did not prove satisfactory, and Mulhouse again drew 
closer to Switzerland. Local restlessness and im- 
poverishment followed the outbreak of the French 
Revolution. In 1789, by reason of severe frosts, the 
wine crop failed throughout Alsace. In the following 
year the harvest failed, and grain and flour could 
scarcely be obtained by the citizens of Mulhouse, for 
the Alsatian roads became unsafe, and wagons 
conveying cereals were often pillaged by famished 
peasants. The French authorities, moreover, alarmed 
by the shortage in their own territory, drew a cordon 
of barriers round about the little republic, and in one 
way or another subjected it to various vexations, so 



116 THE TRUE STORY OF 

that it seemed at last as if nothing could either come 
in or go out. 

Mulhouse appealed to her Swiss friends, through 
whose offices some negotiations ensued, the upshot 
being a draft treaty by which she was to be allowed 
free communication with Alsace on condition that all 
stipulated duties should be paid on the goods which 
she might send into French territory. This draft or 
preliminary treaty was signed on September 22, 1791. 
But events were moving rapidly in France, urgent 
matters were crowding one upon another, the sorely 
shaken monarchy was tumbling faster and faster to 
its doom, and so the little affair of Mulhouse was 
neglected, virtually forgotten. Briefly, the treaty was 
never ratified. On the contrary, indeed, barely six 
weeks after the proclamation of the French Republic 
(September 21, 1792) Mulhouse was declared foreign 
territory, in such wise that no foodstuffs could be 
obtained from France without payment of heavy 
export duties. 

Matters went from bad to worse. There was great 
scarcity in most parts of Europe. Virtually every 
nation had to husband its resources. In 1794 the 
people of Mulhouse had to pay seventy limes per 
viertel perhaps one might say 66s. per quarter 
for wheat. That may not seem so very high a price 
judged by present standards, but account must be 
taken of the purchasing power of money and its 
scarcity in those days. At last Mulhouse succeeded 
in obtaining some grain from Swabia, by way of 
Switzerland, but its inhabitants lived in constant 
anxiety, hoping vainly for better times. Further 
efforts were made to negotiate a satisfactory com- 
mercial treaty with France, but the Directory did not 
prove responsive. Yet matters could not remain as 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 117 

they were ; something had to be done if Mulhouse 
was to be extricated from its extremely difficult 
position. 

The State Syndic at that time was Josue Hofer, 
and the Burgomaster his relation Johannes Hofer, and 
these two and a few others appear to have put their 
heads together and to have come to the conclusion 
that it would be best to take the same course as 
Strasburg had taken a hundred and seventeen years 
previously, and exchange independence for union with 
France. France had long been their chief customer, 
and from France they had derived most of their 
supplies, and all the barriers which had since arisen 
in those respects would necessarily disappear should 
Mulhouse become French territory. She could not 
claim to retain her ancient organization, as Strasburg 
had retained hers for a hundred years or so ; for times 
had changed, and the French Republic had cast most 
ancient things to the winds. It would therefore be 
necessary to come under her new administrative 
methods. For the older men it was doubtless painful 
to relinquish the independence and the somewhat 
narrow social system transmitted to them by their 
forefathers, and to which they themselves had been 
accustomed all their lives. On the other hand, the 
change would mean reunion with all their fellow- 
Alsatians who had adopted a like course ; and to the 
younger ones this change signified emancipation, 
extension of opportunity, a general broadening of life, 
participation in the destinies of a great nation which 
in despite of many blunders, many acts of folly, 
even of madness and occasionally of savagery had 
sowed in the course of its Revolution and was still 
sowing, however much its rulers might flounder, 
precious seeds, which, in days to come, would yield a 



118 THE TRUE STORY OF 

real increase of liberty and a vast improvement of 
social conditions in many lands. 

The general Council and the Committee of Forty 
presiding over the destinies of the little republic were 
assembled, and the advisability of becoming united to 
France was discussed. The only conditions specified 
appear to have been exemption from the conscription, 
then newly established by the Directory,* from 
requisitions, and from the obligation of billeting troops 
until after the next general peace. On those terms 
97 members of the assembly voted for union with 
France, only 5 votes being recorded against it. On 
the morrow (January 4, 1798) the decision was 
confirmed by a general assembly of burgesses at the 
Church of Saint-Etienne, when 591 pronounced in its 
favour and 15 against it. An Alsatian of Colmar 
afterwards came to Mulhouse as French Commissary 
to assist in adapting the local municipal arrangements 
to the French system. The formal ceremony of 
annexation took place on March 10, and in the 
historical museum of the town there was formerly 
preserved a tricolour hanging used on this occasion 
and bearing the inscription : " The Republic of 
Mulhouse reposes on the bosom of the French 
Republic." 

At that time, says an Alsatian writer, the town 
had 38 streets, 800 houses, and 6000 inhabitants. If 
material prosperity be proof of the wisdom of such an 
action as the incorporation of Mulhouse with France, 
then that action was a wise one. Less than fifty 
years afterwards the town had so expanded that it 

* The Directory's Conscription Law was very unpopular throughout 
France, where voluntary enlistment had previously prevailed, and, in con- 
junction with the forced Loan and the military reverses of the time, facilitated 
the overthrow of the regime by Napoleon on his return from Egypt. Those 
who hoped, however, that he might abolish conscription were soon undeceived. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 119 

counted over 20,000 inhabitants, and every day some 
7000 working folk repaired to it from neighbouring 
villages.* 

The accession of Napoleon to the Consulate was 
welcomed in Alsace. The re-establishment of religion 
pleased both the Catholic and the Protestant elements. 
The Concordat with Pius VII was signed in 1801, and 
the Protestant Church was recognized by a law passed/ 
early in the following year, its ministers being at first 
trained in a kind of seminary, though later a faculty 
of Protestant theology was established at Strasburg. 
Laws extending and regulating primary and secondary 
education proved very beneficial. Great services were 
rendered in educational matters by the Marquis de 
Lezay-Marnezia, a native of Savoy, who became 
Prefect of the Lower Rhine department. He began 
life in the diplomatic service of the old regime, and 
after contriving to survive the Reign of Terror became 
a protege of Josephine, who ultimately brought him to 
Napoleon's notice. Possessed of literary gifts, Lezay- 
Marnezia wrote on a number of political questions, 
translated Schiller's " Don Carlos," and edited a 
volume of apophthegms and epigrams extracted from 
the writings of Cardinal de Retz. Apart from those 
matters, he took, like the many-sided man he was, a 
keen interest in agriculture and industry. He intro- 
duced the cultivation of sugar-beet into Lower Alsace, 
as well as improved methods for cultivating and 
treating tobacco, from which Strasburg derived much 
benefit. He was also a great road-builder, and he 
widely encouraged the planting of fruit-trees. He was 
one of the best functionaries of his class that served 
Napoleon, and certainly the administration of Lower 
Alsace was never in better hands. I am uncertain 

* See also pp. 22, 23, 43, 44, ante. 



120 THE TRUE STORY OF 

whether the first Restoration confirmed him in his 
post, but he died at Strasburg from the effects of a 
carriage accident in October 1814, when Napoleon 
was at Elba. 

The Great Captain's victories inspired no little 
enthusiasm among the Alsatians. Many of his lieu- 
tenants came from that province and the adjacent one 

f Lorraine. The names of Ney, Lefebvre, Victor, 
eber, Lasalle, Drouot, Rapp, Kellermann, Lobau, 
hramm, live in history, and there were numerous 

thers, equally brave and devoted, and sometimes 
almost as able although less renowned. When after 
the Battle of Leipzig the Austrians, Prussians, 
Bavarians, and Russians crossed the Rhine and in- 
vaded France, several of the Alsatian and Lorrainer 
fortresses staunchly resisted the enemy, and none 
more desperately than Huningen, defended by the 
heroic Barban^gre. But the star of the Emperor set, 
and even at his first downfall in 1814 greedy Prussia, 
who had never had any connexion with Alsace, 
impudently laid claim to the province as the price of 
her services. It is interesting to note that Great 
Britain and Russia combined to resist Prussia's 
covetous demands and defeated them. In 1815, 
however, the predatory Hohenzollerns contrived to 
secure a part of the Saar valley, and Landau passed 
to Rhenish Bavaria. 

Apart from those losses the Bourbons came to 
their own again. The first years of the Restoration 
were unhappy ones in Alsace. Foreign troops occu- 
pied most of the province. The harvests of 1816 and 
1817 were scanty ones. Many food-stuffs and other 
necessaries reached exorbitant prices. Moreover, the 
Alsatians, with their liberal ideas, had little liking for 
the Bourbons, who during the years of their eclipse 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 121 

had learnt nothing and forgotten nothing. Besides, 
now that the King was restored, many members of 
the Catholic clergy became unduly arrogant, imagin- 
ing that they might henceforth do as they pleased. 
The Protestants were not exactly persecuted, but 
they were snubbed and cold-shouldered, particularly 
in the time of the bigoted Charles X, by a zealous 
officialdom. The trend of public opinion during the 
Restoration is shown by the election of one of the 
chief Liberal leaders of the period, Benjamin Constant, 
as deputy for Strasburg, and by the boundless 
enthusiasm with which another one, General Foy, was 
received when he visited Alsace. 

Other circumstances tended to confirm the Alsa- 
tians in their Liberal views, which, it would be idle 
to deny it, were sometimes tinged with Bonapartism, 
kept alive by the numerous half-pay officers of 
Napoleon's armies who had been virtually exiled to 
the province. In those days Belfort was included in 
the Upper Rhine department. It belonged, indeed, 
to Alsace, and if so far I have only occasionally 
referred to it in this narrative, it is because I prefer 
to reserve a fuller account until I relate in a sub- 
sequent chapter the circumstances under which this 
fortress town was retained by France at the annexa- 
tion of 1871. Here, however, it may be stated that 
in 1821, Louis XVIII reigning, Belfort became the 
chief scene of a conspiracy which had ramifications at 
Mulhouse, Neuf-Brisach, Huningen, and other places. 
The movement, directed against the Bourbons, was 
both of a semi-Liberal and a semi-Bonapartist cha- 
racter. Members of the wealthy Kcechlin family of 
Mulhouse were concerned in it and assisted it finan- 
cially. Various Liberal parliamentary leaders, such 
as Manuel and Dupont de FEure, the famous jour- 



122 THE TRUE STORY OF 

nalist Armand Carrel, the brothers Scheffer, the 
painters, and General de Lafayette were likewise 
privy to the affair ; but in other respects the contem- 
plated rising was prepared chiefly by former officers 
of Napoleon. Scores of them, in all parts of Alsace, 
made ready during the last months of 1821 to join 
the rising, and a large number of soldiers, belonging 
notably to the garrisons of Neuf-Brisach and Belfort 5 
could be relied upon for support. 

Some of the forces were to seize and hold the 
passes of the Vosges, and others were to march on 
Colmar, then the capital of the Upper Rhine, arrest 
the royal authorities there, and use the town as a 
centre for future action. Now on the evening when 
the rising was to take place a number of the half-pay 
officers concerned in the affair dined together at 
Belfort. Many of the soldiers of the garrison knew 
or guessed that something was coming off that very 
night, and some of them even got ready to co-operate 
with the leaders of the plot. But a non-commissioned 
officer blundered badly by going to inform a royalist 
captain, who was not in the secret, that the men were 
ready. The captain was momentarily puzzled, but 
ended by divining the truth, and then hurried off to 
inform the Commandant de place, who, after a short 
delay, ordered the town gates to be closed. Mean- 
time, however, the chief conspirators realized that the 
plot was discovered and took to flight. Lafayette, 
Armand Carrel, Henry Scheffer, the painter, and others 
were expected to reach Belfort that night, and some 
of those who escaped from the town hastened to 
intercept them, and warn them to turn back. This 
was done, Lafayette, who was met at Lure, making 
the return journey to Paris with the utmost speed in 
order that it might appear as if he had never left the 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 123 

city. Briefly, all the real leaders escaped, and the 
Commandant of Belfort could only lay hands on two 
officers and two civilians, each of whom was sentenced 
to five years' imprisonment. It has been said that 
the failure of the conspiracy was due largely to the 
dilatoriness of Lafayette, who ought to have reached 
Belfort sooner. 

The affair had a tragic sequel. In 1820 one of 
Napoleon's former officers, who had quitted the army, 
but was still known as Colonel Caron, had been 
acquitted on a charge of conspiracy tried by the 
Chamber of Peers, and had then retired to Colmar, 
where, after the collapse of the Belfort plot, he 
devised a scheme for delivering the prisoners. He 
was denounced, however, arrested and sent to Stras- 
burg. His connexion with the army had been severed, 
nevertheless he was court-martialled and sentenced to 
be shot. This sentence was carried into effect on 
October 1, 1822, and Caron's remains were interred 
in the Strasburg cemetery of Saint-Urbain, outside 
the former Porte d'Austerlitz, where, after the fall of 
the elder Bourbon line, a stone was set up bearing 
the inscription : " Here lies Lieutenant-Colonel Caron 
who died for Liberty." * Both the method of his 
trial and his execution had a bad effect on public 
opinion. It was held strongly that he ought to have 
been arraigned before a civil court, which would have 
shown more leniency. Briefly, although there were 
no disturbances, the general dislike of the Bourbon 
regime was accentuated by this affair. 

Charles X was even less popular than his brother 
Louis XVIII. Nevertheless, when he visited Stras- 

* His Christian names were Augustin Joseph, and he was forty-eight years 
old at the time of his death. He had fought in several engagements, but his 
military career was somewhat obscure. 



124 THE TRUE STORY OF 

burg, Colmar, and Mulhouse in September 1828, he 
had quite apart from the official celebrations a 
very good reception, which was due, perhaps, to the 
circumstance that eighty-four years had elapsed since 
a King of France had shown himself in Alsace, though 
Napoleon, of course, had often passed that way. 
Charles X seldom if ever did the right thing when 
great issues were at stake, but in small matters he 
not infrequently showed to advantage. Thus, on 
being warned that he would find Mulhouse a hotbed 
of Republicanism, he replied : "In that case I must 
not take a military escort with me." And he abstained 
from doing so. The incident pleased the people of 
Mulhouse, who, after cheering the monarch, remarked 
to one another that, all considered, he was, perhaps, 
less black than he had been painted. 

The Revolution of 1830 and the accession of 
Louis Philippe seemed to promise a genuinely liberal 
regime, and so the new King was well received when 
he visited Alsace the following year. But discontent 
was soon rife, and was fostered by the heavy taxation 
of the times. Not only were there frequent demon- 
strations in favour of the more democratic leaders, 
but Strasburg became the scene of more than one 
little conspiracy. It was probably a recollection of 
the military Imperialist plots of Restoration days 
that, in the autumn of 1836, prompted young Prince 
Louis Napoleon subsequently Napoleon III to 
choose the Alsatian capital for an attempt to proclaim 
the Empire with the help of the garrison. The affair 
proved a fiasco, and was dealt with so promptly by 
the authorities that, according to the diary of a 
Strasburg citizen now before me, the general public 
knew nothing about it until three days afterwards, 
when it was reported that Louis Napoleon, Colonel 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 125 

Vaudrey of the 4th Artillery, and a few other persons, 
including the Prince's mistress, Mme. Gordon, were 
under arrest in the local house of detention. Some 
of the confederates, including Fialin, afterwards Duke 
de Persigny, managed to escape. The Prince, says 
the diarist I have mentioned, lodged in the Rue des 
Orphelins, next door to the Brasserie des Quatre- 
Vents, and a search made in his rooms resulted in the 
discovery of powder, cartridges, and uniforms, as well 
as a pair of general's epaulets. Mme. Gordon's 
lodging was at No. 17 Rue Fontaine, where she 
passed under the name of Brown.* The only officer 
who openly sided with the Prince was Vaudrey, 
whom I have mentioned, but it was five o'clock on 
a bleak morning when Louis Napoleon harangued the 
artillerymen at their barracks, and thus, apart from 
the colonel, who was privy to the affair, the officers 
were still lying snugly in bed. Some of the soldiers 
cheered, but others wavered, and the linesmen of the 
26th Regiment would not join the movement, so that 
the attempt collapsed. Louis Napoleon was pardoned 
by Louis Philippe on consenting to go to America 
(where he remained for as short a time as possible), 
and the eleven days' trial of his accomplices in the 
ensuing month of January resulted in their acquittal. 
They were defended by some notable Parisian advo- 
cates, in whose honour, I observe, a banquet was 
given by a number of the leading people of Strasburg. 
This shows that Bonapartism was by no means 
there. 

The system of elementary education in Alsace was 
again improved in 1837, and the French language 
spread more and more widely. This period was also 

* I have given various particulars about this woman in my book, " The 
Court of the Tuileries, 1852-70." (Chatto and Windus.) 



126 THE TRUE STORY OF 

one of many improvements in means of communica- 
tion. The first Alsatian railway line that from 
Thann to Mulhouse was opened in 1839. Two years 
later came one from Strasburg to Basle, and at the 
same time the line from Paris to Strasburg was 
begun. In 1834 the Rhone and Rhine Canal was 
inaugurated, being soon followed by that of the 
Marne and the Rhine and a branch canal connecting 
the Rhone waterway with the 111. Meantime there 
was still a certain amount of unrest and some un- 
pleasant bickering between Alsatian Catholics and 
Protestants. A writer named Busch was prosecuted 
for producing a book which the Jesuits regarded as 
libellous, but a Strasburg jury acquitted him. 

In 1846 the question of Russian Poland came to 
the front in several countries, considerable feeling 
being displayed, particularly in France, respecting 
the deportation of many Poles to Siberia. Prince 
Metternich, then seventy-three years old, was still 
governing the various races of Austria with stubborn 
despotism, and Galicia being part of Poland, he 
thought fit to intervene apropos of the agitation 
which was taking place in France. He commissioned 
Count Apponyi, Austrian Ambassador in Paris, to 
inform Guizot, then Louis Philippe's chief Minister, 
that if this agitation did not cease, Austria would 
forcibly reannex Alsace and Lorraine to Germany. 
Metternich's threats, being divulged, provoked violent 
protests from Strasburg and the other Alsatian towns. 
Nevertheless, the Austrian, German, and Russian 
Press embarked on a campaign of calumny, declaring 
that the French were not entitled to raise any Polish 
question as they treated the Alsatian people with 
abominable cruelty ! There was not one word of 
truth in that assertion ; and towards the end of 1846 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 127 

a German writer named Biedermann, a professor at 
Leipzig University, published a book on Alsace, which 
he had repeatedly visited, and had the fairness and 
courage to declare that no cruelty whatever was 
shown to the inhabitants, whom he had found 
perfectly satisfied with their French nationality. 

Considerable discontent undoubtedly prevailed, 
but it was common to all France. There was a great 
scarcity of cereals, the price of which became early 
in 1847 as high as it had been some thirty years 
previously, when two successive harvests failed. But 
this state of affairs was not peculiar to France. We 
ourselves had our " Hungry Forties " and our Corn 
Law agitation. As for Alsace, the municipalities did 
their utmost to provide for the public needs by 
buying grain and flour wherever possible, and fixing 
the price of bread at such a figure as to place the 
staff of life within reach even of poor consumers. The 
various transactions resulted in considerable losses to 
the municipalities, and these losses had to be met by 
increased taxation on the wealthier folk of the com- 
munity. The poorer ones, however, were at least 
able to obtain bread. The municipality of Strasburg 
also started relief works an empirical remedy, no 
doubt, but one which, for the time being, certainly 
provided a considerable number of people with the 
means of subsistence. 

The cause of the general discontent among the 
masses, and also in part of the distress which arose in 
many parts of France, lay in the political system of 
the time. There was an extremely restricted fran- 
chise, in such wise that the bulk of the nation had 
no voice in its government. And yet less than half 
a century had elapsed since the dawn of the French 
Revolution. All the Liberal elements in France 



128 THE TRUE STORY OF 

embarked, then, on a great campaign for Reform, 
and Alsace took a notable part in it. The agitation 
increased when various cases of corruption and 
jobbery in high places were brought to light. Many 
more were suspected, and not without good reason. 
/In the result, on February 24, 1848, Louis Philippe 
lost his throne, and the Second French Republic was 
proclaimed. 

Once again Alsace became all enthusiasm. That 
same year was the bicentenary of the Treaty of 
Westphalia, which had acknowledged Alsace (Stras- 
burg and Mulhouse excepted) as part of France. 
The Alsatians resolved to celebrate this memorable 
event by a number of great festivals. Whatever the 
historical circumstances might be, Strasburg and 
Mulhouse eagerly participated in these rejoicings. 
There were fetes also at Colmar, Minister, Cernay, 
Thann, Wesserling, Schlestadt, Saverne, Barr, and 
other places. In a word, the whole province gave 
itself up to festivity. Thousands of National Guards 
assembled at Strasburg. Deputations poured in from 
Lorraine and other adjacent parts of France. Flags 
waved, music sounded, banquets were given, speeches 
delivered, and houses illuminated in the evening, when 
the lads and the girls, and older folk also, footed it 
merrily in the squares and cross ways. Two symbolic 
groups figured in the great afternoon procession one 
showing France and Alsace embracing, and the other 
Alsace, as warden of the frontier, proudly defending 
France. . . . Alas ! 

But the Second Republic reposed on no bed of 
roses. It was face to face with a most difficult 
situation, the outcome of all the mismanagement 
of Louis Philippe's time, and its Government un- 
doubtedly made some deplorable mistakes. When 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 129 

120,000 men of the National Workshops in Paris 
were cast adrift without means of subsistence, a fierce 
insurrection burst forth.* For four days the city 
was given over to bloodshed. General Brea and his 
aide-de-camp were assassinated ; Mgr. Affre, the 
Archbishop, was struck down on a barricade whilst 
exhorting the combatants to cease the fratricidal 
struggle. Cavaignac at last put down the rebellion, 
and became Chief of the Executive, with virtually 
dictatorial powers. Nevertheless there was ebullition 
in other parts of the country, Alsace included. 

When Prince Louis Napoleon came forward as a 
candidate for the Presidency of the Republic he 
found numerous Alsatian supporters. His foolish 
enterprise at Strasburg in 1836 and his equally 
foolish descent on Boulogne in 1840 were overlooked, 
condoned. At this time only forty-four years had 
elapsed since the foundation of the First Empire, 
only thirty-three since its final overthrow, only 
twenty-seven since Napoleon's death at St. Helena, 
and only eight since his remains had been brought 
back to Paris, and deposited, with much pomp and 
ceremony, under the dome of the Invalides. Thus 
the Proud Legend was still a living one, a halo still 
surrounded the Great Captain's name, many men 
whom he had led to victory were still living, time had 
only suffused his deeds and theirs with a glamour of 
phenomenal glory, and so France, in part carried 
away by the memory of mighty achievements, and 
in part tired of the sterile strife of parties and appre- 
hensive of the wild enterprises of extremists, elected 
the heir of the Bonapartes as her President by 

* Let our rulers profit by the lessons of history and be careful how, when 
the Great War ends, they treat the millions of workers now in Government 
or controlled establishments. 



130 THE TRUE STORY OF 

5,434,226 votes. Few of those voters imagined at 
the time that they were not giving themselves to 
another Napoleon the Great, but to a Napoleon the 
Little. 

When the oath of fidelity to the Constitution was 
administered to the new Chief of the State, he 
answered, " I swear it." " I ask God to witness the 
oath which has just been taken," said the President 
of the Assembly. Then Louis Napoleon addressed 
the deputies, his first words being : "I should regard 
as enemies of the country all those who by illegal 
means should attempt to alter the form of Govern- 
ment which you have established." Yet in December 
1851 came the coup d'etat, and in December the 
following year the establishment of a Second Empire, 
which collapsed in the disaster of Sedan, leaving 
France to fight on as best she could in the hope of 
being able to save Alsace-Lorraine, which Bismarck 
bluntly told Jules Favre at Ferrieres, soon after the 
Empire's fall, would be part of the price that must 
be paid for peace. 

The policy pursued during Louis Napoleon's pre- 
sidency indisposed many Alsatian Republicans, who 
participated in various little plots. From time to 
time there were perquisitions, arrests, and trials, 
which last, owing to the Liberalism of Alsatian judges 
and juries, generally ended in acquittals. In the 
summer of 1849 cholera raged in Alsace, where it 
carried off 20,000 people. In August the following 
year Louis Napoleon visited the province. He had 
just been badly received in Franche-Comte, Besanon 
positively hooting him. The Alsatians were more 
circumspect, and at Mulhouse, Colmar, and Strasburg 
contented themselves with crying " Vive la Repub- 
lique 1 " They associated the Republican regime 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 131 

with peace, and feared lest the re-establishment of 
the Empire should signify war the consequences of 
which they, inhabiting a frontier province, would be 
the first to feel. It stirred the imagination to talk of 
the glories of the former Napoleonic period, but 
practical Alsatians, who remembered days of invasion, 
desired a peaceful regime. That view, indeed, was 
held in most parts of France, and Louis Napoleon 
knew it, and for that very reason delivered himself at 
Bordeaux of the famous apophthegm : L* Empire, c'est 
la paix (" The Empire will mean peace "). 

Although the Prince-President was already break- 
ing his solemn oath to the Constitution, millions of 
people believed in the promise of Bordeaux. It 
quieted a thousand apprehensions and won over a 
mass of hesitating opinion. Moreover, there was a 
most reactionary majority in the National Assembly, 
and this inclined many Liberal people to support the 
President against the legislature. After the coup 
d'etat, however, several Republican Alsatian deputies, 
including Kestner of Mulhouse and Edmond Valentin, 
who became Prefect of Strasburg during the memor- 
able siege of 1870, as well as other prominent men, 
were arrested and exiled or deported. Other Repub- 
licans were able to escape into Swiss territory. 
Strenuous Government pressure was then exercised 
on every side. All kinds of promises, all kinds of 
threats were employed, in such wise that the plebi- 
scitum taken to ratify the coup d'etat resulted in 
favour of Louis Napoleon. In the whole province 
only 15,414 votes were officially recorded against 
him. I say officially, because in Alsace, as elsewhere, 
the ballot-boxes were tampered with in many localities. 
During the ensuing month of December the citadel of 
Strasburg thundered forth a salute of 101 guns in 



132 THE TRUE STORY OF 

honour of the proclamation of an Empire, which was 
to bring the direst misfortune upon all Alsace. 

The rule of Napoleon III was never really popular 
in the Alsatian towns, but, as is well known, the 
Emperor laid himself out in all sorts of ways to 
please the peasantry throughout France, and in this 
matter he succeeded, in Alsace as in other provinces. 
The Strasburg municipality being, however, none to 
his liking, he arbitrarily revoked it in 1854 and 
appointed a commission to control the affairs of the 
town. Two years later the young Archduke Maxi- 
milian of Austria made a short stay in the Alsatian 
capital, having come to France on his first visit to 
Napoleon. The intercourse which ensued proved 
fatal to the Austrian prince, who, eight years later, 
was persuaded to become Emperor of Mexico, and 
in 1867, having been abandoned by his patron, was 
shot at Queretaro. Scarcely had he quitted Alsace 
in 1856 w r hen a latent agitation became acute there. 
It was caused by a conflict which had arisen between 
the Swiss Confederation and the King of Prussia, 
then Frederick William IV, the monarch who was 
addicted to Clicquot champagne, and who, losing 
control of the little brains he possessed Virchow 
averred that he had none at all contracted the nasty 
habit of washing his face with his soup.* 

In 1856 this monarch's fixed idea was to exercise 
his sovereign rights over the Swiss canton of Neuf- 
chatel, which in 1815, with the county of Valengin, 
had been assigned as a principality to Frederick 
William III. However, during the great year of 
revolutions and insurrections, 1848, the Switzers of 

* He died in 1861, when he was succeeded by his younger brother, the 
future Emperor William I (grandfather of the present Kaiser), who since 
1857 had acted as Regent of Prussia. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 133 

Neufchatel rose against their harsh Prussian masters, 
drove them out of the canton, and joined the Con- 
federation. Frederick William IV was beset by so 
much trouble at home at this juncture that for the 
time he had to resign himself to the loss ; but in 1853, 
resolving to assert himself, he once more seized the 
town with the help of sundry partisans, and set up 
the Prussian flag. But again were the Prussians and 
their adherents attacked by the Swiss of the rural 
districts, and whilst fifteen of them w r ere killed and 
thirty wounded, three hundred were taken prisoners. 
Thereupon Frederick William threatened the Federal 
authorities, who refused, however, to recognize his 
claims. 

The dispute became more and more embittered, 
and at last the infuriated Prussian king requested 
Baden, Bavaria, and Wiirttemberg to allow him to 
march an army of 135,000 men through their territory 
for the purpose of invading Switzerland. This created 
great agitation, even alarm, in Alsace, for it was 
known that France would not tolerate such an 
invasion. Thus war with Prussia might well ensue. 
The matter attracted some attention at the Peace 
Conference in Paris at the close of the Crimean War. 
Meantime the Swiss fortified their frontiers and 
assembled troops under the orders of General Dufour, 
the only general, I believe, that Switzerland has had 
in modern times at least the highest rank in her 
army nowadays is that of colonel. The assistance of 
France having been solicited by the Swiss authorities, 
the Prussian monarch contented himself for the nonce 
with demanding the release of the prisoners held by 
the people of Neufchatel. The latter refused the 
release unless Frederick William would renounce his 
pretensions. By French advice, however, the pri- 



134 THE TRUE STORY OF 

soners were set free unconditionally, and a conference 
of the Great Powers ensued in Paris in May 1857. 
Frederick William then demanded a large indemnity 
from Switzerland in return for the surrender of his 
rights. But Napoleon III, through his representative 
and illegitimate cousin, Count Walewski, hinted at a 
declaration of war, and as Prussia was not then 
prepared to encounter France in the field, the King 
gave way, and on the understanding that Switzerland 
should pay for the damage done to Prussian property 
during the insurrection, renounced his sovereignty 
over Neufchatel. 

A glance at a map will show how dangerous it 
would have been for France to have had such a 
Power as Prussia * installed on her Jurassian frontier, 
with easy access to Basle and Upper Alsace. It was 
therefore incumbent on her, in her own interest, to 
support the people of Neufchatel and the Swiss 
generally. This affair, however, was one of the 
indirect causes of the war of 1870. As Bismarck 
said long afterwards : " Napoleon III would not let 
us have Neufchatel. Well, we have taken Alsace, 
quid pro quo." 

However sinister may have been the beginning 
and however tragical the end of the Second Empire, 
the intervening period was certainly one of steadily 

* It is true that the principality of Neufchatel was only a personal appanage 
and had nothing to do with the Prussian State ; but enough has been said 
to show that Frederick William was prepared to employ all the resources of 
his kingdom, even to the point of seizing and holding this strip of Switzerland 
by force of arms. Thus the Swiss, even those of Germanic origin, have never 
had any liking for Prussia. The present Kaiser has shown himself so unscru- 
pulous that should the Great War end in his favour (which Heaven forbid !) 
he would be quite the man to revive a claim to Neufchatel, on the ground 
that no predecessor of his had a right to alienate a part of his inheritance. 
Louis XIV's " War of Devolution " was based on that theory, a very conve- 
nient one for those who regard solemn covenants as scraps of paper. Great 
Britain was a party to the cession of Neufchatel in 1857. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 135 

increasing material prosperity. In 1852, the first 
year after the coup d'etat, the various imports into 
France represented a value of 55,780,000. In 1869, 
the year before the Franco-German War, their value 
was 160,000,000. In the same period the exports 
rose from 67,200,000 to 159,760,000, this being the 
third year that their value was slightly inferior to 
that of the imports. The latter were only exceeded 
again in 1872, after the Franco-German War and the 
Commune, and the denunciation of the treaties of 
commerce. All kinds of industries and branches of 
commerce made great progress during the imperial 
period. For instance, whereas in 1852 the French 
pits only produced 4,904,000 metric tons of coal, in 
1869 their output, in response to the ever-increasing 
demands of industry, had risen to 13,464,000 metric 
tons. The iron ore which was raised and smelted 
doubled in quantity between the years I have men- 
tioned. In 1869 the output in metallurgical industry 
was valued at nearly nineteen millions sterling, or 
about 7,700,000 more than in 1852. There were 
great increases in other industries. 

I find also that w r hereas in 1853 the total length 
of the French railway lines was but 2568 miles, it 
had become 10,750 miles in 1869. As for the postal 
receipts, a good test of a nation's commercial activity, 
these increased from 1,861,000 in 1852 to more than 
3,785,000 in 1869. Take another test: French 
manufacturers and tradesfolk pay a fixed tax called 
a patente, a licence as it were. In 1852 this tax 
produced 1,485,000, and in the last full year of the 
Empire 2,581,000. Finally, in 1869 the nation was 
able to pay more than 23 millions sterling in direct 
State taxation, against 16| millions paid at the 
advent of the Empire ; and the total receipts of the 



136 THE TRUE STORY OF 

French Treasury exceeded 78,472,000, whereas seven- 
teen years previously they had been rather less than 
59,494,000. 

The foregoing paragraph may appear irrelevant 
to my subject. But I would point out that Alsace 
participated largely in France's increased prosperity. 
In this connexion some account was given in a former 
chapter of the development of trade at Mulhouse. 
Moreover, I have quoted the foregoing figures because 
whilst censuring the Second French Empire from the 
standpoint of political morality, it is only fair that I 
should make some mention of its one redeeming 
feature. But a nation's material prosperity is not 
everything in its life. Great was our prosperity 
before the present war began, and some folk wished 
us to rest content with clinging to it and " capturing 
German trade," instead of joining in the immortal 
fray for the world's freedom. We preferred, however, 
to cast our prosperity and our resources, as well as 
our arms, into the Scales of Justice, and in doing so 
we took the only course befitting men of honour. 

I frankly admit, then, the great material prosperity 
of France under her Second Empire. The figures I 
have given, and which are extracted from various 
issues of the official Annuaire statistique de la France, 
may seem small at the present day, but they have to 
be considered in connexion with the general wealth 
and requirements of the period to which they apply. 
From time to time there were, naturally enough, 
various set-backs. Financial scandals and heavy 
failures occurred, and in 1863 Alsace suffered from 
the collapse of some important houses. Three years 
later there was unrest, anxiety, even alarm, in con- 
nexion with the war between Prussia and Austria, 
which, although a brief one it is known as the 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 13? 

Seven Weeks' War quite transformed the condition 
of affairs in Germany, making Prussia its predominant 
Power. Napoleon III and the Empress Eugenie were 
to have visited Strasburg that year, but the threaten- 
ing situation kept them in Paris. 

Two years later a notable personage, mentioned in 
connexion with the Neufchatel affair, passed away at 
the Hotel de la Ville de Paris in the Alsatian capital. 
This was Count Walewski, who had succeeded the 
Duke de Morny, Napoleon Ill's illegitimate half- 
brother, as President of the Corps Legislatif . Walew T ski 
himself was an illegitimate son of Napoleon I, and if 
ever the modern Conqueror stamped his likeness upon 
any child of his, he did so in Walewski's case. The 
resemblance was striking both in face and in figure. 
Had it been possible to imagine Napoleon in " mufti," 
you would have said on seeing Walewski : " There he 
is ! " Prince Napoleon Jerome certainly had the 
Napoleonic face, but he was a much bigger man than 
the Emperor. At the same time Walewski differed 
from his father in disposition and in manners. These 
he derived from his mother, the beautiful Polish 
countess who was one of the few women that really 
loved Napoleon. In a word, the son was urbane, 
soft-spoken, a perfect gentleman in his ways. After 
serving for a short time in a regiment of hussars he 
had entered the diplomatic service during the reign of 
Louis Philippe. Had he lived longer he might pos- 
sibly have arrested the Empire on the downward 
course which it took after his death. 

From 1866 omvard Alsace ranged itself largely 
on the side of the parliamentary Opposition to the 
Empire. In a comparatively recent book of mine, 
ic In Seven Lands," * I mentioned a few incidents in 

* Chatto and Windus, 1916. 



138 THE TRUE STORY OF 

the Alsatian history of this period, and it may be 
allowable for me to refer to them again here. After 
the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, a zealous propa- 
ganda in furtherance of German claims on Alsace- 
Lorraine was carried on in Germany by means of 
geographies and histories, which designated Alsace, 
particularly, as a lost land which it was the duty of 
every patriotic German to recover and redeem. No 
regard was shown for real history or for former 
treaties, covenants, and cessions. The circumstances 
under which Strasburg became French territory were 
absolutely falsified, whilst those attending Mulhouse's 
union with France were conveniently ignored. The 
theory started in the forties, that the Alsatians were 
persecuted by the French, was revived. " Yonder, 
near the Vosges," wrote a German versifier, " a lost 
treasure lies. There must German blood be freed 
from hellish sway." A man named Richard Boeck 
particularly distinguished himself by his ardour in 
claiming Alsace for Germany. In the province itself, 
one must admit it would be absurd to shirk facts 
that there existed a small party of clericals, both 
Catholic and Protestant, who without daring to go so 
far as to advocate annexation to Germany, did their 
utmost to resist the further diffusion of the French 
language.* A Strasburg cure named Cazeaux and a 
pastor called Baum based their objections to French 
on religious and moral grounds. It had been, said 
they, the language of the infidel Voltaire, and it was 
that of the Parisians, who were steeped in vice and 
corruption. 

The French capital certainly offered numerous 
scenes of folly and depravity. But people dwelling 
at a distance, and trippers bent on having a " good 

* These matters are dealt with more fully in my seventh chapter. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 139 

time " in the midst of coarse pleasures, have long 
misjudged the great city. To them Paris has meant 
the Boulevards, the caboulots of Montmartre, the 
brasseries of the Quartier Latin, the Moulin Rouge, 
the Chat Noir, the Bal Bullier, and so on. For them, 
those places and similar ones, and the phases of life 
to be observed there, have signified everything. It 
is as though London were judged by the standard 
of Piccadilly and Coventry Street, Giro's and other 
swagger dens. In the case of Paris, those who in a 
spirit of Puritanical fanaticism have denounced it as 
the modern Babylon have overlooked the fact that it 
is far more a city of strenuous work, a city of many 
manufactures, of learning, art, invention, and dis- 
covery, contributing powerfully to the advancement 
of mankind. The sectarian Alsatians to whom I have 
referred made a similar mistake. In their denuncia- 
tions of Paris, whatever solicitude they may have 
affected for their respective flocks, they were helping 
on the designs of Germany, and it is quite possible 
that they were incited to the course they took by 
German gold. There is not a shadow of a doubt that 
directly Bismarck had settled accounts with Austria 
he prepared for a war with France for the express 
purpose of seizing Alsace-Lorraine. 

Whilst attempts were being made to create a 
current of pro-German opinion in Alsace two famous 
authors were conjointly producing a series of works 
which, whilst picturing Alsatian manners and customs 
in former times, gave vivid glimpses of the sufferings 
caused by warfare even when it was waged with 
success as well as when it became invasion on the part 
of a ruthless enemy. These authors were Emile 
Erckmann, a native of Phalsbourg, and Alexandre 
Chatrian, born at Soldatenthal, localities situated on 



140 THE TRUE STORY OF 

the confines of Alsace and Lorraine. The works of 
Erckmann-Chatrian, notably the series called " Les 
Romans Nationaux," breathed a spirit of attachment 
to France. Written in French, they were translated 
into many languages, and sold widely all the world 
over. I find that in some instances editions in 
German were prepared expressly for circulation in 
those rural districts of Alsace where the knowledge of 
French was more or less restricted. In that con- 
nexion it may be mentioned that in 1870 considerably 
more than a third of the population of Alsace was as 
conversant with French as w r ith German, reading and 
writing both languages, and that the former one was 
making more and more headway every day among 
the younger generations. In such a matter the 
Imperial Government ought to have let well alone ; 
but at one period it made the mistake of trying to 
force French upon the inhabitants of little out-of-the- 
way hamlets to the absolute exclusion of the Germanic 
dialects to which they were accustomed. 

At last came the war of 1870. In another chapter 
I shall say something respecting the engagements 
which were fought and the sieges which occurred 
in Alsace and Lorraine, and also respecting the 
conduct of the German commanders and soldiers 
there, and the attitude of the invaded population. 
Here I will only add a few remarks. When the 
question of declaring war arose in the French Corps 
Legislatif all the Alsatian deputies, excepting two, 
voted for it, though they represented various shades 
of political opinion. As a matter of fact, owing to 
the machinations of Bismarck, war could not, at that 
moment, have been averted, unless, indeed, France 
had been prepared to grovel in the very dust at the 
feet of Prussia. That she could not, would not, do. 






ALSACE-LORRAINE 141 

The small minority which voted against the war did 
so mainly to mark their opposition to the Empire, 
their distrust of its policy, at the same time well 
knowing that their votes could not even delay hos- 
tilities for a moment. The Alsatian deputies, by 
ranging themselves on the side of the majority, at 
least proclaimed their solidarity with the bulk of the 
legislature and the antipathy with which they regarded 
Prussia. Very few and far between, moreover, were 
those Frenchmen who then feared that their armies 
might incur reverses. Not one in ten thousand 
imagined that there was anything seriously amiss 
with the Empire's military organization. Thiers had 
some misgivings, but Gambetta declared adversary 
of the Empire though he was confidently anticipated 
victories, which, welcome as they would prove to 
French patriotism, would at the same time unfortu- 
nately consolidate the regime born of the coup d'etat. 
As we all know, the sequel was very different. 



THE STORY OF LORRAINE 

(FROM EARLY TIMES TO THE LAST NATIVE DUKES) 

Early period : Extent of the Kingdom of Lotharingia : Beneficiary 
and Hereditary Dukes : Disruption of the Kingdom : Suzerainty of 
the Emperors : Union of Bar and Lorraine : The House of Anjou : 
Evolution towards France : The Three Bishoprics Metz, Verdun, 
and Toul : French Occupation of Lorraine : Vicissitudes of 
Charles IV : The Last Dukes : The Metz Jews : Offences and 
Penalties : Taxation and Industry : Duke Leopold's Rule : 
Francis HI exchanges Lorraine for Tuscany. 

IT is unnecessary for me to sketch the history of 
Lorraine as fully as I have sketched that of Alsace, for 
whereas the Germans annexed the whole of the latter 
province in 1871, they took only a portion of Lorraine, 
such as it had become in modern times, and their 
motives for this appropriation were not the same as 
those which they alleged in the case of Alsace. In 
regard to Lorraine, indeed, they were more mindful 
of strategical and industrial considerations than of 
the various ethnographical grounds set forth as 
reasons for annexation by the pedantic professors of 
their universities. According to the Pan-Germanists 
there is hardly a country in the world to which their 
nation cannot assert some kind of claim. As certain 
Saxons settled in our country long ago, England 
ought to be an appanage of Germany. As a Germanic 
race called the Franks overran Gaul, modern France 
ought also to be a German dependency. Hitherto, 
however, instead of claiming the country in its en- 
tirety the Germans have been considerate enough to 

142 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 143 

nibble at it, just appropriating frontier parts at con- 
venient opportunities. The Pan-Germanic claims in 
regard to Lorraine, or rather the old kingdom of 
Lotharingia, would provide a pretext for seizing a 
great deal of territory forming not only part of France 
but of other countries also. When in 855, six days 
before his father's death, Lothair II came into pos- 
session of the Lotharingian kingdom which had been 
carved out of parts of Charlemagne's Empire, he 
found himself in the possession of the following lands, 
of which, in order to facilitate identification, I give 
the modern names : In Switzerland, the Valais and 
the Genevois, the cantons of Freiburg, Soleure, and 
Berne, and the diocese of Basle. In the Netherlands, 
Liege, Limburg, Brabant, Guelders, Namur, Hainault, 
Utrecht, and Zeeland. In Germany itself, the Pala- 
tinate west of the Rhine, with Treves and Cologne. 
Next Luxemburg and Alsace ; and in modern France, 
Bar, Lorraine, and Franche-Comte. Moreover, in the 
year 863, on the death of his younger brother Charles, 
Lothair inherited Provence, the Lyonnais, the Vien- 
nois, the Vivarais and the Pays d'Uzes. In later 
times one finds some of the Germanic Emperors 
styling themselves Kings of Provence and Kings of 
Aries, and some of the original Dauphins acknow- 
ledged the Imperial suzerainty. Thus the zealous 
Pan-German, bravely defying ridicule, asserts : " This, 
that, and the other ought to be ours. They belonged 
to us not long after the Year One ; I can prove it by 
ancient Chronicles ! " 

When Lothair II a somewhat disreputable prince 
who put away his wife in order to live in dalliance 
with a mistress, on which account he was excommuni- 
cated by one of the Popes died in 869, his dominions 
were appropriated by his uncle Charles the Bald. 



144 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Charles's brother, Louis the Germanic, compelled 
him, however, to divide the territory. Afterwards, 
Louis dying, Charles seized all his States, but had to 
share them with Louis' son called "the Saxon." 
Later, a certain Hugh, Duke of Alsace,* and the 
illegitimate offspring of Lothair II by his mistress 
Waldreda, claimed the Lotharingian kingdom, but 
was defeated and had his eyes put out. Henry of 
Franconia had then become by imperial appointment 
Duke of Lorraine. After Charles the Fat had been 
deposed in 887 this State, like Alsace and Germany, 
passed to his nephew Arnoul or Arnulf, and then to the 
latter' s natural son Swentibold, of whom I previously 
gave some account. *j* On Swentibold 's downfall the 
Lorrainers virtually handed themselves over to Charles 
the Simple, King of France. Thus there were many 
fluctuations. Loth air's former kingdom had few 
natural frontiers and no ethnical basis, peopled as 
it was by a variety of races. In the lands, however, 
to which the name of Lorraine became applied in 
more modern times it may be taken that the Celto- 
Gallic element prevailed over that of the Germanic 
intruders. Scientists .claim that a brachycephalic 
type of skull, which was that of the ancient Gauls, 
has always predominated among the Lorrainers. J 
On the other hand, the country became at an 
early date a source of much contention and strife 
between France and Germany. Both claimed control 
over it, but undoubtedly the first sovereigns of 
the so-called Holy Roman Empire appointed the 
Dukes by whom the territory was governed, and 
these Dukes became the only effective rulers. 

In the ninth and tenth centuries, however, there 

* See p. 67, ante. f See p. 67, ante. 

| This matter is dealt with more fully in chapter viL 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 145 

were several invasions. Attila's hordes had overrun 
the country at the close of the Gallo-Roman period, 
and on seizing Metz had destroyed nearly all its 
Roman edifices of any note. The years 910, 917, 
926, and 927 witnessed the irruption of other bar- 
barians, who are also called Huns by some of the old 
chroniclers. Thus the nobles who attempted to rule 
Lorraine enjoyed no easy times. At last the Em- 
peror Otho the Great, after appointing, first, Henry 
Duke of Saxony, and, secondly, Conrad the Red, Duke 
of Rhenish France, to govern the territory, removed 
the latter and bestowed the dignity on his own brother 
Bruno, who was then Archbishop of Cologne. Bruno 
divided the different regions into Upper and Lower 
Lorraine, and ranking as a kind of Archduke, ap- 
pointed various subordinate dukes to administer 
different parts. He created, for instance, a Duke of 
Brabant and a Duke of Liege, and placed Frederic 
or Ferry I, Count of Bar, son of a count or mayor of 
the palace of the time of Charles the Simple, at the 
head of Upper, otherwise French, Lorraine. Bar, be 
it said, comprised most of the Meuse country between 
French Lorraine and Champagne, and Ferry had 
married Beatrix, sister of Hugh Capet, the founder of 
the French Capetian dynasty. 

The dukedoms which I have mentioned were simply 
benefices held only for life or during good behaviour ; 
but in later times the fact that a member of one or 
another house had been placed at some period or 
other at the head of some particular duchy gave rise 
to all sorts of claims, which not unfrequently were 
fought out on the battlefield. Moreover, according to 
the relative power of the French or the German rulers 
one or the other exercised the right of appointment 
to these dukedoms, and at some moments great con- 



146 THE TRUE STORY OF 

fusion prevailed as to who might really be the rightful 
duke. 

When Bruno divided Upper from Lower Lorraine 
the former included all French Lorraine and some 
additional territory. The second comprised most, if 
not all, of modern Belgium, together with the Moselle 
and part of the Rhenish country. Most of Lower 
Lorraine became known later as the Duchy of Brabant, 
which in 1089 the Emperor Henry IV bestowed on the 
famous Godefroy de Bouillon, of the First Crusade. 
Brabant afterwards became a hereditary duchy, and 
ultimately passed to the Burgundian house. The 
position was complicated, however, by the fact that 
the chief bishops of Lower Lorraine those of Utrecht, 
Treves, Cologne, Metz, Liege, Verdun, etc. gradually 
became more and more independent and increased the 
territorial possessions of their sees. Like the Dukes 
themselves they were immediate feudatories of the 
Empire, though the Archbishops of Treves endea- 
voured to exercise temporal as well as spiritual 
jurisdiction over other prelates. 

Hugh Capet, on coming to the front in France, 
had considerable trouble in asserting his supremacy 
there, and therefore gave little attention to the fate 
of either Upper or Lower Lorraine. It would seem, 
however, that a grand-nephew of his, called Albert of 
Alsace, was appointed Duke of Upper Lorraine by the 
Emperor Henry III in 1046. From Albert's time, or 
rather that of his son Gerard, styled Count in, not of, 
Alsace, the duchy became hereditary. Gerard appears 
to have owned several lordships in Upper Lorraine and 
these gave him some sort of claim to succeed his 
father in the ducal dignity, but according to one ac- 
count he did not do so by right of birth, but assembled 
the Lorraine nobles to confirm him in the position. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 147 

Gerard died in 1070, and from that time until the 
earlier part of the fifteenth century his heirs in tail 
male continued to rule Upper Lorraine. Charles, called 
the Bold, who succeeded in 1391, lost both his sons 
while they were still young. He had, however, two 
daughters, named respectively Isabella and Catherine. 
The latter married a Margrave of Baden, and Charles 
selected Isabella as heiress of Lorraine. To carry this 
plan into effect he convoked the chivalry of the 
duchy, and on December 13, 1425, the eighty-four 
nobles who attended the gathering signed a covenant 
declaring that in default of direct heirs male the 
duchy should pass to the nearest female member of the 
reigning house. Isabella took as her husband Rene 
of Anjou, who at this time held the adjacent duchy of 
Bar. 

Bar also was a State in which female succession 
was acknowledged. This had occurred as far back 
as 1027 when a Duchess Sophia exercised governing 
rights there under French suzerainty. She married a 
Count of Mousson and Montbeliard of the same stock 
as the early Counts of Ferrette, who were mentioned 
in my sketch of Alsatian history.* Sophia's line 
lasted until the early years of the fifteenth century, 
when Bar (raised from the rank of a county to that 
of a duchy by John of France in 1355) was held 
by a certain Duke Robert. He was followed by his 
brother Louis, Cardinal Bishop of Chalons-sur-Marne, 
who surrendered the duchy to his grand-nephew 
Rene of Anjou, husband of Isabella of Lorraine. 
Anjou had undergone many vicissitudes since the days 
when John Lackland lost it. From the French 
crown it had passed, with Maine, to Charles, the 
younger brother of Saint Louis. Later, a son of 

* See pp. 77, 78, ante. 



148 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Philip the Hardy of France had married the heiress. 
Afterwards had come a son of John of France, 
named Louis, whose eldest grandson, Louis III, died 
without posterity, whereupon his younger brother 
Rene succeeded both to Anjou and to Maine, as 
well as to the county of Provence and the 
claims of the Angevin line to the kingdom of 
Naples. The last named he never secured, never- 
theless he lives in historical romance as the good 
King Rene. 

As I have shown, he was by descent a prince of the 
House of France, and indeed from the time of Albert 
and Gerard of Alsace, who were Capetians, down to the 
reign of King Stanislas the territory now known as 
Lorraine was always ruled by French Princes. Before 
Rene's time, in fact as far back as the eleventh century, 
Bar and Lorraine had often been at variance, the 
rulers of these duchies generally being quarrelsome, 
pugnacious men. The union of the two little States 
seemed to offer promise of a better future. Isabella 
and Rene had to contend, however, in regard to 
Lorraine, against a junior branch of that duchy's 
house, represented by the Count of Vaudemont, who 
attempted to assert his claims by force of arms, but 
failed in his endeavour. The Angevin dynasty resided 
little in Lorraine. It took less interest in this tangible 
possession than in its claims on Naples and Sicily. 
Whilst, however, its members were fighting abroad 
they confided the authority in Lorraine to various 
regents, whose administration was generally meri- 
torious. There had previously been a period when 
the Lorraine communes had asserted themselves and 
ended by securing a considerable degree of autonomy. 
Powerful corporations had also sprung up, to the 
great advantage of the Third Estate. By a charter 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 149 

which Rene" granted in 1448, the glass- workers of 
Lorraine were assimilated to the nobility. 

In 1453 Rene surrendered Lorraine and Bar to his 
eldest son John, who married Marie de Bourbon, and 
left the duchies to their son Nicholas. A junior 
branch afterwards succeeded, its first Duke, Rene II, 
becoming historically famous as the adversary of 
Charles the Rash of Burgundy, who made a wild 
attempt to reconstitute some such kingdom of Lothar- 
ingia as that which had been formed at the dismem- 
berment of Charlemagne's empire. Charles at first 
overran the greater part of Lorraine and even seized 
the town of Nancy, but in February 1477 he was 
slain in a memorable battle fought outside the town 
walls. Rene II afterwards endeavoured to assert the 
Italian claims of his house, but failing in that enter- 
prise he virtually renounced warfare and set himself 
to consolidate the States he had inherited. 

I mentioned previously that at quite an early 
date many bishoprics of the original Lorraine had 
made themselves virtually independent. Two of 
these sees, Metz and Toul, were enclaves in Rene's 
territory. A third, Verdun, was on its confines. The 
Duke contrived to get control of these dioceses by 
securing that of Toul for one of his uncles, and those 
of Metz and Verdun for his third and fourth sons. In 
one way and another he extended his sway consider- 
ably, and to increase the influence of his house abroad 
he ordered that all younger sons should only 
inherit or acquire fiefs outside the duchies. He 
also showed great prudence in his relations with 
France and Germany ; and at last in 1542 a conven- 
tion was signed at Nuremberg between his son and 
successor, Anthony, and the Emperor Charles V, by 
which the latter acknowledged the independence 



150 THE TRUE STORY OF 

of the duchy of Lorraine, the imperial suzerainty 
being limited to the marquisates of Pont-a-Mousson 
and Hattonchatel, the counties of Blamont and 
Nomeny, and the so-called garde of Toul and avouerie 
of Remiremont. 

At this period the whole tendency of Lorraine 
policy was to shake off as far as possible all connexion 
with Germany. After Duke Anthony's son Francis, 
who reigned only a year, came in 1545 his grandson 
Charles III, known to Lorrainers as the Great. As a 
child he was taken to France, where Henri II married 
him to his daughter Claude. Charles had several 
relatives in France. His predecessor, Rene II, had 
held numerous lordships there, and in pursuance of 
his policy to have his younger sons provided for outside 
Lorraine and Bar, he left the counties of Guise, 
Aumale, Joinville, Mayenne, and Elbceuf to his fifth 
son Claude of Lorraine, who was afterwards raised to 
the rank of Duke of Guise, and became the progenitor of 
that famous house. In 1552, at the time of Charles III 
of Lorraine, Henri II of France contrived to secure 
possession of the Three Bishoprics Metz, Toul, and 
Verdun as I mentioned in an earlier chapter.* It 
was the famous Marshal Anne de Montmorency who 
obtained possession of the city of Metz, the Catholic 
elements of its population, headed by the Bishop 
himself, Mgr. de Lenoncourt, assisting in the enter- 
prise. It may be added that Henri II had pre- 
viously signed a treaty with Maurice of Saxony 
authorizing him to establish himself in the towns 
which " anciently belonged to the Empire, but which 
were not of Germanic speech." Henri II made a 
solemn entry into Metz in April 1552 ; but the Em- 
peror Charles V was not unnaturally furious, and in 

* See p. 47, ante. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 151 

the following month of October he besieged the city 
with a great army. As I related in my account 
of Metz* he had to withdraw, after suffering great 
losses, on the ensuing first of January. Henri II 
contented himself with assuming the title of Protector- 
at Metz, Verdun, and Toul, but his third son and 
successor, Henri III, entitled himself Sovereign Lord 
of those towns. It must be admitted that whilst 
France continued to exercise effective sway in the 
Bishoprics her right to do so was not formally acknow- 
ledged by the Germanic Empire until the Peace of 
Westphalia in 1648, when it was agreed that Metz, 
Toul, and Verdun should remain possessions of the 
French Crown. The Duchy of Lorraine not having 
then been united to France, the Bishoprics, although 
separated from one another by intervening strips of 
territory, were incorporated as a French province, 
that of " Les Trois-Eveches." 

In all probability if the Guises had not been so 
powerful, and Henri III of France so extremely weak, 
all Lorraine would have been joined to France in the 
sixteenth century. Duke Charles sided with his 
relatives the Guises and the famous Catholic League 
against the effete Henri III. Adherents of the League 
garrisoned Metz, Verdun, Mezieres, Toul, and other 
towns. There was no war declared with the Em- 
pire, but German Protestants allied themselves with 
some of the Protestants of Lorraine, and the duchy 
became the scene of hostilities. The great struggle of 
that period was semi-religious and semi-political. On 
the one hand the Leaguers wished to stamp out 
the Protestant religion, on the other there was con- 
tention for the crown of France. Duke Charles of 
Lorraine wished to obtain that crown for his son 

* See p. 48, ante. 



152 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Henri, and if by virtue of descent the claims of the 
House of Lorraine could be regarded as superior to 
those of the House of Bourbon (represented by Henry 
of Navarre), the senior representative of Lorraine was 
assuredly more entitled to the reversion of Henri Ill's 
crown than any junior representative, such as Henri 
Duke de Guise. The latter, however, aspired to 
become King of France, and in conjunction with his 
immediate kinsmen he opposed Charles's pretensions. 
Guise was assassinated at Blois in 1588 and Henri III 
at Saint-Cloud in the following year. War still 
continued, however, between France and Lorraine 
until in 1595 Duke Charles signed a treaty of 
peace with the Navarrese Henri IV at Folembray. 
During the hostilities the Duke of Lorraine had 
taken the towns of Stenay and Dun-sur-Meuse, 
and their possession was confirmed to him at the 
peace. 

Charles's son, Henri II of Lorraine, at one time 
the parental candidate for the throne of France, had 
to content himself with marrying the new King of 
France's sister, Catherine of Bourbon, with whom he 
did not live on particularly good terms, for he was a 
Catholic and she a very zealous Huguenot one who 
boldly told her brother that she w^ould not abjure her 
faith for any kingdom in the world. In spite, how- 
ever, of matrimonial bickerings, she bore her husband 
two daughters, one of whom, named Nicole, was 
married to a nephew of her husband named Charles. 
By his will Henri II of Lorraine specified that Nicole 
and her husband should reign over the duchy con- 
jointly this arrangement being similar to that arrived 
at in Great Britain, at a later period, in the case of 
our William and Mary, the last named being Queen 
Regnant and not merely Queen Consort. In the case 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 153 

of Lorraine, however, a kind of comedy was acted in 
order to upset the will of Henri II. His nephew 
Charles abdicated in favour of his own father, Francis 
of Lorraine, who thereupon took possession of the 
ducal throne. Francis occupied himself in paying off 
some huge debts left by his predecessors, notably his 
father Charles the Great, and then in his turn abdicated 
in favour of his son. In this way Nicole was frus- 
trated of her sovereign rights. 

Trouble ensued with France over this matter, 
particularly as Charles repudiated Nicole, and more- 
over he aided and abetted the rebellion of Gaston of 
Orleans against Louis XIII. He not only supplied 
Gaston with an asylum, but gave him his sister Mar- 
guerite in marriage. Later he openly allied himself 
with the German and Spanish enemies of France. War 
ensued, and Louis XIII besieged and took Nancy, 
which offered very little resistance to his forces. 
Louis, however, regarded his exploit as a glorious one, 
and requested Jacques Callot, the famous artist, to 
depict the surrender in an engraving. But Callot, 
who was a native of Nancy, boldly replied : '" I would 
rather cut off my thumb than do so." In 1632 Duke 
Charles was at last constrained to sign a peace with 
France, by which he covenanted to allow French 
forces free passage across the duchy, and to renounce 
all alliance with her enemies.. But he did not keep his 
word, and before long fresh trouble arose in such wise 
that in 1634 he abdicated in favour of his brother, 
Cardinal Nicholas Francis of Lorraine, whom France, 
however, declined to recognize. As Nicholas, though a 
Cardinal, was not a priest, he married Claude, the sister 
of the discarded Nicole, in the hope of thereby forti- 
fying his authority. But Richelieu instructed the 
Duke de La Force, who commanded in Lorraine for 



154 THE TRUE STORY OF 

France, to arrest the newly married pair, and they 
were shut up in the ducal palace at Nancy, whence, 
however, they managed to escape under dramatic and 
picturesque circumstances. 

They joined Duke Charles, who had fled to Ger- 
many, and Richelieu was left master of Lorraine. He 
appointed French governors in the place of the officials 
of Duke Charles, garrisoned the towns with French 
soldiery, and instituted at Nancy a Sovereign Court of 
Lorraine, which many of the native nobility willingly 
entered, as Charles by his foreign alliances had made 
himself extremely unpopular among them. His wife 
Nicole, whom he had repudiated in 1637, sought a 
refuge in Paris. He himself experienced many further 
vicissitudes. Until 1642 he continued waging war as 
best he could. In that year, however, he signed a 
treaty acknowledging as Due-client the patronage of 
France. Afterwards he disputed this arrangement 
and again quitted Lorraine, whereupon France, 
showing less reserve than previously, appointed an 
intendant to administer the duchy. The capture of 
the fortresses of La Mothe and Longwy finally made 
the French supreme masters there. Charles, who 
fell out with his allies the Spaniards, was arrested by 
them and detained for five years at Antwerp. He was 
not included in the Treaty of Westphalia, but by that 
of the Pyrenees he was restored to a part of his States. 
France retained the Clermontois in the Argonne, 
Stenay, Dun, and Jametz, and also for a time the 
Duchy of Bar, which was ultimately returned to 
Charles by a convention signed at Vincennes. In 
1663, however, Charles had to hand Marsal over to 
Louis XIV. Moreover, when the latter declared war 
on Holland, being by no means sure of the neutrality 
of Lorraine, he again occupied the duchy, and his 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 155 

distrust was justified by the immediate departure of 
Charles to join the enemies of France. 

I have mentioned that this Duke of Lorraine had 
repudiated his wife Nicole. He did so in order to 
marry a beautiful young woman named Beatrix de 
Cusance, widow of the Prince de Cantecroix, and he 
took this course with the approval of a Jesuit Father 
named Cheminot, who held that his marriage with 
Nicole was null and void as he had been " constrained 
to it " by the will of his uncle, the bride's father. But 
in 1639 Pope Urban VIII annulled Charles's marriage 
with the Princess de Cantecroix, and declared their 
children a son and a daughter to be illegitimate. 
Nevertheless, Beatrix clung to Charles, and shared his 
adventurous life, invariably accompanying him to the 
wars, and thereby becoming known as his femme de 
campagne. Later, the Duke (Nicole having died) 
married Beatrix by deputy, as she lay on her death- 
bed. But he was already carrying on an intrigue 
with the young Countess de Ludres, a canoness of the 
Abbey of Poussay, who subsequently became, for a 
short time, one of the mistresses of Louis XIV. 
Charles promised to marry the Countess, but never 
did so. Constrained in later years to live in Paris, 
he there became infatuated with a certain Marianne 
Pajot, an apothecary's daughter, and with this girl he 
actually went through a form of marriage. But the 
union was dissolved by the Parliament of Paris in 
consequence of the united protests of the Houses of 
Bourbon and Lorraine. Ultimately, a mere child, 
Louise Marguerite, daughter of the Count d'Apre- 
mont-Nanteuil, was thrown in the amorous old Duke's 
way, and in July 1665 (he then being sixty-two years 
of age) he ,was married to this girl who was just 
entering her teens. No children were born of the 



156 THE TRUE STORY OF 

union.* This particular Charles of Lorraine was a 
singular compound of energy and weakness. He was 
an extremely brave man, but possessed no stability 
of character, and by his constant changes of policy he 
contributed more than any other prince of his line to 
destroy the independence of his States. 

He was succeeded in 1675 by his nephew Charles V, 
son of Cardinal Nicholas Francis and Claude. This 
duke, a very handsome man, also had several love 
affairs, notably with Marie Mancini, the Princess Mar- 
guerite Louise of Orleans, and the Grande Made- 
moiselle de Montpensier. The French still occupied 
Lorraine, and as Charles V would not subscribe to the 
Treaty of the Pyrenees or that of Nimeguen, or give 
up his claims to Longwy or sanction military roads 
through Lorraine for French purposes, he was never 
much more than titular Duke. Brave like most of his 
forerunners, and a very capable soldier praised in 
that respect by the great Duke of Berwick he sided 
with the Germanic Empire against France, and married 
Eleanor, sister of the Emperor Leopold I. In 1690 
he was followed by his son, also called Leopold, who 
by the Treaty of Ryswick was placed, in consequence 
of the military reverses of France, in possession of his 
ancestral dominions. Nevertheless, he had to leave 
Longwy and Sarrelouis to Louis XIV, and grant a 
right of passage through his States to French troops. 

Seventy years of warfare and frequent foreign occu- 
pation had proved disastrous to Lorraine. Until the 
beginning of the seventeenth century, in spite of the 
frequency of hostilities, the duchy had been a progres- 
sive State. At the period just mentioned it had 400,000 
inhabitants. Even its mountainous and forest re- 

* I have extracted some of the above particulars from a previous book 
of mine, " The Favourites of Louis XIV." (Chatto and Windus.) 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 157 

gions were becoming populated, and commerce and 
industry were increasing. Great fairs were held in 
one and another town, and attracted traders from 
many parts of Europe. In the wake of the Reforma- 
tion, which came chiefly from Alsace, a democratic 
movement set in, but was thrown back by excesses, 
such as attended the rising of the Rustauds.* On the 
other hand, the advent of the Reformation led to the 
reform of some of the religious orders, notably the 
Benedictines and Premonstratensians. Further, in 
1572 Charles the Great founded the first university 
of Lorraine at Pont-a-Mousson. But the subsequent 
age of incessant turmoil brought misery with it. 
There were pestilences, famines, ever-increasing im- 
posts, incessant marchings and counter-marchings of 
plundering soldiery. Good government became im- 
possible. It is acknowledged that the French officials 
who were appointed by Louis XIII and Louis XIV 
did what they could to alleviate the sufferings of the 
inhabitants, but the task devolving on them was 
really beyond their powers. 

Though Duke Leopold had an Austrian mother he 
took a French wife, Elizabeth Charlotte of Orleans, 
and in endeavouring to replace the administration of 
his States on an orderly basis he followed French 
examples. They, perhaps, were scarcely the best 
guides, for in spite of Colbert, Vauban, and others, 
the age of Louis XIV was too often one of sheer 
oppression. The laws introduced by Leopold were 
mainly copied from the ordonnances of the French 
monarch. Native traditions were disregarded, in 
such wise that the assimilation of Lorraine to 
France steadily increased. The financial systems be- 
came almost identical. In spite, however, of various 

* See pp. 33, 34, 81, ante. 



158 THE TRUE STORY OF 

errors, Leopold certainly improved the condition of 
his people. He also patronized art and letters, and 
built a great deal. About the time of his accession 
Nancy had less than 8000 inhabitants. Eleven 
years later it counted nearly 15,000, who in 1734 had 
increased to nearly 20,000. At that time, it is re- 
corded, an octroi service for the collection of municipal 
dues on provisions and other commodities coming 
into the town had been established, and the streets 
were lighted with lanterns. 

For a while Nancy had felt the evil effects of the 
Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (October 22, 1685), 
though in a less degree than Metz, which is said to have 
lost two-thirds of its population at that time. There 
were dragonnades and other persecutions in various 
parts of Lorraine. The Jews, who were not disturbed, 
profited by the emigration of the Protestants. They 
had been expelled from the Three Bishoprics in the 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, but during the 
sixteenth a few were allowed to remain for a short 
time at Metz. Their number was at last reduced to 
four families, who obtained permission to continue 
residing in the town on paying 200 crowns apiece to 
the Bishop and an annual sum of 200 limes for the 
benefit of the poor. They were to receive no foreign 
Jews, to take no weapons (unless by express permission) 
as security for loans, and to levy no higher weekly 
interest than one denier (the twelfth part of a sou) for 
every lime they lent. In less than forty years those 
four families had become twenty-five. In 1614 there 
were 58 families ; in 1624, 76 ; in 1657, 96 ; and in 
1674, 119, comprising 665 males and females, all 
descended from the original four families of 1556. 
This increase continued afterwards. In 1681 there 
were no fewer than 1422 Jews of both sexes at Metz. 




ALSACE-LORRAINE 159 

In 1689, 32 refugees from the Palatinate obtained 
permission to settle in the town, where in 1739 there 
were altogether 530 Jewish households, representing 
2213 persons, all of whom resided in the same street, 
virtually a Ghetto, where exorbitant rents were 
paid as Jews might not possess house property. In 
order to remain undisturbed they handed large sums, 
virtually bribes, to members of the corporation and 
the nobility. Besides being subjected to very heavy 
taxation they were only allowed to deal in certain 
specified commodities. Louis XV granted his mistress, 
the Duchess de Chateauroux, a rente on the Jews of 
Metz in order to increase her income. She was 
parted, however, from the King not long afterward 
and succumbed to poison administered by somebody 
jealous of her influence. It was about this period 
that the Jews were exempted from the obligation of 
having to wear yellow hats to distinguish them from 
all good, and likewise bad, Christians. In connexion 
with the war of the Austrian Succession (1741-1748) 
the Lorraine Jews rendered considerable services by 
bringing horses for the French cavalry from Germany 
and also by importing grain. They are said to have 
sacrificed 30,000 limes in these matters, and it was 
probably as a reward for their behaviour that the 
stigma of the yellow hat was removed. 

As an ecclesiastical see Metz remained under the 
archiepiscopal jurisdiction of Treves until in the early 
period of the great Revolution it came under the 
Archbishopric of Reims. When, however, Napoleon 
restored religion he placed the Bishop of Metz under 
the Archbishop of Besanon, and this continued to 
be the position until the annexation by Germany. In 
ancient times the city figured somewhat prominently 
in ecclesiastical history, eight Church Councils being 



160 THE TRUE STORY OF 

held there. At one of these it was enacted that no 
priest should have more than one church or benefice, 
a regulation which would have horrified many a fat 
pluralist of later days. The same sixth-century 
council also decreed that no woman whatsoever 
should dwell in a priest's house, even though she were 
his mother or his sister. As time elapsed the regula- 
tions became less and less stringent in this respect. 
Nevertheless, during Duke Leopold's reign (1690- 
1729) we find bishops ordaining that no priest should 
keep a housekeeper aged less than forty years. The 
Bishop of Toul even decreed that the priests and 
curates in his diocese should not visit girls' schools. 
In 1715 a priest convicted of adultery with a notary's 
wife was ordered to pay a fine equivalent to 100, 
and, if worth more than that amount, to have all his 
property confiscated. He, however, at least retained 
his liberty whereas his paramour was sentenced to 
imprisonment for life. Some years later another 
priest, convicted of ignoble offences, suffered the 
death penalty. 

Immorality was usually punished severely. In 
one case an unfaithful wife was hanged and her lover 
broken on the wheel. The wife of a locksmith of 
Nancy was likewise sentenced to death, but we read 
that her husband, compassionating her fate, offered to 
take her back, and thereby saved her life. In another 
town a girl found in a barracks was sentenced to 
perpetual banishment. On the other hand unfaithful 
husbands escaped with fines of twenty livres or there- 
abouts. Another typical case was that of a count who, 
having a son by his wife's maid, was sentenced to 
bring up the child at his own expense and in due time 
to have him taught a trade. There were horrible 
penalties for some offences. A drunken man entered 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 161 

a church and attempted to take the Communion. He 
had not confessed, and, moreover, instead of praying 
he began to swear. The sentence in his case was that 
his tongue should be pierced with a red-hot iron, and 
that he should afterwards be banished from the 
duchy. The clerk of a court of justice escaped a 
similar penalty for a curious reason. He was con- 
victed of having used, whilst in his cups, blasphemous 
language about the Pope, the priesthood, and the 
Duke. He was pardoned, however, on it being urged 
in his favour that whenever he tippled too freely he 
invariably became quarrelsome and offensive, instead 
of merry like other people. 

After the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes the 
enactments against Protestants were particularly 
severe, for although only the Three Bishoprics and 
a few other districts really belonged to France, the 
forces of Louis XIV were to be found all over the 
duchy. In the case of Catholics who lapsed from 
their religion into Protestantism there was but one 
penalty death by hanging. From time to time 
there were still some trials for sorcery, and unhappy 
victims were burnt at the stake ; but these cases were 
far less numerous than during the Thirty Years' War, 
when Protestants as well as Catholics freely put so- 
called witches to death. 

I have mentioned that priests were forbidden to 
enter girls' schools, and may add that in most localities 
schoolmasters and mistresses were elected by the 
burgesses or other parishioners. In the first instance, 
however, all candidates were examined respecting 
their orthodoxy and attainments by ecclesiastical 
authorities, and only those regarded fit for the posts 
to which they aspired were eligible for election. One 
of the Bishops of Toul took a wise course by ordering 



162 THE TRUE STORY OF 

that whilst children should first say their prayers in 
Latin, according to the usage of the Church, they 
should afterwards repeat them in French in order that 
they might know the nature of their prayer. This 
appears to have been decreed in order to meet the 
frequent objection of the Protestants, that the folk 
who said their prayers in Latin had no notion what 
they meant. 

Some proof of the increasing prosperity of Lorraine 
under Duke Leopold and his successors is supplied 
by the following figures. In 1700, ten years after 
Leopold's accession, the taxes brought 680,000 limes 
to the ducal exchequer, but in 1729, the last year of his 
reign, they yielded 1,915,620 limes. In 1737, soon 
after the accession of Stanislas Leczinski, it was found 
that there were 125,768 households liable to payment 
of taxes ; and M. Ravold, one of the historians of 
Lorraine, estimates that allowing for the large number 
of people who were exempt from taxation, and also for 
the indigent class, the above figures would imply that 
the population of the duchy was then approximately 
760,000. There is plenty of evidence respecting the 
steady growth of industry and trade. In textiles, 
linen and cotton goods and lace were to the fore. 
The mines were worked more thoroughly than pre- 
viously. Tin alone gave employment to 2000 hands. 
There were numerous smelting- works, foundries, and 
forges. The glass-works, notably at Baccarat, had 
become extremely important. The paper-mills em- 
ployed some 500 hands, and produced about 80,000 
reams annually. 

It has been mentioned that French troops occupied 
various parts of Lorraine in Duke Leopold's time. In 
1702 Louis XIV, fearing invasion, garrisoned Nancy, 
where his forces remained until almost the end of his 




ALSACE-LORRAINE 163 

reign. Leopold lodged a mild kind of protest and 
then settled at Luneville, which remained the usual 
residence of the ducal court until Lorraine was united 
to France. In 1707 Leopold's conciliatory policy 
induced Louis to hand over the town of Commercy, 
which he had been arbitrarily detaining. Further, 
under the regency of the Duke of Orleans, the French 
restored the prevote of Longwy, that is, apart from the 
actual town and fortress (the latter Vauban's work), 
which Louis XIV had styled the " Iron Gate of 
France." As some compensation for the retention of 
the stronghold, Rambervillers and its dependencies 
were restored to the Duke of Lorraine. His sover- 
eignty was also recognized over Saint-Hippolyte, 
Nomeny, Saint- Avoid, and the Abbey of Rieval. In 
1728, near the close of his reign, a treaty was signed 
with France by which Lorraine was declared to be 
neutral territory. In a secret clause, however, Leo- 
pold covenanted to allow French troops the right of 
passage through the duchy " in case of absolute 
necessity, as happens in nearly all wars." One cannot 
read those last words without thinking of what hap- 
pened to Belgium in 1914. 

There is no doubt that Leopold's rule was an auto- 
cratic one, based on the system which sprang up in 
France under Louis XIV. The old constitutional 
methods observed by earlier Dukes were ignored, and 
when some of the Lorraine nobles protested against 
the change they were silenced in the most peremptory 
fashion.* It was Leopold who gave an asylum in 
Lorraine to the Young Pretender, greatly to the 

* Many of them disliked Leopold because, apart from levying fees on 
new creations, he ordered that all families ennobled by the Bishops of Metz, 
Verdun, and Toul, and by the Lords of Commercy since 1616, should pay 
6000 Uvrea apiece, with additional sealing duties, for confirmation of their 
rank. 



164 THE TRUE STORY OF 

disgust of our Hanoverian sovereign. Some time 
afterwards the Duke had occasion to send the Marquis 
de Lambertye as envoy to England, but George II 
refused to receive him, and the only result, a not 
unimportant one, of the Marquis's journey was that 
he brought back with him a quantity of English 
seed potatoes which were of a much superior quality 
to those introduced by the Swedes about 1665 during 
the Thirty Years' War. Hitherto, moreover, the 
cultivation of potatoes had been restricted, as the 
tubers were said to exhaust the soil, but from Leo- 
pold's time it spread greatly, and became so re- 
munerative that under the French regime a special 
tax was levied on potato crops. 

Leopold's wife, Elizabeth Charlotte of Orleans, 
whom he married in 1699, presented him with four 
children, two sons and two daughters. One of the 
girls married Charles Emmanuel of Savoy, King of 
Sardinia, and the other became Abbess of Remiremont. 
The younger son, Charles of Lorraine, entered the 
Austrian service, was appointed Governor of the 
Netherlands, and married one of the Hapsburg arch- 
duchesses. The elder ^on, Francis Stephen, succeeded 
his father as Duke of Lorraine and Bar. Now the 
policy of Duke Leopold had been to conciliate both the 
kingdom of France and its almost constant enemy, 
the Germanic Empire. Placed between those power- 
ful rivals, Leopold had generally striven to avoid 
entanglements and to preserve the independence of 
Lorraine. Thus, whilst improving his relations with 
France, he willingly allowed his eldest son, when 
fourteen years of age, to proceed to Vienna and com- 
plete his education there. There was nothing par- 
ticularly out of the way in this, as the Duke's mother 
had been the Austrian Archduchess Eleanor, sister 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 165 

of the Emperor Leopold I. At the time when Francis 
Stephen went to Vienna, that is, in or about 1715, the 
imperial throne was occupied by his uncle Charles VI. 
The young fellow grew up at the latter's Court, 
accustoming himself to its vain, semi-Spanish cere- 
monial, and the haughty, supercilious manners of the 
Princes of the Imperial Blood. When his father died 
in 1729 he was twenty-one years old, and the Emperor, 
who had created him Palatine of Hungary, already 
intended to give him his daughter, Maria Theresa, in 
marriage. 

On hearing, however, of his father's death, Francis 
Stephen returned to Lorraine, where his mother had 
already proclaimed him as Francis III, and assumed, 
as Regent, the duties of Government. She had also 
begun to levy the usual dons de joyeux av&nement the 
" joyful accession gifts " in both Lorraine and Bar, 
the contribution of the former duchy being fixed at 
380,610 limes, and of the latter at 174,710 limes. 
This was one of the few occasions when in those times 
nobles and ecclesiastics had to draw on the money in 
their coffers, as though they were merely common 
taxable folk. Francis remained in Lorraine until 
April 1731, when after confirming his mother in the 
regency he again departed to Vienna, never again to 
set eyes on his ancestral possessions. His subjects 
had welcomed him because he was their Duke, and 
they had always been attached to the ducal house. 
Never, indeed, were there more loyal folk than the 
Lorrainers generally. However bad any particular 
Duke might be, the bulk of his subjects rallied round 
him, or sympathized with him, or found excuses for 
his errors of policy, or his extravagance or his breaches 
of the ordinary laws. On their side the Dukes, 
besides invariably being brave men, had also been 



166 THE TRUE STORY OF 

affable ones who could unbend and consort with their 
subjects from time to time. But this Francis III 
was very different. He had become essentially a 
German, and particularly a Hapsburg. 

Both of his grandmothers, by the way, were 
Germans, one, as \ve have seen, being a Hapsburg 
Archduchess, and the other that famous Charlotte 
Elizabeth of Bavaria, commonly called the Princess 
Palatine, whose correspondence is so valuable for the 
history of her times. Married to Philip I, Duke of 
Orleans, brother of Louis XIV, she became by him 
mother of the Regent of France as well as of Elizabeth 
Charlotte, the consort of Leopold of Lorraine. 

As will presently be shown, Elizabeth Charlotte was 
intensely French in her sentiments, and it is possible 
that if her son Francis III had not been removed to 
Vienna at the very time when a youth's character is 
beginning to develop, she might, perhaps, have made 
him less of a German, less of a Hapsburg than he 
became in the confined atmosphere of the Viennese 
Hofburg, which seized hold of him and stifled any 
generous sentiments originally existing in his nature. 
From his grandmother, the Archduchess Eleanor, he 
had inherited by reason of that curious prepotency 
of the Hapsburgs, female as well as male, in sexual 
relations some of the distinguishing physical features 
and mental characteristics of the imperial breed. 
These had been developed by his life at Vienna. The 
contemptuous haughtiness which this young man 
barely in the twenties displayed towards his subjects 
of Lorraine, checked the affection which they would 
otherwise have showered on him ; and thus when he 
left the duchy though nobody imagined that he 
would never again return there were few if any who 
regretted his departure. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 167 

His mother the Regent was much liked, and the 
hearty loyalty which he rejected was transferred to 
her. She freely refers to him in her correspondence 
as her " German son," and complains of the shameful 
manner in which he bled Lorraine, extracting from 
the duchy every lime he could, and spending it 
at Vienna. In a word, he merely regarded Lorraine 
as a milch-cow. The Duchess-Regent tells us that 
his annual revenues amounted to 5,960,000 livres, 
made up as follows : From the farmers-general, 
2,600,000 ; from the subsidy, otherwise the taille 
(that is, income and land tax), 2,000,000 ; from the 
ducal domains and the forests, 910,000 ; and from 
casual sources, minting, and other rights, 450,000 
livres. Of this amount he expended in Lorraine only 
about 1,200,000 livres on salaries, the upkeep of the 
ducal stables and hunt, and allowances to his 
mother, his sisters, and his younger brother Charles. 
Moreover, he only paid interest on the debts left 
by his father (between eight and nine million 
livres), without reducing the principal by a single 
copper. 

Now in 1733 Augustus II or the Strong, Elector 
of Saxony and King of Poland, died, and his son 
Augustus III, the only legitimate one among some 
three hundred, expected to be elected in his turn to the 
Polish throne. But he was opposed by a Nationalist 
party which, assembling at Warsaw in September that 
same year, chose a compatriot, Stanislas Leczinski,* 
for the regal dignity. His daughter Marie having 
become the wife of Louis XV of France, that sovereign 
supported his claims. On the other hand the Emperor 
Charles VI upheld those of Augustus of Saxony, who 

* There are various spellings of this name. I have preferred to use the 
least complicated. 



168 THE TRUE STORY OF 

had married one of his daughters, the elder sister of 
Maria Theresa. The Emperor was the more influenced 
in this matter as, having no male heir, he desired to 
leave all his possessions to Maria Theresa, in whose 
favour was issued the famous deed known as the 
Pragmatic Sanction. This set aside the legitimate 
rights of the daughters of the Emperor's deceased 
brother, Joseph I, and also those of Maria Theresa's 
elder sister, whose husband, Augustus of Saxony, 
expecting the crown of Poland, assented to this course. 
In return the Emperor undertook to place Augustus 
on the Polish throne, and the Russian Empress, Anna 
Ivanovna, niece of Peter the Great, was a party to 
this determination, the more particularly as Stanislas 
Leczinski had been a companion in arms and in 
captivity of Russia's enemy, Charles XII of Sweden. 
Charles VI and Anna therefore intervened by force of 
arms, and Leczinski was driven from Poland. France 
having declared war gained some victories over the 
Austrians, but was ultimately obliged to recognize 
Augustus as Polish sovereign. 

One must now pass to another matter. At this 
same period the Grand Duke of Tuscany was John 
Gaston de' Medici, son of Cosmo III by Marguerite 
Louise, daughter of Gaston, Duke of Orleans, brother 
of Louis XIII. John Gaston had married a Bavarian 
princess by whom he had no children, and his nearest 
relation was the Duke of Parma, who was also childless. 
In 1725 therefore ten years before the war for the 
Polish Succession France, the Empire, and Spain 
entered into a treaty by which it was agreed that the 
two duchies of Tuscany and Parma (with which was 
included Piacenza) should pass on the death of their 
respective sovereigns to the Infant Don Carlos, later 
King of Naples. At the conclusion of the Polish war, 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 160 

however, this arrangement was cancelled inasmuch 
as it concerned Tuscany, it being decided by pre- 
liminaries signed at Vienna on Octover 3, 1735, that 
the Grand Duchy should go to Maria Theresa's des- 
tined husband, Francis III of Lorraine and Bar, he 
on his side relinquishing those States in favour of 
Stanislas Leczinski to compensate the last named for 
the loss of the Polish crown. It was further stipulated 
that, on the death of Stanislas, Lorraine and Bar 
should be united to France. Other arrangements 
were that the lordship of Falkenstein belonging to 
Francis III should go to Austria, that the nobles 
of Lorraine should retain the right to sit in the 
Imperial Diet, and that, as Francis would not 
come into possession of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany 
until the death of John Gaston, France should 
pay him in the interval, as a kind of pension, a 
sum of 4,500,000 livres, and also discharge the 
debts left by his father to the amount of 8,711,726 
livres. 

These various covenants supply a remarkable 
illustration of the manner in which high and mighty 
princes then disposed not only of territories but also 
of their inhabitants, whose wishes were deemed too 
contemptible to be consulted. We see a Lorrainer, 
descended from the old house of France, set on the 
Italian throne of Tuscany, a Spaniard placed in pos- 
session of the Two Sicilies and Parma, a German 
Elector of Saxony made King of Poland, and a Pole 
made Duke of Lorraine and Bar. Napoleon did some 
extraordinary things as a Kingmaker, but he was more 
consistent in his methods, uniformly conferring the 
regal dignity, as in the case of Spain, Holland, Naples, 
and Westphalia, on his own kinsfolk, or, as in the case 
of Saxony, Bavaria, and Wiirttemberg, allowing native 



170 THETRUESTORYOF 

princes of inferior status to assume the kingly 
title.* 

Bleeding his subjects of Lorraine and pocketing 
remittances from Louis XV, Duke Francis III indulged 
himself at Vienna in gratifying his expensive tastes. 
He was a tailor's man with a passion for fine clothes, 
and history has preserved a record of a coat that 
cost him 300,000 florins, or approximately 25,000, 
precious stones being sprinkled plentifully about the 
embroidery. Tucked out in this fashion Francis 
paid his court to the Archduchess Maria Theresa, 
whom he married on February 12, 1736, he then being 
twenty-eight and she nineteen years of age. Among 
the children afterwards born to them were the 
Emperors Joseph II and Leopold II, and Marie 
Antoinette, who died upon the scaffold. 

John Gaston de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, 
an affable and cultured prince with a hatred of bigotry 
and an inclination towards philosophic doubt, passed 
away at Florence on July 9, 1737. Ten days later 
the Tuscan Senate took the oath to Francis of Lorraine. 
Owing to his grasping nature a dispute arose respect- 
ing John Gaston's personal property and effects, to 
which Don Carlos of Naples and the deceased's sister, 
the Electress Palatine,f had better claims. Francis, 
however, set hands on everything he could. There 
was only one fly in his ointment. On being placed in 
possession of Tuscany his French pension ceased, and 
as yet. instead of 4,500,000 livres, he had only received 

* There were no kings except the titular King of the Romans in the old 
Holy Roman Germanic Empire. The highest dignities were those of elector 
and duke. Prussia did not form part of the Empire, where its king was only 
Elector of Brandenburg. The old emperors would not allow any ruler of 
lands subject to the imperial suzerainty to assume the title of king. 

| The reigning branch of the famous house of the Medici became extinct 
at her death, which occurred on February 18, 1743. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 171 

1,300,193 and 14 sous (sic). Nothing more was paid 
to him personally by the French government, though 
certain agreed allowances to members or connexions 
of the old house of Lorraine were continued until the 
Revolutionary period (1793). 

Although a few Lorraine nobles followed the for- 
tunes of their former Duke and betook themselves to 
Vienna, while others joined his younger brother 
Charles at Brussels, the people generally were grief- 
stricken at finding themselves sold like a herd of 
cattle by the degenerate descendant of their native 
dynasty. The town and county of Commercy were 
by agreement assigned to the Duchess-Regent, Eliza- 
beth Charlotte, and when she and her retainers 
quitted Luneville, the seat of the ducal court, people 
lined the roads, knelt before her, and wept, whilst 
begging that she would not forsake them. Her opinion 
of her son's conduct is shown by a letter which she 
w r rote at this period. She bluntly denounced him in 
it as a degenerate, and after refusing to join her 
younger son, the Governor of the Austrian Nether- 
lands, she added : "I greatly love Lorraine and the 
Lorrainers. They do not dislike me, and so I will 
remain with them until the end of my days. As for 
the Emperor (Charles VI) I would rather die at this 
moment than come under his domination. I will 
live my own life, and stay here unless I go to Paris 
should the King (Louis XV) so will it. He is the head 
of my house, and I will always obey him and no other 
power ; and if he allows me to stay here, it is here I 
hope that I shall end my days (Luneville, June 
1736)."* 

* She succumbed to an attack of apoplexy at Commercy on December 23, 
1744, and was much regretted by the Lorrainers. 



VI 
THE STORY OF LORRAINE 

(FROM THE TIME OF STANISLAS TO 1870) 

Stanislas Leczinski : His Disposition and Personal Popularity : The 
Intendant La Galaiziere : Bad Seasons in Lorraine : Excessive Taxa- 
tion : War of the Austrian Succession : Louis XV at Metz : More 
Taxation and Increasing Unpopularity of La Galaiziere : The 
Amours of Stanislas : His French Friends : His Tragic Death : 
Lorraine under the Old French Regime : Industrial Prosperity : 
Church Abuses : Crimes and Punishments : The Revolution : The 
Switzers at Nancy : Patriotism of Lorraine : Lorraine under Napo- 
leon : The last Bourbon Rule : The People of the Sarre and Prussia : 
Napoleon III and the Coup tfEtat : Last Years of the Second 
Empire. 

THE Duchy of Bar was formally transferred to Stanislas 
Leczinski on February 8, 1737, and that of Lorraine 
on March 21 in the same year. One of his com- 
patriots, a certain Baron Mechec, took possession of 
the States in his name. Born at Lemberg, the capital 
of Galicia, Stanislas was at this time sixty years of 
age. His early career had been most adventurous. 
Apart from his attempt to secure the kingdom of 
Poland, in which he was supported by his more 
patriotic countrymen, he had distinguished himself 
in one of the great sieges of Dantzig, and as a close 
friend of both the famous Charles XII of Sweden 
and Mazeppa, the renowned Hetman of the Cossacks, 
he had fought at that Battle of Pultava on losing 
which Charles had sought a refuge in Turkey, whither 
Stanislas accompanied him. But those wild days 
were past, and in time the Polish prince had become 

172 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 173 

corpulent and somewhat indolent also, as happens 
with a good many men who expend their vitality too 
freely in their early days. His one great desire was 
to be regarded as a king, and when the transfer of 
Lorraine was arranged he bethought himself of 
Merovingian times and wished his new State to be 
called the Kingdom of Austrasia. But France, having 
the reversion of the duchy, would not listen to his 
suggestion. On the other hand, although Poland 
was for ever lost to him he had certainly been elected 
to its throne, and on that account was always known 
as King Stanislas, even among the Lorrainers, who 
possibly thought this a good way to distinguish him 
from their native dukes. 

Simple in his habits, personally frugal, Stanislas 
was affable and good-natured within the limits which 
his peculiar circumstances allowed. In one respect 
his character was contradictory. Whilst he remained 
throughout his life a practising Catholic, friendly 
also towards the Jesuits, he dabbled in the philo- 
sophical ideas of the eighteenth century, and attracted 
some of the foremost French philosophers to his 
little court. In another respect also he was quite 
a man of his times, having a strong inclination 
towards galanterie. That may well account for 
the bitter tongue ascribed to his wife, Catherine 
Opalinska, who often had good cause for jealousy. 
Withal, Stanislas became as popular among the 
Lorrainers, notably those of Luneville and Nancy, 
as was possible for a foreign prince thrust upon a 
people who had never expressed any desire to be 
ruled by him. 

Stanislas's popularity was, however, strictly per- 
sonal. It in no wise extended to the government 
which was imposed upon him by France. In every 



174 THE TRUE STORY OF 

direction, throughout the whole eighteenth century 
until the Revolution burst forth, the old French 
regime did its utmost to destroy itself. It listened 
to no remonstrances, it gave no heed to any warnings. 
Slowly at first, but at a gradually quickening pace, it 
steadily pursued the path leading to the precipice, 
as if suicide were its set purpose, its fixed idea. It 
had two mottoes, one emanating from the King, 
Louis XV, who, when warned of the rottenness of 
the whole fabric, remarked : "It will last as long as 
I shall " ; and the other attributed to his mistress, 
La Du Barry : " After us the deluge ! " The deluge, 
one of blood, came, however, whilst she was yet 
living, and it overtook her. 

Now, before the time of Stanislas, Lorraine had 
more than once had experience of French methods of 
administration. They were revived under the Polish 
Duke, who was put in leading-strings. Under the 
pretext of relieving him of several of the cares of 
government it was arranged that France should take 
charge of financial matters, military affairs, the 
appointment of officials, the control of the great 
forests and other branches of the administrative 
system. In return Stanislas was to be allowed 
1,500,000, afterwards increased to 2,000,000, limes 
per annum, equivalent, it is estimated, at the present 
time to about 240,000. The result was as follows : 
The French and Lorrainer military forces were placed 
under the command of the Duke de Fleury, who 
received the title of Governor of the Duchies, whilst 
all civil affairs were committed to the charge of a 
certain Antoine Martin Chaumont de La Galaiziere, 
hitherto Intendant at Soissons, and brother-in-law of 
Jean Orry, previously Comptroller-General of Finances 
in France. In Lorraine and Bar, La Galaiziere took 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 175 

the titles of Chancellor, Keeper of the Seals, and 
Intendant. 

He appears to have been a clever man and an 
honest one, but he soon became extremely unpopular 
by reason of his incessant exactions. As Intendant 
he covered the duchies with officials, so-called delegates 
and sub-delegates, who spent their time, morning, 
noon, and night, in wringing money out of townsfolk 
and villagers. Men shrank at last from accepting 
the once honourable office of syndic, or mayor, of 
a commune. Those who occupied this position were 
made responsible for the commune's taxes, and Mon- 
seigneur 1' Intendant and Monsieur le Delegue or 
Sous-Delegue were never disposed to accept any 
excuses. The taxes had to be paid in full and punctu- 
ally on a certain date, or woe to the unfortunate 
syndic who was not ready with the money. To 
avoid unpleasant consequences, syndics possessed of 
means sometimes paid the amount demanded out 
of their own pockets, and had to wait perhaps a 
couple of years before recovering from their 
parishioners the money which they thus advanced. 
This kind of thing often happened in rural districts. 
Severe frosts, great storms, floods, spells of excessively 
hot weather were frequent in Lorraine during the 
eighteenth century. One year there were earth- 
quakes ; at another time came a plague of locusts. 
Stanislas reigned from February 1737 to February 
1766, and I find that in fourteen of those nine and 
twenty years there was one or another calamity 
which led either to a scanty harvest or to some other 
cause of widespread distress. The year 1754 was 
known particularly as the " year of misery." Never- 
theless, come flood, come storm, withering heat, 
earthquake, or plague of insects, Monseigneur 1'Inten- 



176 THE TRUE STORY OF 

dant expected all taxes to be paid as if nothing 
whatever had happened.* 

Arthur Young records in his famous survey of 
France (1787-1789) that the plains of Lorraine were 
among the worst cultivated in the whole country. 
He would have understood the cause better had he 
known that since the union of the duchy with France, 
after the death of Stanislas that is, a period of 
little more than twenty years there had again been 
no fewer than nine bad years, some indeed when all 
the crops had suffered. Like 1754, 1771 was a year 
of the greatest distress ; and about the time when 
Young was writing his work, the winter (1788- 
1789) in Lorraine proved so extremely severe that 
many walnut-trees as well as vines perished. Apart 
from those visitations of nature, the peasantry, 
bowed down by many burdens, were destitute 
of the pecuniary resources required for really good 
husbandry. 

The two terrible winters of 1739 and 1740 led to 
very great scarcity in J:he following year, and riots 
broke out at Luneville, Vezelise, Dieuze, Enville, and 
other places. Some severe sentences ensued, but 
Stanislas, who had retained the prerogative of 
clemency, granted a number of pardons. Matters 
had scarcely improved when the War of the Austrian 
Succession broke out. France joined Prussia in 
supporting the cause of the Elector of Bavaria 
(proclaimed as Emperor Charles VII) against that 
of Maria Theresa. The Lorraine militia was con- 
sidered barely sufficient to defend the duchy, and 
accordingly six battalions, each of 600 men, were 

* The French farmers-general now had a finger in the pie and paid 
3,300,000 livres per annum for their privilege. The tax called the subvention 
or faille was fixed in 1738 at 1,800,000 livres, a considerable increase on 
previous years. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 177 

immediately raised and taken into the French service, 
into which the Lorraine Guards had been already 
drafted. A little later three bodies of cavalry were 
recruited.* A sum of twenty-one limes per man was 
levied on each commune supplying recruits, in order 
that the latter might be provided with suitable cloth- 
ing, and, in addition, Marshal Belle-Isle requisitioned 
250,000 allowances of hay, straw, and wood. 

Maria Theresa's partisan leader, Menzel of the 
Pandours, invaded the Sarre region and was joined by 
some of the people there. Next, Prince Charles of 
Lorraine crossed the Rhine in command of regular 
Austrian forces. The greatest scarcity then prevailed 
throughout the duchy, corn being almost unprocurable. 
Semi-starvation set in, and matters had scarcely 
improved when the defeat of the French by the 
troops commanded by George II of Great Britain at 
Dettingen (July 27, 1743) caused general dismay. 
Somewhat later Prince Charles captured Wissem- 
bourg and was joined by various malcontent nobles. 
Stanislas thereupon took shelter in Metz, at the same 
time sending his wife to Versailles with all her jewel- 
lery. Bitche, Fenestrange, Bouquenom, Sarregue- 
mines, and Sarrelouis had been garrisoned and pro- 
visioned in order to resist the invaders. There was 
a moment of serious alarm, particularly as Maria 
Theresa issued a manifesto calling upon the duchy to 
rise against Stanislas, and declaring that her husband 
(the man who had sold Lorraine) would speedily repair 
thither to place himself at the head of all who would 
join him. Nobody rose, however, and La Galaizire 
faced the situation in a very determined way. 

* The infantry battalions were known as Nancy, Bar, Sarregueminea, 
Etain, Epinal, and Neuf chateau. The cavalry were called Polignac, Marain- 
ville, and Lacroix, after their commanders. 



178 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Some French successes at last brought about a 
change, whereupon Louis XV, yielding to the exhorta- 
tions of the Duchess de Chateauroux, arrived at 
Metz to place himself at the head of his forces. Then 
for a brief space all became festivity in the old 
Lorraine city, which had not seen a king of France 
since the time of Henri II's great triumphal entry 
nearly two hundred years previously, though it had 
been the original capital of the early warlike, hard- 
riding Dukes, who did not transfer their government 
to Nancy until the middle of the twelfth century. 
To Metz with the King had come Madame de Chateau- 
roux, much to the scandal of all " right-thinking " 
folk ; nevertheless people from other parts of Lor- 
raine poured into the city to see the King and join 
in the fetes which followed his arrival. But Louis 
suddenly fell very ill, prayers were offered up for 
his recovery, the clergy exhorted him to dismiss the 
" scarlet woman " whom he had brought with him, 
and after she had narrowly escaped being murdered 
by the populace he weakly assented, whereupon, of 
course, Heaven promptly cured him, and joy was 
displayed on every side. " I did not know I was so 
much loved," he is said to have remarked ; and those 
words probably inspired the appellation of " the Well- 
beloved" bestowed on him at this time, and often 
repeated in later years in a sense quite foreign to 
that which had been originally intended. 

Hostilities lasted until the Treaty of Aix-la- 
Chapelle in 1748, when, although owing to floods and 
storms there was still great scarcity in Lorraine, its 
people breathed again. But in 1756, after much more 
distress, the Seven Years' War began, bringing with it 
yet fresh anxiety and suffering. Never had La Galai- 
ziere, who was still at the head of affairs, shown him- 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 179 

self more exacting. Two super- taxes (" twentieths ") 
had already been imposed, when in 1760 the Inten- 
dant decided to levy a third one, which would have 
meant a total increase of 60 per cent, above the 
rate paid before the war. Lorraine and Bar had in 
this way already supplied 3,790,971 limes ; husband- 
men (laboureurs) paying 80 livres 9 and common 
labourers (manoeuvriers) 20 livres apiece. In the 
state to which the country was reduced the idea of 
yet heavier taxation aroused general protests. When 
La Galaiziere summoned the Sovereign Court to 
attend at Luneville to register the edict, the nobles 
who answered the call protested that the farmers 
were being ruined, and could no longer pay any 
rents either in money or in kind. The dispute became 
so violent that the French authorities at Versailles 
were alarmed, and a compromise was effected, La 
Galaiziere, much to his chagrin, having to obey the 
orders he received. Briefly, the edict was registered, 
but the third "twentieth" was not levied. 

In lieu thereof La Galaiziere imposed on the clergy 
a " gift to the Crown," whereby he secured some 
200,000 livres. Other sums were levied in a similar 
way on certain towns. At this period the cost of the 
administration had become excessive, for since the 
accession of Stanislas, La Galaiziere had added no 
fewer than 1300 officials to those previously existing, 
in such wise that on its bureaucracy alone the little 
State expended more than five million livres a year. 
One improvement was effected by the Intendant. 
During the terrible " year of misery," 1754 though 
not before free trade in grain was established between 
Bar, Lorraine, and France. This measure enabled 
the distressed duchies to secure some supplies which 
were desperately needed. 



180 THE TRUE STORY OF 

La Galaiziere's unpopularity did not arise solely 
from the excessive taxation. He showed no regard 
for some of the feelings of the inhabitants. They had 
been much attached to their former dynasty and 
cherished many stirring historical memories. But 
the Intendant decided that all such nonsense must 
be stamped out. He forbade at Nancy the famous 
time-honoured procession in commemoration of Duke 
Rene's victory over Charles the Rash of Burgundy. 
He caused busts and portraits of the old Dukes to 
be removed often destroyed. He demolished several 
historic castles, abbeys, and churches. He prevailed 
on Stanislas to abolish the Marshals of Lorraine and 
the office of Grand Seneschal. It mattered not to 
him that the former dynasty had sprung from the 
House of France. He foolishly endeavoured to oblite- 
rate all traces of it. It was for this reason that he 
willingly aided Stanislas in his well-meant enterprise 
to improve and embellish Nancy. The city was 
virtually transformed, and much of the architectural 
work done there was in its way quite excellent. But 
what most pleased La Galaiziere was the demolition 
of the older buildings, the original ducal palace and 
gate especially. Stanislas founded or enlarged several 
hospitals, endowed the Order of Saint John of Jerusa- 
lem in his duchies, encouraged education, establishing 
burses at the University of Pont-a-Mousson, building 
a College of Medicine and setting up a Society of 
Sciences and Belles-Lettres at Nancy the last named 
afterwards taking the name of Academic Stanislas. 
In his time also Saint-Die, largely destroyed by fire, 
was rebuilt, and Plombieres, famous for its waters, 
was much improved. It is commonly held that 
Stanislas paid for all the work, all the foundations 
here mentioned ; but this appears to be incorrect. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 181 

During his reign of nine and twenty years he certainly 
laid out in this manner some 8,500,000 livres, but the 
Lorrainers themselves had to defray the greater part 
of the expenditure which was incurred. It has been 
remarked that although Nancy took rank as one of 
the finest cities in France, it was also one of the very 
poorest, so heavily was it taxed to pay for its improve- 
ments. Some of its new embellishments it by no 
means appreciated. When in 1755 a statue of Louis 
the Well-beloved was inaugurated on the Place 
Royale, the inhabitants hooted the effigy of the 
licentious monarch. 

Stanislas was almost as amorously inclined as his 
son-in-law, and kept several mistresses, the most 
notorious of them being the Marchioness de Boufflers, 
nee de Beauvau, on whom, according to some accounts, 
he spent 2,000,000 livres, though others state that 
he allowed her barely sufficient money to pay for 
her skirts. Several Polish women of title are also 
said to have been his favourites at various periods, 
among them being the Duchess Ossolinska and the 
Countess Jablonowska, the last of whom became one 
of the mistresses of the Young Pretender. On the 
whole, there were only a few Poles of both sexes at 
the little Court of Luneville. Members of the French 
and the Lorrainer nobility predominated. Stanislas 
appears to have been on good terms with the ancient 
houses of Haraucourt, Lenoncourt, Ligneville, and 
du Chatelet the four " Grands Chevaux de Lor- 
raine," or leaders of the duchy's ancient chivalry. 
Other members of the noblesse who attached them- 
selves to Stanislas were the Nettancourts, the Haus- 
sonvilles, the Lambertyes, the Tornielles, and the 
Serinchamps. The Countess de Choiseul and the 
Countess de Raigecourt were ladies of the palace 



182 THE TRUE STORY OF 

under the Marchioness de Boufflers. To Luneville 
also came the beautiful, witty, and accomplished 
Marquise du Chatelet, accompanied by her lover 
Voltaire, who wrote his famous story " Zadig " to 
entertain the Court of Stanislas. It first appeared 
in print at Luneville. Voltaire was not the only 
great writer attracted to Lorraine. Thither also 
came Montesquieu. There were others of lesser note, 
including Palissot de Montenoy, then quite a young 
man, and not as yet high pontiff of the so-called 
" theophilanthropical " sect. Other familiars of the 
circle which Stanislas gathered around him were the 
Viscount de Rohan and the Count de Tressan. 

I mentioned previously that whilst dabbling in 
philosophy he favoured the Jesuits, whose dispersion 
in 1762 by order of the Parliament of Paris greatly 
affected him. He also protected the Jews, who soon 
after his death were persecuted by the French authori- 
ties.* His wife, Catherine Opalinska, died suddenly 
in 1747, when sixty-six years old. They had been 
married more than half a century. At this time 
Stanislas himself was eighty. Nevertheless, four years 
later, there was an attempt to marry him to Christina 
of Saxony, sister of the Dauphiness who became the 
mother of Louis XVI. Christina was fifty-five years 
younger than Stanislas, and the French Court would 
not hear of the match not, however, on account of 
disparity in age, but from a fear lest the princess 
should present the old Lothario with offspring, 
thereby causing complications at his death. 

He became very feeble in his last days. Many of 

* By an edict of April 1766 only twelve Jewish families were allowed at 
Nancy, four at MalzevUle, and two at LuneVille. Moreover, they were only 
tolerated in those towns on the condition they should have no children ! 
Most of the Lorrainer Jews had to reside at Sarreguemines, Boulay, Dieuze, 
and adjacent places. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 183 

his old cronies predeceased him, and at times he 
invited some of the bourgeois of Luneville to visit 
him and join in a game of tric-trac, his favourite 
pastime. His death was a tragical affair. He had 
returned to Luneville from a trip to Nancy, where 
according to one account he had received " Lady 
Mary Churchill, daughter of Robert Walpole, and 
her husband," * and at about six o'clock on the 
following morning, February 4, 1766, he was sitting 
by the fireside in his bedroom, wearing a fur-lined 
dressing-gown which his daughter, the Queen of 
France, had sent him to keep out the cold. One 
account says that he had been smoking his pipe, and 
that on wishing to place it on the mantelpiece his 
dressing-gown caught fire. Another version is that 
he wished to see the time by a watch or a clock on 
the mantelpiece, and that owing to the feebleness of 
his eyesight he drew too close to the fire. At all 
events his dressing-gown was speedily alight, and he 
fell on the floor shrieking. 

A maid-servant heard him, and called one of 
the Bodyguard, who rushed to the bedroom. A gust 
of air which followed the sudden opening of the door 
fanned the flames, but they were extinguished by 
wrapping Stanislas in blankets after he had been 
deposited on his bed. All the injuries appear to 
have been on the left side, and the flesh of the left 
hand is said to have been quite burnt away. Every- 
thing was done to save the old man, and, in fact, 
after a few days' treatment the sores seemed to be 
healing, and he spoke of his accident almost lightly, 
saying : " My daughter warned me against catching 
cold, she should have warned me against getting too 
hot." But his time was nearly spent. He had con- 

* I have failed to identify the lady in question. 



184 THE TRUE STORY OF 

fessed to Cardinal de Choiseul, Primate of Lorraine, 
and received the Sacrament, when on February 21 
he sank gradually into a comatose state and three 
days later expired. 

By the care of his daughter, the consort of Louis 
XV, Stanislas was honoured with stately obsequies, 
his remains being deposited beside those of his wife 
in the sanctuary of Our Lady of Good Help, originally 
erected by Duke Rene* to commemorate the defeat 
of Charles the Rash at Nancy, but rebuilt by the 
Polish prince. Even whilst the latter was being 
buried, his arms were struck off all public buildings 
by the eager officials of Louis XV.* Six hundred and 
eighty-eight years had elapsed since Gerard of Alsace, 
according to tradition, had become hereditary Duke 
of Lorraine. Now, by virtue of the diplomatic con- 
ventions, the duchy ceased to be independent, and 
the eaglets of its armorial bearings had to give place 
to the fleurs-de-lis of France. 

For a moment the Lorrainers derived some comfort 
from the fact that, immediately after the death of 
Stanislas, the obnoxious Chancellor and Intendant, 
La Galaizi^re, resigned his office, and, repairing to 
Versailles, was there appointed a member of the 
Conseil du Roi. He was succeeded in Lorraine, how- 
ever, by his son, who pursued much the same policy. 
In regard to taxation f and other abuses, matters 
did not improve under Thiroux de Crosne and La 

* His wardrobe was sold by auction on one of the public squares of 
Lun6ville. 

f One little place in Lorraine was exempt from all taxation. This was 
Domremy on the Meuse, in the present department of the Vosges, arrondisse- 
ment of Neufchateau. The exemption dated from the time of Joan of Arc, 
who was born at Domremy in 1412. In the old taxation registers of Lorraine, 
against the name of the village there is written, instead of any amount, 
" Neant, a cause de la Pucelle " (Nothing, on account of the Maid). The 
privilege remained in force until the time of the Revolution. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 185 

Porte de Meslay, who followed La Galaiziere fits. 
The old regime treated Lorraine and Bar as a state 
dependency divided into thirty-six bailliages, or juris- 
dictions. The three bishoprics of Metz, Verdun, and 
Toul, and their territories still constituted a separate 
intendance, or generalite, in the midst, as it were, of 
the intendance of Lorraine. Simplification of admini- 
strative work was not favoured by the authorities of 
those times. A complicated state of affairs implied 
a multiplicity of officials and better opportunities for 
robbing both the people and the State. Nevertheless 
certain changes took place in Lorraine. For instance, 
the Sovereign Court of Nancy was transformed into 
a parlement, and given supreme jurisdiction even 
over the bishoprics, the parlement of Metz being 
suppressed so long as Louis XV remained king. 
Further, the University of Pont-a-Mousson was trans- 
ferred to Nancy (1768), and eight or nine years after- 
wards Nancy and Saint-Die" became ecclesiastical 
sees. Down to the time of the Revolution there 
remained only one military governorship, which was 
located at Nancy. Probably the most distinguished 
soldier who held this post in the eighteenth century 
was Marshal de Choiseul- Stain ville. 

Under Stanislas and the succeeding French ad- 
ministration the population of Lorraine increased 
considerably,* but there was a steady diminution of 
the number of people engaged in agriculture. This 
was largely due to the frequent recurrence of bad 
seasons and the better livelihood provided by industrial 
occupations. Although, curiously enough, there was 
no free trade (except in grain) with the rest of France, 
industry and commerce expanded. Nancy grew apace, 
largely by reason of its manufactures. Among the 

* In 1778 the figure was 94,275, and in 1789, 934,860. 



186 THE TRUE STORY OF 

many kinds of goods made there and in neighbouring 
towns during the latter part of the eighteenth century 
were carpets, tapestry, plush, cloth, ribbons, hosiery, 
and candles. Other branches of industry were a 
special kind of embroidery, organ-building, wood-carv- 
ing, marquetry, and terra-cotta work. Beer appears 
to have been brewed only at Nancy and Dieulouard. 
There were spirit, liqueur, and syrup distilleries at 
Luneville and elsewhere. A special kind of vulne- 
raire, into which iron or steel entered, was made in 
Lorraine and supplied largely to French soldiers in 
the field for the treatment of wounds. Perfumery 
and vinegar works were also to be found. There were 
tanneries all over the province. Drugget and coarse 
cloth were largely manufactured. Among the adepts 
in arts and crafts one finds many painters, engravers, 
sculptors, woodcarvers, faience-workers, embroiderers, 
and gilders. Cutlers, toolmakers, and locksmiths w r ere 
also numerous. The salt industry, which supplied 
the old regime with an important source of revenue, 
likewise expanded, the salines of Moyenvic, Dieuze, 
and Chateau- Salins being largely worked. The salt- 
water spring of Rosieres was destroyed, however, by 
somebody tampering with it. The glass-works of 
Baccarat were yet more and more developed. Metal- 
lurgical industry increased ; and there was much 
basket-making in the region around Verdun, many 
osier beds existing beside the Meuse. 

Nevertheless beggars are said to have abounded, 
and the nobility, whether of sword or of gown, was 
more numerous than ever. The late Cardinal Mathieu, 
a native of Lorraine, admits in one of his works that 
gross abuses prevailed among the clergy, particularly 
the regulars. The exactions of the numerous abbeys 
and convents were very great. The Carthusian Order 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 187 

was the only one cited for its charity. The Chapters 
of Noble Ladies, established at Remiremont, Poussay, 
Epinal, Romaric, Bouxieres, etc., seldom proved 
benevolent, but usually acted in a very grasping 
manner towards their tenantry. These foundations, 
however, declined considerably during the twenty 
years preceding the Revolution. In 1789 the Chapter 
of Remiremont still counted fifty-two members, 
but Epinal had only twenty-two, Poussay seventeen, 
and Bouxieres a baker's dozen. With regard to 
crime it is stated that between 1737 and 1790 there 
were 203 sentences to the galleys for life, and 
274 to the galleys for various periods. Robbery 
was the offence most usually visited with these 
punishments. Only some fifty cases of crimes of 
violence are recorded in the lists, together with 
fourteen cases of forgery, three of incest, and forty- 
eight of common debauchery. I find no exact figures 
respecting the number of people executed, either by 
hanging or by strangulation. There was a case of 
profaning an historic chapel, for which the offenders 
suffered death, after first having their right hands 
burnt off ; and another of pillaging a house near 
Phalsbourg, for which seven peasants underwent capital 
punishment, it being afterwards discovered that all 
of them were innocent ! 

In 1788 Louis XVI's Minister, Lomenie de Brienne, 
attempted a general reorganization of Lorraine. The 
parlement of Metz,* restored after the previous King's 

* The parlements of the old French regime were not parliaments as we 
understand them nowadays, but more particularly high courts of justice. 
Their chief administrative duties were to register the edicts emanating from 
the throne, which, on being registered, acquired force of law. Their chief 
political right was that of remonstrating when they regarded some edict 
as being unduly harsh, but their refusals to register and their remonstrances 
were generally overruled in one or another way. 



188 THE TRUE STORY OF 

death, was again deposed by Maupeou, the Royal 
Chancellor, and Lomenie, deciding to form a provincial 
assembly in its stead, caused edicts to that effect to 
be registered at Nancy. The Lorrainers, attached 
to their ancient methods and customs, however 
out of date they might be, protested against the 
innovation, denounced the Minister as a partisan of 
despotism, and demanded the restoration of the 
old parlement. The authorities eventually had to 
give way in this matter, and the councillors were 
reinstated. They then imagined themselves secure 
in their seats, but at that very moment the 
Revolution, by which all antiquated forms of 
jurisdiction were swept away, was on the point of 
exploding. 

When the States General were convoked in 1789 
Lorraine was allotted thirty-six members nine of 
the clergy, nine of the nobility, and eighteen of the 
third estate. The nobles, over whom presided the 
amorous poet-soldier, the Chevalier de Boufflers, made 
very liberal proposals to the third estate, who were 
largely intent on securing one or another privilege 
for their respective towns. The hard-pressed peasantry 
did not rise, and although it was at Varennes in the 
Argonne, on the confines of Lorraine, that Louis XVI 
and his family were stopped when attempting to flee 
the country, large numbers of people of rank and 
position opposed to the Revolution were able to 
cross the province without let or hindrance and make 
their way into Germany. In August 1790 a san- 
guinary affray occurred at Nancy. The ill-paid 
soldiers of the garrison mutinied and seized the regi- 
mental chests, whereupon the Marquis de Bouille, 
who commanded the forces at Metz, received orders 
to put down the rebellion. His troops almost anni- 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 189 

hilated the Swiss Chateauvieux regiment, with which 
the poorer folk of Nancy sided the more willingly 
as, at the taking of the Bastille in the previous year, 
these same Switzers had refused to fire on the Parisians. 
According to the generally received account no fewer 
than 3000 people were killed in the contest at Nancy, 
and Bouille left on the glorious name he had inherited 
a stain which was only effaced by the heroism of his 
descendants, several of whom gave their lives for 
France in the dark, desperate days of 1870. Of the 
few mutineer-soldiers who were not struck down in 
the fighting, Bouille caused one to be broken on the 
wheel, although all forms of torture were abolished by 
law. Twenty-one he hanged, and forty-one he sent to 
the galleys, from which, however, the Revolution as it 
progressed delivered them. 

Lorraine rose when the Prussians and Austrians 
invaded France. Her people were essentially warlike 
and all classes contributed to the armies of the 
Republic. When Epinal was asked for a hundred 
volunteers more than double that number came 
forward in one day. On the department of the 
Vosges, after contributing five battalions of soldiers, 
being asked to raise another 2600 men, it supplied 
6400 within a week. Appeals were also made for 
money, and the district of Neufchateau at once 
furnished 200,000 limes > though it was already paying 
120,000 in taxation. Twice did the National Conven- 
tion decree that the department of the Vosges had 
" deserved well of the country." In March 1793, 
after providing fifteen battalions of troops, it con- 
tributed yet another one to the national defence. 
There were similar efforts in all parts of Lorraine. 
Church bells were taken down and sent to the foundries 
to be cast into cannon. Although many townships 



190 THE TRUE STORY OF 

were on the verge of starvation, corn, flour, and oats 
were poured into the strongholds of Metz, Strasburg, 
Sarrelouis, and Landau to provide for their garrisons. 
Cereals were even dispatched to other parts of France 
w r here the distress was particularly great. Many of 
the soldiers of the Lorrainer and Alsatian regiments 
became distinguished men. It was said of Phalsbourg 
that it not only gave France a marshal Lobau 
but that one out of every six of its inhabitants became 
a general, and that each of its houses supplied either 
a colonel or two battalion commanders. The popula- 
tion of the eastern provinces was animated with feel- 
ings of detestation for the invaders from across the 
Rhine. Neither Lorrainer nor Alsatian had been 
well treated by the old French regime, but in the 
great hurly-burly of the Revolution they showed 
how French their sentiments had become. Their 
blood was mingled freely with that of the other 
defenders of the country, as though from the 
very dawn of history they had always been her 
sons. 

The most conspicuous representative of Lorraine 
in the National Convention was that democratic 
Gallican, the Abbe Gregoire, a native of Veho in the 
Meurthe, and parish priest of Embermenil. He acted 
for a time as Constitutional Bishop of Blois, and 
under the Consulate became a member of the Senate. 
He and Carnot, who was a member of the Tribunat, 
were the only two representatives who protested 
against Napoleon's assumption of the Imperial dignity. 
There were few revolutionary excesses in Lorraine. 
Even when hatred of Austria, whose Emperor was 
descended from the old ducal house, prompted the 
Revolutionists of Nancy to remove the coffins of 
some of his ancestors from the Church of the Cor- 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 191 

deliers, the remains were not burnt or east to the 
winds according to the general practice of those times, 
but were simply consigned to one of the public ceme- 
teries. As for the Revolutionary Tribunal, which 
sat at Mirecourt, it was probably the most humane 
and lenient in all France. According to one of the 
province's historians it sent in all only nine persons 
to the guillotine. 

The patriotic fervour continued unabated under 
Napoleon, w T ho, as historians have recorded, derived 
some of his most eminent captains as well as his best 
regiments from Alsace-Lorraine. Metz resisted the 
Allies victoriously both in 1814 and 1815. Francs- 
tireurs roamed the woodlands and the hill- sides, ever 
on the alert to pounce upon small parties of the 
invaders. The Emperor's first fall brought depression, 
but elation supervened when he returned from Elba. 
The Hundred Days ended, however, with the crash 
of Waterloo, and Prussia then greedily tried to lay 
her hands on at least a part of Lorraine as well as 
the whole of Alsace. Seventy-two communes cover- 
ing over 153,000 acres of territory and counting 
40,000 inhabitants were wrested from France by the 
treaty of November 20, 1815, the greater part going 
to Rhenish Prussia and the rest to the Bavarian 
Palatinate. I have already mentioned, I think, that 
among the towns secured by Prussia was Sarrelouis, 
the birthplace of Marshal Ney. Dupin aine, who 
defended Ney when he was tried for high treason 
to Louis XVIII, wished to argue that Sarrelouis and 
its people having been transferred to a foreign Power, 
the Marshal was not amenable to a French court 
on the specific charge brought against him, as he 
owned no allegiance to the French Crown. Ney, 
however, interrupted his counsel violently : " No, 



192 THE TRUE STORY OF 

no ! " he exclaimed, " I accept none of that. I am 
a Frenchman, and I will die one ! " * 

A most reactionary policy followed the second 
Restoration of the Bourbons. Clericalism became 
rampant in the Legislature, and Lorraine, once 
favourably known to the clergy for its Catholic senti- 
ments, was at an early date the scene of an attempted 
" Revival," originated by the Bishop of Nancy, 
Charles Auguste de Forbin-Janson, who ended by 
organizing missions which travelled hither and thither 
through France, endeavouring to promote a return 
to religious observances. Against that, in itself, 
there is nothing to be said, but the Church, in its 
zeal for its own interests and those of the restored 
monarchy, endeavoured to capture all political in- 
fluence, invariably weighing upon the electorate in 
favour of its own candidates and opposing the appoint- 
ment even to trifling offices of any who did not 
subscribe to its authority. This degenerated into 
a more or less direct persecution of all who were 
inclined to liberal ideas in politics or to freedom of 
thought in religious matters. At one moment all 
the deputies for Lorraine and virtually all the function- 
aries of its four departments belonged to the Clericalist 
party. 

Aided so powerfully by the clergy throughout 
France, the Bourbon Government doubtless imagined 
itself to be secure. But a change gradually set in, 
and various liberal and democratic candidates were 
returned by the electors of Lorraine in 1827. The 
Liberal Lorrainers in the last legislature of the Restora- 
tion included some distinguished soldiers for instance, 

* Dupin's argument was highly fallacious, Ney's offence having been 
committed whilst Sarrelouia was French territory and under the rule of 
Louis 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 193 

Marshal Count Lobau, a native of Phalsbourg, and 
Colonel Jacqueminot, whose name has been per- 
petuated by a famous rose. Another eminent Lor- 
rainer inclined to Liberalism was Baron Louis, born 
at Toul, and an expert in finance. At the head of 
the democratic party were MM. Marchal and Thou- 
venel, the latter of whom afterwards went over to 
Napoleon III, and became for a time his Minister 
for Foreign Affairs being indeed the best man who 
held that post under the Second Empire. 

The Revolution of 1830 which set Louis Philippe 
on the throne was attended by trouble on the Prussian 
frontier. The inhabitants of those districts of the 
department of the Moselle which had been wrested 
from France in 1815 and consigned to Prussian 
domination, began to agitate for their return to 
France. Now that a more liberal regime seemed to 
be impending in that country they wished to escape 
from the Prussian thraldom which they had endured 
for fifteen years. The movement was particularly 
pronounced at Sarrelouis, Saint- Wendel, and Hem- 
bach. But the Prussian authorities promptly inter- 
vened, and many people were arrested and sent to 
prison for indefinite periods, without being allowed 
any form of trial. Louis Philippe's Government soon 
found itself beset with difficulties at home, and was 
never at any time strong enough to attempt the 
recovery of the territory lost by the treaty which 
followed Napoleon's downfall. It is as well to mention 
that the agitation to which I have referred appears 
to have been confined at this time almost exclusively 
to the districts annexed to Rhenish Prussia. There 
was not the same degree of bitter discontent among 
the folk whose lands had been transferred to the 
Bavarian Palatinate. French historians of Lorraine 

N 



194 THE TRUE STORY OF 

admit that the Bavarian rule was far less harsh than 
the Prussian rule, and that, under the former, the 
educational system was a liberal one. 

Like other parts of France, Lorraine became the 
scene of a strenuous democratic struggle which con- 
tinued throughout the reign of Louis Philippe. The 
province's foremost parliamentary champion at this 
period was Henri Boulay de la Meurthe, a native of 
Nancy, who, after Louis Philippe's fall, became Vice- 
President of the Republic. He was the son of Antoine 
Boulay born at Chamousey in the Vosges who, in 
conjunction with Portalis, framed a large part of 
that division of the so-called Code Napoleon which 
is known as the Code civil. In addition to the demo- 
cratic agitation there were a few plots in Lorraine 
during Louis Philippe's reign. One was started at 
Luneville by some dragoon officers and " non-coms.," 
with the object of restoring the Empire, but no legal 
proofs against those who were implicated in this 
affair could be produced. At last came the wide- 
spread demand for parliamentary Reform, with all 
its banqueting and oratory, which in 1848 culminated 
in the dethronement of the House of Orleans. Amidst 
all the dramatic events of that year of vain efforts 
to gain liberty when even the Germans tried to 
free themselves the people of the Sarre valley, 
separated from France since 1815, once more sought 
reunion, and this time those who were Bavarian as 
well as those who were Prussian subjects desired to 
become citizens of the new-born French Republic. 
With that object a great demonstration took place 
at Saarbriicken (November 1848), when French, 
Prussian, and Bavarian Republicans fraternized. 
But the revolutionary movements in Germany were 
put down. The Bavarian and Prussian authorities 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 195 

asserted their power, and the folk of the Sarre valley 
had to remain as they were. 

At the election for the presidency of the French 
Republic the clergy of Lorraine vigorously supported 
Prince Louis Napoleon against General Cavaignac. 
Nevertheless the proportion of the votes which the 
last named secured was higher than in most other 
parts of France. The number of electors who voted 
for him in the four departments of the Meurthe, the 
Meuse, the Moselle, and the Vosges was 67,065. 
But, on the other hand, no fewer than 287,525 votes 
were polled by the man whose policy in later years 
led to the loss of Metz and other parts of North- 
Eastern Lorraine. As I remarked when writing of 
Alsace, the name of Napoleon was still one to conjure 
with in 1848. After the coup d?6tat ninety-two 
Lorrainer Republicans suffered proscription in one 
or another form, and fifty-seven of these belonged 
to the department of the Meurthe, in which Nancy, 
LuneVille, Toul, and Briey were situated. From this 
one may infer that the Meurthe was the region in 
which Republicanism was most numerously repre- 
sented. In the Vosges twenty-one persons were 
proscribed. In the Moselle (capital, Metz) the number 
fell to twelve, and in the Meuse to three.* Later, 
in 1858, after the life of Napoleon III had been 
attempted by Felix Orsini, and by virtue of a tyran- 
nical Law of Public Safety imposed upon the French 
Legislature, and against which Marshal MacMahon, 

* In" the Meurthe two persons were deported to Cayenne and fifteen to 
Algeria ; whilst thirteen were banished, nineteen interned, and eight placed 
under police surveillance, with fixed residences from which they might not 
remove. In the Vosges three were sent to Cayenne and seven to Algeria, 
eight were banished, and three interned. In the Moselle seven were exiled, 
one was interned, and four were placed under surveillance. The three Meuse 
cases were deportations to Algeria, that is, to Lambessa, a penal station of 
infamous memory. 



196 THE TRUE STORY OF 

in the Senate, alone had the moral courage to protest, 
a number of leading Lorrainers were arbitrarily 
arrested and consigned to the Algerian inferno of 
Lambessa. Not one of them, in fact no Frenchman 
in the whole length and breadth of the Empire, had 
in any way participated in Orsini's attempt. Their 
sole offence was %hat they had expressed their detesta- 
tion of the tyranny of the Imperial rule. That 
tyranny had abated when in 1866 Lorraine celebrated 
the centenary of its union with France. The material 
prosperity which the Empire undoubtedly brought 
with it, as I showed when writing of Alsace, was then 
in its zenith, and people readily gave themselves up 
to festivity. There was at the moment no appre- 
hension of war. The sudden brief struggle between 
Prussia and Austria did not occur until some months 
later. Bismarck and his master had not yet begun 
to cut up Germany, or shown that their ravenous 
appetites would not be sufficiently glutted unless, in 
addition to Hanover, Brunswick, Nassau, and divers 
smaller States, they were also able to secure a succu- 
lent slice of France. Besides, whatever might be 
thought of Napoleon III, there was every confidence 
in the French army, which was supposed to be of 
full strength, most powerfully organized, and admir- 
ably equipped. Every year, just beyond the western 
confines of Lorraine, and on the very plain which 
had witnessed the defeat of Attila and his Huns, 
there was displayed the superb pageantry of the 
Camp of Chalons, that great gathering of Grenadiers, 
Voltigeurs, Zouaves, Turcos, Cuirassiers, Dragoons, 
Lancers, and other soldiery, all spick ""and span in 
vivid uniforms, and drilled to perfection. Sham 
fights were lost and won, camp-fires blazed, salutes 
thundered, drums rolled, trumpets blared, and the 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 19T 

winds from the west carried the martial sounds across 
the plateau of Lorraine, instilling complete confidence 
in all who heard them. Who indeed could then have 
foreseen a Worth, a Gravelotte, a Sedan, a Metz ? 
Lorraine, the land of Joan of Arc, deemed herself 
well guarded from invasion. None of her sons or 
her daughters imagined that in a few brief years a 
day would dawn when the foe would be upon them, 
and that they would call in vain upon the Maid of 
Domremy to free them as she had once freed France. 



VII 
ALSATIANS AND LORRAINERS 

Physical Characteristics of the Alsatians : Their former picturesque 
Costumes : The Lorrainer Race : The Language Question and the 
German Claims to the Provinces : A Specimen of Lorraine Dialect : 
Early German Annexationist Propaganda : Linguistic Limits and 
Place- Names : More Specimens of Dialects : Variations of Speech 
in Alsace : Famous and Eminent Men given by the Provinces to 
France : Soldiers, Statesmen, Scientists, Authors, Artists, and 
others : The Chivalry of Lorraine : The Storks of Alsace. 

IT has been indicated already that a great diversity 
of physical characteristics will be found among the 
Alsatians. They differ from one another according to 
the part of the country which they inhabit the 
Rhine bank, the plain, the lower slopes, and the 
mountains. The folk of the plain, who are the most 
numerous, are vigorous, of average height, and well 
proportioned, with strong bones, pronounced features, 
and fresh, often quite ruddy, complexions. Some of 
them have fair hair, others hair of varying shades of 
brown, others hair of an almost flaring red, but black 
hair is very seldom found among them. Both blue 
and brown eyes are seen. The women are generally 
well developed and make first-rate nurses. They 
have remarkably good teeth. In the southern part 
of the plain the men are taller than elsewhere, quick 
in their movements, with sanguine temperaments 
and a bearing suggestive of innate pride. In the 
centre of the plain darker hair than in the south is 
observed, and the people are more phlegmatic. In 
the north, where hair of extreme fairness predominates, 

198 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 199 

the inhabitants are generally inclined to a more 
slender build, and display great suppleness of motion. 
The girls with their fresh complexions are often 
charming, but hard work ages them rapidly. To- 
wards the Rhine a pale and lymphatic type is found, 
and cases of goitre may often be observed. 

The folk seen on the lower spurs of the Vosges 
are fairly robust, but inclined to be pale and lean. It 
is hereabouts that red hair is most often noticed, 
though light brown is the prevailing colour. A cer- 
tain sickliness used to be found in the narrow valleys, 
where the dwelling-places were often unhealthy and 
the food poor the people subsisting on bread com- 
pounded of rye, barley, and buckwheat, potatoes, a 
little salt bacon, and curdled milk. As for the folk of 
the Vosges highlands, they differ from other Alsatians, 
and approximate more to the Lorraine and Franche- 
Comte* types. The men are tall and very strong, the 
women also tall and fresh-coloured. They dwell (I 
refer, of course, to pre-war days) on isolated farms 
among what are called the hautes chaumes (high 
stubbles), and cattle-raising and cheese-making are 
their principal avocations. The farms are known as 
marcairies * and the people as marcaires. 

The differences in the physique of the Alsatians 
arise from a variety of causes, such as local habitat, 
occupation, and the preponderance of one or another 
racial element, the country, as was explained in my 
previous chapters, having been overrun by many 
ancient tribes and later by the soldiery of numerous 
contending nations. A long ancestry stretching 
through centuries of warfare has made the Alsatian, 
generally, a very courageous man. In old days 
voluntary enlistments were very numerous. The 

* The forms marcairerie and marquairerie are also sometimes used. 



200 THE TRUE STORY OF 

average Alsatian has always proved an efficient non- 
commissioned officer. His great predilection for the 
cavalry service is combined with genuine solicitude 
for his mount. In civil life he is a good and orderly 
worker, clean and methodical in his habits. There is 
some variation in his disposition according to his 
religion, the Catholic being perhaps more inclined to 
gaiety than the Protestant. Rectitude is one of the 
Alsatian's strong points, and he is almost invariably 
hospitable to strangers and charitable to those of his 
neighbours who may meet with misfortune. The 
gaiety to which I have referred seeks satisfaction in 
somewhat noisy pleasures. The Alsatian sings his 
loudest, perhaps in order to show the power of his 
lungs. Both lads and girls are born dancers, and 
trip it freely, as do also the older folk, on festive 
occasions. 

One of the intendants of Alsace under the old 
regime endeavoured to compel the inhabitants to 
abandon their picturesque costumes, derived in part 
from Switzerland and in part from Southern Germany. 
This attempt failed, and during the Revolution 
Saint- Just and Lebas, whilst acting as Commissaries 
of the Republic at Strasburg, made a similar effort, 
saying to the women of the Alsatian capital that as 
their hearts were French they ought to follow the 
fashions of France. The old costumes were still 
favoured, however, in the rural districts down to our 
own times. In winter men would be seen wearing 
round fur caps, in summer broad felt hats, the brims 
of which were raised at the sides but lowered in front 
so as to shade the eyes from the sun. On work-days 
Alsatian villagers would go about in short jackets 
somewhat like those of Eton boys, but on high days 
and holidays they donned long, black, high-collared 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 201 

frock-coats, under which were seen red waistcoats 
decorated with an abundance of silver buttons. The 
men did not take kindly to trousers, but preferred 
breeches, with stockings, or gaiters, or boots of soft 
leather reaching to the knees. The women, parti- 
cularly the younger ones, often looked as if they had 
just stepped from a stage where some operetta had 
been performed. Their serge skirts, usually green in 
colour, were embellished in the lower part with broad 
bands of scarlet or crimson. Under their black, 
sleeveless bodices, embroidered in front with bright 
silk, and further adorned with ribbons, you saw 
chemisettes, whose ample sleeves of the bouffant pattern, 
were daintily pleated. If the weather necessitated a 
little protection, fichus or small shawls were cast over 
their shoulders. On gala days coloured stockings and 
buckled shoes were worn ; whilst the almost invariable 
headgear surmounting the braided tresses was a tiny 
cap with a huge black "butterfly" bow, or, as the 
French put it, a bow aux ailes de pigeon. In the 
Vosgian district of Orbey (Urbeis), where the country 
girls were often of a slender and refined type, with 
supple figures and a graceful carriage, they wore 
light-coloured cornettes bordered with black velvet 
and decked with ribbons ; and bright pink fichus were 
often crossed over their dark bodices. 

In more recent times the men of Alsace have 
dressed like other citizens, artisans or peasants of the 
nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The women also 
have generally cast aside the national costumes. 
Only quite young girls still wear the large black 
butterfly bows, which were once as characteristic of 
the Alsacienne as the mantilla was of the Sevillana. 
Paris fashions have much to answer for at the bar of 
the Picturesque. They have relegated such garb as I 



202 THE TRUE STORY OF 

have been describing to the regions of " auld lang 
syne " : 

Add, add, add, those times have passed away, 

Yet the blue Alsatian mountains t> ey watch and wait alway. 

I previously indicated that minute investigations 
in all parts of Lorraine have shown its people possess- 
ing, both in the past and in the present, skulls of the 
brachycephalic type rounded at the summit a usual 
characteristic of the French Gaelic race. In the many 
tumuli and ancient ossuaries that had been searched 
in one or another part of the province down to the 
year 1862, nearly every skull that was examined was 
of the aforementioned type.* In 1886 Dr. Collignon 
wrote in his " Anthropologie de la Lorraine " : 
" Whether you content yourself with looking at the 
country-folk as you pass them, or whether, turning to 
the dead, you search the ossuaries and the most 
ancient burial-places of the whole country, the result 
remains the same, be the districts those which are 
reputed Germanic or those which are known to be 
French. The great majority of the skulls, and in 
some places all of them, are brachycephalic." There 
is considerable resemblance to the Auvergnat type ; 
and it is held that although the Lorrainer is not a pure 
Celt he has great affinity with that race. Two 
eminent scientists, Broca and Topinard, classed him, 
by reason of his stature and other characteristics, 
among the tall, fair, but long-headed Kymri. Various 
discoveries support the view that at the time of the 
Germanic irruptions many of the original Celts took 
refuge in the mountainous districts, leaving the 
invaders in the valleys, where they appear to have 
mingled with the older races. According to a map 

* " Etude ethnologique BUT 1'Origine des Populations Lorraines Memoires 
de 1'Academie de Stanislas." 1862. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 203 

given by Dr. Collignon there was a mixed zone cover- 
ing the whole basin of the Moselle, but surrounded by 
a Celtic zone which included the Thionville, Sarregue- 
mines, and Vosgian districts. In a sense, then, there 
existed two Lorraines, whose borders often varied 
according to the vicissitudes of the times, and whose 
people were distinguished from one another by their 
speech. The various irruptions and conflicts which 
occurred resulted from the country's situation. Geo- 
graphically it is part of the basin of Paris, but it 
is also linked to the Rhenish system, and ethno- 
logically, historically, and socially has always borne 
the impress of its twofold geographical position. 

Language is by no means an indisputable proof of 
race. In this country of ours there are many folk 
who speak only the English language, yet are English 
only in a legal and not in a racial sense. Every child 
that is born in Britain is accounted a British subject, 
although not even a drachm of the blood of any of 
the British races may flow in its veins. Take one 
instance out of many. Large numbers of Italians of 
both sexes come to this country. They marry here, 
or are married before their arrival, and children are 
born to them here. These children go to English 
schools, where they acquire our language, and I know 
of numerous instances in which they are conversant 
with only a few words of the parental tongue. Never- 
theless, in spite of their English speech they are not 
English racially. Again, conquerors have at times 
imposed their language on the conquered. In these 
later years the Prussians have particularly striven to 
do so. They have all but stamped out the ancient 
Wendish speech, and they have exerted themselves to 
impose German on their Polish subjects to the exclu- 
sion of the latter' s national language. Although, as 



204 THE TRUE STORY OF 

scientists show, there has been a Germanic element in 
Lorraine, or rather in its north-eastern part, for many 
centuries, and the people in that particular region 
have taken to the German speech, it by no means 
follows that the bulk of them are of the German race. 
It was pointed out at the time of the annexation of 
North-Eastern Lorraine in 1871 that no German was 
then spoken at Metz, Thionville, Boulay, Saint- Avoid, 
Chateau-Salins, or Dieuze, where French had always 
prevailed from at least the sixteenth century. 

By French I do not mean pure French of the 
literary description. The provinces of old France had 
their particular, vaiying idioms. That of the Picards 
was probably the one which most contributed to the 
French language as we know it to-day. With regard 
to the Lorraine dialects one finds that in the earlier 
part of the eighteenth century they were formed 
mostly of old French mingled with corrupt Celtic and 
Latin words. Going back to distant times it may be 
pointed out that when the kingdom of Lotharingia 
was formed, Lothair took the famous "Oath of 
Strasburg " in words compounded of very ancient 
French and lower Latin, whereas his uncle Louis 
the Germanic repeated the same formula in early 
German. 

In a book of mine entitled " In Seven Lands," I 
supplied a specimen of Lorraine dialect as it was 
some fifty years ago, and I will quote it here : 

Quand j' dansions chus 1'orme 
J'eun motins point d' c6 grands chepe 
Qu'etaient si bin enjolivet, 
Que develint pus bas qu'eul net. 

J'eun motins ni bouff' ni bouffants 
Et ni eeintur' de b6 rubans. 
Nos cotillons et nos corsets 
Sont co pus b6 que ces affiquets. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 205 

The German claims to North-Eastern Lorraine and 
the whole of Alsace were based largely on linguistic 
considerations. These claims were brought forward 
as early as 1856 by a Hanoverian professor named 
Nabert, who wrote a pamphlet on the " mission " of 
the German nation to subject to their laws and 
institutions the whole of those " territories of the 
Scheldt and the Rhine where their language was 
spoken." It will be noted that the professor cast his 
net widely, including in it not only Alsace-Lorraine, 
but also the Netherlands whose people, the Dutch 
and the Flemings, he regarded as Germans by reason 
of their speech. Only by annexing those lands, said 
Nabert, could Germany deliver herself from constant 
warfare with her western neighbours. 

Kiepert, the geographer, afterwards addressed him- 
self to this subject, but with reference more par- 
ticularly to Alsace-Lorraine, which he visited before 
producing in 1867 the first edition of a map on which 
he indicated what districts Germany ought to claim. 
This map * was again reissued in 1871, 1875, and 
1888 by way of " fortifying " the German right to the 
annexed provinces ; and in conjunction with the Pan- 
German Richard Boeck, Kiepert also produced, during 
the war of 1870, a so-called " Historische Karte von 
Elsass-Lothringen." In the previous year Boeck, 
who was one of the most zealous partisans of the 
annexation of all so-called " lost lands " wherever 
they might be, had published at Berlin a work 
entitled " Der Deutschen Volkzahl und Sprachgebiet 
in den Europseischen Staaten." In the middle of the 
war, moreover, a certain Petermann issued a book on 
Alsace accompanied by exaggerated language maps. 

* " Special-Karte der deutsch-franzoeichen Grenzlander, mit Auegabe 
der Sprachgrenze." (Berlin : Resmer.) 



206 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Bismarck knew these maps and writings well. He may 
have inspired them. At all events they were at his 
elbow, and at Moltke's also, when in 1871 the pre- 
liminaries of peace with France were negotiated with 
Thiers and Jules Favre. 

Boeck accused the French Government of all sorts 
of high crimes and misdemeanours in regard to its 
so-called " German " subjects ; and with respect to 
the language question, he found, as I previously re- 
lated, some supporters among the Alsatian clergy, 
notably Pastor Baum and a Catholic priest of 
Strasburg bearing the French name of Cazeaux. That 
the French Government was justified in endeavouring 
to diffuse among the Alsatian peasantry a wider 
knowledge of French, such as prevailed among the 
better-educated classes of the towns, goes without 
saying ; but the prefects of the Second Empire were 
often overzealous, and did much harm by interfering 
in matters which they had better have left alone. 
Thus a great mistake was made when in certain rural 
districts of Alsace a fine of a sou was imposed on all 
school-children who were heard conversing together in 
German dialect. Whatever the sentiments of the 
Alsatians might be they had again and again proved 
their patriotic devotion to France the old-time 
Germanic speech was dear to many of them. It was 
the same as with the Bretons. None fought in 
1870-71 more bravely for France than did the Celts 
of the Armorican peninsula. But they were strongly 
attached to their national speech, and many knew no 
other. I can remember instances in which the word 
of command given in French was immediately after- 
wards repeated in Breton, for there were many Breton 
battalions in the Second Loire Army to which I was 
attached. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 207 

At the time of Louis XIV the knowledge of 
French was certainly more restricted in Alsace than it 
afterwards became, and it is not surprising that when 
that monarch gave orders to draft all legal judgments 
and public notifications in French it was found 
impossible to carry out his instructions, particularly 
in several of the rural districts where French was 
quite unknown. Some years ago M. Charles Pfister, 
a native of the annexed provinces, and a Professor of 
the Faculty of Letters at Nancy, endeavoured to draw 
a line of demarcation between the French-speaking 
and German-speaking districts.* His labours tended 
to show the great complexity of the question. Al- 
though, here and there, a linguistic limit could be 
traced with comparative ease over a distance of 
several miles, in other parts one was constantly 
confronted by little French or German enclaves locked, 
as it were, in the midst of a district where the other 
language was spoken. In these later years the 
Reichsland authorities have exerted themselves more 
and more strenuously to Germanize the whole of the 
annexed territory, imposing their language on the 
people by methods which virtually absolute French 
rulers, such as Louis XIV and Napoleon III, shrank 
from adopting. It follows that some of M. Pfister's 
facts may now be out of date, nevertheless his brochure 
is instructive, for it shows what was the position some 
twenty-seven years ago that is, a score of years after 
the German annexation. 

In Southern Alsace, towards the Swiss frontier, a 
line of demarcation was supplied by a streamlet 
called the Lucelle, on one side of which were two 

* " La Limits de la Langue frar^aise en Alsace-Lorraine." (Paris, 18^0.) 
This pamphlet of forty pages is probably the beet refutation of certain Gennem 
claims, 



208 THE TRUE STORY OF 

villages, Levoncourt and Courtavon (renamed Luffen- 
dorf and Ottendorf by the Germans), where French 
was spoken almost exclusively. The same language 
was used at the village of Lucelle and at that of 
Oberlarg in the vicinity, though in the last-named 
locality the Alsatian Germanic dialect predominated. 
More to the west, the frontier traced in 1871 took no 
account of linguistic considerations. Although Thiers 
succeeded in saving the cantons of Giromagny and 
Delle, besides Belfort, for France, he was obliged to 
surrender a number of exclusively French villages to 
the Germans. These places, anciently dependencies 
of the lordship of Montreux, had afterwards formed 
part of the French cantons of Dannemarie and Fon- 
taine. They included, first, in addition to Dannemarie 
itself, Magny, Romagny (Willern), Latran, Valdieu 
(Gottestal), Montreux -Vieux, Montreux- Jeune, and 
Chavannes-sur-1'Etang ; and, secondly, Saint-Cosme, 
Belmagny (Bernetzweiler), Eteimbes (Welschenstein- 
bach) and Bretten, in the upper valley of the 
Traubach, a tributary of the Largue. No linguistic 
reason could be assigned for the annexation of any 
one of those localities, nevertheless Bismarck insisted 
on appropriating them. 

To the north of Eteimbes the heights separating 
the valley of Saint-Nicolas from that of Massevaux, 
and the basin of the Rhone from that of the Rhine, 
constituted a linguistic line of separation, and became 
in 1871 the political frontier. Going northward, the 
Vosgian crests supplied roughly a linguistic as well as 
a political boundary. Among the people dwelling in 
the valleys of the Doller, the Thur, the Lauch, and the 
Fecht, the Alsatian dialect has always predominated, 
but in the valley of the Weiss, a tributary of the 
Fecht, and not far from Munster, there is a district 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 209 

where, before the annexation of 1871, no German was 
currently spoken, though here and there it might 
be understood. Even German philologists formerly 
admitted that the communes of Orbey, Le Bonhomme, 
and Freland (now Urbach), dependent on La Poultroie, 
as well as the little Baroche or Zell side valley, whose 
houses are scattered below the castle of Hohneck, 
were entirely Welsch. As I may have to use this 
word Welsch again, it is as well, perhaps, to explain 
that the Germans derive it from Gallicus, and apply 
it in contemptuous fashion to folk of the Gallic race. 
In the little district to which I have been referring, 
the people differ from the more Germanic race located 
in the plain. Pfister says that on market days at 
Kaysersberg it was easy to distinguish the Welsch 
mountain-folk from the people dwelling in the lower 
wine-growing villages. 

With the enclave which has just been mentioned 
one may connect Aubure (Altweier) in the district of 
Ribeauville (otherwise Rappoltsweiler). Aubure is a 
composite locality, one part of it being Catholic and 
the other Protestant. In the former French used to 
be spoken exclusively, whilst in the latter the German 
dialect predominated. Going farther north, the valley 
of Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines (Markirch) was divided 
linguistically in similar fashion. Half of the popula- 
tion of the town itself spoke French and the other 
half German. This peculiarity may have arisen from 
the fact that the left side of the valley formerly 
belonged to the duchy of Lorraine and the other side 
to the Alsatian lordship of Ribeaupierre (Rappolt- 
stein) ; but it would be a mistake to regard this 
particular instance as a general rule. French patois 
has certainly prevailed in some lonely hamlets on the 
Lorraine side of the valley, but on following the 



210 THE TRUE STORY O^F 

Saint-Croix streamlet it will be found that nearly all 
the localities are of the German-speaking variety 
until at Livre (Leberau), on the same side, French 
speech once more prevails. 

The River Lievre drains the valley of Sainte- 
Marie and joins the Giessen, which flows into the 111 
to the north of Schlestadt. The upper valley of the 
Giessen is (or was) linguistically French. Both lan- 
guages were spoken at Breitenau, but French was the 
speech of Fouday. In a secondary valley, north of 
the Giessen, Steige was a Welsch village in spite of 
its Germanic name, but, near at hand, Meisengott 
favoured the German dialect. 

In the frontier part of Alsace near France the 
most extensive French-speaking district used to be 
the upper valley of the Bruch, which formerly belonged 
to the Vosges department. German geographers 
claimed, however, that it was, by natural configura- 
tion, a part of Alsace, and Bismarck adopted their 
view. Nevertheless the towns of Saales and Schirmeck 
and all the villages intervening between them were 
absolutely Welsch. Hereabouts, in two secondary 
valleys, is the so-called Ban de la Roche,* a district 
of about eight villages, four of which belonged to the 
Vosges department. These villages were exclusively 
French, there being no Germanic element whatever in 
their population. As a result of the labours of the 
famous Pastor Oberlin these little places have long 
been Protestant communities, and are indeed the only 
French villages professing Protestantism in this part 
of Alsace. Jer^mie Jacques Oberlin, the pastor's 
eminent brother, one of the first scholars to recognize 
the importance of dialects in connexion with philology, 
made a special study of the French patois of the Ban 

* See p. 35, ante. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 211 

de la Roche. Natzwiller, in much the same district, 
has retained, however, the Catholic faith and also the 
Germanic dialect, this arising, probably, from the fact 
that the commune was formerly a domain of the 
Bishops of Strasburg. In some hamlets near Schir- 
meck Salm, Quevelles, and Malplaquet Pfister noted 
the presence of a Germanic Anabaptist population. 
These places were little enclaves, so to say, in the 
midst of a Gallic district. Below Schirmeck on the 
Bruch, Pfister found that Wisch was quite French 
but that Muhlbach was entirely German. Again, 
Netzenbach was French. At Lutzelburg (more to the 
north, in the canton of Molsheim) both languages 
were spoken. Haslach was German and Steinbach 
also ; but Russ, in the immediate neighbourhood, 
was a French-speaking locality. 

The examples already given will have shown how 
impossible it would be to divide Alsace between 
France and Germany should any such preposterous 
idea ever enter the head of an insane politician in 
accordance with strict linguistic principles. The 
baffling problem which has confronted generations of 
statesmen in the Balkan peninsula would be found on 
a smaller scale in Alsace. In the Balkans, of course, 
matters are complicated by the fact that not only 
differences of race and language have to be considered, 
but long - existing racial rivalry, antagonism, and 
ambition also. Formerly such elements of contention 
scarcely existed among the Alsatians proper, religious 
differences being the only ones of any importance ; 
but circumstances have changed under the German 
domination of the last forty-seven years, which has 
planted thousands of people from across the Rhine 
on the lands taken from France. As for the Alsatians 
themselves, whether they belong linguistically or 



212 THE TRUE STORY OF 

racially to the Germanic group or the Gallic group, 
very few indeed have wavered in their affection for 
the land from which they were separated by force in 
1871. 

Let us now pass from Alsace to Lorraine, proceed- 
ing from Netzenbach towards Mount Donon and then 
entering the Lotharingian district of Dabo. The little 
River Zorn flows through the Vosgian gorges in a 
region where only the Alsatian dialect is heard. All 
the villages on the Bievre are linguistically Germanic 
ones. But the upper valleys of both the Red and the 
White Sarre are French. Pfister found that German 
was not even understood either at Aboeschwiller, 
Turquestein or Lorquin the birthplace of the famous 
explorer Crevaux. After the two Sarres have met, 
their waters flow in unison through territory which 
linguistically is largely French. Pfister noted that 
language at Nitting, Hermelange, Imling, and Bebing. 
At Sarrebourg both French and German were spoken. 
In the canton of Fenestrange German prevailed, but 
even here there were two French-speaking communes 
Angviller and Bisping. The old Lorrainer districts 
of Dieuze, Delme, Vic, and Chateau-Salins never used 
any other language than French, to which, of course, 
the old patois of Lorraine belongs. More to the north, 
however, eleven German-speaking and eight French- 
speaking localities were found in the district of 
Albestroff. A similar state of affairs existed in the 
annexed portion of the former Moselle department. 
The people dwelling near the so-called French Nied 
spoke French, while those near the German Nied 
used both languages, which practice existed also in the 
districts of Thionville, Briey, and Longwy. 

Many of the geographical names applied to rivers, 
towns, villages, etc., in Alsace-Lorraine are un- 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 213 

doubtedly of Celtic origin. The very name of the 
river of which the Germans are so inordinately proud 
the Rhine is Celtic, signifying a mass of water. 
The name of the Rhone has the same origin, and 
there is, by the way, a streamlet called the Rhone 
south-west of Metz. The Orne, a tributary of the 
Meuse, bears, like the larger Orne in Normandy, a 
name of Celtic derivation. The Meuse (Mosa) and the 
Moselle (Mosella) owe their appellations to the same 
source. The Bievre takes its name from bebros, which 
signified beaver in Gallic speech. 

Verdun (Virodunum) and Liverdun (Liverdunum) 
were, as their names attest, strong places of the Celts. 
The Romans, it will be remembered, first called Metz 
Divodurum, " the fortress of the gods," after its 
Celtic name. Mouzon was known in Roman times as 
Mosomagus, " the field of the Meuse." Another 
example of the terminal magus is supplied by the 
Alsatian town of Brumath, originally Brigamagus. 
" Briga," like " dun," signified fortress, and thus we 
have Vindobriga (the fortress of Vindos), now the 
village of Vandceuvre near Nancy, and Danobriga 
(the fortress of Danos), now Denoeuvre near Baccarat. 
From condate, a confluence, comes Conde ; from 
Novientum is derived Noveant in Lorraine, besides 
all the many Nogents scattered throughout France. 
Tullum was the original name of Toul, as well as of 
Tulle in the Limousin. Even Saletio, the early name 
of Seltz, is held to be of Celtic origin. The terminal 
acus occurred in many of the Gallo-Roman place- 
names of Alsace-Lorraine, Nancy, for instance, being 
Nantiacus, the property of Nantius. Roman genti- 
litial forms appear in many of the older names, but 
sometimes a pure Celtic word sufficed, as in the 
case of nant, brave, warlike ; whence one derives 



214 THE TRUE STORY OF 

both Nant-le-Grand and Nant-le-Petit on the 
Meuse. 

Several years ago a German writer named Ludwig 
Bossier tried to prove that the place-names of Alsace- 
Lorraine were Urdeutsch, that is, original or primitive 
German ; but it is distinctly a question whether the 
many more or less Germanic appellations existing 
before the war of 1870-71 it is not worth while 
troubling about those devised since then by the 
German authorities were really original names or 
whether they were merely superposed in such wise as 
to cover and conceal earlier Celtic or Roman ones. 
It may be accepted that the Celtic substratum, so to 
say, of the Alsatian people was overspread with Latin 
and German strata. Something similar would seem 
to have occurred with respect to place-names. 

Pfister points out that the rock bearing the town 
of Alt-Breisach in Baden stood on the left or Alsatian 
side of the Rhine before that river changed its course, 
and that the Romans called it Mons Brisiacus, a 
name evidently derived from the Celtic. It is, in 
Pfister's opinion, an error to think that the Germaniza- 
tion of Alsace dates from the time of Ariovistus,* and 
that all the Celts were then thrown back to the 
Vosges, where they are represented by the so-called 
Welsch of nowadays. Ariovistus was only fourteen 
years in the region ; but, on the other hand, the 
Tribocci certainly remained in Northern Alsace, and 
the Mediomatrici of that region were at last compelled 
to withdraw to the west of the Vosges. Now the 
Romans succeeded in some matters in which other 
nations have failed. They induced the peoples whom 
they subdued to accept and adopt their language. 
There is evidence that Latin became extensively 

* See p. 57 et sc^., ante. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 215 

known in Alsace-Lorraine, and that, indeed, from 
A.D. 100 to A.D. 350 or thereabouts it was the dominant, 
though one cannot say the exclusive, language of the 
country. There are numerous localities whose names 
are derived directly from Latin. This appears par- 
ticularly in the case of places called after particular 
kinds of trees. Aulnois-sur-Seille derives its name 
from alnetum, a spot planted with alders ; Malroy 
comes from malaretum, an apple orchard ; the various 
Norroys in Lorraine derived their appellation from 
nogaretum, being spots where walnuts abounded. 
Again, Preny and Pournoy originated in prunidum ; 
the different localities called Bouxieres and also 
Bouxwiller were wooded places, bussarice. Plantires 
near Metz was so called from plantarice, whilst Cham- 
bieres, now the site of the Metz cemetery, took its 
name from canabarice being anciently a place where 
hemp was grown. Boulay, called by the Germans 
Bolchen, is a corruption of betuletum, the land being 
planted with birches. The origin of such names as 
Fontenoy and Fontoy is obvious. So is that of 
Porcelette (or Porselt), near Saint- Avoid, though it 
may be unpleasant to have one's village, perhaps 
one's native spot, called the pigsty or piggery. 

The terminals ville, wihr, and wilier (Germanized 
as weiler) which are observed in so many place-names 
of Alsace-Lorraine are all corruptions of the Latin 
suffixes villare and villa. Such names as Magny and 
Mesnils are derived from mansio and mansionile ; 
Maizeroy, Maizery, and Mezieres come from maceries. 
Lungenfeld is a German distortion of longavilla ; 
Kestenholz a mere translation of castanetum. Colmar 
is an abbreviated adaptation of columbarium ; whilst 
Zabern, which at first sight might appear to be a 
peculiarly German name, is but a cloak thrown over 



216 THE TRUE STORY OF 

the original tabernce of the Roman legions. There is 
a place known as Domfessel in the vicinity of Saar- 
union. It was originally Domus vassalorum. Keskastel, 
in the same district, was Ccesaris castellum ; whilst 
Singrist, in the neighbourhood of Marmoutier, was 
Signwn Christi, dating evidently from the Christian 
era. In the earlier period of the Roman rule in 
Alsace, Strasburg bore the name of Argentoratum. 
The first time its modern name appears that is, in 
Gregory of Tours, sixth century it takes the form of 
Strateburgum. A somewhat later writer says that 
this designation was only employed by the vulgar. 
However that may be, Strata-burgus the fortress on 
the road (from Germany to Gaul) was, as Pfister 
points out, as good Latin as Augusto-burgus, the 
Roman name of Augsburg. In the case of the 
Alsatian capital, the German spelling, Strassburg, 
fully conveys the meaning of the earlier Latin appella- 
tion. 

The foregoing summary will have shown that the 
Roman like the Celtic dominion left its mark on the 
place-names of Alsace-Lorraine, in such wise as to 
dispose largely of the Urdeutsch theories of Herr 
Ludwig Bossier. In the fourth century of our era, 
however, the German idiom began to spread through 
the region. Rome, besides taking many German 
barbarians into her service, settled many colonists, 
Iceti, in vacant territories. I showed in a previous 
chapter that the many Germanic invasions of the 
fourth century were repulsed, but it may be assumed 
that a certain number of the invaders often remained 
in a more or less subject state on the western side of 
the Rhine, and that in this wise the Germanic element 
increased, until in the sixth century it became the 
largest. Nevertheless a Latinized population survived 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 217 

in the Vosgian parts of Alsace, where its speech 
became transformed into the romanesque dialect 
which is still current there. Here are a few proverbs 
of this region with their equivalents in French : 

Pu qu' lo lou e, pu qu'il vu evou (Plus le loup a, plus il veut avoir). 

Faire lo dchin pou avou 1'ouse (Faire le chien pour avoir 1'os). 

Quo lo pouo a grae il caisse Id ran (Quand le pore est gras il casse le ran 

(etable) ). 
II lieie lo dale que n'e mi ma (II lie le doigt qui n'a pas mal). 

Here is another specimen of the Vosgian vernacular. 
It shows a man complaining of the weather : 

Que to ! j'ai tu aujeduye moyi jusqu'es osse. J'ai tu pou bochi ; j'voyezor 
bie enne nouache to nar, ma j'creyezo que ce n' serd rie, et qu' lo gran vo lo 
vir6 pu Ion. Ma il o crov6 quan i n'etaizor pu to pou r'veni. J'a bi& mettu 
du chesse seu mi, ma ce n'eimpechezo mi qu' j'a tu moyi bi6-u a poi. 

(Quel temps ! J'ai et6 aujourd'hui mouil!6 jusqu'aux os. J'ai ete pour 
becher, je voyais bien un nuage tout noir, mais je croyais que ce ne serait 
rien, et que le grand vent le pousserait plus loin. Mais il est erevd, quand il 
n'etait plus temps de revenir. J'ai bien mis deux sacs sur moi, mais 9a 
n'empechait pas que j'ai etc mouilld bien a point.) 

Further, here is a child's song, formerly sung in 
the Ban de la Roche,* annexed by the Germans and 
called by them Steintal. This specimen shows even 
a closer resemblance to ordinary French : 






Foare, foare mo dchva, 
Pou demain al!6 au sa ; 
Foare, foare mo polain, 
Pou d' main alle au bian pan ! 
Lo pai, lo pai, lo trot, lo trot, 
Lo gailop, Lo gailop ! 

(Ferre, ferre mon cheval, 
Pour aller demain au sel ; 
Ferre, ferre inon poulain, 
Pour aller demain au blanc pain ! 
Le pas, le pas, le trot, le trot, 
Le galop, le galop !) 

A writer named Fallot, who in 1828 produced at 
Montbeliard a little book on the patois of Franche- 

* See p. 36, ante, 



218 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Comte*, Lorraine, and Alsace, showing the great 
similarity between them, pointed out that a large 
number of the words used by the peasantry differed 
essentially from Latin, French, and German. As the 
present volume is not a dictionary I will content 
myself with quoting just a few of the examples which 
Fallot gave : 

Latin French German Patois 

Anas Canard Ente Bourrai 

Hortus Jardin Garten Quetchi 

Templum Eglise Kirch Motie 

Cimex Punaise Wantze Teufion 

Whilst the Germanic speech was spreading in 
Alsace, it also penetrated into parts of Lorraine. But 
the stronghold of Metz, under whose walls the Celto- 
Roman inhabitants sought protection, served as a 
barrier against both the Tribocci and the Ripuarian 
Franks. When in the fifth century Metz succumbed 
beneath the onslaughts of Attila and the Huns the 
flood-tide of the Germanic invasions had abated. In 
496, by the so-called victory of Tolbiac, Clovis destroyed 
the power of the Alemanni, and even imposed his 
rule on the Ripuarians. Meantime, though Metz and 
Toul were swayed by a Prankish chief they retained 
their Gallo-Roman language. The patois of Metz 
has always differed somewhat from the other dialects 
of Lorraine, and I therefore append a few specimens. 
The first is taken from a seventeenth-century trimazo 
a spring-time song, such songs having been current 
in Lorraine since druidical times : 

J'a vu trabeun (beaucoup) de beis gueichons 
Fliambet d'in coup pe let quenons (canons), 
J'a vu zous (leurs) belles desalayes 
Treus mois epres tot's consolayes. 
trimazo ! 

S'at (c'est) lo maye, 6 mi maye, 

S'at lo jali mois de maye, 

S'at lo trimazo ! 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 219 

Here are the opening verses of a vintage song, 
formerly familiar in the Pays Messin : 

Queu pliaji (plaisir) d'etre en vendome (vendange), 

Quand lo s'lat (soleil) dour (dore) les coteaux, 
On e'en beille (donne), Dieu sait comme, 

En oorant pe monts, pe vaux. 

Les gueichons (garons) prach' (pres) des bacelles (filles) 
Sont gueuilrets (guillerets) com' des mochats (fauvettes), 

Aux peutes (laides) tot com' aux belles 
Y font bet (battre) des enteurchats. 

Finally the following comes from a comedy written 
in the old patois of Metz and entitled " Lo Meriege 
des Brauves " (" Le Mariage des Braves "). 

Scene premire. Suzon, 6rangeant let chambe et 1'erazant (le balayant) ; 
Charle, Joseph, en hebits de militares, lo preumin (le premier) eva 1'epaye 
(1'epee) en bandoliere ; lo s'gond eva in sabe (sabre) de meme, et ch6quin 
des mosteches et in ptiat beton e let main. 

< Joseph. Boinjo, let bele afant, v' feyeus mou bei cheuz vos. 

Suzon. Vat' servante. . . . Qu'as' qu'il y et po vat' service ? 

Joseph. Je v'nans v' demandet e sopet et in boin lit. 

CharU. Que j' vos priera d' bien baisnet (bassiner), s' let fat done bien 
quand on at hade (fatigue). 

Suzon. J'mattra, si v' volens, in pou d' seuq (sucre) dans les baisneure 
(bassinoire), si s'let v' fat pliaji (plaisir). 

Certain words, such as boin (bon), in (un), let (la), 
^ and et (a and a), remain the same in the different 
Lorraine dialects. This is shown by the opening 
stanza of an old Noel sung at Nancy and Epinal : 

Enne (une) jeune baisselle (bacelle, bachelle) 

De boin paran, 
Que fut toujou pucelle 

En sa viquant, 

Dehant in jou 

See patenot (paten6tres) et set chambe, 
Vit in eindg (ange) deshante (descendre) 
De let pai (la part) de not Cheignou (Seigneur). 

With respect to place-names, changes occurred in 
North-Eastern Lorraine in much the same way as they 
occurred in Alsace, Amidst the many vicissitudes of 



220 THE TRUE STORY OF 

early days such changes were bound to happen. In 
Merovingian times vacant, abandoned, or confiscated 
lands took the names of their new owners, to which 
some such suffix as villare was often added. Yet the 
Roman remains bricks, tiles, vases, medals, coins, and 
so forth found on these spots tell of days long 
previous to the Merovingian era. Such names as 
Rambervillers, Badonviller, Gerbeviller, Gondreville, 
and Remiremont come from Ramberti- villare, Bo- 
donis- villare, Gerberti-villare, Gundulfi-villa, and Ro- 
marici-mons. Bodon was a seventh-century Bishop 
of Toul, Romaric is known to have founded the Abbey 
of Remiremont about the same period. In none of 
the five places I have enumerated has German ever 
been the current idiom. If Rambert, Gerbert, and 
the others were Franks they speedily accommodated 
themselves to the vernacular of their Gallo-Roman 
hinds and neighbours. 

In the part of Lorraine most peopled by Germanic 
folk villare was usually changed into wihr, as was often 
the case also in Alsace., Other suffixes introduced by 
the invaders were heim (house), dorf and troff (village), 
and ingen, an equivalent of the Celtic acus. Most of 
the names ending in ingen will be found in German 
Lorraine, where the French in some instances after- 
wards altered it to ange, as in the case of Finstingen, 
Fenestrange. In one of the oldest documents respect- 
ing Alsace (673) one reads of Monesensisheim and 
Onenheim, names which subsequently underwent still 
further Germanization, becoming Munzenheim and 
Ohnenheim. Those examples indicate the kind of 
process which occurred. 

Christianity tended to alter many old place-names, 
besides providing names for the new villages which 
sprang up. A parish whose church or chapel was 



ALSACE-LO R R A I N E 221 

dedicated to some particular saint often took his 
name. That of Dannemarie (altered by the Germans 
to Dammerkirch) comes from Donna Maria. More- 
over, sanctus (sankt, saint) gradually replaced domnus. 
Briefly, in the sixth century German and Latin com- 
peted for pre-eminence, the latter, however, taking in 
an increasing degree the romane form. 

Apart from the early irruptions, the wars of more 
modern times brought many Germans into Alsace. 
Some were refugees fleeing from religious struggles. 
In the sixteenth century, moreover, a number of 
Saxon colonists were attracted to the region by the 
silver-mines of Sainte-Marie. Other miners came on 
various occasions in the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries both to Sainte-Marie and Sainte-Croix. At 
an earlier date, however, in the vicinity of Schirmeck 
there was an influx of French Switzers from Porrentruy 
and Delemont. 

There are considerable differences between the 
Germanic dialects of Alsace. In the Sundgau the 
vernacular is akin to the German of the neighbouring 
parts of Switzerland. In the north the idiom 
resembles that of the Palatinate. The people of 
Colmar speak differently from those of Strasburg. 
In fact different pronunciations will be found in 
neighbouring communes, and corrupt words derived 
from French are of frequent occurrence. Before 
the annexation of 1871 the dialects of some dis- 
tricts were almost incomprehensible to the Badeners 
dwelling just across the Rhine. Now and again, 
by fits and starts, the Government of the old regime 
wished to impose the French language on the people, 
but it never did anything to encourage a knowledge 
of it. Pfister declares that not a word of French was 
taught in the schools of Alsace and the Germanic part 



222 THE TRUE STORY OF 

of Lorraine until the Revolution of 1789. The chil- 
dren, says he, did not even learn to use Roman 
letters when writing. In the signatures which figure 
in the old registers, German Gothic is invariably 
employed. The knowledge of French was long con- 
fined to the upper classes and to the townsfolk of 
the middle class. They did not acquire it, however, 
at the University of Strasburg, for all the teaching 
there was in Latin. They picked it up chiefly by 
journeys through France, sojourns in Paris, or inter- 
course with French functionaries and military folk. 
At the time of the Revolution the National Conven- 
tion was desirous of remedying this state of affairs, 
and even voted a credit of 600,000 francs to that 
effect. But the wars, the disorderly state of the 
country, the general unrest, prevented the realization 
of such a project, and it was only at the time of 
Lezay-Marnezia's prefectship,* and again during 
Louis Philippe's reign that the Alsatian schools under- 
went real improvements. 

Since 1871 the German rulers have done their 
utmost to extirpate the French language. They 
speedily made their own speech obligatory for all 
public bodies. In 1888 they imposed it on the petty 
law-courts of the so-called Welsch districts. They 
even forbade parents to give French Christian names 
to their children. Ren6 had been a very popular 
name in the annexed part of Lorraine it recalled the 
duke who defeated Charles the Rash of Burgundy 
but the Germans would not suffer its bestowal on 
any infant. Some little trouble ensued, but finally 
the Latin form Renatus was accepted. 

Not a word of French has been taught in the 
elementary schools of Alsace since the annexation. 

* See p. 119, ante. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 223 

In that connexion I remember the refrain of a song, 
supposed to be sung by an old Alsatian schoolmaster : 

La patrouille allemande passe, 

Baissez la voix, mes chers petits, 

Parler fran^ais n'est pins pennis 
Aux petits enfanta de F Alsace ! 

Even the use of such words as merci, bonjour, and 
mademoiselle (when addressing a school-teacher) was 
forbidden the village children. In the secondary 
schools a little French was allowed, but the hours 
given to its study were as far as possible curtailed. 
The efforts to banish the French language were 
particularly great in the Welsch districts, notably 
those of Lorraine such as Chateau-Salins, whose 
French race was subjected to the most odious Ger- 
manization. Metz, moreover, was largely transformed 
by the influx of thousands of Teutons, who imposed 
their guttural speech upon its population. 

Although ethnology and language help one to 
determine nationality, they can only be relied upon 
within reasonable limits. Let nobody imagine that 
identity of idiom necessarily implies identity of 
opinions, sentiments, or aspirations. Not only among 
the so-called Welsch of Alsace, but also among the 
Germanic section of the people, the neighbouring 
Germans^ were always unpopular. They were con- 
temptuously designated as Schwabs, and there were 
many Alsatian legends and tales turning them to 
ridicule. One may well ask, also, what distinguished 
men were ever given by Alsace-Lorraine to Germany. 
At long intervals in the old days a soldier, a scholar 
of some degree of eminence, arose, to whom Germany 
might lay claim, though the former was usually a 
mere soldier of fortune ready to serve the master who 
paid him best, and the latter, a writer who did not 



224 THE TRUE STORY OF 

pen his treatises in a tongue suitable for horses as, I 
think, Francis I once put it but in Latin, the then 
universal language of the learned. On the other 
hand the distinguished men given by Alsace and 
Lorraine to France have been strikingly numerous. I 
have mentioned several in the course of these pages, 
It would take me too long to compile a complete list, 
and I should not have sufficient space to include it in 
this volume, but here is a partial one jotted down 
au courant de la plume : 

Soldiers Marshals and Generals : Fabert, Ney, Victor, Custines, Oudinot, 
Gouvion-Saint-Cyr, Gerard, Kellermann, Kleber, Lefebvre, Lobau, Molitor, 
Duroc, Lasalle, Rapp, Drouot, Scherer, Thiebault, Chavert, Schramm, 
Exelmans, Richepanse, Uhrich, Paixhans, Sigisbert Hugo,* Margueritte, 
Poncelet, De Reiset, Virgile Schneider, Haxo, Jacqueminot, Houchard, 
Lallemand, Courtot, Eble, D'Andlau, Athalin, Vescot, Barbier, Bechot, 
Braun, Conrad, Denzel, Gelb, Klinger, Klcecker, Menjaud, Reibell, De 
Reinach, Span, Scherb, Wehrl6, Freytag, Scholt, several Berckheims, 
Dettlingens, Montjoyes, Rosens, Wurmsers,t and Waldners. Also the Gayets, 
intendants generaux des armees, Morel and the Lorentzes, father and eon, 
chirurgiens en chef des armees, and Wolf Wagner, the daring guerilla-leader in 
the Vosges in 1814. A hundred others might be added to the foregoing. 

The names of two admirals also occur to me : Bruat, who commanded in 
the Black Sea during the Crimean War, and De Rigny, who commanded the 
French squadron at Navarino. 

Statesmen, diplomatists, politicians, high functionaries, etc. : Jules Ferry, 
Raymond Poincare, President of the Republic, Baron Louis, the Gerards, 
the Dietrichs, Bouchotte, Count Roederer, Marbois, Merlin de Thionville, 
Boulay de la Meurthe, Thouvenel, Buffet, Eugene Schneider, Ktiss, some of 
the Montjoyes and Rosens, Schirmer, Keller, the Kcechlins, Scheurer-Kestner, 
Marechal, Edmond Valentin, Schneegans, Ketle, Bamberger, Humbert, 
Grosjean, and many others. 

Ecclesiastics : Cardinal Mathieu, Cardinal Louis (not Edouard) de Rohan, 
De Lenoncourt (Bishop of Metz),J Gobel (the " constitutional " Bishop of 
Paris), Pastor Oberlin the philanthropist, Abbe Gregoire, Abb6 Wetterle, 
etc. 

Scientists : Jules-Henri, I^eon and Lucien Poincare, Bartholdi, Barrel, 
Crevaux, Pilatre de Rozier, Maurice Levy, Mathieu de Dombasle, Pariset, 

* His son Victor Hugo was born at Besa^on, but the family belonged 
to the Xanthois district of Lorraine, between Remiremont and Pont-Saint- 
Victor. 

j- Apart from the one, a native of Strasburg, who entered the Austrian 
service and was defeated by Napoleon at Castiglione. 

J Ke promoted the union of Metz with France in 1552. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 225 

Sonnini, several Dollfuses, etc. Pasteur was at one time prominently connected 
with the University of Strasburg. 

Writers and Scholars : J. Le Duchat, the brothers Lacretelle, Saint- 
Lambert, Gilbert, Grimoard, Arbois de Jurainville, Xavier Marmier, Edmond 
About, Andre Theuriet, Erckmann-Chatrian, Maimbourg, F. B. Hoffmann, 
J. J. Oberlin, Jean Mace, P. J. Stahl, J. J. Weiss, Scherer, Nefftzer, Siebecker, 
Chevalier de Boufflers, J. G. Eckhard, the Engelhardts, Jung, Renouard de 
Bussiere, Andrieu, Arnold, the Pfisters, Maurice Barres, Louis Ratisbonne, 
Paul Verlaine, Ardouin-Dumazet, Buchoz, the Ancillons, Alfred Mezieres, 
Pixerecourt, Eugene de Mirecourt, Mme. de Graffigny, Mme. Aimable Tastu, 
etc. Edmond de Goncourt, moreover, was born at Nancy. 

Artists, -including painters, sculptors, engravers, musicians, etc. : Claude 
Lorrain, Clodion, Ligier-Richier, Jacques Callot, Sebastien Leclerc, Baron 
Gerard,* Isabey, Bastien-Lepage, Henner, the Drouins, Bartholdi, the Drol- 
lings, Jean Lamour, Leprince, Adolphe Yvon, the four Gu6rins, Gustave Dore, 
Nocret, Theodore Jung, Sigisbert Adam, Chassel, the Dietterlins, Corti, 
Bugard, Henriet, the Levraults, Bauer, Spierre, F. Dauphin, Jundt, Grand- 
ville, Hansi, Legrand, Jacquot, Marechal, Ambroise Thomas, Monvel and 
his daughter Mile. Mars, Mme. Arnould-Plessy, etc. 

Although those lists are very rough and imperfect 
they will at least give some idea of what Alsace and 
Lorraine have contributed to France's fame and 
culture. Some of the old Lorrainer dukes, sprung 
from the House of France, were able as well as valiant 
princes. The Guises, who, whatever their policy may 
have been, were remarkable scions of the ducal line, 
belong essentially to French history. Many of the 
other nobility whom I have not mentioned were men 
of distinction, sometimes of high merit. The four 
grands chevaux of Lorraine the Haraucourts, the 
Lenoncourts, the Du Chatelets, and the Lignevilles 
(the last-named house alone now existing) were not 
merely grands seigneurs, but often also skilful captains 
and expert counsellors. The same may be said of 
the so-called petits chevaux, among whom, besides 
Bassompierre and the Haussonvilles, whom I have 
mentioned, there were some of the Choiseuls, the 
Hunolsteins, the Lambertyes, the Oberkirchs, the 

* Though born at Rome he was a Lorrainer. A similar remark applies 
to others in the above lists. Blood comei before birthplace. 



226 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Nettancourts, the Beauvaus and the Rougemonts. 
Men eminent in industry were numerous in both 
provinces. The artisans were often famed for their 
work, and one and all, whatever their station or 
calling, have constituted an essential part of the 
great heritage of France, in which Germany can 
claim no share. 

As I have said before, both Lorrainers and Alsatians 
long loved their independence. But when, situated 
as they were between two strong Powers, it became a 
question of uniting themselves with one or the other, 
they preferred France to Germany. Certainly the old 
Bourbon regime was a bad one, but in common with 
all the rest of France for it was the same throughout 
the country Alsace and Lorraine endured it without 
seeking separation. When the great Revolution came 
and brought invasion in its train, none were more 
eager to throw back the aggressors from across the 
Rhine. The " lost brothers," as the Germans called 
them, were by no means anxious to join their reputed 
kindred. As I shall show in my next chapter the 
provinces were of precisely the same mind in 1870-71, 
and a cry of grief and protest went up when the evil 
day of annexation dawned. The majority were con- 
strained by circumstances to remain and become 
German subjects, but thousands fled and have been 
fleeing ever since, as I shall ^presently establish. 
Never, indeed, has there been a cessation of the 
exodus to escape the odious Prussian rule. Even the 
storks, those familiars of the old Alsatian villages, 
come thither, it is said, in far smaller numbers than 
they used to do. It was held in the long ago that 
these birds would only dwell in lands of freedom. At 
all events those which come to Alsace in the fair 
reason nowadays, seem to distinguish between the 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 227 

genuine old inhabitants and the many settlers imported 
from across the Rhine and planted throughout the 
province. One might think these feathered visitors 
possessed of sufficient sagacity to discriminate between 
liberty's friends and her open or covert enemies. 



VIII 
THE WAR OF 187O-71 

A Glance at the Causes of the Struggle : The first French Defeats 
Wissembourg, Worth, Forbach : The Occupation of Nancy : The 
Battles near Metz : The March on Sedan : General Pajol and Napo- 
leon III : The Siege of Strasburg : Edmond Valentin's remarkable 
Adventures : German Exactions at Strasburg : The Sieges of Phah- 
bourg, Schlestadt, Neuf-Brisach, Verdun, Metz, Longwy, Bitche, and 
Belfort : German Excesses and Oppression in Alsace-Lorraine : The 
Preliminaries of Peace : Protests of Alsace-Lorraine. 

IN former books of mine I discussed the causes of the 
war which broke out between France and Germany in 
1870 * ; and desiring in the present volume to confine 
myself as much as possible to Alsace and Lorraine, I 
do not propose to deal with general matters at any 
length. The reader may be reminded, however, that 
both Bismarck and Napoleon III w r ere bent upon 
war. The former, who already contemplated the 
creation of a new r German Empire for Prussia's benefit, 
realized that this would only be possible if the power 
of France were diminished, and the better to effect 
that purpose he resolved from the very outset to 
deprive the French of their strip of frontier on the 
Bhine by annexing the province of Alsace. The 
seizure of a part of Lorraine w r as an after-thought 
inspired by the great successes of the German armies. 
In September 1870, after Sedan, but whilst Bazaine 
was still holding out at Metz, Bismarck told Jules 
Favre, the Foreign Minister of the National Defence, 

* See " The Court of th Tuileries, 1852-1870 " ; " My Days of Adventure : 
the Fall of France, 1870-71 " ; and " Republican Franca, 1870-1912." 

228 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 229 

that the price of peace at that moment would be Alsace 
and an indemnity of two milliards of francs, but that 
if the war were prolonged he should also demand a 
part of Lorraine and a much larger indemnity. Little 
if anything was said about Lorraine at the outset of 
the w r ar, but the question of annexing Alsace at once 
came to the front in Germany. As I have previously 
stated, geographers and others had prepared the way 
for such a demand, but, curiously enough, though the 
Prussian Press supported it, far more eagerness on the 
subject was displayed in Southern Germany Baden, 
Wiirttemberg and Bavaria where quite a clamour 
arose in favour of annexation. 

I have said that Napoleon III was, like Bismarck, 
bent on war. Elsewhere I have explained that 
dynastic considerations in view of the Republican 
propaganda carried on in France, resentment on 
account of the diplomatic victories which Bismarck 
had gained over him, and, quite reasonably, appre- 
hension inspired by the excessive aggrandizement of 
Prussia, conjointly inclined the Emperor to commit 
his fortunes to the arbitrament of the sword. His 
home policy had been ratified by a plebiscitum not 
long previously, and his secret correspondence with 
certain German princes and statesmen since the war 
of 1866, which had so largely modified the German 
map, led him to think that although Baden might 
support Prussia, neither Bavaria, nor Wiirttemberg, 
nor Hesse would do so. Saxony, moreover, might 
well be on his side. The correspondence on which 
Napoleon based those hopes was discovered at the 
chateau of Ceray* during the war, and utilized by 
Bismarck to compel the implicated governments to 

* The country residence of Eugene Rouher, the statesman whom the 
Emperor most trusted. 



230 THE TRUE STORY OF 

assent to the foundation of an empire for Prussia's 
benefit. But Napoleon also relied on the support of 
Austria and Italy. The former had absolutely 
entered into a covenant with him, but she was not 
ready, and it was arranged that the war should only 
take place in 1871. Some Hungarian politicians 
betrayed everything to Bismarck, who, resolving that 
he would not wait for Napoleon's convenience, forced 
his hand by means of the Hohenzollern candidature 
to the Spanish throne. Thus events were precipitated. 
Forgery and the suppression of facts brought Bavaria 
and Wurttemberg to the side of Prussia, the offer of 
papal Rome to Italy prevented her intervention, 
Austria with the Hungarians supporting the Prussian 
cause could do nothing, and so, in July 1870, came 
the war which Napoleon and the Archduke Albert 
had planned for the ensuing spring. 

There were undoubtedly moments when the Em- 
peror felt that he was entering upon a very hazardous 
course, but he was largely influenced by a military 
coterie which, whilst full of patriotism, was deplorably 
ignorant of the deficiencies of the French army, and 
the superiority in many respects of its destined 
antagonists. The country generally did not desire 
war. This is shown by the large number of telegrams 
in which prefects and other provincial functionaries 
gave expression to the hopes and opinions of the 
people inhabiting their respective departments. A 
strong desire for the preservation of peace was ex- 
pressed in almost every instance, but, as I indicated 
in the first chapter of this volume, Bismarck so 
managed affairs that only by absolute subservience 
to Prussia could France have avoided the great 
struggle. 

Napoleon assumed the command of his armies, 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 231 

and main head-quarters being established at Metz, he 
arrived there on July 27. Six days later there was a 
little engagement at Saarbriicken, where the Prussians 
were attacked by some of the troops commanded by 
General Frossard, who had previously been governor 
to the young Imperial Prince. It was at the Saar- 
briicken affair that this lad received the so-called 
Baptism of Fire. Next, the Prussian Army com- 
manded by the Crown Prince (afterwards Emperor) 
Frederick crossed the Lauter, and on August 4 General 
Abel Douay, who had some 9000 men with him, was 
surprised at Wissembourg by two Prussian Army 
Corps and a large Bavarian contingent. Douay's 
Turcos put up a gallant fight, but were hopelessly 
outnumbered. Douay himself was killed in the en- 
gagement, and Pelle, who commanded the Turcos, 
took his place, and placing the colours in the centre 
of his column succeeded in retreating in good order 
upon Soultz. The French had suffered severe losses, 
but they left only one gun in the enemy's hands. It 
appears that the sub-prefect of Wissembourg sent a 
warning to Marshal MacMahon at the very outset of 
the affair, but it was impossible to dispatch assistance 
to Douay in time to prevent a defeat. 

Two days later, the 6th, MacMahon himself was 
attacked by the victorious Prussians, whom he had not 
expected to encounter before August 8. He had 
requested that an army corps under the orders of 
General de Failly, a former aide-de-camp of the 
Emperor's, might be placed at his disposal, and he 
expected its arrival. It has been stated that de 
Failly was instructed to move on Lembach near Worth, 
but by some mistake went towards Lemberg near 
Bitche. On the day of the battle he certainly was near 
Bitche, but no attempt was made to telegraph to him 



232 THE TRUE STORY OF 

there, and only by a chance telegram sent by a railway 
stationmaster did he learn, too late, of the desperate 
straits in which the Marshal found himself. One of 
de Failly's divisions (commanded by Guyot de Lespart) 
reached Niederbronn merely in time to assist in 
covering to some extent the retreat of MacMahon's 
forces. That was after the valiant but unavailing 
charge of the Cuirassiers at Morsbronn. The enemy 
paid a stiff price for his victory, losing 489 officers and 
over 10,000 men in killed and wounded, the losses 
of the French, who were grievously outnumbered, 
amounting to about 6000. Unfortunately, in the 
debacle with which the battle ended, the Germans took 
9000 prisoners. Some 2500 fugitives of the 5th 
Corps made their way to Bitche, others threw them- 
selves into Phalsbourg, whilst others managed to reach 
Strasburg. Among the last was a detachment of 
naval men under Rear- Admiral Exelmans and Captain 
Dupetit-Thouars. At a later period of the war the 
navy contributed many officers and men to the French 
armies, but the contingent under Exelmans had been 
provided in view of the contemplated passage of the 
Rhine by MacMahon's forces. 

On the day of the Marshal's unfortunate reverse 
Frossard's troops also were defeated at Forbach. 
Bazaine was then at Metz or in its vicinity with the 
bulk of the French army, but in vain did Frossard 
telegraph to him for help. Not a man was dispatched. 
It must be said that great jealousy prevailed among 
some of the French commanders of the time. When, 
directly war was declared, Generals de Failly and 
Frossard received important commands, it was com- 
monly said that they owed their appointments solely 
to the fact that they were favourites of the Emperor, 
and in order that each might have an opportunity to 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 233 

win the baton of a Marshal of France. De Failly was 
undoubtedly a better courtier than commander, but 
Frossard was really possessed of military ability. 
Bazaine, however, arrogant, churlish, and grasping, 
was never inclined to propitiate the fortunes of others. 
" Let hirn win his baton himself ! " he growled when 
he received Frossard's entreaty for assistance. 

The Germans pressed onward. They occupied 
Forbach, Haguenau, Sarreguemines, and Saint- Avoid. 
There was extreme agitation in Paris. The Republi- 
can party demanded that the Emperor should surren- 
der the chief command to Bazaine, in whom, despite 
his Mexican record, they foolishly placed their trust. 
Napoleon had to give way and Bazaine assumed sole 
control of the so-called Army of the Rhine. But 
matters went from bad to worse. On August 9 
Phalsbourg was invested and the little fort of La 
Petite-Pierre, now called Liitzelstein, evacuated. On 
the 10th the Germans gathered round Strasburg, and 
two days later the enemy entered Nancy, which apart 
from its virtually untrained National Guards had no 
garrison or means of resistance at its disposal. Much 
was made of this incident at the time. The capital 
of Lorraine had surrendered to six Uhlans, it was said. 
It is true that a few of the Prussian scouting cavalry 
rode into the town to inspect it, but this happened 
after the municipality, left defenceless by the military 
authorities, had agreed to surrender to a large force 
in the immediate neighbourhood. Such odium as 
attached to this unfortunate episode should have 
fallen by rights on the army leaders and not on the 
unlucky inhabitants. The National Guards were 
quite ready to do their duty, but Nancy, then abso- 
lutely an open town, was not given a chance to prove 
her mettle. 



234 THE TRUE STORY OF 

At this time the Bavarian forces were streaming 
through the undefended passes of the Vosges. Mac- 
Mahon had fallen hack on Chalons, where the rem- 
nants of the troops which had fought under him at 
Worth were reinforced, partly by regulars but also 
partly by raw Mobile Guards on whom little reliance 
could be placed. Meanwhile, a great struggle began 
in the vicinity of Metz. On August 14, 16, and 18 
were fought the desperate battles on which the respec- 
tive combatants bestowed the diverse names of 
Borny, Courcelles, Panges, Vionville, Mars-la-Tour, 
Gravelotte, Rezonville, and Saint-Privat. In this 
series of memorable engagements the French, under 
the supreme command of Bazaine, were opposed both 
by the army of the Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia 
and that of his cousin Prince Frederick Charles. 
There was much stubborn fighting with heavy losses 
on both sides, and French and Germans alike must 
be credited with many deeds of great gallantry. But 
Bazaine was either a much less competent man than 
was generally supposed, or else was wilfully foolish 
and jealous of certain commanders under him. 

As I wrote in " Republican France," " he was 
largely responsible for the French failure at Rezonville 
(otherwise Gravelotte) when he retreated before 
inferior forces at a moment when he might have 
crushed them a decisive blunder which influenced 
the wiiole of the war. Again, at Saint-Privat he 
abandoned Marshal Canrobert and the 6th Army Corps 
to the 300 guns and 100,000 rifles of the Germans, 
when, at a word from him, the whole French Imperial 
Guard, with ten regiments of cavalry and a powerful 
artillery force, might have hastened to Canrobert 's 
support and modified the issue of the battle." In 
the result Bazaine's army was driven back under 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 235 

Metz, and the siege of that stronghold then virtually 
began. 

At a council held at Chalons, where Napoleon III 
now found himself with MacMahon, it was at first 
decided to retreat on Paris and cover the capital, but 
General Count de Palikao, Minister of War, telegraphed 
that if Bazaine were abandoned a Revolution would 
break out in Paris. Thereupon it was resolved to try 
to join Bazaine's army by going at first northward 
and then descending upon Metz from that direction. 
Thus began the memorable march which terminated 
at Sedan. I have been perusing recently a rare 
pamphlet which is a reprint of a letter addressed in 
July 1871 to the "Moniteur Universel " by General 
Count Pajol, who was senior aide-de-camp to Napoleon 
at the time of the Sedan disaster.* A strictly honour- 
able man, evincing no extreme partisan feelings, 
Pajol states in this letter that the Emperor was in 110 
w r ise responsible for the march on Sedan. He did not 
in any degree weigh on MacMahon' s plans, he took no 
initiative and offered no opposition to any of the 
movements of the army, although (so Pajol had reason 
to believe) he did not approve of all of them. Having 
surrendered the chief command, however, he remained 
merely a spectator of what ensued until, by his orders, 
the white flag was at last hoisted at Sedan. He had 
nothing whatever to do, says Pajol, " with the strate- 
gical dispositions which took the army to Mouzon and 
from Mouzon to Sedan. . . . The Marshal (Mac- 
Mahon) was free to move whither he chose. The 
Emperor was fatally included in the shipwreck of our 

* " Lettre de M. le General Pajol sur la Bataille et la Capitulation de 
Sedan," Paris, Typographic A. Pougin, 1871. The general was the son of 
General Claude Pajol, who contributed powerfully to the success of the 
French at Montereau in February 1814 the last but not the least of the 
many victories achieved by the genius of Napoleon I. 



236 THE TRUE STORY OP 

army and all he could do was to try to save the crew 
of the vessel whose captain he no longer was. This he 
did by giving orders at three o'clock (Sedan, Sep- 
tember 1) to hoist the white flag. Half an hour later 
it would have been hoisted by the order of one or 
another general, but meanwhile thousands more of 
our soldiers would have been killed." The position 
was, indeed, a hopeless one at that moment. 

Pajol pays a tribute to the Emperor's courage. 
He rode about the field of battle exposed during five 
hours to a cross-fire of shot and shell. After General de 
Courson and Captain deTrecesson had been wounded 
near him he ordered most of his escort to take cover and 
was then attended only by Pajol, equerry Davilliers, 
Dr. Baron Corvisart, and Captain d'Heudicourt, an 
orderly who was unfortunately killed. I mention those 
facts because it would be a great mistake to imagine 
that Napoleon III was a coward. Moreover, whilst im- 
puting to him much responsibility for the war, I quite 
agree that he was not responsible for the fatal march 
which ended so disastrously. That desperate step 
was inspired by the Council of Regency in Paris 
dominated by fear of a Revolution. 

There are two other matters which I may mention 
here one, to which I referred in my first chapter, is 
that the French might have saved themselves had 
they chosen to violate Belgian neutrality. However, 
neither MacMahon nor Ducrot nor Wimpffen (who 
in turn succeeded the Marshal after he had been 
wounded) was willing to do so. The second point is 
that the French were caught and cornered at Sedan by 
the much superior marching powers of the Germans, 
who in order to intercept their antagonists had to 
cover a longer distance in shorter time.. In those 
days, be it noted, the French infantry wore no socks, 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 237 

and their boots, generally inferior to those of the Ger- 
mans, were often absolutely vile. If an infantryman 
is to give of his best, care must be taken of his feet, and 
he must be well and comfortably shod. 

On September 4, three days after the disaster of 
Sedan, Paris overthrew the imperial regime, and the 
provinces followed the capital's example. It had 
become virtually impossible to relieve Bazaine, who 
was invested around Metz by the army of Prince 
Frederick Charles, whilst that of the Prussian Crown 
Prince, victorious at Sedan, marched towards Paris, 
which was soon to be besieged. Besides Metz several 
other strong places of Alsace-Lorraine were now 
beleaguered. I have already mentioned that the 
Germans gathered around Strasburg on August 10. 
Before the war the troops there had been commanded 
for a considerable time by General Ducrot, who 
repeatedly sent important warnings to the Tuileries 
respecting German military affairs, and w r ho afterwards 
played a conspicuous part in the defence of Paris. 
At Strasburg he had been succeeded by General 
Alexis Uhrich, a native of Phalsbourg and in 1870 
sixty-eight years of age. The forces at Uhrich's dis- 
posal consisted of 6000 infantry, partly fugitives from 
Worth, 600 artillerymen, 100 naval men, a few batta- 
lions of the Mobile Guard, and about 7000 National 
Guards provided by the town itself. There were no 
engineers at all. The total number of the defenders 
was roughly about 20,000. At first the besieging 
army was limited to a force of Badeners commanded 
by the Grand Duchy's War Minister, General von 
Beyer. He fell ill, however, and was replaced by 
General von Werder, who had a very large body of 
troops under him, including 2200 engineers and 7000 
artillerymen, with about 250 guns. 



238 THE TRUE STORY OF 

The Germans marched on the city to the strains 
of a song specially composed for the occasion, and 
beginning : 

Strasburg, Strasburg, most beauteous city, 

Where there are so many soldiers, 
And where, as thou canst scarce remember, 
My glory and my pride have been imprisoned 

For more than a hundred years ! 
Yes, daughter of my heart, for more than a century 
Hast thou wasted away in the arms of a Welsch brigand ! 

But soon shall thy grief take end ! 
O Strasburg, Strasburg, city of my heart, 

Awake from thy dismal dreams ! 
Thou shalt be saved, the hour has sounded, 

Thy brothers haste to thee in crowds ! 

We shall soon see what treatment these loving 
brothers reserved for the city of their hearts. 

On August 13 Uhrich made an ineffectual attempt 
to prevent the investment. That same day the first 
shell was fired at the town and fell on a house in the 
part known as the Marais Vert. On the morrow 
Werder arrived, and established his head-quarters at 
Mundolsheim. Under him were Decker, commanding 
the artillery, and Mertens, commanding the engineers. 
The last named had directed the operations against 
the Danish entrenchments of Diippel in the Schleswig- 
Holstein war.* His presence before Strasburg indi- 
cated the importance which was attached to the 
taking of the city, which Bismarck, by the way, called 
" the key of the house." 

The actual bombardment began on August 15, 
the feast of the Assumption and also the " Fete Na- 
poleon," whilst Uhrich and others, officers and func- 
tionaries, were attending high mass at the cathedral. 

* Had we only combined with France to support Denmark in 1864 Prussia 
would never have possessed the Kiel Canal, which was originally a Danish 
scheme. We are paying a heavy price for the sad folly of our Mid- Victorian 
policy. Verily, the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children, 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 239 

On the night of the 19th the enemy's cannonade 
became more violent, and on the morrow Uhrich 
responded by bombarding Kehl across the Rhine. 
This the Germans stationed at Kehl impudently de- 
nounced as a crime, the town being an open one. 
However, Uhrich' s cannonade did comparatively little 
damage, the inferiority of his guns to those possessed 
by the Germans being manifest. On August 24 the 
enemy's bombardment became terrific and that day, 
the anniversary of the massacre of Saint Bartholomew, 
the city's precious library was set on fire. A younger 
generation has expressed its horror at* the destruction 
of the library of Louvain, to which some writers have 
referred as though there had been nothing in history 
like it since the loss of the famous Alexandrian library. 
But although there were no submarines, nor aircraft, 
nor poisonous gases in 1870-71, the methods of the 
Germans in respect to other matters were precisely 
such as one has witnessed in recent times. 

Forty-seven years ago British people, not being 
directly affected, refused, for the most part, to believe 
in the many reports of German atrocities in France, 
and afterwards took the Germans to their hearts and 
allowed them the free run of our country. But 
survivors of the Annee terrible, those who were then 
in France, myself included, can bear solemn testimony 
that there then occurred deeds every whit as foul as 
any that have disgraced the German name since 1914. 
To me the wonder has always been that our people 
should so long and so grossly have misunderstood the 
German character. It is false to say that Prussianism 
has been the growth of more recent years. It was 
already rampant under the present Kaiser's " illus- 
trious grandfather," who bequeathed it to his descen- 
(lants. It was not then, perhaps, quite so widespread 



240 THE TRUE STORY OF 

throughout Germany as it is to-day, but where it 
existed it was quite as unscrupulous, quite as contemp- 
tuous of every common principle of humanity. Yet 
to this did our nation long close its eyes ! 

The Strasburg library contained 150,000 books 
and 1539 manuscripts, among which were many 
Greek ones of the greatest value. There was also the 
Abbess of Saint-Odile's " Hortus Deliciarum," written 
in 1180 and embellished with Byzantine designs ; there 
was a Carlo vingian missal with silver lettering on 
purple parchment ; there was the missal of Louis XII 
of France ; there was a collection of the Canonical 
Laws of 788, another of the ancient laws and regula- 
tions of Strasburg, a great number of documents 
relating to Gutenberg, his lawsuits, and the early 
period of the art of printing, together with very many 
choice incunabula. All perished in the flames, and 
when Werder a somewhat singular character who 
combined the hypocrisy of a pietist with the affectation 
of a coxcomb heard of it, his only reply was : " The 
ruin of Strasburg lies on her own head ! Why did she 
not surrender ? As for those books, why were they 
not removed to cellars ? " 

At the same time as the library was destroyed, the 
so-called Aublette building, occupying one side of the 
Place Kleber and containing the Museum of Paintings, 
was set on fire. No attempt to extinguish the flames 
was possible. From eight o'clock in the evening 
until eight the following morning, projectiles rained 
upon the devoted city, the enemy largely concentrat- 
ing his fire upon the conflagrations he had kindled. 
On the following night the cathedral was bombarded, 
and set on fire by means of incendiary shells, the roof 
being perforated and the leaping flames licking and 
damaging the lofty tower. Four of the finest old 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 241 

mansions of the city were at the same time reduced to 
ruins, and even the hospital was shelled. 

On August 27 Uhrich contrived to send a messenger 
to the Minister of War in Paris to say that Strasburg 
was doomed unless assistance could be sent. No help 
was possible, however, At night on the 29th the 
enemy opened his first parallel. On September 1 the 
garrison essayed a sortie and inflicted somewhat severe 
losses on the Germans. But the bombardment con- 
tinued unabated, again and again igniting fresh con- 
flagrations and battering and shattering the stone 
ornaments of the unfortunate cathedral. The enemy's 
second parallel was opened on September 6, and his 
third on the night of the llth. At this moment the 
International Red Cross Society of Geneva sent some 
delegates to the German general asking him, in the 
name of humanity, to allow children, women, and aged 
men to leave the city. He replied that women, 
children, and old folk constituted an element of weak- 
ness among the defenders of a besieged place, and that 
he would suffer none to depart. At last, however, 
after repeated requests he authorized the departure 
of 800 persons, the town then containing, with its 
garrison, 82,000 ! 

News of the fall of the Empire had reached Stras- 
burg, and the Imperial Prefect, Baron Pron, had been 
deposed. Kiiss, the energetic and popular Mayor, 
did his utmost to succour the unfortunate townsfolk, 
repeatedly risking his life whilst going on his many 
errands of mercy. On September 20, and under very 
dramatic circumstances, a new official appeared upon 
the scene, this being Edmond Valentin, whom the 
National Defence Government had appointed Prefect 
in the place of Baron Pron. Son of a hospital inspec- 
tor and born at Strasburg in 1823, Valentin had origi- 



242 THE TRUE STORY OF 

nally been an officer in the foot Chasseurs, or light 
infantry, and had become a deputy at the time of the 
Second Republic. When war broke out in 1870 he was 
acting as a professor at the Royal Military Academy of 
Woolwich. His services were declined by the Im- 
perial Government but the National Defence at once 
accepted them, whereupon, starting for Strasburg, he 
managed to penetrate the enemy's lines at Barr on 
September 8. Failing to get through the advanced 
posts he made for the Rhone and Rhine Canal, but 
was arrested on the 10th by a German reconnoitring 
party, who kept him a prisoner for fifteen hours. He 
was released, however, as an American passport had 
been provided him, and his knowledge of our language 
enabled him to pass himself off as a citizen of the 
U.S.A. At last he got to Marten in front of Strasburg 
citadel, and was about to swim the canal when a 
German settler denounced him as a " suspect " and he 
was again arrested and carried to Kehl. On being 
released he was ordered to quit the zone of operations 
within twelve hours, and thereupon followed the Rhine 
as far as Maximilianau, whence, by way of Landau, 
he contrived to reach Wissembourg. 

Some of his Alsatian compatriots befriended him, 
and having been suitably disguised he again repaired 
to the German lines. He spent two days at Schillig- 
heim (called by the Alsatians Schillick) a village close 
to Strasburg, and was there hidden by friends in the 
very house where Werder and his staff took their 
meals. Though fellow-Alsatians often recognized 
Valentin none betrayed him, but on the contrary they 
all endeavoured to assist him in his enterprise. At 
last, on the evening of September 19, he hid himself 
between two German batteries, and crawled on his 
hands and knees through sundry maize and potato 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 248 

fields until at the expiration of three-quarters of an 
hour he reached the bank of the Aar. There he was 
observed both by the besiegers and the besieged, who 
both opened fire upon him. He plunged into the 
water, but on reaching a swamp was forced to go back 
and swim again until he came to a damaged covered 
way. Several times he fell into craters caused by the 
bombardment, but he eventually reached the moat of 
Lunette 57, where for half an hour he tried to attract 
the notice of some sentinel. He could see nobody, 
however, and, although his teeth were chattering with 
the cold, he again took to the water until perceiving 
some men on the rampart he called to them des- 
perately : " France ! France ! " 

Half a dozen shots replied to him, but a corporal 
of the 78th of the Line, named Fauchard, seeing that 
he was alone, stopped the firing and took him prisoner. 
He asked to be conducted to Uhrich, but it was too 
late to do so and he was therefore shut up for the night 
in a pavilion in the Lippsgarten. In the morning, 
at six o'clock, he was brought before the Commander, 
to whom he at once made himself known, taking from 
his sleeve, in which it had been sewn, the decree, 
signed by Gambetta, appointing him Prefect of the 
department. Unfortunately Valentin's heroism and 
devotion were of no avail. Eight days later Stras- 
burg capitulated, and the Germans outrageously 
punished him for his alleged impudence in daring to 
pass through their lines. 

On September 10 the bombardment had fired and 
destroyed the theatre of Strasburg. By the 26th 
several of the advanced works were in the enemy's 
possession, there were two breaches in the bastions, 
and virtually every building on the west side of the 
town was in ruins. Under these circumstances a 



244 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Council of War was held on the 27th, and decided that 
everything had been done that military honour 
demanded, and that although the enemy had not yet 
attempted an assault, it was necessary to surrender. 
The Germans insisted that the rank and file except- 
ing the National Guards, who were merely to be 
disarmed should be prisoners of war, but offered to 
allow Uhrich and the other officers to retire into 
France on condition that they would not serve again 
during the war. Seventy-five officers preferred, how- 
ever, to share the captivity of their men. The roll 
of the capitulation includes 451 officers, 17,111 men 
(including the National Guards), plus 2100 sick and 
wounded, 1843 horses, and 1070 pieces of artillery, 
most of which were quite obsolete. There were also 
stores of munitions, clothing, and camping materiel, 
and the Germans also appropriated over 400,000 
found at the local branch of the Bank of France as 
well as a quantity of silver at the Mint, with which 
they struck one-franc, two-franc, and five-franc pieces 
stamped with the effigy of the ex- sovereign Napoleon 
III ! Yet even this was not sufficient for German 
greed. The city was fined for its resistance, every 
householder whose home had not been destroyed 
having to pay a sum of money averaging about 30 a 
head ! One reason given for this abominable pro- 
ceeding was the municipality's staunch refusal to 
send an address of congratulation to the King of 
Prussia on the success of his valiant troops ! 

The Germans greeted the hoisting of the white 
flag with loud hurrahs. Their dear lost brothers 
were delivered ! Poor lost brothers, bombed, 
slaughtered, and despoiled ! Werder exhibited his 
piety by going in state first to offer up a thanksgiving 
at the Catholic cathedral and then another at the 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 245 

Protestant church of Saint Thomas. Meanwhile, 
Edmond Valentin was arrested and carried off to the 
fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, where he remained in close 
durance until the conclusion of peace. Before that 
occurred every adult inhabitant of Strasburg was 
fined l for daring to elect to the French National 
Assembly deputies opposed to the cession of Alsace to 
Germany. 

In 1872 a French Court of Inquiry presided over 
by old Marshal Baragney d'Hilliers reported un- 
favourably on Uhrich's defence and capitulation. 
The chief grounds for the court's censure were 
dereliction of duty in failing to improve the for- 
tifications by means of stockades for which there 
was ample material, in proposing surrender to the 
Council of Defence, in capitulating before assault had 
taken place, in omitting to burn the regimental 
colours, spike the guns, and destroy the munitions, 
in not asking for the honours of war and permission 
for the officers to retain their swords, and the rank and 
file their private effects. Uhrich was also blamed for 
giving his parole and allowing his officers to give 
theirs. That judgment was in accordance with the 
French Army Regulations, but some may consider it 
unduly severe. The town had stood a siege and bom- 
bardment of more than forty days. The inhabitants 
had endured great sufferings. Some 8000 of them 
were without shelter, hundreds of houses having been 
destroyed. Further, 300 civilians had been killed and 
1700 injured by the bombardment. Including the 
military, the total number of deaths was 961, and of 
injuries and cases of severe illness, 3800. A fairly 
impartial German writer of the time, Colonel Borb- 
staedt, held that the defence was not brilliant, for it 
was deficient in initiative ; but he considered that 



246 THE TRUE STORY OF 

surrender without waiting for assault was justified 
owing to the great numerical superiority of the 
German forces, and the absolute impossibility of 
successfully defending at least one of the breaches 
in the bastions. 

Let us now glance at the defence offered by some 
of the other Alsatian fortresses. Phalsbourg, having 
been invested on August 9, was bombarded on the 
14th, after which most of the besiegers departed, 
leaving for a while only two battalions of Landwehr 
near the town. The garrison was commanded by 
Major Taillant and consisted of about 1900 men 
(including 200 wounded), who had figured in the defeat 
of Worth. There were sixty-seven guns on the 
fortifications. The inhabitants were full of patriotic 
ardour and did their utmost to assist the military. 
The enemy having been strongly reinforced, the bom- 
bardment began afresh on August 31 and a good deal 
of the little town was absolutely shattered by it. In 
the middle of September the cannonade became 
terrific, but the garrison still made a stout resistance. 
At last the siege turned into a blockade, with only 
intermittent bombardment, as had been the case in 
1814,* when Phalsbourg was beleaguered from January 
6 to April 16. In 1870 its resistance lasted for four 
months, and it then succumbed solely because not a 
scrap of food remained for the garrison or the inhabi- 
tants or a single shell for the defence. This birthplace 

* The siege of 1814 formed the subject of Erckmann-Chatrian's story 
" Le Blocus " a work which, whilst including several patriotic incidents, 
was largely inspired by the author's dislike of Napoleonism and militarism. 
The story is supposed to be told by an old Alsatian Jew, who, amidst his 
perpetual fears, occasionally does a brave thing, and atones in some measure 
for his habitual covetousness by several acts of kindness and generosity. 
The commingling of patriotism and hatred of war, which these authors 
displayed in so many of their stories, appears to have been largely prompted 
by their antagonism to the regime of Napoleon III, 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 247 

of so many valiant French generals entered into no 
capitulation. When Commandant Taillant found he 
could hold out no longer, he spiked his guns, had 
their carriages sawn into pieces, burnt his colours, 
ordered every one of the 12,000 rifles in his possession 
to be broken, poured water on his remaining powder, 
and finally, on December 12, sent word to the German 
commander that the gates of Phalsbourg were open. 
Three -fourths of the town were in ruins. 

The enemy came down upon Colmar towards the 
middle of September. The only forces there were 
some Mobile Guards belonging to Paris and Lyons, 
and some local National Guards. These men put up a 
gallant fight at the bridge of Horburg, but as they had 
not a single piece of artillery with them they had to 
fall back in the direction of the Vosgcs. With them 
went an Alsatian heroine, Antoinette Lix, a post- 
mistress, who, trained by her father, an old soldier of 
Napoleon's, had fought as a man in the last great 
Polish insurrection, and who, after the retreat from 
Colmar, became a franc-tireur and ultimately served 
with the Garibaldians. Having occupied Colmar on 
September 14, the Germans descended upon Mulhouse, 
which they also entered. But Schlestadt was not 
disposed to surrender. It had 122 guns (none, how- 
ever, rifled) and a garrison composed of half a battery 
of regular artillery, four batteries of the Mobile Guard 
artillery, 1200 men of that same guard, and a detach- 
ment of 280 Lancers, the whole being under the orders 
of Commandant de Reinach, a member of a w r ell-known 
Alsatian family. On October 10 General von Schme- 
ling, who commanded the besiegers, demanded a 
surrender, which was refused. The town was then 
subjected to a severe bombardment, and by the 23rd 
the whole of its south-western portion was in flames. 



248 THE TRUE STORY OF 

On the morrow Reinach was constrained by circum- 
stances to capitulate. Schmeling next invested Neuf- 
Brisach, where Lieut. -Colonel de Kerhor, a Breton 
judging by his name, had some 5000 men, including 
1000 regulars, with thirty-eight rifled guns and others. 
On his refusal to surrender, the enemy bombarded him 
from the vicinity of Alt-Breisach across the Rhine, 
and when Kerhor retaliated by cannonading the Ger- 
man town, Schmeling had the audacity to protest, 
declaring that Alt-Breisach was an open town and 
that, if it were again bombarded, he would render 
Kerhor personally responsible for the outrage ! Ker- 
hor was weak enough to act on Schmeling' s injunction, 
and after the destruction of Fort Mortier, one of his 
advanced works, he capitulated (November 10). 
Before doing so he at least rendered his guns useless, 
and effectually damped his powder. 

If we leave Belfort aside for a little while, this was 
the last resistance offered by a fortress in Upper 
Alsace, but the Vosges were swarming with francs- 
tireurs, and at Bitche in Northern or Lower Alsace, 
and in various parts of Lorraine a determined struggle 
still continued. The defence of Bitche, though far 
less widely known than that of Belfort, was a very 
gallant one. Indeed this little stronghold held out 
even longer than Belfort. When General de Failly 
quitted it after the battle of Worth, he left considerable 
provisions behind him. The original garrison was one 
of only 800 men, who were increased to 2500 by the 
arrival of fugitives from Worth. The governor was 
Lieut. -Colonel Tessier, and the defences mounted 
fifty-eight guns. At the outset, when the municipal 
council assembled, the mayor, a man of Bavarian 
origin named Lauthenslager, wished to surrender, 
but was overruled and dismissed by his colleagues. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 249 

He went over to the enemy, as might have been 
expected, and after the annexation the Germans, the 
better to oppress their dear delivered brethren, re- 
appointed him to the mayoralty. However, although 
the enemy added several large siege guns to his artillery 
and by September 22 half Bitche had been destroyed, 
there was still no surrender. Thus a blockade ensued, 
and lasted until March 23, 1871, that is, for twenty- 
two days subsequent to the ratification of the prelimi- 
naries of peace by the French National Assembly at 
Bordeaux, and even then it was only on express orders 
from their own Government that Tessier and his men 
evacuated Bitche. The besieging force was one of 
Bavarians. Tessier contemptuously refused their 
offer of the honours of war, and declared that he would 
only depart provided that the enemy kept out of sight 
and did not enter until the last French soldier had left. 
The Germans, unwillingly rendering homage to such 
stalwartness, agreed to those stipulations, and only 
then, with their colours flying, their band playing, 
their fourteen field-guns and their train of munitions, 
did Tessier and his gallant troops march away from 
the little fortress which the Germans had failed to 
take but which was, unhappily, to be surrendered to 
them by the terms of the treaty of peace. Episodes, 
such as that of the resistance of Bitche, help to con- 
sole one for much that happened during the Franco- 
German War.* 

Take also the case of little Longwy, known in 
Louis XIV's time as the Iron Gate of France, but now- 
adays a place of small importance. Defended by 
rather more than 4000 men, with a couple of hundred 
guns, it held out until Janaury 25, 1871 surrendering 

* Tessier was afterwards promoted and appointed to the command of the 
fort of Vincennes, near Paris. 



250 THE TRUE STORY OF 

only three days before Paris capitulated, and it was 
in ruins when the Germans entered. Montmedy was, 
for a time, neglected by the enemy, not being abso- 
lutely invested until the first fortnight in November, 
when, without warning, it was suddenly bombarded. 
About a month later (December 14) it had to surrender. 
Thionville, north of Metz and known nowadays by the 
silly German name of Diedenhof en, was also bombarded 
without warning, and at one time subjected to a rain 
of incendiary bombs, each containing about a gallon 
of inflammable liquid, for fifty-four consecutive hours. 
The Germans were asked to allow the women and 
children to depart. Not they ! So the massacre of 
the innocents continued. All of that, of course, was 
long ago, but the thought of it still makes my blood 
boil. Our German " friends " of the later seventies, 
the eighties, the nineties, and the earlier years of the 
twentieth century have done little worse even during 
the present war. Like father, like son : fiendish- 
ness has always lurked in the German blood. 

Let me now mention Verdun, which in 1870 de- 
cisively wiped away the stigma attaching to its 
lamentable surrender during the Revolutionary War. 
Invested on August 24, it was savagely bombarded by 
the Germans in mid-October, and afterwards inter- 
mittently for some weeks. Baron Guerin de Walders- 
bach commanded the defenders, who on October 28 
made a vigorous sortie in which they destroyed 
several of the German batteries. Early in the follow- 
ing month, how r ever, news arrived that Bazaine had 
surrendered Metz on October 27. Discouragement 
then overtook the defenders of Verdun. Nevertheless 
they were able to demand honourable conditions. The 
regular troops were to be prisoners of war, but they 
were to retain their knapsacks and private effects. The 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 251 

Mobile Guards, born at Verdun, were to go free, the 
Gendarmes also, and to retain their horses. No war 
contribution or indemnity was to be levied on the 
town. The enemy troops were not to be billeted on 
the inhabitants, but lodged in the barracks and other 
military buildings. The town itself and all the war 
materiel which it contained were to be restored to 
France at the conclusion of peace. Those conditions 
having been accepted by the Germans, they entered 
Verdun on November 9. 

We will now turn to Toul, w r hose defence of about 
five weeks' duration was a kind of revanche for the 
prompt surrender of Nancy, the latter 's young men 
having thrown themselves into this fortress directly 
the defence of their native city was abandoned. The 
commander of the garrison was a cavalry major (chef 
d'escadron) bearing the Alsatian name of Huck. He 
had with him altogether 2296 men, including 130 of 
the 4th Regiment of Cuirassiers (whose depot was 
at Toul, and to which Huck himself belonged), 25 
artillerymen, 500 linesmen, and 30 gendarmes, the 
remainder being Gardes Mobiles of the department, 
untrained, undisciplined, and mostly without uni- 
forms. There were about 200 pieces of artillery. 
It is recorded that the mayor and the municipal 
council wished to surrender, but were overruled. 
Having so few trained troops Huck was obliged to 
abandon some outer works, a sign of weakness which 
encouraged the enemy to attempt an assault on 
August 16. This was vigorously repulsed, however, 
and a siege on the old lines ensued. After bombard- 
ment came a second assault which also was defeated, 
and the Government of National Defence in Paris, 
on hearing of this stout resistance, decreed : " The 
town of Toul has deserved well of the country," 



252 THE TRUE STORY OF 

During the latter part of September several large 
siege guns were brought to bear on three sides of 
the town, and the ensuing destruction was so great 
that on the 23rd Huck put up the white flag. The 
Germans were particularly furious with the defenders 
on account of their praiseworthy achievement in 
intercepting the direct road to Paris during five 
weeks. Nevertheless, after the war, a Court of 
Inquiry blamed Huck for having surrendered before 
the fortifications were breached, and for having 
failed to destroy his guns and his munitions. At 
the same time it praised him for having prolonged 
the resistance in spite of the urgent requests of the 
municipality and the enemy's insidious offers. 

According to the army regulations of France, and 
those of most other countries, there has to be an 
inquiry into every capitulation that takes place. It 
was this circumstance which led to the court-martial- 
ling of Bazaine. Owing to the unrest that prevailed 
in France after the war, the division of the electorate 
into sharply antagonistic parties, the large number 
of Bonapartist officers' still in the service, and the 
recent tragic rebellion of the Paris Commune, Thiers 
did not wish to put Bazaine on his trial, for fear lest 
the stirring up of a prodigious quantity of mud 
should lead to another national convulsion. But the 
President's hand was forced by the military regula- 
tions, and thus when, in August 1872, the Court of 
Inquiry, presided over by old one-eyed Marshal 
Baraguey d'Hilliers, a relic of Napoleon's days, 
reported that Bazaine had " caused the loss of an 
army of 150,000 men and the stronghold of Metz, 
that the entire responsibility was his, that as Com- 
mander-in-Chief he had not done what military duty 
prescribed, that, on the contrary, he had held with 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 253 

the enemy an intercourse unexampled in history, 
and that he had delivered to the enemy the colours 
which he ought to have destroyed, thereby inflicting 
a crowning humiliation on brave men whose honour it 
was his duty to defend " when, I say, those findings 
had been recorded, the Marshal's trial could not 
be prevented. Moreover, he himself was constrained 
by those findings to apply for a court martial. 

It is quite impossible for me to give in the pages 
remaining at my disposal a full account of what 
happened at Metz after Bazaine and his forces were 
invested there. Many books have been written on 
the subject, one of the latest and best (issued during 
the present war) being " Metz en 1870," by M. 
Felicien Champsaur. Here I have only enough space 
to mention a few matters connected with Bazaine' s 
betrayal of his country's highest interests. A few 
sorties certainly took place, including some provision- 
ing raids, but no real military effort commensurate 
with the situation was made. Moreover, Bazaine 
did not attempt to avail himself of certain means of 
communication with the rest of France which were 
known to exist. He preferred to correspond secretly 
with Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia, and even 
to ask him for information, a proceeding absolutely 
forbidden by the provisions of the Military Code. 
The Marshal was largely influenced by a scoundrel 
named Regnier, whom the Germans allowed to pass 
through their lines, and who falsely pretended to be 
an authorized emissary from the Empress Eugenie. 
After a time Bazaine sent General Boyer to the 
German head-quarters at Versailles to negotiate with 
Bismarck on his behalf. Boyer, on returning to 
Metz, repeated a pack of German lies respecting the 
state of France and its inability to continue the war, 



254 THE TRUE STORY OF 

though he well knew what great efforts the National 
Defence was making. In corresponding with Frede- 
rick Charles, Bazaine frequently referred to his even- 
tual " surrender " ; he confided to Regnier, whom he 
ought to have distrusted, that he had only sufficient 
provisions to last until mid-October ; he refused to 
attempt a coup de main on Thionville, which was 
only a few miles distant and was still holding out in 
order to prevent the great quantities of provisions 
stored there from falling into the enemy's hands. 
Further, Bazaine persistently concealed facts or 
falsified them in his intercourse with his fellow- 
marshals, Canrobert and Leboeuf, and the other 
principal commanders who were with him at Metz ; 
and, briefly, he left undone many things which 
military honour required him to do, and did others 
which military honour and duty forbade. He sacrificed 
his country's interests to his personal ambition, wish- 
ing to induce the Germans to allow him and his 
troops to march out of Metz and restore the fallen 
Empire, with, however, the young Imperial Prince 
on the throne, and he, Bazaine, as High Constable 
and Protector of France ! That is the explanation 
of his treachery. He was not bribed. Ambition 
turned him from the path of duty. 

But the Germans played with him, and when 
his provisions were exhausted he was constrained to 
surrender at discretion giving up to the enemy the 
strongest fortress of France and an army of 170,000 
men (including sick and wounded), with 53 eagles,* 
1665 guns, 278,280 rifles and muskets, 22,984,000 

* In defiance of the Marshal's orders many colours \rere burnt by indignant 
officers. Like Kiiss at Strasburg, Mar6chal, the Mayor of Metz, did much 
to alleviate the sufferings of the civilian population. Both of these devoted 
men died virtually of grief not long after the war. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 255 

cartridges, 3,239,225 projectiles, and 412,734 tons of 
powder. Bazaine's trial began on October 6 and 
ended on December 10, 1873. He was convicted and 
sentenced to death, but the capital penalty was 
altered by his old comrade MacMahon, who had become 
President of the Republic, to one of imprisonment 
for life. With the help of his wife, however, and the 
connivance of sundry officials, Bazaine escaped from 
the fort of the He Sainte-Marguerite, off the coast of 
Provence, in August 1874. He afterwards led a 
miserable life in Spain, where he died in 1888. 

In striking contrast with the defence of Metz was 
that of the little fortress of Belfort. Standing on an 
eminence in a gap between the Vosges and the Jura 
Mountains, at the edge, as it were, of the Alsatian 
alluvial plain, and at a point where the Alsatian, 
Lorrainer, and Jurassian races may be said to mingle, 
Belfort once belonged to the Counts of Montbeliard, 
who erected its original castle in the twelfth century. 
It passed to the Counts of Ferrette, and through them 
to the House of Austria, from which it was wrested 
by the French during the Thirty Years' War. Bestowed 
as an appanage on Mazarin the lordship remained in 
the possession of his heirs until they became extinct. 
Inhabited in 1840 by about 6000 people, and in 1870 
by about 8500, the town now has a population 
of nearly 40,000 many Alsatians having migrated 
thither in order to escape German rule. The sur- 
rounding district, which since 1871 has formed the 
so-called Territoire de Belfort, returning one senator 
and two deputies to the French Legislature, comprises 
106 communes, and, inclusive of Belfort itself, there 
were at the last census more than 100,000 inhabitants. 
Owing to the lack of coal and minerals the region 
was formerly of an almost exclusively agricultural 



256 THE TRUE STORY OF 

character, but since the Franco-German War numerous 
textile works, rope-walks, clock- and watch-making 
establishments, distilleries, forges, machine and wire 
works have sprung up there, all testifying to Alsatian 
industry and enterprise. 

Besieged in 1813-14 by Austrian and Bavarian 
forces, Belfort, defended by Major Legrand and 
3000 men, did not surrender until after Napoleon's 
abdication at Fontainebleau. In the following year, 
when the famous General Lecourbe commanded the 
garrison, it put up an equally able defence against 
the Allies. In 1870 the town was commanded by an 
engineer chef de bataillon, later Colonel, Denfert-Roche- 
reau, a native of Saint-Maixent, famous for its military 
school. At that time Belfort, although fortified, was 
by no means the strong place which it has since 
become, but Denfert-Rochereau's technical knowledge 
enabled him to improvise additional defences, particu- 
larly as the enemy did not advance upon this corner 
of Alsace until the end of October. The garrison 
consisted of 17,000 men, of whom 3500 were regulars 
of the 45th and 84th Regiments of the Line. There 
were a few artillerymen, but the bulk of the defenders 
belonged to the Mobile Guard, some of them being 
Alsatians and Vosgians, others coming from the 
Garonne country, others from the Lyonnais and 
adjacent districts. There were also some mobilized 
National Guards, and a detachment of douaniers 
(customs officers) from the Jura region. The defenders 
had 374 guns, with a stock of 75,000 shells and 80,000 
round shot, and enough fresh or salt meat and flour 
to last them for 145 days. Numerous departures 
had reduced the civilian population to 4000, to feed 
whom the municipality had sufficient meat for 142 
days. The siege began on November 3 and lasted 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 257 

for 103 days, 73 of which were days of bombardment, 
during which the Germans vainly rained 98,000 shells 
on the gallant little stronghold. No such bombard- 
ment had been previously recorded in history. 

The investing army was commanded by General von 
Treskow, a typical German officer. When (as in the 
case of Strasburg) the Swiss asked him to allow the 
departure of the women and children still remaining 
in the town, offering to send them to Porrentruy, he 
peremptorily refused the application, declaring that 
the women of Belfort were perfect fiends who cut 
off the noses, tore off the ears, and put out the eyes 
of all German prisoners who fell into the hands of 
the garrison. When the Swiss delegates requested 
permission to enter the town to inquire into that 
monstrous and I may add, preposterous charge, 
Treskow replied that he would not allow them to 
pass through his lines, and that if they should attempt 
to do so he would have them shot. 

The hospital was bombarded, though it flew the 
Red Cross flag, and many sick and wounded were 
killed in their beds. But that mattered little to 
General von Treskow. At eight o'clock on the morn- 
ing of February 13 Belfort fired its last cannon-shot. 
Denfert-Rochereau had just received orders from the 
National Defence Government to surrender the town 
in accordance with the terms of the armistice con- 
cluded with Germany. The garrison was to receive 
the honours of war and retire to the interior of France. 
The evacuation took place a few days later, the com- 
mander withdrawing with 340 officers and 12,582 
men. He had lost 32 officers and 4713 men during 
the siege, nearly a thousand of these having been 
killed. More than that number were in hospital at 
the time of the capitulation, and the remainder had 



258 THE TRUE STORY OF 

been taken prisoners whilst defending some of the 
outlying works. The Germans entered Belfort on 
February 18,* and remained there until August 2, 
1873. 

Bartholdi, the able Alsatian sculptor, commemo- 
rated the defence of Belfort by designing the famous 
Lion, which still looks down on the gallant town, to 
which Antonin Mercie contributed the almost equally 
famous monument which shows an Alsacienne support- 
ing a dying Mobile Guard. The town and its territory 
all that remained to France of Alsace from 1871 
to the advent of the present war was saved to her 
by the patriotism of Thiers. Bismarck hankered for 
this strip of ground. He well knew that possession 
of the Gap of Belfort would greatly facilitate any 
future German invasion of France. But Thiers was 
no fool, and when Bismarck offered, in return for 
Belfort, to forgo the German entry into Paris, the 
French statesman did not hesitate. He preferred 
that his country should suffer a few days of humilia- 
tion rather than incur irremediable detriment. Thus 
was Belfort saved. 

In Lorraine, south-west of Nancy and Luneville, 
there is a little town called Rambervillers. On 
October 9, 1870, it was attacked by 2000 Germans, 
and vigorously defended by a couple of hundred 
National Guards, good marksmen all, who kept the 
enemy at bay for several hours and inflicted many 
casualties on him before retreating. Twenty-one 
wounded Guards fell into the hands of the Germans, 
who immediately put them to death. Appended to 
the arms of Rambervillers is the Cross of the Legion 
of Honour conferred upon the town for the gallant 

* Not a drop of wine nor a crust of bread then remained in the town, 
and the generous Swiss had to succour the inhabitants. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 259 

effort which it made. During the siege of Strasburg 
the neighbouring bourg of Robertsau was burnt to 
the ground by the Germans for harbouring enemies. 
The invaders seized all the tobacco in the Alsatian 
depots and sold it for 24,000. At Erstein, a little 
tobacco-growing locality, they demanded the delivery 
of 6000 cigars in three days. In the canton of Barr, 
inhabited by some 19,000 people, they sent out 
requisitions for 54,000 kilogrammes of bread, 72,000 
kilogrammes of meat, 18,000 kilogrammes of rice, 
1800 kilogrammes of salt, the same weight of roasted 
and 2400 kilogrammes of unroasted coffee, 50,000 
litres of wine, and vast quantities of oats, hay, and 
straw. They continued to seize goods even during 
the armistice, and great sales of plunder often took 
place in the German frontier towns. 

To such a point were the dear Alsatian brothers 
and sisters despoiled that the articles offered at 
those sales comprised sheets, table-cloths, curtains, 
wearing apparel, including aprons and women's caps, 
clocks, and even children's toys. Plunder was some- 
times conveyed to Switzerland and sold there. The 
Easier Nackrichten announced in January 1871 a sale 
of articles of furniture from La Malmaison, formerly 
belonging to the Empress Josephine, also of tables, 
secretaires, and consoles which had belonged to 
Mme. de Pompadour, Louis XV, and Louis XVI, 
a painting by Baron Gerard depicting some children 
carried off by an eagle, another by Gerome represent- 
ing some young Greeks inciting cocks to fight, and 
described as having secured a first prize at the Paris 
Salon of 1847, together with a number of sketches by 
Delacroix. Other lots included monumental clocks, 
fine porcelain and glass, and a great variety of tools 
filched from Alsatian factories and workshops. 



260 THE TRUE STORY OF 

But to return to the German exactions and out- 
rages, a levy of 40,000 was made on the little Alsatian 
town of Haguenau, which was further required to 
lodge a division of Badeners. Nancy was on one 
occasion fined 4000 because a shot which injured 
nobody was fired in one of its streets. A telegraph 
wire having been broken near a little village the 
inhabitants had to pay 80. Three carts were 
requisitioned at a hamlet near Baccarat, but one 
could not come as the horse had fallen lame. There- 
upon, money being scarce among the peasantry, 
they were ordered to provide 50 litres of brandy 
under penalty of being shot. When Prince Frederick 
Charles stayed at Nancy, 40 fowls, 25 Ib. of butter, 
and 100 eggs had to be provided for his table every 
day. His staff also requisitioned 1500 bottles of cham- 
pagne. Several inhabitants of Nancy were murdered. 
There were many outrages at Briey, Arrancy, Flavigny, 
and other places. In fact, robbery and debauchery 
became rampant and continued even during the armis- 
tice. Prisoners of war were often treated infamously. 
There was the case of a train on its way through 
Lorraine to Germany, in which French soldiers were 
kept without a scrap of food for eighty- seven hours 
in the depth of winter. Many were frozen, and were 
pulled out dead. Yet people talk of present-war 
outrages as if they were absolutely unparalleled in 
modern times. 

A certain Herr von Bonnin had been appointed 
Governor of Lorraine, and a certain Count Renard 
became Prefect of Nancy. Both of these men were 
of French ancestry, but they ruled in the very best 
Prussian style. In January 1871 a party of francs- 
tireurs stole into the little village of Fontenoy, near 
Toul, and destroyed a bridge there. The Germans 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 261 

immediately set fire to Fontenoy without allowing 
its inhabitants to remove a scrap of furniture from 
their houses, or even their few remaining cattle from 
their sheds. Further, Herr von Bonnin imposed on 
the province of Lorraine a special fine of 400,000.* 
Next, Count Renard requisitioned 500 men to rebuild 
the bridge. None being forthcoming he declared that 
he would render all master-men responsible. Finally 
he issued an order stating that if the necessary men 
were not at the railway station within twenty-four 
hours, he would have a certain number arrested and 
immediately shot. That was one of the customary 
forms of terrorism. In the industrial towns of 
Alsace-Lorraine men and women were constantly 
requisitioned to work for the Germans, even as 
Belgians, French folk, and others have been requisi- 
tioned during the Great War. In some instances, 
when sufficient labour could not be procured, machi- 
nery was taken to pieces and removed to Germany 
so that it might be utilized there. This course was 
taken with respect to some of the works at Ars-sur- 
Moselle, near Metz. 

In spite of the German occupation many Alsatians 
and Lorrainers managed to get away and join the 
armies which Gambetta improvised. The idea that 
their dear delivered brethren should flee from their 
rule and fight against them particularly incensed the 

* Bonnin's decree ran as follows: "In the name of His Majesty the 
King of Prussia. Whereas the bridge of Fontenoy, to the east of Toul, has 
been destroyed, it is edicted that the circumscription under the general 
government of Lorraine shall pay an extraordinary tax of ten millions of 
francs as a fine for this offence. Notice thereof is hereby given to the public, 
with this remark, that the apportionment of the fine will be subsequently 
determined and that payment thereof will be enforced with the greatest 
severity. The village of Fontenoy was immediately set on fire, with the ex- 
ception of a few buildings reserved for the occupation of the troops. Done at 
Nancy, January 23, 1871. The Governor-General of Lorraine : VON 



262 THE TRUE STORY OF 

invaders, and the following decree was eventually 
issued : 

WE, Wilhelm, King of Prussia, etc. etc., hereby make the following order 
for the General Governments of Alsace and Lorraine : 

I. Whosoever shall join the French forces shall be punished with the 
confiscation of all his present and inheritable property and be banished for 
a period of ten years. 

II. Sentence shall be pronounced by a judgment of our General Govern- 
ments, and, three days after its publication in the official part of a journal 
issued in either Government, shall enter into force and be carried into effect 
by our civil and military authorities. 

III. All payments due at any later date to the condemned shall be 
accounted null and void. 

IV. All deeds of gift or bequests made by the condemned out of his 
fortune after the publication of this decree shall be null and void. 

V. Whosoever desires to quit his place of residence must request per- 
mission to do so from the [German] Prefect, stating, in writing, the cause 
and object of his departure. Whosoever absents himself for more than one 
week without permission to do so shall be held legally to have joined the 
French forces. 

VI. The Prefects shall prepare and control presence-lists of all male 
inhabitants. 

VII. The money accruing from all confiscations shall be paid into the 
treasuries of the General Governments. 

VIII. Return from banishment shall entail the penalty specified by Clause 
33 of the Penal Code. 

IX. This decree shall enter into force on the day of its publication. 
Done at Head-quarters at Versailles, this 16th December, 1870. 

WILHELM. 
v. Bismarck, 
v. Roon. 

However, the Alsatians and Lorrainers paid no 
heed to that decree. When an old veteran of the 
Crimea, Magenta, and Solferino, named Bischer, 
belonging to Mulhouse, was arrested and cast into 
prison by the Germans for recruiting young Alsatians 
for the French army, he replied to every question 
put to him by his captors, " I did my duty." He 
was shot for his so-called offence, but this did not 
prevent nearly 20,000 Alsatians from acting as he 
and others suggested. I have said that the Vosges 
mountains swarmed with francs-tireurs. These men 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 263 

carried on an unremitting partisan warfare against 
the smaller German detachments. The enemy was 
also quite infuriated by the daring exploits of some 
bands operating between Colmar and Belfort. 

The instances which I have given of German 
greed and oppression might be multiplied many times 
over. Were I to recount all that occurred the story 
would be as long and as gruesome as those attaching 
nowadays to Belgium, Northern France, Poland, 
Russia, Serbia, and Rumania. There are, of course, 
categories and degrees of infamy. Generally speak- 
ing, the Prussians distinguished themselves by their 
innate passion for plundering. They were the thieves 
of the invading armies. The Southern Germans were 
more particularly the sensualists : the Bavarians 
excelled in crimes of lust. Brutality was rampant 
among one and all. Even as has been the case in 
these later times the words Krieg ist Krieg (War is 
war) were ever on the lips of the invaders, like a 
kind of refrain, as if its incessant repetition would 
serve to justify their innumerable crimes. 

Whilst Alsace and Lorraine and other parts of 
France were under the German boot, Paris was 
beleaguered, and the tide of war spread on one hand 
to Picardy, Artois, and Normandy, then more south- 
ward to the Orleanais and Touraine, and thence more 
westward to Maine and the confines of Anjou. East- 
ward it rolled from Lorraine and Champagne into 
Burgundy and Franche-Comte. Gambetta made 
stupendous efforts to save his country. Faidherbe 
wrestled with the Germans in North- Western France, 
Chanzy contended with them in the west-central 
provinces, Bourbaki and Garibaldi struggled to stem 
the invasion in the east. But might triumphed over 
right, and when starving Paris fell on January 28, 



264 THE TRUE STORY OF 

1871, an armistice ensued as a preliminary to peace. 
It was arranged that a French National Assembly 
should be elected to decide upon the German peace 
terms. Alsace-Lorraine, already doomed the Prussian 
sovereign's decree set out on a previous page shows 
that in December he already regarded the coveted 
territory as a German possession and its inhabitants 
as his subjects replied to the cruelty of fate by a 
defiant vote. To the intense anger of the Germans, 
only candidates opposed to severance from France 
were elected by the two provinces.* Kiiss, the 
popular Mayor of Strasburg, polled most votes in 
the Bas-Rhin (Lower Alsace), securing more than 
98,000 suffrages. In the Haut-Rhin (Upper Alsace) 
Keller-Haas headed the poll with 67,725. Denfert- 
Rochereau secured 54,911 ; whilst Gambetta, whose 
name implied the rejection of the peace terms, was 
elected by both departments, polling in the first 
named 56,721 votes, and in the second, 51,957. He 
was returned by seven other departments of France, 
including the Seine (Paris), but he resolved to sit 
for the Strasburg division of Alsace. 

Directly the wretched terms of peace became 
known the representatives of Alsace-Lorraine signed 
a strong protest, which was deposited with the officials 
of the new Assembly. It claimed for the territories 
whose annexation was proposed, the right to refuse 
to be separated from France. It recited that the 
provinces had constantly sacrificed themselves for 
the country's grandeur, and had sealed with their 

* Their names were Fr. Andre, Albrecht, Bardon, Boersch, Boell-Titot, 
Ed. Bamberger, S. Chauffeur, Denfert-Rochereau, Domes, Deschange, 
Gambetta, Jules Grosjean, F. Hartmann, Humbert, Kabl6, E. Keller-Haas, 
A. Koechlin, Kiiss, Melsheim, Th. Noblot, Ostermann, V. Rehm, Rencker, 
A. Saglio, A. Scheurer-Kestner, Schneegans, A. Tachard, E. Teutsch, etc. 
All the foregoing signed the protest against annexation by Germany. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 265 

blood the indissoluble bond which united them to 
France. It protested that France could not consent 
to the cession to Germany, that, although the Assembly 
had been elected by universal suffrage, it had no 
right to ratify an agreement destructive of the national 
integrity. It urged (unhappily in vain) that modern 
Europe could not afford to ratify the surrender of the 
provinces, allow a people to be seized like a herd of 
cattle, and remain deaf to the repeated protests of 
the threatened populations. Surely, for the sake 
of her own preservation, Europe could not sanction 
such an abuse of force. The peace proposed would 
constitute a mere truce, and prove a permanent incite- 
ment to war. Finally, the protest said : 

We take our compatriots of France and the Governments and nations of 
the whole world to witness that we shall regard as null and void any decrees 
or treaties, votes or plebiscites, which may consent to the surrender in favour 
of a foreign country of all or part of our territories of Alsace and Lorraine. 
We hereby proclaim that the right of the Alsatians and the Lorrainers to 
remain members of the French nation is and shall remain inviolable, and 
we swear, not only for ourselves but for our constituents, our children and 
their descendants also, that this right shall be for ever claimed by all ways 
and means, and against all usurpers. 

On February 17, 1871, this declaration was read 
to the Assembly by deputy Keller, who had com- 
manded the francs-tireurs of the Upper Rhine. But 
events unhappily took their course, and on March 1 
the Assembly was called upon to ratify the prelimi- 
naries of peace. After speeches against the treaty 
had been delivered by Victor Hugo, Louis Blanc, 
Edgard Quinet, and Keller, Grosjean, previously 
Prefect of the Upper Rhine under the National 
Defence, read a final protest on behalf of Alsace- 
Lorraine. It ran as follows : 

Before the peace negotiations began, the representatives of Alsace and 
Lorraine deposited with the bureau of the Assembly a declaration setting 
forth on behalf of those provinces in the most positive manner their deter- 



266 ALSACE-LORRAINE 

mination and their right to remain French. Handed over, in defiance of 
all justice and by an odious abuse of force, to the domination of foreigners, 
we have a last duty to discharge. We yet once again declare that a covenant 
which disposes of us without our consent is null and void. The liberty to 
claim our rights remains open to one and all in such manner and degree as 
our consciences may dictate. At the moment of leaving this hall, where 
feelings of dignity prevent us from staying any longer, the supreme thought 
in the depths of our hearts, despite the bitterness of our grief, is one of grati- 
tude to those who for six months past have not ceased to defend us, and of 
unchangeable attachment to the country from which we are torn by violence. 
All our wishes will follow you, and we shall wait, with firm confidence in 
the future, for the time when regenerated France will resume control of her 
great destiny. Your brothers of Alsace and Lorraine, separated at this 
moment from the common family, will retain a filial affection for France in 
her absence from their hearths until the day arrives when she will resume 
her place there once more. 

When the vote on the preliminaries of peace was 
taken, 546 members of the Assembly voted in favour 
of their ratification, whilst 107 deputies pronounced 
against them, these including a number of men who 
were then already, or became subsequently, con- 
spicuous figures in France. Among the names I find 
those of Gambetta, Clemenceau, Victor Hugo, Louis 
Blanc, Edgard Quinet, Henri Brisson, Emmanuel 
Arago, Edmond Adam, Arnaud de FAriege, Floquet, 
Dorian, Edouard Lockroy, Duclerc, Ranc, Scheurer- 
Kestner, Felix Pyat, and Generals Chanzy, Billot, 
and Mazure. Of the whole band which thus rejected 
the conditions imposed on France by Germany, 
Clemenceau, I believe, is now the only survivor. 
If he still be Prime Minister of France on the 
hastening day of a Victorious Peace he will know 
how to redeem the promise implied by the vote he 
gave on March 1, 1871. The definitive treaty imposed 
by Bismarck was signed at Frankfort on May 10, and 
ratified by the French Assembly eight days after- 
wards. 



IX 
UNDER GERMAN RULE 

Bismarck and Alsace-Lorraine : Why the Provinces were not annexed 
to Prussia : French Money as Compensation for German Frightful- 
ness : The Option between French and German Nationality : The 
Exodus and the continued Emigration : Population of the Provinces 
in various Years : The Impossibility of a Plebiscitum : Education 
and Germanization : Officialdom in the Provinces : Dr. von Moeller's 
Regime : Bishop Raess's great Betrayal : Some Quotations from 
Bismarck : Episodes in later History War Scares, the Schnsebele and 
Zabern Affairs, etc. : The Constitution of 1911 : The Head Func- 
tionaries and the Chambers : The Garrison early in 1914 : Concluding 
Remarks. 

IN addressing the first Reichstag of the newly con- 
stituted German Empire in August 1871, Prince 
Bismarck, whilst declaring that it had been necessary 
to incorporate Alsace-Lorraine with the territory of 
Germany " in order to ensure the peace of Europe," 
candidly admitted that the aversion of the people 
was an obstacle. " We shall strive, however," said 
he, " to win back to us this population by means of 
Teutonic patience and affection (!). We shall, in 
particular, grant communal liberties." On a second 
occasion he stated that it was better Alsace-Lorraine 
should hold the position of a province of the Empire 
than be annexed to Prussia (which had been his 
original intention), because he had found that the 
inhabitants had greater sympathy with Germany 
generally than with the Prussian State. He expressed 
his belief in two influences, the material well-being of 
the existing generation and the educational training 

267 



268 THE TRUE STORY OF 

of the next. It was in furtherance of the first object, 
he said, that he had accepted a part of the war 
indemnity payable by the French in notes of the 
Bank of France, so that he might at once have some 
funds to supply the needs of the population to whom 
those notes were familiar. As regards the other part 
of his programme, as he had been given a free hand 
to deal with the provinces until the early part of 
1873, he issued an edict enforcing compulsory educa- 
tion after the German pattern on every child above 
six years of age. Much was made of the fact that a 
sum of nearly 2,000,000 was given to Strasburg in 
compensation for its bombardment, but this money 
came out of the indemnity of 200 millions which 
France had covenanted to pay to Germany. It is, of 
course, easy to be generous with other people's money. 
One curious little circumstance may be mentioned in 
connexion with the rebuilding of Strasburg. Vauban's 
old citadel had been very badly battered by the 
bombardment, and the Germans, extremely proud of 
this achievement, invited people to come and inspect 
their work of destruction, setting up a notice-board 
and a turnstile, and charging each visitor a franc as 
admission fee. Even Barnum might have shrunk 
from such a proceeding. 

In connexion with the mode of payment of the 
French w r ar indemnity, the provinces suffered from 
the curtailment of some privileges which had been 
previously agreed upon. There was to have been 
free trade between them and France until the middle 
of 1873, but, in return for Bismarck's assent to 
modifications in the French payments, it was agreed 
that the free-trade period should cease at the end of 
1872. Moreover, the right of the inhabitants to 
choose individually either French or German nation- 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 269 

ality was in like manner curtailed, the period during 
which this might be done being finally limited to 
about fifteen months after the signing of the Treaty 
of Frankfort, in such wise as to expire on September 
30, 1872. Staehling, an Alsatian writer, contrasts 
this limitation with the delay granted in 1815 to the 
inhabitants of the Sarre region, annexed to Prussia 
and Bavaria, who were allowed six years to determine 
their nationality. Thiers was rightly anxious to free 
France from the German occupation and for that pur- 
pose to expedite the payment of the war indemnity; 
but Pouyer-Quertier, his Minister of Finances, was a 
Norman cotton-spinner, jealous of the Alsatian textile 
manufactures, and though he smoothed away certain 
financial difficulties, he calmly sacrificed the interests 
of the Alsatians and Lorrainers. 

At the outset, vast numbers of the people declared 
for French nationality. Many thousands flocked 
right eagerly into France, the population of such 
towns as Nancy, Luneville, Saint-Die, Belfort, etc., 
going up by leaps and bounds. Many important 
businesses were likewise transferred to French terri- 
tory. But when the Germans made it known that all 
persons electing to remain French citizens must leave 
Alsace-Lorraine, thousands found themselves in posi- 
tions of the greatest difficulty. Many were tied to 
the soil which furnished their only means of sub- 
sistence, and discovered that if they decided for 
French nationality they must part with their little 
all. Thus the number of options in favour of France 
dwindled as time went on. There was at first no 
great influx of German agricultural settlers, willing to 
buy the land, though directly peace had been signed 
thousands of German workmen poured into the 
annexed territory to take the places of the Alsatian 



270 THE TRUE STORY OF 

workmen, who, not being linked to the soil like the 
peasantry, had speedily removed to France, where 
they well knew that their nationality, their industry, 
and their skill would make them welcome. 

At the same time the provinces became a dumping- 
ground for German officials. In the very midst of 
the war Bismarck had received 6000 applications for 
official posts in Alsace-Lorraine, and the annexation 
brought swarms of would-be functionaries ^n the 
train of the hordes of tobacconists and vendors of 
indecent photographs by whom the provinces were 
overrun. On the other hand, as the option period 
drew to a close, a woeful exodus of Alsatians and 
Lorrainers set in. For the reasons I have mentioned, 
this exodus was not so great as it might have been ; 
but in the last days of September 1872, between 
sixty and seventy thousand people crossed the new 
frontier into France, accompanied at times by little 
carts in which their few household goods were piled, 
or carrying packs on their shoulders, or trudging 
along with wheelbarrows containing bundles, crockery, 
pans, and pots. Our Annual Register for 1872 grossly 
underestimates the number of Alsatians and Lor- 
rainers who left their homes. Thousands never for- 
mally signed any declaration of option, but simply 
fled. The same publication is in error in stating that 
when the German army conscription lists were opened 
more young men presented themselves for service 
than could be received into the ranks. That is simply 
a piece of bunkum derived from some German source. 
From 1872 to the present time there has always been 
a shortage of conscripts, notwithstanding the plant- 
ing of thousands of Germans in the provinces. In 
1878 the territory was liable to contribute 40,833 
conscripts, but only 4822 came forward willingly, and 






ALSACE-LORRAINE 271 

3981 were sentenced, in their absence, to imprisonment 
for having emigrated without permission to France, 
Luxemburg, and Switzerland. Further, in 1884, among 
38,872 who were liable there were as many as 9854 
defaulters. Even German official statistics have testi- 
fied year after year to the reluctance of young 
Alsatians and Lorrainers to enter the army. 

As for the German emigration statistics they apply 
only to open, authorized emigrations from Alsace- 
Lorraine to distant parts of the world. To France 
emigration has never been officially authorized. The 
returns merely mention 517 emigrations from the 
provinces in 1913, and 249 during the pre-war period 
of the following year. Equally recent French figures 
respecting the number of Alsatians and Lorrainers 
naturalized in France are not available, but I find 
that as late as 1911 there were 1990 such naturaliza- 
tions. An examination of the successive issues of the 
Annuaire statistique de la France from 1873 to the 
above-mentioned date would show that, in spite of 
all prohibitions and obstacles, at least 1,000,000 people 
have come into the old country in order to escape from 
German rule. 

The population of Alsace-Lorraine has undoubtedly 
increased since the annexation, when it was approxi- 
mately 1,200,000. In 1885 it stood at 1,564,355, in 
1890 at 1,603,107, in 1900 at 1,717,451, and on 
December 1, 1910 (the last census), at 1,874,014, 
representing a density of 333*9 inhabitants per square 
mile. There was then a majority of males 965,625 
against 908,389 females. The increase which has 
taken place in spite of so much emigration has been 
due to the fact that both the Alsatians and the 
German settlers are very prolific races. 

The facts which I have recited will, I trust, make 



272 THE TRUE STORY OF 

it clear that any referendum to the population of the 
present time would be absolutely misleading unless 
the German settlers and their offspring were absolutely 
debarred from voting. Moreover, even if the principle 
of a referendum were accepted all sorts of difficulties 
would arise. When Savoy and the county of Nice 
were united to France in 1860 the population remained 
undisturbed. Its voting was not influenced by the 
presence of any foreign element. It only knew that 
the Italian Government was willing to assent to the 
cession, provided the inhabitants agreed to it. In 
the case of Alsace-Lorraine it is very different, and 
not only would it be right to eliminate the German 
element from the voting, but, on the other hand, 
equity would require that the scattered Alsatian- 
Lorrainers should be consulted. 

There are large numbers in France, many thousands 
also in Algeria, where grants of land were made to 
them by the French Government. Thousands have 
also settled in Switzerland, and, further, thousands 
have gone to North and South America and other 
lands beyond the seas. There is even a considerable 
number in Great Britain, whose interests are in the 
hands of the Ligue patriotique des Alsaciens-Lorrains, 
of which Lord Balfour of Burleigh is the honorary 
president, the acting president being M. E. Roudolphi.* 
Now in eight out of every ten cases the emigration 
from Alsace-Lorraine has not been voluntary. These 
people were attached to their native land, and in all 
probability under French rule an immense majority 
of them would have remained at home. Excepting 
in the four years 1872, 1888, 1889, and 1890, when the 
proportion of emigrants from French territory to 
countries beyond the sea was 27, 61, 82, and 54 per 

* The offices are at 18 Green Street, Leicester Square, London. 




ALSACE-LORRAINE 273 

100,000 of the population, the average since 1871 has 
never exceeded 20 per 100,000, and has often been 
considerably less.* It may be taken that even the 
total emigration from France, which would include 
that to continental States, has been less than that 
from any other country in Europe the emigration 
from the United Kingdom almost invariably supplying 
the highest figures. 

The great bulk of the Alsatian emigrants left their 
territory on account of the German rule. If a 
plebiscitum were taken it would be necessary to 
include in it all the elements of the people dispersed 
in one and another land. Is such a thing possible, 
thinkable even ? But the French Government 
through the President of the Republic, successive 
Prime Ministers and Foreign Secretaries has abso- 
lutely repudiated the idea of any plebiscitum at all.f 
Alsace-Lorraine was torn from France by force, and 
must be unconditionally returned. What of the 
German settlers ? I may be asked. I answer that 
sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander also ; but 
I will add that the French Republican Government 
has always been more equitable, more generous, 
than that of the German Empire, and I am quite 
sure that when Alsace-Lorraine is restored to 
France the German settlers will be allowed far 
more time and freedom to decide on what course 
they will take than were granted to the inhabitants 
in 1871-72. 

An important point in Bismarck's programme was 
the diffusion of education on German lines. A new 
university for Strasburg was nominally inaugurated 
on May 1, 1872. The building in which that university 

* Annuaire statistigue de la France, 1913. 

" f An important letter on the subject, written by M. Roudolphi, appeared 
in the Daily ^Telegraph on August 30, 1917. 

8 



274 THE TRUE STORY OF 

is now installed had not then been erected. A 
certain Professor Briich was placed at the head of the 
new institution, which was afterwards endowed by 
the Reichstag, and attended at first almost ex- 
clusively by a couple of hundred young Germans 
deliberately imported into the province. Just before 
the present war, however, this university, which 
includes faculties of theology, law, medicine, philo- 
sophy, mathematics, and natural science, had 178 
professors with an annual attendance of about 1100 
students. I am not at all inclined to dispute the 
fact that the German rulers have greatly increased the 
number of schools in Alsace-Lorraine. In 1911 there 
were 2974 of all categories with 3123 male and 2586 
female teachers. The curriculum in these schools 
may well be a good one in respect to all ordinary 
matters, but the great purpose of the schools has 
been to ensure domination and Germanization. To 
influence the children, to make them forget that 
their land was ever a French province, has been the 
supreme object of the German authorities. 

I referred in a another chapter * to the obstacles 
placed in the way of pupils desirous of learning the 
French language. Many parents, however, steadily 
strive to undermine the Teutonic influence. Although 
French may not be spoken currently it is often taught 
and used secretly at home, where, in the lamplight 
during the long winter evenings, tales of the days 
when Alsace-Lorraine was part of France are often 
told. One must therefore only accept with several 
grains of salt the official statistics, which state that in 
1910 1,634,260 persons spoke German exclusively, 
and that the French-speaking population was limited 
to 204,262. Many more would have spoken French 
openly had they only dared. So zealous have the 

* See p. 222, ante. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 275 

authorities always been to promote Germanization by 
educational means that more than half of the customs 
revenue and of the proceeds of other indirect taxes 
has been assigned to the schools. 

The names of the officials of one and another 
category fill page after page of the Staatshandbuch for 
1914. There is almost no end to them, and un- 
doubtedly many are not only officials but spies as 
well, who watch sedulously for any signs of dis- 
affection. Mr. H. J. Cowell, of the Social and Political 
Education League, mentioned in an interesting lecture 
delivered by him during the present war, and after- 
wards printed in pamphlet form,* that Germany had 
done everything to keep Alsace-Lorraine in remem- 
brance that she was a conquered country ; and he 
quoted the following pertinent remarks emanating 
from an Alsatian : "I went to the tribunal for some 
matters in which I was concerned. My judges hail 
from the Palatinate. I afterwards went to the 
registrar, the custom-house, and the railway station. 
The registrar is a Pomeranian, at the custom-house 
there is a Wiirttemberger, and at the station a Saxon. 
I buy a stamp for a letter. Who is behind the little 
window at the post office ? A Prussian. I should 
like to complain about these Germans occupying all 
our positions. But what would be the use ? The 
editor of the local newspaper is a Westphalian. 
These people not only occupy the best positions, but 
dispose, in their own way, of all the vacancies in a 
country where I was born and bred, and where my 
family has lived for many centuries." 

At the outset the German rulers had an extremely 
difficult time of it, on which account they biiilt no 
fewer than seventy-six new prisons for the accommo- 

* Published, with an introduction by M. Roudolphi, by the Ligue patrio- 
des Aleaciens-Lorrains, 18 Green Street, W.C. 



276 THE TRUE STORY OF 

dation of malcontents. As was previously stated, the 
administration was originally in the hands of Prince 
Bismarck, the first fundamental laws regulating 
the conditions of Government being voted by the 
Reichstag in June 1871, June 1872, and June 1873. 
The German Chancellor at first placed his kinsman, 
Bismarck-Bohlen, and afterwards a certain Dr. von 
Moeller, in charge of the immediate executive ; con- 
cerning himself mainly with questions of policy and 
leaving matters of detail to his delegates. The first 
municipal councils elected under the German regime 
were altogether pro-French in their tendencies. One 
day M. Lauth, who was elected Mayor of Strasburg, 
remarked to the German Prefect, a man named 
Ernsthausen, that he hoped he would ultimately 
become French again. Ernsthausen naturally re- 
peated those imprudent words to Moeller, who at 
once dismissed Lauth from his office and appointed 
Herr Bach, director of the German police, to discharge 
the mayoral duties. In September 1872 the Order of 
Freemasons was suppressed throughout the annexed 
territory, on the ground that it might favour inter- 
course and conspiracy with France. Moeller treated 
the inhabitants, not as equals nor even as vassals, but 
absolutely as serfs. When some people, imagining 
that a comparatively short sojourn in France would 
settle the question of their nationality, ventured to 
return to their native land, they were promptly 
arrested, cast into prison, and declared nolens volens 
to be German subjects. The whole judicial system 
was altered, German enactments replacing the French 
Code. However, though the German language at 
once became obligatory for all such public bodies as 
municipal councils, French was tolerated on the part 
of advocates in the law courts until 1888. On the 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 277 

mark being substituted for the franc as the current 
standard, the price of virtually everything was 
increased by 20 per cent. The territory was handed 
over by France free of all indebtedness, but eight 
years later there was a debt equivalent to 2 per head 
of the population. 

The Constitution of the German Empire was 
introduced into Alsace-Lorraine in January 1874, 
and the inhabitants were privileged to elect fifteen 
deputies to the Reichstag. Differences of opinion 
on the great question of the day then unfortu- 
nately declared themselves. Bishop Raess of Stras- 
burg, whose bombarded cathedral had been repaired 
at a cost of over 20,000 derived from the 
French indemnity, virtually went over to the Ger- 
mans, and his secession entailed that of a number 
of the Catholic clergy, whose influence over their 
parishioners was very great. Raess, in his zeal 
for his Church, unwittingly served Bismarck's pur- 
poses. The attitude assumed by him and his clergy 
prevented the Alsatian-Lorrainers from showing a 
united front at the first elections. Roman Catholic, 
or rather Ultramontane, influence triumphed in several 
electoral divisions, and the very first time the new 
deputies attended the Reichstag their differences 
became painfully manifest. The opponents of Bishop 
Raess submitted a motion to the effect that the 
Treaty of Frankfort having been concluded without 
the sanction of the inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine, the 
opinions of the latter ought to be ascertained. The 
same deputies also moved that they should be allowed 
to address the assembly in the French tongue, as 
several of them knew no German. Bismarck replied 
that in the German Parliament he knew no other 
language than German, whereupon a Protestant 



278 THE TRUE STORY OF 

Alsatian deputy named Teutsch delivered a speech in 
that vernacular. He was, of course, violently inter- 
rupted when in regard to the annexation he accused 
Germany of having overstepped the limits by which a 
civilized nation should have been bound, and Forcken- 
beck, the President, called him to order. Nevertheless 
he succeeded in expressing his feelings of devotion to 
France. Bishop Raess spoke next, and referring to 
the treaty of Frankfort declared for himself and his 
Alsatian and Lorrainer coreligionists that they did 
not question the treaty's validity. 

It was a pitiful exhibition. The real motive of 
the Bishop's unpatriotic attitude must be sought in 
the position of the Papacy at that time. It had lost 
its territorial sovereignty by the Italian occupation 
of Rome, and the zealots of the Roman Catholic 
world were in a great state of indignation. The 
French Clericalists wished to force France to make 
war on Italy in order to restore the Temporal Power. 
There was also unrest on this question in Catholic 
parts of Germany, whilst the Protestants there 
denounced many Catholic institutions and religious 
orders for their subserviency to the Pope, who, in an 
allocution to the College of Cardinals in 1872, had 
personally charged the Emperor and his Government 
with " savage persecutions and secret machinations 
against the Church." All this led up to the Falk 
laws and the great Kulturkampf between the Vatican 
and the German Chancellor ; and Raess, who was a 
prelate of an extremely Ultramontane type, showed 
far more concern about the interests of his Church 
than about those of his native land. In fact it is not 
too much to say that he sacrificed the interests of 
Alsace-Lorraine in order that he might the more 
easily join hands with the German Clericalists. The 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 279 

Bishop, however, did not have everything his own 
way. On the day after his declaration respecting the 
Frankfort treaty, a Catholic, though not an Ultra- 
montane, deputy of the annexed provinces, named 
Pouget, who had been unable to attend the first 
debate, rose in the Reichstag and said : "I am told 
that in recognizing the validity of the Treaty of 
Frankfort, Bishop Raess yesterday took upon himself 
to speak in the name of his coreligionists of Alsace 
and Lorraine. If he really did so I am constrained 
to say that the Bishop spoke in his own name, and 
not in that of other Roman Catholic deputies for 
Alsace-Lorraine." The Bishop was greatly mortified 
by that well- deserved rebuke. 

At that period the Reichstag debates respecting 
the annexed provinces were often full of interest. 
The motions which the Alsatian and Lorrainer 
deputies submitted were invariably rejected, securing 
as a rule only the support of the Danish, the Polish, 
and some of the Socialist representatives. Bismarck 
often intervened in the discussions, and, stung by the 
remarks of those who spoke for the populations 
brought under his domination, he did not hesitate to 
jeer and sneer at them. On one occasion, while 
referring to the Franco- German War, he reproached 
them for " having taken part in the infamous and 
sinful attack upon Germany." At another moment 
he congratulated them on having escaped from French 
rule and from " the agreeable prospect of taking 
voyages to the penal settlements of Lambessa and 
New Caledonia." He also remarked that as the 
Alsatians had always supplied the French army with 
a disproportionately large quota of soldiers and non- 
commissioned officers, it followed that in the many 
wars between the two countries the Germans had 



280 THE TRUE STORY OF 

been obliged to fight them as well as the other subjects 
of the Paris Government. " But," he added, " we 
are now glad to have these good soldiers on our side, 
and we shall certainly do all in our power to keep 
them there." At another time, in a debate on the 
endowment of the University of Strasburg (November 
1874) the Chancellor expressed himself as follows : 

The question before us concerns the interests of the Empire. It is not 
a question of Alsace-Lorraine. The university is to serve Imperial purposes. 
In the well-fought war, in which we had to defend our existence, we conquered 
the provinces for the Empire. It was not for the interests of Alsace-Lorraine 
that our soldiers shed their blood. We take our stand upon the interests 
of the Empire and the Imperial policy. Upon those grounds Alsace-Lorraine 
was annexed, and not for the sake of Alsace-Lorraine's ecclesiastical interests.* 
In the Empire we act from other motives than those of the gentlemen whose 
past would lead them back to Paris and whose present conducts them to 
Rome. We ^ave to think of the Empire. . . . My first views respecting an 
Alsace-Lorraine parliament were too sanguine. . . . They have been modified 
by what I have seen of the attitude of the Alsatian-Lorrainer deputies here. 
Such a parliament would lead to constant agitation and perhaps endanger 
the maintenance of peace. 

Did ever statesman acknowledge more candidly, 
more bluntly, more brutally, that he did not care a 
rap for the interests or aspirations of those whom he 
had enthralled ? 

The representative institutions which were after- 
wards set up in the annexed provinces were mere 
shams and mockeries destitute of all authority. 
Nothing approaching the real nature of a Parliament 
existed before the Constitution granted in 1911, and 
I will presently explain how extremely limited were 
the powers which that Constitution conferred on the 
Alsatians and Lorrainers. Bismarck, in the speech 
which I have just quoted, referred to the maintenance 
of peace. This was often endangered during ensuing 

* The reference to " ecclesiastical interests," and the ensuing sentence 
also, were thrusts at Bishop Raess. The latter, by the way, was opposed 
to the university, fearing that by the instruction imparted at it many sheep 
might escape from his fold. He at least wished to prevent a large endowment. 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 281 

years. For a long time the spirit of revanche was 
undoubtedly strong in France, but on various occasions 
it was not this but the German Chancellor's provoca- 
tive policy and the agitations engineered in Germany 
by his reptile Press that seemed likely to bring about 
another war. Whilst the Ultramontane agitation in 
France in favour of the restoration of the Temporal 
Power was certainly of a nature to lead to hostilities 
against Italy, and through Italy against the German 
Empire, the war scare of 1875 was absolutely Bis- 
marck's work. He was amazed at the rapid recovery 
of France from her disasters, and fearing lest, in time, 
she should endeavour to win back Alsace-Lorraine, 
he resolved to crush her yet once more. 

He took as his pretext the reorganization of the 
French army, which included the division of each 
infantry regiment into four instead of three battalions. 
As a matter of fact there was no increase in the 
effective beyond the appointment of such regimental 
officers as were necessary for an additional battalion. 
The total strength of each regiment remained the 
same as before. But Bismarck and Moltke professed 
to be much alarmed and began to prepare for another 
war, after which, anticipating " victory as usual," 
they intended to demand a further cession of territory 
(notably Belfort) and an indemnity of 400 millions 
sterling. The plot fortunately came to the knowledge 
of Marshal MacMahon's Government, and General 
Le Flo, then French Ambassador at Petrograd, laid 
everything before the Russian Emperor, Alexander II. 
At the same time M. Gavard, charge d'affaires in 
London, submitted the facts to our Foreign Secretary, 
the Lord Derby of those days. In the result, whatever 
pro-German proclivities then existed in Great Britain, 
Derby took up the French cause, and our Government 



282 THE TRUE STORY OF 

and that of Russia made it known that on France 
declaring her peaceful intentions they would con- 
jointly interfere to prevent the contemplated war. 
This was Bismarck's first serious defeat in the sphere 
of foreign politics, and he revenged himself for it by 
precipitating the Russo-Turkish War, and by siding 
against Russia at the famous Congress of Berlin. 

On the other hand, at a somewhat later period, the 
maintenance of peace certainly incurred some danger 
from the periodical demonstrations of the French 
League of Patriots, founded by the French Kipling, 
the soldier-poet, Paul Deroulede. This league was 
undoubtedly imbued with the revanche spirit, and 
acted at times in open defiance of Gambetta's wise 
advice on that subject: "Keep it always in mind, 
but never speak of it " (Pensez y toujours, mais n'en 
parlez jamais). When one recalls, however, the 
manner in which Alsace-Lorraine was torn from 
France, and the many episodes of the time when it 
was French territory, one can well understand not 
only the memory of the loss surviving, but also the 
difficulty of restraining oneself from speaking of it. 
It is related that after Stanley found Livingstone, the 
latter inquired what had happened in Europe of 
recent years. Stanley told him of the Franco-German 
War, the indemnity paid by France, and the loss 
of Alsace-Lorraine. " Ah ! '' Livingstone replied, 
" France will soon cease mourning over the five 
milliards of money, but she will never forget those 
two provinces ! '' 

In 1887, when General Boulanger was French 
Minister of War, a serious crisis in the relations of 
France and Germany occurred. Boulanger made 
various imprudent speeches and lent himself to some 
of the demonstrations of the League of Patriots, 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 283 

Thereupon the German Press denounced him as a 
danger to peace, and the Imperial Government began 
to move troops hither and thither in Alsace-Lorraine, 
doing this with so much fuss and publicity that it 
seemed as if a direct warning to France were intended. 
The French Prime Minister was then M. Rene Goblet, 
a Radical politician, and the Minister for Foreign 
Affairs was M. Leopold Flourens. Both were sin- 
cerely desirous of maintaining peace. Nevertheless 
there was a panic on the Paris Bourse and a very sharp 
drop in the quotations for Rentes. The Chambers 
voted considerable additional credits for the army 
and the navy, and Goblet refused to make a pacific 
declaration, a refusal which was perhaps a mistake 
on his part. However, he took up the position that 
his opinions were perfectly well known, and that no 
declaration was necessary. Yet at the same time 
he told Boulanger not to dispatch any additional 
troops to the frontier, as the general wished to do, 
by way of answering the German military movements 
in Alsace. Moreover, Ferdinand de Lesseps, of Suez 
Canal fame, went on a semi-official mission to Berlin, 
and the atmosphere appeared to clear. But a frontier 
incident fraught with serious possibilities suddenly 
occurred. The German authorities suspected a French 
commissary of police named Schnaebele, attached to 
the railway station of Pagny-sur-Moselle, of inter- 
course with some Lorrainer malcontents, and resolved 
to arrest him should he ever cross the frontier. He 
did so in response to a request from a German police 
official named Gautsch, who pretended that he wished 
to confer with him respecting some of the frontier 
regulations. Nevertheless, on April 20, 1887, Schnae- 
bele was arrested and conveyed to Metz. 

As a result of this German act of provocation the 



284 THE TRUE STORY OF 

question of war or peace came to the front once more. 
Boulanger and some of his colleagues wished to demand 
an apology in a dispatch tantamount to an ultimatum. 
But M. Flourens, like a true diplomatist, scouted the 
suggestion, holding that Schnaebele's arrest under such 
circumstances could not possibly be maintained by 
any known principle of law. In spite of this, Bou- 
langer, swayed by personal ambition or incited by 
enthusiastic and unthinking firebrands, tried to pre- 
cipitate events by sending as secretly as possible, and 
in defiance of Goblet's instructions, a number of 
troops towards the frontier. Nor was that all, for he 
also wrote to the Tsar, then Alexander III, or to his 
War Minister, soliciting Russian help. No sooner had 
he done so than he boasted of his letter, and on the 
matter becoming known to M. Flourens the missive 
was intercepted. Further, as it seemed probable that 
the affair would leak out, Flourens hastened to ac- 
quaint the German ambassador in France with all the 
facts, pointing out that Boulanger alone was respon- 
sible, and virtually throwing him over. Finally, 
Police Commissary Schnsebele was released, Bismarck 
stating to M. Herbette, French ambassador at Berlin, 
that the arrest had been justified by the proofs he 
held of Schnaebele's connivance with an Alsatian 
" traitor," but that as he had ventured on German soil 
at the invitation of a German official, that invitation 
was equivalent to a safe-conduct and would be re- 
spected. In this wise was war between France and 
Germany averted. Whether Schnaebele actually en- 
gaged in any plotting is a moot point. One cannot 
take Bismarck's word on such a matter. It is a fact, 
however, that at the time in question, as during most 
other periods, there was considerable unrest in Alsace- 
Lorraine. A few months after the Schnaebele affair 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 285 

eight Alsatians were tried at Leipzig for high treason. 
The chief charge against them was that in order to 
facilitate the reunion of Alsace-Lorraine with France, 
they had secretly become members of Deroulede's 
League of Patriots. Some were acquitted, but one 
was sentenced to two, another to five, and another to 
six years' imprisonment. A little later another war 
scare, caused by a German forest-keeper shooting a 
French sportsman dead, and wounding another one, 
in the Vosges, subsided on the German Government 
paying some compensation. At a much later date 
trouble, even affrays, occurred at Nancy owing to the 
arrogance of some of the Germans settled in that town. 
From time to time, indeed, little " incidents " arose 
which might have led to hostilities but which were 
adjusted. During the years more immediately pre- 
ceding the Great War the chief dangers to the mainten- 
ance of peace between France and Germany arose in 
connexion with the Dreyfus case, the German inter- 
ference in the question of Morocco, the Congo and 
Cameroons frontiers, and, incidentally, the Bagdad 
railway. Into those matters it is unnecessary to 
enter here, for they had no connexion with the 
question of Alsace-Lorraine. 

Under the German rule there have been frequent 
scandals in the annexed provinces. Oppression, 
corruption, and debauchery have gone hand in hand 
among the official and military classes. Many in- 
stances are mentioned in two books " Les Scandales 
allemandes en Alsace-Lorraine " (1906) and " Les 
Coulisses de 1' Alsace-Lorraine " (1908) written by a 
former police commissary in the German service 
named Stephany. Although the evidence of an 
official who has parted from his masters may be open 
to some suspicion, such precise and explicit particulars 



286 THE TRUE STORY OF 

are given in Stephany's writings that, even if they be 
somewhat highly coloured, they convey an impression 
that there must be a great amount of absolute truth 
in what he says the more so as many incidents 
mentioned by him are of a similar nature to others 
known to have occurred in Germany. Stephany's 
instances of debauchery among the military caste, 
from such petty " royalties " as the Prince of Schaum- 
burg-Lippe down to junior lieutenants, correspond 
with certain episodes of the present war. 

Let me now recapitulate the chief features of the 
Zabern or Saverne affair which in 1913 attracted 
attention throughout the world. The town of Saverne 
was garrisoned by two battalions of the 91st Infantry 
Regiment, commanded by Colonel von Reuter, and 
including among its officers a certain Lieutenant 
Forstner, who scornfully applied the name of 
46 Wackes " or " Square-heads " to the Alsatian re- 
cruits under him. In an address which he delivered 
to them wiiilst warning them against deserting and 
joining the French Foreign Legion, he also spoke very 
offensively about the French, with whom many of the 
recruits had strong sympathies. For calling his men 
by the opprobrious name of " Wackes,' 5 Fortsner 
underwent some slight punishment, but the affair 
became generally known, and created much excitement 
throughout the provinces. On some demonstrations 
ensuing, Colonel von Reuter requested the head of the 
local administration, an Alsatian named Mahler, to 
restore order, and on Mahler declaring that he knew 
of no reason for interfering with law-abiding people, 
Reuter himself took action. On November 29 a 
crowd having assembled before the barracks the 
former palace of the Rohan Cardinals he ordered a 
certain Lieutenant Sehad, who that day commanded 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 287 

the Guard, to disperse the assemblage. Schad's men 
did so with great brutality, at the same time arresting 
several people, among whom were some legal officials 
who had just left the court-house. These were 
released, but the others were detained in the cellars of 
the barracks. The public excitement increased, dis- 
affection becoming so manifest that the position was 
submitted to the Emperor, who was then staying at 
Donauschingen with Prince von Fiirstenberg. In the 
result, the Alsatian Statthalter or Viceroy, Count von 
Wedel, and his Secretary of State and Minister of the 
Interior, Von Zorn-Bulach, a member of an Alsatian 
family which had " ratted " to Germany, tendered 
their resignations, feeling that the military party, by 
overriding the civil authorities, was responsible for the 
serious trouble which had arisen in many parts of the 
provinces. The Kaiser, however, induced them to 
withdraw their resignations ; a general was sent 
to Saverne to inquire into what had occurred there, 
and Reuter and Schad were afterwards court- 
martialled for ordering troops to move against the 
civilian population. They were ultimately acquitted 
on the ground that they had kept within the pro- 
visions of a Prussian law of 1820, which empowered 
the military authorities to act if the civil administra- 
tion should neglect to enforce order. 

[ Meantime, however, another incident had occurred. 
In the course of some field service near Saverne, 
Lieutenant Forstner, while passing through a village, 
cut down a lame shoemaker with whom he had a brief 
altercation. This act of brutality aroused fresh 
resentment. Forstner was certainly tried for hitting 
and wounding a civilian, but although he was at first 
sentenced to a year's imprisonment, he secured an 
acquittal on appealing to a higher jurisdiction, the 



288 THE TRUE STORY OF 

pretext being that he had acted in " supposed self- 
defence " a perfectly ridiculous plea in the circum- 
stances, for the injured shoemaker was as inoffensive as 
he was lame. Debates ensued in the Reichstag, where 
Bethmann-Hollweg, the Chancellor, declared that the 
regiment commanded by Reuter had been removed 
from Saverne and that the law of 1820 had been 
abolished for Alsace-Lorraine. Nevertheless, the 
Reichstag passed a vote of censure by no fewer than 
293 to 54 votes taking that course as it rightly 
apprehended that the marked .disaffection in the 
provinces could only be quieted by reproving the 
military element, to whose overbearing attitude, not 
only at Saverne but in many other localities also, 
the popular resentment was largely due. The German 
Socialists afterwards took up some of the grievances 
of the Alsatians and Lorrainers, but on a motion to 
reduce the Chancellor's salary they naturally incurred 
defeat. However, Herren Wedel and Zorn-Bulach 
again resigned their offices and were replaced, the 
former as Statthalter by Dr. von Dallwitz, and the 
second as Secretary of State and Minister of the 
Interior by Count von Rcedern. 

By a constitution which came into force in 1911 
Alsace-Lorraine was granted the privilege of sending 
three representatives to the German Federal Council. 
Sovereign rights remained vested in the Emperor, 
who was to appoint and recall, at pleasure, a Statt- 
halter or Viceroy. All local laws were to emanate 
from the Crown exclusively, but were to secure the 
assent of a Diet or Landtag formed of two chambers. 
The Upper Chamber was to be composed of five rep- 
resentatives of the religious communities, the pre- 
siding judge of the Supreme Court of Colmar, a 
representative of Strasburg University, four members 



ALSACE-LORRAINE 289 

representing the towns of Metz, Strasburg, Colmar, 
and Mulhouse, various representatives of Chambers of 
Commerce and Agricultural Councils, etc., but, in 
addition to the foregoing, and in order to ensure a 
permanent government majority, a score of members 
were to be nominated by the Kaiser. One and all 
were to retain their positions for five years. The 
Lower Chamber was to be elected by direct suffrage, 
and on first assembling in 1911 it comprised twenty 
members of the Roman Catholic party, thirteen 
particularist Lorrainers, ten Liberal Democrats, and 
eleven Socialists. In the Staatshandbuch for 1914 
I find a dozen French names among the members 
of these Chambers. For instance, the second Vice- 
President of the upper one was Dr. Gregoire, and the 
first Vice-President of the lower one, M. Labroise. 
But a good many members with Germanic names 
were undoubtedly sound patriots. As the initiative 
of law-making rested with the Statthalter, acting for 
the Emperor, the powers of the so-called Landtag 
of Alsace-Lorraine were necessarily very limited, and 
it is quite impossible to describe such a regime as one 
of self-government. 

The administration set up by the new Constitution 
comprised four principal departments, the Interior ; 
Justice and Religion ; Finance, Commerce, and Im- 
perial Domains ; and Agriculture and Labour. In 
1914 the Kaiserlicher Statthalter was still Dr. von 
Dallwitz,* and Count von Roedern was Secretary of 
State and Minister of the Interior. During the year 
ending March 31, 1917, the total revenue of the 

* Before him the successive Governors of Alsace-Lorraine were Field- 
Marshal von Manteuffel (October 1879), Prince Clovis von Hohenlohe (1885), 
Prince von Hohenlohe-Langenburg (October 1894), and the Count von Wedel 
mentioned in connexion with the Saverne affair. 

T 



290 THE TRUE STORY OF 

provinces was 4,126,615. At the last census 
(1910) the population included 1,428,343 Catholics, 
408,274 Protestants, 3868 members of other Christian 
denominations, and 30,483 Jews. When the present 
Great War began the garrison was composed of over 
80,000 men. It included Badeners, Saxons, Silesians, 
and Alsatian detachments of the 14th and 15th Army 
Corps, under General von Deimling, whose chief of 
staff was Count von Waldersee. At Metz there was 
the 16th Army Corps under General von Mudra, and 
there were also some men of the 21st Corps at Sarre- 
bruck and Sarrebourg. Apart from the last named, 
the garrison included nine brigades of infantry, five 
brigades of cavalry, and seven artillery regiments. 
Thus a strong force (double that of 1880) was kept 
in the provinces, far less from any fear of sudden 
French aggression than in order to impose the German 
will on a people which obeyed it with regret. 

A mock constitution and a formidable garrison, 
such before this war was the final German answer to 
all the bitter discontent so long prevailing in Alsace- 
Lorraine. M. Roudolphi. in a letter to which I have 
directed attention,* rightly stated that "in 1887, 
after sixteen years of the new regime, the progress of 
the conquerors having been absolutely negative, a 
reign of terror began, which has not its equal in the 
annals of the nineteenth century. Every society, 
artistic, sporting, and even scientific, suspected of 
French leanings was dissolved, prosecutions for high 
treason and similar offences were as numerous as the 
pebbles on the shore, and communication with France 
was rendered practically impossible. This era, the 
so-called c stillness of the dead,' when every voice 

* See foot-note on p. 273, ante. 






ALSACE-LORRAINE 291 

was silenced, and every movement watched by the 
secret police, lasted for fifteen long years." 

I will add little to this long narrative in which I 
have endeavoured to give a sketch of many topo- 
graphical, historical, racial, linguistic, and other 
matters pertaining to Alsace-Lorraine. The country 
is virtually terra incognita to most British readers, 
and I shall feel amply rewarded for my labours if I 
succeed in making more than its name known to them. 
During the present war the French have won back a 
small portion of the annexed land by force of arms, 
but it must be restored to them in its entirety. That 
is the desire of virtually all the inhabitants of the old 
stock, arid of their kith and kin w r ho live far away in 
exile. There can be no compromise with Germany 
on this question. France will accept none. Un- 
happily a small number of people among us still seem 
desirous of accepting an inconclusive peace. Selfishly 
thinking only of themselves, they are ready to sacrifice 
the highest interests of posterity, and those, also, 
of our comrades in arms. There are some people who, 
whilst admitting that the German occupation of 
Belgium is a pistol pointed at the head of Britain, 
fail, apparently, to realize that the German occupation 
of Alsace-Lorraine has been a pistol pointed at the 
head of France for nearly half a century. Further, 
there are even those it cannot be gainsaid who 
would callously leave France in the lurch with respect 
to her most important, her paramount claim. This 
must not be. Should Great Britain desert her noble 
and valiant ally the direst consequences would follow. 
I, for one, am fully convinced that she will never do so, 
but will continue fighting until Alsace-Lorraine, like 
other lands, shall have been finally and fully delivered 
from the odious yoke of the modern Hun. 



APPENDIX A 

PLACE-NAMES DIFFERING IN FRENCH 
AND GERMAN 

BELOW will be found two lists of Alsatian and Lorrainer place- 
names which have been changed since the annexation in 1871. 
In some instances the alterations have been slight, but in some 
others the difference is great. The French terminals vilU and 
wilier (from the Latin villa and villare) have become weiler in 
German. Bourg also has, not unnaturally, been changed to 
burg. It is not claimed that the following lists are complete, 
nevertheless they may prove useful for the identification of some 
of the localities mentioned. In the first list the French and 
in the second the German names are given in the first column 
alphabetically, their equivalents appearing in the second one. 



French German 

Alsace Elsass 

Aubure Altweier 

Ban de la Roche Steinthal 

Belmagny Bernetzweiler 

Bischwiller Bitschweiler 

Bitche Bitsch 

Bonhomme, Le Diedolshausen 

Boulay Bolchen 

Bouxwiller Buchsweiler 

Broque, La Vorbriick 

Cernay Sennheim 

Chateau-Salins Salzburg 

Chatenois Kestenholz 

Chavannes-sur-1'Etang Schaffnat-am-Weiher 

Courtavon Ottendorf 

Dabo Dagsburg 

Eteimbes Welschensteinbach 

Faulquemont Falkenberg 

293 



294 



APPENDIX A 



French 
Fenestrange 
Ferrette 
Fouday 
Guebwiller 
Haguenau 
Huningue 
Levoncourt 
Liepvre and Lievre 
Longueville 
Lorquin 
Lorraine 

Main-du-Prince, La 
Marmoutier 
Massevaux 
Montreux 
Mulhouse 
Neubois 
Neuf-Brisach 
Obernai 
Orbey 

Petite-Pierre, La 
Phalsbourg 
Porcelette 
Poultroie, La 
Ribeaupierre 
Ribeauville 
Riquewihr 
Romagny 
Rouffach 
Saint-Hippolyte 
Saint-Louis 

Sainte-Croix-aux-Mines 
Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines 
Sainte-Odile 
Sarralbe 
Sarreguemines 
Sarre, the 
Saverne 
Schlestadt 
Soultz-les-Bains 
Soultz-sous-Forets 
Thionville 



German 
Finstingen 
Pfirt 
Urbach 
Gebweiler 
Hagenau 
Huningen 
Luffendorf 
Leberau 
Longeville 
Lorehingen 
Lothringen 
Herzogshand 
Maursmiinster 
Masmtinster 
Miinsterol 
Miilhausen 
Gereuth 
Neu Breisach 
Oberehnheim 
Urbeis 
Liitzelstein 
Pfalzburg 
Porselt 
Schmerlach 
Rappoltstein 
Rappoltsweiler * 
Reichenweier 
Willern 

Rufach and Ruffach 
Sankt Pilt 
Sankt Ludwig 
Sankt Kreuz im Leberthal 
Markirch 
Odilienberg 
Saaralben 
Saargemtind 
Saar 
Zabern 
Schlettstadt 
Sulzbad 

Sulz-untenn-Walde 
Diedenhofen 



Rapperschweir in the local dialect. 



APPENDIX A 



295 



French 

Trois-Fontaines 
Val-de-Ville 
Valdieu 
Vancelle, La 
Ville 

Vosges, the 
Wasselonne 
Wesserling 
Wihr-au-Val 
Wissembourg 
Xouaxange 



German 
Dreibrunnen 
Weilerthal 
Gottesthal 
Wanzel 
Wciler 

Wasigen and Wasgenwald 
Wasselnheim 
Hiisseren 
Weier im Thai 
Weissenburg 
Schweizingen 



II 



German 
Altweier 
Bcrnctzweiler 
Bitsch 
Bitschweiler 
Bolchen 
Buchsweiler 
Dagsburg 
Diedenhofen 
Diedolshausen 
Dreibrunnen 
Elsass 
Falkenberg 
Finstingen 
Gebweiler 
Gereuth 
Gottesthal 
Hagcnau 
Herzogshand 
Huningen 
Hiisseren 
Kestenholz 
Leberau 
Lorchingen 
Lothringen 
Luffendorf 
Liitzclstein 
Markirch 



French 



Aubure 

Belmagny 

Bitche 

Bischwiller 

Boulay 

Bouxwiller 

Dabo 

Thionville 

Le Bonhomme 

Trois-Fontaines 

Alsace 

Faulquemont 

Fenestrange 

Guebwiller 

Neubois 

Valdieu 

Haguenau 

La Main-du-Prince 

Huningue 

Wesserling 

Chatenois 

Liepvre and Lievre 

Lorquin 

Lorraine 

Levoncourt 

La Petite-Pierre 

Saint e-Marie-aux-Min es 



296 



APPENDIX A 



German 
Masmflnster 
Maursmiinster 
Miilhausen 
Miinstcrol 
Neu Breisach 
Obercnheim 
Odilienberg 
Ottendorf 
Pfalzburg 
Pfirt 
Porselt 
Rappoltstein 
Rappoltsweiler 
Reichenweier 
Rufach and Ruffach 
Saar 

Saargemiind 
Salzburg 

Sankt Kreuz im Leberthal 
Sankt Ludwig 
Sankt Pilt 

Schaffnat-am-Weiher 
Schlettstadt 
Schmerlach 
Schweizingen 
Sennheim 
Stcinthal 
Sulzbad 

Sulz-unterm-Walde 
Urbach 
Urbeis 
Vorbruck 
Wanzel 

Wasigen and Wasgenwald 
Wasselnheim 
Weier im Thai 
Weilerthal 
Weissenburg 
Welschensteinbach 
Willern 
Zabern 



French 
Massevaux 
Marmoutier 
Mulhouse 
Montreux 
Neuf-Brisach 
Obernai 
Sainte-Odile 
Courtavon 
Phalsbourg 
Ferrette 
Porbelette 
Ribeaupierre 
Ribeauville 
Riquewihr 
Rouffach 
Sarre 

Sarreguemines 
Chateau-Sal ins 
Sainte-Croix-aux-Mines 
Saint-Louis 
Saint-Hippolyte 
Chavannes-sur-1'Etang 
Schlestadt 
La Poultroie 
Xouaxange 
Cernay 

Ban de la Roche 
Soultz-les-Bains 
Soultz-sous-Forets 
Fouday 
Orbey 
La Broque 
Varicelle 
Vosges, the 
Wasselonne 
Wihr-au-Val 
Val-de-Ville 
Wissembourg 
Eteimbes 
Romagny 
Saverne 



APPENDIX B 

STRASBURG UNITED TO FRANCE 

Articles proposed by the Prcetors, Consuls, and Magistrate of the 
Town of Strasburg, the SOth September, 1681.* 

WE, Franois Michel de [sic] Tellier, Marquis of Louvois, 
Secretary of State and of his Majesty's Commandments, and 
Joseph de Fonts, Baron of Montclar, Lieutenant-General in the 
Armies of the King, commanding for his Majesty in Alsace, by 
virtue of the power conferred upon vis by his Majesty to receive 
the town of Strasburg into obedience under him, have set down 
the annotations [apostittes] inscribed below, whereof we promise 
to supply his Majesty's Ratification, and to hand it to the Magis- 
trate of Strasburg, between now and ten days' time. 

I. The town of Strasburg, following the example of Mr. 
[sic] the Bishop of Strasburg, the Count of Hanau, the Lord of 
Fleckenstein, and the nobility of Lower Alsace, recognizes his 
Most Christian Majesty as its Sovereign Lord and Protector. 

Annotation. The King receives the town and all its depen- 
dencies under his Royal protection. 

II. His Majesty shall confirm all the ancient privileges, 
rights, statutes, and customs of the town of Strasburg, ecclesias- 
tical as well as political, conformably with the Treaty of Peace 
of Westphalia, confirmed by that of Nimeguen. 

Annotation. Granted. 

III. His Majesty shall allow the free exercise of Religion, 
as has been the case from the year 1624 until now, with possession 
of all churches and schools, and will not allow anybody what- 
soever to raise any pretensions either to ecclesiastical property 
or to any foundations or convents that is to say, the Abbey of 
Saint-Etienne, the Chapter of Saint-Thomas, Saint-Marc, Saint- 
Guillaume, the Tous-Saints, and all others included or not 

* " Articles proposez par les Preteurs, Consuls et Magistrat de la Ville de 
Strasbourg, le 30 Septembre, 1681." A Paris, au Bureau d'Adresse, aux 
Galeriea du Louvre. MDCLXXXF. Avec Privilege du Roy. 

297 



298 APPENDIX B 

included [within the town ?.], but shall for all time preserve them 
to the town and its inhabitants. 

Annotation. Granted in respect to the enjoyment of all that 
pertains to ecclesiastical property, in accordance with the stipu- 
lations of the Treaty of Miinster, with this reserve, that the 
fabric of the Church of Our Lady, formerly called the Dom 
(cathedral), shall be restored to the Catholics ; notwithstanding 
which his Majesty approves that they [the Protestants] shall 
make use of the bells of the said church for all purposes heretofore 
customary, except only that of ringing them to prayers. 

IV. His Majesty shall leave the Magistrature in its present 
state, with all its rights, including the free election of its colleges, 
namely, that of the Thirteen, that of the Fifteen, and that of the 
Twenty-One, together with the Large and Small Senates, the 
Echevins, the officers of the town and the Chancellery, the eccle- 
siastical convents, the University with all its doctors, professors, 
and students of whatever category they be, the [trade or pro- 
fessional] college, classifications, and masterships all as they 
are now, together with the [present] Civil and Criminal Juris- 
dictions. 

Annotation. Granted, with the reserve that in all lawsuits 
in which the capital amount [sued for] shall exceed one thousand 
livres of France [dr. 40] an appeal to the Council of Brisach 
shall be allowed, without, however, the appeal suspending the 
execution of the judgment 'which may have been delivered by 
the Magistrate [of Strasburg] should no sum exceeding two 
thousand livres of France [dr. 80] be in question. 

V. His Majesty also grants to the town that all its revenues, 
taxes, [land] tolls, bridge-tolls, commercial rights, and customs 
[douane] shall be preserved to it, with all liberty to enjoy the 
same as heretofore, together with the free disposal of the Pfen- 
ningthurn and the Mint, and the magazines [stores] of cannon, 
munitions, and weapons, both those which are in the Arsenal and 
those which are on the ramparts and in the houses of burgesses, 
together with the magazines [stores] of grain, timber, coal, tallow, 
and all others, the bells [of the town], and also the Archives 
with the documents and papers of whatever nature they be. 

Annotation. Granted, with the reserve that the cannon, 
munitions of war, and arms in the public stores shall be placed 
in the power of his Majesty's officers, and as regards the weapons 
belonging to private people, that they shall be deposited at 
the town hall in a room whereof the Magistrate shall keep the 
kev. 



APPENDIX B 299 

VI. All the burgesses shall remain exempt from all taxes and 
other payments. His Majesty shall leave all imposts, ordinary 
or extraordinary, to the town for its maintenance. 

Annotation. Granted. 

VII. His Majesty shall leave to the town and citizens of 
Strasburg the free enjoyment of the bridge over the Rhine and 
of all the towns, bourgs, villages, and lands that belong to them, 
and will graciously grant the town Letters of Respite against all 
creditors, whether in the Empire or elsewhere. 

Annotation. Granted. 

VIII. His Majesty also grants an Amnesty for all the past, 
both to public and to private persons without any exception, 
and will include in it the Prince Palatine de Veldence [sic\ 9 the 
Count of Nassau, the Resident of his Imperial Majesty, all the 
Hostels [sic], the Brudcrhoff, with their officers, houses, and 
iippurtenances. 

Annotation. Granted. 

IX. It shall be allowable for the town to erect barracks to 
lodge the troops which may be in garrison. 
Annotation. Granted. 

X. The King's troops shall enter the town to-day, September 
30, 1681, at four o'clock in the afternoon. 

Done at Illkirch, this 10 September 1681. 

Signed : De Louvois, 

Joseph de Ponts, Baron de Montclar. 

Jean George de Zedlitz, Esquire and Praetor 
Dominique Dietrich Johann Leonard Froreisen 
Johann Philippe Schmidt Daniel Richshoffer Jonas 
Storr J. Joachim Franz Christoffle Giinzer. 

Various points arising out of the above convention have been 
discussed in an earlier part of this volume (pp. 96 to 98, ante), 
and little need be added here. The description of Louvois in 
the preamble as de Tellier is perhaps merely a slip. His real 
patronymic was Le Tellier, but he may have substituted de for 
le, or a secretary may have done so on the ground that de was 
the customary particle among members of the nobility. The 
German Count of Hanau and the Lord of Flecker) stein referred to 
in Clause I probably held fiefs in Alsace. The Pfenningthurn 
which is mentioned in Clause V may possibly have been some 



800 APPENDIX B 

tower where certain dues or tolls were levied. Some parts of 
Clause VIII are rather obscure. The " Prince Palatine de Vel- 
dence " may have been the Palatine of the Rhine of that period, 
but the words de Veldence are puzzling. There is, however, a 
small place called Veldenz, near Berncastel in the Moselle wine 
country, and some Palatine may have been known by the name 
of the Veldenz lordship. According to "L'Art de verifier les 
Dates" there certainly was an independent House of Veldenz 
in early times. The Count of Nassau who is mentioned may 
well have been William of Orange, afterwards our William III. 
He was a confirmed enemy of Louis XIV, and may have urged 
Strasburg to maintain its independence and even have promised 
assistance to that effect. The Bruderhoff was possibly an associa- 
tion. It is more difficult to suggest an explanation of the ex- 
pression "all the Hostels." Hostels, however, must have 
signified mansions (hotels), not asylums or inns, and the reference 
was possibly to all the nobles dwelling in abodes of this descrip- 
tion. Clause IX may be explained by the town's desire to 
prevent the garrison from being billeted on the inhabitants. 
In Clause X will be found the words, " to-day, September 30," 
whereas immediately afterwards one reads, " Done at Illkirch 
this 10 September." This seeming contradiction may be ac- 
counted for by assuming that the date on which the French 
troops were to enter Strasburg was left blank when the Proposals 
were originally drafted, and inserted in the document when 
everything had been finally agreed upon. 



INDEX 

Note. In the following references the annexed territory of Alsace- 
Lorraine is generally designated by the initials A.-L. Place-names 
are usually given in their French forms, as in the body of the book, 
but the German forms will be found in Appendix A. Gallo- 
Roman names of localities, which changed at different periods 
(for instance, Brigainagus became Brocomagus) are not indexed, 
but many of them will be found in chapter vii, where place-names 
are discussed. 



ABOUT, EDMOND, 34 

Acad6mie Stanislas, 180 

Accession gifts in Lorraine, 165 

Adalric, D. of Alsace, 36 

Adolphus of Nassau, Emp., 74 

Adultery, penalties for, 160 

Aetius, 64 

Agriculture in Lorraine, 176. See 
also Scarcity 

Alans, the, 62, 63 

Albert I, Emp., 78 ; of Alsace, D. of 
Lorraine, 146; Archduke, 230; 
the Rich, 88 

Alemanni, the, 61 et seq., 64, 65 

Alexander II of Russia, 281 ; III, 284 

Alsace, Albert and Gerard of, 146, 
147 ; dukes of, 65, 83, 89 

Alsace, generally, 9, 10 et seq. ; towns 
and noted spots in, 25 et seq. ; its 
history to the Treaty of West- 
phalia, 55 et seq. ; abandoned by 
the Romans, 62 ; from Treaty of 
Westphalia onward, 91 et seq. 
See also Bourbons, Caesar, 
Cholera, Council, Fruit, Germans, 
Hapsburgs, Latin, Man, Minstrels, 
Pagans, Plague, Protestants, Rail- 
ways, Rebellions, Reformation, 
Rivers, Roads, Russia, Scarcity, 
Storks, Vosges, Wines 



Alsace-Lorraine (annexed territory) 
area, 9 ; divisions of, 10, 25, 26 ; 
elections in, 264 ; emigration from, 
268 et seq. ; German garrison in, 
290 ; German officials in, 270, 275 ; 
population, 9, 271, 290; protests 
against annexation, 264 et seq. ; 
religions in, 290 ; revenue of, 290 ; 
under the Germans generally, 267 
et seq. See also Beer, Canals, 
Catholic, Celts, Coal, Conscrip- 
tion, Constitution, Crops, Deputies, 
Dialects, Education, Emigration, 
Forests, Freemasons, French, Fruit, 
Germans, Industries, Iron, Jews, 
Landtag, Language, Latin, Live 
stock, Manufactures, Place-names, 
Prisons, Railways, Rivers, Sieges, 
Textiles, Tobacco, Vosges, Welsch, 
Zones 

Alsatia, Whitefriars, 71 

Alsatians, the, their characteristics, 
98, 106, 107, 198 et seq. ; cos- 
tumes, 200; famous men, 224 et 
seq. ; their attachment to France, 
226 ; penalized for joining the 
French army, 262; as German 
conscripts, 270, 271 ; their first 
deputies in the Reichstag, 277 
et seq. 



301 



302 



INDEX 



Alt Breisach, 60, 214, 248 

Altkirch, 45 

Andlau, 37 

Anjou, its rulers, 147, 148 

Anna Ivanovna, Empress, 168 

Annexation of A.-L., 205, 229, 264 



Anthony, D. of Lorraine, 34, 81, 149 

Apponyi, Ct., 126 

Apremont, Mile, d', 155 

Argensons, the d', 107 

Ariovistus, 57 et seq., 214 

Armagnacs in Alsace, 79 

Arminius, 59 

Army recruits in Lorraine, 177, 189 

Arnoul or Arnulf, Emp., 144 

Ars-sur-Moselle, 21, 261 

Articles for the union of Strasburg, 

96 et seq., 297 et seq. 
Attila, 64, 145, 218 
Augsburg League, 104. See also 

Treaties 

Augustus, Emp., 59 
Augustus II of Saxony, 167 ; III, 

167, 168 

Aurelian, Emp., 61 
Austrasia, 65, 173 
Austria threatens to seize Alsace, 

126; in '70, 230 

BACCARAT, glass-works, 162, 186, 260 

Bach, Herr, 276 

Balfour of Burleigh, Lord, 272 

Ballons of the Vosges, 14 

Ban de la Roche, 35, 36, 109 

Baner, Gl. J. G., 84 

Bar, county, later duchy, 145, 147, 172 

Baraguey d'Hilliers, Ml., 244, 252 

Barr, town, 37, 38, 259 

Barras, Paul de, 114 

Bartholdi, F. A., 30, 39, 258 

Basle, 13, 60, 80, 95, 96, 111, 134 

Baum, pastor, 138 

Bavaria annexes Landau region, 191, 

193, 194 
Bazaine, Achille, Ml., 48, 234, 235, 

252 to 255 

Beauharnais, Gl. Alex, de, 111 
Beer in A.-L. and Bavaria, 20 



Belfort, 10, 13, 121 et seq., 208, 255, 

269; sieges of , 256 to 258 
Belgium, the neutrality of, 5 to 8, 

236, 291 

Belle-Isle, Ml. de, 49 
Benedetti, Ct., 6, 7 
Bernard of Saxe-Weimar, 83 
Besanyon, 58, 111 
Bethmann-Hollweg, Dr. v., 288 
Beyer, Gl. v., 237 
Bicentenary of Alsatian union with 

France, 128 

Biedermann, Prof., 127 
Bischer, a veteran, 262 
Bishops, of Lower Lorraine, 146. 

See also Metz and Strasburg 
Bishoprics,the Three, 47, 149, 151, 163 
Bismarck, Pr. v., 5 to 8, 130, 134, 

196, 206, 210, 228 to 230, 238, 

252, 258, 267 et seq., 276, 277, 279 

to 282, 284 

Bismarck-Bohlen, Ct. v., 276 
Bitche, 52, 53, 177, 231, 232; its 

siege in '70, 248 et seq. 
Blanc, Louis, 265, 266 
Blasphemy, penalties for, 160, 161 
Boeck, R., 138, 205, 206 
Bonhomme, Le, 40 
Bonnin, Herr v., 260, 261 
Bossier, L., 214 
Boufflers, Chev. de, 188; Marq. de, 

181 

Bouille, Marq. de, 188, 189 
Boulanger, GL, 282 to 284 
Boulay de la Meurthe, A. and H., 194 
Bourbaki, Gl., 263 
Bourbons, Catherine de, 152 ; D. de, 

105 ; unpopular in Alsace, 120, 121 
Bouxieres, chapter of, 187 
Bouxwiller, 34 
Boyer, Gl., 253 
Brabant, duchy of, 145 
Brachycephalic skulls, 144, 202 
Breisach, Brisach, see Alt and Neuf 
Brendel, Bp. of Strasburg, 110 
Brignon affair, 285 
Broglie, Ml. de, 107 
Bruat, Adm., 39, 224 
Brumath, 60, 213 



INDEX 



303 



Bruno, Abp., 145, 146 
Brunswick, D. of, 111 
Burgundians, the, 63 
Burgundy, D. of, see Charles the Rash 



JULIUS, in Alsace, 57 et seq. 
Callot, Jacques, 153 
Calonne, C. A. de, 115 
Canals in A.-L., 12, 13, 126 
Canrobert, Ml., 234 
Cantecroix, Beatrix de, 155 
Capet, Beatrix, 145 ; Eudes, 67 ; 

Hugh, 145, 146 
Caracalla, Emp., 61 
Carlos, K. of Naples, 168, 170 
Carnot, Lazare, 190 
Caron, Col., 123 
Carrel, Armand, 121 
Catherine the Great, 45 
Catholic clergy in A.-L., 99, 103, 121, 

126, 157, 160, 161, 186, 192, 277 
Catholic League, 151 
Cavaignac, Gl., 129, 195 
Cazeaux, Abbe, 138, 206 
Celts in A.-L., 56 et seq., 65, 66 213, 

214 

Cer^ay documents, 229 
Cernay, 43, 83 

Chalons, battle, 64 ; camp, 196 
Chambres de Reunion, 92, 93 
Chamilly, Ct. de, 94 et seq., 102 
Chanzy, Gl., 263 
Chapters of noble ladies, 187 
Charlemagne, his empire, 28, 46, 47, 

65,66 

Charles of Anjou, 147 
Charles the Bald, Emp., 47, 66 ; the 

Fat, 38, 67 ; IV, 74 ; V, 47, 48, 81, 

149, 150, 151 ; VI, 87, 165, 167, 

168, 171 ; VII, 176 
Charles the Bold of Lorraine, 147 ; 

the Great or III, 150, 151, 152, 157 ; 

IV, 153, 154 et seq. ; V, 156 ; 

Cardinal, 82 ; Prince, 164, 167, 176 
Charles the Rash of Burgundy, 46, 

79, 80, 149 
Charles the Simple of France, 67, 68, 

144 ; X, 123, 124 
Charles XII of Sweden, 168, 172 



Charles Edward, see Pretender 
Charles Martel, 65 
Chateauroux, Dss. de, 106, 159, 178 
Chateau-Salins, 53, 54, 186, 223 
Chateau vieux Switzers, 189 
Chatelet, Mme. du, 182 
Chatterers' Stone, 44 
Cheese of Miinster, etc., 20 
Chevaux, grands, see Chivalry 
Chivalry of Lorraine, 147, 181, 225, 

226 

Chnodomir, 62 
Choiseul, D. de, 70 
Choiseul-Stainville, Ml. de, 107, 185 
Cholera in Alsace, 130 
Christina of Saxony, 182 
Church Councils at Metz, 159, 160 
Cities, free, see Free 
Civilis, his rebellion, 59 
Claude of Lorraine, 153, 154, 156 
Clemenceau, George, 266 
Clergy, see Catholic 
Clothaire, 65 
Clovis, 28, 64, 218 
Coal in A.-L., 21, 44 
Colmar, 17, 23, 38, 39, 40, 122, 247 
Commercy, 163, 171 
Conde, Louis II, Pr. de, 85, 91 
Confederation, Rhenish, 71 
Conrad I, K. of Germany, 68; the 

Red, 145 

Conradin (Conrad V), 72 
Conscription in A.-L., 270, 271 ; in 

France, 118 

Constans II, Emp., 61, 62 
Constant, Benj., 121 
Constantia, Pr., 72 
Constantino, Chlorus, 61 ; the Great, 

61 

Constitution of A.-L., 288, 289 
Contades, Ml. de, 31, 107 
Cosmo III of Tuscany, 168 
Coucy, Enguerrand VII de, 76, 77 ; 

castle, 76 

Council of Alsace, 105. See Church 
Coup d'Etat, Louis Napoleon's, 130, 

131, 195 

Court, see Sovereign 
Cowell, H. J., 275 



304 



INDEX 



Crimea and penalties in Lorraine, 160, 

161, 187 
Crops in A.-L., 19, 20. See also 

Scarcity 

DALLWITZ, Dr. v., 288, 289 
Daniel, William I as, 49, 50 
Decapolis League, 74, 75 
Decentius, 62 
Decker, Gl. v., 238 
Deimling, Gl. v., 290 
Denfert-Rochereau, Col., 256, 257, 

264 
Deputies of A.-L. in '71, 264; at 

Reichstag in '74, 277, 279 
Derby, Earl of, 281 
Deroulede, Paul, 282 
Desaix, Gl., 30 
Dettingen, battle, 177 
Dialects: Picard, 204; in Alsace, 

208 et seq., 217, 218, 221; in 

Lorraine, 204, 218, 219 
Dietrich. Dominique, 92 et seq., 100, 

103, 104, 299 ; Philippe de, Baron, 

30,33,52,109,110,111 
Dieuze, 53, 54, 176, 212 
Disraeli, B., 5 
Dolichocephalic skull, 144 
Dolmen in the Vosges, 56 
Domremy, 184 
Doraach, 43 
Douay, Gl. Abel, 231 
Dubarry, Mme., 174 
Ducrot, GL, 236 
Dufour, Gl., 133 
Dupont de 1'Eure, 121 
Dukes of Alsace, 67, 68 ; of Lorraine, 

145, 146, 147. See also their 

respective names 

EDUCATION in A.-L., 157, 161, 180, 
185, 221 to 223, 268, 273, 274, 280 

Edict of Nantes, 99, 103 

Edward III of England, 77 

Eguisheim, 41, 55 

Ehrenvest, see Ariovistus 

Eleanor, Dss. of Lorraine, 164, 166 

Elizabeth-Charlotte, Dss. of Lorraine, 
157, 164 to 167, 171 



Emigration, see Alsace-Lorraine 
Emigres, French, 110, 112, 188 
Empire, Holy Roman, dignities in, 

170 

Engelburg castle, 42 
English invaders of A.-L., alleged, 

75,76 

Ensisheim, 39, 42, 91, 105 
Epinal, 189 
Erasmus, 74 

Erekmann-Chatrian, 139, 140, 246 
Ernsthausen, Prefect, 276 
Erstein, 38, 259 
Exelmans, Adm., 232 

FABERT, Ml., 49 
Faidherbe, Gl., 263 
Failly, Gl. de, 231, 232, 248 
Falcandus quoted, 72 
Favre, Jules, 130, 206, 228 
Federation of the Rhine, 110. See 

also Confederation 
Fenestrange, 52, 212 
Ferdinand II, Emp., 84 ; III, 83, 84, 

85, 87, 90 

Ferdinand Charles, Landgrave, 87, 88 
Ferrette, 45, 46, 87 ; counts of, 77, 

78, 147, 255 

Ferry I of Bar and Lorraine, 145 
Fleury, D. de, 174 
Flourens, Leopold, 283, 284 
Fontenoy village, 261 
Forbach engagement, 232 
Forbin-Janson, Bp., 192 
Force, D. de La, 153 
Forests, Alsatian, 15, 16 
Forstner, Lieut., 287, 288 
Fortresses by Vauban, 26, 51, 53, 102 
Foy, GL, 121 
France, Alsatian attachment to, 226 ; 

building up of, 2 ; emigration from, 

272, 273 ; in the Thirty Years' War, 
. 82 et seq. ; material prosperity of, 

134 to 136. See also French 
Francis I of Lorraine, 150 ; II, 153 ; 

III, 165, 166 et seq., 169, 170, 171 
Francis Stephen, see Francis III 
Francs-tireurs, 247, 248, 260, 262, 265 
Franks, the, 64, 65, 67 



INDEX 



805 



Frederick I (Barbarossa) Emp., 71, 

88; 11,71 

Frederick, Cr. Pr. of Prussia, 231, 234 
Frederick Charles of Prussia, Pr., 234, 

253, 260 
Frederick William III of Prussia, 132 ; 

IV, 132 et seq. 
Free cities, 71, 74, 79, 98 
Freemasons of A.-L., 276 
French language in A.-L., 105, 106, 

125, 140, 221 to 223, 274, 276 
Frischmann, envoy, 93 
Frossard, GL, 52, 231, 232 
Fruit in Alsace, 16 
Fiirstenberg, F. E. v., Bp., 93, 101 ; 

Wilhelm, Bp., 101 

GALAIZIEBE, Chaumont de La, 174 
to 180, 184 

Gambetta, Leon, 141, 263, 264, 266 

Garibaldi, 263 

Gauzer, see Giinzer 

Gavard, M., 281 

George II of Grt.-Brit., 164, 176 

Gerard of Alsace, 146 

Germanicus, 59 

Germans : their claims to A.-L., 138, 
139, 205 ; their early invasions of 
A.-L., 57 i seq., 214, 216, 218, 220, 
221 ; their exactions, thefts, out- 
rages, tyranny, etc., in A.-L., 259, 
260, 261, 263, 290 ; their language 
in A.-L., 105, 274 ; hated in A.-L., 
223, 226 ; their officials in A.-L., 
270, 275; planted in A.-L., 269 
et seq., 275 

Geroldseck, W. of, Bp., 72 

Gladstone, W. E., 56 

Glass-workers of Lorraine, 149 

Goblet, Rene, 283 

Goddess Reason, 112 

Gordon, Mme., 125 

Gratian, Emp., 62 

Gravelotte battle, 234 

Great Britain and Alsace (1814), 120 ; 
and Belgium (1870), 5, 6 ; and war 
of 1870-71, 4 to 8 

Gregoire, Abbe, 190 

Gregory IV, Pope, 66 



Grosjean, J., 264, 265 
Guebwiller, 14, 23, 42 
Guises, the, 48, 151, 152, 225 
Guizot, 126 
Giinzer, 93, 96, 299 
Gustavus Adolphus, 82 
Gutenberg, 29, 240 

HAGENBACH, P. v., 80 
Haguenau, 32, 71, 111, 260 
Hanau, Ct. of, 299 
Hapsburgs and Alsace, 69, 77, 78, 86 ; 

their lineage, 88, 89. See also 

names of Emperors 
Harcourt, Henri, Ct. d', 70 
Hartmannsweiler Peak, 15, 43 
Helvetus, 60 
Henri II of France, 47, 150, 151 ; 

III, 151, 152 ; IV, 152 
Henry I (the Fowler), Emp., 68 ; IV, 

68 ; VI, 69, 72 
Herbette, M., 284 
Hermann (Arminius), 59 
Herrade, Abbess, 32 
Hohenlohe, Pr. C. v., 289 ; Langen- 

burg, 289 

Hohenstaufens, the, 68, 72 
Hohenburg Abbey, 32 
Hohenzollern, John George of, 82 
Honorius, Emp., 62 
Horburg fight, 60, 247 
Horn, Ct. Gustavus, 82, 83 
Huck, Comt., 251 
Hugh, D. of Alsace, 67, 144 
Hugo, GL Sigisbert, and Victor, 224, 

265, 266 

Huninge'n (Huningue), 22 
Huns, the, 63, 64, 145, 218 

ILL, river, 11, 12 

Illkirch, 97 

Industries, modern, in A.-L., 18, 21, 

22 

Iron and other ores in A.-L., 21 
Isabella, Dss. of Lorraine, 147, 148 
Italy in '70, 230 

JABLONOWSKA, Ctss., 181 
Jacqueminot, Col., 193 

U 



306 



INDEX 



Jews in A.-L., 290 ; in Lorraine 
formerly, 182 ; at Metz, 158, 159 ; 
at Strasburg, 75 
Joan of Arc, 53, 184, 197 
Joan of Ferrette, 78 
John, D. of Lorraine, 149 
John Gaston de' Medici, 168, 170 
John George of Hoheuzollem, 82 
Joseph II, Emp., 170 
Josephine, Empress, 31, 111 
Julian, Emp., 62 

KBHL (Baden), 27, 92, 239, 242 
Keller-Haas, deputy, 264, 265 
Kerhor, Col. de, 248 
Kestner, deputy, 131 
Kiel Canal, 238 
Kiepert, Heinrich, 205 
Kitchener, Lord. 4 
Klapperstein, the, 44 
Kleber, Gl., 29, 43 
Koechlins, the, 22, 23, 115, 121 
Kiiss, M., 254, 264 

LAFAYETTE, Gl. de, 122, 123 

Laloubere, Marq. de, 92 

Lambertye, Marq. de, 164 

Lambessa, 195, 196 

Landau, 190 

Landgraves of Alsace, 68, 69, 70 

Landtag of A.-L., 288, 289 

Landvogts of Alsace, 69, 70 

Language in A.-L., 203 et seq., 212 et 
seq. 

Larevelliere-Lepeaux, 114 

Latin language in A.-L., 213 to 218 

Lauth, M., 276 

Lavalette, Card, de, 84 

Laveau, Jacobin, 112 

Leagues : of Augsburg, 104 ; French 
Catholic, 151 ; French League of 
Patriots, 282, 285; Patriotic 
League of Alsatian-Lorrainers, 272. 
See also Confederation, Decapolis, 
and Federation 

Lebas, Joseph, 113 

Lecourbe, GL, 256 

Leczinski, see Stanislas 



Leczinska, Marie, Q. of France, 167, 
183, 184 

Lefebvre, Ml., 41 

Le Flo, GL, 281 

Legrand, Major, 256 

Leo IX, Pope, 41 

Leopold I, Emp., 86, 98, 156, 165 ; 
II, 170 

Leopold of Austria, Landgrave of 
Alsace, 77 

Leopold, D. of Lorraine, 156, 157, 
158, 163, 164 

Leopold William of Austria, Bp. of 
Strasburg, 88, 89, 93 

"Lettres Portugaises," 94 

Lezay-Marnezia, M. de, 119, 120 

Lichtenberg, John of, Bp., 69 

Liege, duchy of, 145 

Lion of Belfort, 258 

L'Isle, see Rouget 

Live stock in A.-L., 20 

Livingstone, Dr., 282 

Lix, Antoinette, 247 

Lobau, ML, 193 

Lomenie de Brienne, 187 

Longwy, 154, 156, 163 ; siege in '70, 
249, 250 

Lorraine : its name, 47 ; kingdom of, 
10, 66, 67, 143, 144 ; duchy of, 145, 
146, 150 ; Lower, 146 ; geographi- 
cally, 10, 11, 18, 203; old-time 
economic conditions in, 156, 162 ; 
assimilated to France, 157 ; bar- 
tered for Tuscany, 169 ; ducal 
revenues in, 167, 174 ; accession 
of Stanislas in, 172 ; united to 
France, 184, 185. See also Army, 
Chivalry, Crimes, Dialects, Manu- 
factures, Nobility, Population, 
Potatoes, Republicanism, Revo- 
lution, Rivers, Scarcity, Sovereign 
Court, Taxation, Witches 

Lorrainers, physically, 202 ; famous, 
224 et seq. ; attached to their 
dukes, 165, 166, 171 ; penalized 
for joining the French Army, 262 

Lothair I, Emp. of the West, 47, 66 

Lothair II, King of Lotharingia, 47, 
66, 143, 144 






INDEX 



307 



Louis I (le Debonnaire), Emp., 66 ; 

(the Germanic), 47, 66, 67, 143, 

144 ; IV (the Child), 67 
Louis XI of France, 79 ; XIII, 153 ; 

XIV, 40, 70, 84, 85, 87, 88, 97, 99, 
101, 103, 104, 105, 155, 156, 162 ; 

XV, 115, 159, 167, 170, 171, 174, 
178, 181 ; XVI, 107, 108, 111, 188 

Louis Philippe, K. of the French, 124, 

125, 128, 193, 194 
Louis of Anjou, 148 
Louis, Card, and D. of Bar, 147 
Louis, Baron, 193, 194 
Louvois, Marq. de, 94 to 97, 100, 101, 

297 et seq. 
Luckner, Ml., 31 
Ludres, Ctss. de, 155 
Ludwig, see Louis 

Luneville, 163, 173, 181, 182, 186, 269 
Luxemburg, duchy, 7 

MACMAHON, Ml. de, 195, 231, 232, 

234 to 236, 255, 281 
Maintenon, Mme. de, 103 
Maizidres, 50 

Man, prehistoric, in Alsace, 55, 56 
Mancini, Hortense, 70, 87 ; Marie, 

156 

Mansfeld, Ct., 82 
Manteuffel, Ml. v., 289 
Manuel, E., 121 
Manufactures in A.-L., 21 et seq., 43, 

44, 50, 51, 63, 54; in Lorraine 

formerly, 162, 186i 
Marechal, M., 254 
Maria Theresa, Empress, 87, 168, 170, 

176, 177 

Marie, heiress of Burgundy, 80 
Marie Antoinette, Q., 107, 115, 170 
Marie Josephe, Dauphiness, 107, 115 
Marmoutier, 34 
" Marseillaise," the, 30, 31 
Masseraux, 45 

Maximianus Hercules, Emp., 61 
Maximilian I, Emp., 80 
Maximilian of Mexico, 132 
Maximinus, Emp., 61 
Mazarin, Card., 70, 87, 88 ; Duke, 70 
Mazeppa, 172 



Medici, last of the, 170 

Menzel the Pandour, 106, 177 

Mercie, A., 258 

Mercy, Ct., 85 

Merovius, 64 

Mertens, Gl. v., 238 

Metternich, Prince, 126 

Metz, 46, 149 to 151, 159, 177, 178, 

185, 187, 190, 213, 218, 223; 

Jews at, 158, 159 ; patois of, 218, 

219; siege of, in 1552, 48; in 

1870, 235, 237, 252 et seq. 
M6zieres, 151 

Minstrels and musicians, 40 
Mirecourt, 191 
Moeller, Dr. v., 276 
Molsheim, 35 
Moltke, Ct. v., 206 
Monet, Jacobin, 112 to 114 
Montbeliard, Counts of, 147 
Montclar, Gl. de, 92, 94, 101, 297 et 

seq. 

Montecuculli, 91 
Montmedy, 250 
Montpensier, Mile, de, 156 
Morsbronn, 232 
Moselle, the, 12, 18 
Mudra, Gl. v., 290 
Mulhouse, 22, 23, 43 to 45, 74, 75, 

86, 115, 118, 119, 124, 247 ; united 

to France, 114 et seq. 
Munster in Alsace, 20, 41 
Munster in Westphalia, 85 ; see also 

Treaties 
Murbach Abbey, 42 

NABERT, Prof., 205 

Names, see Place 

Nancy, 149, 154, 162, 180, 185, 186, 
188, 213 ; during war of 1870, 233, 
260, 269 

Nantes, edict of, 99, 103, 158, 161 

Napoleon I, 118, 119, 120, 129, 137, 
159, 169, 190, 191 ; III, 3 to 8, 
124, 125, 129 et seq., 132, 134, 137, 
195, 196, 228 to 231, 233, 235, 236 

Napoleon Jerome, Pr., 137 

Nationalities, principle of, 1 et seq., 1 

Neuf-Brisach, 41, 105, 121, 248 



308 



INDEX 



Neufchateau (Vosges), 189 

Neufchatel (Switzerland), 132 to 134 

Ney, Ml., 49, 191, 192 

Nicholas, D. of Lorraine, 149 

Nicholas Francis, Card., D. of Lor- 
raine, 153, 154, 156 

Nicole, Dss. of Lorraine, 152 to 155 

Niederbronn, 52 

Nimeguen, see Treaties 

Nobility fees in Lorraine, 163. See 
also Chivalry 

Ndrdlingen, 83, 85 

OBEELIN, J. F., pastor, 35, 36 ; J. J., 
scholar, 35, 210 

Ochsenfeld, 17, 66, 83 

Old Regime in France, 107, 174, 185 

Opalinska, Catherine, 173, 177, 183 

Option, see Alsace-Lorraine, emi- 
gration 

Orbey, 40, 209 

Orleans, Gaston, D. of, 153 ; Philip I, 
D. of, 166 

Osnabriick, 85, 86 

Ossolinska, Dss., 185 

Otto I (the Great), Emp., 145; 
11,47 

Otton, Dr. Mark, 90 

PAGANS' Walls, 37, 56 

Pajol, GL, 235, 236 

Pajot, Marianne, 155 

Palatine, Princess, 166 

Palikao, Gl. Ct. de, 235 

Palissot de Montenoy, 182 

Pandours, 106, 177 

Pan-Germanists, 142, 143 

Paris libelled, 138, 139 ; fall of, 263 

Parlements of Metz, Nancy, etc., 185, 

187 

Pasteur, L., 225 
Peace of 1871, 9, 264 to 266 
Pelle, Gl., 231 
Pepin the Short, K., 65 
Persigny, D. de, 125 
Petermann, Herr, 205 
Petite-Pierre, La, 53, 233 
Pfister, C., on language in A.-L., 207 

et seq. 



Phalsbourg, 53, 190 ; siege of, in 1870, 

232, 233, 246 

Philip I of Swabia, Emp., 71 
Philip IV, of Spain, 87 
Pius VII, Pope, 119 ; IX, 278 
Place-names in A.-L., 60, 212 etseq., 

219, 220, 293 to 296 
Plague, the black, 75 
Plebiscitum impossible in A.-L., 271 

to 273 

Plombieres, 180 
Plunder, German, 259 
Poland, 126, 167, 168, 169 
Pont-a-Mousson university, 157, 180, 

185 
Population of A.-L., 9, 271, 274, 290 ; 

of Lorraine in old times, 156, 162, 

185 

Posthumus, Emp., 61 
Potatoes in Lorraine, 164 
Pouget, M., deputy, 279 
Poultroie, La, 40, 60 
Poussay Abbey, 155, 187 
Pouyer-Quertier, 269 
Prehistoric man, see Man 
Pretender, the young, 163, 181 
Prisons, new German, in A.-L., 275 
Probus, Emp., 61 
Pron, Baron, 241 
Protest of A.-L. against German 

annexation, 264 et seq. 
Protestants in Alsace, 81, 82, 84, 86, 

93, 99, 100, 103, 105, 108, 119, 121 
Prussia, in relation to Belgium, 5 to 

7; claims Alsace (1814), 120; 

annexes Sarre valley, 191 ; seizes 

German States, 196 ; her claims on 

Neufchatel, 132 et seq. 
Prussianism, growth of, 239 
Public Safety Law, French, 195 
Pultava battle, 172 

QUINET, E., 265, 266 

RACE and Language, 203 et seq. 
Raess, Bp. of Strasburg, 277 to 280 
Railways in A.-L., 13, 14 ; first ones 

in Alsace, 126 
Rambervillers, 220, 258 



INDEX 



309 



Rapp, Gl. Ct., 39 

Rastadt, see Treaties 

Rebellions in Alsace, 33, 34, 80, 81 

Reformation in Alsace, 81 

Regnier, 253 

Reichstag, German, 267 et seq., 277 

to 280, 288 

Reinach, Comt. de, 247, 248 
Remiremont Abbey, 187, 220 
Renard, Ct., 260, 261 
Rene I (the "good king"), D. of 

Lorraine, 147 to 149 ; II, 149, 180, 

184 

Republic, second French, 128 to 130 
Republicanism in Lorraine, 195 
Renter, Col. v., 286, 287 
Revenues of A.-L., 289, 290 ; ducal, 

in Lorraine, 167, 174 
Revolution, first French, in Alsace, 

108 et seq. ; in Lorraine, 188 et seq. ; 

of 1848, 128 
Revolutionary Tribunal at Strasburg, 

112, 113; at Mirecourt, 191; in 

Paris, 111, 112, 113 
Rewbell, J. F., 109, 114 
Rhine, the, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18; 

Roman fortresses on, 60 
Ribeaupierre, lords of, 40 
Ribeauville, 40 
Ricardis, Empress, 38 
Richard Coeur de Lion, 32, 69 
Richelieu, Card., 82 to 84, 153, 154 
Rigny, Adm. de, 224 
Rivers of Alsace, 11, 12, 15 ; of 

Lorraine, 18 

Roads, Roman, in Alsace, 60 
Robert, D. of Bar, 147 
Robertsau, 259 
Robespierre, 113 
Robber knights, 70 
Rochambeau, Ml. Ct. de, 107 
Roche, see Ban 
Rcedern, Ct. v., 288, 289 
Rohan, Cardinals de, 34, 106, 110 
Romans in Alsace, 56 et seq. ; their 

forts and roads, 60 
Roudolphi, M. E., 272, 290 
Rouffach, 41 
Rouget de lisle, 30, 31 



Rougemont, 59 

Rudolph of Hapsburg, 72 to 74 

Ruffach, 41 

Russia opposes Prussian demand for 
Alsace (1814), 120; supports 
France against Bismarck (1875), 
282 

Rustauds, their rebellion, 33, 34, 81 

SAINT-DIE, 180, 185, 269 

Saint- Just, L. de, 113 

Saint-Louis, 147 

Saint Odilia, 36, 37 

Saint-Privat, 234 

Saint-Simon, D. de, 95 

Sainte-Croix-aux-Mines, 221 

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, 209, 221 

Salt in A.-L., 20, 21, 186 

Sans-Gene, Mme., 41 

Sarre river, and its valley, 11, 12, 18, 

191, 193, 194, 212, 269 
Sarrealben, 51 
Sarrebourg, 51 
Sarrebruck, 51, 231 
Sarreguemines, 51 
Sarrelouis, 51, 156, 190 to 193 
Sarreunion, 52 
Saverne, 33, 34, 60, 81, 83, 215; 

affair at, 286 et seq. 
Saxe, Ml., 29, 107 
Saxe- Weimar, Bernard of, 83 
Scarcity in Alsace, 115, 116, 120, 127 ; 

in Lorraine, 175, 176, 178, 179 
Schad, Lieut., 286, 287 
Scheffer, Ary and Henry, 122 
Schlestadt, 38 ; siege in '70, 247 
Schmeling, Gl. v., 247, 248 
Schnsebele affair, 283 
Schneider, Eulogius, 110, 112, 113 
Schools in A.-L., see Education 
Schwabs, 98 

Schwcerbrief Constitution, 73 
Seasons, bad, see Scarcity 
Second French Empire founded, 130 

et seq. 

Sedan battle, 8, 235, 236 
Seille, river, 18 
Seltz, 60, 213 
Sicily, Germans in, 72 



310 



INDEX 



Sieges in 1870-71, see, Belfort, Bitche, 
Longwy, Metz, Montmedy, Neuf- 
Brisach, Phalsbourg, Schlestadt, 
Strasburg, Thionville, Toul 

Sigismund of Hapsburg, Landgrave, 
79, 80 

Sigismund Francis, Archduke, 88 

Smalkalde League, 81 

Sophia of Bar, 147 

Soultz, 41 

Sovereign Court of Lorraine, 154, 179, 
185 

Speckle, D., 102 

Spicheren. the, 52 

Stanislas, King, D. of Lorraine, 167, 
168, 169, 172 et seq. ; his benefac- 
tions, 180; his mistresses and Court, 
181 ; his tragic death, 183, 184 

Stanley, Sir H. M., 282 

States General, of 1780, 108, 188 

Stephany on the Germans in A.-L., 
285, 286 

Stilicho, 62, 63 

Stipulations of Strasburg' s union 
with France, 297 et seq. 

Storks in Alsace, 226 

Strasburg, 25 to 32, 59, 60, 71 et seq., 
75, 93, 126, 128, 190, 216 ; -battle 
of, 62 ; bishops of, 69, 72, 81, 82, 
86, 88, 89, 93, 105, 106 ; cathedral 
of, 27, 28, 240, 241, 298 ; church 
of St. Thomas at, 29 ; constitution 
of, 73, 74, 109 ; library of, 32, 240 ; 
siege of (1870), 233, 237 et seq., 
244, 245, 268 ; united to France, 
91 et seq., 97, 99, 100, 297 et seq. ; 
university of, 27, 31, 32, 222, 225, 
273, 274, 280 

Swabians, the, 57 

Swedes in Alsace, 82 to 85 

Swentibold, 67, 144 

Switzerland and the Swiss, 11, 44, 
46, 75, 80, 89, 114, 115, 133, 134, 
189, 241, 257 

TAILLANT, Com., 246, 247 
Tastu, Mme., 30, 31 
Taxation in Alsace, 108 ; in Lorraine 
and Bar, 162, 175, 176, 179, 184 



Tessier, Col., 248, 249 

Teutsch, M., deputy, 278 

Textiles in A.-L., 22 to 24 

Thann, 42, 43 

Thiers, Adolphe, 141, 206, 208, 252, 
258, 269 

Thionville, 50, 51, 204, 212 ; siege in 
'70, 250, 254 

Thirty Years' War, 82 et seq. 

Thouvenel, M., 193 

Three Bishoprics, see Bishoprics 

Tiberius, Emp., 59 

Tobacco in A.-L., 18, 19, 119, 259 

Tolbiac battle, 64 

Toul, 47, 149 to 151, 160 ; siege in 
'70, 251, 252 

Treaties : Augsburg, 81, 86 ; Mersen, 
67 ; Minister, see Westphalia ; 
Nimeguen, 86, 92, 297 ; Osna- 
briick, 86; Passau, 86; the 
Pyrenees, 87, 154, 156 ; Rastadt, 
86 ; Ratisbon (truce), 103 ; Rys- 
wick, 86, 87, 104, 105, 156; 
Verdun, 66 ; Westphalia (Minister), 
85 et seq., 151, 154, 297 

Treves, Archbps. of, 146, 159 

Treskow, Gl. v., 257 

Tribocci Germans, 57, 59, 214 

Turenne, ML, 39, 85, 86, 91 

Turkheim, 86, 91 

Tuscany, 88, 168 to 170 

UHBICH, GL, 237 et seq. 
Urban VIII, Pope, 155 

VALENTIN, Edmond, 131, 241 to 243, 

245 

Valentinian I, Emp., 62, 63 
Vandals, the, 62, 63 
Vauban, Ml., 26, 51, 53, 102 
Vaudrey, Col., 125 
Veldence or Veldenz, Palatin de, 299, 

300 
Verdun, 47, 66, 146, 149 to 151, 186 ; 

siege in '70, 250, 251 
Victoria, Queen, 3, 4 
Villars, Ml., 104 
Vineyards, in A.-L., 16 to 19 
Visigoths, the, 63, 64 



INDEX 



311 



Voltaire, 182 

mountains, 
volunteers, 189 



10, 14, 15 ; 



WAGNER, Wolf, 224 

Waldersbach, Gl. de, 250 

Waldreda, 144 

Walewski, Ct., 134, 137 

Wallenstein, 84 

Wars : Augsburg, 104 ; Austrian 
succession, 106, 159, 176; Polish 
succession, 168 ; Spanish succes- 
sion, 104 ; Seven Years', 178 ; 
Thirty Years', 82 et seq. ; Revolu- 
tionary, 109, 111, 113 ; Napoleonic, 
120; Franco-German (1870-71), 
4, 5 et seq., 50, 52, 53, 85, 140, 141, 
228 to 266 

War scares (1875-87), 281 et seq. 

Wasselonne, 35 

Wedel, Ct. v., 287, 288 

Welsch villages in A.-L., 209 et seq. 



Werder, Gl. v., 237 et seq., 240 to 242, 

244 

Wesserling, 43 
William I., Germ. Emp., 132, 262; 

II, 49, 58 

William of Orange, 104, 300 
Wimpffen, Gl. de, 236 
Wines of Alsace, 17, 40 
Wissembourg, 32, 33, 111 ; battle, 

231 

Witches in Lorraine, 161 
W5rth, battle, 33, 231, 232 ; counts 

of, 68, 69 
Wurmser, Ml., 111,224 

YOUNG, Arthur, 176 

ZABERN, see Saverne 
" Zadig," Voltaire's, 182 
Zones of Alsace, 14 et seq. 
Zorn-Bulach, v., 287, 288 
Zwei-Brticken, D. of, 40 



FEINTED AT THE COMPLETE PRESS 

WEST NORWOOD 

LONDON 



RETURN CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT 
TO* 202 Main Library 


LOAN PERIOD 1 
HOME USE 


2 


3 


4 


5 


6 



8 



ALL BOOKS MAY BE RECALLED AFTER 7 DAYS 

1 -month loans may be renewed by calling 642-3405 

6-month loans may be recharged by bringing books to Circulation 

Desk 

Renewals and recharges may be made 4 days prior to due date 



-OWE AS STAMPED BELOW 


DEC 81978 




I 


RFC r C1R. DEC 3 


1978 






































I 


















1 








UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY 
FORM NO. DD6, 40m, 3/78 BERKELEY, CA 94720 

HW&SSKV^B^^^^HflBHft 



re 37748