Page 3460

3460 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

At first the people expected that the

retreat would be short, that a stand would

soon be made; but as day after day went

by and the armies still fell back, anxiety

deepened. Outwardly the French strove

to keep up their confidence and courage,

but secretly each man was asking himself,

"Is it to be 1870 over again? Are the

Germans indeed irresistible ?''

On the 27th, it was announced that the

Government had been reconstituted as

a Government of National Defense, with

the strong men of the country, of every

party, in it, under the continued premiership of M. Viyiani. M. Miller and became

minister of war, and the energetic General

Gallieni was made military governor of

Paris. Feverish work at the fortifications

of the city, the bringing in of large quantities of provisions, including vast herds

of cattle, which were put into the public

parks, looked ominous and seemed to

foretell a siege. Long trains filled with

wounded were moving southward, and,

though most of these were sent round the

city, still the facts became known. One

day a convoy of British wounded arrived

in the Nord Station and provoked a great

outburst of sympathy from the grateful

French.

On August 30th, the first of a series

of air raids took place. On that day a

a German "Taube" circled over the city,

amid a storm of bullets, and dropped

five bombs and a message, which read:

"The German army is at the Gates

of Paris-you can do nothing but surrender."

The Government now hastily removed

the capital to Bordeaux, and a vast exodus

of private citizens from the threatened

city took place. The railways, already

overtaxed by military demands, could

do little toward moving the multitudes

who sought safety in flight, and the public

highways leading southward were choked

with hundreds of thousands of fugitives,

of every sex and class, on foot and in every

conceivable vehicle. Along one road, that

from Paris to Tours,.were "sixty unbroken

miles of people." Elegant, delicate women,

wearing high-heeled shoes, poor old women

from the attics, boy students, shop girls,

grandfathers and grandmothers leaning

on the shoulders of their grandchildren,

mothers carrying new-born babies, every

conceivable kind of person except those

able to be soldiers, made up the vast torrent fleeing from the great city.

Meanwhile, the invaded portions of

France were suffering what Belgium had

already suffered. Again the story of the

German atrocities is much too long to

be told in detail, and only a few episodes

can be mentioned.

At Braine-le-Compte and Soignies, in

Hainault, a number of houses were burnt.

At Obourg a lunatic asylum, which contained 200 women patients, was set on

fire. At Nimy the Germans plundered

and massacred, and burned 84 houses.

Seventeen of the inhabitants, including

four women, were killed. Others were

driven forward, as a screen, as the Germans

marched on toward Mons. For the British