Page 3608

3608 UNIVERSAL HISTORY--THE MODERN WORLD.

one of the great artistes came to be one

of the celebrated features of the day.

This singer was Marthe Chenal, and for

months, nightly, she sang this song of

war songs at the Opera Comique to large

audiences. She also sang it to wounded

soldiers and to soldiers going Into battle

and never failed to arouse burning patriotic ardor in the hearts of her hearers.

One of the best bits of writing produced

during the war was written by Wythe

Williams, Paris correspondent of the New

York Times, describing Chenal's singing

the national hymn at the opera. First

came an operetta entitled "Ballet of the

Nations. After it came "Le Chant du

Depart," the famous song of the Revolution. There was a magnificent soldier

chorus and a thrilling fanfare of trumpets

and drums. "I concluded," wrote Williams,

"that the best Chenal could do with the

'Marseillaise,' which was next on the

program, would be an anti-climax.

"The orchestra played the opening bars

of the martial music. With the first notes

the vast audience rose. I looked up at the

row of wounded leaning heavily against

the rail, their eyes fixed and staring on the

curtain. I noticed the officers in the boxes,

their eyes glistening. I heard a convulsive

catch in the throats of persons about me.

Then the curtain lifted.

"I do not remember what was the stage

setting. I do not believe I saw it. All

I remember was Chenal standing at the

top of a short flight of steps, in the center

near the back drop. I indistinctly remember that the rest of the stage was

filled with the soldier chorus and that

near the footlights on either side were

clusters of little children.

" 'Up, sons of France, the call of glory'-"Chenal swept down to the footlights.

The words of the song swept over the

audience like a bugle call. The singer

wore a white silk gown draped in perfect