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3609 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

Grecian folds. She wore the large black

Alsatian head dress, in one corner of which

was pinned a small tri-colored cockade.

She has often been called the most beautiful woman in Paris. The description

was too limited. With the next lines

she threw her arms apart, drawing out

the folds of the gown into the tricolor of

France-heavy folds of red silk draped

over one arm and blue over the other.

Her head was thrown back. Her tall,

slender figure simply vibrated with the

feeling of the words that poured forth

from her lips. She was noble. She was

glorious. She was sublime. With the

'March on, march on' of the chorus, her

voice arose high and fine over the full

orchestra, and even above her voice could

be sensed the surging emotions of the

audience that seemed to sweep over the

house in waves.

"I looked up at the row of wounded.

One man held his bandaged head between

his hands and was crying. An officer in a

box, wearing the gorgeous uniform of the

headquarters staff, held a handkerchief

over his eyes.

"Through the second verse the audience

alternately cheered and stamped their

feet and wept. Then came the wonderful

'Amour sacre de la patrie' (Sacred love of

home and country) verse. The crashing

of the orchestra ceased, dying away almost

to a whisper. Chenal drew the folds of

the tricolor cloak about her. Then she

bent her head and, drawing the flag to

her lips, kissed it reverently. The first

words came like a sob from her soul.

From then until the end of the verse,

when her voice again rang out over the

renewed efforts of the orchestra, one

seemed to live through all the glorious

history of France. At the very end, when

Chenal drew a short jeweled sword from

the folds of her gown and stood, silent

and superb, with the folds of the flag

draped about her, while the curtain rang

slowly down, she seemed to typify both

Empire and Republic throughout all time.

All the best of the past seemed concentrated

there as that glorious woman, with head

raised high, looked into the future.

"And as I came out of the theater with

the silent audience I said to myself that

a nation with a song and a patriotism

such as I had just witnessed could not

vanish from the earth-nor again be

vanquished."

CHAPTER CLXXX-THE GRAND DRIVE AGAINST RUSSIA.

AS the spring of 1915

opened, the situation

of the Central Powers

did not appear to be

very promising. Germany had put forth

superhuman efforts,

but had failed to force

a definite decision in either the east or the

west. In March, Przemysl fell with more

than a hundred thousand Austrians, while

the Russians were storming the Carpathian

passes, and French and British warships

were thundering at the Dardanelles. The

fleets of the Entente Allies swept the

seas, and the strength of these powers,

both in men and munitions, was increasing.

Italy had adopted a threatening attitude

toward her former partners, and the course

of some of the Balkan states was uncertain.

The people of the Dual Monarchy were

discouraged, many of them were hungry,

and some observers were prophesying

an Austro-Hungarian collapse; while even

in Germany economic conditions were

bad, and the first glow of absolute confidence had given way to doubts. In a

word, the fortunes of the Central Powers

had reached a critical stage, and it behooved the Teutonic War Lords to do

something to turn back their enemies,

to restore their own drooping prestige,

and to revive the spirits of their peoples.

On the 22d of April, the Germans

launched their chlorine gas attack at Ypres,

taking about six thousand prisoners and