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Title: Seventeen Years in Paris - A Chaplain's Story
Author: Noyes, H. E.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber’s Note: During his time in Paris, the author didn’t achieve a
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[Illustration: H. E. Noyes, D.D.]



                             SEVENTEEN YEARS
                                IN PARIS:

                           A CHAPLAIN’S STORY.

                                   BY
                            H. E. NOYES, D.D.

             _(Late Hon. Chaplain to His Majesty’s Embassy,
                  and Incumbent of the Embassy Church,
                        Rue d’Aguesseau, Paris)._

                         BAINES AND SCARSBROOK,
                        PRINTERS AND PUBLISHERS,
              75 FAIRFAX ROAD, SWISS COTTAGE, LONDON, N.W.
                                  1910.



DEDICATED TO THE BRITISH AND AMERICAN COLONIES IN PARIS, WITH WHOM I
SPENT THESE HAPPY YEARS, 1891-1907.



PREFACE.


In sending forth this brief account of my long chaplaincy in Paris, I
desire to say that I do so at the request of many friends, who were kind
enough to express their interest. It is not intended to be an account of
life generally in Paris, or a description of the beauties and treasures
of the City. There are many books which do this better than I could
hope to do, for the life of a chaplain in Paris is a very strenuous
one—every day bringing its work, and often much unexpected work, that it
was difficult to give much time to sight-seeing. My predecessor, Rev. T.
Howard Gill, said to me when I accepted the position, “Do not stay more
than seven years—it is enough for any man.” I stayed nearly seventeen. I
have not attempted either to give any full account here of the spiritual
side of my work—I would only say that I have every reason to thank God
that I went, both for the work He enabled me to do and the experience
that I have gained. There is an erroneous impression in some minds about
Continental work, viz., that it unfits a man for Parochial work at home.
I heard this expressed upon my appointment to my present sphere. The
fact, however, is very different. The work is so varied, so constant, and
often so unexpected, that one gains as much experience in six months in
a city like Paris as British Chaplain as one would gain in a much longer
time at home.

It may be true that in small chaplaincies in lonely places, with but few
English people in residence, men get out of touch with Church life and
work in England, but it is not the same in the permanent chaplaincies in
thickly populated places.

In Paris we had our organisations much as at home. Daily Services, Sunday
Schools, Mothers’ Meetings, Visitors, etc., and although the numbers
attending (owing to distance) were not so great as at home, the work was
much the same.

I have given several hints which I trust may be useful to parents
intending to send their children abroad for education, and also to those
who may be purposing to reside in Paris.

As we are going to press the notice appears in the papers of the death of
Sir Edmund Monson, formerly Ambassador in Paris. The country loses in him
a distinguished and faithful servant, and all who knew him will regret a
kind and generous friend.

                                                        H. E. NOYES, D.D.

    St. Mary’s Vicarage,
      Kilburn, N.W.



CONTENTS.


                                              PAGE

                   CHAPTER I.

    ROYAL AND OTHER VISITS                       1

                   CHAPTER II.

    THE BRITISH EMBASSY                         25

                  CHAPTER III.

    MEMORABLE SERVICES                          48

                   CHAPTER IV.

    THE ENGLISHMAN ABROAD                       66

                   CHAPTER V.

    EDUCATION IN FRANCE                         74

                   CHAPTER VI.

    DIFFICULTIES OF ENGLISH PEOPLE ABROAD       79

                  CHAPTER VII.

    BRITISH CHARITIES IN PARIS                  94

                  CHAPTER VIII.

    BRITISH JOURNALISTS IN PARIS               105

                   CHAPTER IX.

    VARIA                                      112

                   CHAPTER X.

    PRESENT CONDITIONS OF RELIGIOUS LIFE ON
      THE CONTINENT                            122

                   CHAPTER XI.

    THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND ON THE CONTINENT     135

                  CHAPTER XII.

    AMERICANS IN PARIS                         139

                  CHAPTER XIII.

    L’ENVOI                                    144



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


    REV. H. E. NOYES, D.D.                           _Frontispiece_

    RUE DE RIVOLI                                  _To face page_ 2

    HIS MAJESTY ENTERING THE CHURCH, FOLLOWED BY
      SIR E. MONSON                                       ”       6

    HIS MAJESTY LEAVING THE EMBASSY CHURCH                ”      14

    SIR WALTER VAUGHAN-MORGAN, LORD MAYOR OF LONDON,
      1905-1906                                           ”      22

    MR. WRIGHT                                            ”      23

    ENTRANCE TO BRITISH EMBASSY                           ”      24

    THE EARL OF LYTTON                                    ”      26

    THE COUNTESS OF LYTTON                                ”      28

    THE MARQUIS OF DUFFERIN AND AVA                       ”      30

    THE MARCHIONESS OF DUFFERIN AND AVA                   ”      32

    TRAINBEARERS AT THE LADY PLUNKET’S WEDDING            ”      34

    COURT YARD, BRITISH EMBASSY                           ”      42

    SIR HENRY AUSTIN LEE                                  ”      46

    BRITISH EMBASSY CHURCH, FROM THE RUE D’AGUESSEAU      ”      48

    BRITISH EMBASSY CHURCH (INTERIOR)                     ”      54

    PLACE DE LA CONCORDE                                  ”      66

    A. PERCY INGLIS (BRITISH CONSUL-GENERAL)              ”      84

    SIR JOHN PILTER                                       ”      94

    HERTFORD BRITISH HOSPITAL                             ”      98

    THE ELYSÉE, FROM THE FAUBOURG ST. HONORÉ              ”     112

    PLACE DE LA CONCORDE                                  ”     118

    THE HISTORIC FOUNTAIN, PLACE DE LA CONCORDE           ”     118

_Photos of City by Leblanc, Paris._



SEVENTEEN YEARS IN PARIS.

BY H. E. NOYES, D.D.

_Late Honorary Chaplain to His Majesty’s Embassy._



CHAPTER I.

ROYAL AND OTHER VISITS.


The Daily Press has naturally recorded the visits of Royalty, Members of
Parliament, the Lord Mayor of London, etc., to Paris during the period
of which I write, but as in each case there were services in the Embassy
Church, there are certain facts from the chaplain’s point of view which
will, I hope, be of interest to my readers. A clerical friend once said
to me, “Everybody who is anybody has been to your Church in Paris.” It
certainly was a fact that during my chaplaincy many distinguished people
attended the ordinary Divine Service besides the crowds at special times
when Royalty was present. I may mention the late Duke of Devonshire, the
Right Hon. W. E. and Mrs. Gladstone—who often came twice on the Sunday
when visiting Paris—H.R.H. the late Duke of Cambridge, who was many times
present. On one occasion the Duke arrived in Paris from a long journey
early on Sunday morning, but he was in the Embassy gallery at the 11
o’clock service. Upon his late visits—and he was in Paris not long before
the end—he was unable to face the stairs to the gallery, and sat below
with the congregation. In the early days of my chaplaincy, the late
Sir Condie Stephen was an attaché at the Embassy, and a most regular
attendant at both morning and evening services. The late Archbishop
of Canterbury was once at service in my time, and sent me a most kind
message. Bishops, Home, Colonial, and American, were occasionally seen,
and many clergy. I noticed on two or three occasions Mr. Pierpoint Morgan
among the worshippers. On one occasion four English dukes were present
at morning service. The late Sir G. Stokes, Sir W. Freemantle, Lord
Rathmore, and the other members of the Suez Canal Board were regular in
attendance month by month, the former a devout worshipper and a kind,
genial friend.

Great interest was naturally excited in the English Colony when we had
Royal visitors. Her late Majesty was not in Paris during my Chaplaincy,
although she was several times in the South of France, being usually
met at some convenient station by the President of the French Republic.
Whatever may have been the feeling of the French people towards the
English before the “Entente Cordiale,” they always had the highest
respect and admiration for our beloved Queen, and I never heard that she
met with the least annoyance from “the most polite nation in the world.”

[Illustration: RUE DE RIVOLI.]

Before coming to the special subject of this chapter, I should like to
say a few words about the English Church in the Rue d’Aguesseau, which
has always been known as, and is “ipso facto,” the Embassy Church.
In former days the English services were held in the ballroom at the
Embassy itself, and there was a resident chaplain. I have heard that
there was sometimes rather a “rush” after a Saturday night’s ball to get
the room ready for divine service on Sunday. This “Chapel” was also at
that time somewhat of a Gretna Green, where at twenty-four hours’ notice
young couples who had difficulties at home could be united according
to English law by a resident chaplain. My friend, Dr. Morgan, of the
American Church, kindly sent me a volume of sermons he had picked up on
a bookstall, bearing the title “Sermons preached at the Chapel of the
British Embassy, and at the Protestant Church of the Oratoire in Paris,
by the late Rev. E. Forster, M.A., Chaplain to the British Embassy.” This
was in the days when Lord Stuart de Rothesay was Ambassador to the court
of France, and the volume bears the date 1828. I believe Lord Stuart de
Rothesay was twice Ambassador in Paris—an unusual circumstance. Services
are no longer held in the Embassy. The English Colony in Paris having
largely increased, it became necessary to provide a suitable building as
a church, and at the period when the late Lord Cowley was Ambassador, and
largely through his instrumentality, the present Church was purchased,
and has from that time to the present been the Embassy Church, where
all services of a public and diplomatic character have since been held.
Here is a French description of the building, which, while not exactly
ecclesiastical, is yet loved and valued by the English Colony.

“L’Èglise Anglicane est située à moins de 100 mètres de la porte de
l’Ambassade. C’est un petit monument de style Gothique, aux fenètres
ogivales, aux frùes colonnes fleuronnées. A l’intérieur, la chapelle est
meublée de deux rangées de bancs, placées face à l’autel. Devant celui-ci
se trouve l’aigle de bois doré dont les ailes éployées portent les Livres
Saints; à gauche les orgues: à droite, la chaire: une simple tribune de
pierre, de forme hexagonale légèrement surélevée. Un balcon court sur les
deux côtes de la chapelle, dont le fond est occupé par une tribune.”

The church is in a much better condition than formerly. The congregation
during my chaplaincy put a new roof upon it, and decorated it throughout,
and constructed a handsome Mortuary Chapel underneath—a sad necessity
for the English and American colonies in Paris. I conducted some
remarkable services during my time in Paris, which I describe in another
chapter—scenes which will not soon be forgotten by those who witnessed
them. I was glad to leave behind some £7,000 which had been subscribed
towards a Church House, a much-needed establishment, as there is no room
for Church purposes or residence for the chaplain. My successor, the
Right Rev. Bishop Ormsby, will, I hope, reap the benefit of this effort.

His Gracious Majesty King Edward VII. was several times in Paris during
the earlier years of my chaplaincy, as Prince of Wales, but his first
visit to the French Republic as King and Emperor was in May, 1903. The
visit was official and unique. Those of us who had lived in Paris during
the Boer war—when, to say the least, the English were not popular,
and had so frequently heard “Vivent les Boers” as we passed along the
streets, and even had newspapers flaunted before us which recorded
reverses to our arms—were very anxious that the visit should pass off
quietly. The English colony was much concerned, and so were the French
police. I was advised by the latter to admit to the Church only by
ticket, and to take the names and addresses of each applicant for them
who might be unknown to me. The following was the text of the ticket I
issued: “English Church, Rue d’Aguesseau. Divine Service 11 a.m. It is
requested that all seat-holders will be in their places at 10 o’clock.
After 10.30 all unoccupied seats will be filled.” The tickets were all
numbered and signed with a special stamp marked “Basileus.” The issuing
of these tickets gave us considerable work, as we only had 1,000, and
some 1,500 to 2,000 people applied for them—many by letter. Nearly the
whole of two days was occupied in the distribution.

The “Entente Cordiale” is now happily a “fait accompli”; but at the time
of His Majesty’s first official visit there was no thought of it in the
public mind, though we know now it was the gracious intention of our
peace-loving King that it should come about. I give an excerpt from the
“Patrie,” signed by M. L. Millevoye, which at this time gave us some
concern, for the “Patrie,” while not a high-class paper, is one that is
largely read by the man in the street:

“Parisiens! Le Roi des Anglais n’est pas votre hôte: ce n’est pas vous
qui l’avez invité. Cet étranger, cet ennemi vous impose sa visite.…
Parisiens, ce roi vous saluera, vous ne le saluerez pas.

“Mais des cris bien français, esclusivement français, peuvent sortir,
sans provocations, de vos poitrines. Crier ‘Vive Marchand!’ c’est
condamner Fachoda, c’est marquer la flètrissure d’une des plus
hyprocrites d’une des plus odieuses brutalités diplomatiques que la
France aie subies, Crier Vivent les Boers.… Crier Vive la Russie.… Votre
silence même, s’il est général, absolu, aura sa grandeur. Devant vos
fronts couverts, devant vos regards implacables, ce roi comprendra qu’on
l’atrompé en lui parlant de votre soumission, &c., &c., &c.”

It seemed, however, as if the very presence of His Majesty in Paris
at once dissipated any cloud that might have appeared in the sky. The
French are remarkable for their readiness to swing round to an opposite
opinion when they find reason for so doing. This was very striking in
the Dreyfus affair, and, more recently, in the case of M. E. Zola, who,
after having been condemned to imprisonment and a heavy fine for his
defence of Dreyfus, received the “post mortem” honour of being removed
from the cemetery of Montmatre to the Panthéon, that resting place of the
illustrious French dead.

[Illustration: HIS MAJESTY ENTERING THE CHURCH, FOLLOWED BY SIR E.
MONSON.]

The visit of His Majesty to Paris extended from May 1st to 4th, and
almost every hour was occupied with the usual official visits, lunches,
dinners, and receptions. The English colony looked forward especially to
the Sunday when they expected to see and worship with the King in their
own Church. There was some anxiety as to whether His Majesty would sit
in the Embassy gallery, or in the body of the Church, as in the former
case he would hardly be seen by the congregation. I reported to our
Ambassador, Sir E. Monson, the great desire that the King would sit with
the congregation, and late on Saturday evening I received a message that
he had kindly consented to do so. This gracious act gave much pleasure
to the colony. There were many young people who had never seen their King
before, and I fear his presence was rather distracting to their worship
on this occasion.

The police were considerably scared when it was announced that
His Majesty would not drive to the Church, but intended to walk.
Although only a few yards it was felt to be more or less a danger;
but every precaution being taken, all passed off safely. As the
congregation was assembling, I was sent for to the door to interview a
distinguished-looking man who desired to enter the Church, but had no
ticket. I found, however, upon careful enquiry, that he was a detective
from Scotland Yard, and required to examine the place where the King was
to sit.

This quiet Sunday service, with the King-Emperor attending as an ordinary
worshipper, very much impressed the French people. I will quote what was
said by the “Figaro” and the “Daily Telegraph” at the time; the former
giving the general French feeling much more accurately than the “Patrie,”
although even the latter paper soon changed its tone.

The “Figaro” thus describes the service:—

“Les Parisiens sceptiques et volontiers gouailleurs, ont été fortement
impressionnés par la très simple cérémonie d’hier matin, la plus grande
peut-être de ces trois jours de fête. De la rue Royale à l’avenue de
Marigny dix mille curieux descendent tout endimanchés des faubourgs, se
massent aux abords de l’Ambassade d’Angleterre, pour voir comment le
roi de la Grande-Bretagne et d’Irlande et des possessions britanniques
d’outre-mer, défenseur de la foi, empereur des Indes va faire-visite
à Dieu. C’est à pied que S. M. Edouard VII., en tenue de ville, se
rend à l’Eglise. Et quand il le voit passer ainsi, tout ce peuple saisi
d’émotion, chapeau bas, s’incline, dans un silence solennel. La petite
Eglise gothique de la rue d’Aguesseau regorge de monde. On a lancé
neuf cent trente invitations. La nef, les galeries, les bas-cotés, les
tribunes, tout est bondé.

“Les deux premières travées de banquettes sont réservées; et devant
elles, à gauche du chœur un fauteuil recouvert de velours rouge, avec un
prie-dieu sans appui, et un pupitre sur lequel sont deposés une Bible,
et un livre de psaumes, marque la place du Roi.… Le Pasteur et ses
assistants ont la soutane et le surplis garni de bandes de satin noir
et rouge. Les enfants de chœur assis près de la chaire, ont seulement
la soutane noir et le surplis. Sur un signe du secrétaire qui guettait
à la porte l’arrivée du Roi, tout le clergé, le Rev. Dr. Noyes en tête,
se porte au-devant de sa Majesté et l’attend sur le seuil. Edouard
VII. et le Pasteur se saluent en même temps. Le Clergé remonte vers le
chœur, précédent le Souverain, que suivent les membres de l’Ambassade
d’Angleterre et tous les attachés militaires. Et des que S. M. Edouard
VII. a pris place devant son fauteuil—et ouvert son livre de psaumes,
l’office divin commence. Les fidéles, dont un instant très court de
curiosité n’a pu troubler le recueillement, entument en anglais le Te
Deum. Puis les hymnes, les versets de la Bible, les psaumes se succèdent
chantés par toute l’assistance. Les fidèles s’agenouillent, et le Roi
s’agenouille comme eux; et sa voix se mêle avec leurs voix. Il n’y a
plus un souverain et des sujets, ‘Il n’y a qu’une famille dont tous les
membres s’addressent, ensemble au Père, ‘Notre Père qui êtes aux cieux.’
C’est la prière que nous ne savons plus. Enfin les chants ayant cessé
le Rev. Dr. Noyes se lêve et prononce le sermon dominical. Pendant un
quart d’heure environ, il développe la thèse de la Divinite du Christ, et
l’office termine, selon l’usage, par un dernier cantique, sans qu’aucune
allusion, ainsi qu’il en avait exprimé lùi-même le désir, aie été faite à
la presence du Roi.”

I have given the above in full as it is an interesting French view of an
English church service.

“The Daily Telegraph” recorded this event of the day as follows:

“At the morning service in the English Church, Rue d’Aguesseau, the
King was attended by his suite, and accompanied by Sir E. Monson and
the staff of the Embassy. This sacred edifice is a building of great
interest to English residents in Paris. The Rev. H. E. Noyes, D.D., has
been Chaplain to the Embassy since 1891, and during that incumbency has
known three eminent representatives of the Empire, Lord Lytton, the
Marquis of Dufferin, and Sir Edmund Monson. Our compatriots in the French
capital do not forget their Church. It is surely a matter of pleasure
to know that at the last Easter celebrations there were no fewer than
930 communicants. To-day the Church was all too small. Though admission
was necessarily by ticket, a crowd besieged the doors more than an hour
before the beginning of the service. Notre Dame or the Madeleine would
have been insufficient for the congregation anxious to be present.
Indeed, one feels regret for the hundreds who failed to obtain a coveted
ticket of admission. Practically small room was left after seats had been
found for the regular congregation, among whom I was pleased to note a
large number of English young ladies attending Parisian schools. Many
a year hence it will be a pleasant memory for those young persons who
participated in this historic service. ‘What a noble national possession
is England’s “sublime liturgy,”’ to quote George Borrow’s description of
it.

“Who has not felt its impress in a foreign land? I have heard it west of
the Rocky Mountains, under the Stars and Stripes, beneath the Southern
Cross, in the capital of China, on the Indian, the Atlantic, and the
Pacific Oceans, and in war time in South Africa, and the effect is
everywhere the same—a finer patriotic glow than almost anything else
can call up. It appeals to one as part of the heritage of the English
people, like their old Parish Church, or their very language itself. In
the Rue d’Aguesseau the prayers for the King and the Royal Family of
Great Britain were followed, as they always are here, by petitions for
the Presidents of the United States and of the French Republic. The ‘Te
Deum’ was finely rendered, as were the hymns ‘Children of the Heavenly
King’ and ‘The King of Love my shepherd is.’ Dr. Noyes founded a short,
eloquent discourse upon Matthew xiii. 54, 55.”

As the King left the Church the congregation sang the National Anthem
with a fervour and emotion, which was natural upon such an occasion.

After lunching at the Foreign Office with that eminent statesman, M.
Delcasse, His Majesty returned to the Embassy. Here a most interesting
ceremony was held. The King had promised to plant a red chestnut tree
in the Embassy garden, and the children of the British schools, to the
number of fifty, and the inmates of the Victoria Home (an institution
for aged British women who have lived in France for thirty years) were
invited to be present. It was a memorable occasion. The King handled the
spade as one accustomed to it, and the tree thus planted has flourished
remarkably well ever since. It bears a plate stating the date, etc.,
and will, no doubt, be an object of interest in the beautiful garden of
the Embassy for many years to come. The King has a wonderful memory for
old friends. I heard him on this occasion asking kindly after the Hon.
Alan Herbert, M.D., whom he had known in Paris many years ago. Another
interesting incident took place on this afternoon. Among those invited to
the Embassy garden was an old soldier, George Colman, nearly ninety years
of age, who had been dispatch writer to Lord Raglan in the Crimean War.
He was presented to the King, who had a long chat with him, and asked
him “Where are your medals?” Colman replied, “Your Majesty, they were
stolen from me at the time of the Paris Commune.” “Well,” said the King,
“we must see to that.” Colman was not forgotten, and not long after the
medals were received at the Embassy. He brought them to shew to me in
great delight.

In the evening a large official dinner was given at the British Embassy,
which was attended by the President and Madame Loubet, members of the
French Government, and many other distinguished guests. Three French
artists had the honour of being invited, MM. Carolus-Duran, Detaille,
and Bonnat. The City was brilliantly illuminated, and presented all the
characteristics of a National fête.

His Majesty left Paris for Cherbourg the next morning, President Loubet
accompanying him to the Gare des Invalids. There was a thankful sigh of
relief from the many loyal hearts in Paris that all had passed off so
well, and that our beloved Monarch was safe. It had been an anxious time,
for the happy change to more friendly relations between the two countries
had then only just commenced.

The next visit of His Majesty was in May, 1905, just two years after his
first official visit. There had been a change at the Embassy. Much to
the regret of all who knew him, Sir Edmund Monson had retired, having
reached the age limit, and had been succeeded by Sir Francis Bertie, the
present Ambassador. There was, moreover, a great change in the attitude
of the people, and the “Entente Cordiale” was on the lips of all. The
King’s previous visit, and the return visit of M. Loubet to London,
resulted in the settling of several outstanding disputes which had long
been an anxiety to diplomatists. There was much less ceremonial upon this
visit, and the King, instead of going to the Embassy, took his old suite
of rooms at the Hotel Bristol in the Place Vendome, where he had often
stayed as Prince of Wales. His Majesty came to Paris via Marseilles,
where he had a very hearty reception, and arriving at the Gare de Lyon
was met by Sir Francis Bertie and the staff of the Embassy, and that
all-important functionary, the Prefect of the Police. A good number of
people gathered in the Place Vendome in the hope of seeing the King, but
the weather was showery, and he drove in a closed carriage, and they
were disappointed. The Hotel Bristol in the Place Vendome—formerly a
monastery—is managed by an Englishman, Mr. Morlock, who is well known
to many crowned heads. The Tsar of Russia stayed there before his
accession to the throne; the late King and Queen of Portugal, and many
others. Mr. Morlock is a most genial host, and although he has been so
long in France is proud of his nationality, and always ready to join in
any movement for the good of the British colony. I had been informed
that His Majesty would attend Divine Service on the Sunday morning, and
took the precaution to admit only by ticket, to prevent over-crowding.
It was well I did so, for a great crowd assembled outside the Church,
and would have prevented the regular worshippers from entering. Owing to
this arrangement the Church was filled before the hour of service, and
there was no confusion. It was Eastertide, and the hymns “Jesus lives! no
longer now—Can thy terrors, death, appal us” and “Hosanna to the living
Lord” were sung with great fervour. I had requested the congregation to
remain in their seats during the singing of the National Anthem at the
close of the service—the intention being that His Majesty and the staff
of the Embassy would then leave and thus prevent crowding at the door.
However, the King stayed until the end, and, I was told, joined heartily
in the anthem. We always omitted the second verse having the words
“Confound their politics,” as being guests in a foreign land.

Upon this occasion His Majesty sat in the Embassy gallery with Sir
Francis Bertie and the staff. An amusing incident happened as the King
left the Church. A loud crash was heard and caused some excitement. It
came from a photographer who had perched himself upon a high ladder with
a large camera, hoping for a snapshot. He fell owing to the breaking
of the ladder just as the King came out of the porch. He was very
disappointed at losing the photograph.

Upon the return to the hotel the King received Admiral Fournier, who had
presided over the enquiry relating to the North Sea firing incident, and
conferred upon him the insignia of a Knight Grand Cross of the Victorian
Order.

The reception of His Majesty on the part of the people was in marked
contrast to that of his former visit. There were very few cries in the
streets on that occasion, but now one often heard “Vive le Roi” and “Vive
l’Angleterre” shouted with a hearty good will. The “Entente Cordiale” was
an established fact.

[Illustration: HIS MAJESTY LEAVING THE EMBASSY CHURCH.]

The third visit of the King during my chaplaincy took place in March,
1906, when he travelled as the Duke of Lancaster, arriving in Paris from
Cherbourg on the Saturday evening. The Royal train was brought round to
the Gare des Invalides, where the King was met by Sir Francis Bertie and
the staff of the Embassy, M. Mollard representing the President of the
Republic, and M. Lepine, Prefect of Police. As His Majesty ascended the
stairs a flashlight photograph of the scene was taken by an unauthorised
person—much to the annoyance of all present, as the explosion caused a
temporary alarm. Next morning the King attended the Embassy Church, and
sat in the Royal gallery with Sir Francis and Lady Feodorowna Bertie.
Little change was made in the service, except that I preached a short
sermon in order to keep within the limited time. My text was “But the
Word of God is not bound,” and the collection was for the British and
Foreign Bible Society. H.R.H. Princess Henry of Battenberg and the
Princess Ena (now Queen of Spain) joined the King at the Embassy for
lunch. His Majesty drove to and from the church in a closed carriage,
and although there was a great crowd, his desire to be “incognito” was
respected. It was upon this occasion that His Majesty handed to M.
Fallières the missing leaves from the second volume of “The History of
the antiquities of the Jews” for the Bibliothéque Nationale. M. Loubet,
former President of the Republic, was one of the many who called upon the
King, and it was characteristic of the kind feeling of His Majesty that
he returned the call at the private apartment of M. Loubet—an act that
was much appreciated by the people generally. I often heard French people
speak of it. Upon this visit the Embassy in the Faubourg St. Honore was
turned into a Royal Palace, the King and his suite staying there. I was
told of the following incident which indicates the change of feeling on
the part of the French. After dinner at a fashionable restaurant (while
the King was in Paris) the band was called upon to play the English
National Anthem by a party of Frenchmen. Then some Englishmen present
called for the Marseillaise, which was received with the same honours and
enthusiasm.

By a curious chance there was a party of Germans present, and these stood
up and uncovered while both the National Anthems were being played.
Beyond the various social functions there was no other special incident,
and the short visit passed off very satisfactorily in every way.

I have told of the enthusiasm evoked by the first official visit of
His Majesty to Paris, and the two subsequent visits, but when it
was reported early in 1907 that the King was coming, accompanied by
the Queen, enthusiasm knew little bounds. Many of the English Colony
had never seen the Queen, and were on tiptoe of expectation. Their
Majesties arrived in Paris from London on Saturday evening, February
2nd, at the Gare du Nord, where they received an enthusiastic—though
non-official—welcome, for they were travelling as the Duke and Duchess of
Lancaster. The photographic fiend was again in evidence, and Her Majesty
gave a perceptible start as the magnesium light flashed, although she
must be accustomed to this annoyance. I was told that the crowd outside
the station was enormous, and the cries “Vive le Roi—Vive la Reine” were
very hearty, both there and along the route to the British Embassy, which
was to be the temporary home of their Majesties. Notwithstanding the
fatigues of the journey the King and Queen paid a visit to the Nouveau
Cirque in the evening, much to the delight of those present.

It appeared to me that the Parisians were the more pleased at the
“incognito,” as it was as if their Majesties came as friends, and not
merely as Royal visitors. The visit was thus less formal yet more
cordial; everyone felt that it was not political, but just friendly, and
Paris was delighted. The British sovereigns were going to spend a week of
pleasure, visiting and entertaining their friends, shopping and motoring.
The Rue de la Paix is always attractive, but it seemed to surpass itself
on this occasion.

I was naturally very busy preparing for the Sunday service. Tickets were
quite necessary, and the demand for them very great. We issued 1,000—our
utmost limit—and then came the pain of refusing the hundreds who also
desired to attend. I crave pardon for giving the report of the service,
written by my friend Mr. Ozane, the well-known and valued correspondent
of the “Daily Telegraph.”

He wrote: “I have never seen a larger crowd in and near the church in the
Rue d’Aguesseau than that which assembled there this morning. Admission
to the sacred edifice was by cards, of which a liberal distribution was
made, but any number of persons who must have known that the chance of
finding a place was hopeless, had put in an appearance nevertheless.
The English colony had mustered in full force, and there was a big
gathering of French friends as well. The footpaths close to the Embassy
and along the street leading to the Church were crammed with well-dressed
people—the fair sex being strongly represented; and there they stood
in the brilliant sunshine, but bitterly cold wind, waiting for their
Majesties to pass. The King and Queen drove to and from the Church in one
of the Ambassador’s carriages, and with Sir Francis Bertie and members
of their suite were conducted to the Embassy Gallery. By the time they
entered the Church was thronged to repletion, all the arrangements made
for the accommodation of the congregation being, however, excellent. The
prayers were read by the curate, Rev. W. Harrison, the lessons being read
and the sermon preached by the Rev. H. E. Noyes, D.D., who is chaplain
to the Embassy. Doctor Noyes is well known as a very eloquent preacher,
and taking for his text the 14th verse of the 8th chapter of St. Luke,
part of the Gospel for the day, delivered an excellent discourse on
the parable of the sower. The choir, under the direction of Mr. Percy
Vincent, did itself full justice, and the congregation joined heartily
in the service, as it invariably does at this Church, which has only
one defect, viz., that it is not large enough to accommodate all the
worshippers who would attend it, especially at a season when so many
English visitors are passing through Paris. When the service was over it
was scarcely possible to make one’s way along the street, so dense was
the crowd.”

In the afternoon the King paid a visit to President Fallières at the
Elysée, which was returned later, Madame Fallières accompanying the
President to make the acquaintance of the Queen. In the evening their
Majesties dined with their old friends Mr. and Mrs. Standish.

The following is an extract, giving the French impression of the Church
service:

“L’Eglise était comble, bien qu’on n’y eût èté admís que sur la
présentation de cartes imprimées, spécialement. L’Entrée des souverains
y fut saluée par de nouveaux vivats. Ils prirent place dans la tribune
de l’ambassade, a gauche de la nef. Puis le service commença. C’était
l’office ordinaire du dimanche et la seule modification qu’on y apporta
fut l’exécution du ‘God save the King’—joué par les orgues à la fin
de la cérémonie, tandis que tous les assistants chantaient en chœur.
Le Reverend H. E. Noyes officie. Edouard VII. suit avec une attention
soutenue l’office, ainsi d’ailleurs que la reine Alexandra.”

All through the week the liveliest interest was taken in the movements
of the King and Queen, and there were some amusing incidents. There was
great curiosity to see the King’s automobile, the people apparently
having forgotten that he had purchased it in Paris on a previous visit.
What they expected to see I don’t know—perhaps some vehicle modelled
after the old Royal stage coaches? But the reality was a fine Mercédés
car, much the same in outward appearance as others in Paris, but with
luxurious interior fittings. It was the rule in France at this time (as
since) to have a conspicuous number painted on each car, and this mark
the Royal Mercédés had not. It was consequently very soon stopped by a
policeman in the Champs Elysées, and a crowd gathered. When, however, it
was found to have a Royal owner, it was allowed to pass on. But this was
not the end of the matter. Next day it was stopped by a more “exigeant”
police officer, who, having failed to get satisfactory answers from the
English chauffeur, obliged him to go to the police station. The crowd
was highly amused as the news soon spread “C’est l’automobile du Roi,”
although the stern police officer continued to ignore it. I believe there
was another difficulty the following day. However, so soon as His Majesty
heard of his chauffeur’s adventures, he ordered a number to be at once
painted on the car, to conform with the French law.

Her Majesty the Queen received many begging and other letters during her
short stay, and I was struck by the careful enquiries she caused to be
made about each case. I was glad to be able to give, through one of the
attachés, information as to several of the applicants who were well known
to me.

The consideration of the Parisians for the “incognito” of their Majesties
was very marked. It was reported that both the King and Queen expressed
their satisfaction at this, and that the former said “Nothing could be
nicer or more discreet. The Parisians are the most courteous people in
the world.” The same attitude was maintained all through the visit,
enabling their Majesties to go about in freedom and comfort, as they
constantly did, to the great delight of both nationalities in the gay
city.

After the “Entente Cordiale” became an accomplished fact, we had several
visits of public bodies to Paris, and I always endeavoured to arrange
a special service for them as part of the programme of the visit. In
November, 1903, we had a British Parliamentary visit. I had corresponded
with the secretary beforehand, and arranged for a special service at
4 p.m. on the Sunday afternoon (29th). We had no room for them at the
ordinary morning service. I also consulted Sir E. and Lady Monson, who
kindly arranged their reception for 5 o’clock, so that the Members of
Parliament, their wives, and daughters could go across to the Embassy at
the close of the service. About 300 attended, and, I had reason to know,
fully appreciated the arrangement that had been made for them. I preached
upon the Great Charter of our Religious Liberty from the text “Render
unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and to God the things that are
God’s.” The National Anthem was very heartily sung at the close. Sir E.
and Lady Monson received the guests with their usual kindness, and all
the magnificent rooms at the Embassy were thrown open to them. All the
members of the British party were present, together with French Senators
and Deputies, and the leading members of the British Colony in Paris.

This same year we had a visit from the present Bishop of London. I
believe his first visit as Bishop. I had written to him to say that I
had a number of candidates for confirmation (about 50), but that our own
Bishop Wilkinson, coadjutor for London, could not come, and could he ask
some other Bishop who might be in London to take the office for us. He
wrote: “My dear Noyes, I will come myself.” The British Colony will not
soon forget his visit. After the Confirmation, at which he gave a most
helpful address, although curiously enough founded upon a misquotation,
we had a reception at my house, which was attended by the leading members
of the Colony, and those confirmed, with their parents and friends. The
Bishop (as always) won the hearts of all by his kindness and geniality.
I acted as His Lordship’s chaplain while he was in Paris, and he kindly
fell in with all the arrangements I had made, which were numerous.

In February, 1906, we had a visit from the London County Council, most of
whom attended the ordinary service in the Embassy Church on February 4th.
On Monday (5th), there was a grand reception at the Hotel de Ville. This
magnificent structure, erected on the site of the old historic building,
is well worth a visit. The decorations and pictures are among the most
beautiful in Paris, and when it is lit up and specially decorated with
flags, etc., as it was on this occasion, presents a striking scene. The
same week the “Minister of the Interior,” an office corresponding to
that of our Home Secretary, gave a grand reception in his superb mansion
in the Place Beauveau. All the London County Council were invited,
together with the leading members of the British Colony. The reception
was followed by a concert, in which some of the best known artists in
Paris took part. The programme was itself a thing of beauty, bearing in
the front a striking picture drawn for the occasion by Lévy, of a sailor
looking back over a tempestuous sea at a lighthouse on a pier.

[Illustration: SIR WALTER VAUGHAN-MORGAN, LORD MAYOR OF LONDON
1905-1906.]

[Illustration: MR. WRIGHT.]

This was a year of visits. In October, the Right Hon. Sir Walter
Vaughan-Morgan, Lord Mayor of London, accompanied by many of the City
Fathers, came officially to Paris. There was considerable excitement
among the citizens of Paris about this visit, for among other things it
was rumoured that the Lord Mayor would bring his state carriage, and
also Mr. Wright, his well-known coachman, whose fame had preceded him.
An enormous crowd gathered to welcome the party, many leaving off work
early in order to see them pass, and the streets from Gare du Nord to the
Rue Scribe were literally packed with people. The cheers were frequent
and loud, and one often heard, “Vivent les Anglais,” and the less common
“Vive le lor Maire.” Had this cry ever been heard before in Paris? Mr.
Wright, the coachman, had reached Paris the day before, and was soon
recognized on the box of the Lord Mayor’s carriage. The crowd shouted,
“Vive Monsieur Wright,” and “Vive le cocher du lor Maire” with vehemence,
evidently delighted with his jolly appearance. I had corresponded with
Sir Joseph Savory with reference to a service in the Embassy Church on
the Sunday, and it was decided that a gallery (holding about 100) should
be placed at their disposal, although this caused the other parts of the
building to be very crowded. In front of the Embassy, which faces the
Rue d’Aguesseau, and down the street, police were stationed in force.
Had the King himself been coming there would hardly have been a stronger
detachment. The whole of the gallery in the Church was filled. The Lord
Mayor was invited to a seat in the Embassy gallery. I preached a special
sermon to a very attentive congregation upon the labour question. After
Divine Service the Lord Mayor and members of the party lunched at the
Embassy with Sir Francis and Lady Feodorowna Bertie. In the afternoon
the Lord Mayor, accompanied by Sir George Faudel Phillips, Sherriffs
Dunn and Crosby, Sir Joseph Savory, and Sir Vesey Strong, paid a visit
to the Girls’ Friendly Society. There is usually a large attendance of
girls on Sunday afternoon, but on this occasion the hall was crowded in
every part. In introducing the Lord Mayor, I explained the objects of
the Society, and told something of its good work in Paris. In reply Sir
W. Vaughan-Morgan said “He had not expected to find the members of the
Society so numerous in Paris. He did not know if he were breaking the
rules in paying them a visit, but as Dr. Noyes had brought him in, he
also hoped he would find some way of getting him out.” Sir George Faudel
Phillips also said some kind words to the ladies and members present.
The drives of the civic party in the City in the days that followed
were a great delight to the people crowding the streets. I was on the
Boulevards on one occasion when the carriages passed, and the remarks of
the people at the unusual dresses, and especially the head gear of some
of the party, were most amusing. I understand the principal carriage was
not brought as it was too large for the railway vans! The Lord Mayor and
Corporation very kindly gave me 100 guineas as a memento of their visit,
towards the proposed Church House in connection with the Embassy Church—a
much-needed institution—part of which will form a club for young British
men, and the whole be a centre for church work.

[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO BRITISH EMBASSY.]



CHAPTER II.

THE BRITISH EMBASSY.


I lived and worked in Paris during the “reign” of five Presidents of the
Republic and four British Ambassadors. When I went abroad M. Sadi Carnot
was President. He was assassinated at Lyons in June, 1894, by the Italian
Anarchist Caserio Santo. When I left Paris President Fallières had lately
come to the Elysée. The interest of the British Colony largely centres in
the British Embassy, and the residence of the Ambassador in the Faubourg
St. Honoré has been the scene of many notable gatherings. The house
itself is a very attractive one, with beautiful gardens extending at
the back to the Champs Elysées. It is said to have been built after the
design of Mazin, in the eighteenth century, and was originally inhabited
by the Princess Pauline Borghése. It may be interesting to some to know
that pieces of the Borghése furniture still remain in the Embassy,
notably the handsome bedstead. His Majesty the King occupied this when
staying at the Embassy. Some beautiful Empire clocks are to be seen in
the reception rooms, and are, I understand, unique and very valuable.

It was in the time of the Duke of Wellington that the property was
purchased for the English Government. The price said to have been paid
was 625,000 frs., a comparatively small sum. It has proved a profitable
investment, as property in this part of Paris has greatly increased
in value. It is estimated that the property is now worth six millions
of francs (£240,000). The following is, I believe, a complete list of
the Ambassadors who have resided there:—1816, Sir Charles Stuart; 1825,
Viscount Granville; 1829, Lord Stuart de Rothesay. During the reign of
Louis Phillipe, Henry, Lord Cowley, and then the Marquis of Normanby,
were at the Embassy. 1852, Lord Cowley (son of the former Ambassador);
1868, Lord Lyons; 1887, The Earl of Lytton. Lord Lytton died in June,
1891, and was succeeded by the Marquis of Dufferin and Ava, who retired
upon the age limit of seventy in 1896. He was succeeded by Sir Edmund
Monson, who also retired from age, and the present occupant is the Right
Hon. Sir Francis Bertie, whose wife is a daughter of Lord Cowley, the
former Ambassador. I had intended, with the permission of the Ambassador,
to put a board in the Embassy Gallery in the Church, recording the above
facts and dates, which would be of great interest to many, but I put it
off until too late. Perhaps my successor may wish to carry out this idea.

The success and comfort of the Chaplain in his varied work connected
with the Embassy Church, naturally depends largely upon the support and
sympathy of the Ambassador and his family. I desire to place it on record
that during my sixteen years’ work in Paris, nothing could exceed the
kindness and consideration which I received.

[Illustration: EARL OF LYTTON.]

My first introduction to the Embassy was when the offer of the chaplaincy
came to me. There was then a considerable debt upon the Church, which
I was required to undertake, and which caused me to hesitate. I was
uncertain how far the Colony would support me. I was advised to go over
to Paris and consult with Lady Lytton before I finally decided. I did so,
and was most kindly received. We talked the matter over, and I related my
difficulties, when Lady Lytton said: “Come, and we will help you to pay
off this debt” (£600). Her Excellency promised that she would organise
a bazaar, which would no doubt be sufficient. Soon after my arrival a
meeting was called and the matter put in hand, but alas! before the sale
could be held, the Earl of Lytton died.

It fell to Lady Dufferin—who kindly took the matter up—to make her first
public appearance as Ambassadress, at the opening ceremony. The effort
proved most successful, the debt was paid, and a balance remained which
enabled me to put double doors to the Church, which in the winter time
were most necessary. The Earl of Lytton was not a regular Church goer.
He used jokingly to say to me: “You are so crowded I can’t get in”; but
Lady Lytton and her daughters were most regular, and generally at both
morning and afternoon services on Sundays. Her Excellency took a great
interest in the British poor and in the various charities, especially in
the Victoria Home—paying frequent visits to the old ladies—much to their
delight.

It was a sad time in the English Colony when the family left. Personally,
we missed them greatly, for we were frequently at the Embassy, our
children often played there, and in every way the relationship had been
most happy. It was a real pleasure to us to receive several visits from
Lady Lytton subsequently in Paris, and to answer her kind enquiries about
friends in the Colony.

A change at the Embassy is always, for many reasons, an anxious moment
for the English colony. It was with real pleasure that we heard the news
that the Earl of Lytton was to be succeeded by the Marquis of Dufferin
and Ava, who had been as part of his memorable career both Governor of
India and Canada, and whose name was well known to all English people.
Lord and Lady Dufferin arrived in Paris in March, 1892.

A hearty welcome was accorded to the Marquis and his family, and it was
soon felt that we had in him, not only an Ambassador accredited to the
French Republic, but also one who realized his responsibilities to the
large Colony of British people always to be found in Paris; and that in
this attitude he would be in every way supported by his noble wife. As
chaplain to the Embassy Church I was most grateful for the kind reception
and encouragement I received from the day of their arrival until their
much regretted departure. It was delightful to see the Embassy gallery
in church crowded the Sunday after their arrival, and to find they took
a lively interest in all religious and philanthropic questions. I was at
times during my chaplaincy saddened by the too frequent neglect of the
ordinary Church services by the Churchmen on the staff of the Embassy.
Why is it that the Diplomatic seems the exception, with respect to a
general rule in the public service of at least one attendance at their
own Church on Sundays? I had, however, no reason to complain of the
attendance during Lord and Lady Dufferin’s time in Paris—the gallery was
invariably well filled. I suppose that after all it is in this service,
as in others, a matter of example. As is known, the Marquis of Dufferin
suffered from deafness in his later years. He used sometimes to bring a
book of sermons, which he read while I preached.

[Illustration: COUNTESS OF LYTTON.]

The Embassy was practically an open house during this time, and the
enthusiasm and devotion of the British Colony remarkable. In May this
year a banquet was given in honour of the Queen’s birthday, and was most
brilliant. The leading members of the Colony were invited. The banqueting
hall was decorated with trophies gathered from many lands, and the table
(as always) beautifully arranged with flowers, and some of the many
curios the Marquis possessed from Canada, Burmah, India, etc. It was part
of my duty to say the Grace on these occasions.

In November of the same year I received a visit from my lamented friend,
Lord Plunket, late Archbishop of Dublin, and their Excellencies the
Marquis and Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava honoured us by coming to meet
him at dinner. The late Canon Meyrick, the Bishop of Clogher, and Père
Hyacinthe Loyson were also with us. It was a gathering preliminary to a
visit to Spain by Lord Plunket for the consecration of a Reformed Church
in Madrid. I have said that the first public act of Lady Dufferin was to
open the Bazaar on behalf of the debt on the Church, which she did in a
telling little speech, which made a most favourable impression upon all
present. But Her Excellency may be said to have been always before the
public in Paris. She found time amid the onerous duties of the Embassy
to visit the various charitable institutions, and to organize help and
give advice wherever needed. I remember on one occasion she came to
the meeting of the British Charitable Fund, and sat for a considerable
time listening to the various tales of woe that came before us. The
applications to Her Excellency from professional beggars were very
numerous, but she never gave help without careful enquiry, and I was
glad to be of frequent assistance to her in this matter. The Victoria
Home for Aged British Women was regularly visited by Lady Dufferin and
her daughters, indeed, almost every week, and Her Excellency knew all
the inmates and the story of their long life in France. She had no
more devoted admirers in the Colony. The Ladies Hermione and Victoria
Blackwood were ever welcome, and spared neither time nor trouble to
brighten and cheer their lives. Photographs of the Dufferin family hang
in many of the rooms, and long after they left the old ladies would make
anxious and loving enquiries about them. The Girls’ Friendly Society, as
I have stated elsewhere, owes its present prosperous condition to the
efforts of Lady Dufferin.

[Illustration: THE MARQUIS OF DUFFERIN AND AVA.]

My predecessor, Rev. Howard Gill, realizing the necessity of a central
building where the various Church works could be concentrated, and
where also much-needed rest and recreation rooms for young men might be
established, had ventilated the idea of a Church House. There is no house
or room of any kind connected with the Embassy Church. An influential
meeting was held in the Mansion House in London in furtherance of the
project, but owing to the debt on the church nothing had been done. As
this debt had been paid I felt we might move forward, and consulted
Lord and Lady Dufferin on the subject. The difficulty was to commence
a fund when so large a sum (about £12,000) would be required. Their
Excellencies, however, advised me to go forward, and promised me all the
assistance they could. Lord Dufferin kindly wrote me a letter which I
published with an appeal. A short time after I was told by Lady Dufferin
that they had decided to allow a public sale in the Embassy on behalf of
the scheme. This proved to be a great success. Lady Dufferin presided
over a stall assisted by the ladies of the Embassy, and the Ladies
Blackwood conducted a fish pond which was largely patronized. The “clew”
of the sale was an exhibition in a private room of all the “curios”
belonging to Lord Dufferin, including a gilt filagree stand and drinking
cup, which had belonged originally to the King of Burma. His Excellency
took the most lively interest in his own “show,” and never tired going
round to explain the various objects to the visitors. The nett result of
the sale was over 27,000 francs, and the fund was now fairly started; it
amounted to between seven and eight thousand pounds when I left Paris.
The house can now be purchased, as the balance required can easily be
borrowed.

The thoughtful personal kindness I and my wife received from Lord and
Lady Dufferin is beyond words to express. I may only give one or two
examples. There is no residence attached to the Church, and as I was
living some distance away it was very difficult to get back after the
eight o’clock Communion Service on Sunday mornings for breakfast, and
be down again for Sunday School (held in the Church) at 9.30. Lady
Dufferin at once recognized this, and kindly offered me breakfast on
Sunday mornings at the Embassy. The rest was most helpful, and I used
to look forward to my meal in the pleasant gallery looking out upon
the garden—and an occasional chat with Nowell, who waited upon me—as
a most pleasant break in the constant work of Sunday. Nowell was the
confidential servant of Lord Dufferin for many years, who went with him
to Canada in 1872, and had been with him in all his different posts.

A rather amusing incident once happened. The late Archbishop of York was
staying at the Embassy, and we were invited to meet him at dinner on the
Saturday evening. While I was at breakfast on Sunday morning he sent his
servant down to ask me the way to the other English church!

In 1893-4 my wife had a most serious illness, and was confined to the
house for some months. I can truly say that scarcely a day passed
without Lady Dufferin coming in to see her, and often to sit with her
for a considerable time. Even when His Majesty the King (then Prince of
Wales) was in Paris, and lunching at the Embassy, she did not omit this
kind office, but apologized for being late. Such kindness can never be
rewarded or forgotten.

Our relations with the French were not at this time of the most cordial
character, and I often feared that His Excellency had a good deal
of anxiety that we knew nothing of—as, of course, we never spoke of
“politics” at the Embassy. I once, however, ventured to say that I feared
he had been passing through a troublous time, and he took and held my
hand in his kind way and said: “My dear Noyes, when one has been through
the anxieties of Canada and India, it is not so difficult to support the
trouble here.”

[Illustration: THE MARCHIONESS OF DUFFERIN AND AVA.]

But if the Embassy had its grave moments it had its gay ones too. One
morning, quite early, I received a visit from apparently an old lady
(really a very young one), who told me she was in great trouble. She
seemed, however, very reluctant to explain, and said she would like to
see my wife. As she was not down I proposed she could come later, or,
if she preferred, see me in the Vestry, where I usually received such
visits. After some demur she promised she would. I learned later in the
day that it was one of the ladies from the Embassy—disguised.

She went from me to the Chancery, and equally deceived one of the
Attachés. The “make up” was very clever, and I was quite deceived.
We were dining at the Embassy the same evening, and His Excellency
said, “I wish she had got a franc from you, I should have put it on my
watch-chain.”

We had a very enjoyable Christmas party at the Embassy in (I think) 1894.
Lady Dufferin had arranged for a sort of magnified charade, in which the
family and most of the Attachés took part, and in which they “took off”
one another. The scene representing the writing of a dispatch in the
Chancery was most amusing, the peculiarities of the different secretaries
were cleverly caricatured. I was brought into the play, with some other
members of the Colony.

It was a happy coincidence that there were two weddings in the Dufferin
family during their stay in Paris. These occasions were peculiarly
interesting to me, as I had been in the habit of giving religious
instruction to the younger members of the family every week at the
Embassy; and also that I had known the Hon. W. Lee Plunket, who married
Lady Victoria Blackwood, for some years. His father, the late Archbishop,
was an intimate friend, with whom I had travelled much in England,
Scotland, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal. The first marriage, that of Lord
Terence Blackwood and Miss Flora Davis, took place on Oct. 16th, 1893.
Miss Davis being an American, the wedding took place in the Church of
the Holy Trinity, Avenue de l’Alma, Dr. Morgan and myself being the
officiating clergy. The church was beautifully decorated, and well
filled with guests, both the English and American Colonies being largely
represented. In the seats reserved for distinguished guests were Lord
and Lady Dufferin, the United States Ambassador (Mr. and Mrs. Eustis),
the Baron and Baroness de Morenheim from the Russian Embassy, Mrs. J. H.
Davis (stepmother of the bride), with some other relations. After the
ceremony a reception was held at the British Embassy, very numerously
attended by both French and English. The large number of handsome
presents—under the charge of Nowell—had many admiring visitors. It was
altogether a most interesting and brilliant gathering, and the first
marriage from the Embassy for several years.

[Illustration: TRAINBEARERS AT THE LADY PLUNKET’S WEDDING.]

The wedding bells were, however, heard again when the Hon. W. Lee Plunket
(now Lord Plunket, Governor of New Zealand) was married in the Embassy
Church to Lady Victoria Blackwood, daughter of their Excellencies Lord
and Lady Dufferin. The wedding took place on June 4th, 1894, and was a
most interesting event. It had been given out that the marriage would
be of a semi-private character. Notwithstanding, the church was full
to the doors. It was an interesting gathering from both the family and
public point of view. Mrs. Rowan Hamilton, Lady Helen Ferguson, Lady
Terence Blackwood, Lady Hermione Blackwood, and the Hon. Elizabeth and
Olive Plunket (sisters of the bridegroom), were present, and Miss Muriel
Stephenson and the Hon. Cynthia Lyttelton were among the bridesmaids.
In describing the bridal procession, the “New York Herald” said: “The
noble Marquis, who wore the conventional frock coat, appeared deeply
moved as he led his beloved daughter to the altar. In close order behind
came the eight bridesmaids in their light dresses and broad hats,
forming a very gay cortège, the rear of which was brought up by a weeny
mite of six years or so in an ample Greenaway white skirt and mob cap,
and her brother equally diminutive, a jolly little ‘shaver,’ alert as
he could be, his big blue eyes taking in everything, dressed in white
knickerbockers and three-cornered white cavalier hat. How sweet they
were. Let me introduce them to you—Miss Dora Geraldine Noyes and Master
Claude Noyes.” The latter, who had imbibed the idea that this ceremony
involved the departure of Lady Victoria from the Embassy, for whom he had
a great admiration, was very indignant with Mr. Plunket, and “went for
him” later on in the Embassy garden. It was a great pleasure to me to
stand on this occasion side by side with Lord Plunket (then Archbishop
of Dublin) and to assist in the marriage of his son. The signatories of
the marriage contract were the Earl of Dufferin and Ava, Lord Plunket
(Archbishop of Dublin), Mr. F. Rowan Hamilton, the Hon. David Plunket,
and myself. The reception after the ceremony in the Embassy gardens
was a brilliant gathering of “Tout Paris.” M. Hanotaux (the newly
appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs) was among those present, and the
Diplomatic Corps were “au grand complet.” Many American friends of the
family came to wish Godspeed and happiness to the young couple. It was a
happy gathering, and the fine old garden—the scene of so many memorable
gatherings—looked its best.

In the Diplomatic service Ambassadors retire at the age of seventy; there
was real sorrow in the English Colony in Paris when it was known that the
Marquis of Dufferin and Ava was nearing this period. It being, however,
inevitable, it was decided to render their departure as little sorrowful
as possible, so far as the British Colony was concerned. A Committee
was formed to consider a presentation to Lord Dufferin, and also a
Committee of ladies, who were anxious to mark their appreciation of Her
Excellency’s kindness and untiring work in connection with the various
charities. It was agreed to present to the Ambassador a portrait of his
son, Lord Ava, who was also very popular, and M. Benjamin Constant was
commissioned to paint it.

It was unfortunately not ready for the day when the presentation was
made, but the subscribers were invited to view it later. It is now, of
course, of very special value, owing to the unfortunate death of Lord
Ava in South Africa. At the banquet, when the presentation was made,
the Earl made a most interesting speech, part of which is well worth
recording. He said: “That he felt he was not addressing an audience,
but was speaking to a few dear and intimate friends, and therefore would
not make a set speech. When one had something to say from one’s heart
words came easily. Considering the almost minatory words in Scripture,
addressed to those who, like himself, had reached their seventieth year,
he hardly knew whether he might consider himself as possessed of a
future, or whether he ought not to regard his life as over, and himself
as an uninvited guest at a crowded banquet. He consoled himself, however,
with the reflection that the words of Holy Scripture were addressed to
a people whose life began rather earlier—who married, for instance,
sometimes at the age of ten, and whose girls were occasionally mothers at
that age. As he had not married till he was thirty-six, he concluded that
he was only now beginning his life. Speaking as he did in the British
Embassy, he remembered what he felt at his first appearance there. It
was in that room that he had ventured upon his first waltz, having been
ordered to dance. The lady was, he feared, thoroughly disgusted with her
partner. In this room, too, he remembered a performance of the ‘School
for Scandal,’ in which three of the characters had been taken by three
descendants of Sheridan—the Duchess of Somerset, his mother, and Mr.
R. Sheridan. Finally, the room would be after this associated with one
of the most gratifying incidents of his life, the presentation of this
gift by his friends in Paris. He would like to say a few words on his
choice of the present. He had desired something which might descend to
his heirs, and remain long afterwards as a memorial of the kind feelings
with which he had been regarded in Paris. He had not chosen, therefore,
a valuable picture or other object which squandering descendants—such
persons were occasionally found in families—would at once sell, but
he had asked for a portrait of his son which would grow more valuable
with time, and be a long-lasting memorial of his Paris career. It would
be among the most treasured of the objects which he had collected at
Clandeboy from all parts of the world.”

The speech was delivered in the Earl’s happiest vein, and was listened to
with rapt attention, though not without emotion, it being his last public
address to the British Colony in Paris.

The Colony, however, were not satisfied with shewing their warm
appreciation of the kindness of their Ambassador. Lady Dufferin had won
all hearts during her stay by her consideration and goodness to rich and
poor. Almost every charity in Paris had benefited from the indefatigable
work of Her Excellency, who had gone thoroughly into the affairs of the
various agencies and then set herself to strengthen any that were weak.
Never did she fail to respond to any appeal, taking a personal interest
in every case, often at a sacrifice to the demands upon her diplomatic
duties. It was both a glad and a sad gathering in the “Galerie des Champs
Elysées” in June, 1896, when the presentation committee and a large
gathering of friends met to say farewell to their Ambassadress. The gift
was a lovely Louis XVI. clock and candelabras, and was presented on
behalf of the donors by the Hon. Mrs. Gye.

In reply Lady Dufferin said: “It is really impossible for me to say
what I feel on this occasion, for I am quite overwhelmed by your
kindness and by your expressions of friendship and goodwill. However
undeserving of such kindness I may feel, it is a very great pleasure
to me to receive this assurance of your sympathy. I thank you with all
my heart for your generous words, your good wishes, and for this most
lovely gift. I thank you also for the many occasions upon which during
the last three years you have shewn your sympathy with other members
of my family, and for the loyal support you have ever given me in all
matters relating to British charities in Paris. It is the duty, and I am
sure it is the pleasure, of every English Ambassadress here to interest
herself in these institutions, but without the hearty co-operation of the
British residents, her fellow subjects, her interest in them could have
no practical result. If, therefore, I have been able to promote in the
slightest degree the welfare of any British charity here, it is because
of the unfailing help and support I have received from you.”

Shortly after, the departure of Lord and Lady Dufferin took place.
It was a time and scene not easily forgotten. The whole Embassy
staff were gathered in the hall, my wife and myself among them. The
Ambassador and Lady Dufferin came down and went round to everyone,
shaking hands and saying goodbye. There were few dry eyes. No ceremony
marked their departure beyond this, and they drove away in an ordinary
“growler”—it was just like them. Lord and Lady Dufferin returned to Paris
subsequently—for the Emperor and Empress of Russia’s visit—but stayed at
an hotel. I rarely met Lord Dufferin afterwards. The last time was at the
cemetery at Mount Jerome, Dublin, when we stood beside the grave of the
late Lord Plunket. He then laid his hand on my shoulder, saying: “Noyes,
this is a great deal out of your life;” and so it was, for I had been
intimate for many years with the Archbishop. It has been our delight to
welcome Lady Dufferin on several occasions since.

The death of Lord Ava in South Africa, so deservedly loved, was a great
blow to Lord Dufferin, and one of the sorrows which no doubt brought him
to the grave.

On that occasion he wrote me the following letter:—

    “My dear Noyes,—

    “I knew you would feel for us, and my wife and I are deeply
    grateful to you and Mrs. Noyes for the sympathy you have shewn
    us. We know no details except that the telegram told us that
    our poor boy died without having ever recovered consciousness
    from the time he was struck. It is God’s will, and we must try
    to submit in patience.

                         “Yours very sincerely,

                                                 “DUFFERIN AND AVA.”

The successor to the Marquis of Dufferin in Paris was Sir Edmund Monson,
Bart., who had held many and important posts in the public service. He
came to the Faubourg St. Honoré in October, 1896, having been Ambassador
Extraordinary, and Plenipotentiary to the Emperor of Austria since 1893.
He was appointed a Royal Commissioner for the Paris Exhibition of 1900,
and was made an honorary D.C.L. of Oxford in 1898. He also received the
Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour from the French Government.

Sir Edmund and Lady Monson received a hearty welcome from Parisians
generally, and the Ambassador soon won his way with us all by his kindly
manner and warm interest in whatever concerned the British Colony. There
were many important events during the time Sir E. Monson was with us,
among which was the celebration of the Jubilee of Queen Victoria, which
took place in June, 1897. A garden party was given at the Embassy, which
was very largely attended. The “Figaro” said there were about four
thousand present. The entire Diplomatic Corps, artistic, political, and
literary celebrities, distinguished visitors to Paris, and the leading
members of the British Colony were included. Madame Felix Fauré and
Mlle. Lucie Fauré, wife and daughter of the President, M. Hanotaux, and
many others well known in French politics and society, were amongst the
guests. General Horace Porter, the American Ambassador, was supported by
a large number of the American Colony. The following day a Children’s
Fête was held at St. Cloud. Special boats conveyed the young Britishers
to the rendezvous, and a most enjoyable day was spent. Between eight and
nine hundred sat down to tea, when patriotic speeches were made amid
hearty demonstrations of loyalty to the Throne. It is not an unimportant
part of the chaplain’s work to keep “green” in the hearts of the young
living in Paris the home feeling, and to prevent their slipping away from
attachment to their Sovereign.

The following year was marked by the “Fashoda” incident, which, it will
be remembered, caused much excitement in both countries. Relations were
somewhat strained, and all sorts of exaggerated rumours got abroad. I
remember it being reported that Sir E. Monson had gone to the Elysée with
an “Ultimatum” in his pocket; and again, that the Embassy had commenced
to pack up with a view to removal! In December, 1898, the British
Chamber of Commerce gave a banquet, at which Sir Edmund Monson made a
speech which caused considerable excitement. On arrival, I found the
journalists, who had seen a copy of the speech before it was delivered,
in a considerable flutter, M. Blowitz of the “Times” being especially
active. There was marked silence during the delivery of the speech by the
Ambassador. The following is the most striking passage: “I would entreat
the French Nation to resist the temptation to try to thwart British
enterprise by petty manœuvres; such as I grieve to see suggested by the
proposal to set up educational establishments as rivals to our own in the
newly acquired provinces of the Soudan. Such ill-considered provocation,
to which I confidently trust no official countenance will be given, might
well have the effect of converting that policy of forbearance from taking
the full advantage of our recent victories, and our present position,
which has been enunciated by our highest authority into the adoption of
measures, which, though they evidently find favour with no inconsiderable
party in England, are not, I presume, the object at which French
sentiment is aiming.”

[Illustration: COURT YARD, BRITISH EMBASSY.]

In February of the next year, President Felix Fauré died quite
unexpectedly. There was a certain mystery about his death which has never
been quite cleared up to the public satisfaction. The wildest rumours
were spread in Paris. I visited the Elysée, and the salon where the dead
President lay. He looked much as I had often seen him in life. He was
dressed in evening clothes, the prevailing custom in France. The funeral
was most imposing. But “Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi.” Very soon the
question of a successor came on, and the grand Salon at Versailles (where
the German Emperor was crowned in 1870) was filled with the deputies to
elect their President. The choice fell upon M. Loubet—contrary to the
expectation of many—and the event showed that he was the right man, for
during his Presidency France had a comparatively quiet period.

Next year (1900) came the great Exhibition, when we were flooded with
visitors from all parts of the world. Sir Edmund Monson kindly placed the
ballroom at the Embassy at my disposal for an overflow service on the
Sunday mornings, as the church proved too small.

Indeed, nothing could exceed the interest and kindness of the Ambassador
in all Church matters. During this year the Annual Conference of
Continental Chaplains was held in Paris, as it gave them the opportunity
to visit the Exhibition. Halls suitable for such a gathering were very
expensive, but again the Ambassador came to our aid, and we held the
Conference in the ballroom at the Embassy. He also gave a banquet to the
chaplains, which was much appreciated. I unfortunately caught typhoid
fever at the end of the year, and so was debarred from many of the
closing functions which were crowded into that time.

In 1901 came our great National loss in the death of England’s greatest
Queen. I have described elsewhere the deep feeling manifested in the
British Colony in Paris, and the services held in connection with that
sad event.

I have spoken above of the kindness of Sir E. Monson in all Church
matters. When the time of his departure drew near, I wrote to tell him
how much the British Colony, and especially the congregation of the
Embassy Church, appreciated what he had done. He wrote me the following
letter:—

    “My dear Dr. Noyes,—

    “I am deeply touched by your kind letter of yesterday; and it
    is a real gratification to me to think that our association
    during the last eight years has been productive of such
    relations of friendship as have constantly existed between
    us, and that our steady co-operation in the interests of the
    English community here has never failed to be advantageous.

    “In the many posts which I have occupied in Her Majesty’s
    service, it has always been one of my chief pleasures to come
    into contact with the English chaplains, and it has so happened
    that wherever I have been I have had opportunities of making a
    general acquaintance with all the accessible clergy. I have had
    special experience of their devotion to their work, and though
    differences of opinion are inevitable, I have never found that
    such differences have seriously interfered with social liking
    and harmony. It has consequently been always a real pleasure to
    my wife and myself to welcome the chaplains whenever a general
    meeting calls them together at the post we may be occupying.
    It is not so easy at Paris as it is elsewhere to be in touch
    with a large British community, but everyone with whom we
    have made acquaintance has given us evidence of interest for
    which we cannot but be very grateful. We hope to be from time
    to time in Paris, and whether we have a sort of home here or
    not, we shall at any rate look upon the Rue d’Aguesseau Church
    as a spot in which we have a vested interest, and where we
    shall never be regarded as strangers. With my wife’s very kind
    regards to yourself and Mrs. Noyes, I remain, dear Dr. Noyes,

                         “Most sincerely yours,

                                                    “EDMUND MONSON.”

Sir Edmund Monson left us at the close of 1904, to the sincere regret of
all his friends. He was succeeded by the present Ambassador, the Right
Hon. Sir Francis Bertie, K.C.M.G., etc., who came into residence in
January, 1905.

The staff at the Embassy is continually changing, so that during my long
chaplaincy in Paris I made the acquaintance of many, and the friendship
of some now serving King and country in different parts of the world. It
would, I think, be difficult to find in the public service a finer body
of men than those in Diplomacy.

The journalist has no doubt minimised to some extent the work formerly
done by the Diplomatist—as Sir Edmund Monson pointed out in one of his
speeches. But the adjustment of international difficulties, and the
solving of delicate questions continually arising—the “keeping of the
buttons tight”—leaves a vast amount of work with which Diplomacy only can
deal, and for which the careful technical training for that service alone
supplies the knowledge.

One of the best-known figures at the Embassy is Sir Henry Austin Lee,
C.B., etc., who has been many years attached to the Embassy, and is
universally loved and respected. He has had, as is well known, a very
distinguished career.

Among the many important appointments he has held, it will be remembered
that he was attached to the late Marquis of Salisbury’s special Embassy
to Constantinople in 1876, and the special Embassy during the Congress
in Berlin in 1878, being assistant private secretary to the late Earl of
Beaconsfield. He is now Commercial Attaché in Paris, and Councillor of
the Embassy, and also Director and member of the Managing Committee of
the Suez Canal Company. Sir Henry Lee takes the warmest interest in the
British charities in Paris, and is Chairman of the Schools and member of
the Committee of the British Charitable Fund. His marriage was the last
held in the Embassy. I officiated with his brother at the ceremony. Her
Royal Highness the Princess of Wales (then Princess May) was present on
the occasion, and H.R.H. the Duke of Teck one of the witnesses.

Sir Charles Ottley, Admiral Sir William May, and Capt. Morgan were Naval
Attachés during my sojourn, and Major-General the Hon. Sir Reginald
Talbot, the late Lt.-Col. W. F. Bonham, and Lt.-Col. H. C. Lowther,
Military Attachés.

[Illustration: SIR HENRY AUSTIN LEE, K.C.M.G., C.B.]

Sir E. Egerton (who has just left Rome), the late Sir Michael Herbert
(who went from us to Washington), Sir Maurice de Bunsen (now Ambassador
in Madrid), Sir Rennel Rodd (lately appointed to Rome), the Hon. Reginald
Lister (who has lately left for Morocco), Sir Charles Harding, Mr. H.
J. O. Beirne, Lord Berwick, the Earl of Sheffield, the present Lord
Monson (whom I married), and many others, were at the Embassy during
my time, and with some of whom I was privileged to work in the various
philanthropic and other efforts in the British Colony.

One of my greatest regrets in leaving Paris was the necessary severance
of my connection with the Embassy, and the parting from those who had
shown me so much kindness.



CHAPTER III.

MEMORABLE SERVICES.


During my chaplaincy there were several memorable services in the English
Embassy Church. The first of these was the funeral of the late Earl of
Lytton, Her Majesty’s Ambassador of France.

Lord Lytton died in November, 1891, at the Embassy. His death was
unexpected and sudden. Upon hearing the sad news I called at the Embassy
and saw Lady Lytton, who was naturally very much affected. I remember
that she took me by the hand and led me into the chamber of death, and
we both knelt down, and I prayed with her. The Earl was very little
changed by death, and lay as if asleep. Each morning afterwards, until
the funeral, I went to the Embassy and conducted family prayers. The
relatives had gathered, and I had quite a large number. Several of the
Balfour family were present, amongst whom was Lady Betty Balfour, the
eldest daughter of Lady Lytton, who has since, as is well known, edited
her father’s classic letters.

[Illustration: BRITISH EMBASSY CHURCH, FROM THE RUE D’AGUESSEAU.]

The funeral took place on Saturday, November 28th, and was most imposing.
The late Earl was very popular with the French, so much so that it
had been decided that the funeral must be public, and of the “class”
usually accorded to a Marshal of France. The scene in the church was
very remarkable. The Embassy had taken the body of the Church for the
Diplomatic Corps and the high officials of state of the French Republic.
One gallery was reserved for the special and intimate friends of Lady
Lytton, and the other gallery was the only space available for members of
the English Colony generally. The body of the Church presented a striking
appearance. All the Foreign Ambassadors and their suites were present
in full diplomatic dress, and the Military and Naval Attachés in their
brilliant uniforms. I remember that Colonel the Hon. R. Talbot (as he was
then) was especially remarked in his English scarlet dress. The French
Government, the Political, Naval, Military, and Civil Administrations
were all represented, and many of the most distinguished men in art,
science, and literature had come to pay the last tribute to the deceased
Ambassador.

The outer coffin was quite plain, in accordance with Lady Lytton’s
desire, and bore the inscription “Edward Robert, First Earl of Lytton,
born November 8th, 1831, died November 24th, 1891.”

The British Chamber of Commerce and the Hon. Whitelaw Reid had sent
flowers (evidently not knowing of the order “No flowers”), but the only
emblem in the Church was a simple wreath of laurel, which rested on the
coffin. The Church was draped from ceiling to floor in black and silver,
and the effect was very striking.

I have a record by me of some of those who were present, and it is an
interesting list of names. There was the Prince of Monaco, M. Ribot (with
the staff of the French Foreign Office), General Brugère, M. Fallières
(then President of the Senate), MM. Jules Ferry, Léon Fay, Goblet, and
Flourens. Then I saw Barons Alphonse Gustave and Edmund de Rothschild,
Comte Armaud, Prince de Sagan, the Marquis de Breteuil, Alexandre Dumas,
the Marquis de Jaucourt, and Comte de Portales. These are but a few of
the well-known French names. In the gallery amongst many others were
the Baroness Morenheim (wife of the Russian Ambassador at that time),
the Countess Hoyos, Madame and Mlle. de Freycinet. I heard that amongst
others a telegram of sympathy was received from Madame Sarah Bernhardt,
who was in America. The pall bearers were the Count von Munster (the
German Ambassador), Mr. Egerton, C.B. (Minister Plenipotentiary at the
British Embassy), Sir E. Blount (representing the English Colony). M.
Ribot (French Minister of Foreign Affairs), and MM. Jules Claretie and
Camile Doucet, representing literature and science.

I shall never forget the scene in the streets. It had been arranged
that the body of the late Earl should be taken from the Church in Rue
d’Aguesseau to the Gare St. Lazare, to be conveyed to England. All the
traffic was stopped between the Church and the railway station, and
the streets were lined with military and police, and many thousands of
spectators. It was said that 3,000 soldiers were employed, and that the
procession took thirty minutes to pass any given spot. The demeanour of
the immense crowd in the streets was most respectful and sympathetic, and
all heads were bared as the coffin passed.

When we arrived at the railway, the hearse drew up at the entrance gate,
and then followed a most impressive demonstration. I, with the other
clergy and the sons of the deceased Ambassador, stood in front of the
hearse; grouped round were the Ambassadors and State Officials, and
now the entire body of the French troops filed past in review order and
saluted the bier. I noticed that as the regimental flags were borne past,
the Military Attachés saluted them and the civilians uncovered. The
interment took place at Knebworth. We had a memorial service in Paris,
and I made reference in the sermon to the distinguished services of the
late Ambassador, and by request of Lady Lytton the sermon was published.

It was said at the time that the Earl of Lytton was the first Ambassador
who had died at his post in Paris, but this is, I believe, not quite
correct, as James Beaton, Archbishop of Glasgow, was Ambassador for Queen
Mary and King James I. at the French Court, and he died in Paris in 1603.
Curiously he was known as Jacques de Bethune de Balfour—the name Balfour
being thus common to both families.

But a few weeks afterwards, and a second impressive and public service
for the burial of the dead was held in the Embassy Chapel, this time as
a memorial to the Duke of Clarence and Avondale. His early death had
evoked a world-wide sympathy, and Her Majesty’s Chargé d’Affaires in
Paris, Mr., now Sir E. H. Egerton, requested a public service. Upon this
occasion the gorgeous diplomatic and military uniforms were not worn, as
etiquette only prescribes the wearing of uniform at a funeral service in
the case of a reigning sovereign, or of an Envoy Plenipotentiary. This
fact, however, did but add to the solemnity of the scene. As was the case
at the funeral service for the Earl of Lytton, the body of the Church
was reserved for the French officials and the Corps Diplomatique, while
the unreserved part was filled with members of the British Colony, all
the ladies being dressed in mourning. The Church chancel and pulpit was
draped with black and silver hangings, the porch outside being similarly
decorated, the Royal arms being emblazoned in the centre. There was a
large gathering of distinguished Frenchmen on this occasion: President
Carnot was represented by Colonel Dalstein; the Prime Minister, M.
de Freycinet, by Colonel Pamard; the Minister of Marine by Captain
Thomas, of the Navy; and General Saussier, Governor of Paris, by Colonel
Courbebaisse. M. Ribot, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, was present,
and among other Frenchmen of prominence were M. d’Ormesson, Master of
the Ceremonies; M. de Mahy, Vice-President of the Chamber of Deputies;
M. Poubelle, Prefect of the Seine; the Duc de Luynes, and the Duc de
Mouchy. Among the Diplomatic Corps I noticed Count Hoyos, the Austrian
Ambassador; Colonel de Fréedéricksz, Military Attaché of the Russian
Embassy; M. de Schön, of the German Embassy; M. Delyanni, the Greek
Minister; Missak-Effendi, who replaced his chief, Essad Pasha, kept at
home by influenza; the Baron de Almeda; M. Jusserand; Mr. Vignaud, of the
United States Legation; General Meredith Read, and others. The members
of the British Embassy were present “au grand complet,” headed by Mr. E.
Egerton, Chargé d’Affaires, and Mr. Austin Lee.

I conducted the service, assisted by my valued colleague Rev. J. C. Pyper
and two other clergymen, and preached from the text “Weep with them that
weep.” Before closing I took occasion to thank those of other Nations
for their kind expression of sympathy on the sad event. The guests were
received at the Church door by Sir E. H. Egerton and Lt.-Col. the Hon.
Reginald Talbot, the British Military Attaché, as we had no Ambassador
yet appointed to succeed the Earl of Lytton. Real sympathy was very
manifest through the whole service.

The following year (1893) there died in Paris a remarkable man, Rev.
Whitaker McCall, the founder of the McCall Mission among the French
people, whom it was my privilege to know during the last four years of
his life. For twenty-three years this devoted man had worked in the
lowest parts of Paris with remarkable success; so much so that in 1892 he
was accorded the Cross of the Legion d’Honneur by the President of the
French Republic as a mark of appreciation of the work he had done. He was
also given the medal of the “Société libre d’Instruction et d’Education
populaires,” and that of the “Société Nationale d’encouragement au Bien.”
I believe he was the only Englishman who has thus been honoured, and this
is the more remarkable as his work was purely and altogether religious.
The Salles des Conferences scattered through Paris and the Provinces are
a lasting tribute to his memory, and remain centres in which the work is
still carried on. The funeral was held in the Church of the Oratoire in
the Rue de Rivoli. A vast crowd filled the large building in every part.
This church is remarkable from the fact that it was given to the French
Protestants by Napoleon the Great, and at one time—before the Church in
the Rue d’Aguesseau was bought—was used for English Church services on
Sunday evenings. My friend Dr. Pigou, the Dean of Bristol, tells me that
he frequently took services there when he was connected with the old Rue
Marbœuf Church.

I was asked to take part in the funeral service of Mr. McCall, as
representing the English Colony. It was a scene not easily forgotten.
The immense crowd, the hymns sung in French, and the addresses—of which
I gave one, in both French and English—were listened to with wrapt
attention. It was the last and a loving tribute to one who has probably
done more than any other to place the Word of God in the hands of the
French people.

[Illustration: BRITISH EMBASSY CHURCH (INTERIOR).]

The following year was marked by public services of a different kind.
It was the Diamond Jubilee of our late Queen, of glorious memory,
and the British Colony in Paris—and there is none more loyal to the
throne—determined to mark it in a special manner. Public meetings were
held in the Hotel Continental, kindly lent for the purpose, and it was
decided to raise a fund which, after deducting the expenses connected
with the fête, should be devoted to the various British charities of
Paris without distinction of creed. It was also decided to give a fête
to the children of the Colony and a dinner to the working classes. I
consulted with Sir E. Monson, our Ambassador, who arranged with me that
there should be services held in the Embassy Church corresponding with
the services in London on Sunday, June 20th. An official service was also
arranged for the afternoon of the same day to which the Diplomatic Corps
were to be invited. The following is a description of the services:—

“At the Embassy Church, in the Rue d’Aguesseau, there were two
thanksgiving services, one at eleven a.m., at the close of which the
Rev. Dr. Noyes, who wore the scarlet cassock of a Doctor of Divinity,
delivered a touching and eloquent address. He stirred a deep chord in
the heart of those who heard him by reminding them that, though in a
foreign land for the time being, they were in communion of thought with
millions of their countrymen at home, and many more millions of their
fellow subjects in distant regions, even in the most remote corners of
the earth, in offering their thanksgivings for the blessings the Queen’s
reign had conferred on England and the British people.

“The official thanksgiving service also took place at the Rue
d’Aguesseau, at three o’clock in the afternoon. The admission to the
church was by tickets, as a large portion of the nave had to be reserved
for the French officials and the members of the Corps Diplomatique; but
the English community was also present in large numbers, and the church
was densely crowded. The Corps Diplomatique, with the exception of the
United States Ambassador, whom etiquette compels to wear evening dress
on State occasions, were all in full dress. Our Embassy received the
various officials and Diplomatists, and showed them to their places.
There were present, representing England, Sir Edmund and Lady Monson (the
late), Mr. Gosselin, Colonel Dawson, Mr. Clarke Thornhill, Sir Brook
Boothby, Mr. Marling, Mr. Barclay, Sir Berkeley Sheffield, the British
Consul General and Vice Consul, Messrs. Percy Inglis, and Mr. Falconer
Atlee. President Faure was represented by the captain of the frigate
Serpette, and the French Government by M. Hanotaux and M. Mollard. The
German Ambassador and Countess Marie de Münster, the Russian Ambassador
and some of his Attachés two of whom wore the splendid uniform of
the Chevaliers Gardes; the Austrian Ambassador, in whose suite was a
Hungarian magnate in a splendid national dress, the Italian Ambassador,
one of whose Attachés was attired in the picturesque garb of a Colonel
of Bersaglieri; the Persian Ambassador, Munir Bey, and his Staff, decked
in gorgeous uniforms, contrasting strangely with the unpretending fez,
which, of course, they did not remove; the Chinese Ambassador and a
couple of quaintly dressed Mandarins, filled the nave of the unpretending
little church with a glittering array of gold lace such as I think was
never before congregated within its walls. The rest of the nave and the
galleries were filled by the ticket-holders, and they were all obviously
English, ladies largely predominating. The service was shorter than that
in the morning, but there was no sermon, and at the close the choir sang
the first and last verses of the National Anthem, in which the English
part of the congregation joined. The Ambassador and his Staff then
took up places at the entrance of the nave, and shook hands with the
diplomatists and officials as they passed out.”

There were some very striking testimonies in the French papers to the
Greatness of the Queen, e.g., in the “Gaulois,” M. Imbert de St. Amand
wrote:—

“Queen Victoria has not only been a model Sovereign, she has also been
the model of all wives, of all widows, of all mothers. She might be
described in a very few words—virtue on the Throne. As a rule, long
reigns generally end in sadness. Charlemagne wept at the sight of
the Northmen’s galleys scouring the coasts. Charles V., weary and
disheartened, sought the living death of the cloister, and was present
at his own funeral service. Louis XIV. remarked to Marshal Villars after
his last defeat, ‘We cannot at our time of life hope for good luck.’ None
of these precedents holds good in the case of her Britannic Majesty. Her
reign, after sixty years, seems to defy the efforts of time. There are
no signs of decay, but of a permanent renewal of life. The popularity
of the Queen grows with every year added to her reign, and the joy and
enthusiasm with which her three hundred and fifty millions of subjects
acclaim it are the crowning and most touching feature of her Diamond
Jubilee. The Queen fully merits this apotheosis, since she is the noblest
incarnation of all the leading qualities of the Anglo-Saxon race—love
of her home, firmness of purpose, energy in effort, unswerving devotion
to duty. England sees herself mirrored in her Sovereign, and takes just
pride in the presentment. She and her people are one.… Every class of
French society, without any distinction of party and origin, unites in
respectful greeting of the Sovereign who stands out as the grandest
womanly figure of her century—the heroine of duty, whom not only her
children, but her whole people venerate as the most intelligent, the most
devoted, the best of mothers. Like our neighbours, we shall all say, ‘God
Save the Queen,’ and with all our hearts take part in the Jubilee, which
is at once the triumph of the woman and the triumph of the Queen.”

And again M. Comely in the “Matin”:—

“It is impossible for a civilized being to refrain from a feeling of
deep admiration at this splendid result of the past sixty years. But
it is difficult for a Frenchman not to feel some bitterness when he
compares the situation of England with that of his own country. Queen
Victoria has known one King of the French, one Emperor of the French,
and six Presidents of the French Republic. From her steady, unchanging,
Royal observatory, she has beheld the rise and fall of eight Sovereigns!
This stability of England, compared with the instability of France,
is sufficient in itself to account for the reason why France has been
growing less while England has been growing greater; the one has been
shrinking, the other has been expanding.”

The fêtes were a great success, and a grand testimony—if it were
needed—to the loyalty of Britishers living in France. About fourteen
hundred applied for tickets. St. Cloud, a favourite suburb of Paris
on the Seine, and the Restaurant du Parc—the scene of many British
fêtes—were decided upon. Four of the “Hirondelles” boats were chartered
to convey the party down the river. As each boat reached the jetty,
the band of the Pavilion Bleu, a well-known restaurant, struck up the
National Anthem. After dessert the following telegram was read, which
had been sent by Sir E. Blount, then the “doyen” of the Colony, to
Her Majesty Queen Victoria: “We your Majesty’s most loyal and loving
subjects, venture to offer our heartfelt congratulations on this
auspicious day, and pray for the continuance to your Majesty of those
blessings which have shed such a lustre on your Majesty’s glorious
reign.” The following reply was received: “The Queen desires me to
thank you and Her British subjects in Paris for your kind message and
congratulations. Bigge.”

Mr. A. Percy Inglis, the highly-respected Consul-General in Paris, made
a patriotic speech. His proposal of a toast to the Queen was received
with the utmost enthusiasm. I also made a speech on the occasion, and
took the opportunity of explaining the history of the “Union Jack,” at
which the audience seemed greatly pleased. Paris joined heartily in the
celebrations, and the Rue de la Paix was a mass of flags, and parts of
the City were illuminated. The English business houses all displayed
flags in profusion.

In January, 1900, there was a remarkable gathering in the Embassy Church
at the funeral of an English governess. It was the time of the Boer
War, and it was said that the well-known firm of “Creusot” had supplied
the guns which had done such execution against us in South Africa. This
lady had been a governess in the family at the head of the firm, and was
greatly respected. The firm paid all the expenses of the funeral, and
attended in such large numbers that the body of the church was filled
with men. It was a remarkable coincidence that at such a time the English
Church in Paris should be filled with those who had, it was understood,
supplied the munitions of war used against us, to pay a tribute of
respect to a British subject, the service being conducted by an English
clergyman.

In 1901 came that sad event which plunged the Nation into mourning—the
death of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. The sympathy of the French people
with us in our sorrow was very marked. I consulted with Sir Edmund
Monson, our Ambassador, who desired that special and official services
should be held in the Embassy Church at the time of the funeral in
England. The following account of what was done in Paris appeared in the
“Galignani Messenger” of that date:—

“Rarely, if ever before, has the little church in the Rue d’Aguesseau
held a more august assembly than it did yesterday morning, and the
service, in its grandeur and simplicity, was in every way suited to the
solemn occasion. It consisted of a few prayers; Psalms xc. and cxxx.; the
favourite hymns of the late Queen: ‘Hark, hark my soul!’ ‘Lead, kindly
light,’ and an anthem, ‘All ye who weep,’ with Gounod’s music. No address
was given, but the two final prayers—one in memory of the late Queen, the
other invoking the Almighty’s blessing on the new King—were specially
written for the occasion, and went home to the hearts of all present. The
Rev. Dr. Noyes conducted the service, assisted by several other clergymen
resident in Paris, and the choir, consisting of about fifty voices, was
heard to great advantage.

“The church was sumptuously decorated in black drapery and silver,
but, possibly, the effect would have been more impressive if the large
monograms V.I.R., in bright yellow, and the Royal Arms in colours, had
not figured so prominently.

“Lady Monson was early in attendance, and Sir Michael Herbert, assisted
by Mr. Austin Lee, Commercial Attaché, and Mr. Colville Barclay received
the numerous and influential congregation.

“Mme. Loubet, accompanied by Mmes. Dubois and Combarieu, was amongst
the early arrivals, Colonel Nicholas in attendance. The President was
represented by M. Combarieu.

“Mme. Loubet, upon her arrival, was conducted to a seat near the choir,
by the side of Lady Monson.

“One side of the church was reserved to the Diplomatic corps, every
member of which was present, save, of course, the Papal Nuncio, and the
Russian Ambassador, who was unwell, and was represented by his First
Secretary. On the other, all the members of the present Cabinet, who
without exception were present in person, including M. Waldeck-Rousseau,
President of the Council, MM. Dupuy, Delcassé, Pierre Baudin, General
André, etc., also M. Paul Deschanel, President of the Chamber of
Deputies; M. Fallières, President of the Senate; the Military Governor
of Paris, the Prefect of the Seine, and a great number of Deputies, MM.
Hanotaux, Le Myre de Viliers, R. Bompard, etc.

“The lower gallery at the back of the church was reserved for
representatives of Royalty: Prince Roland Bonaparte, Princesse Mathilde,
Princesse Marie of Mecklenburg, and the Baron Machiba, representing the
Countess d’Eu.

“Amongst other notabilities present were: Baronne Faverot de Kebrech (Née
Seymour), Marquis de Lau, Marquise de Peralt, Comte de Vettre, Comte de
Ganay, Baron Edouard de Rothschild, Baronne Decases Stackelberg, Comte
and Comtesse Jean de Castellane, Vicomte Léon de Janze, Mr. John K.
Gowdy (American Consul), MM. Crozier (Chef du Protocol) and Mollard,
Marquis d’Harcourt, MM. Picard and F. Arago, Comte Greffulhe, Comte de
Clermont-Tonnerre, and M. and Mme. Benjamin Constant.

“The English Colony was represented by: Sir Edward and Lady Sassoon,
Colonel Mapleson, Mr. Henry Blount, Mr. (now Sir) T. Barclay (President
of the Chamber of Commerce), Mr. T. Hounsfield (Vice-President), Messrs.
Inglis (Consul,) J. (now Sir John) Pilter, W. C. Robertson, P. Lammin
and Mrs. Lammin, Messrs. Spearman, Ablett, and C. E. Lord, Captain
Churchward, and Messrs. Brigstocke and A. Coleman.

“At the close the organ pealed forth the well-known Dead March in ‘Saul,’
the effect of which was marred by the departing congregation, who, after
the French fashion, shook hands with Sir Michael Herbert and the other
attachés to the Embassy, who stood in a row near the porch.

“The afternoon service was of an equally simple character, in fact it
was like the one held in the morning. But instead of officials clad
in their showy uniforms, it was composed of the English and American
Colonies—those who felt that they had lost one who was very dear to
them. The service seemed far more solemn than that of the morning, and
handkerchiefs and tears were by no means scarce. The Rev. Dr. Noyes again
conducted the service, and as the deep-toned sounds of the organ rolled
out the Dead March, the faces of many of those present showed that, as
the laureate has so beautifully expressed it, ‘She is dead; and the World
is widowed.’”

The same evening I received the following letter from the Hon. Michael
Herbert (now, alas, no more):—

                                                   “British Embassy,
                                                   “Saturday Evening.

    “Dear Dr. Noyes,—

    “Before the end of this memorable day I must write you a
    line to express my appreciation and that of the Embassy of
    the manner in which the two services in the Rue d’Aguesseau
    Church were conducted to-day. The music was excellent, and both
    services seemed to me worthy of this sad and solemn occasion.

    “I fear many people were unable to find places at the afternoon
    services, but I trust they will be able to secure room
    to-morrow.

                         “Yours very sincerely,

                                                    “M. H. HERBERT.”

The late Hon. M. Herbert was first Secretary of the Embassy, highly
respected, and one who took a keen interest in all that concerned the
British Colony. The services were continued on the following day. Sir
Edmund Monson, our Ambassador in Paris, was not present at the services,
owing to the fact that he had been summoned to London to attend the
funeral service. Services were also held in the Roman Catholic Church for
English members of that Communion, in the Russian Church, and in several
other places of worship. Indeed, an atmosphere of sadness seemed to rest
over the whole city. All the English houses of business were closed, many
exhibiting draped flags. Groups of people would stand under these flags
conversing in an undertone, and many were the kind remarks by the passing
crowds. I heard one say, “She was a good mother to all her people.” I may
mention that I asked the Rev. P. Beaton and Rev. J. Milne, Presbyterian
clergy in Paris, to take part in the official service, and each read a
lesson.

In 1902, the English Colony in Paris were looking forward with the
greatest interest to the all-important event fixed for the 26th of June,
the Coronation of His Majesty King Edward VII. It had been decided that
a service should be held and a fête given to all the British working
classes and poor resident in Paris, and extensive preparations were made.
Then on June 24th came the startling news that the King was ill, and the
Coronation ceremony had been postponed. The first intimation we had was
a telegram which was posted at the Bourse. The excitement was intense,
and the sorrow and anxiety in the British Colony seemed intensified
from the fact that we were residents abroad and far from the centre
of interest—the Palace where the King lay. As soon as I heard of the
telegram I called at the Embassy, and found that the news was only too
true, and that all had been postponed. As is well known, instead of the
Coronation Service in Westminster Abbey, an Intercession Service was held
in St. Paul’s Cathedral. We decided that a corresponding service should
be held in Paris, and I shall not soon forget the solemnity of that hour.
The church was well filled, all the staff of the British Embassy being
present. We all sang the National Anthem kneeling, and never, I believe,
was prayer more earnest that God would spare our beloved King. During
those anxious days every item of news was eagerly sought, and great was
the relief when we heard that the operation by Sir Frederick Treves had
been successful, and that our prayers had been answered in the safety
and then recovery of His Majesty. There was at that time no “Entente
Cordiale,” but the sympathy and anxiety of the French people was very
manifest. News was published hour by hour, and in the evenings, on the
Boulevards, the latest bulletins were given in immense letters, shown
by electric light from the office of the “Echo de Paris.” The month of
August—when happily the Coronation could take place—is the holiday month
in Paris, and the city is supposed to be empty. As a matter of fact
almost the whole of the British Colony is then away. In view of this it
was decided to postpone the fêtes until the close of this memorable year.
We held, however, special services in the church, when I took occasion to
comment upon the Coronation Service, and to explain parts of this solemn
religious ceremony. The fêtes came off in December, and were a great
success.

In 1903 we had a visit of Members of the British Parliament to Paris.
As they were staying over a Sunday, and many ladies—wives and daughters
of Members—were in the party, I wrote to the Secretary proposing that
a special service should be held. Sir E. Monson very kindly fell in
with the suggestion, and arranged for the service at three p.m., with a
reception at the Embassy, a few yards away, to follow the service. About
three hundred persons were present. I preached from the text: “Render
therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar’s, and unto God the
things which are God’s.” I never had a more attentive congregation. Many
of the Members at the subsequent reception were kind enough to express to
me their appreciation of the service.

Later we had an official visit from the London County Council, which left
very pleasant memories; and in 1906 the City Fathers came over, headed by
Sir Walter Vaughan-Morgan, for whom also I held a special service. I have
given some details of this visit in another chapter.



CHAPTER IV.

THE ENGLISHMAN ABROAD. PECULIAR CALLS UPON A CONTINENTAL CHAPLAIN.


More frequently than at home, the calls upon a chaplain abroad are
various and sometimes peculiar. This applies especially to Paris, which,
being comparatively near home and easy of access, is largely patronized
by holiday makers, and has besides a considerable resident British
Colony. There are about 12,000 English (according to the last census)
resident or travelling. I was sixteen-and-a-half years in Paris, during
which period my experiences have been somewhat varied. It is proposed in
this article to give some extracts from letters received at different
times and requests made, which illustrate the fact that a chaplain abroad
is often expected to know some things besides those connected with his
calling.

[Illustration: PLACE DE LA CONCORDE.]

A lady writes:

    “I am an invalid now in F⸺, and desire to come to Paris, and
    would be obliged if you would take rooms for me. Would you
    please see that the mattress in my bedroom is made of hair,
    and not wool, as I cannot sleep on the latter.”

My wife kindly arranged for this good lady.

Another lady writes:

    “Some time since I purchased some Panama Bonds, and am
    receiving no dividend. Would you please make enquiries about
    them and let me know if they are of any value, and if I can
    sell them.”

I obtained and sent her the information she required.

A gentleman writes:

    “A relative of mine (giving the name) died in Paris about the
    year 18—, and was I think buried in Père-la-Chaise. Could you
    find out if this were so, and whereabouts the grave is.”

Those who know Père-la-Chaise and other cemeteries of Paris will realize
what a difficult task was here given to the chaplain. The grave, however,
was found.

A lady came to the Vestry one morning and asked to see me. She told me
she was leaving Paris, and had a pet monkey which she did not wish to
take with her, and would I find it a home. I was glad to be able to
arrange this for her.

A clergyman writes:

    “I hope to bring a party of twelve to fifteen artisans over to
    Paris.… We leave England on the evening of ⸺, and arrive in
    Paris on Saturday. I do not know Paris, and venture to write to
    you to ask if you will be so good as to secure rooms for us, as
    cheaply as you can, and if you will just tell us where to go.”
    This request was granted.

On passing to the pulpit one Sunday a paper was handed to me by one
of the congregation. It was to ask me to say from the pulpit that the
applicant desired a wife about 25 to 30 years of age—domesticated, etc.
He added that he was prepared to take the one I recommended, and that he
had means to support her. I need hardly say the notice was not given.

A lady writes:

    “Kindly excuse my asking your help in a little matter. Can you
    kindly give me the names and addresses of anyone who would act
    as my agent and try to sell a little ‘scissors sharpener,’
    which I have lately brought out. I have patented it in France,
    etc., etc.” I was sorry not to be able to find anyone who would
    undertake the commission.

A Colonial clergyman wrote:

    “I make a great hobby of optics and lenses. I have a large
    collection of optical instruments, etc., of French make. Now
    I find there is a most unreasonable prejudice against French
    glasses. I believe this prejudice could be removed if I could
    get a few catalogues of reliable French firms. Could you get me
    some and send them out, etc.” I was glad to comply with this
    request.

There were various “scares” of a revolution during my sojourn in Paris,
and one was frequently called upon to calm the fears of the timid. The
following extract is an illustration.

A well-known gentleman wrote:

    “A lady with whom we were dining last night is much alarmed,
    and has frightened my wife about an impending revolution
    arranged for May 1st in Paris. She said she had heard that
    a Royalist Prince was hidden in Paris prepared to seize the
    reins of Government backed by the aristocracy, and that arms,
    bombs, and munitions are available. She also said that she had
    it on good authority that at our Embassy the prospects of a
    row were considered serious. She asked me to take her and my
    wife out of Paris till the date should be passed.… I should
    like to know what is your opinion, and also whether you propose
    doing anything for your own family.” I gave him my opinion, and
    nothing happened, except that Paris was quieter than usual.

The following request was more difficult. A lady writes:

    “Having seen in the London papers that Paris has a working
    scheme for the improved feeding of babies, I am anxious to
    learn more about it. As you so kindly offer to help visitors in
    various ways, I thought perhaps I might venture to ask you for
    the necessary information, etc., etc.”

The request evidently referred to the system of “couveuses” by which
prematurely born children were saved, a system which has proved generally
successful.

I referred her to the public exhibitions of these “incubators,” which
were being held in the Boulevards at that time.

Another request was as follows:

    “I am in a difficulty. Can you tell me where there are any
    Poultry Farms in France. Also could you find out for me if the
    Editor of ⸺ got six francs 25 c. which I sent him through the
    postman.… Can you tell me would it be possible for me to get
    a post in connection with poultry farming in France, or in a
    gentleman’s family.… I am domesticated, and can make good jams,
    marmalade, and cakes. What papers (French) do you advise me
    to advertise in. I know nothing of French customs and hardly
    anything of the language.”

These are extracts from a long and rather rambling letter, which I was
unable to answer to the writer’s satisfaction.

The following letter relates to the subject of marriage, and is one of
many I received on the same question:

    “Dear Sir,—I have been asked by a French lady … whether an
    Earl or Duke, or any titled man may legally marry under the
    simple family name. For instance, if a Duke of Z⸺, wishing to
    conceal his identity, could marry as Mr. X⸺, or whatever his
    family name might be. Also could he elope with a young lady
    and marry her in some out of the way village at once, or must
    they both reside there for a certain length of time, and have
    the Banns called three times. This is a lot of rubbish to
    bother you with, but if you will be good enough to give me this
    information it would certainly oblige my friend.”

To this I replied giving both the French and English regulations as to
marriage, and I heard no more of the case. I am sorry to say that during
my chaplaincy there were several sad cases of desertion after mixed
marriages (French and English); but these will be more easily dealt with
under “The difficulties of English people abroad.”

The calls of anxious parents to meet girls coming abroad to situations,
and to look after them, and requests to find French families where young
men and maidens could be placed for education in the language, and
enquiries as to schools, pensions, and hotels, were a pleasant though
constant part of every day’s work. A list of reliable abodes was kept,
and one had the satisfaction of being able to be of real service in this
way to hundreds of one’s fellow countrymen, who without good advice too
often get into difficulties.

One rather frequent call upon the services of the chaplain, in the
earlier part of my work in Paris, is happily no longer necessary. We
frequently got urgent letters and telegrams from India to look after
people who had been bitten by snakes, dogs, a jackal, etc., and were
hastening to France to put themselves under the Pasteur treatment; and
with some the experiences were very painful, as they arrived too late for
the cure to be successful.

Now happily our Government has provided a similar institution in India,
so that those who need it can be immediately attended to. This splendid
institution in Paris is, however, well worth the attention of visitors.

There were occasionally English people in Paris suffering from mental
disease—not sufficiently insane to be placed under control, but yet ill
enough to cause considerable trouble.

Upon one occasion a man came to me and gave me a sealed packet, telling
me it contained a most important document, and it was not to be opened
unless I heard of his death.

His manner made me think it might be of real importance, and he did not
strike me as insane. Some years after I heard of his death, and opened
the packet, and found it contained only torn pieces of paper with no
writing upon them.

One poor lady who lived in Paris during the whole of my stay there,
frequently wrote me letters—literally yards long—some of them must have
taken her many hours to write. Yet on many points she was sane enough,
and was engaged for years in teaching English to the French, both
privately and in classes.

I had not been long in Paris before I was asked through the secretary
of the “Société de Steeplechase” to join a syndicate for the purpose
of adjudicating upon any question that might arise connected with the
riders. I was supposed to represent the English jockeys, being the only
Englishman on the board. I accepted the position, as it was represented
that I might often be of some service to my fellow countrymen, although
I knew nothing of the race-course. I regularly received, up to the date
of my departure from Paris, tickets for the reserved enclosure. Sometimes
friends visiting me appeared shocked at seeing these in my study, until
I explained the reason. A copy of the card, which may be interesting,
appears on the next page.

The syndicate met very rarely, and I never had any serious case upon
which to pass judgment.

A peculiar call was made upon me one day. I was passing the Arc de
Triomphe when a gusty wind removed several hats. In front of me was
a nursemaid wheeling a perambulator. The wind took her hat, and all
her hair, which fell at my feet. It was an embarrassing moment, but I
fulfilled my duty, and handed it all to the blushing maiden.

[Illustration: THE OBVERSE AND REVERSE SIDES OF THE TICKET REFERRED TO ON
THE PREVIOUS PAGE.]



CHAPTER V.

EDUCATION IN FRANCE.


I was often asked by anxious parents as to the facilities for education
in France, indeed it was part of one’s daily work answering enquiries on
the subject. It may not be out of place to give here the result of my
experience. For English boys there are very few schools carried on as
our public schools are in England. For parents living abroad, the best
plan is to send their young boys to French “cours” or classes, of which
there are many, where they will readily pick up the language, and then to
send them over to England for further education. The instruction given in
French schools is not of the character or sufficient for those who intend
to enter professional life in England. When it is not convenient to
send boys to England, I would strongly advise parents to see the school
carried on by my friend, Mr. E. P. Denny, M.A. (Oxon.), at 55 Boulevard
Suchet. He has been very successful, and parents may safely entrust their
sons to his care. For older boys and young men entering the army or navy
it is better to select one of the many French families where young men
are received to learn the language. The resident chaplain can always
supply a list of thoroughly reliable homes. For mercantile life some of
the Lycées are very good. I may especially mention the Lycée Lakanal, at
Bourg la Reine, a short distance by rail or tram from Paris, where many
English boys have been received, and where every care is taken as to
moral training. I was appointed by the French Government as Religious
Instructor for the English boys there, and occupied the position for
some years, so that I had every opportunity of knowing the merits of the
school.

The advantages for English girls in Paris are very great. There are a
number of excellent schools, as well managed as any of our schools at
home. It is not usual to receive very young girls or day boarders in
the best schools. For the most part they are finishing schools, and the
girls do not usually stay more than one year. I need hardly say anything
to commend the old-established school founded by Madame Yeatman in the
Boulevard Victor Hugo, Neuilly. Her name is well known in England and
America, and other parts of the world. Some eight to nine hundred young
ladies passed through this school during my sojourn in Paris, and the
classes I held there will always be a pleasant memory. Madame Yeatman
is now enjoying a well-earned rest, although she continues to take the
kindliest interest in the school, and her charming house with access
to it enables her to pay frequent visits. Madame Yeatman displayed her
knowledge of character in the choice of Miss Easton to carry on the work,
a lady eminently suited to the position, who has already attained to a
well-merited success. An interesting gathering of old pupils is held
every year at the Grand Hotel in London, known as the “Yeatmanite tea.”

Another school which I can speak of in equally commendatory words is that
carried on at “The Maronneries,” Auteuil, by Mlles. Hogg and Guyomard.
This is quite an up-to-date establishment, and has largely increased of
late years. Two houses standing in extensive gardens, and a large field
for recreation, make one feel quite in the country. Nothing can exceed
the kindness and care of the principals—the teaching is excellent, and
many of the pupils have gained high distinction in French examinations.
These two schools occupy the galleries in the Embassy Church every Sunday
morning, forming an important part of the congregation. I always felt the
responsibility of speaking to so many young people, who would so soon
occupy important positions in English life.

Besides these two large schools there are several excellent smaller ones
where equal advantages may be obtained. Some of them take a certain
number of French girls, who take their lessons with the English—an
arrangement for and against which something may be said. The more
important of these, and all of which I knew well, and can speak of
in the highest terms, are Mlle. Lacarrère, Rue St. James, Neuilly;
Mlle. Bourré, Auteuil; Madame d’Almaine, Passy; Madame Morel de Fos,
Bolougne-sur-Seine; Mlles. Expulson and Metherell, Auteuil. The Marquise
de San Carlos has a successful school at Bornel, about two hours from
Paris, which is a delightful country home for girls, for whom it may be
well to add a country life to the advantages of education. There are
other schools, French and partly French and English, which I do not
mention, not because of any reason against them, but only that I was not
brought into contact with them in the way that I was with the above.

Sometimes parents have written to me asking if it was safe to send
English girls to France at all, and many have sent their daughters in
fear and trembling. My answer was that if parents would only be careful
in the choice of a school, and consult those on the spot, who had no
object to serve but to give the best advice they could to enquirers, no
harm would result. Schools in Paris cannot be carried on cheaply—the
necessaries of life are all taxed, and consequently living is dearer than
in the country in England. Many mistakes have been made from choosing
a school where the fees were a few pounds less than others. Those who
cannot afford a good school had better keep their daughters at home.
Convents have been a temptation to some owing to cheapness, and I would
warn parents who are anxious (as all should be) about the religious
education of their children that they should avoid these establishments
for their daughters. The food is often insufficient for English girls,
who find it hard to work on the “petit déjeûner” up to midday, and I
have known many become anæmic from this cause. But this is not the only
difficulty. While the promise is frequently made that there shall be no
interference with the religious belief of the pupil, it is rarely kept.
Parents should remember that it is after all the business of a convent
to propagate the religion of the Church of Rome, and if parents, for
the sake of cheapness, allow their children to go, they must not be
surprised at the consequences. I had several most painful cases while in
Paris where the parent was inclined to blame the chaplain for what had
happened—whereas his advice had not been asked in the first instance. I
do not as a rule recommend French families for girls. There are some most
excellent homes (French pastors and others) where every care is taken.
But I have known others where there was culpable laxity. English girls
cannot go out alone in Paris as they do in England, it would not be safe,
and in some families it is not easy to find a chaperon, and mischief
follows. In seeking a family for an English girl, it is well to ask if
there are any daughters about the age of the pupil, as if so the above
difficulty is lessened.

One further point about learning French. It is important for both sexes
that they should (if beginners) learn colloquial French from one who
speaks some English—at least sufficient to explain the meaning of words.
I have known some ludicrous mistakes arise from this cause.

On the whole I recommend Paris rather than the country parts of France
for the education of young people; it is the centre for music and art in
all its branches, and the best professors congregate there. Moreover, in
case of illness or difficulty of any kind, it is better not to be too far
from home, or an English doctor, and may I say, an English clergyman.

The children of the working classes in Paris are well provided for in the
British schools, where they receive a good sound elementary education,
both in French and English. The children trained in these schools do
remarkably well, as they are taught shorthand and typewriting in both
languages, and are thus able to take positions in French commercial
houses, and earn good salaries. There are often more applications for
boys than can be met. The schools are managed by a committee of which Sir
Henry Austin Lee, C.B., is the chairman, who takes the warmest interest
in their welfare. A small fee is collected from those able to pay, and
the very poor are paid for by the British Charitable Fund.



CHAPTER VI.

DIFFICULTIES OF ENGLISH PEOPLE ABROAD.


It was part of my duty during a chaplaincy of sixteen years in Paris to
help our fellow country people, who from one cause or another got into
difficulty.

Sometimes it was their own fault, and similar conduct would have brought
a like result at home. But often these difficulties arose from ignorance
of the language, and from an extraordinary disregard of French law. Too
often the Englishman not only expects his own language to be spoken, but
also the laws of his own country to prevail in a foreign land.

Not long after I commenced work in Paris I received the following
telegram, addressed to

    “Le Pasteur Eglise Protestante.—Please come as soon as
    possible to the Depot—Préfecture de Police—to a member of your
    congregation who seeks your help at once.”

I lost no time in going down, and found that the writer—an English
governess—had, in a moment of temptation, stolen a pair of gloves at the
Magasin du Louvre. I believe it was a first offence. I did all I could
to console her, but was unable to get her off, and she had to undergo a
term of six days’ imprisonment. I regret to say that this instance of
“Kleptomania” was by no means singular. The system at the larger shops
in Paris lends itself to pilfering by the dishonest, as the goods are
displayed in such a way that it seems easy to steal. The manager of the
Louvre shop told me that they had on an average twelve arrests a day.
It is not generally known that a large number of detectives are always
employed, who are continually on the watch. There was one sad case of a
lady who had come to Paris to place her daughter in a school, and who
had ample means, and yet took some gloves from the same establishment.
With considerable difficulty she was released upon the payment of 600
francs (£24), a good price for a pair of gloves. One other case in which
I was successful in obtaining the release of a woman who was, I believe,
innocent, but in a moment of thoughtlessness, put over her arm a covering
for a child’s bed. I had known her for a long time; she was the mother
of a large family, all well brought up. She assured me she had intended
to pay for it, but no attendant being near she went to another part of
the shop with the article in question, when she was arrested, and invited
to appear in court to answer to the charge. I wrote to the Judge and
told him what I knew about her, and he kindly gave her the benefit of
the doubt. Her husband (a waiter) was away in Germany, and had she been
imprisoned it would have been the ruin of her family.

By the kindness of the late Earl of Lytton, I obtained a pass enabling
me to visit any of the prisons in Paris, where English people might be
confined. Many of the cases were very sad, and especially where the
prisoners could not speak French, as this added to the misery of their
lot. I recall one case, which interested me much. It was that of a young
man who had come to visit Paris, and like so many others, had been led
where he soon got into difficulty.

He came with a considerable sum of money and went one evening to the
“Moulin Rouge”—which at that time was of questionable repute. (It is said
to be under better management now.)

He was relieved of his purse, which contained a 1,000 franc note, beside
some coins. He had left only a 100 franc note in his hotel, and went the
next morning to the bank to get it changed—very much irritated, as he
said, with the French for having stolen his money! At the bank he saw a
French gentleman counting some notes, and he snatched a number of them
and ran away. He was soon arrested and was sent to prison for some years.
He assured me it was his first offence, and that he had no intention of
stealing when he went to the bank.

On another occasion I unwittingly broke the prison rules. An aged
Englishman had been imprisoned for picking pockets on the race course.
He said his wife did not know what had happened, and begged me to give
him something to buy paper and stamps. I gave him a franc, but as I was
leaving the prison an official came up and handed me the franc, telling
me I had broken the rule. They had been watching me while I was locked in
the cell, and made the poor man give up the money.

Ignorance of the language was frequently the cause of difficulty. One
morning a nurse came to the vestry in the Rue d’Aguesseau, and when I
enquired her business, said, “Why, I am lost, and have been walking the
streets all night.” She then told me she arrived at the Gare St. Lazare
the previous evening, and was driven by the cabman to an address near,
which she had now forgotten. She went out to post a letter, and must have
taken a wrong turning, and so was soon lost. She walked about all night,
and had only just found an English-speaking person, who had directed her
to the Church. I gathered from her description where the Home was, and
sent her up with my Vestry Clerk.

On another occasion a girl was brought to me in great distress. She told
me she had started from England on the previous day to visit a French
friend of her mother’s. She had the address written on a piece of paper,
which she was instructed to give to the cabman, as she did not speak
French.

She travelled by the night boat to Calais. When she arrived at the Gare
du Nord, she could not find the paper, and, staying to look among her
parcels, the English travellers all left. She got out of the train and
did not know what to do; she spoke to a porter who did not understand
her, and eventually left the station. This was about 7 a.m. She walked
about the streets until late in the afternoon, when she was heard near
the Madeleine trying to explain to a policeman. The Englishman who heard
her brought her to me, and I sent her back the next day to England, as I
failed to discover her friend’s name in any directory.

On another occasion I received a telegram from a lady in Ireland asking
me to meet her daughter that evening at the Gare St. Lazare, who was
going to a situation as governess, which she had obtained through an
advertisement. I met the girl, and took her to the address she gave. It
was a small wine shop, and altogether unsuited to her, and would, I fear,
have been a very dangerous position.

I persuaded her to go to the excellent G.F.S. Lodge, where she was most
kindly received, and eventually a good position was found for her.

The above are illustrations of many like cases which were brought before
me.

More serious cases are illustrated by the following telegram:

    “Please remove Miss X⸺ from 14 rue ⸺ at once; very urgent,
    letter follows.”⸺

These requests often involved considerable time and trouble, and the
laying aside for the time of all other work.

One morning I received a request from the manager of one of the leading
hotels to call as soon as possible. I went down and was told that an
English girl had been left there by a “gentleman,” and was in great
distress.

I found that she had left her home two or three days previously on the
promise of marriage, and was now left without means, and was afraid to
communicate with her parents.

I placed her in a room in a smaller hotel, and in the meantime wrote to
the father. However, before he received my letter he had started for
Paris, having heard his daughter was there, and came to see me in great
anxiety about his child. His relief and astonishment were remarkable when
I told him I knew the whereabouts of his daughter. A reconciliation was
effected, and the girl was taken home.

One of the most remarkable illustrations of the difficulties English
people sometimes get into abroad is the following:

Early one morning (6 a.m.) I was sent for to visit two young ladies in a
small hotel, who were said to have become insane.

I went down and found one of the sisters on the ground floor holding the
door leading to the staircase, and not allowing anyone to pass. She would
answer no question, nor permit me to pass to see her sister. With some
difficulty I obtained access to the room where the sister was, by another
way, but found her in a like state, and unwilling to answer any question,
or to give the address of any relative. The difficulty was that the
proprietor of the hotel wished to have them removed at once to an asylum,
which I felt would only aggravate the malady from which they suffered. I
called in an English doctor (since passed away) who most kindly helped,
and forbade the proprietor to have them removed. By searching amongst the
papers in their room I discovered an address in London, and telegraphed
for their relatives to come at once. My wife and I had a trying
experience all that night—we sat up with the girls, one of whom had to be
fastened to the bed, having become violent. She was shouting all night,
and gave a great deal of trouble.

The relatives arrived the next morning, and the necessary steps were
taken for their removal. It turned out that these young ladies had been
dabbling in hypnotism, and had spent the greater part of the day previous
to their illness with some “professor.” One died and the other only
recovered after a long illness.

[Illustration: BRITISH CONSUL-GENERAL.]

We frequently had to help English artists connected with circuses, shows,
etc., who got stranded in France. One morning a smart-looking person
called at the house and told me she had a number of performing dogs held
at the Gare de Lyon because of some payment demanded, which she could
not meet. If she could not get the dogs she would be ruined. By the kind
help of the British Charitable Fund I was able to get the dogs set free.
On another occasion, when I went down to service, I found in the Church
some fifty ballet girls waiting to see me. They had been brought over to
play in an exhibition in Paris, but the proprietor having failed, the
light was cut off and the place closed. They had no means to get back to
England. By the kindness of the British Consul, and again by the help of
the British Charitable Fund, these girls were all sent back, and very
grateful they were. Not knowing the language they were indeed “strangers
in a strange land.” Whenever companies of English girls came over to
perform in theatre or music hall, I tried to get opportunities to address
them; but it was not an easy part of one’s duty.

Difficulties owing to mixed marriages frequently arose. It cannot be too
often explained that there is no difficulty in two English people being
married abroad, providing there is no impediment such as would prevent
the marriage at home. Civil marriage at the British Consulate should
first take place, and the religious ceremony can follow. But in the
case of mixed marriages it is absolutely necessary that the contracting
parties should satisfy French law, and first be civilly married at the
Mairie. A marriage (French and English) in England is not valid in France
unless the French Consul in England has first performed the civil rite.
Much distress has been caused by not obeying the law. I will give but
one instance, though I might give many. It is an important one, as
questions were asked in the House of Commons about it, and a statement as
to the law sent broadcast to the Clergy of England. The case is this:

Madame X⸺, an English woman, came to live in Paris. She was a widow
with children. She obtained, through my instrumentality, a position as
secretary. After a time her employer proposed marriage. He told her,
however, that his parents would not give their consent (which in France
is a bar to marriage), and proposed that they should go to England, and
be married in Church. They went, and after complying with the law as
to residence, were married in London. When they returned to Paris the
husband refused to let his wife live in his house, but told her to remain
in her own flat. When she pressed him on the subject his only reply was,
“I suppose you know that the English marriage is not valid in France.”

She came to see me broken-hearted. I did all I could for her, but it
was useless. The husband only laughed at me. The case was put into the
hand of a solicitor, and brought before the French courts, but the
judgment was given against the wife. The Judge told her she ought to have
been more careful to ascertain the law. Thus she is legally married in
England, but not in France, while her husband is free to marry whom he
may choose without hindrance.

If, however, he came to England, he would be legally married to the woman
he now repudiates. I have stated this case in full as it may be a warning
to others, though much more care is now taken than was formerly the case.
I laid the whole case before the late Bishop of London (Dr. Creighton)
who wrote:

    “The case you bring before me is a very sad one, but I do
    not see what can be done either to obtain redress or to
    prevent such cases occurring in the future. Marriage is a
    contract regulated by law; if anyone marries a foreigner
    they ought to take legal advice about the necessary steps
    to legalize their marriage. I do not see who is to protect
    them except themselves. Our Government cannot ask the French
    Government to recognize as binding in France all marriages
    solemnized in England. This would open a door to evasion of
    the French law. The difficulty in these cases arises from
    the belief that marriage is a purely ecclesiastical matter,
    and that ecclesiastical procedure is universally recognized.
    Really marriage is a civil contract which in England the
    clergy are authorised to perform by the State. To this in
    their ecclesiastical capacity they add a religious service.
    People have mixed these two together in their own minds with
    disastrous results.”

The extraordinary tangles into which English people sometimes get from
ignorance—wilful or otherwise—of the marriage law, is illustrated by the
following remarkable case which came under my notice. A French working
man living in London married an English woman in his Parish Church. He
could not legalise the marriage at the French Consulate because he had
not the consent of his parents. This consent is generally necessary for
any legal marriage of French people, whatever their age may be. One can
easily see the reason for this requirement when the law of inheritance is
taken into consideration.

No French father can “cut his son off with a shilling,” as in England.
They must leave their money to their children, and the younger benefit
equally with the elder. This is the reason the realization of property
must take place on the death of anyone. It is, however, generally
arranged in the family, and does not necessarily come before the public.
The couple of our story did not possess any property, being working
people. The husband had lived in England from childhood, and consequently
had not done his military service. When the question arose as to the
legality of his marriage, he promised he would not return to France.
While living in England the marriage was, of course, perfectly in order,
but the day came when the husband wished to go back to his own country,
and he went to Paris with his wife and two children. Needless to say, the
man was at once arrested for his military service. It is extraordinary to
English minds to see how quickly the arrival of any man in France who is
liable for military service is noted by the Government officials, and he
receives a summons to join his regiment at once.

While serving three years (or two as it is now) in the army, a soldier
is not allowed to marry, and so X’s wife was without a legal husband,
and any means of subsistence. She took her two children and went to
live with her father and mother-in-law, who became very fond of her and
the grandchildren. We helped her for a time with money and work, and I
expect she provided her English made husband with the pocket money for
tobacco, etc., so much needed by the French soldier. Towards the end of
the three years, preparations were made to legalize the marriage in
France, the parents giving their consent willingly. When, however, the
time came, and it only remained to give notice at the Mairie of the
intended marriage, X refused to re-marry his wife, and so legalize her
claim to the title in France. It was found that he had taken up with
another woman better looking than his wife, who had no claim to beauty,
and whose hard work to support the children during this time had rendered
less attractive. X’s father and mother were furious with him and offered
to adopt the children. Matters were in this condition, when another
misfortune fell upon this poor woman. She took smallpox. The hospital
for this terrible disease is one of the worst managed in Paris, and the
hardships of the unfortunate patients are often very great. When the poor
soul came out she returned to the only home she had—the tiny flat of her
father-in-law—and was equal to very little work. The grandparents had
cared for the children, but they were also poor, and found it difficult
to make ends meet. We were almost in despair as to how to help her, as
it was a large order to undertake the whole family. The solution of the
whole matter would hardly be imagined by one brought up in England. Mrs.
X. one day came to me at the vestry in the Rue d’Aguesseau, and said she
was going to marry a Frenchman, who was not only willing to support her
and the children, but would adopt and legalize them as his own. This
can be done in France, and the real father has then no claim to them
whatever. I spoke to her very seriously, and told her that her lawful
husband being alive, she would be committing bigamy, and that I could
have nothing whatever to do with such an arrangement. I pointed out to
her that she would be the legal wife of one man in England and another
in France; that in England she would be the lawful wife of the first
man, while English law would not only refuse to recognise this second
so-called marriage, but could prosecute her for bigamy.

Nothing I could say had any effect upon her, the only thing she would say
was “I will never go back to England.”

She has now gone through the French “marriage” at the Mairie, and
is happy. It solved our difficulty as to the support of herself and
children, but the complication in which she has involved herself and the
two children is one of the most extraordinary I met with.

Occasionally there were very sad circumstances attending the death of
lonely English people in Paris. At the close of the Boer war, an English
soldier who had fought in South Africa died in the Beaujon Hospital. We
could not discover how he had wandered to Paris, or get from him any
information as to relatives.

The only persons present at the grave were myself and the vestry clerk.
Just as the body was being lowered into the grave the clerk placed upon
the coffin a small British flag.

And here I should like to bear testimony to the devoted work of Mr.
Wicker. His father was Vestry Clerk before him for many years—through
nearly the whole of the long ministry of Dr. Forbes. When he died I
appointed his son. Brought up in Paris and speaking both languages, and
thoroughly in earnest in his work, his services are invaluable to the
Chaplain.

Another sad case was that of a girl named X⸺, who had run away from home
four years before her death with the son of a ship builder, who deserted
her two days before her end. The parents had lost sight of her, and were
too late to see her alive. The funeral was most distressing. The number
of English people “under a cloud” who bury themselves in Paris is not
small, and the chaplain has frequently very sad cases with which to deal.

Of late years, since the French have taken so kindly to “afternoon teas,”
English people have been tempted to open tea shops, without having
carefully considered the difficulty and expense of carrying on a business
in a foreign land. Several came to grief during my sojourn in Paris.

One of the saddest cases, which may prove a warning to others who have
had similar ideas, is the following:

In the year ⸺ two ladies, daughters of an English clergyman, came to
Paris and opened a tea shop. For a time they did fairly well, and their
business fell off chiefly owing to a French shop being opened in the
neighbourhood. Things got so bad that they suddenly closed the shop and
left for England.

On the way, under mental excitement, one of the sisters jumped from the
train and was seriously injured. As a report was spread that only one
of the sisters had left, I went down with the officials and forced the
establishment, expecting to find the other sister dead. The report,
however, proved to be false, for both had left. It was a sad ending to a
foolish venture.

One Sunday evening as I was returning from Church, I was overheard
speaking English, and two young men stopped me. They said that being out
of work in England, they had realized their savings and come to Paris,
with the idea of selling fruit in the streets. I asked them if they
spoke the language, and they said “not a word,” and they were in great
difficulty to know what to do, when they heard me speaking English and
stopped me. We got them back to England the next day.

It was extraordinary the number of English working people that turned up
time after time, with no knowledge of French, expecting to get work, and
had to go—or be sent—back, wiser men.

Owing to the great increase in motor cars, the streets of Paris are
particularly dangerous for pedestrians, and accidents are of almost daily
occurrence. A peculiarly sad case was the following:

Two sisters, working girls (English), lived together in the Rue ⸺. They
worked in different establishments, but generally met near the Madeleine
after working hours and went home together. On this occasion one sister
waited near the trysting place, but her sister did not meet her. She
noticed a crowd round a neighbouring chemist’s, but did not enquire what
had happened, and went home.

It turned out that it was her sister who had been carried into the
pharmacy to die. Standing on the “island of safety” opposite the
Madeleine, her dress had been caught by a passing motor, and she had been
dragged under it and killed. These two girls were supporting an aged
mother in England.

Another fatal accident which gave me a curious experience was that of
Madame J⸺, who was run over by a cab and killed. In her pocket was
found a paper with my name and address written upon it. She was an
Englishwoman, widow of a Frenchman, and used to earn her living by
selling lace on commission. After the accident she was taken to the
Morgue. At that time this gruesome institution was partly open to the
public, and some of the bodies—not identified—were exposed upon slabs
behind glass, others were kept in boxes in another part until buried. The
authorities sent for me, to see if I could identify the body of this poor
woman, which I was able to do—but I shall never forget the horror of the
scene. The poor body was in a box without covering, and so disfigured
that I had some difficulty in convincing myself that it was the person I
expected. I was glad to arrange for her decent burial.

One of the most melancholy of English suicides, of which, alas, there are
many, was that of Colonel Hector Macdonald, in March, 1903.

He was staying at the Hotel Regina in the Rue de Rivoli, and apparently
after reading the “New York Herald,” in which there was a paragraph
stating that grave charges had been made public against him, he shot
himself. After the necessary formalities the body was removed to the
Embassy Church in the Rue d’Aguesseau before removal to Scotland. Colonel
Macdonald was a large man, and there being a double coffin, we were
unable to lower the body into the mortuary, and this gave rise to a
report that sufficient reverence was not shown—a report which was without
any foundation.

Many members of the Scotch colony in Paris visited the Church and placed
flowers on the coffin, and someone unknown sent a bunch of heather from
Scotland for a like purpose. It was a sad ending to the life of a brave
soldier.



CHAPTER VII.

BRITISH CHARITIES IN PARIS.


The British poor in Paris form no inconsiderable part of the Colony. This
arises largely from the fact that it has been the custom in France to
employ Englishmen as coachmen and stablemen, many of whom from one cause
or another have fallen into poverty. Others have taken advantage of the
small expense and gone to Paris in the hope of obtaining work, which is
by no means easy to find. Some years ago many English were employed in
various works, but lately it is not so. When first I went to Paris I held
in the Montmartre district a weekly service for the families of those
employed in the gas works in that neighbourhood, and had an attendance of
thirty to forty persons. But this gradually dwindled, until at last there
were none left—one after another had been discharged and had taken their
families back to England.

In order to meet the need of the impecunious British, several excellent
charities have been established in Paris. One of the most important of
these is the “British Charitable Fund.” This is a fund which has existed
many years in Paris, and it is interesting to know that during the
Franco-German war and the Siege of Paris, it still carried on its work,
giving out food to those poor English people who had been unable to leave
the beleaguered city.

[Illustration: SIR JOHN PILTER.]

In former years it was a most difficult matter to raise sufficient funds
to meet the various calls, and there were all sorts of expedients for
raising money. Now, happily, the fund is in a healthy condition, owing
to a generous legacy by the late Captain Briscoe, and very good work is
being done. The fund is managed by a committee, of which His Majesty’s
Ambassador is President, and the British Consul-General the Chairman.
The executive is an undenominational body, and the members usually
attending during my time were: the English Church clergyman, the Roman
Catholic priest, and the Scotch clergyman, and one or two laymen—Sir John
Pilter being a most regular and valued member. Sir John Pilter is one of
the best known members of the English Colony, and is always forward in
every good work both with means and personal effort. The secretary, Mr.
Reginald Gesling, is a well-known figure in the English colony, and an
invaluable presence at the weekly board. Being gifted with a remarkable
memory for faces, it is hard indeed for the would-be impostor to pass his
scrutiny. I have known him recognise a man who had not been before the
committee for thirty years.

The weekly meetings of the board, which I attended (with rare exceptions)
during my sixteen years in Paris, were full of interest and a curious
study of human nature. All sorts and conditions of men came there, with
all sorts of stories. We had clergymen and Roman Catholic priests,
lawyers, soldiers and sailors, black and white, Boer and Briton, from all
parts of the world. Sometimes it was a man sent as far as Paris by the
Consul at Marseilles, whom we had to send on. At another, members of an
English circus which had failed asked to be sent home. Clowns and ballet
girls, in fact “artists” (as they call themselves) of all kinds were
frequently before the committee. The Home Government give some assistance
towards the repatriation of British people, or this would be a serious
drain upon the fund, and, moreover, the Western Railway of France conveys
these unfortunate people at a reduced rate. There are often curious
scenes at the Gare St. Lazare on Wednesday evenings, when these people
are being sent off. There is frequently a reluctance to go at the last
minute on the part of those who have long resided in Paris, and all sorts
of dodges have been resorted to to avoid the train. I knew of one case
where a woman having a ticket to London left the train at Rouen, and in a
short time came up smiling before the committee again.

The distribution of charity is ever a difficult matter, and while every
care was taken, we were no doubt often imposed upon. We have an excellent
lady visitor, Miss Beaton, who spares no time or energy in finding out
the merits of each case. Here is a curious instance:

On one occasion a woman came to the committee in widow’s weeds, leading
a string of children, and in tears. She said her husband (a printer) was
dead and buried. She would not return to England, and asked for help for
herself and children. The committee were touched, and made a generous
allowance, which went on for some weeks.

One day the Secretary (Mr. Gesling) met the husband (supposed to be dead)
in the street. He went up to him and questioned him, and discovered that
he knew nothing of his wife’s deception. I believe she is really a widow
now, and receives help from the committee.

It was astonishing how many English people lost their purses, either on
the journey over or soon after arriving in Paris. Almost every week we
had the same story, which, in many if not most cases, was only an excuse
either for having given way to drink, or having been in bad company.

The committee is always desirous to get British people who are not doing
well to return to their own country, especially the younger people. Old
people who have lived most of their life in France and have lost all
their relatives cannot well be sent home. The fascination of Paris is,
however, so great, that it is often very difficult to persuade even the
poorest to leave, and all sorts of excuses are given against leaving.
Upon one occasion an old man came to the committee asking for relief. He
was asked “How long have you been in France?” He replied “Over twenty
years.” “Do you speak French?” “Only a few words, sir.” (This is quite
possible. Englishmen working together in a stable will have little need
to speak the language.) “Are you in work?” “No, sir.” “Have you any
prospect of work?” “I think not.” “Will you return home?” A decided
“No, sir.” He was then asked a number of questions in the endeavour
to discover his reasons for wishing to stay, as he was getting old,
was unmarried, and had no relatives in France. At length, with some
reluctance, he said, “Well, sir, its the wine. We can’t get the claret
in England.” And nothing would persuade him to return. He is probably
still there, ekeing out a miserable existence. I am glad to hear that
the committee are about to purchase or build more suitable premises in
which to carry on this important work. This is a real necessity, as the
present rooms are too small and badly ventilated. Visitors are always
welcome on Wednesday afternoons when the committee meets, and the study
of human nature at these gatherings is most interesting. There are
usually between 90 and 120 applications for relief each week.

Next in importance to the British Charitable Fund is the “Hertford
British Hospital.” This was the noble gift to the Colony of the late Sir
Richard Wallace, Bart., and was partly the outcome of the Franco-German
war, and the Commune in 1870-1871. This philanthropic nobleman opened
a hospital in the Rue d’Aguesseau for the reception of wounded, and in
January, 1871, added two wards for the “Sick British Poor,” and also
a dispensary. At the end of the year only one soldier remained under
treatment, and upon his discharge it was closed. A few weeks subsequently
Sir Richard Wallace communicated to his friends his intention to found
and endow a hospital in Paris for poor British subjects, to be called the
“Hertford British Hospital,” in memory of the late Marquis of Hertford.
The foundation stone of the present building was laid by Sir Richard and
Lady Wallace in August, 1877, and opened at a visit of the late Lord
Lyons in 1879. The hospital was visited in June, 1879, by their Majesties
King Edward VII. and Queen Alexandra (then Prince and Princess of Wales),
who named the principal wards “Albert Edward” and “Alexandra.” In 1900
Lady Wallace made over the hospital by deed to the British Government,
who appointed the present management. This hospital is especially
fortunate in having an endowment sufficient for its requirements, so that
the management have no need to apply for subscriptions. The hospital
contains 40 beds and cots, and has an average number of 350 in-patients,
and some 2,000 out-patients.

[Illustration: HERTFORD BRITISH HOSPITAL.]

It can hardly be realized, except by those resident abroad, what a boon
an English hospital, with English doctors and nurses, is to the British
poor.

One cannot speak too highly of the kindness of the French hospitals in
receiving English people for treatment, and I received many testimonies
from grateful patients of the benefits obtained. I frequently, however,
heard the poor say: “When one is ill, it is such a blessing to be able
to talk your own language to those about you,” or “I am afraid they did
not treat me properly because I could not explain to them the symptoms,”
and such sayings illustrate what I am sure all feel, viz.: that it is
very difficult in illness to explain as one would wish to one who is a
stranger to our language. So that the English hospital for this reason
(and it is only one of many) is a real boon to the British poor in Paris.
You no sooner pass the iron gate than you feel as if you were in England.
The porter speaks to you in your native tongue; the secretary (though a
first-rate French scholar) greets you in the same language. The wards are
bright, cheerful, and (especially) airy, and all the surroundings are
such as we are accustomed to in our own land. The nurses are all English,
and most of them have had experience in hospitals at home. All are under
the guidance of an experienced matron, chosen from among many applicants
for the post. I have known hundreds of the British poor who have been
treated there, and they often are in difficulty to find words to express
their gratitude. Certainly the works of Sir Richard Wallace do follow him.

If there is any drawback in this splendid institution, it is the lack
of a separate building for the treatment of infectious cases; and also
of a pay ward. This want necessitates a poor Britisher with consumption,
small pox, etc., being taken to a French hospital, which often is not
desirable, and sometimes a great hardship. The need of a pay ward is
also a real one. It often happens that an English person is taken ill
in an hotel where it is difficult to get proper treatment, and where
expenses are apt to increase very materially under the circumstances.
To some hotels doctors are “attached,” who charge exorbitant fees, and,
it is said, divide the proceeds with the proprietor. In such cases it
would be the greatest boon if the patients could avail themselves of a
British hospital, and they would no doubt willingly pay for the necessary
treatment. But notwithstanding these omissions, the Hertford Hospital
is doing a splendid work, and is an enduring monument to its generous
founder.

Another British charity in Paris is the “Victoria Home for Aged Women,”
founded by my predecessor, the Rev. Howard Gill, in the year 1888. He
found, as I did subsequently, that there were English women who had been
governesses, ladies’ maids, and domestic servants, living in loneliness
and poverty, generally at the top of the great houses in Paris, where the
rents—and the ceilings—are low. For the most part they had led honourable
lives, and were respected and helped by the families where they had
worked. But they were old, they had lived most of their lives in France,
any friends they had in England were dead and gone, and they had no wish
to return to their native land, indeed it would be cruel to compel them
to do so. The idea of a home where such could be lodged, free of rent,
took shape in the year of the late Queen’s Jubilee in 1887. It was then
decided that after the expenses of the Celebration, the fund collected
should be applied to the establishment of a Victoria Home for the Aged
British Poor. However, the fund collected was not sufficient, so it was
eventually decided to apply the interest of it in Victoria pensions,
until the necessary amount should be collected. However, Mr. Gill would
not allow his scheme to rest, and receiving generous help from a few
friends, he started a Home on a small scale. This was inaugurated by the
Dowager Lady Lytton in December, 1888, and has proved a real success.
The conditions of entry may seem rather “stiff,” but the fact that
there has never been a vacant room shows that they need not at present
be relaxed. The applicant must be a British subject, over 65 years of
age, of good character, and have resided at least 30 years in France.
It was one of my most pleasing duties during sixteen years to visit
this “Home,” and to act as chairman of the committee. Most of the old
ladies had an interesting story to tell, and they never wearied relating
their experiences. Those who had been governesses in French families
delighted to tell of the young ladies to whom they had taught English,
and watched over until they had married. The kindness of some of these
ladies to their old teachers and nurses was most touching. The late Sir
Condie Stephen, an attaché at the Embassy, took a kind interest in one
of these inmates, and regularly sent her a present until the time of her
death. All these old ladies had passed through the siege of Paris and
the Commune, and had interesting stories to tell of that tragic time.
I remember one of them shewed me some of the meal which was served
out during the siege—very coarse and dirty, and mixed with particles
of wood. The Dowager Lady Lytton and her daughters, and afterwards the
Dowager Lady Dufferin and her daughters, the Ladies Blackwood, took the
warmest interest in the Home, and were constant visitors. Members of
the English and American Colonies constantly go out to see the inmates,
foremost amongst whom I must mention Miss Thorndike, one of the oldest
American residents in Paris, who frequently gives a tea and presents of
warm clothing, which are much appreciated. Formerly we rented a house
in the Rue Borghèse, Neuilly, but lately a house has been purchased in
the Boulevard de la Saussais, and is now being enlarged and made more
suitable as a permanent home for this deserving class. Visitors to Paris
will always be welcomed by the excellent matron and her daughter, Mrs.
and Miss Ffarmer.

Another institution in Paris which is doing an admirable work is the
British Schools. These schools were established in 1832, in order to
afford a sound education to English-speaking children of the working
classes resident in the city, and to enable them to retain their
knowledge of the English language. A small fee is charged to those
parents who are in a position to pay, and the fees of the poorer children
are paid by the British Charitable Fund. I cannot speak too highly of the
good work done in these schools, under the mastership of Mr. R. Smith.
The children receive an education in both French and English—a French
mistress is always employed. They learn shorthand and typewriting in both
languages, and thus are able to obtain good positions in French business
houses. Indeed it is often difficult to supply the demand for both boys
and girls competent to take such posts. The children are taught patriotic
songs, and every endeavour is made to instil into their minds love and
loyalty for their own country. This is very necessary, for I found
that children of English parents who did not avail themselves of the
advantages of the schools, had the tendency to forget their own tongue,
and to gradually become French. The chairman of the schools is Sir H.
Austin Lee, who takes the warmest interest in its welfare, while Mr. H.
Webster is untiring in his work as secretary and treasurer.

The Girls’ Friendly Society is a splendid institution in Paris, hardly
perhaps to be designated as a charity. When I first commenced work in the
City it was doing but little, but of late years it has become a society
of the first importance for looking after English girls abroad. It is,
of course, a branch of the London G.F.S., which has its ramifications
all over Europe. English girls come in very large numbers to Paris as
typists, governesses, nurses, etc., and it is very important that they
should be looked after in a city so full of temptations. The society took
a new lease of life during the time when the Dowager Lady Dufferin was
at the Embassy. It was in debt and other difficulties, and the work was
comparatively small. Lady Dufferin seeing the possibilities took up the
matter with her usual energy. The debt was soon paid, the difficulties
removed, and the work placed on a firm basis. From that time to the
present the society has prospered, and when I left Paris had some 300
English girls under its care. The system of the G.F.S. is just what is
needed on the Continent. Each girl has a lady associate, who is her
friend to whom she can always apply. If she moves to another city she is
recommended to a Lady Associate there, and is met at the railway, and
looked after. I used frequently to visit the charming lodge in the Avenue
d’Jéna, and often on Sunday afternoons (the great gathering time for a
free tea) gave an address to the girls. The work of the chaplains in
Paris is much lightened by the kind help of the excellent ladies at the
head of the lodge. Indeed, one may say that the need of English girls in
Paris is fully met by this society, and the Y.W.C.A., under the fostering
care of Mrs. Hoff. This excellent lady devotes a large portion of her
time and wealth to work among American and English girls, and meets their
need, and especially that of American artists, in the beautiful homes she
has established.

The “Ada Leigh” homes have done a good work in the past. The Y.M.C.A. has
for years had a branch in Paris, and done a good work, under the devoted
presidency of the late H. Skepper.

These are the principal British charities in Paris. There are other
smaller and more private charities which were less under my notice, but
of which I would write, but for want of space.



CHAPTER VIII.

BRITISH JOURNALISTS IN PARIS.


It was my privilege to know most of the journalists representing the
leading English papers, frequently meeting them at the various public
functions and on other occasions. They are truly a body of men of whom
the Nation may be proud. Most agreeable to meet and keen in their work,
so much so that very little escapes their notice.

The “Times” was represented during most of my chaplaincy by that truly
remarkable man M. O. de Blowitz. It was said of him that on one occasion
at least (in 1875) he saved France from war. His achievements during
the Franco-German war in 1870 are well known. He was not striking in
appearance: small, nearly bald, rather insignificant looking, so that
it was hard on first acquaintance to realize that he was the man whose
deeds had startled Europe on more than one occasion. He was, I believe,
Austrian by birth, but French by naturalization. His communications to
the “Times” were, I understand, always in French; indeed, he was latterly
more French than anything else.

I once heard him try to make a speech in English, and it was evidently
with considerable difficulty. He was naturally a constant visitor at the
Embassy, and was an especial favourite with the late Earl of Lytton and
his family. I used often to see him driving in the Champs Elysées, and
to meet him at banquets and other occasions. In December, 1902, the
colleagues of M. de Blowitz joined in making him a presentation in token
of their admiration and esteem. About a month after this, in January,
1903, he passed away. His funeral was a very representative one, a large
number of his friends joining in the last tribute. With the modern
restrictions upon war correspondents, can there ever be another Blowitz?

M. de Blowitz was succeeded by M. Lavino, who had formerly been upon the
staff of the “Daily Telegraph” in their Paris office, and was afterwards
in Vienna. I met M. Lavino soon after he came to Paris, and he made what
struck me then as a peculiar remark. After some moments conversation, he
said, “You know, Dr. Noyes, you will have to bury me.” Of course I said I
hoped not, but he seemed to have a presentiment then that his days were
numbered.

M. Lavino, though not so well known as M. de Blowitz, had had a
distinguished career. He was in Paris when the Franco-German War broke
out as secretary to General Salazar, Minister of Ecuador in Chicago.
When the ill-fated Marshal Bazaine was being condemned by the French
for supposed treachery, M. Lavino contrived to obtain a letter from him
in his own defence. From this time his success was assured. Later he
assisted Sir Campbell Clarke on the Paris staff of the “Daily Telegraph,”
and subsequently went to Vienna to represent the same paper. In 1892
he was appointed to represent the “Times,” and upon the death of M. de
Blowitz was called to Paris. It was commonly said that M. Lavino did
much to help on the “Entente Cordiale,” not so much by what he wrote as
by bringing together leading men of both nations, and so encouraging
a better understanding between them. M. Lavino frequently expressed
himself as favouring the action of the French Government in its late
struggle with the Roman Catholic Church. M. Lavino struck me as a kindly
gentleman, observant, not fond of society—a man one could safely trust.

He died suddenly on the evening of August 4th of strangulated hernia and
diabetes, the latter being a disease from which he had long suffered.

The “Daily Telegraph” was represented almost all my time by Sir Campbell
Clarke. He was a man of large means, having married a daughter of a
proprietor, and occupied a fine apartment in the Champs Elysées. He was a
most genial, kind man. The late Lady Campbell Clarke was always ready to
help the needy, and frequently assisted me in our charities by monetary
help.

Sir Campbell Clarke was most ably assisted for many years by Mr. W. F.
Lonergan and Mr. Ozane. The former has left Paris, while Mr. Ozane still
plies his busy pen in La Ville Lumière. I feel sure that readers of the
“Daily Telegraph” always enjoy “Paris day by day,” written in such a
“newsy” style, and giving all the salient (though sometimes unsavory)
points in passing events. I owe a large debt of gratitude to the Paris
staff of the “Daily Telegraph” on account of many kindnesses received.

Mr. Hely Bowes and Mr. Farman represented the “Standard,” succeeded
by Messrs. Adkin Raphael and Pountney. Mr. Farman’s son is very much
before the public at the present time, having invented one of the most
successful of the Flying Machines. I knew Mr. Hely Bowes and his family
very well. They were regular members of my congregation in the Rue
d’Aguesseau. Mr. Bowes was a singularly good French scholar and very
witty. He was born and brought up in France. His father was, I believe,
at one time upon the staff of the “Galagnani Messenger.” I remember upon
one occasion sitting near him at a banquet. He was pouring out stories
and witticisms to his neighbour, a French Deputy. The Minister was heard
to ask afterwards “Who is that remarkable Englishman? He speaks and tell
stories like a Frenchman.”

Mr. Hely Bowes died during my chaplaincy. I visited him at the last, and
was the first to convey the sad news to Sir H. Austin Lee at the Embassy,
where he was so well known.

As I passed the Lodge I told the Concierge what had happened, and raising
his hands he exclaimed “par exemple”—it seemed to me a curious expression
on such an occasion.

The “Daily News” and the “Morning Post” were represented by Mr. J.
Macdonald and Mr. Raper, the latter of whom I knew very well.

Mr. Raper succeeded Mr. Arthur Gill (son of my predecessor, the Rev.
Howard Gill), who for a short time represented the “Morning Post.”

The “Daily Mail” now occupies a unique and very important position among
the English papers obtainable abroad. Having, in addition to a special
wire, a printing establishment in Paris, they can produce a fac-simile
edition of the London issue every morning.

In times of National anxiety especially, it would be hard to
over-estimate the boon of such a paper. We had no such advantage, e.g.,
in the Boer War, and the anxious longing for the evening post was very
trying, especially when one had relatives or friends in the Army. The
French papers gave short telegrams, but these were often misleading and
sometimes untrue, and only added to the anxiety. But now this is changed,
and one can get a fairly full account of English doings at the breakfast
table in Paris.

As the paper can be dispatched by the early morning trains, those in the
South of France and other parts get their British news at least twelve
hours earlier than heretofore.

During most of the time Mr. McAlpin represented this paper, whom I well
knew. Mr. Lane was also upon the staff, and some others. Mr. McAlpin is
now no longer on the Paris staff of the “Daily Mail,” and was succeeded
by Mr. J. B. Brandreth, who is well known in the journalistic world. The
“Daily Mail” has been the death of the “Galagnani Messenger” which used
to be so well known upon the Continent.

For the American Colony in Paris there is no paper like the “New York
Herald.” This paper, owned by Mr. J. Gordon Bennett, is a remarkable
publication, produced it is said at a loss, very chatty, and containing
daily current news from America. Before the “Daily Mail” came to the
front, most English people took the “New York Herald,” as it gave a
certain amount of English news from the papers of the day, and whetted
the appetite for the London paper which arrives in the evening.

Mr. J. Gordon Bennett is a well-known figure in Paris. He is said to be
several times over a millionaire—spends freely, and is a great traveller
and sportsman. He has the knack of getting the men he wants upon the
staff of his paper, and of getting the best out of them. But I am told
the tenure of office there is rather precarious. Many of the journalists
of Paris have been at one time or another on the staff of his paper.
I have also heard it said that the name of no person disliked by the
proprietor is allowed to appear in the paper. The Editor publishes at
times all letters, etc., even though they revile the paper and things
American. A letter from an “old Philadelphian lady” has been repeated
daily for some years!

I received much kindness from the “Herald” during my chaplaincy. I was
never charged for any advertisement, and any communications I sent were
always inserted.

Another journalist whom I often met was Mr. Clifford Millage, who was
the Paris correspondent of the “Daily Chronicle,” and an ardent Roman
Catholic. He was fond of discussing theological subjects—an able man,
and well thought of among his confrères. He passed away in 1903. I may
also mention Mr. Strong, Mr. Longhurst, and Mr. Fullerton, among those
from whom I received kindness from time to time. I was brought a good
deal into contact with the late Mr. Cuntz, who managed the “American
Register”—owing to serious illness in his family.

Besides the journalists of the sterner sex, there are also ladies who are
well known as brilliant writers for various society and other papers.
I may mention among those whom I was privileged to know, Mrs. Emily
Crawford. This lady was in Paris during the war of 1870, and the almost
more terrible Commune that followed. She writes for the “Daily News” and
“Truth,” and has published a memoir of our late beloved Queen, under the
title “Victoria, Queen and Ruler.” Mrs. Crawford is well known in all
literary circles in Paris.

Mrs. Alison Robson I knew for almost the whole of my chaplaincy. She is
a clever writer for the “Queen,” under the nom de plume of E. de Campo
Bello. Mrs. Robson went as special correspondent to the Hague at the time
of the wedding festivities of the Queen of Holland; and also Madrid, when
the King of Spain came of age. She gave us a most interesting account of
these visits.



CHAPTER IX.

VARIA.


Many of my readers who can recall the great “Times” trial will remember
the names of Pigott, and Tynan (the famous No. 1, who it was said gave
the signal for the murder of Lord F. Cavendish). It was a curious
coincidence that both these men were living at one time in my Parish of
Christ Church, Kingstown. I often made purchases at the little bookshop
kept by Tynan, and sometimes spoke with him. During my stay in Paris I
had a visit from the famous le Carron, who for a long time was a member
of the Clan-na-Gael in New York, and informed the Home Government of
their proceedings. He told me that he was formerly a choir boy in the
Embassy Church, and he related to me some of his thrilling adventures. He
died of consumption soon after his visit to Paris.

[Illustration: THE ELYSÉE, FROM THE FAUBOURG ST. HONORÉ.]

Some of the yearly customs on fête days in Paris are peculiar, and those
occurring in the winter season are less familiar than others—to English
visitors. New Year’s Day, the “Jour de l’an,” is kept as a National
Holiday, and presents of flowers and “objets d’art” are sent amongst
friends. Christmas Day is not kept with the like solemnity and joyousness
as with us—though becoming more a fête than it formerly was. Upon New
Year’s Day beggars are allowed in the streets, and it is often a ghastly
spectacle to see the poor creatures in all conditions of deformity
asking alms. A good deal is distributed amongst them, as the French are
very charitable to the Poor. At this season “booths” are allowed on the
Boulevards, when all sorts of toys, etc., are exposed for sale, some of
them mechanical and very ingenious. They are supposed for the most part
to have been made in the homes of the poor.

Shrove Tuesday (Mardi-gras) and Mid-Lent (Mi-carême) are also general
holidays. On the former there is a procession of fat cattle, and a
throwing of confetti in the main streets and Boulevards, where vehicular
traffic is suspended. I have seen the Grand Boulevards literally
six inches deep in confetti on a fine day. Mi-carême is marked by a
procession of the washerwomen, and in many particulars resembles our Lord
Mayor’s Show on November 9th, only it is more fantastic. The Grand Car
on these occasions is reserved for the Queen of the Laundries, who has
been solemnly chosen for her beauty. She rides triumphant, surrounded by
her “Court”—sometimes rather scantily dressed for the cold weather, and
stops at the Elysée, where she generally receives a present of a bracelet
at the hands of the President of the Republic. These functions are well
worth seeing—once.

The National Fête, to celebrate the declaration of the Republic, being
in warmer weather (July), is usually more of a festival in the open-air,
and is kept up late and early. Many families leave Paris for the country
before it comes off. It is emphatically the people’s fête, and one
feature of it is that dancing is allowed in the streets. Bandstands are
erected, usually opposite a restaurant, and in the evenings people gather
in large numbers. Inmates of flats near these bandstands suffer much (I
write from experience), for being the hot weather windows must be open,
and the noise is deafening.

“All Souls’” and “All Saints’” Days are religiously kept by most
Parisians, and thousands go to the cemeteries to place flowers on the
graves of their relations. It is a very interesting sight, and visitors
to Paris should not omit on these days to go to Père-la-Chaise, Passy,
Bolougne-sur-Seine, or one of the other cemeteries.

The French pay great respect to the dead. No funeral cortège is allowed
to trot in Paris whatever the distance to the cemetery, and most men
raise their hats and women cross themselves as the body passes in the
streets. Soldiers and officials always salute.

Burials are a monopoly in Paris. The Pompes funèbres is a great company,
who have decorations arranged and always ready for every church in
Paris, and everyone is buried by them, and in the “class” they choose
to pay for. There are seven or eight “classes,” and it is so arranged
that the rich pay for the poor. A first-class funeral is very rare, as
it costs a very large sum. Officials attend the poor man’s funeral—only
less gorgeously dressed—equally with the rich, and all things are done
decently and in order. As a sign of the times, not long before I left
Paris, I was called upon to take a funeral of an American at St. Germain,
some miles outside the fortifications. The family and friends went down
by train, and I went with the body, but in a motor-fourgon (hearse). When
we left the gates of the city we travelled very rapidly.

I noticed a marked change during my life in Paris in the keeping of
Sunday. Twenty years ago many shops were open, and there was little
to distinguish it from any other day. Now most places of business are
closed. Leagues were formed some years ago, advocating one day’s rest
in seven, and quite lately (1907) a law was passed requiring that all
employés should cease work on Sunday. Those compelled to work on that day
(in restaurants, etc.) must have another day. Alas! the change is not due
to a religious but a secular movement, and is solely to oblige one day’s
rest in the seven as a holiday. As far as it goes it is a good thing
for the people, and it is pleasant to see the orderly crowds enjoying
the open air in the Bois, the Parc Monceau, and other places, while one
regrets the irreligion which is so characteristic of the nation at this
time.

The well-known Mark Twain (Mr. Clements) came to Paris to complete (so
I understood) one of his books. No one knew of his presence amongst us
for some time. When I heard of it I went to see him in his hotel in the
Rue de Rivoli to ask him to give a public reading from his works for the
benefit of the proposed Church House. He put me off in his characteristic
way. I then went to see the Marquis of Dufferin and Ava—our Ambassador at
that time—and asked him if he would give a room at the Embassy if I could
persuade Mark Twain to read. He kindly agreed, and so did Mr. Clements.
We had a splendid success, the rooms were crowded. We obtained twenty
francs a ticket, and cleared some £200. American humour is sometimes
difficult for English people to appreciate, but no one could resist Mark
Twain. I shall always feel grateful to him for his kind help on that
occasion.

Among the many artists it was our privilege to know in Paris was the
eminent sculptor, Mr. Bruce Joy. He had then a studio in the city. We
still possess a replica of his well-known bust of the late Archbishop
Benson.

Paris is a city which might well be compared to the Adulamites Cave,
where all in distress and difficulty congregate. Among the unfortunates
was the late Oscar Wilde. I had known him a little in Dublin as a
student, and had also met him at Lady Wilde’s receptions. He came to
Paris to die. When I heard of his serious illness I went down at once to
enquire, but found he had passed away. The “concierge” told me that he
had been visited by a Priest, and baptized into the Roman Church. As is
often the case, the Baptism was administered when the patient was “in
extremis,” and knew nothing about it. The Roman Church, however, claimed
to take the funeral, and I could not object.

Curious mistakes were sometimes made by the French Postal authorities,
owing to the difficulty of language. Each Easter it was my custom to
send out a card to the members of the congregation giving notice of the
services, and at the foot a suitable quotation from the Scriptures. In
1895, I sent out the card as usual, and the passage was “The Lord is
Risen.” One came back to me through the dead-letter office addressed to
“The Lord is Risen, 5 Rue d’Aguesseau.”

All sorts of ideas and rumours were circulated when the French Church was
separated from the State. One morning a French gentleman called at the
Vestry and asked me if it was true that Sir Francis Bertie, our present
Ambassador in Paris, had purchased the Madeleine Church, our own being
too small! This is somewhat parallel to the story of an Irish clergyman,
who told me that the day after the bill passed to disestablish the Church
in Ireland he heard in the early morning a scythe going in his field. A
stranger was cutting his hay. Upon enquiry, the man said: “Sure, sir, the
Church is disestablished now, and I thought I would come early for my
share!”

The French often make curious mistakes in their translations into
English, but the same may be said, and perhaps more so, with respect
to our renderings into French, e.g., A young English girl was heard to
exclaim “Je suis cheval,” desiring to say she was hoarse. And another,
who had a touch of the same complaint, “Je ne peux pas hirondèle,”
meaning she could not swallow. Upon another occasion, when called to
play in public, a girl said “Je suis sûre de casser-en-bas,” in her fear
of coming to grief. It was rather a peculiar way to express hurry, when
one said “Je suis dans une dépèche.” I suppose most have heard the story
told by Dean Pigou, of Bristol, of the lady (I believe an American) who,
desiring a cab, called out “Cochon êtes-vous fiancé.” Another story,
which was current in my time, is worth repeating. A girl who had been
but a few months in Paris learning French was taken out by her parents
to a restaurant. Looking over the menu, she was asked to translate the
sentence “Ris de Veau à la financière,” which she told her delighted
parents was “the calf laughs at the Banker’s wife.” Many of such mistakes
arise when young people are placed in French families where no English is
spoken at all, and so their errors pass uncorrected.

Among the remarkable men who lived and died in Paris during my
chaplaincy was Mr. H. A. M. Butler-Johnstone. He had been for sixteen
years Member of Parliament for Canterbury, and as a youth was at Eton,
at the same time as His Majesty King Edward. He was closely identified
with the young Turkey party in Paris. He was on his way to the Post
Office in October, 1902, when he died suddenly in the street near the
Place Vendome. He was staying with his wife at the Hotel Continental,
but there being no funds, his funeral was undertaken by the British
Charitable Fund. I conducted his funeral, which was attended by quite a
number of the Turkish Colony in Paris. It was said that his financial
ruin was caused by his having lent £200,000 to the Turkish Government in
1877 to resist the encroachments of Russia. To raise this sum he sold his
pictures to the National Gallery, as well as his estates in England. It
was said that he gave great offence to the late Marquis of Salisbury by
the attitude he took up on the Russo-Turkish War.

In January, 1907, there was a remarkable gathering of eighty-six Prelates
of the Roman Church in Paris to discuss the attitude of the Church
towards the recently passed “Law of Separation.” What seemed the more
remarkable was that the gathering was held at the Château de la Muette
Passy, the residence of the Count and Countess de Francqueville, and that
the Countess presided at the lunch, she being a member of the Anglican
Communion. The Countess, as is well known, is the daughter of the Earl of
Selbourne, and niece of the late Bishop of Southwell.

[Illustration: PLACE DE LA CONCORDE.]

[Illustration: THE HISTORIC FOUNTAIN, PLACE DE LA CONCORDE.]

The concierge or hall porter occupies a responsible position in the
Paris house. A common answer to the question “Is life worth living?”
is—it depends upon the concierge. There is no doubt that a disagreeable
concierge can make things very uncomfortable, and it is necessary when
taking an “appartement” to gain his goodwill by a good tip. Otherwise
letters which are delivered at the lodge may not be brought up as soon as
they should be, and other little annoyances will frequently occur. It is
customary to give 50 to 100 francs to the concierge on New Year’s day,
according to the rent paid, to secure civility and good service through
the year. The concierge is the servant of the proprietor and not of the
tenant. Every quarter the rent is paid to the concierge, and must be paid
in cash. The cheque system as we have it in England is but little used in
France.

When I handed a cheque for my first quarter’s rent to the concierge he
looked at it, and said “What is this?” I was compelled to go down to the
Bank and get the money for him!

In taking an appartement (or flat) in Paris, the greatest care is
necessary. The “etat de lieu” or state of the flat must be taken both by
the architect of the landlord and your own. A document is drawn up, and
signed by both parties. Unless this is done all sorts of charges may be
made when the tenant leaves the flat, as, e.g., for every nail in the
walls or floors, every scratch on the paint, etc. I bought my experience
rather expensively in one of the flats I occupied.

Owing, it is said, to the lack of population, the law as to nationality
presses hard upon some foreigners in France. The law at present is that
“all children of parents born in France are French,” and male children
thus born are liable for military service. I knew several young men who
were thoroughly English, and who had always kept up their connection
with England and the English Colony in France, who, nevertheless, owing
to the fact that their parents were born in the country, were accounted
French, and had to go through their military service, and were liable
to be called up in time of war. It has naturally followed that when an
interesting event is expected in a British family, and where it can be
managed, a temporary change to the English climate has become desirable.
But this law presses very hardly upon the poor.

I am often asked as to whether it is more expensive to live in Paris than
in London. My experience is that London is the dearer city. In Paris
almost everyone lives in a flat, where it is not necessary to keep so
many servants as a house requires. Wages are about the same; but servants
in France are much more economical than in England. Food is dearer as
it is mostly taxed—the exception being fruit and vegetables, which come
into Paris free of duty. Wine of home culture is now exempt. Coal is
very expensive, being generally over £2 a ton; but then less is used,
as the houses in the best parts of the city are generally warmed. There
is, however, no income tax in France, and the municipal taxes are much
less—about one-half what they are in London. But the days when people
would go to Paris to largely economise are past; both capitals are
expensive for the upper and middle classes.

The carte telegram or “Petit bleu” is an advantage in Paris which one
misses much in London. This is a system by which a letter written on a
special form, which can be sealed and posted in a special box, with a
threepenny stamp, will be delivered in the city, by means of pneumatic
tubes, within an hour. It is a great convenience, and largely used by
Parisians.

The post offices, however, often afford a trying experience. The
officials seem in no hurry to attend to the customers, and there is no
appeal. They do not seem to consider themselves the servants of the
public in any way, and so the public suffer. The “Bureaux de Post”
are frequently badly ventilated, so that a long delay is not always
agreeable.



CHAPTER X.

THE PRESENT CONDITIONS OF RELIGIOUS LIFE ON THE CONTINENT OF EUROPE, AND
THEIR LESSONS FOR THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND TO-DAY.

A Paper read at the Yarmouth Church Congress, October 2nd, 1907.


I ventured to accept the proposal that I should speak to you to-day
upon the ground that I had been for the past sixteen years chaplain in
Paris, with certain opportunities for gathering some information upon the
subject before us.

What I have to say will naturally refer chiefly to France, which during
the past few years has been passing—with somewhat grim silence—through a
bloodless Revolution.

The long story, of which the present condition of religious life in
that country is the sequel, has been as to its earlier stages so ably
dealt with by the previous speaker that I will not occupy your time by a
further reference to it.

To come to recent events. During the years 1897-1900 France was stirred
to its depths over the Dreyfus “affaire.” It was in the air—everyone
talked about it, and the controversy was full of bitterness. The policy
of the Ultramontane party with respect to this question can only be
described as deplorable. At any cost this unfortunate Jew must be proved
guilty, apparently with the hope that thus feeling would be stirred up
in the country against all Jews, and non-Roman Catholics, and the Church
come again into the favour she was fast losing. The reaction that came
when it was seen that a great blunder had been made was remarkable; and
there was considerable irritation against those who had, it was felt,
deceived the people. Yet there are some in France who still would have us
believe that Dreyfus is guilty! The country had been steadily becoming
indifferent to religion, but that indifference was largely changed into
open hostility in the reaction after the exposures which were made in
this “affaire,” which had indeed brought the country perilously near
civil war.

It was in the year 1900 that the French Government took action against
the Augustinians, or Assumptionists. Hitherto the “Orders” had been
treated with more or less of indifference, but at this time the country
woke up to the fact that this body was publishing a newspaper (“The
Croix”), which was acquiring a leading position so far as circulation
was concerned. In every café, in every village, it had its agents; and
while acting under the cloak of religion—the crucifix being printed
on the front page, with a representation of the “flag of the Sacred
Heart”—it was really a political organ—its object was revolutionary—and
aimed at the existing Government. It is only fair, however, to say that
this organ, while largely used, was never officially sanctioned by the
Church. The Government becoming aware of the danger promptly seized the
press, suppressed the Order of the Assumptionists, and proceeded to
further measures. M. Clemenceau showed, in an able speech, that in very
many cases these so-called religious orders were nothing else than huge
trading establishments, some of which had made great fortunes by the
manufacture of wines and liqueurs, and that a considerable amount of
“sweating” was practised by those in authority over them.

In 1901, M. Waldeck Rousseau being Prime Minister, the “Associations
Bill” was brought into the Chamber of Deputies. This Bill required all
congregations to be authorized. Existing congregations were to obtain
authorization, and no new ones could be formed without this authority.
The Bill was no doubt aimed chiefly at the various “orders,” several of
which were not authorized, as, e.g., the Jesuits and the Dominicans.
Desperate efforts were made in the Chamber to defeat the Government, but
the Bill was carried by 303 votes to 224. Soon after this, M. Waldeck
Rousseau retired, nominating M. Combes as his successor.

In 1902 the elections were held, and the Government “went to the
country” upon the Associations Bill. Contrary to the expectations of the
Ultramontane party, and showing how rapidly it was losing its hold upon
the people, the elections were decidedly in favour of the Government. M.
Combes, in the same year, suppressed 127 establishments (monasteries and
convents) which were not authorized. Many thought he acted with undue
severity, and disturbances took place in various parts. It has, however,
to be remembered that with the Government it was a struggle for life,
and as a leading statesman expressed it, “The religious orders are a
State within a State, and capable of undermining the most solid edifice
raised by a most united people.” M. Combes has frequently said that he
had no intention at this time of going so far as to propose the breaking
of the Concordat—not that he objected to it, but he did not believe that
the country was ripe for it. The somewhat extraordinary action of the
Vatican, and the support of the Government by the people, carried him on.

An event took place soon after which accentuated the friction between
the Government and the Vatican. M. Loubet (President of the Republic)
had decided to pay an official visit to the King of Italy. This
was considered an insult to the Vatican, which had for a long time
endeavoured to keep France and Italy apart. Protest was made to the
French Government, and every engine of diplomacy used to arrange a visit
to the Pope before the audience with the King of Italy. M. Loubet and
the Government refused to be dictated to, and as M. Combes put it in a
speech subsequently made, “We will not allow the Papacy to intermeddle in
our international relationships, and we intend to have done once for all
with the fiction of the Temporal Power.” This sounds very much like the
sentence in our own Constitution: “The Pope of Rome hath no jurisdiction
in this realm of England.”

The mass of the people—with whom M. Loubet was popular—sided with the
Government, and the gulf was made a little wider.

Following this incident came the case of the two Bishops, Mgr. le Nordez,
Bishop of Dijon, and Mgr. Geay, Bishop of Laval. These two ecclesiastics
were accused of certain crimes against morality, and of Freemasonry. The
excitement was widespread, and eventually the bishops were summoned to
Rome. In conformity with the terms of the Concordat, they informed the
French Government of this order, who forbid them to leave the country,
as the summons was irregular. From this time a battle began between
the Vatican and the French Government, until at length the two bishops
yielded, and went to Rome to be tried, and eventually resigned their
bishoprics. This was regarded as a great triumph for the Ultramontane
party.

But what followed caused considerable consternation, for on July 29th of
that year the Papal Nuncio was informed by M. Delcasse that there was
no need for him to remain longer in France. I shall not soon forget the
excitement in Paris at this decided step. Parliament, however, approved
of what had been done, and thus the way was prepared for the breaking
of the “golden chain” of the Concordat, and the final rupture with the
Vatican. Great events followed with striking rapidity.

On December 9th, 1905, the law was passed severing the connection between
Church and State, which was completed on March 16th, 1906, by the
“Reglement d’Administration publique.” It was legislation for which the
country had proved to be ripe.

The series of events which I have briefly referred to had hastened the
crisis. No greater mistake could be made than to imagine it was merely a
political measure arising from irritation. It was inevitable—it was but
the “registration of an existing fact.”

Moreover, the Bill itself was much more generous and favourable than it
might have been, and is not rightly described as “persecution.” It is
no doubt anti-clerical, but that does not mean that it is altogether
anti-religious. In the Chamber of Deputies the other day the Abbé Lemire
could say that “he believed in the sincerity of those who say they wished
to make the law of separation a law of liberty and toleration, as well
for the Church as for the State.”

The first article of the Bill reads thus: “The Republic assures liberty
of conscience and guarantees the free practise of religion subject only
to the restrictions hereinafter enacted, in the interest of public order.”

The second article says: “The Republic neither recognises nor salaries
nor subsidises any religion”—in future budgets “all expenses connected
with the practise of religions” would be omitted, and public religious
establishments would be suppressed. Provision is, however, made for the
continued services of chaplains in public institutions, a provision which
shows an absence of an altogether anti-religious bias in the Bill.

The ceasing of grants for religious services means, of course, an
enormous loss to the Roman Church, and a proportionate loss to the
Protestant and Jewish Churches also. It is a credit to the Roman Church
that this financial loss has not been represented as the chief grievance.

The articles 3 and 4 in the Bill have been those most bitterly opposed
by the Ultramontane party. The former required an “inventory” to be
made of all Church property, which was then to be transferred to
the “Associations Cultuelles,” who were to hold it in the future as
“representatives of the religion which has now the use of it.” The
taking of this “inventory” was made the occasion of considerable
disturbance. In Paris this was especially so at the Church of S.
Clothilde, where there was a free fight. The names of the arrested,
however, clearly showed that the demonstration was political rather than
religious, and engineered mainly by the Royalist party. There is also
another fact not generally known, and that is, that the opportunity was
being taken by dealers from Paris and London to purchase valuable plate
and pictures from the Churches throughout the country, substituting for
them others of little value, and the Government was really protecting
Church property by taking these inventories.

By article 4 the “Association Cultuelles” were to receive the property as
being representatives of the “Religion that now has the use of it.” These
associations were to be formed in every parish, the members forming it
being proportionate to the population. The priests might be members, and
would in most cases nominate the other members.

Thus it would seem a door was open by which a “modus vivendi” might have
been arranged between the Vatican and the State. The French bishops
realized this, and at their first meeting decided to accommodate
themselves to the law. They were convinced by a majority of twenty-two
that it would be possible to form associations which, “without violating
the separation law, would maintain the essential rights of the Church,
her Divine constitution, and her hierarchy.” But the Vatican would not
consent.

Later, the Archbishop of Besancon proposed a scheme for the formation
of “Associations Canonique,” which, according to the Abbé Houtin, was
approved by the bishops by 56 votes against 18. This scheme was also
rejected, the Pope declaring that he would not permit their trial
“so long as he had no certain and legal guarantee that the Divine
constitution of the Church, the immaculate rights of the Roman Pontiff
and the Bishops, and their authority over the necessary property of the
Church (particularly over the sacred edifices) would be irrevocably and
fully assured by the said associations.” So came a deadlock—on all points
the Vatican had refused compliance with the new law, and practically
declared war against the Government. With apparently a real desire to
meet the difficulty, the Government fell back temporarily upon the law of
1881, which required a simple declaration to be made of the intention to
hold Divine service, this declaration being only necessary once a year.
This proposal was under discussion at the famous meeting of the French
Bishops at La Muette, Paris, in January of this year. We gather from
reliable sources that there was a disposition on the part of the bishops
to accept this solution of the difficulty, when a telegram was received
from the Vatican forbidding it.

Thus we arrive at the present state of the religious question in France.
The Church is separated from the State—the Papal Nuncio has been banished
from France, the bulk of the people are only nominal adherents of the
Church, and they love to have it so.

It must be evident to most who have followed this controversy that Rome
has herself fledged the arrow which has brought her down. For a long time
she has been losing her hold upon the people, so that to-day, out of
thirty-nine millions in the country, it is calculated that only four to
five millions are devout adherents of the Papacy. This fact it is that
accounts for the absence of any serious uprising during this momentous
change which has so recently taken place.

Mr. F. Harrison relates his impressions during a late visit to France in
the “Nineteenth Century” for August, and says:—“Of the great religious
struggle not a trace was to be seen.… I entered the churches and attended
the services at all hours, and was almost always alone. In Notre Dame, in
Paris, on Trinity Sunday last there were fifty-two women and twenty-five
men.” He adds, “The State was only concerned with the overthrow of a
great political conspiracy; there was no trace of a great religious
struggle, because none took place.”

Visitors to Paris during the season may get a very erroneous impression
as to the true state of religious life. A few of the leading churches
may be filled, e.g., the Madeleine, S. Sulpice, S. Clothilde, and some
others, but one has to take into account the fact that Paris is much
under-churched for the population, and that many of those attending in
the season are from the provinces, and, I am sorry to say, some English
Churchpeople. So with regard to Sunday. A great change has taken place
in France. Visitors of twenty years ago will remember that the shops
in Paris were for the most part open, but now they are very generally
closed. It would, however, be a mistake to suppose that this change arose
from a religious feeling. It is rather that France had decided to keep
one day in seven for pure pleasure, and Sunday has been chosen as the
most convenient day. The theatres and other amusements are open, and
thronged as before.

During the last sixteen years—with the exception of the monumental
building upon the hill of Montmartre, I never saw any important new
church in building, or heard of one being erected.

And what is the reason of this state of things, from which we as a
Church may gather some lessons? They are many. Rome in France, as in
other countries, is rather a political than a religious system. She
was involved more than was generally known in the Dreyfus affair. The
banished Orders were sowing the seeds of disloyalty to the Republic.
S. Cyr (the military school) was largely under the influence of the
Jesuits, who are not Republicans, and the struggle had to come. “France
is democratic and progressive. In spite of eminent exceptions, the
Roman Catholic body has offered a sullen and stubborn opposition to
economic and social reform. It reaps what it has sown.” And this is an
object-lesson to ourselves. Now the attitude of the nation towards Roman
Catholicism is one of distrust and aversion. A Church—a clergy—these,
though he may not personally use them—the average Frenchman will have.
But what he will not have at any price is a Government influenced by
priests—a Roman Catholic “party”—or the intervention of Rome, secret or
avowed, in French politics. The fact is that Rome has asked the people
to believe too much, and they have ended by believing very little. It is
a sad spectacle. But what has the Church offered to combat the growing
materialism of the country? Only the poor substitute of superstition,
such as is manifested at Lourdes and other places. This and the Dreyfus
affair, and the scandal connected with the name of Leo Taxil, have done
much in late years to alienate thinking Frenchmen from religion.

Again, the selling of the offices and sacraments has in Paris at least
been practised to an extraordinary extent. Before the separation, I
have known of as much as £1,000 being paid for the services at a “rich”
funeral. £80 to £100 was a common fee for marriages and funerals, and
large offerings were expected at baptisms. Since the passing of the
Bill the Archbishop of Paris has ordered that marriages and funerals
should only be taken in a low “class,” where the fees are comparatively
moderate. But I am credibly informed that it is expected that an
“offering” will be given to the officiating priest equal to what was
formerly charged. This relates, of course, only to the wealthier class,
from whom the complaints have been deep if not loud.

And what is the outcome of all this? Here you have a dissatisfied
priesthood, especially as to the younger men; it is calculated that some
two hundred secede from the priesthood every year; a people who have
thrown over their Church and practically banished religion from their
schools. You have teachers who have a better chance of employment and
promotion if they are free-thinkers. Consequently juvenile crime is
increasing, and immorality more or less rampant. Here are two facts.
According to the official journal, during the year 1905, 3,805 boys of
sixteen years of age passed through the police courts, and 566 girls of
the same age; and in the same year there were 468 cases of suicide of
men and women under twenty-one years of age. Again, in Paris alone the
illegitimate births are over 12,000 a year, while in London, with its
much greater population, the number for 1906 was 4,868.

What is the remedy? Certainly a revival of religion will not come through
politics—but will it come from the Church herself?

There is a Liberal school of Roman Catholic Theology in France from which
some hope much. M. Paul Sabatier (who has written so much and so well
upon this subject) has great hopes that the Church in France will be
saved by this party. But it is a party which has no favour from Rome, and
time alone will show whether anything can be accomplished by it. Some,
indeed, there are who think that the somewhat mysterious action of the
Pope in the late controversy with the Government arose from the existence
and strength of this “Liberal” party, and the latest Papal pronouncement
seems to favour this view. This school—historical, liturgical, and
critical—has broken down the intellectual conceptions on which Romish
doctrine rests; and if its views are accepted by Roman Catholics
generally, then the Vatican sees clearly that it cannot sway the minds of
the people and bring them to obey implicitly.

It would appear that the Curia sees that the doctrines of Liberalism,
once adopted, will overthrow Romanism, and in its desire to save the
Church allows the French Catholics to be persecuted, knowing that
persecution will confirm Conservatism, and drive the really attached
Ultramontanes closer to the Roman authority. The Pope’s action is, in
fact, the inevitable result of Ultramontanism, for nowadays no Romanist
can be anything but an Ultramontane if he is loyal to the Papacy. Thus
the action of the Pope may not be a diplomatic mistake so much as the
outcome of a steady policy to maintain unity on the basis of the Vatican
decrees and the syllabus.

The lessons for the Church of England are obvious. It may be that France
is in the van of a larger movement for good or for evil. Spain, Italy,
Germany, are in the throes of the same struggle. Anti-clericalism is not
unknown among ourselves. Surely we may learn the danger of a too close
alliance with any political party. The Church, as her Divine Founder,
should be non-political. And should not every nerve be strained to
keep our people in close attachment to the Church, by active sympathy
with the masses, putting before them a manly Christianity and avoiding
mediævalism and superstition? And must we not fight for schools, that
definite religious instruction be given to our children, which will equip
them as none other can for the responsibilities of national life, and for
the life to come? If we learn these lessons while the day lasteth, “quis
separabit.”



CHAPTER XI.

THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND ON THE CONTINENT.


The position and work of the Church of England upon the Continent is
not understood as it should be by British people in general. It is
difficult to overcome old prejudices, and there is no doubt but that
in former times (now happily gone by) there was a distinct prejudice
against the Continental Chaplain. It was generally thought that he must
either be on the Bishop’s “black list,” or have been guilty of some
grievous fault to be found upon the Continent at all. And this prejudice
was hardly to be wondered at. It is not very many years ago since no
Bishop was found to be superintending the chaplains, and there were
men ministering abroad who had left their country for their country’s
good. The history of Episcopal supervision is briefly this. In the year
1663 “congregations of the Church of England in foreign countries” were
placed under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London. This was in the
reign of Charles I., and by an order of the King in council. And this
order held good for 200 years. During this period there are little or
no traces of any effectual Episcopal supervision, neither is there any
record of any Assistant Bishop aiding the Bishop of London in this work.
We may, however, assume that the number of British people travelling and
resident upon the Continent was nothing like what it is now. In the old
days people often took their carriage over the Channel and travelled
with servants and Courier, so that trips abroad were only a luxury
of the rich. And now the London Polytechnic, e.g., take people over
by thousands, and offer a trip to “lovely Lucerne” with all the best
excursions, etc., for £5 5s.! When taking the chaplaincy at Lucerne three
years ago I was much interested in the arrival of these weekly parties,
and in order to see how the excursions were managed went with a party to
the end of the Lake, and by Goschenen to Andermatt, a lovely excursion;
and I was indeed surprised how well everything was done. The lunch was
plain but substantial, and all included in the five guineas for a week’s
trip.

But to return to Church matters. In 1825 Bishop Luscombe was appointed to
the Embassy Chaplaincy in Paris, and to superintend British congregations
on the Continent. This could have been no sinecure, when it is remembered
that there was then no Bishopric of Gibraltar, and that his appointment
included superintendence of the Church of England congregations on the
whole Continent, in Asia, and the North of Africa.

I endeavoured to ascertain if there were any records of Episcopal work
done in these lands, but could find no trace. The Embassy Chaplaincy was
less important then than it has since become, but my experience has been
that the work in Paris is both onerous and constant, and that with all
the chaplain may be able to accomplish there is necessarily much left
undone. Twelve thousand English people scattered over a large city must
involve, as it does, heavy work.

In the year 1842, the Bishopric of Gibraltar was founded; in this
case a territorial title was available owing to our possession of the
impregnable rock. Forty-two years afterwards, in 1884, a most important
step was taken, and a Suffragan Bishop to the See of London appointed to
take jurisdiction over the congregations in Northern and Central Europe.
The first was Bishop Titcomb, a man greatly beloved by all who knew him,
and one who never tired of doing all he could to help and cheer his
chaplains, many of whom were in isolated posts and often very lonely.
Unfortunately he was only a few years at work, when he was taken ill
and died. His successor was the Right Rev. Bishop Wilkinson, formerly
of Zululand, under whom I was privileged to serve during the whole of
my chaplaincy. I usually arranged for the Bishop’s hospitality at the
Embassy when he visited us for Confirmations, and while I fear he does
not like Paris and big receptions, we were always pleased to see him and
fully appreciated his work amongst us. The travelling in this (so-called)
diocese is very fatiguing, as it reaches from Calais to St. Petersburg,
and embraces Belgium, the North of France, Germany, Norway, and Sweden,
etc.

Thus the work of the Church of England upon the Continent is within
these two Dioceses—I use the term as being the most convenient—and can,
I believe, be favourably compared with that in any English or Colonial
Diocese.

In both Dioceses there are permanent and temporary chaplaincies.
Permanent chaplaincies are usually in towns, where there is a resident
and commercial colony, and where similar work is carried on to that of an
English parish. The temporary chaplaincies are opened only in the season,
and in places where the English congregate for health, holiday, and
pleasure.

The appointments to these chaplaincies are chiefly in the hands of the
two well-known societies, the Colonial and Continental Church Society and
the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. All licenses are issued by
the Bishops of London and Gibraltar. Since my removal from Paris I have
been a member of the Committee of the former Society, and I can testify
to the care which is taken to select men suitable to the vacant positions.

In the chaplains, and especially in the case of those permanent, English
travellers abroad will generally find a sympathetic friend, and one ready
to give advice or help whenever needed.

May I, in closing this short notice of a very important and increasing
work, plead for greater liberality on the part of travellers. The
chaplains are often but poorly paid, and are in a large measure
dependent—in some cases entirely—upon the weekly offertory. The number
of nickel coins in the plate week after week is a trying experience to
the chaplain, and seems to show but small appreciation on the part of
travellers of the advantage of a religious service when abroad, and of
the very great difficulty there often is in keeping a chaplaincy open for
want of funds.

In trouble and difficulty the chaplain is frequently the one applied to,
and then gratitude is expressed, but it surely should not be left to such
times; and the plea of home calls and the expense of a holiday abroad is
not satisfactory or quite reasonable. But what noble exceptions there are
to the grudging giver! I had for some years a member of my congregation
in Paris who regularly put a gold piece in the plate on Sundays, and if
away for three or four weeks would, on her return, give for each Sunday
of her absence; and “God loveth a cheerful giver.”



CHAPTER XII.

AMERICANS IN PARIS.


The American Colony is not nearly so large as the English in Paris, but
it is important and influential. According to the last census there were
5,000 Americans resident, or in hotels, while there were 12,000 English.
The reason for this difference in numbers is not far to seek. America is
too distant, and the voyage too expensive for the poor to readily cross
the great Atlantic; while for a few shillings anyone can traverse the
little “Manche” between England and France and try their luck in the gay
City—generally looked upon in England as one vast pleasure ground. Alas!
these poor people often find tears where they looked for laughter, and
poverty where they looked for gold. An American in distress from poverty
is a rarity. The few who are stranded in Paris find many liberal helpers
among their own country people.

There is no doubt that Americans thoroughly appreciate the beauty and
comfort of living in the “Ville lumière,” and there are many residents
who have chosen it as a place of residence when free to live anywhere.
Then there are others who are married to French, and thirdly, those who
are studying painting, singing, or architecture, or whose children are
being educated in that thorough way we in England know so little of.

The English Chaplain comes into close contact with many Americans, both
socially and ministerially. Though the beautiful Church in the Avenue
de l’Alma was built for, and by, Americans, the English Embassy Church
counts among her faithful worshippers many an American cousin. Doctor
Morgan, who has for many years ministered to the American Church, and is
so much beloved by all, quite recognised that we must exchange many of
our flock, and it would not be possible, nor desirable, to keep to the
nationality of our congregation, especially as we are in communion one
with the other.

Socially, the English Chaplain must necessarily meet many Americans.
Naturally, those who speak the same language (or nearly so) must draw
together in a strange country. But there is more than that, as everyone
knows, in the relationship of English and Americans. Their outlook on
life from childhood for education, both in the home and school, is the
same. Until one has lived in a foreign country one hardly realizes how
this affects one.

The difference in the way a Frenchman regards the question of morality
and religion makes a barrier which is not often bridged. The truly
sympathetic friendship between the Anglo-Saxon and the Frenchman is the
exception, and not the rule. In this way the American and English in a
foreign land draw closer together, and consider themselves very much as
one family, with the same tastes and sympathies, while they regard in
quite a different light those they call “foreigners,” though they may be
living in that “foreigners’” land, and would be quite offended if the
term were applied to them.

We made many friends among the Americans, and we can never think of our
life in Paris as separate from those dear ones. Indeed, the house which
my family and I have come to regard as a second home, and where the
welcome is always that of a kind sister, belongs to an American who was,
and is still, one of the most regular attendants at the English Church. I
cannot too often testify to the liberality of the Americans in Paris in
helping the British poor. They were ready at all times to give of their
money and time for this purpose, and I cannot remember a single instance
when I appealed in vain for their aid. At a large working party formed
for making clothes for the British poor, we had not only the attendance
of many Americans, but the beautiful and commodious rooms of the Hotel
Powers were lent to us free of charge by their American owner.

When we had bazaars for the Church, several stalls were taken by
Americans, and at concerts given for charitable purposes it was in many
cases to the American Colony we owed both the talent which attracted the
large attendance, and also the results we generally obtained.

Perhaps one of the most notable of the American millionaires when I
first went to Paris was Mrs. Ayer. She was almost mobbed when she went
out on account of her wonderful jewels, which represented a large
fortune. I have seen people standing on chairs in a drawing-room to get a
better sight of her—or of them! Indeed, royalty could hardly compete in
notoriety with this little old lady.

Mrs. Astor in her beautiful flat in the Champs Elysées (which she called
only a little “pied-à-terre”) gave most enjoyable soirées, and her
beautiful manners added not a little to the pleasure of her guests. She
had the great charm of making no difference in her welcome, whether
the guest was a prince or a poor curate, and one went away with the
delightful feeling that you were the person she had most wished to see,
and you had given her much pleasure by your presence!

The late Mrs. Warden-Pell also entertained a good deal, and she often, at
her afternoon receptions, when great artists delighted her audience, gave
young students an opportunity of being heard—an opportunity which was
worth a great deal to them, and which they were not slow to appreciate.

Mrs. Whitelaw-Reed, who has since become so well known as the wife of
the Ambassador in London, did a great deal for the artists in the Latin
quarter, and her work has borne much good fruit.

I must also speak of Mr. and Mrs. Mason, the American Consul and his
wife, who have for many years won the love and admiration of all
nationalities and classes in the most cosmopolitan town—Paris. Their
house is always open to those who require aid or sympathy, and it is
not only Americans who seek it there. Mrs. Mason may be seen at all
gatherings in any way connected with charity, and we English often
forgot that we had no real claim upon her and, I fear, trespassed on her
kindness.

I have spoken elsewhere of Mrs. Hoff and the good work she helps so
liberally. The annual banquets of the American Chamber of Commerce
and the July celebrations were always important functions, and I have
thus had the great pleasure of listening to some of the most eloquent
speakers in America and France. It was the usual custom to have present
a contingent of the “Garde Républicain,” and their bright uniforms added
much to the brilliancy of the scene. At one of these functions quite an
ovation was given to General Horace Porter. He was the means of restoring
to America all that was left of “Paul Jones,” the founder of the American
Navy. General Porter paid all the expenses of transport, etc., which were
enormous, and the body was taken through the streets with great pomp and
“éclat,”—both in Paris and New York.

I cannot mention the many Americans whose kindness to me was
unfailing, and can only add that without the Americans in Paris the
English Chaplain’s life would be less agreeable, and his financial
responsibilities more difficult to maintain.



CHAPTER XIII.

L’ENVOI.


My departure from Paris came about in rather a curious way. In April and
May, 1906, we had a visit from the late Dean Barlow (of Peterboro’). For
the first of May (“Labour Day”) we had arranged a Drawing-room Meeting
for the Dean on behalf of the Colonial and Continental Church Society,
whose work in Canada was, and is, attracting so much attention in
religious circles. It turned out, however, to be one of those “scares”
with which Paris is sometimes afflicted, and the idea having got abroad
that something dreadful was about to happen, only three people turned up!
The Dean was very kind about it, and notwithstanding the small number
present, gave us a most interesting account of his recent visit to
Canada. The next morning when he was leaving, he turned to me and said,
“Noyes, how long have you been here?” I told him nearly sixteen years,
and added, “You must not leave me here too long.” The Dean had very
considerable influence in Church patronage, and when he wrote to me in
the spring of 1907, he said, “Do you remember what you said to me when
I was leaving your house last year? Well, I have ventured to put your
name forward for an important Church in London.” So slight often are the
incidents which bring about changes in our lives. I had never heard of
St. Mary’s, Kilburn, or been in this part of London before I came over
to see the Church.

The saying “good-bye” is always trying, and especially after a long
ministry among such a devoted congregation as I had in Paris. I preached
a farewell sermon to a large congregation on Friday, June 9th, 1907, and
although I struggled hard against it, completely broke down.

The next day I had to face a large gathering in the Washington Palace,
to receive a most gratifying testimonial. The spacious room was crowded,
and the kind expressions of regret almost overwhelming. It was here I was
able to make the announcement that I had received a few days previously
from a generous donor, who wished to remain anonymous, the magnificent
gift of £4,000 towards the Paris Church House.

The following account appeared in the papers of the succeeding day:—

“At the Washington Palace this afternoon took place the presentation
by Mr. Percy Inglis, British Consul-General, to the Rev. H. E. Noyes,
D.D., of the testimonial from the congregation of the church in the
Rue d’Aguesseau, consisting of an illuminated address, a cheque, and
a flagon, in the presence of a large gathering, among whom were Sir
Henry Austin Lee, Doctor Sewell, Mr. H. Millington Drake, the Very
Rev. Father McMullan, Mr. Lammin, Mr. Le Cocq, and Mr. Coleman. Mr.
Inglis read, amid great applause, the address, which is a tribute to
the excellent work performed by Doctor Noyes during his sixteen years’
residence in Paris. In his reply Doctor Noyes related all that had been
done for the charitable and other institutions of the colony during
that period, and spoke very feelingly of the hearty support which he
had received throughout from the Embassy and all its members. He noted
this as especially interesting, that during that time he had seen four
Ambassadors at the mansion in the Faubourg Saint Honoré, and no fewer
than five Presidents of the Republic. Great enthusiasm was displayed when
the reverend gentleman announced that he had received last week from a
donor whose name could not be revealed the magnificent sum of 100,000
frs. for the contemplated clergy house. Afterwards Doctor and Mrs. Noyes
took a hearty farewell of all their friends, with the expression of the
hope that they would meet again in Paris and at their new home in London.”

My successor, as is well known, is the Right Rev. Bishop Ormsby (late of
Honduras), and it is a curious circumstance that when I was curate of St.
Matthias’s Church in Dublin, one of the congregation was Judge Ormsby,
the father of the Bishop.

I left Paris with many regrets, and often have wondered since whether I
had not been there too long to leave it. But the die is cast, and I can
only now in quiet moments wander in thought over the familiar scenes, and
think of the many kind friends, the memory of whom will never fade.





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