This is not a story of the world-wide war. These notes, jotted down at odd moments in a diary, are published with the idea of recording, day by day, the aspect, temper, mood, and humor of Paris, when the entire manhood of France responds with profound spontaneous patriotism to the call of mobilization in defense of national existence. France is herself again. Her capital, during this supreme trial, is a new Paris, the like of which, after the present crisis is over, will probably not be seen again by any one now living.
As a youth in the spring of 1871, I witnessed Paris, partly in ruins, emerging from the scourges of German invasion and of the Commune. As a correspondent of the New York Herald, under the personal direction of my chief, Mr. James Gordon Bennett—for whom I retain a deep-rooted friendship and admiration for his sterling, rugged qualities of a true American and a masterly journalist—it was my good fortune, during fourteen years, to share the joys and charms of Parisian life. I was in Paris during the throes of the Dreyfus affair when, at the call of the late Whitelaw Reid, I began my duties as resident correspondent of the New York Tribune. I saw Paris suffer the winter floods of 1910. Whether in storm or in sunshine, I have always found myself among friends in this vivacious center of humanity, intelligence, art, science, and sentiment, where our countrymen, and above all our countrywomen, realize that they have a second home. With a finger on the pulse, as it were, of Paris, I have sought to register the throbs and feelings of Parisians and Americans during these war days.