« AnteriorContinuar »
the last for this century of which are thus made of French those International Exhibitions methods in public departments, which it was fondly supposed of French ideas of what is fifty years ago would contribute honourable and right, of French greatly to the peace of the justice to a person accused, of world, smoothing the way to- French intrigue in its military wards millennial calm. This bureaus, of French morality Dreyfus drama has come as a and sense of truth, not only most ghastly forerunner to dis- justify but emphasise the words close what sort of a region the above used regarding the hisFrance is that expects to attract tory, so far as known, before the world so gaily and with a this new bombshell burst over light heart, in the year of our the General Staff of France. Lord 1900. There is much to be “Shameful" and "grotesque
” learned from this laying bare of were the words. These are inthe secrets of her prison-house, deed mild terms to apply to both by France and every
and every an official cesspool such as is other nation. It will not do to now having its contents turned grow sick of this “intermin- out to stink in the nostrils of able” Dreyfus drama, as one a disgusted world. Every sushears men say of it almost picion which, by reading bedaily. They that would be tween the lines of what was wise before the event — and known before, suggested itself
never was there a time when to the investigator, is to-day this was more necessary—will confirmed in hideous blackness do well not to weary in en
of fact. It is now made plain deavouring to assimilate its why all reopening of inquiry facts; for if ever the things of has been, and is being, resisted to-day prophesied of to-morrow, to the death by French officialnow is the time when in France ism. It is because official perthey do so, even like the hand- sons realise that, be the result writing on the wall at Bel- of the inquiry what it may to shazzar's feast. Only there is the poor individual now lanthis difference—no prophet is guishing in his stockade, the needed to interpret. The writ- facts which will inevitably ing is plain, to be read of all come into the open light of who are not wilfully blind. day, if inquiry is public, must
The ink was scarce dry with shatter reputations of men in which the above lines were writ- high places, expose methods of ten when a new and most starts action by epauletted officers, ling development has made the with the connivance, if not whole world stare. The evi- under the orders, of their sudence of the secret inquiry periors, that are outside all the which was conducted by the bounds of professional and perCriminal Chamber of the Court sonal honour, and call for of Cassation has by some under- surgical excision of men in high hand means come into the pos- places from the body military, session of a Parisian journal, if the “Vive l'Armée !” of toand has been published morning day is not to become the “À by morning. The disclosures bas !” of to-morrow with the
fickle and easily swayed popu- unscrupulous newspaper bullies, lace of Paris and of France. and were, being so base or so A crumbling edifice under- cowardly, to violate their oath mined by false ways must be of office to do even-handed jusshored up by any and every tice between the citizen and prop, sound or rotten, that
or rotten, that the State, it is quite impossible can be found, lest, being seen that there should be an end. to totter, the French mob—that The case is too flagrant, and is mob which delights in a crash too clearly seen to be so by -should rush to assister (as the honest men, both in France French say) at the catastrophe, and throughout the world. and yell in fiendish delight over What was done in the past will the dead and the débris. It is not stand. A plainly revealed a life-and-death matter to the
mass of principal builders of the edifice
“ fraud and impudence and lies' of anti-revision, built up of chicanery, suppression of truth, cannot be suffered to pollute open fraud, and perjury, that the world's atmosphere. it should be held up from be- will certainly sooner or later hind, for those who defend it be swept out, if not by the must perish with it when it hand of justice, then surely by falls. The acquittal of Monsieur the besom of destruction. A Gohier, on his trial under Gov- nation can no more than an ernment orders for his exposure individual outrage moral sense of the rotten condition of things without having sooner or later in the French army, must make to repent or to harden in wickthe desperate defenders of the edness, on which Nemesis will exclusion of light still more
still more advance with certain tread. desperate. If this were not a Which shall it be in the case French crisis, prediction would of France, and those who have
But in the case of a sullied her good name? Will country where Thersites would she bravely purge out the old be a probable Minister of State, leaven and become a new lump? and Titus Oates accepted as Her neighbours will anxiously a martyr to patriotism, the look out to see, clinging to hope difficulties of the prophet are that ere it is too late she will not small.
take courage and do the right. These disclosures have added The reader shall judge for much to the sum of ascertained himself whether these things fact, and make it absolutely which have been said are just. impossible, if there is any sense What is now to be stated may of justice still existing in France, be taken as fact, no longer that revision of the Dreyfus open to dispute, except in those case shall not take place. Even instances where it is stated that if the court intrusted with the any matter is alleged only on investigation were base enough strong prima facie grounds, to truckle to the General Staff, calling for inquiry. or weak enough to yield to the In 1894, and for some time intimidation of vile threats of before that, there was reason to anonymous letter - writers and believe that information on con
fidential military matters in charge made against his characFrance was being conveyed to ter. It is alleged, and not deforeign Powers. A French spy nied, that before the decision a brought to the War Office frag- document or documents were ments of a document containing either read or shown to the a list—technically called a bor- court - martial, which the acdereau — of military papers, cused and his counsel were not which the writer was supplying permitted to see, and therefore to the German military attaché. could neither speak to They were said to have been lead evidence upon. As this found in a waste-paper basket. is a very crucial point in the As the paper referred to some question of revision or no retechnical artillery matters, it was vision, it may be proper here supposed to have come from an to state that M. Dupuy, who artillery officer, and Alfred Drey- was at the time Prime Minfus, who was in the War Office, ister, has sworn that he had was suspected. On being ar- heard of a secret document rested, he was taken by the being used at the court-marorders of General Mercier to a tial; and that M. Cavaignac, military prison, and detained ex-Minister of War, said in evithere in solitary confinement for dence that he did not think it many days, and constantly ex- would be possible to affirm that amined by Colonel du Paty do the bordereau could have been Clam, and made to write in dif- the sole element of the first ferent positions—standing, sit- trial. The document secretly ting, lying down, with gloves and used was a letter passing bewithout gloves. It is noteworthy tween two persons not examined that, when brought to the prison, at the trial, and therefore could General Mercier gave orders not, according to any possible that he was to be fed on the fare rules of evidence in a civilised appointed for condemned pris- country, be an admissible docuoners, and that it was only on ment at all.
It could prove the prison governor pointing nothing, any more than it would out that he would be responsible be proof against an accused for the illegality of such an out- person that somebody said somerage upon justice that the order thing about the prisoner to some was not carried out. Some one else upon the street. This weeks before the trial General alone would vitiate any trial in Mercier conveyed to a Paris a country where there is regard newspaper, and that newspaper paid to justice and the citizen. published, his assurance that Further, if the document could the accused was undoubtedly have been competent evidence guilty, thus publicly stamping it would have been worthless. him as a condemned man before It did not bear on the face of it his defence had been heard. The to refer to Dreyfus, the only imcourt-martial was conducted in portant words in it being, “ Ce secret, and the accused was con- canaille de D— devient trop victed of being the writer of the exigeant.” The grammar is bordereau, there being no evi- bad, the meaning is obscure, dence to support any other and the person spoken of is not
identified. The context of the Degradation followed on the letter further shows that the conviction, Dreyfus at the D— referred to could not be parade loudly maintaining his Dreyfus. Thus, if disclosed in innocence, and carrying his full to the court - martial, it head erect. On the same day could not be of any weight he appealed in pathetic terms to against the accused : on the his counsel and all dear to him other hand, if only part of it to continue searching for the was disclosed, those who used truth. Then, at the instance it to influence the court were of the Government, the Legis
, doubly corrupt.
The letter, lature passed a law empowertherefore, was not evidence, ing the State to subject such and its contents, if admissible, prisoners to more terrible pundid not constitute evidence; ishment than the existing law and if they were looked at as permitted, and by a clause evidence in their entirety, were making it retroactive included not in any sense effective evi- the unfortunate Dreyfus in its dence against the accused. To meshes. Thus laws were broken defend the secret use of it, and laws were made with the whether wholly or partially dis- one object of ensuring conclosed, its acceptance as com
demnation and aggravating its petent, its contents as having penalties. any bearing on the case, are The Dreyfus family emulated things all equally impossible the courage of their relative, upon any principle of legal rule and resolutely set themselves or ordinary justice. On the to search matters to the botother hand, to defend its being tom. Their efforts roused the used behind the back of the wrath of the Roman Catholic accused and his advisers re- and Anti-Republican journalquires an official effrontery that ists, and
Anti - Republican cannot be described otherwise society, both Royalist and Bonathan as brazen. If such use of partist, the army being mainly
. any document was made, the officered from these factions. members of the court-martial Dreyfus was a Jew, and his acted corruptly, and are liable defence was an attack upon to criminal punishment. If they the General Staff, therefore a were called on to commit this virulent press, clerical and policriminal act by their military tical, entered upon a course of superiors, that may be some wild vituperation, false accusapalliation of their offence, but tion, and incentive to violence, , any superior who so acted is a of which the watchwords were still worse criminal. This alone À bas les Juifs !” and “ Vive offers to the War Office of l'Armée !” Any one who, howFrance a strong incentive to ever calmly, asked that light strain every nerve to prevent should be thrown on an episode public revision. But if the facts of doubtful legality and justice, be as stated, revision can only was held up to public obloquy be refused by corruption spread- as a traitor forming one of a ing into the Supreme Court of “Syndicate of Treason" in the
' the land.
pay of the foreigner, whether
German or English, or bribed being covered over. On showby Hebrew gold. A crusade ing the photographs to M. Ber
proclaimed against all tillon, who had given evidence Jews, and anyone who sug- as an expert against Dreyfus at gested that an officer of the his trial, Bertillon at once said, army other than Dreyfus re- “Why, it is the same writing quired to have his conduct in- as the bordereau," and added, quired into was at once stigma-“For a year past the Jews tised as disloyal to the army, have been keeping some and undeserving of the hard at work to produce the rights of a citizen. The Roche- writing of the bordereau, and forts, the Drumonts, and the they have perfectly succeeded." Judets conducted a campaign Thus letters undoubtedly of of literary scurrility and lying Esterhazy were pronounced by such as never before disgraced this expert to be a successful journalism, and it is painful to imitation of the writing of the have to record that the reading bordereau. Colonel du Paty public seemed to love to have de Clam on being shown the it so, for these abominable pro- photographs said they were in ductions circulated in their the writing of Matthieu Dreyfus, hundreds of thousands all over the brother of Alfred, he having the land. In aristocratic salons a theory that Alfred in writing the conversation was scarcely the bordereau had blended his less violent and unreasoning brother's writing with his own than were the utterances of the to disguise it. Thus two of press.
the strongest witnesses against Matters were in this condi- Dreyfus unwittingly identified tion when, a little more than Esterhazy's writing as being two years after Dreyfus's con- that of the bordereau, and condemnation, a spy brought to clusively demonstrated that the the War Office the pieces of a true hand which wrote it was petit - bleu resembling one of the hand of Esterhazy. our own letter-cards, which on When it became known to being put together disclosed a Colonel du Paty de Clam that letter of a suspicious character, Picquart was on the track of addressed to M. le Commandant Esterhazy, it appears to have Esterhazy, 27 Rue de la Bien- occurred to some person faisance, Paris. Colonel Pic
who were interested quart, who was then the head not to have the Dreyfus affair of the department, instituted reopened, that as it seemed inquiries as to Esterhazy, and likely that the bordereau was obtained some of his handwrit- about to fail as
a piece of ing He became suspicious evidence, something must be from an observed resemblance done to give weight to the to the writing of the bordereau, decision of the court - martial, and with great astuteness pro
to maintain the chose ceeded to have some of Ester- jugée. Accordingly some one hazy's writing photographed, -necessarily in the secrets of names and other parts which the War Office-communicated might give a clue to the writer the fact to the · Éclair' that