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The 

Dreyfus Case 



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ALFRED DREYFUS 

AFTER HIS DEGRADATION, JAN. 5, 1895. 



Frontispiece. 



The Dreyfus Case 



By 

Fred. C. Conybeare, M.A. 

Late Fellow oT University College 
Oxford 



With Twelve Illustrations and Facsimiles 
of the Bordereau, &c. 



London 

George Allen, 156 Charing Cross Road 

1898 

[.^// rights reserved^ 



Printed by Ballaniyne, Hanson &^ Co. 
At the Ballantyne Press 



TO 
LIEUT.-COLONEL GEORGE PICQUART, 

THE TRUE, THE DUTIFUL, THE BRAVE, 
THIS HUMBLE VOLUME IS INSCRIBED, 

WITHOUT THAT PERMISSION WHICH I WOULD FAIN HAVE OBTAINED, 

BUT WHICH A MILITARY TYRANNY, 

IMMURING HIM AU SECRET ON A FALSE AND 

PERFIDIOUS CHARGE, 

HAS PRECLUDED ME FROM EVEN SEEKING. 



PREFACE 

In writing this history of the Dreyfus Case I have 
endeavoured, so far as I could, to let documents 
and depositions speak for themselves. A record of 
the personal impressions left upon one's mind by 
a perusal of them might be more interesting, but 
would be less convincing to a reader who desires 
to form a judgment for himself upon the grave 
events which have for the last four years unrolled 
themselves in France. I hold that it is of the 
highest consequence to Englishmen to understand 
aright what is taking place in a country nearer 
to us than any other, and among a people whose 
welfare is, after all, more closely bound up with 
our own than that of any other. There is no city 
in the world so central as Paris, in the sense that 
whatever happens there at once attracts the atten- 
tion of all Europe , and in no city do the voices 
of Paris so speedily find an echo, sympathetic or 
the reverse, as in London, I write as one who 
would ever like to be in sympathy with France, as 
one who has French ancestors. 



viii PREFACE 

I ma}^ briefly indicate the sources I have used. 
These are, first and foremost, the shorthand report 
of the Zola trial, which took place in February 
1898, and the official documents of the Dreyfus 
and Esterhazy court-martials, so far as they have 
been published. The first two hundred pages of 
my book were already in print before the report of 
the first three sessions of the Cour de Cassation on 
October 27th and the following days was published. 
This often supplements, but seldom corrects, the 
earlier part of my narrative ; and I have tried to 
add whatever it contains of new or striking. I 
have also used Prof. Albert Reville's Les Etapes 
d'un Intellectuel, and the various brochures of M. 
Yves Guyot, Justin Vanex, Jaures, and others. 

It is no exaggeration to say that the actions of 
the French War Office have outraged the conscience 
of the civilised world ; and the too tardy advent 
of justice during the past month has brought relief 
to all. We may hope before long to see the victim 
back among his countrymen, restored to his family, 
and to the army, against which, in spite of its treat- 
ment of him, he has never breathed ill wish or evil 
word. 

Throughout his long weary confinement in the 
Devil's Island he has been buoyed up by a clear 
conscience and an indomitable will, let us add by 



PREFACE ix 

the afFection of a noble wife, and the hope of being 
rehabilitated, if not for his own sake, at least for 
that of his children. But alas, his health of mind 
and body must have sorely suffered. It is said that 
his hair has turned white with the anguish which 
devoured his soul ; and with a refinement of cruelty 
the French Government made his captivity more 
galling and irksome from the moment Avhen Colonel 
Picquart first established his innocence. They 
thenceforth allowed no more letters in his hand- 
writing to pass to his wife, and it is even said that 
they put him in irons and built a palisade round his 
prison that he might not any more gaze out upon 
the sea — his only solace. His wife was not allowed 
to go out to nurse him in illness — a privilege allowed 
to vulgarer convicts — and even his supply of books 
was cut off. 

In this terrible history the contrasts of honour 
and baseness, of loyalty and treason, are presented 
with dramatic intensity : Dreyfus and Esterhazy, 
Picquart and Henry ; patriots like Zola, Yves Guyot, 
Joseph Reinach, P.-V. Stock, Clemenceau, Demange, 
Jaures, Labori, Pressense, Trarieux, Ranc, Scheurer- 
Kestner, Gabriel Monod, Paul Meyer, Grimaux, 
Bernard Lazare, Gerault Richard, Albert Reville, 
J.-Elie Pecault, Paul VioUet, M. Brdal, Stapfer, Buis- 
son, Pere Hyacinthe, Gaston Paris, Giry, Havet, 



X PREFACE 

Anatole France, Molinari, Jean Psichari, on the 
side of truth and justice ; wretches Hke Rochefort, 
Pere Didon, Drumont, Du Paty de Clam, Vervoort, 
Judet, Brunetiere, Deroulede, Millevoye, and others 
better left in obscurity, on the side of Jesuitry, 
treason, and pra3torian insolence. 

In conclusion, I owe my best thanks to those 
without whose help my book would have been 
marred by many inaccuracies — indeed, could not 
have been written; particularly to M. P.-V. Stock, who 
allowed me to use the facsimile of the bordereau 
given in M. Guyot's book. La Revision du Froccs 
Dreyfus, 

FEED. C. CONYBEARE. 

November 19, 1898, 



CONTENTS 



CHAP, 
I. THE GENESIS OF THE DREYFUS CASE 

II. ESTERHAZY THE MERCENARY 

III. THE BORDEREAU . 

IV. THE COURT-MARTIAL 
V. THE VEHMGERICHT 

VI. PICQUART's DISCOVERY . 
VII, THE FORGERS OF THE WAR OFFICE . 
VIII, THE MACHINATIONS AGAINST PICQUART 
IX. THE AWAKENING . . . , 

X. ESTERHAZY AND DU PATY DE CLAM 
XI. THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 
XII. THE ZOLA TRIAL .... 

XIII. THE REIGN OF TERROR . 

XIV. HENRY THE FORGER 
XV. REVISION AT LAST. 



PAQK 

I 
14 
30 

49 

71 

96 

116 

146 
i6s 
185 
226 
247 
267 
300 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Alfred Dreyfus, after his Degradation, 

January 5, 1895 Frontispiece 



Facsimile of the Bordereau . 


juviny /, 

5) 


aye lo 
„ 32 


Captain Alfred Dreyfus . 


» 


„ 40 


Identity of Esterhazy's Writing wite 


[ 




THAT of the Bordereau 


55 


,5 48 


Facsimile of Dreyfus' Handwriting 


)) 


„ 48 


General Mercier .... 


)) 


,5 56 


Colonel G. Picquart 


55 


„ 112 


General Billot 


55 


5, 144 


General De Boisdeppre . 


55 


5, 152 


General De Pellieux 


„ 


„ 192 


Emile Zola 


55 


5, 226 


MaItre Labori 


5) 


5 5 246 


Paul Cavaignac .... 


5) 


,5 272 


General Zurlinden .... 


55 


„ 288 



CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF 
CHIEF EVENTS 

1894 

April I (about). Esterbazy's bordereau written. 
Oct, 13, Bertillon pronounces the bordereau to be in the hand- 
writing of Dreyfus. 

,, 15. Dreyfus examined by Du Paty de Clam and arrested, 
Dec, 9. D'Ormescheville's Act of Accusation drawn up. 

,, 19, Dreyfus' court-martial begins. 

1895 

Jan. 5. Dreyfus publicly degraded. 

Feb. 9. French Chamber makes a law to send Dreyfus to French 

Guiana. 
June I. Colonel Picquart appointed head of the Intelligence 

Bureau. 

1896 

May I (about). The Petit bleu brought to Picquart. 

July Picquart acquaints Boisdefifre with case against Esterhazy, 

and with his discovery of Dreyfus' innocence. 
Sept. 3. Picquart acquaints Gonse with the same. 
,, 3. False report in English press of Dreyfus' escape. 
,, 14. Article in Eclair divulges use of secret evidence at 
Dreyfus' trial. 
Nov. I (about). Henry forges evidence against Dreyfus. 
,, (early in). Bernard Lazare's first brochure, La Veriti sur 

V Affaire Dreyfus. 
,, 10. The Matin publishes a facsimile o[ the bordereau. 
„ 16. Picquart dismissed from Paris and succeeded by Colonel 

Henry. 
„ 18. Castelin's interpellation. Cliose jugee invented by Billot, 
Dec. 15. A forged letter signed Speranza sent to Picquart. 

1897 

Jan. 13. Picquart reaches Tunis. 

June (early in). Picquart receives Henry's threatening letter, 

and consults Leblois in Paris. 
Oct. 16. Esterhazy's last interview with Schwartzkoppen. 



xvi LIST OF CHIEF EVENTS 

Oct. (end of). De Castro recognises bordereau as Esterhazy's. 

,, 24. Esterhazy's threatening letter to M. Hadamard. 

,, 30. Scheurer-Kestner interviews Billot. 
Nov, 3. Pellieux searches Picquart's rooms in Paris in his absence. 

,, 10 or II. Picquart in Tunisia receives false telegrams from 
Esterhazy and Du Paty de Clam. 

,, 14. Esterhazy restores the document liberateur to War Office. 

,, 15. Mathieu Dreyfus denounces Esterhazy as author of the 
bordereau. 

,, 25. Picquart returns to Paris. 
Dec. 31. Ravary reports in favour of not prosecuting Esterhazy. 

1898 

Jan. 2. General Saussy orders court-martial of Esterhazy. 
,, 7. Siede publishes D'Ormescheville's Act of Accusation of 

Dreyfus. 
,, II. Esterhazy acquitted " to order" of high treason. 
,, 12. Picquart arrested by military authorities. 
,, 13. Zola's letter /'accuse appears in the ^Mrore. 
Feb. 11-23. First trial of MM. Zola and Perrenx, 

,, 24 (about). Picquart expelled from the French army. 
April 2. Cour de Cassation quashes sentence on Zola and Perrenx. 
„ 7. Casella's revelations. Fresh prosecution of Zola ordered. 
June 24. Joseph Reinach court-martialled for translating article in 

the National Review. 
July 7. Cavaignac parades Henry's forgery in French Chamber. 
,, 9. Picquart denounces the forgery. 
,, 13. Picquart and Leblois prosecuted by Cavaignac. Esterhazy 

arrested by Judge Bertulus. 
,, 14. Picquart arrested and taken to a civil prison. 
,, 18. Second trial of MM. Zola and Perrenx. Zola quits 
France. 
Aug. 30. Henry avows his forgery before Cavaignac. 

,, 31. Henry's suicide in Mont Valerien. 
Sept. 5. Cavaignac resigns the Ministry of War. 
,, 6. Zurlinden becomes Minister of War. 
,, 9. Esterhazy flees from France. 
,, 14 and 15. Picquart's two letters to M. Sarrien. 
,, 17. Zurlinden resigns, being opposed to revision. 
,, 20. As Governor of Paris, Zurlinden arrests Picquart on charge 
of forgery, and immures him au secret in a military 
prison. 
26. Brisson finally refers the Dreyfus verdict to the Cour de 
Cassation for revision. 
Oct. 25. General Chanoine resigns. 

,, 28. The Cour de Cassation begins the work of revision. 
Nov. 15. Dreyfus is informed of the pending revision just one year 
after his brother's denunciation of Esterhazy. 



ERRATA 



Page II, line lo, for 'Drumont's' rear:/ ' Guerin's.' 
15, ,, 24, for ' Sfax ' read ' Soussa.' 
49, ,, II, for ' Echeman ' read ' Echernann. 
46, ,, I, for ' Verwoort ' read ' Vervoort.' 
loi, ,, I, /or ' Knight ' rifa;/ 'dignitary.' 
124, ,, <i, for ' sets' read ' puis.' 



Drey/tis. 



THE DREYFUS CASE 

CHAPTER I 

THE GENESIS OF THE DREYFUS CASE 

To many Englishmen, by whom the existence in 
France of a Republican form of government was 
regarded as a guarantee of civil liberty, and of equal 
rights before the law of all her citizens of whatever 
religion, the Dreyfus case, with its accompaniments 
of illegality and sectarian hatred, must appear in- 
explicable. But, in truth, some such calamity has 
long been foreseen by those who have been in a 
position to note the rise and gradual increase during 
the last fifteen years in Catholic and army circles of 
an anti-Semitic feeling. 

For nearly two thousand years the Jews of Europe 
have been hunted and oppressed, robbed and mur- 
dered ; and it cannot be doubted that this treatment 
has helped them to retain their racial characteristics, 
and secured them from being merged and lost among 
the populations they lived among. The root of the 
antagonism, was, of course, religious. Throughout 
those long dreary centuries which to-day, as we look 

A 



2 THE DREYFUS CASE 

back upon them, we call indifferently the ages of 
faith or the dark ages, and which interpose them- 
selves between a luminous and classical antiquity 
and the Renaissance with its printing-press, as the 
hours of night between successive days, the rights 
of a citizen rested on the profession of a particular 
religious teaching, intolerant of all dissent and re- 
solved to reign alone. In those days Jews had no 
call to be loyal to nations which persecuted them so 
fiercely. When, however, the dark shadow began to 
pass away, and with the rise of Protestantism men 
began to respect even the conscience of Jews and 
recognise their right to exist, they began to weld 
themselves into the body politic, to imbibe the 
aspirations and sentiments of the populations around 
them, to become patriots. In the glorious roll of 
those who in this century have fought and suf- 
fered for their nationalities — Hungarian, PoUsh, 
or Italian — we find inscribed the names of many 
Jews. 

In particular, the French Jews, since they were 
emancipated, forty years before om' English ones, by 
the Revolution, have shown a loyal affection for 
France. They have left no civic duty unfulfilled, 
and have gloried in the liberty, and security, and 
equality with other men which in the renovated 
state was theirs. France led the way in their 
emancipation, and they have been correspondingly 
grateful and loyal to her ; nor is it any exaggeration 
to say that until lately the Jews all over the world 



THE GENESIS OF THE CASE 3 

felt on this ground alone an enthusiasm for the 
French and for their institutions. 

There are about 80,000 Jews in France ; but, 
in spite of their small numbers, they show remark- 
able talent and have reached the first rank in 
every sphere. Among the distinguished politicians 
of this century, Cremieux, Goudchaux, Millaud, 
Raynal, Joseph Reinach are Jews. In medicine, 
Germain S6e, G. Hayem, Strauss, Michel - L^vy, 
Jules Worms are famous. As philologists and 
historians we know the names of Munck, Breal, 
Oppert, the two Darmesteters, H. Weil, Joseph 
and Hartwig Derenbourg, Halevy, Neubauer, Theo- 
dore and Salomon Reinach; as scientists, Lipp- 
mann, Lcevig ; as political economists, Isaac Pereire 
and Kcenigswarter, Block and Raffalovich ; as 
lawyers, Bedarride and Lyon - Caen. In the 
army there have been Leopold See, now a gen- 
eral of division, who led the assault of the 
Malakoff; Franchetti, who died gloriously in the 
siege of Paris. In the arts, we have the musi- 
cians Fromental Halevy, Meyerbeer, a Frenchman 
in all respects, save that he was born in 
Germany, and Offenbach ; among painters, Emile 
Levy, Henry Levy, Worms ; among sculptors, A. 
Salomon. In dramatic art, Rachel, Worms, Sarah 
Bernhardt. Among philanthropists, Albert Cohn, 
Baron de Hirsch, Bischoffsheim, and Salomon 
Goldschmidt have all lavished on the poor of 
France huge fortunes that they accumulated in 



4 THE DREYFUS CASE 

other countries. Surely an attempt to drive the 
Jews out of France, if it were successful, would 
be a mutilation of herself only less serious than 
the expulsion of her Huguenots long ago, and the 
loss of her German provinces within our own 
generation. Spain and Portugal long ago expelled 
the remnant of Jews that had not perished in the 
fires of the Inquisition, but those two countries 
have not profited by their fanaticism. 

It is not necessary to inquire in these pages how 
far anti-Semitism in France is the echo of similar 
agitation in Germany, or an imitation, by way of 
flattery, of the Eussian persecution. The malady 
broke out in these two countries longer ago than in 
France; but the phlegmatic temperament of their 
populations prevents such a dangerous crisis arising 
amongf them as in the feverish French constitution 
the virus once communicated rapidly generates. 
And another complication quickly supervened in 
France, which is a Latin country. There the clerical 
press, especially the journals written and controlled 
by the Jesuit and Dominican Orders, at once caught 
up and fomented the feeling. An atmosphere of 
suspicion was created by these journals around Jews 
in general, and in particular around Jewish ofiicers. 
Large sections of the public and of the army were 
persuaded before long that a Jew is always ready to 
commit treason. When the campaign of defamation 
and of scattering suspicion had gone far enough, it 
became essential to justify it by facts. A victim 



THE GENESIS OF THE CASE 5 

was wanted, and a victim was found. It was ever 
so with religious fanaticism ; once let the flame of 
persecution be lighted, and victims will not be sought 
in vain. 

In France there are two great military schools, 
the Polytechnique and Saint-Cyr, answering to our 
Woolwich and Sandhurst, recruited also by open 
competition. The young men of Jewish families 
pass in like others. The reactionary press has long 
asserted that the Jewish candidates win more places 
than they are entitled to do, and the royalist 
Gazette de France of July 19, 1894, declared that 
the proportion of Jewish officers in the army was 
ten times as large as it should be. This is gross 
exaggeration ; still the number of them is certainly 
disproportionate to the quota — one five-hundredth — 
which they constitute of the French population. 
Yet who has the right to complain, since their 
success is due solely to hard work and intellectual 
merit ? That so many Jews are anxious to enter a 
profession so ill-paid, so hard- worked, and, above all, 
if we consider the relation of France to Germany, so 
dangerous, in itself contradicts the charge repeated 
day by day in the clerical papers, that the French 
Jews are a set of money-grubbing parasites. 

In the laicised universities and colleges of France 
most of the higher positions of teaching, of respon- 
sibility and control, are filled by Protestants ; and 
this although they constitute but one-eightieth part of 
the population. The intellectual disparity of Roman 



6 THE DREYFUS CASE 

Catholics is herein made clear before all. It is as 
if in England the Roman Catholics worked and con- 
trolled our great universities and schools. We should 
not, of course, grudge them a success, which they 
show no sign of winning. There are in England 
and Scotland about two millions of Papists, one- 
fifteenth of the population, and in matters of educa- 
tion they are nowhere. In France the Huguenots, 
though but a microscopic minority, and in spite of 
the bitter hostility of the Catholic Church, direct 
the education of the country in all its branches. 

With a single exception, however ; for the institu- 
tions which cram young men for the army are 
mainly confessional and in the hands of the Jesuits ; 
and the reason of this is that the corps of officers 
is chiefly recruited from among the royalist and 
aristocratic families, which are rigidly Catholic 
and devout. These Jesuit cramming establishments 
are confessional, and neither recognised nor regu- 
lated, like the Lyc^es, by the Government. The 
most considerable of them has its premises in the 
Rue des Postes, and M. Odelin, the administrator of 
it, also administers, with the help of a committee of 
Jesuits, the Libre Parole, a journal edited by Edouard 
Drumont. The young men who in each year have 
passed from M. Odelin's establishment into the two 
military schools form themselves in the latter into 
groups or clubs, and are called the postards. For 
several years past the postards have made it a matter 
of etiquette to send to Coventry their Jewish colleagues 



THE GENESIS OF THE CASE 7 

who have come from the public Lyc^es. They never 
exchange words with them except when the exi- 
gencies of mihtary service oblige them to do so. 
Thus the moral unity of the French army has 
been destroyed, and the fault is with the Jesuits, 
who instruct their pupils to blackball Jews, and, we 
may add, Protestants as well. 

In the year 1891 the evil was already so great 
that Jules Simon, a thoughtful man, and no 
extremist in his opinions, v/rote as follows in the 
Petit Marseillais of June 6 about the Anti-Semitic 
faction lately formed among his countrymen : — 

" Here are people not given to provoking others, 
men neither sanguinary nor violent, but who as 
often as not are too good-natured towards their 
enemies. Yet they eagerly welcome the calumnies 
heaped on the Jews, for whom they have neither 
justice nor pity. They do not ask for proofs, nor 
even expect likelihood. If they have not resorted 
to open cruelty and violence against them, it is 
simply because the police prevents them." 

This recalls to me an undergraduate recollection 
of my own. About twenty years ago a convert of 
Father Humbert, the Oxford Jesuit, had a break- 
fast party in Balliol College, and Mr. Theodore 
Hubbard, of my own College, and Mr. John Oswald 
Simon were there to meet the Jesuit. Presently the 
conversation turned upon Italian unity, and Mr. 
Hubbard, an intimate of the genial old Carbonari, 
Vitale de Tivoli, who in those days taught us Italian 



8 THE DREYFUS CASE 

at the Taylor Institute, said things so pungent that 
the Jesuit threw away his usual reserve and lost his 
temper. " Oh, if I could only have the civil govern- 
ment in my hands for six months ! I would hedge 
round Jews and Protestants like yourselves and 
stamp you out," he exclaimed. " I am grateful to 
you for your frankness," remarked Mr. Simon, with a 
quiet smile ; " but I am glad also to reflect that in 
England there is an efficient police, which restrains 
such persons as yourself." 

In October 1891 M. D^roulede, the founder of 
the Boulangist " League of Patriots," and political 
adviser at this moment of General Zurlinden, accused 
the French Jews before the Chamber of Deputies 
of wishing to " dechristianise " France, and in the 
same debate M. Francis Laur demanded the expul- 
sion of the Rothschild family. Twenty Boulangist 
members voted for his motion, and M. de Cassagnac 
in the Monarchist journal L'AutoritS of November 1 8 
commented as follows on the incident : — 

" M. Laur has clearly gone a little too far in 
talking of expelling the Jews from France, as the 
Russians are expelling them from Russia. This is, 
perhaps, a little premature ; but you will see, if the 
thing goes on, that the question will arise some day 
or other, and then we shall find ourselves in this 
dilemma, that either the Christians or the Jews will 
have to clear out of France." 

M. Francis Laur had been adopted and brought 
up by a Jewish family, to whom he owed all his 



THE GENESIS OF THE CASE 9 

advancement in life. M. Drumont also subsisted 
by the patronage of the Pereires, a Jewish family, 
until the day when he left them to engage on that 
crusade of which the first fruits was the infamous 
book La France Jmve, brought out in instalments by 
the Petit Journal. We may here remark that there 
are occasionally traitors among the Jews, for this 
notorious journal was founded by a Jew, and a Jew, 
M. Albert Ellissen, is one of its chief managers. Just 
after the first instalment had appeared, another jour- 
nalist, Alberic Second, met Drumont on the boule- 
vards. " My compliments to you, monsieur," said 
he ; " up till now you have eaten the bread of the 
Jew. That has given you an appetite, and now you 
mean to eat up the Jew quite whole." 

In March 1892 the Journal cT Indre - et - Loire, 
managed by a Deputy Delahaye, one of the chief 
denouncers of the Panama swindle, pretended that 
the Jews had committed a ritual murder at Chatel- 
lerault. Judicial investigation of course revealed an 
ordinary case of child-murder by a fallen woman. 
However, Catholic ch'cles digested this canard, thus 
disseminated more than a hundred years after 
the Kevolution; and in October of this year the 
same story has been circulated afresh in their 
journals. 

It was about now that a young French officer, an 
ardent Catholic, a dissipated gambler, heavily in debt 
to Jewish money-lenders, and of whom we shall hear 
again, made his dShut. This was the Marquis de 



lo THE DREYFUS CASE 

Mores. His is the honour of having inaugurated 
anti-Jewish demonstrations in the streets of Paris. 
At the end of 1892 M. Gustave de Kothschild's 
daughter was married. De Mores organised a band 
of roughs, who assembled in front of the synagogue 
in which the marriage was being celebrated, and 
disturbed the ceremony by their bowlings. When 
the bride appeared she was pelted with lumps of 
assafcetida, and De Mores became the hero of the 
anti-Semitic salons. 

A French officer, a friend of De Mores, wrote in 
the Libre Parole of Odelin and Drumont during May 
1892 a series of violent articles entitled "The Jews 
in the Army," full of the most insolent and infamous 
insinuations. Thereupon M. Cr^mieu-Foa, a Jewish 
captain of dragoons, challenged Drumont to a duel ; 
and Esterhazy, who here comes on the scene, offered 
himself as Cri^mieu-Foa's second. He was then, as 
always, in want of money, and, as letters of his 
written at the time prove, he hoped that the fact of 
his having come forward as the second in this duel 
would awake the gratitude of some rich Jew and 
get him a loan for nothing. The duel was fought. 
Both principals were wounded, and General de 
Boisdeffre wrote and reprimanded Esterhazy for 
being the second of an outraged Jew. This letter 
Esterhazy instantly tried to make use of as a further 
passport and title to the liberality of a Jewish capi- 
talist. 

Cr6mieu-Foa subsequently fought a second duel 



THE GENESIS OF THE CASE ii 

with M. de Lamase, who had put his name to the 
disgraceful articles written by the friend of De 
Mores ; and at a later time he fell in battle for his 
country in Dahomey. But a third duel arose out 
of the encounter with De Lamase, this time between 
the Jewish Captain Mayer and De Mores. Mayer 
was killed ; he was a valuable officer, of Alsatian 
origin, and his death at the hands of the truculent 
swashbuckler of the Rue des Postes aroused wide- 
spread indignation. Drumont's comment on the 
episode was this, " We wanted a Jewish carcase ; " 
and De Mor^s remarked cynically, "We are just 
beginning a civil war." 

The officer, the friend of De Mores, who had 
written the defamatory articles signed De Lamase in 
the Libre FaroU, never revealed his identity ; but on 
May 28, i892,'i)rumont, in reply to the challenge 
sent to him by Cremieu-Foa, wrote as follows : — 

" If the Jewish officers in the army feel them- 
selves wounded by our articles, let them choose by 
lot among themselves as many champions as they 
like, and we will meet them with an equal number 
of French blades." This challenge was signed " Mores 
and his friends." 

This was felt to be a provocation of civil war; 
and M. Camille Dreyfus, a member of the Chamber, 
put the question to M. de Freycinet, the Minister of 
War, whether in the French army there were two 
qualities of swords, one Jewish, the other French ; 
and the Minister very properly answered thus : — 



12 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" In the army we know neither Jews, Protestants, 
nor Catholics, but only French officers without ques- 
tion of their origin. Therefore my answer is to those 
officers who feel themselves the object of attacks 
which we deeply regret, who are outraged by these 
appeals to the passions of a bygone age, and to pre- 
judices which the French Revolution long ago dealed 
with as they deserved to be dealt with, — I shall say 
to them : You cannot really suffer from such col- 
lective insults as these. They touch neither your 
courage as soldiers nor your honour as ])rivate indi- 
viduals. Take no notice of such attacks, and be 
assured that you have on your side the Government, 
the Chambers, the whole body of public opinion. 
Keep calm in the presence of such insults. . . . We 
will not tolerate, we cannot tolerate, these provoca- 
tions, tending, as they do, to sow dissension in the 
ranks of the army. To excite citizens one against 
the other is always a mischievous thing; but to 
arouse dissensions among officers is worse — it is a 
crime against the nation." 

However, no measure was taken within the army 
by its authorities to discover and punish the real 
author of the infamous articles. It was only sworn 
by De Mores in court that they Avere from the 
pen of a superior officer on active service. Of the 
style of this officer's attacks the following extract, 
from the first of the articles in the Libre Parole for 
May 23, 1892, is a specimen: — 

" The army has been kept free from Jewish influ- 
ence longer than the rest of contemporary society. 
. . . What have the youtres entered our ranks 



THE GENESIS OF THE CASE 13 

for ? To draw cheques is better worth their while 
than to shoot at a target. ... If the Jews did. not 
care much to enter the army, the army anyhow 
cared still less to admit them. Apart from all reli- 
gious considerations, there exists in the breasts of 
most soldiers an instinctive feeling of repulsion 
towards the sons of Israel. . . . Everywhere and 
always, in peace as in war, the army has seen the 
Jews take up an attitude hostile to itself, to its duties, 
to its well-being, to its honour. . . . Since 1870 the 
situation has changed. . . . Hardly had the Jews 
gained a footing in the army, than they tried, by fair 
means or foul, to get the control of it into their 
hands. . . . Long ago they conquered our finance, 
our civil administration, and dictated the sentences 
of our magistrates ; they will be undisputed masters 
of France from the day when they get command of 
the army, and Rothschild gets possession of the 
scheme of mobilisation — for what end we can all 
guess at." 



CHAPTER II 

ESTERHAZY THE MERCENARY 

Marie-Charles-Ferdinand Walsin-Esterhazy was 
born in the year 1848, so that he is now fifty years 
of age. He was, until September 1898, a chef cU 
hataillon, or major of infantry, in the French army. 
He has aheady come before my readers in the last 
chapter, running from one benevolent Jew to another 
with General de Boisdeffre's letter, genuine or forged, 
in his hand, and soliciting alms from them in the 
character of a second and champion of maligned 
Jewish officers. His appeal was fairly successful, 
and he received many sums, varying from twenty to 
a hundred francs. 

He is not a Frenchman by race, but a Hungarian ; 
though his family has been settled for nearly a 
hundred years in France. He began his military 
career as one of the Pope's mercenaries, but when 
that force was disbanded in 1870, he returned to 
France, and received a commission in the French 
army. He speaks German, French, and Italian with 
great ease ; and through his marriage with a lady 
of one of the best families in France, has long had 
free access to the best society m Paris. By reason 



ESTERHAZY THE MERCENARY 15 

of his dissolute habits of Hfe, his wife has recently 
obtained a decree of judicial separation from him, 
barely saving a pittance for herself and her children 
out of a fortune which he has gambled away. As a 
soldier he has seen some service in Algeria, and 
while there committed an act sufficiently discredit- 
able. It was in 1 8 8 1 , when he was attached to the 
135th line regiment, and took part in actions on 
August 26th and 29th against the Arabs at El- 
Arbain. Colonel Correard, who commanded, recom- 
mended for bravery in his dispatch a captain and 
two lieutenants, but did not mention Esterhazy, 
The latter, however, forged a recommendation of him- 
self for his exploits in these actions, and managed 
to insert it in the official record which is dra"vvn up 
annually of the conduct of each officer. General 
Guerrier a long time afterwards detected the im- 
posture, and reported it to the Minister of War, 
who had it erased. In the first Zola trial General 
Guerrier went into the witness-box to depose to this 
incident, but the judge refused to allow him to give 
his evidence. 

In 1882 Esterhazy was guilty of an act of mal- 
versation at Sfax in Timisia. He should have been 
court-martialled, but thanks to his own whinings 
and the longanimity of his superiors he escaped. In 
the province of Constantino he enjoyed the worst 
of reputations. There is no reason to suppose that 
Esterhazy was ever very sincerely attached to the 
French service, or that he ever regarded himself as 



i6 THE DREYFUS CASE 

other than a mercenary in French employ. As such 
he began his miHtary career, and a series of letters, 
which were printed in the French Figaro in the late 
autumn of 1897, sufficiently prove that he not only 
continued to regard himself as such, but also 
entertained a hearty contempt for the French uni- 
form. These letters he wrote some years ago to one 
of his many friends, Madame de Boulancy, from 
whom they were obtained last year for the editor of 
the Figaro. Esterhazy has accused Madame de 
Boulancy of interpolating the worst of them, which 
has come to be known as the Lettre du Uhlan; but 
it is throughout in his handwriting, and exhibits 
no sign of having been tampered with. Moreover, 
Esterhazy allows the genuineness of the others, and 
the whole series has, after careful examination by 
the Judge Bertulus, been recognised as authentic. 
Some extracts will show the general character of 
these letters. Thus of French officers he wrote : — 

" Our great military leaders, poltroons and igno- 
ramuses as they are, will once more go and people 
the German prisons." 

In another letter he writes of the French and of 
their officers thus : — 

" I am absolutely convinced that these people 
are not worth the cartridges it would take to shoot 
them ; and all their petty acts of meanness, worthy 
only of low women, quite confirm me in my opinion. 
There is for me but a single human quality which 




MAJOR ESTERHAZY. 



Page 1 6. 



ESTERHAZY THE MERCENARY 17 

I prize, and the people of this country wholly lack 
it. If this very evening some one came and told 
me that I should be slain to-morrow as a captain of 
Uhlans cutting Frenchmen down, I should assuredly 
be perfectly happy. I regret with all my heart 
that I was not at Ain-Draham, although it is a 
poor country, and that I ever set foot again in 
this cursed France. . . . You have quite mistaken 
my nature and character. I am, it is true, from a 
general point of view, worth infinitely less than the 
least of your friends, but I am a being of quite a 
different species to any of them. And that too is 
the very point on which they generally deceive 
themselves in regard to myself. However, just 
now, exasperated, embittered, mad, placed in an 
altogether atrocious situation, I am capable of great 
things, in case I find an opportunity, or of cmms, 
if thereby I can avenge myself. 

" I would not harm a dog, but I would with 
pleasure have a hundred thousand Frenchmen put 
to death. They are a lot of pinchbecks, barber' s- 
blocks, merry-andrews, and put me in a black rage. 
If I could do it, and it is more difficult than you 
would suppose, I would be with the Mahdi in 
fifteen days. 

" Bah ! Think of their cowardly anonymous 
tittle-tattle. Filthy wretches ! they go from one 
woman to another hawking about their lubricity, 
and every one listens to their gossip ! What a 
sorry figure they will all cut in the red sun of 
battle in a Paris taken by assault and given over 
to the pillage of a hundred thousand drunken 
soldiers. 



i8 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" There you have the feast I dream of ! So 
be it ! " 

In another letter he remarks : — 

" These low scoundrels ought to have the lance 
of a Prussian Uhlan well driven into them." 

And in another : — 

" The Germans will put all these fine fellows in 
their right places before very long." 

In another we read the following passage about 
the late governor of the Paris garrison : — 

" General Saussier is a clown, that the Germans 
would not stand even in the stalls of a fair." 

And again : — 

" When they get to Lyons, the Germans will 
throw away their guns and only keep their ram- 
rods to whip the French with as they run before 
them." 

One last extract from another letter : — 

" Look at this precious French army. It is dis- 
graceful. If my position were not at stake I would 
be off to-morrow. I have written to Constanti- 
nople. There, if they offer me a suitable commis- 
sion, I will go at once. However, I do not mean 
to quit this before I have played such a trick on 
these blackguards as I know how to play." 

And he certainly has played a very pretty trick 



ESTERHAZY THE MERCENARY 19 

on the French general staff, and they, on their side, 
have invited it in every possible way. 

We saw that in 1892 Esterhazy was in desperate 
straits for ready money. In that year Major von 
Schwartzkoppen was appointed German military 
attache at Paris. It appears that Esterhazy had 
already inade his acquaintance at a German water- 
ing-place. However this may be, he lost no time 
after the latter's arrival in Paris in offering his 
services to him as a hired spy. The story of his 
relations with Schwartzkoppen has best been told in 
a letter signed " Un Diplomate" and addressed from 
Berne on March 25, 1898, to the Sikle newspaper 
in Paris. Major Panizzardi was at that date the 
military attache accredited by the Italian Govern- 
ment at Paris, Brussels, and Berne ; and the letter 
which I now translate is, if not actually written, at 
least inspired by him throughout. It has great 
importance, because, as we shall see below, he has 
been all through the fidus Achates of Schwartzkoppen. 
Some of the references in it my subsequent narra- 
tive will explain : — 

" One is truly astonished in diplomatic circles at 
the way they go on discussing in France the case of 
Dreyfus, at their still weighing the pros and cons of 
his guilt, when after all every one knows the real 
truth of the matter. 

" The French appear to be the only people who 
do not know it ; and I think it is just as well to 
acquaint you with it just as it is. In any case, I 



20 THE DREYFUS CASE 

mean to relate to you certain details which you 
probably do not know, since you have not published 
them, though all the world knows them. You may 
make whatever use best suits you ot my letter. 

" It is the business of military attaches to acquaint 
themselves with the condition of the armies in the 
various countries to which they are accredited. 
How draw the line between the getting of informa- 
tion and actual spying ? It is very difficult to do 
so. In 1890 a messenger of the Ministry of War 
at Paris was convicted of having given certain docu- 
ments to the Baron de Huiningen or de Huene, the 
military attach^ of the German embassy. The 
journals discussed the matter at the time with more 
or less accuracy. In 1891 Captain Borup, military 
attache of the United States, had to be recalled 
because of an affair of the kind. It was then that 
M. de Miinster gave a promise that henceforth the 
German military attaches would give up such 
practices. 

" Major de Schwartzkoppen was appointed military 
attache in 1892. He had curiosity and was anxious 
to be well informed, and Esterhazy offered himself. 
M. de Schwartzkoppen could not resist the tempta- 
tion, and he entered into relations with him without 
warning his ambassador. 

" Esterhazy, because of his knowledge of German, 
had been employed in 1876 in the etat-major. 
Though he subsequently rejoined his regiment, 
he had kept up his relations with the staff. He 
had provided himself with a great deal of infor- 
mation that he could furnish. What was the 
value of the documents that he betrayed to M. de 



ESTERHAZY THE MERCENARY 21 

Schwartzkoppen ? I do not know in the least ; 
but they were very numerous. M. de Schwartz- 
koppen has said that, at the time when he was 
recalled, he had received from this intermediary not 
less than 162 communications. 

" How much had he paid for them ? One day 
some one mentioned the sum of 80,000 francs a 
year in M. de Schwartzkoppen's presence. He made 
a gesture of Avhicli the meaning was hard to seize. 

"In 1894, in the spring, M. de Schwartzkoppen, 
now promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, on 
returning from a holiday, found the pieces enume- 
rated in the bordereau which has been attributed to 
Dreyfus, and which had already been taken to the 
Ministry of War. He recognised the sender of the 
pieces ; and his relations with Esterhazy went on. 
At this date, then, Colonel de Schwartzkoppen did 
not know of the existence of the bordereau, which 
had been intercepted and sent to the Bureau des 
Rcnseignements of the French Ministry of War. 

"On October 29, 1894, the Libre Parole asked 
the question in its columns whether an important 
arrest had not been made on a charsfe of high 
treason. Colonel de Schwartzkoppen immediately 
went to his friend, Colonel (then Major) Panizzardi, 
the Italian military attach^, and said to him, ' I 
think my man has let himself be caught ; the stupid 
ass ! ' ( ' Je crois que mon homme s'est laisse 
pincer ; I'imbecile ! ') 

" The next day the Eclair confirmed the news. 
Colonel de Schwartzkoppen was still anxious. On 
November ist the Libre Parole had the news, 
' Arrest of a Jewish officer.' That very day Colonel 



22 THE DREYFUS CASE 

de Schwartzkoppen came back to Major Panizzardi, 
and as soon as lie saw him exclaimed, ' Ouf ! It 
was a false alarm. It is not my man ! ' 

" When the name of Dreyfus was given, he was 
quite sure that he had had nothing to do with him, 
and supposed that the person in question had been 
in the employ of some other Power. He was very 
surprised to learn that, after proper inquiries, the 
embassies of the Triple Alliance had reached ab- 
solute certitude that no business of the kind had 
been transacted or discussed, directly or indirectly, 
with Captain Dreyfus. In any case the matter of 
Captain Dreyfus did not concern him. He was 
convinced that the French Government must have 
proofs of his guilt. He thought no more about it, 
and remained quietly at Paris, and went on with 
his transactions (with Esterhazy). 

" His regular purveyor of information, much em- 
boldened by Dreyfus' condemnation, redoubled his 
activity. 

" Yet he had singular scruples. He had been 
formerly a Papal Zouave, and as such declared that 
he would not give anything up ' to those macaronis 
of Italians.' Nevertheless he handed over to the 
embassy documents relative to the defence of the 
Alps (Nice and Brian^on). 

"These operations lasted on up to November lo, 
1896, at which date there was published in the 
Matin a facsimile of the bordereau. 

" Immediately Colonel de Schwartzkoppen cast 
his eyes on it he recognised Esterhazy's hand- 
writing. What is more, if he had not received 
the bordereau itself, he had anyhow received the 



ESTERHAZY THE MERCENARY 23 

documents mentioned in it. He felt it keenly, for 
it was now demonstrated to him that they had 
condemned Dreyfus on the strength of a document 
written by Esterhazy. 

"He went straight to his friend, M. Panizzardi, 
and said, ' My man is caught ; it is his writing,' 

" Everything now became clear as day to M. de 
Schwartzkoppen. There could no longer be any 
doubt. In order to find out how the famous 
bordereau could have been intercepted and handed 
to the French, the German embassy made a careful 
inquiry, of which the result was to prove the follow- 
ing facts. 

" The unsigned invoice, since called the bordereau, 
had been left in an envelope with the concierge, who 
was an old Alsatian. They suspected him, and he 
was got rid of. They dismissed at the same time a 
servant in the personal employ of M. de Miinster. 

" From that day forth, the i oth of November 
1896, Esterhazy never betrayed a single document 
more to M. de Schwartzkoppen. 

"It has been said that in 1896 Commandant 
Esterhazy went to two influential deputies and 
asked them to get permission for him to remain in 
Paris and go back again into the bureau of the ^tat- 
major. He had learned no doubt of the inquiry that 
Lieutenant-Colonel Picquart was conducting, with 
the goodwill of his chief. General Boisdeffre ; and 
he thought that his best way of defeating it was 
to be himself present in the Intelligence Depart- 
ment. In any case, his request was not granted. 

" Colonel de Schwartzkoppen was resigned to the 
loss of Esterhazy, but he did not consider it his 



24 THE DREYFUS CASE 

duty to reveal the name of the true author of the 
bordereau. 

"In October 1897 people began afresh to talk 
about the Dreyfus affair. So far the name of 
Esterhazy had not been divulged by any journal, 
when, on October 16, 1897, in the afternoon, 
Colonel de Schwartzkoppen had ushered into his 
presence at his own private lodgings in the Kue de 
Lille, the Commandant Esterhazy, livid, haggard, 
and with every sign of terror in his countenance. 
He pulled out of his pocket a revolver, which he 
seemed always to have about him, and, threatening 
the colonel, declared that he was resolved to make 
an end of the matter, either by suicide or by com- 
mitting a crime. As yet he had not made up his 
mind which to do. All this was his way of extorting 
from Colonel de Schwartzkoppen a promise that he 
would go straight to Madame Dreyfus and declare 
to her that it was with Captain Dreyfus that his 
dealings had been, and not with Esterhazy at all. 

" The colonel refused, but ended by assuring him 
that he thought it his duty to keep his secret, since 
he had employed him, and that he would not betray 
him. Esterhazy was not much reassured, but went 
away. 

" Two hours later he came back again, radiant, 
and apologised to the colonel. He told him that he 
had now nothing more to fear ; and he related how 
he had just met two French officers at a rendezvous, 
and that they had given him a document which 
would enable him henceforth to defy all his enemies. 
In short, he said he was safe now, and that he 
knew they would protect him. 



ESTERHAZY THE MERCENARY 25 

" It is probable that tbesc two officers were after- 
wards turned into the veiled lady, whom, by his 
own account, Esterhazy never saw until the 29th 
October, thirteen days later. 

" Colonel de Schwartzkoppen waited no longer. 
He realised in how false a position he would find 
himself in case serious proceedings should be taken 
against Esterhazy. He asked to be recalled, and 
his place was immediately filled up. He bade an 
official good-bye to the President of the Republic. 

" Every one can testify that the Gotha official 
news-sheet of the loth November mentions the 
name of his successor. Baron de Siisskind. Now at 
that time no one had uttered the name of the 
Commandant Esterhazy, nor was it mentioned till 
November i 5 , and then by M. Mathieu Dreyfus. 

"M. de Schwartzkoppen only did what was decorous 
and usual in leaving France at the moment Avhen 
the Esterhazy affair was about to arise. Moreover, 
he felt himself in a false position as regarded his 
ambassador. He had been able to say to M. de 
Miinster that he had had no dealings with Dreyfus ; 
he could not have said as much with regard to 
Esterhazy. And M. de Miinster might have re- 
proached him for having had so little scruple in 
breaking the word of honour which he, M. de 
Miinster, had given to the French Government. 
When the Count de Miinster went to Germany 
in January, on the occasion of the Fete of the Orders 
and of the Chapter of the Black Eagle, he must 
have asked him for explanations. It is said that 
previously to his departure, it was from one of his 
colleagues, the ambassador of another of the Powers 



26 THE DREYFUS CASE 

of the Triple Alliance, that he learned the real 
reason which had led M. de Schwartzkoppen to ask 
to be recalled. 

" The one thing that is certain is, that the true 
furnisher of documents to Colonel de Schwartzkoppen 
was Esterhazy, and not Dreyfus. About that there 
is neither doubt nor mystery. M. de Billow, in his 
declaration before the Finance Committee of the 
Eeichstag, definitely said that Dreyfus had never 
had relations with any German agents. The Count 
Bonin Langaro made the same declaration for Italy. 
M. de Blilow added that he had only recently come 
to know of the name of Esterhazy. That merely 
means that M. de Schwartzkoppen had not taken 
him into his confidence in regard to his relations 
with Esterhazy, and no more than that. M. de 
Billow said that he was equally unacquainted with 
the name of Picquart. What could be more natural ? 
He did not wish to isolate Esterhazy in his phrase, 
lest he should discover him completely. 

" One asks oneself why the French Government 
is so determined to fix the charge of treason on the 
man who betrayed nothing, and to shelter the other, 
whose relations with M. de Schwartzkoppen are 
known everywhere. Errarc humanum est, sed pcrse- 
verare didbolicum. 

" M. de Schwartzkoppen is furious at their pre- 
tending that he wrote such dispatches ^ as General 
de Pellieux brought into the Assize Court. He will 
not have them make out that he was capable of an 
act of imbecility, in which no one in the diplomatic 

^ The reference is to the Henry forgery. 



ESTERHAZY THE MERCENARY 27 

world or in any general staff, save tlie French, has 
believed. 

" M. de Schwartzkoppen is a Prussian officer. He 
does not pride himself on being exaggeratedly 
sensitive. None the less his friends say that he is 
not free from a certain remorse on accoimt of the 
responsibility he has incurred in regard to Dreyfus' 
condemnation. Since the loth of November 1896 
he has known the truth, and a single word from 
him would have been enough to bring it home to 
others. Silence in such a matter weighs on him. 

" You see what is said everywhere, except in 
France. I write to you and authorise you to publish 
my letter. Why keep the French public alone in 
ignorance, when, of all other publics, it is most 
interested in knowing the truth ? 

" Un Diplomate." 

This letter anticipates in its latter half the chron- 
ological development of events which my book aims 
to observe. However, it was necessary to give it 
entire and to give it here, because of the importance 
which necessarily attaches to Colonel Panizzardi's 
communications. What it repeats to us anent 
Esterhazy's intercourse with Schwartzkoppen is ob- 
viously from the lips of Schwartzkoppen himself. 

Although, by his intervention in favour of 
Cr^mieu-Foa, Esterhazy managed to beg a few 
hundred francs from benevolent Jews, it did him 
harm in other directions. His action not only 
elicited a private letter of rebuke from General 
Boisdeflfre, already then head of the General Staff, 



28 THE DREYFUS CASE 

but it brouglit down on the ill-starred man the 
indignation of his aristocratic relations, and lost him 
a legacy which he had looked forward to getting. 
In a letter written in June 1894, of which he was 
obliged to recognise the genuineness in his court- 
martial on January 10, 1898, he alludes to this 
incident as follows : — 

" This loss of an inheritance which we had a 
right to look forward to as assured, and which would 
have saved us and enabled us to live, is all due to 
the stupid intolerance of a heartless family. This, 
along with the unheard-of conduct of my uncle, the 
health of my unfortunate wife, the destiny that 
awaits my poor little girls, and from which I cannot 
rescue them except hy a crime, all this is too much 
for a man's strength. I had plenty of courage, but 
I have come to an end both of my moral courage 
and of my material resources." 

There can be no doubt that the crime by which 
alone he found himself able to save his children 
from penury was treason, and it is quite likely that 
the 2000 francs a month, with an occasional bonus on 
any specially important document, that he got from 
Schwartzkoppen, would have enabled him to keep 
his family in comfort had he abstained from 
gambling on the Bourse. I shrink from the supposi- 
tion that he really contemplated the murder of his 
wife and children, although M. Weil, who had both 
lent and given him money, and had also induced M. 
de Rothschild to help him, deposed at Esterhazy's 



ESTERHAZY THE MERCENARY 29 

court-martial on January 10, 1898, that he had 
several times made the declaration to him — " If this 
is to go on, I would rather Idll my wife and children 
and then kill myself." Whichever interpretation is 
right, it is evident that Esterhazy Avas in desperate 
straits for money at the time he wrote the bordereau, 
to a consideration of which I now turn. 



CHAPTER III 

THE BORDEREAU 

In September 1894 an Alsatian servant, probably 
the concierge at Scliwartzkoppen's lodgings, brought 
the bordereau, which has been mentioned in the 
preceding chapter, to the Intelligence Department 
of the French War Office. This department collects 
all documents relating to espionage, and has a con- 
siderable sum of money to spend year by year either 
in buying German and Italian military secrets, or 
in running down French spies in the pay of those 
Governments, The bordereau had been torn up 
into many small pieces before it reached the French 
authorities, apparently by the servant who stole it, 
but for what reason I cannot divine. It will be seen 
that it is just an invoice or memorandum of secret 
documents which Esterhazy was dispatching to the 
German attache, and which, as we saw, that func- 
tionary duly received. Here is a translation of it : — 

" Sir, though I have no news to indicate that you 
wish to see me, nevertheless I am sending you some 
interesting items of information. 

" I. A note on the hydraulic brake of the 120, 
and on the way in which this piece behaved. 



THE BORDEREAU 31 

" 2. A note on the covering troops (some modifi- 
cations will be entailed by the new plan). 

" 3. A note on a modification in artillery for- 
mations. 

" 4. A note relative to Madagascar. 

" 5. The project of a firing manual for field-artil- 
lery, 14th March 1894. 

" The last document is extremely difficult to pro- 
cure, and I can only have it at my disposal during 
a very few days. The Minister of War has sent a 
limited number of copies to the several corps, and 
these corps are responsible for the return of it, each 
officer in possession of one having to return it after 
the manceavres. If, then, you would like to take 
out of it whatever interests you, and hold it after- 
wards at my disposal, I will take it, unless, indeed, 
you would like me to have it copied in extenso, and 
then send the copy to your address. 

" I am just setting off to the manoeuvres." 

At this time Colonel Sandherr was chief of the 
Intelligence Department, and Major Henry next in 
command. The whole world knows about Henry ; 
but the character of Sandherr is less known, and it 
is worth while to repeat here the deposition about 
him which M. Lalance, who was the leading Fran- 
cophil or protesting member of the German Keichstag 
for Alsace from 1874 onwards, made in the Zola 
trial on February 18, 1898. 

" I have known the Sandherr and Dreyfus families, 
the accusers and the accused, I have lived with 
them, and have seen them close. Sandherr's father 



32 THE DREYFUS CASE 

was a Protestant who had turned CathoHc, and he 
had the intolerance of neophytes. In 1870, at the 
outbreak of the war, bands led by him were going 
about the streets of Mulhouse, shouting, ' Down 
with the Prussians in our midst,' These Prussians 
were the Protestants and the Jews. His shouts 
found no echo. The Protestants, Jews, and Catholics 
did their duty all alike, both during and after the 
war. In Alsace there are no religious dissensions, 
any more than there are political ones. When in 
1874 we were summoned to send deputies to Berlin, 
it was a Jew who proposed the candidature of the 
Bishop of Metz, and it was the cures who nominated 
the Protestant deputies. 

" M. the Colonel Sandherr I knew since his child- 
hood. He was a good soldier, a brave and loyal 
citizen, but he had inherited his father's intolerance. 
Also in 1893 he was seized with the brain disease 
which was to kill him three years later. In that 
year he was sent to Bussang, in the Vosges, for a 
cure. While he was there, a patriotic ceremony was 
held, the presentation of a flag to the battalion of 
Chasseurs a pied. All the bathers went to witness 
it. Hard by them there was a Jew, an Alsatian 
no doubt, who was weeping with emotion. Colonel 
Sandherr turned to those next him and said, ' I 
distrust those tears.' The persons he spoke to 
asked him what he meant, and said, ' We know 
that there are Jewish officers in the army who do 
their duty well and are patriotic and intelligent.' 
Colonel Sandherr replied, ' I have a distrust of all 
Jews.' 

" Such is the man, gentlemen of the jury, who 



FACSIMILE OF THE BORDEREAU. 



Page 32. 



THE BORDEREAU 33 

directed the accusation. One may well suppose that 
he allowed himself to be guided by passion rather 
than by justice." 

Sandherr seems to have thought that if there was 
a traitor in the French army, he must necessarily be 
a member of the general staff, and, starting with this 
assumption, took specimens of the writing of all the 
officers employed in the bureau. Two officers at 
once came forward and suggested that the hand- 
writing of the bordereau resembled that of Dreyfus, 
the only Jewish officer in the general staff, and the 
first who had ever been put on it. These two dela- 
torcs were the Marquis de Mores and Colonel Du Paty 
de Clam. The former we have made the acquaint- 
ance of in our first chapter. He was a close friend 
of Esterhazy's, who may have set him on ; the other 
was destined in the future development of the case 
to become the associate and accomplice of Esterhazy, 
and also his go-between with the War Office. 

Captain Dreyfus, who was thus incriminated, had 
come to live at Paris in 1874, and was successively 
a pupil at the Chaptal College and at Sainte-Barbe. 
He was then admitted in 1878 into the ficole Poly- 
technique, which, in France, answers to our Woolwich. 
He entered the 182nd in order of merit, and left it 
as an under-lieutenant 128th on the list. He then 
went to the School of Applied Gunnery (£cole 
d' Application), where he got in 38th, and left 32nd 
on the list. He was then appointed second lieutenant 
in the 3 i st regiment of artillery in garrison at Mans, 

C 



34 THE DREYFUS CASE 

and put in service there from October i, 1882, till 
the end of 1883, when he was commissioned to the 
Fourth Mounted Battery, detached at Paris, On 
September 12, 1889, he was appointed captain in 
the 2 I st regiment of artillery, then adjunct to the 
Central School of Military Pp-otechnic at Bourges. 
On April, 21, 1890, he was admitted at the Ecole 
de Guerre as No. 6j , and left it in 1892 as No. 9, 
and with the mention " Very good." During 1893 
and 1894 he was attached to the general staff of 
the army. 

The Dreyfus family is Alsatian. They are large 
manufacturers in Mulhouse, and Captain Dreyfus 
has a good income. M. Lalance was prepared to 
testify at the Zola trial to the singular patriotism 
and loyalty to France of the family, but his depo- 
sition was ruled out by the judge on the ground 
that it referred to Dreyfus, and so trenched on 
the chose jugde. The way in which no elBfort was 
neglected in that trial to stifle the truth is well 
illustrated in the following extract from the short- 
hand report. 

After concluding his deposition about Colonel 
Sandherr, M. Lalance continued thus : — 

" Lalance : As to the Dreyfus family 

" The Judge : Do not speak of Dreyfus. 
" Lalance : Of his family, M. le President — 
" The Judge : No, it is useless. 
" Lalance : In face of your orders I stop. I 
thought that it might be useful to the gentlemen 



THE BORDEREAU 35 

of tlie jury to know what the eldest brother has 
done. . . . 

" The Judge : Let us speak now of the Esterhazy 
affair. 

" Lalance : I know nothing about that at all." 

But if the doyen of the Alsatian loyalist members 
was gagged in the Paris law-court, he could not be 
prevented from publishing his deposition in the 
next morning's Sitcle, February 19, 1898; and it is 
so much to the point that I translate it. The patriot- 
ism of the eldest brother had been impugned before 
the officers who condemned Dreyfus in 1894 : — 

" To M. Yves Guyot, — 

" At your request, I have written down what I 
should have said publicly to-day in the Court of 
Assize, had not the presiding judge prevented me 
from speaking. 

" The Dreyfus family consists of four brothers : 
Jacques, Leon, Mathieu, and Alfred. They are 
closely knit together, as it were one soul in four 
bodies. 

"In 1872 the Alsatians were called upon to pro- 
nounce about their nationality. It was called option. 
Those who wished to remain French had to make 
a declaration and quit the country. The three 
younger ones opted and left it. 

" The eldest, Jacques, who was past the age of 
military service, and who, moreover, had, during the 
war, belonged to the Legion of Alsace-Lorraine, did 
not opt, and was declared a German. 

" He sacrificed himself, in order to be able, without 



36 THE DREYFUS CASE 

fear of expulsion, to manage tlie important industrial 
establishments which were the patrimony of the 
family. 

" However, he promised that, if he had any sons, 
they should all be French. For the German law 
allows a father to take out a permit to emigrate for 
a son when he reaches the age of seventeen. The 
son then loses his German nationality, but he cannot 
re-enter the country before he is forty-five. 

"Jacques Drejrfus had six sons. In 1894 the two 
eldest were preparing themselves at Paris for the 
Polytechnic School and Saint-Cyr. After the trial 
of Alfred Dreyfus they were obliged to leave. Their 
careers were blasted. The two next brothers were 
at the Lyc^e of Belfort. They were hounded out 
of it. 

" What was the father's duty, who knew that his 
younger brother had been unjustly and illegally con- 
demned ? To change his name like members of other 
families who were called Dreyfus ? To renounce his 
cherished ideas and make up his mind to send his 
sons for their year of service into the German army, 
so that they might afterwards return to their father's 
house, and live in a town where his family was re- 
spected, where every one pitied and esteemed it ? 

" Had he done that, no one would have cast a 
stone at him. 

"In 1895 and 1896 his third and fourth sons 
reached the age of seventeen. He said to them, 
' My children, you will quit your father's house, to 
return to it no more. You must go to that country 
where your name is scorned and despised. It is 
your duty. Go ! ' 



THE BORDEREAU 37 

"Lastly, in 1897, the father left his house, his 
business, all his friends, and went and settled at 
Belfort, in that very villa which they have resolved 
to turn into a chateau- fort, 

" He demanded to be naturalised as a Frenchman, 
himself and his two youngest sons. Are there many 
Christians who would have done as much ? " 

For an exact knowledge of the way in which 
Dreyfus was arrested and thrown into the military 
prison we are indebted to a semi-official communica- 
tion subsequently given by some one who took part 
in the whole proceedings to the Paris Eclair, which 
printed it on September 14, i8g6. Its truth is 
proved by its agreement with the formal indictment 
read before the court-martial. 

" Commandant Du Paty de Clam was charged to 
conduct the preliminary inquiry, which must pre- 
cede a formal order to prosecute in a military court. 
He wrote, on October 14, 1894, to Captain Dreyfus, 
asking him to be so good as to present himself at the 
Ministry of War on the morning of the i 5 th at 9 a.m., 
to receive a communication which concerned him. 

" On his arriving, Du Paty began to dictate to the 
captain a letter, of which the terms were identical 
with those of the bordereau, and which began with 
the words, ' I am just setting off.' 

" At these first ^ words the Captain turned pale ; 
his hand trembled, his pen wavered. 

1 They are actually the last words. The inaccuracy implies 
that the Eclair received an oral communication, and the bona fide 
character of the error increases, if anything, the value of the com- 
munique. 



38 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" ' But pray write straight, my dear fellow ! ' said 
tlie commandant. 

" Dreyfus tried to recover himself, but almost at 
once his hand was shaking and trembled nervously. 

" ' What is the matter then ? ' asked Du Paty. 

" ' My fingers are cold,' he answered, after some 
hesitation and stammering. 

" That day the temperature was fairly good, and 
there was a fire in the bureau. 

" The commandant continued to dictate, but Drey- 
fus soon said : 

" ' I don t know what's the matter with me, but I 
find it impossible to write.' 

" Then the commandant got up quickly, stepped 
to the door of the next room, and opened it. 

" M. Cochefert, chef dc la SilreU, and Commandant 
Henry, employed in the department of statistics, 
entered the bureau. 

" M. Cochefert stepped up to Dreyfus, laid his 
hand on his shoulder, and said : 

" ' In the name of the law, I arrest you.' 

" ' But why ? What do they accuse me of ? ' said 
the captain. 

" ' You know well enough,' replied Du Paty. ' Your 
emotion in writing the letter which I dictated to you 
just now is sufficient proof.' 

" ' I assure you I do not understand,' replied 
Dreyfus, quite upset. 

" ' Come, come ! It is useless for you to argue 
before such evidence. Your treason is discovered.' 

" The captain continued to protest his innocence, 
saying that he was the victim of an error or of an 
act of vengeance ; but the chef dc la SurcU put an end 



THE BORDEREAU 39 

to the scene by handing him over to Commandant 
Henry, who at once led him off, and made him get 
into the carriage which was waiting at the door of 
the Ministry. The two otiicers were in mufti, and 
nothing in their behaviour could excite a suspicion 
that one of them was a prisoner. 

" Ten minutes later the carriage stopped at the 
prison called the Cherche-Midi, and the two officers 
went in unnoticed by any one towards the chief 
detective's room, where Major Forzinetti, the com- 
mandant of the Paris military prisons, awaited him. 

" Commandant Henry gave Forzinetti an order 
from the Minister of War, ordering him to enter the 
Captain Dreyfus, accused of high treason, without 
inscribing his name on the prison register ; also to 
put him cm secret, so that he should not be able to 
communicate with any of the warders except the 
chief one, who alone was to take him food. The 
order likewise contained a formal prohibition to 
Forzinetti and to the chief warder to divulge to any 
one the fact of the captain's arrest." 

The story about Dreyfus' nervousness in writing 
at Du Paty's dictation seems to rest only on the 
latter's evidence, which we shall see is worse than 
worthless. It would, however, have been natural 
enough for Dreyfus to scent the plot against him, 
and to have exhibited some degree of agitation 
under the circumstances. But it is now known 
that the nervousness only existed for Du Paty's 
melodramatic imagination, formed, one would think, 
by reading Gaboriau's novels. One thing is cer- 
tain. The French War Office have issued forged 



40 THE DREYFUS CASE 

confessions of guilt, forged correspondences between 
Schwartzkoppen and Panizzardi; but they have never, 
though repeatedly challenged, had the courage to 
give to the world this copy made at Du Paty's 
dictation by Dreyfus of the bordereau itself. We 
may conclude that the signs of nervous agitation 
in it are not very obvious, and that the difference 
in the handwriting between his copy and the 
original is too sensible. It is also worth while to 
note what to Du Paty's mind constituted evidence. 
Only an imagination distorted by the anti-Semitic 
ravings of Drumont could have led him to suppose 
that by his trumpery dictation-lesson he had " re- 
constituted the crime and demonstrated it." Judge 
Bard has seen the photograph of Drejrfus' dictation, 
and affirms the Avriting to be firm and regular. 

Dreyfus was now safe in prison. Let us next 
read what Forzinetti, the head of the military 
prisons of Paris, and a man who had had much 
experience of prisoners, thought of the officer now 
intrusted to his keeping. In the Figaro of October 
1897 he printed his impressions, and signed his 
name to them. He begins by relating how, on 
October 14, 1894, he received a secret dispatch 
from General Mercier, Minister of War, ordering 
him to prepare an officer's cell. Early on Octo- 
ber 1 5 Colonel D'Aboville came in person from 
Mercier to inform him that Captain Dreyfus would 
be brought that morning. D'Aboville was also 
bearer of verbal instructions from Mercier. 




CAPTAIN ALFRED DREYFUS. 



Page 40. 



THE BORDEREAU 41 

" One of these instructions was that I should 
intern the prisoner most completely ati secret, and 
see that he had by him neither knife nor paper, 
pen, ink or pencil." 

We shall see that the French Minister of War, 
Cavaignac, was far from taking such precautions 
about Colonel Henry, forger-in-chief, in August 
1898. Forzinetti continues: — 

" He was also to be given the ordinary fare of 
condemned prisoners, but this instruction was not 
carried out, because I pointed out how irregular 
it was." 

Note that Mercier, ten full weeks before Dreyfus 
is condemned, decrees that he shall bo dealt with 
in prison as if he were already proved guilty. 

" Colonel D'Aboville, though without defining 
them, ordered me to take all precautions which I 
should judge to be necessary to prevent Dreyfus' 
incarceration being known inside or outside the 
prison. . . . He put me on my guard against the 
steps which would probably be resorted to by the 
havte Juivcrie as soon as ever they learned thereof." 

The anti-Semitic bias of Mercier is too clear in 
this instruction. He seems to have imagined that 
he had made a raid on the Jewish camp and seized 
an important hostage. All the Jews in Paris, when 
they heard about the capture, were to assemble and 
pull the prison down. 

" Towards mid-day Captain Dreyfus, in civil dress, 



42 THE DREYFUS CASE 

arrived in a cab, accompanied by Commandant Henry 
and a police agent. This superior officer gave me 
tlie order for internment, which was signed by the 
Minister of War himself and dated October 14th. 
That proves that the arrest was decided on before 
they ever saw or questioned Dreyfus. 

It is painfully clear that the French War Office 
condemns a Jew first and then proceeds to try 
him. 

" A few moments later," continues Forzinetti, " I 
went to Captain Dreyfus. He was terribly excited. 
I had before me a man really out of his mind, with 
bloodshot eyes. He had upset everything in his 
room. I succeeded, with some trouble, in calming 
him. I had an intuition that this officer was 
innocent. He begged me to allow him Avriting 
materials, so that he might ask the Minister of War 
to be heard by him or by one of the general officers 
of the Ministry. He described to me the phases of 
his arrest, which were neither dignified nor soldierly. 

" From the i8tli to the 24th of October, Du Paty 
came, specially authorised by Mercier, to interrogate 
the prisoner. Before seeing Dreyfus he asked me if 
he could not enter the cell noiselessly with a lamp in 
his hand strong enough to cast a sudden glare full 
on the captain's face, for he wished to take him by 
surprise in such a way as to nonplus him. I replied 
that it was impossible. 

" He subjected Dreyfus to two mterrogatories, 
and each time dictated to him fragmentary phrases 
drawn from the bordereau, with a view to establish 
a comparison between the writings. . . ." 



THE BORDEREAU 43 

Du Paty, it is clear, Avas intended by nature for 
the comic opera, where his melodramatic instincts 
would have had free scope and have done his 
country no harm. 

" During all this time," continues Forzinetti, 
" Captain Dreyfus continued in a state of abnormal 
excitement. From the corridor one heard him 
groan, cry out, talk at the top of his. voice, always 
protesting his innocence. He threw himself against 
the furniture, against the walls, and appeared uncon- 
scious of the hurts he inflicted on himself. He had 
not a moment's repose ; and when he was prostrated 
by suffering and fatigue, he threw himself, without 
undressing, on his bed. His sleep was haunted by 
horrible nightmares. . . . During those nine days 
of true agony, he took nothing but broth and vin 
sucrd, and touched no other food." 

Forzinetti then relates how on October 24 he went 
to Mercier, who asked him what he thought about 
the prisoner's guilt, " I replied without hesitation, 
' They are gone off on a false scent. This officer is 
not guilty.' " 

"After October 27," goes on Forzinetti, " Du Paty 
came nearly every day to subject the prisoner to fresh 
interrogatories and writing tests ; he had never any 
other aim than to extort a confession, against which 
Dre3rfus incessantly protested. 

" Till the very day when this unfortunate man 
was before the magistrate who got the case ready 
{magistral rapporteur) for the court-martial, he 



44 THE DREYFUS CASE 

only knew that he was accused of " high treason," 
but of what sort of hioh treason he had no idea. 

" The ' instruction ' ^ was long and minute, and 
during its course Dreyfus was so sure that he would 
not be committed, much less condemned, that he 
often said, ' What compensation shall I demand ? I 
shall ask for the star (croix), and send in my resig- 
nation. That is what I said to Du Paty, who entered 
it in his report to the Ministry. He could get no 
evidence against me, for there cannot be any. No 
more can the rapporteur, who in his indictment 
only goes upon inferences and suppositions, without 
proving anything definite or positive.' 

" A few minutes before he appeared before his 
judges he said to me, ' I hope now that my sufferings 
will soon be over, and that I shall soon be back in 
the bosom of my own family.' 

" Unfortunately it was not to be so. After the 
verdict, Dreyfus was brought back into my room, 
where 1 was waiting for him. When he saw me he 
exclaimed with a sob, ' My only crime is that I was 
born a Jew. This is what a life of honest hard vvork 
has brought me to. Oh, why did I ever enter the 
Military School ? Why did I not resign, as my 
family wished me to do ? ' . . . The next day 
his counsel, Maitre Demange, when he entered the 
room, opened his arms, and clasping him to him- 
self said, ' My child, your condemnation is the 
greatest infamy of the century.' 

" I was altogether upset." 

Let us go back to October 15. From that day 

^ This answers to the preliminary hearing of a criminal case before 
a magistrate previous to the committal of a prisoner. 



THE BORDEREAU 45 

until December 5, 1894, Dreyfiis was kept au secret, 
and not allowed to communicate with his wife or 
with a legal adviser. Meanwhile Du Paty, not con- 
tent with his inquisition inside the prison, was 
torturing the poor man's wife outside. For seven- 
teen days successively he visited her house, and ran- 
sacked it in vain, yet quite illegally, hoping to find 
incriminating letters and documents. All the time 
he refused to tell her of what crime her husband was 
accused, or even where he was. He also forbade her 
to try to communicate with him in any event, and 
threatened her with the worst penalties if she in- 
formed her relatives of his arrest. All this time he 
accused her husband to her of the worst crimes, of 
being a coward, a wretch, a traitor, an abandoned 
debauchee, a man who led a double life of seeming 
honesty and virtue with her, of treachery and vice 
out of her sight. 

The accusers of Dreyfus inside the War Office 
characteristically divulged in advance the fact of his 
arrest to the Clerical and anti - Semitic press of 
Paris ; first of all, of course, to the Libre Parole, 
which, on October 29, 1894, asked in its columns if 
an important arrest for high treason had not been 
effected. The next day the Eclair replied that it was 
so. On November i the Libre Parole published a 
sensational article headed " Arrest of a Jewish 
officer." 

But this press seems to have had a mistaken idea 
that Mercier, the Minister of War, was wavering, and 



46 THE DREYFUS CASE 

that he was more disposed than itself to concede 
to a Jew the faintest right to be innocent. Accord- 
ingly the Petit Journal and the Intransigcant opened 
a campaign against him " for wishing to stifle the 
matter because the officer was a Jew ; " and on 
November 5, 1894, Drumont filled his pen as usual 
with the poisonous ink of the sacristy and poured 
out the following : — 

" Look at this Ministry of War, which ought to be 
the sanctuary of patriotism, but which is a cavern, 
a Jakes of endless scandals, a sewer, not to be com- 
pared with the stable of Augias, for the simple 
reason that no Hercules has so far tried to cleanse 
it. Such premises should embalm honour and vir- 
tue. Instead of that there is always something that 
stinks inside them." 

And the article ended thus : " To-morrow no 
doubt they will applaud the Minister of War, when 
he comes and boasts of the measures which he has 
taken to save Dreyfus." 

The same day in the Intransigecmt, Rochefort 
published an article which began thus : — 

" Mercier, as he calls himself, general by grade 
and Minister of War, owing to circumstances inde- 
pendent of his will, should have been taken several 
days ago by the scruff of his neck and kicked as 
brutally as possible down the stairs of his own 
Ministry : 

" I St. Because, after refusing to have the traitor 
Dreyfus arrested, he only made up his mind to it 



THE BORDEREAU 47 

under menace of a scandal which the honest col- 
leagues of the said Dreyfus were resolved to provoke. 

" 2nd. Because he has tried to conceal and have 
denied the fact of the traitor's incarceration, not- 
withstanding that the latter was thrown into the 
Cherche-Midi prison fifteen days ago. 

" 3rd. Because, in spite of the full confession of 
the guilty man, Mercier has put it about that thore 
were merely presumptions against the traitor." 

These attacks continued until November 7 th, and 
then stopped all of a sudden; and on November 8 
the hitransigeant struck a new key. In its article 
for that day Mercier, along with Boisdeffre, is ex- 
tolled as a patriot, a great man, who is determined 
to push the matter through. The persons who are 
now in the way of the vendetta are " his colleagues 
in the French Cabinet and Casimir Perier, the Pre- 
sident of the Republic." As for Mercier, he has 
become a new Boulanger. 

If Mercier had ever given the victim the benefit 
of a doubt, it was evident that he did so no longer. 
He had now been intimidated, if, indeed, he had 
ever needed to be ; had now resigned himself to the 
dictates of his official conscience, if, indeed, he had 
ever had any other. It was all made clear on the 
28 th of November, when he, of all men in France, 
the most bound by all considerations of honour and 
policy not to prejudge the case of an officer who 
was only accused, and was still to wait three whole 
weeks before he even went before the court-martial, 



48 THE DREYFUS CASE 

sent a communication to the Figaro to say tliat he, 
Mercier, " had the most positive proofs of Dreyfus' 
treason, and that he had laid them before his minis- 
terial colleagues. It is not permitted to me," he 
went on, " to say more, since the preliminary hearing 
is not concluded. All that one can repeat is this, 
that the guilt of this officer is absolutely certain, 
and that he had civil accomplices." 

After this the reader will not be astonished at 
what followed in the court-martial itself. To this I 
now turn. 



IDENTITY OF ESTERHAZY'S WRITING WITH THAT 
IN THE BORDEREAU. 









Page\%. 



FACSIMILE OF DREYFUS' HANDWRITING. 





^ /^^t^dc^, (^ ^^2^ / 










^-^v. 



yu^^^^Ux.^ ^1^ ^^.^^V-C 













^ — ^ — -y' ^ 






CHAPTER IV. 

THE COURT-MARTIAL 

On January 8, 1898, appeared in the Siech at Paris 
a document which threw a flood of light on the 
Dreyfus court-martial of 1894. This was the ade 
d' accusation, or prosecutor's brief, drawn up for the 
judge by an officer named Besson D'Ormescheville. 
It represents the net result of the investigations 
and interrogatories of Du Paty de Clam, and of 
the preliminary inquiry. The court-martial began 
on December 19, 1894, and was composed of the 
following officers: — Colonel Maurel, 129th infantry, 
president ; Lieutenant-Colonel Echeman, i 5 4th in- 
fantry ; Commandants Florentin and Patron of 
the 113th and 154th; Commandant Gallet, 4th 
mounted chasseurs ; Captains Roche, 3 9th line, and 
Freystoetter, marine infantry. Commandant Brisset 
conducted the prosecution as commissary of the 
Government. 

As soon as the witnesses had been called over, the 
commissary of the Government demanded that the 
case be heard in camera. Maitre Demange opposed, 
and asked to be allowed to plead or argue the point. 
" Seeing," he began, " that the only piece of evidence 

(unique pidce) " 

49 D 



50 THE DREYFUS CASE 

The President rudely interrupted him, and be- 
fore he could finish his sentence the commissary of 
the Government broke in on him with the words — 

" There are other interests at stake than those 
merely of the accusation and defence." 

This was all too true. Dreyfus was a Jew, and 
the clerical and military press wanted a victim. If 
a Jew traitor could not be found, then one must be 
created. Turn we now to the acte cV accusation. It 
begins by stating the charge against Dreyfus : — 

"Dreyfus is charged with having, in 1894, in- 
trigued with, or communicated information to, one 
or more agents of foreign Powers, with the aim of 
supplying to them means of committing acts of 
hostility or waging war against France, by handing 
over to them secret documents." 

This disposes of the idea which at first was cur- 
rent in Alsace, and has long ago gone the round 
of the European press, that the charge against 
Dreyfiis concerned Russia, which was in close alli- 
ance with France then as now. The Russians could 
get any military information they liked from their 
French allies for the mere asking 

The bordereau is next described : — 

" The basis of the accusation levelled at Dreyfus 
is a Icttre missive^ written on thin paper, and neither 
signed nor dated, which is found in the dossier, and 
which proves that military documents have been 
betrayed to a foreign Power." 



THE COURT-MARTIAL 51 

Then we read that General Gonse, who had this 
letter m his keeping, sent it to Du Paty on October 
15, 1894; t^^t. Gonse declared to the examining 
magistrate that " it had been addressed to a foreign 
Power, and that it had come into his hands; but, 
in accordance with the formal orders of the Minister 
of War, he could not indicate how the letter had 
reached him." 

It seems strange that, where the honour, nay, 
almost the life of an officer, was at stake, the 
judges should have been prevented from knowing 
everything which could be known about the prove- 
nance and origin of the one incriminating docu- 
ment they had. 

Why did not the judges demand it ? 

" The examination of the report (of Du Paty) 
shows that the inquiry was conducted without any 
precipitancy, and, in particular, without aiming at 
any one a 'priori!' 

On the contrary, with quite indecent haste Du 
Paty had jumped to the conclusion that Dreyfus was 
the traitor. How hurried and unintelligent was 
their purview the next words reveal :— 

" The very nature of the documents addressed to 
the agent of a foreign power along with the bor- 
dereau, shows clearly that it was an officer who 
wrote the bordereau and sent the documents, and 
also that this officer must belong to the artillery, 
since three of the notes or documents sent concern 
that arm." 



52 THE DREYFUS CASE 

Clearly these military lawyers counted on their 
fingers only. The least reflection, had they been 
capable of it, would have shown them that the 
writer of the bordereau could not belong to the 
artillery. For, firstly, every artillery officer, as the 
bordereau itself declares, had in his possession the 
firing manual betrayed. How then could the writer 
of the bordereau, were he a gunner, have laid stress on 
the difficulty he had in borrowing it ? On the other 
hand, a lieutenant of artillery, named Bernheim, has 
attested that in spring 1894 Esterhazy asked him 
to lend him a firing manual, which he did after 
getting permission from his captain. Esterhazy took 
it, and Bernheim has never been able to get it back 
from him. 

Secondly, the hydraulic brake mentioned in the 
bordereau was either the one of 1889, which was 
well known, and of which a printed description could 
be bought for a few pence, in which case any one 
could get hold of it besides Dreyfus, or^ the writer 
meant the new hydro-pneumatic brake of 1894, but 
was so ignorant of what he was talking about as to 
call it the hydraulic brake. But no artilleryrnan, 
least of all Dreyfus, would have exhibited such 
ignorance. 

Thirdly, the writer uses a phrase for the hchaviour 
of a gun which no French artillery officer ever uses, 
since he employs the words sest condtcite lapiicc instead 
of s'est comporUe. Now if the bordereau could not 
have been from the pen of an artillery officer, it 



THE COURT-MARTIAL 53 

could not be the work of Dreyfus, one of the most 
scientific gunners in the army. That not one of the 
seven officers should have seen such elementary 
truths as these fills one with astonishment. 

" From an attentive examination of the hand- 
writing of the officers employed in the bureaux of 
the 6tat major of the army, it was clear that the 
writing of Captain Dreyfus presented a remarkable 
resemblance to that of the incriminating lettre- 
missive." 

One naturally asks why these amateurs in grapho- 
logy limited their horizon to the etat major. For 
every one artillery officer employed inside that 
bureau, there were a hundred at work outside. 
Why did they not extend their " attentive examina- 
tion " to these as well ? As a matter of fact, it was 
the Marquis de Mores and Du Paty de Clam who, 
for sinister reasons of their own, first turned on to 
the unfortunate Dreyfus the suspicions of the guile- 
less General Gonse, then under-chief of the ctat major. 
The Marquis in question was shortly afterwards sent 
on an idle mission to the borders of Tripoli, where 
he was promptly assassinated by the hand of a 
fanatical native. Was he, like Picquart, sent there 
in order to disappear ? Is it possible that he had 
a conscience ? Did pangs of compunction about 
Dreyfus' fate motive him to threaten the War 
Office with revelations ? One thing is certain, that, 
like so many actors in this sinister drama, he died 
in a very mysterious manner. 



54 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" The Minister of War (Mercier) was duly in- 
formed of the proceedings so begun, and ordered a 
comparison of the bordereau with specimens of 
Dreyfus' handwriting. M. Gobert, expert of the 
Bank of France and of the Court of Appeal, was 
appointed to examine the matter, and received from 
General Gonse on October 9, 1894, the necessary 
documents. A few days after they were sent, M. 
Gobert asked of Gonse, who was calling on him, the 
name of the person accused ; but he naturally re- 
fused to give it him. A few days later, M. Gobert 
was invited to send in his conclusions along with 
the specimens which had been intrusted to him ; 
for the pretensions he had manifested seemed all 
the more suspicious, because they were accompanied 
by a request for more time. The 13 th of October, 
M. Gobert sent his conclusions in the form of a 
letter to the Ministry, drawn up in these words : — 
' Considering the rapidity with which I have been 
obliged to examine the matter, I think I ought to 
say that the lettre-missive in question may quite well 
have been written by another person than the one 
suspected.' The line taken hy M. Gobert liaving insijired 
a considerable mistrust of him^ the Minister of War 
asked the Prefect of Police to bring in M. Bertillon, 
chief of the service for the identification of criminals." 

Thus Mercier looked for another expert, where 
any one else would have looked for another traitor. 
The celebrated M. Bertillon lost no time. He 

^ I italicise in my translation passages which better than others 
express the parti pris of the French war officials and their mon- 
strous hurry to get Dreyfus condemned. 



THE COURT-MARTIAL 55 

received the bordereau along with the specimens of 
Dreyfus' handwriting on the morning of October 
13th, and on the evening of the same day: — 

" He formulated his conclusions in the following 
terms : — ' If one sets aside the hypothesis of a docu- 
ment very carefully forged, it clearly appears that 
one and the same person wrote the letter (i.e. bor- 
dereau) and the pieces communicated for com- 
parison.' " 

The Minister of War had now got hold of the 
expert he wanted, and on the very next day signed 
an order for the arrest of Captain Dreyfus, which, 
on the following day, October 1 5 th, Du Paty de 
Clam and Henry executed. 

I abstain from reproducing the long passage which 
next follows, amounting to one-tenth of the whole, 
and destined to discredit the report of M. Gobert. 
He seems to have recognised in the specimens sent 
for comparison the handwriting of Dreyfus, in con- 
junction with whom he had had to compile an 
official report about the financial measures which in 
time of war it would be necessary for the bank to 
take in order to defray expenses. It is also clear 
from D'Ormescheville's remarks, that M. Gobert 
suspected foul play, and declined to be the tool of a 
War Office which told him a little too plainly that 
what they wanted was an expertise " to order." He 
accordingly declined to have anything more to do 
with the case. Not so M. Bertillon. 



56 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" In his report of October 23 rd, drawn up after a 
more profound examination, and based on a greater 
number of specimens, M. Bertillon formulated the 
following conclusions, which are more positive than 
his former ones : ' The proof is made, it is peremp- 
tory ; you know what was my opinion from the very 
first. It is now become absolute, complete, and un- 
reserved.' " 

M. Bertillon arrived at his conviction with the 
help of some letters of Mathieu Dreyfus seized by 
Du Paty, and a marvellous plan of a citadclle des 
rebus rjraphiques, ditched and intrenched with breast- 
works and revetments. This cabalistic proof seems 
to have satisfied Dreyfus' judges, though its pro- 
duction in the first Zola trial convulsed every one 
with laughter, and its author left the court a dis- 
credited charlatan. 

Let us resume the text of the prosecutor's 
brief: — 

" Before Captain Dreyfus was arrested, and when 
as yet he could have, supposing he was innocent, no 
idea of the charge formulated against him, M. le 
Commandant du Paty de Clam subjected him to 
the following test: — He made him write a letter 
in which were enumerated the documents which 
figure in the bordereau. As soon as Captain 
Dreyfus caught the drift of this letter, his writing, 
regular up to that point, became irregular, and he 
became so agitated that persons present noticed it. 
Asked why he was so agitated, he declared that his 
hands were cold. Now the temperature in the 




GENERAL MERCIER. 



Page 56. 



THE COURT-MARTIAL 57 

bureaux, wliich Captain Dreyfus had entered a 
quarter of an hour before, was quite good, and 
the first four hues written show no trace of the 
influence of cold." 

This is an episode I have already touched upon, 
and I cite it only by way of pointing out that the 
writer in the Eclair was well informed, and must 
have been behind the scenes. Indeed it is probable 
that he got his information from Henry or Du Paty. 
I note this because, whoever he was, he is a prime 
witness to the use in the trial of a secret document. 
I return to my text : — 

" Dreyfus, during the two years he has passed 
in the dtat major, has attracted notice in the various 
bureaux by his very indiscreet attitude and odd 
behaviour. In particular, he has been found alone 
late in the afternoon, and even after hours, in other 
bureaux than his own, bureaux in which it is not 
clear that his presence was needed. It is clear, 
from the depositions of several witnesses, that he 
arranged to be often at work at hours not con- 
templated in the rules, either by asking leave of 
his chiefs for reasons which at the time they had 
no call to verify, or without asking leave. This 
course permitted Captain Dreyfus to be often alone 
in the bureaux to which he belonged, and to look in 
them for anything that might interest him. It is 
thus quite conceivable tliat he might also, without 
being seen hy any one, have made his way into other 
hwreaux from analogous motives." 



"t>" 



In public offices it is too common for employes 



58 THE DREYFUS CASE 

to hurry away an hour before they ought to ; but 
it appears that in the French War Office special 
industry and addiction to hard work expose a man 
to the suspicion of being a spy. If Moltke and the 
organisers of the German army had been in the 
habit of quitting work early and hurrying off to 
cards and ladies, the victory of Sedan would never 
have been won. Are not the authorities of the 
French War Office paving the way for another 
such defeat ? 

" Captain Dreyfus underwent a long interrogatory 
before the officer of judiciary police {i.e. Du Paty). 
His answers, to put it mildly, constanthj admit of 
contradiction. Some of them deserve special notice, 
notably that which he gave on being arrested on 
the 1 5 th of October last, when they searched his 
pockets, and he said, ' Take my keys, open every- 
thing in my house, you will find nothing.' A search 
was made at his house, and gave, or very nearly gave, 
the results indicated by him. But it is permissible 
to suppose that, since no letter, even no family letters, 
Avith the exception of those addressed to Madame 
Dreyfus during his engagement to her, no notes, 
even of tradesmen, were found in the course of this 
search, the true explanation is that, whatever could 
in any way compromise him had been hidden or 
destroyed long before." 

Where the contradiction lies between Dreyfus' 
assertion and the facts is not very clear. The 
next bit of reasoning is beautiful. There were no 
treasonable documents, cryo, there had been, but 



THE COURT-MARTIAL 59 

Dreyfus had destroyed tliem. But why should a 
German spy in the French army be expected to 
destroy with so much care his butchers' and bakers' 
bills, as well as his correspondence with the Schwartz- 
koppens and the Panizzardis ? However, the French 
War Office was not to be cheated in this way ; so, 
from 1896 onwards, they set their intelligence de- 
partment, presided over by Henry and assisted by 
MM. Lauth, Lemercier-Picard, Du Paty, and Dru- 
mont, to supply all these documents which Drejrfus 
had, in 1894, so unkindly neglected to have in his 
house ready for them to seize. 

" Dreyfus' answers under cross-examination are 
everywhere interspersed with persistent denials of, 
and also with protests against, the charge alleged 
against him. When the cross-examination first 
began, he said that he seemed in a vague way to 
recognise in the bordereau the handwriting of an 
officer employed in the bureaux of the 6tat major. 
Afterwards in our presence he withdrew formally 
this allegation." 

In face of the above admission, what becomes 
of Dreyfus' pretended confession of guilt ? What 
of the hypothesis of the experts, Couard, Belhomme, 
and Varinard, accepted in January 1898 by Ester- 
hazy's judges and remunerated at the rate of 10,000 
francs apiece by the French civil tribunals, that 
Dreyfus traced the bordereau from Esterhazy's 
handwriting in order to conceal his own guilt and 
incriminate another ? 



6o THE DREYFUS CASE 

" If one compares the answers which Captain 
Dreyfus gave with the depositions of some of the 
witnesses heard, one is left with the very painful 
impression that he often disguises the truth ; and 
that, whenever he feels himself hard pressed, he 
gets out of it without much difficulty, thanks to 
the supple character of his mind." 

How perfidiously clever of Dreyfus not to fall 
into any of the traps laid for him ! He not only 
will not confess his guilt, but he routs their argu- 
ments. What a want of respect for his inquisitors ! 

" It seems that his motive for this systematic 
ferreting, for his provoking these conversations of 
an indiscreet kind, for these investigations over and 
above what he was charged to know, was that he 
felt the necessity of procuring as much information 
as possible, oral or written, before his stay in the 
War Office came to an end. Such an attitude is 
suspicious from many points of view, and is very 
like that of persons who practise espionage." 

We turn over two pages and we have an example 
of Dreyfus' suspicious zeal for information : — 

" In the month of February last. Corporal Bernolin, 
then secretary of M. le Colonel de Sancy, head of 
the second bureau of the 6tat major, made a copy 
of a work of about twenty-two pages on Madagascar 
in the ante-chamber of that higher officer's study. 
The making of this copy took five days, during 
which both the minute and the copy of it were left 
in a carton^ on the corporars table at the end of each 
^ An open cardboard box, such as one lays letters to be answered in. 



THE COURT-MARTIAL 6i 

day's work. Moreover, when, during working hours, 
the non-commissioned officer left his room for a 
time, the work he was at was loft open, and could 
consequently bo read." 

This minute was one of the documents enu- 
merated in the bordereau, and Schwartzkoppen, 
as we read above, has related to Panizzardi how 
he received it along with the others from Ester- 
hazy in the spring of 1894. If it was given to 
a corporal to copy, and left lying about as described, 
surely it needed no particular ferreting on Dreyfus' 
part to learn, supposing he did ever learn, its con- 
tents. Any one who liked could look at it, yet 
the indictment argues that, because Dreyfus had 
read it, therefore he wrote the bordereau. Why 
should not the corporal equally well have written 
it ? But then Dreyfus' habits were so strange. 
He wanted to know about everything. If the 
best of the young French officers on being breveted 
go into the staff office for a time, it is nevertheless 
evident that they are not su]3posed to learn what 
goes on there by way of completing their military 
education. And yet this is what Dreyfus set himself 
to do. What a suspicious wretch to be ever trying 
" to procure as much information as he could" about 
matters pertaining to his profession ! Let French 
officers take warning. None but spies are expected 
by the French War Office to be anxious to learn 
their business. 

The letters of Dreyfus, written since his arrest 



62 THE DREYFUS CASE 

iu 1 894, and of which I have translated the first few 
and given them in the course of the present pages, 
reveal him to us as the most tender and affectionate 
of husbands and fathers. Yet listen to this : — 

" Captain Dreyfus is also en relations with a 
woman Dida, older than himself, very rich, and 
with the reputation of paying her lovers, and who 
at the end of 1890 was assassinated by Wladimiroff. 
Captain Dreyfus, who was then at the Military 
School, and had just married, was cited as a wit- 
ness in this scandalous business, which came before 
the Assize Court of Versailles, January 25, 1891." 

Now, turn to the testimony of the doctor, A. 
Lataud, who attended Mme. Dida, pubUshed lately 
in the high - class scientific journal La Medicine 

Moderne : — 

" I was cited as a witness before the Versailles 
Court, along with Doctor Motet and several others 
who had come into contact with the victim. Dreyfus 
was also cited, and the President of the Assizes com- 
plimented him on the high principle he had shown 
in all his behaviour in respect of Mme. Dida. Such 
are the facts, on which it is necessary to insist, not 
only because they have been falsified (to wit, in the 
Dreyfus case), but also because we cannot allow a 
stain to be inflicted on the memory of Mme. Dida, 
who has left children." 

Let us resume this part of the act of accusation : — 

" Has Dreyfus since his marriage changed his 
habits in this respect ? We think not, for he has 



THE COURT-MARTIAL 63 

declared that he stopped the woman Y in the 

street m 1893, and that he made the acquaintance 

of the woman Z at the races in 1894. The 

first of these women is Austrian, and speaks several 
languages well, esincially German. She has a brother 
who is an officer in the Austrian service, another is 
an engineer, and she receives officers socially." 

We shall see presently that French officers know 
German at their peril ; but it appears from the 
above that it is also dangerous for one of them 
even to possess the acquaintance of a lady in good 
society who speaks that language. 

" Although Dreyfus has declared that he never 
cared for gambling, yet it appears from the informa- 
tion collected by us on the point that he has fre- 
quented several clubs in Paris where they gamble a 
good deal. In his cross-examination he has admitted 
having gone to the Press Club, though only as a 
guest, for dinner. He declares that he did not play 
cards there. There are fast clubs in Paris, like the 
Washington, the Betting Club, the Fencing Clubs, 
and the Press Club ; but they have no lists of mem- 
bers, and, their clientele not being very respectable, 
the witnesses lohom we migld have found would have 
been not a little suspect ; consequently we have 
refrained from hearing them." 

Probably they did hunt for such witnesses ; but 
even the betting men of Paris were too honest for 
the Sandherrs, the Henrys, and De Clams of the 
etat major. But what does that matter ? Dreyfus 
is a convicted gambler, and that is enough. 



64 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" Captain Dreyfus' family lives at Mulhouse. His 
father and mother are dead. He has three brothers 
left and three sisters. The latter are married, and 
live, one at Bar-le-Duc, another at Carpentras, and 
the third in Paris. His brothers get their living from 
a spinning-mill at Mulhouse. The eldest, Jacques, 
aged fifty, has not ojDted for the French nationality." 

But only the eldest of the four brothers really 
lived at Mulhouse. The innuendo is that he was 
not loyal to France ; but we have seen what M. 
Lalance had to say on this point. 

The indictment, after a little, gives a sketch of 
Dreyfus' career. He entered the Artillery, and was 
admitted at the Ecole de Ghierrc on April 21, 1890, 
the sixty-seventh in order of merit. He quitted it 
in 1892, the ninth in the same order, and with the 
note " tris hien " added to his name. In the leaving 
examination one of the examiners, a general after 
the heart of Drumont, gave Dreyfus lower marks 
than he was entitled to, because he was a Jew. 
Dreyfus detected the unfairness, and successfully 
exposed it. D'Ormescheville relates the incident, 
and then comments as follows : — 

" It may be remarked that the mark of which 
Captain Dreyfus complained was secret ; and one 
justly wonders how he could have found out about 
it, save by some indiscretion which he committed 
or ^^rovoked. As, however, indiscretion is his leading 
characteristic, we need not be surprised at his having 
been able to find out these secret marks." 



THE COURT-MARTIAL 65 

Dreyfus " complained that this mark had been 
given him from parti jjris, and because of his re- 
ligion." 

What does all this amount to ? This, that anti- 
Semitic generals in the French army cheat when 
they are put on to examine, and are sometimes 
caught at it. The Jesuits, who in France train 
young men of good family for the army, have been 
many times convicted of getting hold beforehand of 
the questions to be set at Saint- Cyr, and of giving 
them to their pupils. Last May, for example, the 
pupils in the Jesuit school of Sainte-Genevieve at 
Paris, an establishment patronised by the Comte de 
Mun, were warned beforehand Avhat essay was to be 
set, and one of them generously wrote to a friend in 
the Lycee at Tours, and handed on the " tip " to 
him. Billot, the Minister of War, as might be ex- 
pected, declared that it was a mere coincidence that 
the Jesuit pupils knew beforehand that the alterna- 
tive subjects set for the essay would be " The Cam- 
paign in Egypt," " Bonaparte and Kleber," or " The 
Letter of Colbert to Louis XIV. proposing the 
founding of an Academy of Science." However, the 
papers were cancelled. In 1876 the Jesuits of the 
Rue des Postes were convicted of the same offence, 
and as Gambetta was then alive, they were treated 
with less consideration than Meline and Billot lately 
showed. The general who falsified Dreyfus' marks 
must have been educated in a Jesuit school, and 
no doubt regarded his action as patriotic, just as 

E 



66 THE DREYFUS CASE 

Drumont and Verwoort, and their epauletted readers, 
regard Henry's forgeries. Dreyfus, says the acte 
d' accusation, " provoked indiscretions." How ill-bred 
of him, to be sure, to detect and expose an injustice 
done to him as a Jew ! However, it all goes to 
prove that he wrote the bordereau. But let us 
pass on. 

" As regards the journeys of Captain Dreyfus, it is 
clear from his answers under cross-examination that 
he could go to Alsace by stealth almost whenever 
he wished to do so ; and that the German authori- 
ties shut their eyes to his presence there. This 
faculty of clandestine travel may properly be made 
a charge against him." 

But is not Alsace still in the eyes of patriotic 
Frenchmen a part of France — even M. Hanotaux 
has lately declared it to be so ? Where, then, was 
the harm of dodging the German authorities and 
going there ? Dreyfus, indeed, never did so, though 
he may have said that it could be done. However, 
the official Strassburger Post of January lo, 1898, 
states the truth in the following paragraph : — 

" In reality, Dreyfus asked for a permit to be in 
Alsace in June and July 1892, and on both occa- 
sions his demand was rejected. In December 1893 
a permit was granted to him to be there for five 
days, because his father was seriously ill." 

It is the more necessary to emphasize this point, 
because Esterhazy or his reporters in then- recent 



THE COURT-MARTIAL 67 

rev.elations in the Observer and Daily News have 
revived this particular fable about Dreyfus, seeking 
to incriminate him thereby. The passage which 
follows deserves to be quoted, because it suggested 
to Esterhazy the lame and false account lately 
attributed to him by certain English journals of 
the circumstances under which he wrote the bor- 
dereau : — 

" Captain Dreyfus insinuates that it is the practice 
of the Ministry of War to set traps and decoys to 
catch individuals. The object of his insinuations 
appears to us to be to leave himself with a means of 
defending himself should he be some day caught 
with secret or confidential documents in his pocket. 
It was no doubt with a view to this that he took so 
little pains to disguise his handwriting in the incrimi- 
nating bordereau. On the other hand, the few wilful 
changes introduced in it by him were meant to 
enable him to argue that it was a forgery in the 
very improbable contingency of the document find- 
ing its way back to the Ministry after reaching its 
destination." 

It is not very surprising if Dreyfus did refer to 
the decoy-duck habits of the Ministry of War. They 
are the elementary tactics of the French police, 
civil and military. The graphological argument of 
D'Ormescheville assumes an almost comic air in view 
of the finding of the later experts, that the bordereau 
was decalque sur I'dcriture d'lEsterhazy, that is to say 
traced letter by letter on his writing. 



68 THE DREYFUS CASE 

Then follow three paragraphs about the bordereau, 
and a final summing up of the case against Dreyfus, 
as follows : — 

" In short, the grounds of the accusations brought 
against Captain Dreyfus are of two kinds — moral 
and material. We have examined the former. The 
latter consist of the incriminating lettre missive. The 
majority of the experts, as well as ourselves and the 
witnesses who have seen it, are agreed that, except 
for intentional dissimilarities, it offers a perfect 
resemblance to the authentic writing of Captain 
Dreyfus. 

" Over and above what precedes, we may say that 
Captain Dreyfus possesses, along with very extensive 
knowledge, a remarkable memory ; that he speaks 
several languages, notally German, which he knows 
thoroughly, and Italian, of which he pretends that 
he has but vague ideas ; that he is, moreover, gifted 
with a character very supple, nay, even obsequious, 
such as is very suitable to relations of espionage 
with foreign agents. 

" Captain Dreyfus, therefore, was in every way 
marked out for the miserable and disgraceful mission 
which he has solicited or accepted, and to which, 
most happily perhaps for France, the discovery of 
his plots has put an end," 

Most happily indeed ! The reference to the 
German and Italian languages once more proves 
how mistaken were those who alleged that Dreyfus' 
pretended treason had anything to do with Russia. 
Those who conducted his prosecution were, it is 



THE COURT-MARTIAL 69 

clear, resolved that he should be made to talk 
Italian as well as German, even if he did not know- 
it. The court-martial seems to have entertained 
no doubt of the extreme impropriety of a French 
officer's knowing German, even although he were 
an Alsatian. It is also clear that it is dangerous for a 
French officer to have " extensive knowledge " or a 
" good memory," or any adaptability of mind and 
manner. If he has any of these characteristics, he 
may be mistaken for a spy, and if he be also a Jew, 
will certainly be condemned as such. Of the two 
score or so of French officers who, in connection with 
the case, have come before the eye of Europe, there 
is certainly not one, except Picquart, who has shown 
any of the solid and sterling qualities of mind and 
character which have earned for Dreyfus condemna- 
tion and infamy in the eyes of Frenchmen. And 
this is probably the reason why Picquart has been 
also accused of treason and forgery, and kept for 
months au secret in a military prison, as were the 
intellectuels of Naples sixty years ago by King 
Bomba. 

I meet every day friends who, unacquainted with 
the peculiarities of French military justice, ask me, 
" But do you really think that Dreyfus was wholly 
innocent ? " To help them to form a judgment for 
themselves it was necessary to thus translate and 
analyse the " brief " of those who prosecuted and 
condemned him. It is a document instinct through- 
out with the inspiration of Loyola, and it proves 



70 THE DREYFUS CASE 

most painfully the fierce aberrations of which men 
are capable who know nothing of judicial methods, 
and whose minds are full of sectarian prejudices. 
Henceforth it belongs to history, and will be cata- 
logued among the darkest pages of human in- 
justice. 



CHAPTER V 

THE VEHMGERICHT 

Commandant Forzinetti has given us some glimpses 
of the agony endured by Captain Dreyfus when he 
found himself suddenly arrested and thrown into 
prison on a vague charge of treason. For seven 
weeks he was not allowed to see an advocate or 
communicate with his wife and friends. At last, on 
December 5, he was allowed to write to his wife. 
The letters which from that day up to March 5, 
1898, the unhappy man wrote to her have been 
published in Paris under the title Lettres d'un Inno- 
cent. They are sad reading ; but the soldierly 
patience, courage, and dignity, the warm home and 
family affections which breathe through them, will 
make them a French classic for all time. 

The first two of the series I now give. If they 
seem overwrought to the reader, I would beg him 
to bear in mind that for seven weeks Dreyfus had 
been in solitary confinement, save for the visits of 
his inquisitor and torturer Du Paty. 

" Cherche-midi Prison, Tucsdmj, December ^th, 1894. 
" My dear Lucy, — At last I can Avrite you a word, 
for they have just informed me that I shall be put 
upon my trial on the 19th of this month. They 
refuse me the right to see you. 



72 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" I will not tell you all that I have suffered, for in 
the whole world there are no words pathetic enough 
for that. Do you remember my telling you how 
happy we were ? Everything smiled for us in life. 
Then all of a sudden a clap of thunder so appalling 
that my brain still reels. I, accused of the most 
monstrous crime that a soldier can commit ! To-day 
again I feel myself afresh the plaything of a dreadful 
nightmare. 

" But I have hopes in God and in justice, and the 
truth will end by declaring itself My conscience is 
calm and quiet, and reproaches me with nothing. I 
have always done my duty, I have never stooped to 
anything. I have been overwhelmed and prostrate 
in my dark prison in solitary converse with my own 
brain. I have had moments of wild madness, I have 
even wandered ; but my conscience kept awake. 
And it said to me, ' Lift up your head and look the 
Avorld in the face. Strong in your good conscience, 
walk straight and hold yourself upright. It is a 
terrible trial, but you must undergo it.' 

" I do not write to you any more, for I want this 
letter to go to-night. But write me a long letter, 
and tell me in it all that our household are doing. 

" I embrace you a thousand times, as I love you, 
as I adore you, my darling Lucy. A thousand kisses 
for the children. I don't dare to speak to you more 
at length about them, for the tears come into my 
eyes when I think of them. 

" Write to me soon. Alfred. 

" My kindest regards to all the family, and do 
tell them that I am to-day exactly what I was 



THE VEHMGERICHT 73 

yesterday — solicitous only of one thing, wliich is to 
do my duty. 

" The Commissary of the Government has in- 
formed me that it will be Mattre Demange who will 
undertake my defence. So I think I shall see him 
to-day. Write to me at the prison ; your letters will 
pass, like my own, through the hands of the Com- 
missary of the Government." 

" Thursday Morning, December 'jth, 1894. 

" I await with impatience a letter from you. You 
are my hope, you are my consolation ; otherwise life 
would be a burden to me. I should have nothing 
to do but to think of how they could accuse me of 
so awful a crime, of a crime so monstrous that all 
my being starts at it, all my body revolts. To have 
worked all one's life for one single end, and that 
end the taking of revenge against that infamous 
robber who had despoiled us of our dear Alsace, and 
then to see oneself accused of treason towards that 
country — no, my darling, my mind refuses to take 
it in. Do you remember how I told you about my 
being ten years ago at Mulhouse, in the month of 
September it was, and I heard one day passing under 
our windows a German band celebrating the anni- 
versary of Sedan ? My anguish was such that I 
wept with rage, that I bit my sheets with anger, and 
swore to consecrate all my strength, all my under- 
standing, to the service of my country against those 
who thus trampled on the Alsatians in their anguish. 

" No, no, I will not dwell upon it; for I should go 
mad if 1 did, and I must needs keep all my senses 
about me. And besides, my life has now but one 



74 THE DREYFUS CASE 

single aim, and that is to discover the wretch who 
has betrayed his country, to discover the traitor for 
whom no punishment will be too great. Oh, my 
own dear France, that I love with all my soul, with 
all my heart, you to whom I have consecrated all 
my strength, all my understanding, how can they 
have accused me of so stupendous a crime ? I brood, 
my darling, over this matter till I literally choke. 
Never, in sooth, has any one undergone the martyr- 
dom that I endure. No physical suffering is to be 
compared with the moral anguish that I feel when- 
ever my thoughts hark back to this accusation. If 
I had not my own honour to defend, I assure you 
that I would much prefer death ; at any rate, it 
would be forgetfulness. 

" Write to me very soon. My affectionate regards 
to all." 

The following letter is also of interest, for it 
shows how, as we have seen in the acte d'accusation, 
the very virtues of the man were construed as 
indicia of his guilt : — 

"December 1894. 

"My Own Darling, — I was waiting for your 
letter impatiently, and it has given me great relief; 
though, at the same time, it has brought the tears 
into my eyes when I think of you, my own darling. 

"I am not perfect. What man can boast of 
being ? But one thing I can assure you of, and 
that is, that I have always walked in the path of 
duty and of honour. Never have I had any com- 
promise with my conscience in this respect. And 
also, if I have suffered much, if I have undergone 



THE VEHMGERICHT 75 

the most terrible martyrdom which it is possible 
to imagine, I have always been sustained in this 
terrible struggle by my conscience, which watched 
over me upright and inflexible. 

" It is my rather haughty reserve, my liberty of 
word and judgment, my devotion to hard work, that 
to-day do me the deepest wrong. I have been 
neither supple, nor pliable, nor a flatterer. Never 
were we disposed to pay visits ; but we kept strictly 
to our own quarters, quite content with our domestic 
happiness. And yet to-day they accuse me of the 
most monstrous crime that a soldier can commit. 

" Ah ! if I only had hold of the wretch who has 
not only betrayed his country but has also tried to 
throw the blame of his infamy on me, I hardly loiow 
what torture I would invent by way of making him 
expiate the moments through which he has made 
me pass. Nevertheless, one must hope that in the 
end they will find the culprit. Otherwise one would 
have to despair of justice in this world. So do you 
give up to this investigation all your efforts, all your 
intelligence, all my fortune if needs be. Money is 
nothing, honour is everything. Tell Mathieu that 
I reckon on him to do this. It is not above his 
strength. If it be necessary to move heaven and 
earth, we must do so to discover this wretch. 

" I embrace you a thousand times, as I love you, 
your devoted Alfred. 

"A thousand kisses for the children, and my 
affectionate regards to all our relations, and thank 
them for their devotion to the cause of an innocent 
man." 



76 THE DREYFUS CASE 

And tlie following letters, written just before the 
court-martial began, indicate how sure he felt of 
the honesty of the officers before whom he appeared, 
and therefore of acquittal by them : — 

" Wcdiiesday, December iSth, 1894. 

" My Dear Lucy, — I have received your kind 
letter as well as mamma's. Thank her for the 
sentiments that she expresses about me, sentiments 
of which I never doubted, and which I have always 
deserved, as I can confidently say. 

" At last there draws nigh the day when I shall 
appear before my judges ; so then there will be an 
end of this moral torture. My confidence is abso- 
lute ; when one has a conscience that is clear and 
tranquil, one can face any one and any thing without 
flinching. I shall have to deal with soldiers who 
will listen to me and will understand me. The con- 
viction of my innocence will make its way into their 
hearts, as it has never quitted those of my friends 
and of all who have known me intimately. 

" My whole life is the best proof of it. I do not 
speak of the infamous and anonymous calumnies 
which they have spread abroad about me. They 
have not touched me, and 1 scorn them. 

" Give a good hug to our darlings for me, and 
take for yourself the tender kisses of your devoted 
husband, Alfred." 

" Wednesday, December z^rd, 1S94. 

" My Own Darling, — At last I reach the end of 
my sufferings, the end of my martjn'dom. To- 
morrow I shall appear before my judges without 
flinching, head erect, without misgivings. 



THE VEHMGERICHT 77 

" The trial which I have just undergone, terrible 
trial as it has been, has yet purified my soul. I 
shall come back to you better than I Avas before. I 
will consecrate to you, to my children, to our dear 
families, all that still is left to me of life. 

" As I have told you, I have passed through the 
most awful time. I have had real moments of 
raging madness at the mere thought of being 
accused of so monstrous a crime. I am ready 
to appear before soldiers as a soldier who has 
nothing to reproach himself with. They will see in 
my face, they will read in my soul, they will win 
the conviction of my innocence, as do all who 
know me. 

" Devoted to my country, to which I have conse- 
crated all my strength, all my understanding, I have 
nothing to fear. 

" So sleep quietly, my darling, and do not be at 
all anxious. Only think of the joy that we shall 
experience at finding ourselves soon in one another's 
arms, in forgetting quickly these sad, dark days. 

" Before long then, my own darling, before long I 
shall have the happiness of taking you as well as our 
darlings into my arms, 

" And meanwhile, as we wait for that happy 
moment, a thousand kisses. Alfred." 

The seven officers who composed the court-martial 
do not seem to have been convinced by the " moral" 
proofs which take up so large a part of the acte 
d' accusation. Maitre Demange had before long 
demolished the whole fabric, and proved that nothing 
worthy to be called evidence remained except the 



78 THE DREYFUS CASE 

bordereau, which was not the work of Dreyfus. 
Commandant Brisset, the commissary of the Govern- 
ment, is credibly reported to have said, " The 
moral considerations against Dreyfus have dis- 
appeared. But there remains the document written 
by Dreyfus. Take your magnifying-glasses, gentle- 
men, and examine it. I affirm it to be Dreyfus', 
along with the experts." 

If he had said " along with Bertillon," he would 
have been more correct. Chief of the department 
of " criminal identification," Bertillon was ready to 
identify everything, and so were two minor grapho- 
logists, whom he was allowed to choose. M. Gobert 
and another independent expert, M. Pelletier, 
contested Bertillon's view. The acte d'accusation 
throws suspicions on M. Pelletier because he refused 
to wait upon M. Bertillon and work in his office. 
The Colonel D'Aboville, whom we have already come 
across, also set up for being an expert in handwriting, 
and made an affidavit affirming the bordereau to 
have been written by Dreyfus. 

It is to the credit of the seven officers that even 
their magnifying-glasses failed to enthely convince 
them, and they still wavered. What followed — and 
it is momentous — has been related by the same 
correspondent of the Eclair whom I have already 
quoted and shown to have been behind the scenes. 
On the 14th September 1896 this officer com- 
municated the following to that paper under the 
heading " The Traitor " : — 



THE VEHMGERICHT 79 

" The reasons which militated in favour of silence 
no longer exist ; the difficulties which might arise 
from the divulging of certain facts have been 
smoothed away, and we are persuaded that we can, 
without fear of embarrassments or delicate com- 
plications, lay before all what could not be produced 
just at the time of the hearing of the case— the 
proof, namely, the irrefutable proof, the proof 
written large, of the treason. This proof it was that 
led the officers composing the court-martial to bring 
in an unanimous verdict against the prisoner. . . . 

" It was a letter in the cipher of the German 
Embassy. We had this cipher, and it was rightly 
considered to be too useful a secret for us to di^ailge. 
That was why the letter in question was not included 
in the overt evidence against the accused." 

In passing I may observe, that this talk about 
cipher must be mere Uaguc, introduced by way of 
justifying in the eyes of the French public so flagrant 
an illegality. I resume the text : — 

" Towards September 20(1 894), Colonel Sandherr, 
head of the statistical section, communicated to 
General Mercier this letter, which had been de- 
ciphered. It read thus, ' Decidedly this animal 
Dreyfus is getting to be too exigent ' (DScid^ment cet 
animal de Dreyfus deviPMt twp exigeant)" 

The Eclair printed the name Dreyfus in capitals, 
and ended its article with a paragraph entitled, "The 
proof under the eyes of the judges.' After admitting 
that Dreyfus to the end always persisted in protest- 
ing his innocence, it added : — 



8o THE DREYFUS CASE 

" It is true that Dreyfus did not know, and is 
perhaps still unaware, that the Ministry of War had 
in its possession a photograph of the letter exchanged 
between the German and Italian mihtary attaches, 
the only document in which his name figured. The 
letter {i.e., the bordereau) which he had written, 
but taken good care not to sign, could only be a 
moral element in the case. Indeed, if two of the 
handwriting experts, Charavay and Bertillon, affirmed 
that ' it was certainly Dreyfus,' the three others hesi- 
tated. 

" One proof alone allowed of no hesitation, and it 
consisted in the production of the very piece in which 
Dreyfus was named. It was enough to convince the 
tribunal, and it was important that the traitor should not 
escape his due punishment. But this important docu- 
ment was confidential in an extraordinary degree, 
and the Minister could not give it up without a 
formal requisition of the court.»- 

" It was therefore needful for a formal search to 
be made at the Ministry. It was made ; but in 
order to save the commissary of the Government 
the trouble of turning over so many secret dossiers, 
it ivas arranged that it should he the first for him to 
lay his hand upon. 

" It was, however, stipulated that in any case it 
should not he openhj discussed before the court-martial, 
although it had been regularly seized. It was, there- 
fore, communicated to the judges alone in their 
private council-room. 

" Irrefutable evidence, it thoroughly convinced the 
members of the court-martial, and they were unani- 
mous when they had to pronounce their verdict in 



THE VEHMGERICHT 8i 

regard to the traitor's guilt and the penalty to be 
inflicted on him." 

What truth is there in the above ? 

I have already pointed out how well informed in 
many ways this correspondent was. He knew all 
the details of Du Paty's inquisition, as the official 
act of accusation, only published two years later, 
revealed them. He had also seen the bordereau, 
which had not yet been published in facsimile in the 
Matin, and in the same article accurately detailed 
its contents. Obviously he was either one of the 
judges or one of the officers immediately connected 
with the prosecution. 

Was there then a secret dossier of Dreyfus, and 
was it used at his court-martial in the way this 
obviously inspired source declares ? 

That there was is clear from an official document 
put forth by the War Office itself on January lo, 
1898. This is the rapport of the Commandant 
Ravary, who was then charged with the task of 
drawing up the case — we cannot say against — but 
for Esterhazy, when at last it became requisite to 
go through the form of acquitting him of having 
written the bordereau. In this we have the follow- 
ing passage, which clearly slipped out unawares : — 

" One evening when Lieutenant- Colonel Henry, 
having returned to Paris, had entered rather sud- 
denly M. Picquart's room, he saw Maitre Leblois, the 
advocate . . . sitting by his desk and turning over 
along with him the secret dossier. A photograph 

F 



82 THE DREYFUS CASE 

bearing the words ' cette canaille de D . . . .' had 
got out of the dossier and was lying spread out upon 
the desk." 

Here, then, we have the formal admission that, 
as early as the October of 1896, when this alleged 
scene must — if at all — have taken place, the French 
War Office had a secret dossier. Thus the writer in 
the Eclair is confirmed, and the very document 
which he declares to have been privily laid before 
the judges in 1894 is in 1898 admitted to have been 
part of the secret dossier in the summer of 1 896. 

Another proof that Dreyfus' conviction was arrived 
at in this illegal manner is that M. Mcline's Govern- 
ment could not and did not deny it when, on January 
24, 1898, M. Jaures addressed to the president of 
the Cabinet (M. Meline) the following question, after 
quoting the above paragraph of Ravary's ra'p'port : — 

" Yes or no. Did the judges who had to pro- 
nounce judgment on Dreyfus have laid before them 
documents of a sort to establish or confirm his guilt, 
without those documents having been communicated 
to the accused and his counsel, or did they not ? " 

M. Paschal Grousset interjected the remark, 
" That is the whole question," and M. Jaures went 
on thus : — 

" Gentlemen, my question is a clear and straight- 
forward one ; it admits only of being answered with 
a yes or no. This answer you will be so kind as to 
make. Yes or no. I am waiting for it." 



THE VEHMGERICHT 83 

I would have my readers note the answer. M. 
Jules M^line said, " I answer you that we will not 
discuss the matter in the tribune. That is certain, 
and I will not walk into your trap." 

Then a few minutes later, feeling that he had left 
the ground too exposed by his evasive answer, M. 
M^line said : — 

" One word only, gentlemen, to say that I have 
already answered those points in M. Jaures' speech 
which it was permissible to the Government to 
answer. I refuse to engage with him on the topic 
which he just now broached ; because the Govern- 
ment — I repeat it once more — has not the right to 
discuss from the tribune a verdict regularly passed." 

Yet it would have been enough to have answered, 
"No; secret evidence Avas not used." Meliue's answer 
was too plainly that of a Government anxious to hush 
up an infamy. 

On February 9, 1898, in the Zola trial, Mercier 
himself was in the box. Asked point-blank by Maitre 
Labori if a secret document had not been com- 
municated to Dreyfus' judges, he could only answer 
evasively thus : " I think that the Dreyfus affair is 
not in question, and that a decree of the court has 
forbidden us to trench upon it." Maitre Labori 
again asked : — 

" Does General Mercier affirm that it is not true 
that a secret document was communicated ? or does 
he affirm that he has not himself repeated the fact to 
certain persons ? I beg him to answer unequivocally." 



84 THE DREYFUS CASE 

Aud the first part of Mercier's answer caused a 
general sensation in the court. The whole was as 
follows : — 

" It is not my business to answer the first question ; 
but as regards the second, I say that it is not true." 

It could hardly have been anxiety on his part to 
observe the absurd ruling of the court, by which no 
reference to the cJiose jugde was allowed, that inspired 
so evasive an answer as the above ; for in reply to 
the judge's further question, whether he had any- 
thing to add, he felt himself obliged, in order to 
counteract the effect on his audience of his first 
answer, to blurt out the stereotyped falsehood of 
Billot, " that Dreyfus was a traitor who had been 
justly and legally condemned." 

Lastly, it is worth noticing that M. Salles, a Paris 
advocate, had it from the lips of one of the judges 
in Dreyfus' court-martial that they had had a secret 
document laid before them. M. Salles was precluded 
in the Zola trial from giving his evidence by the 
ruling of the judge. 

But the judge in that trial could not prevent 
Maitre Demange from giving his evidence, which he 
did on February lo, 1898, in these words : — 

" I had learned through M. Salles that there had 
been a violation of the law . . . 

" M. Labori asked : What violation ? 

" The Judge : No, no, Maitre Demange, do not 
answer. 



THE VEHMGERICHT 85 

" M. Cl^menceau : . . . Was it not because a judge 
of the court-martial affirmed it to M. Salles, who 
repeated it to Maitre Demange ? 

" M. Demange : Why, yes ; of course. 

" The Judge : Maitre Demange, you have no right 
to speak." 

The point became quite clear on July 7, 1898, 
when Cavaignac made his celebrated declaration in 
the French Chamber. Not only did he throw over 
the bordereau, but with it the contention of his pre- 
decessor, Billot, that Dreyfus had been justly and 
Icgalhj condemned. The formula was now changed 
to this, that " the honest people who composed the 
court-martial had judged in accordance with their 
conscience and with absence of passion." 

Lastly, on September 15, 1898, Picquart himself 
assured the garde des sceattx, in a letter which I shall 
translate in its place, that four secret documents 
were communicated to the judges. 

My reader will have noticed the infamous trick 
of the writer in the Eclair of September 14, 1896. 
He printed, " Get animal de Dreyfus," where the 
document itself, as Ravary's rapport proves, has only 
the initial letter D . . . This fact suggests, nay, 
almost makes it certain, that the letter was read out 
loud to the judges and not shown to them, and that 
the person who so read it filled in the name in order 
to leave the judges no alternative but to condemn 
an innocent man. Had the judges seen the docu- 
ment itself they would have noticed : ( i ) that the 



86 THE DREYFUS CASE 

name of Dreyfus was not there ; (2) that the letter 
was not in cipher, as pretended; (3) that there 
were things said in it of the wife oi I) . . . which 
could not possibly apply to Madame Dreyfus. I 
think it well to add what I have been assured of, on 
the highest possible authority, that the letter con- 
taining this phrase as a postscript was not the only 
document secretly adduced to the judges. They 
were also acquainted with the two letters read out by 
Cavaignac to the French Chamber on July 7, 1898. 
These two are to my knowledge in the handwriting 
of Colonel Panizzardi ; and the one with the post- 
script was probably written by Schwartzkoppen. 

Thus Dreyfus was condemned. He appealed to 
the higher military council, before which the sen- 
tence of a court-martial goes for revision in the first 
instance. This court, composed of the highest 
officers in the land, mechanically allowed the verdict 
to hold good, without examining it ; and Dreyfus 
was informed, on December 30, that his formal 
degradation and expulsion from the French army 
would take place on January 5,1895. In view of 
this dreadful ceremony he wrote the following letter 
to his wife on January the 3rd : — 

" Tuesday/, mid-day. 

" My Darling, — They inform me that the supreme 
humiliation is to take place the day after to-morrow. 
I was waiting for it, I was prepared for it ; but 
nevertheless the blow has fallen heavily on me. I 



THE VEHMGERICHT 87 

shall bear up under it, for I have promised you that 
I will. I shall draw the strength which is still 
necessary for me from your love, from the affection 
of all of you, from the thought of my darling 
children, from the last hope that the truth will 
be found out. I must needs feel your affection irra- 
diating me all round, feel you too at my side sharing 
the struggle with me. So, then, continue your inves- 
tigations without truce and without respite. 

I hope to see you very soon and to draw fresh 
strength from your eyes. Let us be one another's 
support towards all and against all. I require your 
love in order to live, and without it my mainspring 
would be broken. 

" When I am gone, try to persuade every one 
that they must not flag or halt in the quest. 

" Please take the necessary steps in order to come 
to see me upon Saturday and on the following days 
at the prison De la SanU. It is there more than 
anywhere else that I shall need support. 

" Find out also about the matters of which I spoke 
to you yesterday ; about the time of my going, of the 
way I shall go, &c. 

" One must be prepared for everything, and not let 
oneself be taken by surprise. Alfred." 

On the same day he wrote the following also to 
his counsel, Maitre Demange : — 

"Thursday, mid-day, January ^rd, 1S95. 

" Dear Master, — I have just been informed that I 
shall to-morrow undersfo the last affront which can be 
inflicted on a soldier. I awaited it, I had prepared 



88 THE DREYFUS CASE 

myself for it ; but nevertheless the blow has been 
terrible to bear. In spite of everything, up to the 
very last moment, I hoped that some providential 
chance would bring about the discovery of the true 
culprit. 

" I shall march to meet this awful punishment, 
which is worse than death, my head upright, with- 
out a blush. 

" To tell you that my heart will not be dread- 
fully tortured when they tear from me the decora- 
tions which I have won by the sweat of my brow, 
that would not be true. 

" I would certainly a thousand times have pre- 
ferred death. 

" But you have indicated to me my duty, dear 
master, and I cannot avoid it, whatever the torture 
which awaits me. You have taught me to hope ; 
you have penetrated my whole being with a feeling 
that an innocent man cannot remain for ever wrongly 
condemned ; you have given me faith. 

" Thanks once more, dear master, for all that you 
have done for an innocent man. 

" To-morrow they will take me to the other prison, 
a, la S(Xnt^. 

" It would make me very happy if you could 
console me afresh with your burning words, with 
your eloquence, and revive my drooping heart. I 
count always upon you, upon all my family, to de- 
cipher this dreadful mystery. 

" Wherever I go, the thought of you will follow 
me. It will be the star to which I shall look for 
my happiness. Believe me, dear master, and accept 
my respectful sympathy, A. Dreyfus. 



THE VEHMGERICHT 89 

" At this very moment I learn that my degrada- 
tion will not take place till Saturday ; but all the 
same I send you this letter." 

The ceremony of the degradation itself on January 
5, 1895, is terrible reading; not because of the 
behaviour of the victim, who was almost the only 
man present who retained his dignity, but because of 
the conduct of the mob of Parisians who looked on, 
and of the insensate criticisms of the victim's noble 
bearing with which the Paris reporters interspersed 
their accounts. I select for my readers that which 
appeared in L'AutoritS, a journal hostile to Dreyfus : — 

" At the first stroke of nine from the clock of the 
Military School, General Darras lifts his sword and 
gives the command, which is repeated along the 
front of each company — ' Shoulder arms ! ' 

" The troops execute the order, and an absolute 
silence follows. 

" Hearts cease to beat, and all eyes are turned 
towards the right-hand corner of the square, where 
Dreyfus is shut up in a little building on the terrace. 

" In a moment a small group is seen : it is Alfred 
Dreyfus in the midst of four artillerymen, accom- 
panied by a lieutenant of the Republican Guard and 
by the senior petty officer of the escort. He ap- 
proaches, and between the dark pelisses of the 
artillerymen one discerns quite clearly the three 
galloons, trefoil shaped, and the gold brocade of the 
officer's cap. His sword glints, and from afar one 
can distinguish the black knot fastened to its handle 

" Dreyfus walks with a quiet, firm step. 



90 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" ' Just look how erect he walks, the scoundrel,' 
is the remark one hears, 

" The group advances towards General Darras, in 
front of whom stands the clerk of the court-martial, 
M. Vallecalle. 

" Amidst the crowd outside shouts are audible as 
the group halts. 

" The officer in command makes a sign, and the 
drums beat and bugles sound ; then there is a fresh 
spell of silence, this time tragic in its import. 

" The gunners who accompany Dreyfus fall back 
a few steps, and the condemned man is seen alone 
and apart. 

" The clerk gives the general the military salute, 
and then, turning towards Dreyfus, reads out in a 
loud clear voice the judgment which sentences him 
to deportation to a fortified station and to military 
degradation. 

" When he has read it, the clerk turns round 
again to the general and gives the military salute. 

" Dreyfus has listened in silence. The voice of 
General Darras is next heard. It is raised and 
slightly touched with emotion, and one hears clearly 
the words : 

" ' Dreyfus, you are unworthy to bear arms. In 
the name of the French people, we degrade you.' 

" Then Dreyfus is seen to raise both arms ; and, 
head erect, he cries out in a strong voice, in which 
one cannot detect the least tremor : 

" ' I am innocent. I swear that I am innocent. 
Viv6 la France.' 

" The vast crowd outside answers with a loud 
shout of 'A mort.' 



THE VEHMGERICHT 91 

" But the noise drops in a moment, for they see 
that the adjutant charged with the melancholy duty 
of depriving the degraded man of his galloons and 
arms, has laid his hand on him, and already the 
first galloons and cuffs, which have been unsewn 
beforehand, have been torn off by him and thrown 
to the ground. 

" Dreyfus seizes the opportunity to protest anew 
against his condemnation, and his cries reach the 
crowd and are distinctly audible : 

" ' On the heads of my wife and children, I swear 
that I am innocent. I swear it. VivS la France' 

" However, the adjutant has rapidly torn off the 
galloons of the cap, the trefoils of the sleeves, the 
buttons of the pelisse, the numbers on the neck, 
and the red stripes which the condemned man has 
worn on his trousers ever since he entered the 
Ecole Polytechniqne. 

" The sword is left. The adjutant draws it out 
and breaks it across his knee. The dry snap is 
heard, and the two broken fragments are cast on 
the ground like the rest. Then the sword-belt is 
unfastened, and the scabbard in its turn falls to the 
ground. 

" It is all over, but the few seconds have seemed 
a century. We had never before felt pangs of 
anguish so keen. 

"And afresh, clear, and without any touch of 
emotion, is heard the voice of the condemned man 
in a raised tone, crying : 

" ' You degrade an innocent man ! ' 

" Next, the condemned man has to pass along 
before his comrades in arms, and the men formerly 



92 THE DREYFUS CASE 

under his command. For any other man the suf- 
fering would be horrible ; but Dreyfus does not 
seem particularly distressed, for he steps firmly over 
the insignia of his former rank, which two gendarmes 
will presently gather up, and he takes his place of 
himself between the gunners with naked swords who 
led him before General D arras. 

" The little group, led by two officers of the 
Republican Guard, turns its steps towards the band, 
which is stationed in front of the prison van, and so 
begins to defile along the front of the troops, within 
about a yard of them, 

" Dreyfus, as he marches along, keeps his head 
erect. The public cries ' A mort.' Presently he 
comes up close before the iron railing, where the 
crowd sees him better. Their cries redouble, and 
from thousands of throats rings the demand for the 
death of the wretch who still cries aloud, ' I am 
innocent, Vivd la France! 

" The crowd has not heard him, but it has seen 
him turn towards it and utter his cry. A broadside 
of hisses is their answer, and then a shout which 
passes like the breath of a tempest across the vast 
court, ' A mort ! A mort ! ' 

" And outside there is a terrible rush amidst the 
sombre masses, like the current of a whirlpool, and 
the police have extraordinary trouble to prevent the 
people from throwing themselves on the Military 
School and taking the place by assault, in order to 
take a vengeance at once quicker and niore rational 
on such infamy as that of Dreyfus. 

" But he continues his march, and on reaching 
the spot in front of the group of reporters, he says : 



THE VEHMGERICHT 93 

" ' You will tell the whole of France that I am 
innocent/ 

" ' Hold your tongue, wretch,' is the answer of some 
of them, while others cry: 'Dastard! Traitor! Judas!' 

"At the insult, the abject wretch draws himself 
up, and, casting on us a glance of fierce hatred, ex- 
claims, ' You have not the right to insult me.' 
From the pressmen's group a clear voice is heard 
contradicting him : ' You know very well that you 
are not innocent.' ' Vive la France ! ' ' Filthy Jew ! ' 
and other cries are hurled at him as he continues 
his march. 

' His dress is pitiable to look at. Instead of gal- 
loons, there hang down long ends of threads, and 
his hSpi has lost all shape. 

" Dreyfus draws himself up once more, but he has 
only passed in front of half of the troops massed 
there ; and it is evident that the continuous cries 
of the crowd and the various incidents of this 
parade begin to tell on him. True, the wretch 
keeps his head turned insolently towards the troops, 
as if in defiance of them, but his legs begin to totter 
and his steps grow heavier. The group advances but 
slowly, and now it passes in front of the ' Blues.' 

" The march round the court is finished. Dreyfus 
is again handed over to the two gendarmes, who have 
come to pick up his galloons and the remains of his 
SAvord. They hurry him into the prison van. The 
coachman whips up his horses and the carriage 
dashes off, surrounded by a detachment of Republi- 
can Guards, at the head of whom ride two of their 
number clasping their revolvers. 
' " The parade has lasted just ten minutes." 



94 THE DREYFUS CASE 

I have been told by an Englishman who was pre- 
sent that Captain Dreyfus was the single actor in 
this terrible drama who behaved himself with dignity, 
and he quitted the scene with a profound conviction 
of his innocence, and filled with forebodings for the 
future of France. 

The following letter was written by Captain 
Dreyfus to Maitre Demange soon after the cere- 
mony of degradation was over : — 

" Pkison de la SANTi; {Saturday). 

" Dear Master, — I have kept the promise that I 
made you. 

" Innocent, I have faced the most awful martyr- 
dom which can be inflicted on a soldier. I have 
felt all round me the scorn of a crowd ; I have 
suffered the most terrible torture that can be ima- 
gined. How much happier I should have been in 
the tomb. All would be ended. I should be at 
rest, all my sufferings forgotten. 

" But alas ! duty does not permit it, as you have 
so well explained to me. 

" I am obliged to live, obliged to allow myself to 
be martyred for long weeks to come, before the 
truth can be discovered and my name rehabilitated. 

" Alas ! when all that is over, when shall I regain 
my old happiness ? 

" Well, I count upon you, dear master. I still 
tremble at the thought of all that I have endured 
to-day, of all the sufferings which still await me. 

" Support me, dear master, with your burning and 
eloquent words. See that this martyrdom has an 



THE VEHMGERICHT 95 

end, that they despatch me as soon as possible 
yonder, where I shall, along with my wife, wait 
patiently for them to throw light on this mournful 
business and give me back my honour. 

" For the present this is the only grace I ask for. 
If they have any doubts, if they believe in my in- 
nocence, I ask but a single favour for the present, 
and that is, air, the society of my wife, and then I 
shall wait for all who love me to have unriddled 
this mournful affair. But let them do it as soon 
as possible, for I have nearly reached the limit of 
my powers of resistance. It is really too tragic, too 
cruel, to be innocent and to be condemned for so awful 
a crime. 

" Excuse the loose way in which I write. I am 
not yet master of my thoughts. I am so profoundly 
dejected in mind and body. My heart has bled too 
much this day. 

" For God's sake, then, dear master, let them shorten 
my undeserved punishment. 

" Meanwhile, you will investigate, and I trust, I 
am firmly convinced, you will find it all out. 

" Believe me, ever your devoted and unhappy 

"A. Dreyfus." 



CHAPTER VI 

picquart's discovery 

The Jesuits had secured their victim, their indis- 
pensable traitor. Through their organ, the Libre 
Parole, they had hitherto declared, with every acces- 
sory of literary violence and rancour, that because 
all Jews were traitors therefore Dreyfus was one. 
Henceforward they could indulge in the comple- 
mentary argument that, Dreyfus being a traitor, all 
Jews were traitors as well. 

The letter which Dreyfus wrote to his wife im- 
mediately after his degradation is not less charac- 
teristic than the rest, and because it so admirably 
expresses all that he had now to hope for or fear 
from the future, I translate the first few lines of 
it: — 

"Prison of la Sante, Saturday, January 5^/4, 1895. 

" My Darling, — Tell you all that I have suffered 
this day, I will not. Your sorrow is already so 
great that I will not make it greater. 

" In promising you to live, promising you to keep 
firm until my name is rehabilitated, I have made 
you the greatest sacrifice that a man of feeling, a 
man of honour, from whom they have just torn his 

honour can make. Provided only, God help me 

96 



PICQUART'S DISCOVERY 97 

that my physical strength does not leave me. The 
will is there, and my conscience, which reproaches 
me with nothing, bears me up ; but I begin to reach 
the end of my endurance and of my strength. To 
think that I have consecrated all my life to honour, 
to have never done anything to forfeit it, and to 
find myself where I am, after undergoing the most 
outrageous affront that can be inflicted on a 
soldier ! . . . 

" So then, my darling, do all in the world you 
can to find the true culprit, never relax your efforts 
for a moment. It is my only hope in the awful 
misfortune that pursues me." . . . 

In contravention of all principles of justice, the 
French Government under M. Dupuy, then prime 
minister, proposed, and the Chamber adopted, the 
law of February 9th, 1895, in virtue of which 
Dreyfus was deported to the Devil's Island, just off 
the fever-stricken and swampy coast of French 
Guiana. In the natural course of things he would 
have gone to New Caledonia in the Pacific. But 
that was reckoned too healthy for a Jewish traitor ; 
so the new law, sanctioning the use for convicts of 
the old lazaretto off Guiana, was made retrospective, 
in order that Dreyfus might go there. 

This was a blunder on the part of his enemies. 
To be chained to a barren sun-beaten rock, with the 
vast ocean spread out before, and behind the great 
unexplored mysterious continent of South America, 
invests a victim with a certain distinction. His 
isolation in such surroundings confers a dignity on 

G 



98 THE DREYFUS CASE 

him. It is doubtful whether Napoleon would after 
Waterloo have remained such a great, such a 
mysterious figure, had his enemies given him a 
lodging in the midst of other criminals in Botany 
Bay, instead of isolating him on an island in the 
midst of the sea. It has somehow been the easier 
to fix and concentrate the interest of Frenchmen on 
Dreyfus, just because he was thus pilloried on a 
solitary islet. 

In his family and among his friends, in particular 
by his counsel, he could not be forgotten. " No one 
becomes base in a moment," says the old Latin pro- 
verb ; and there were many who, from the first, 
although they did not know him, had doubts of his 
guilt. He had not, like Esterhazy, powerful motives 
to drive him to crime. His was no scabrous and 
disorderly private life, no cheated ambition, no debts, 
no burning desire to avenge himself on France for 
imaginary or real wrongs. He had an ample fortune 
of his own, a wife and little children whom he idolised, 
a splendid career opening before him. What could 
have led him to risk the loss of all these blessings ? 
Base gain could surely not have led him on ; indeed, 
even the Libre Parole acquitted him of having taken 
money for his treason. Was it then love of Ger- 
many ? But for thirty years his family had been 
notorious for the warmth of its Alsatian patriotism, 
of its loyalty to France. 

In September 1896, before the Eclair revealed 
the illegalities of the trial, these doubts found 



PICQUART'S DISCOVERY 99 

utterance in the Jour. In that journal M. Adolphe 
Possien, on September 11, 1896, wrote an article 
entitled, " Is the ex-Captain Dreyfus guilty ? — Our 
inquiry," in which, after emphasising the division of 
opinion among the experts in regard to the bor- 
dereau, he ended thus : " I do not pretend to prove 
his innocence, but my aim is to show that his guilt 
has not been proved." 

On the 14th of September M. de Cassagnac, a 
leading exponent of Monarchist opinion, wrote the 
following : — 

" Like most of our fellow-citizens we think Dreyfus 
is guilty ; but like our colleague (of the Jour) we 
are not sure of it. We too, as well as he, have the 
courage to say so, and we cannot, as all are aware, 
be accused of being favourable to the Jews." . . . 

The writer then deplores the secrecy with which 
the trial had been conducted, and which prevented 
its being controlled or revised. 

" But," he continues, " you will tell me that those 
who declared Captain Dreyfus guilty were French 
officers, the incarnation of honour and patriotism ? 

" That is true. 

" Only, and in spite of my esteem and respect for 
French officers, I must make the observation that 
they are no more honourable than their brothers, 
cousins, and friends, who, under the name of jurors, 
dispense justice in the assize courts in the name of 
the French people. . . . 

" My illustrious friend, the advocate Demange, 



loo THE DREYFUS CASE 

was quite right wlien he insisted on pubHcity of the 
discussion. Jurors often make mistakes ; and it 
has not yet been demonstrated to anybody that the 
officers of a court-martial are infallible. 

" It was said at the time, and it was denied by 
no one, that Dreyfus was condemned on the strength 
of a document written by him, and that his author- 
ship of it was affirmed by two experts, MM. Chara- 
vay and Bertillon ; while three others, of whom M. 
Gobert, expert to the Banquc dc France, was one, pru- 
dently abstained from such an inference. 

" Besides which, one knows the value and weight 
of the science of experts in handwriting. Nothing is 
vainer, more uncertain, and at times more grotesque." 

It is infinitely regrettable that the French press 
have not treated the question of Dreyfus' guilt with 
the calmness and judicial fairness here evinced by M. 
de Cassagnac. Alas ! he has not himself consistently 
observed this attitude. His associations have over- 
powered him, and have led him the other way. 

But already, when these articles appeared, there 
was a small circle of people inside the War Office 
who knew the truth, because Colonel Picquart had 
discovered it for them. 

This officer, whose name will be written in letters 
of gold by those who, in after ages, write for French- 
men their history during the last decade of this 
century, is an Alsatian, and was born at Strasbourg 
in 1855, fifteen years before the dismemberment of 
France. At thirty-three years of age he was already 
a major. He left the £cole de Guerre a breveted 



PICQUART'S DISCOVERY loi 

officer, and is a Knight of the Legion of Honour. 
He was first a Professor of the £cole de Guerre, then 
head of the third bureau of the 4tat major ; and in 
the middle of 1895 he replaced Colonel Sandherr as 
head of the information department. As such he 
was a sort of prefect of military police, with the 
special duty of tracing spies and traitors, and of 
bringing them to justice. In 1896 he was made a 
lieutenant-colonel, and after he left Paris he was put 
at the head of the tirailleurs al(j4riens. But I 
anticipate. 

At the Zola trial, on February 11, 1898, Colonel 
Picquart related under oath how he made his dis- 
covery of the true authorship of the bordereau, and 
I will let him tell it in his own words : — 

"At the beginning of the month of May 1896, 
the fragments of a telegram-card fell into my hands. 
These fragments were gummed together and sent 
back to me by an officer in my service, Com- 
mandant Lanth, then a captain. When he had 
finished, he brought me back the telegram-card,^ 
which was addressed to Commandant Esterhazy, 
I no longer remember the exact terms of this card, 
but everything in it seemed to indicate that between 
the person who had written it and the Commandant 
Esterhazy there existed relations rather suspicious 
than not. Before submitting to my superiors this 
card, which constituted, not indeed a proof, but a 

^ A telegram-card is like an English letter-card, and they only 
circulate in Paris ; being blown through tubes, they are delivered 
more quickly than ordinary letters. 



102 THE DREYFUS CASE 

presumption against Commandant Esterhazy, in view 
of the quarter from which it came, I was obhged 
to get some information about Conmiandant Ester- 
hazy, and I addressed myself to an officer who knew 
him and had been in the same regiment with him." 

Before going further with Picquart's deposition, 
let us supplement it with the text of the telegram - 
card, or ^jc/t7 hleu, as this sort of letter is called in 
Paris. It was divulged by the War Office authorities 
at the mock court-martial of Esterhazy in January 
1898. It is directed to " M. le Commandant Ester- 
hazy, 27 Rue de la Bienfaisance, Paris." Inside it 
is the following : — 

" I await before everything a more detailed ex- 
planation than what you gave me the other day in 
regard to the question at issue. In consequence, I 
beg you to give it me in writing, so that I may 
judge if I can continue my relations with the firm 
R ... or not." 

Colonel Picquart continued his deposition as 
follows : — 

" I do not lay stress on the nature of the in- 
formation furnished me. It was not favourable to 
Commandant Esterhazy, and it led me to continue 
my researches, and to make some investigations of 
that officer's way of life and general behaviour. 
These investigations were also unfavourable. Ester- 
hazy was a man always short of money, and had led 
a chequered existence. Then there was, above all, 
this odd fact about him, that, being an officer who 



PICQUART'S DISCOVERY 103 

certainly did not altogether mind his own business 
— far from it — he yet manifested a very great 
curiosity in any documents which had to do -svith 
extremely coutidential matters and possessed special 
interest from a military point of view. When I had 
carried my inquiry so far, I felt myself authorised to 
inform my superiors that there Avas an officer in the 
French army who might be gravely suspected. My 
superiors bade me continue my researches. 

" There is a thing we generally do when we are 
concerned with an}'^ one whose conduct strikes us as 
suspicious : we take a specimen of his Avriting, and 
compare it with certain documents in our possession. 
Such a comparison may end in confirming or weaken- 
ing the suspicions which weigh upon him. Accord- 
ingly I interested myself to obtain the handwriting 
of Commandant Esterhazy ; and, contrarily to what 
has often been said, notably in the letter Avritten 
to me by Esterhaz}^ I proceeded to obtain it in a 
perfectly regular manner. With the assent of my 
superiors, I went straight to the colonel of the regi- 
ment to which Esterhazy belonged. I asked him 
to give me specimens of his Avriting, which he did 
in the form of letters concerning the service. The 
moment I got the letters I Avas remarkably struck 
by one thing about them, and that Avas the re- 
semblance of their Avriting to that of the famous 
bordereau, of Avhich people have talked so much. 
But I had no right, since I Avas not an expert in 
hand Avri ting, to trust to my unaided impressions. 

" This is Avhy I had photographs prepared of these 
service letters, in Avhich ... I had such Avords as 
' my colonel ' effaced, as well as the signature, along 



I04 THE DREYFUS CASE 

with any other indications which might reveal their 
authorship. I showed the photographs thus obtained 
to two persons perfectly qualified to give an opinion 
about the matter. One of them was M. Bertillon, 
the other Commandant Du Paty de Clam. M. 
Bertillon, as soon as ever I laid the photograph 
before him, said, ' Wliy, it is the same wi'iting as 
the bordereau.' I replied, ' Do not be in a hurry ; 
will you not take this specimen and examine it at 
leisure ? ' He replied, ' No, there is no use in my 
doing so ; it is the writing of the bordereau. Where 
did you get it ? ' 'I cannot tell you,' I answered. 
' Then it belongs to an earlier date.' ... ' No,' I 
said ; ' it is later.' Then M. Bertillon used these very 
words : ' For a year past the Jews have been keeping 
some one hard at work to produce the writing of 
the bordereau, and they have perfectly succeeded ; 
that is evident.' I left the photograph of Com- 
mandant Esterhazy's letter, along with a photograph 
of the bordereau, for two days in M. Bertillon's 
hands. At the end of those two days he came and 
said identically the same thing as he had said two 
days previously. 

" The second person to whom I showed a speci- 
men of Commandant Esterhazy's writing was Colonel 
Du Paty, then commandant. I only left him a few 
minutes — five, I think — and he said to me, ' It is 
the writing of Mathieu Dreyfus.' I must tell you, 
by way of explaining his remark, that Colonel 
Du Paty pretended that, in writing the bordereau, 
Alfred Dreyfus had blended his own handwriting 
with his brother's. Anyhow the hint he gave me 
was valuable. 



PICQUART'S DISCOVERY 105 

"There was another thing about Esterhazy to 
attract my attention ... A detective had said that 
an officer of higher grade . . . aged about fifty, was 
supplying such and such documents to a foreign 
Power. Now, the documents he mentioned were 
exactly those which had been mentioned to me by 
the comrade to whom I first went on discovering 
the telegram-card. 

" I have just set before you the question of hand- 
writings ; I now come to a period when I was instructed 
by General Gonse to find out, as one can see by his 
letters, whether the documents mentioned in the 
bordereau could have been copied for Esterhazy 's 
purposes. 

" I knew that Esterhazy had a good many docu- 
ments, which he procured, copied at his house ; and 
I was told to address myself to the secretaries he 
had had, and to try and find out if he had really 
copied those documents. 

" The matter was a serious one. I admit that at 
that moment I almost regarded my task as accom- 
plished. I said to myself: Here is a telegram-card 
which has put me on the track of Esterhazy ; it is 
not a document sufficient to condemn him upon, but 
it is a clue. Then again we have the testimony of 
a detective — that is not yet enough — still there is 
the astonishing coincidence. The detective says : 
' Here is a man who betrays such and such secrets,' 
and quite independently one of Esterhazy's regimental 
comrades said to me, ' This officer asks for this and 
that.' Lastly, there was another thing on top of 
all that, a thing which I cannot be more precise 
about, since I am not authorised to divulge the 



io6 THE DREYFUS CASE 

secret. However, in the report of M. Ravary^ there 
is a characteristic phrase. The Commandant Ravary 
says, speaking of me : ' That officer's conviction 
seemed to be fully established when he had assured 
himself that a document in the secret dossier applied 
to Esterhazy rather than to Dreyfus.' Well, that is 
true. For having taken the secret dossier, as Com- 
mandant Henry has said, I did see that a document 
it contained applied not to Dreyfus, as they had 
thought, but wholly to Esterhazy." 

It is to be noticed in the above that Colonel 
Picquart revealed his discovery on the one hand to 
Du Paty, Dreyfus' arch -inquisitor and the most 
important witness against him in the court-martial 
of 1894; on the other hand, to his own hierarchical 
superiors, the Generals Gonse and Le Mouton de 
Boisdefifre, the former under-chief, the latter chief 
of the 6tat major. The first-named officer, Gonse, 
paid great attention to Picquart's investigation, and 
for a time favoured it, as is clear both from the 
above deposition and from letters written at the 
time to Picquart. The turn taken by events was 
indeed of a kind to perturb all who had been 
officially connected with Dreyfus' trial and degrada- 
tion ; for here was a telegram-card addressed to Ester- 
hazy brought in by the same agent that had brought 
the bordereau, and from the same place, viz., the 
German Embassy ; " and Esterhazy's handwriting 

1 Namel)', at Esterhazy's court-martial in January 1898. 
- Colonel Picquart deposed on oath to these facts in his subse- 
quent cross-examination. See Proces Verbal, I. p. 311. 



PICQUART'S DISCOVERY 107 

was identified with that of the bordereau. It is very 
important to certify what was the attitude under 
these circumstances of Picquart's superiors, and this 
we learn from Gonse's letters. Thus, in answer to a 
letter of Picquart's, dated September 5 , he writes : — 

" My Dear Picquart, — I have received your letter 
of the 5 th, and, after reflection on all you have said, 
I hasten to assure you that it seems to me best to 
proceed very prudently in this matter, distrusting 
one's first impressions. It will be necessary now to 
be quite sure as to the nature of the documents. 
How could they have been copied ? What were the 
requests for information made to other persons ? 

" It may be answered that, if one pursues that 
method, it will be difficult to get any result without 
raising an alarm. I admit that it is so ; yet, in my 
opinion, it is the best way and the safest. 

" The continuing of the inquiry from the j^oint of 
view of the handwriting has the disadvantage that it 
obliges us to take fresh people into our confidence. 
... In short, my feeling is that it is necessary to 
proceed with extreme prudence. 

" I shake your hand, my dear Picquart, very affec- 
tionately, your devoted A. Gonse." 

The above letter proves that it was with the full 
assent of his superiors that Picquart had until then 
pursued his investigations. He answered Gonse 
thus on September 8, 1896 : — 

" My General, — I have read your letter carefully, 
and I will scrupulously follow your instructions. 
But I think I ought to say this much. 



io8 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" Numerous signs and a fait gram, of whicli I shall 
tell you on my return, show me that the moment is 
near at hand when people who are convinced that a 
mistake has been committed in regard to them will 
make a desperate attempt to have it rectified, and 
will also produce a great scandal. 

" I think I have taken all the steps necessary for 
the initiative to come from ourselves. 

" If we lose too much time, the initiative will be 
taken by outsiders, and that, apart from loftier con- 
siderations, will put us in an odious light. 

" I may add that these people do not appear to 
me so well informed as we are, and that their at- 
tempt seems to me bound to result in a mess, a 
scandal, a great deal of noise, without however 
throwing light on the matter. 

" It will be a troublesome crisis, useless, and one 
which we can avoid by doing justice in time. 

Yours ... G. PiCQUART." 

The above letter is full of foresight. At that 
time Picquart was anxious to have Esterhazy ar- 
rested, but Gonse had probably other interests at 
heart than the doing of justice. Apart from the 
enormous publicity given to the formal degradation 
of Dreyfus, in itself a great impediment to any re- 
vision of the sentence, he must have been aware 
that the verdict had been obtained by illegal means. 
This is why already at that time Gonse was trying 
to limit the scope of Picquart's investigation to 
other charges against Esterhazy than the actual 
writing of the bordereau. He actually instructed 



PICQUART'S DISCOVERY 109 

Picquart not to investigate whether Esterhazy had 
stolen, or borrowed, or had copied any of the docu- 
ments enumerated in the bordereau, but to confine 
himself to the detection of other documents not in 
the bordereau, yet betrayed to the Germans. He 
was to impHcate Esterhazy as a traitor, but not to 
acquit Dreyfus, whose guilt was to be upheld as if it 
were a religious dogma. The sanctity of the cliose 
jug6c begins to make itself felt as the controlling 
factor in the case. 

Gonse, in fact, was sensible that the ground 
was crumbling under his feet. He did not want 
the full truth to come out, and yet he was keenly 
alive to the justice of the remarks addressed to him 
by Picquart. Therefore he wrote him a second 
letter in these terms : — 

" lUh Sept. 1896. 

" My Dear Picquart, — I have received your 
letter of the 8th. After reflection, and in spite of 
what it contains of ' disquieting ' news, I adhere to 
my first feelings. 

" I think it is necessary to act with extreme cir- 
cumspection. At the point you have reached in 
your inquiry, it is not a question of course of avoid' 
ing the lights hut we must hioio how best to go to 
work in order to bring about the manifestation of the 
truth. 

" This premised, we must avoid all false man- 
oeuvres, and above all be on our guard against irre- 
parable false steps. What is necessary is, it seems 
to me, to reach in silence, and by following out the 



no THE DREYFUS CASE 

line I have indicated to you, a certitude as complete 
as possible before compromising anything. . . . 

" I have occasion to write to General de Bois- 
deffre, and I add in my letter to him a few words to 
the same effect as these to you. 

" Prudence, prudence ! You see the word which 
you must always have before your eyes. . . . 

" Shaking your hand, my dear Picquart, very 
affectionately, your devoted H. Gonse." 

This is a half-hearted letter, the utterance of a 
man who shirks the responsibility of ripping up a 
case in which the reputation of his order and of his 
bureau is so deeply involved. But Picquart's motto 
was " Be just and fear not," so he answered Gonse 
as follows : — 

"Paris, 14^/1 September 1896. ' 

" My General. — I had the honour to draw your 
attention to the scandal which certain people 
threatened before long to provoke ; and I allowed 
myself to say, that in my opinion, if we did not take 
the initiative, we should be burdening ourselves with 
huge perplexities. 

" The article from the Eclair, which I enclose, is 
a confirmation, and a distressing one, of my opinion. 
I shall try with all care to find out who could have 
launched this bombshell. 

" But I think it my duty to assure you once more that 
it is necessary to act at once. If we wait any longer 
we shall be taken by surprise, shut up in a position 
from which it will be impossible to extricate ourselves, 
and in which we shall no longer find the means of 
establishing the real truth. G. Picquart." 



PICQUART'S DISCOVERY iii 

This is a manly letter, and if there had been 
any men of principle around Picquart in the War 
Office, he would have been supported in his demands 
for justice. France would have been spared a 
dangerous crisis, the credit of her dtat major would 
not have suffered, the innocent man would have 
been released, and several persons would have 
escaped assassination. Above all, the French would 
not have lost caste in the eyes of every civilised 
nation in the world, by the addition to her history 
of a page infamous almost beyond any which record 
the misdeeds of the ancicn regime. 

The fait grave referred to in Picquart's first letter 
could not be the article in the Jour to which I have 
referred, still less the article in the journal L'Autorite, 
for the letter is prior to them. Picquart must have 
had some premonition of the article which was to 
appear in the Eclair on September 14, 1896, to 
which in his second letter to Gonse he explicitly 
refers. What was the genesis of this letter ? 

There were at least two men in the War Office 
who had an interest in keeping things quiet, and 
were dismayed at Picquart's discovery. These were 
Du Paty de Clam and Henry. We have seen that 
Picquart virtually connnuuicated his discovery to 
the former, and the latter, being Picquart's own 
subordinate in the Bttreau des Informations, must 
necessarily have known all about it. To these two 
officers Colonel Sandherr, not long before his death, 
committed the Dreyfus affair as a sort of legacy. 



112 THE DREYFUS CASE 

He had begged thein to watch over it and see that 
this chef d'ceuvre of the War Office was touched by 
no one. 

Now it is clear that the person who communi- 
cated to the Eclair the secret document used at 
Dreyfus' court-martial, and who in comnmnicating 
it falsified it by writing in " Dreyfus " in capital 
letters where only the initial D stood in the 
original, was anxious to discount in public opinion 
Picquart's discovery of the real authorship of the 
bordereau. That piece of evidence was felt by him 
to be crumbling ; it had already been pooh-poohed 
in the Jour of September ii, 1896, and the secret 
of its entire worthlessness might at any moment be 
divulged, now that Picquart and Bertillon, Gonse and 
Boisdeffre, and probably others as well, were cogni- 
sant of it. Hence the necessity of acquainting the 
French public with the fact that the bordereau was 
far from being all, or even the most important, 
evidence adduced against Dreyfus, They must be 
made to understand that it was the secret dossier 
that had really convinced his judges, and not the 
bordereau at all. That might be discredited and 
thrown over, yet there was left plenty of evidence 
to justify Dreyfus' retention in the Isle du Diable, 
plenty to warrant a dogged opposition to any revi- 
sion of his sentence. 

Such is the aim which inspired this communica- 
tion in the Eclair, and the writer of it was clearly 
a man who saw little harm in the production of 




COLONEL G. PICQUART. 



PICQUART'S DISCOVERY 113 

evidence to the judges which was at the same time 
withheld from the accused and his counsel. It was 
withheld, he says ; otherwise the defence would have 
learned that the French War Office was in possession 
of the German cipher. This is clearly a cock-and- 
bull story designed to palliate to the readers of the 
Eclair the flagrant illegality of the transaction. Who 
was the man behind the scenes, so anxious to preju- 
dice the public mind, and to discount the revelation 
which it was expected within the War Office Picquart 
might at any moment make, and that with the 
assent of Gonse and Boisdeffre ? It was clearly either 
Du Paty or Henry, or both acting with the conni- 
vance of Mercier, who had now, indeed, lost his 
position in the War Office, but whose sinister person- 
ality reveals itself in the background as the inspirer 
of the orgies of fraud and crime, of which as soon 
as Picquart's back is turned the War Office was to 
become the temple. 

The same person or persons who, as Picquart 
says, launched this bombshell in the Eclair, soon 
perceived that, by this cynical divulgation of ille- 
galities committed at the Dreyfus court-martial, 
they had done their own cause harm, and placed 
a weapon in the hands of those who asked for 
revision. Madame Dreyfus herself lost no time in 
petitioning the Chamber to send the case for revision 
before the Cour de Cassation, on the ground that 
her husband's condemnation had been procured by 
illegal means, Maitre Demange, at the same time, 

H 



114 THE DREYFUS CASE 

drew the attention of the President of the Chamber 
to the matter. It Avas also in consequence of the 
revelations in the Eclair that M. Bernard Lazare 
brought out his first brochure entitled : " The Truth 
about the Dreyfus Affair," in which he gave a more 
correct text of the bordereau than the Eclair had 
contained, and argued that the writer in the Eclair 
had intentionally falsified certain details of it. When 
on November loth the facsimile of the bordereau 
appeared in the Matin, this was seen to have been 
the case. An antidote to the Eclair was now 
becoming necessary, and we shall presently see how 
it took the form of a return to the bordereau as 
evidence. Meanwhile it was felt to be important 
by those who were resolved to uphold Sandherr's 
chef d'ceuvrc to warn Esterhazy of what was brewing. 
At any moment Picquart's superiors might order 
him to search Esterhazy's lodgings ; treasonable 
documents were sure to be found in them, and then 
the substitution of the guilty man for the innocent 
one would be inevitable. Picquart saw through this 
plot, and thus records it in his deposition. 

" It was just after the publication of the article 
in the Eclair that Esterhazy, I am convinced, was 
warned. He knew for certain, thanks to this article, 
that the bordereau was known (to the French 
authorities). . . . Just then, as the inquiry was at a 
stand-still, one of my chiefs spoke to me of the 
advisability of making a search at his house. I 
confess that I did not consider the moment an 



PICQUART'S DISCOVERY 115 

opportune one. It seemed to me that it ought to 
have been made at an earlier time. . . . However, 
desirous to do what I was asked, I spoke about 
it to the agent who watched Esterhazy and knew 
the ins and outs of his house. I said to him, 
* You see what they ask me to do. I think the 
search will be a farce.' " 

And so it was, Esterhazy had decamped with 
all his goods to Rouen, leaving nothing in his old 
habitation except a heap of burned papers on the 
hearth. The agent on arriving had found a placard 
up that the flat was to let ; so, on pretence of look- 
ing at the rooms, he had gone in as any one else 
might have done. 



CHAPTER VII 

THE FORGERS OF THE WAR OFFICE 

It is curious to observe how insignificant things 
appearing in the English press have more than once 
led to weighty developments of the Dreyfus case. 
On September 3, 1896, an English journal published 
a dispatch, probably an intentional forgery of French 
origin, declaring that Dreyfus had escaped from the 
Devil's Island. M. Castelin, one of those mischie- 
vous persons who in France claim for themselves a 
monopoly of patriotism, and who, along with a few 
others like himself, formed the dregs of the Bou- 
langist faction, made this report the occasion of an 
interpellation to be addressed to the Government. 
The interpellation was fixed for November 18, 1896, 
and the prospect of it caused a flutter inside the 
War Ofiice. What was to be done ? Picquart had 
shown that the bordereau was in Esterhazy's hand- 
writing; and not only his hierarchical superiors, like 
Gonse and Boisdeffre, but Henry, Du Paty, and a 
few others had become aware of it. Now that the 
matter was going to be ventilated in the tribune of 
the Chamber, the War Office would have to take a 
line, to make up its mind ; and that, as we have 
seen from Gonse's letters, was the thing which, least 



FORGERS OF THE WAR OFFICE 117 

of all others, it just then desired to do. For a few- 
weeks during the summer, when they had Picquart, 
manly and truthful, upholding before their eyes the 
ideal not only of courage and justice, but also of 
common prudence, Gonse and Boisdeffre had been 
half-inclined to clear the matter up. At any rate, 
they had not yet so firmly entrenched themselves 
behind their official conscience as to look that 
bright spirit in the face and say outright, " We will 
not have light ; we will have darkness." 

However, they were ready to be pushed into 
crime, and the legatees of Sandherr were there to 
show them the way. They felt that the next step 
to be taken was to rehabilitate, if they could, the 
credit of the bordereau, and to convince people 
afresh that Dreyfus, even though a Jew, had not 
only been justly, but also legally condemned. The 
secret document stood for justice, the bordereau for 
legality. Therefore, with a fitting flourish of trum- 
pets, the bordereau must be produced. Accordingly 
it was communicated in facsimile to the Matin on 
November 10, 1896, eight days before the task 
would devolve on the new Minister of War, General 
Billot, of saying something reassuring about the 
Dreyfus trial. The writer in the Matin introduced 
the fac-simile with the following laboured references 
to the agitation for revision, already begun with the 
publication of M. Bernard Lazare's brochure : — 

" By means of clever but dark manoeuvres, and 
by giving the air of a mere appeal for light to deft 



ii8 THE DREYFUS CASE 

pleadings, by appealing to the sentiments of justice 
and generosity which haunt every heart in this 
country, certain individuals are harnessing them- 
selves to that superhuman work : the revision of 
the trial of the traitor Dreyfus. 

" Under the deceitful pretext that there had been 
revived against him certain inquisitorial practices, 
they would have him come back to France, there 
to appear once more before his judges. 

" Fool's play, the whole of it ! Dreyfus is indeed 
guilty of the greatest of all crimes. And in order 
to stop all pity for him, by leaving it no time to 
be born, no possibility thereof, it is our duty to 
produce the material and undeniable proof of his 
misdeed. 

" On what is the accusation based ? How is the 
punishment inflicted on the ex-Captain Dreyfus 
justified ? This is what the Matin is in a position 
to state. 

" In order to achieve this work, both patriotic 
and health-giving, we publish the facsimile of the 
famous bordereau, written with Dreyfus' own hand. 

" To any one who has been able to compare 
the admitted writing of Dreyfus with that of the 
document which we here reproduce, it will be clear 
that it was his hand which traced these lines." 

This melodramatic exordium smacks of Du Paty 
de Clam ; and it is easy to read between its lines 
his real intention, which was to brace up Billot to 
make such an announcement in the Chamber as 
would effectually hinder in the future any attempt 
at revision. The Government must be committed 



FORGERS OF THE WAR OFFICE 119 

to the lie, and that without delay. I may notice 
in passing that no specimens of Dreyfus' writing 
were published alongside of the facsimile, still less 
any of Du Paty's numerous dictations of the bor- 
dereau. To supply his readers with any sort of 
touchstone of the truth was far from being the 
writer's aim. If he could achieve a momentary 
success and commit the French Government to 
Drumont's position, he was satisfied. 

And he succeeded, for on November 1 8 General 
Billot mounted the tribune and spoke thus : — 

" Gentlemen, the question submitted to the 
Chamber by the Honourable M. Castelin is a 
grave one. It concerns the justice of our country 
and the security of the State. This melancholy 
affair was two years ago the object of a judgment 
provoked by one of my predecessors at the Ministry 
of War. Justice was then done. The preliminary 
hearing (instruction) of the case, the arguments, the 
judgment, were all conducted conformably to the 
rules of military procedure." 

When we consider that the use of secret evidence 
was already admitted, we shall not be surprised to 
learn that Billot continued as follows : — 

" The court - martial, regularly composed, was 
regular in its deliberations, and having fully ac- 
quainted itself with the case, pronounced its verdict 
unanimously. 

" The council of revision unanimously rejected 
the appeal of the condemned. Consequently it is 



I20 THE DREYFUS CASE 

a chose jug^e, and it is not permitted to any one to 
go back on the trial. 

" Since his condemnation, all precautions have 
been taken to prevent any attempt to escape on 
the part of the condemned. 

" But the reasons of State which necessitated, 
in 1894, the hearing of the case in camera have 
lost none of their weight." 

This last declaration evoked applauding shouts of 
" THs Men / tris hien ! " from Billot's hearers, who, if 
they had been anything but French deputies, would 
surely have asked why, in the face of such de- 
clarations of the Minister of War, the War Office 
itself had passed over unnoticed and without censure 
the publications in the Eclair and the Matin ? 

Thus the French Government was committed 
to the crime. That i8th of November was the 
great parting of the ways. The men who were 
at the head of the French army, and those who 
composed the civil government, alike feared the 
light. Georges Picquart had revealed to them the 
truth ; but they feared the clamour of Drumont, 
feared the unpopularity which they would incur 
by championing the cause of an innocent and out- 
raged Jew ; and they capitulated to Hemy and 
Du Paty and Mercier. Meanwhile Picquart, whose 
presence in the War Office had long become an 
element of discomfort even to Gonse and Boisdeflfre, 
had been sent about his business. The War Office 
was no longer a place for a man of principle and 



FORGERS OF THE WAR OFFICE 121 

honour. Accordingly, on November 16, on the eve 
of Castelin's interpellation, Picquart was informed 
that he must leave at five minutes' notice, because 
they had a mission for him ; and when Billot in- 
augurated the dogma of the chose jug^e, he had 
already left Paris nearly forty-eight hours. 

But there was one person who derived comfort 
and fresh courage from Billot's declaration : that was 
the true traitor, Esterhazy. The publication in the 
Matin of the facsimile of his writing had been too 
much for his nerves. His writing was familiar to 
many persons, any one of whom might recognise it 
in the bordereau. He hied to Paris from Rouen, 
and there, as witnesses have come forward to attest, 
his behaviour was extraordinary. On the day after 
the publication he was running about the streets in 
the pelting rain like a madman. But Billot's de- 
claration reassured him. He discerned that the 
War Office had finally espoused the policy of 
smothering the truth. Even if the secret of the 
bordereau were to escape, he would now be safe, for 
the War Ofiice authorities would be bound to pro- 
tect him in order to protect themselves. However, 
he took the precaution of altering his handwriting, 
and, in particular, abandoned his old and charac- 
teristic way of making the capitals M. N. A. He 
also ceased to hold communications with Colonel 
von Schwartzkoppen. 

We will not for the moment follow Colonel 
Picquart on his mission, but fix our attention on 



122 THE DREYFUS CASE 

the War Office. Picqiiart, when he left, handed 
over his department, along with the secrets he had 
unearthed, to General Gonse, who proceeded to 
appoint Henry head of the Intelligence Department. 
Now Hemy's qualifications for this post were not 
very obvious. Of all the situations in the War 
Office it was that in which a knowledge of German was 
most imperative, but he did not know a word of that 
language either to read or speak. He was selected 
as being the fittest man to uphold the chose jug^e and 
to resume the tradition of Sandherr, temporarily in- 
terrupted by Picquart. Henry has, in his deposi- 
tions at the Zola trial on February 8, 1898, related 
how he considered himself the special guardian of 
the secret dossier of Dreyfus. Picquart had been 
accused in the Esterhazy court-martial of January 
1898 of having in 1896 stolen this dossier out of 
Henry's safe. In answer to a question on this point 
Henry said: — 

" I was away from the War Office when the 
dossier was taken by Colonel Picquart. I was on 
furlough in August or September 1896. Colonel 
Picquart asked M. Gribelin (the archivist who kept 
the documents) for it, and he gave it him. . . . 
I had given M. Gribelin the key as well as the 
' word ' of my safe. 

" The Judge said : M. Gribelin was under the 
orders of M. Picquart 

" M. Labori asked : Under whose orders was 
Colonel, then Major, Henry ? 



FORGERS OF THE WAR OFFICE 123 

" Colonel Henry : Under those of Colonel Picquart. 
Not at that moment, however, since I was on fur- 
lough. 

" M. Labor! : M. Picquart was head of the depart- 
ment. Consequently, if I understand aright, Colonel 
Picquart, as head of it, asked M. Gribelin, who was 
his subordinate, as was also Major Henry himself, to 
open the safe with the hey, that is to say, in the 
proper and natural manner, and to give him out of 
it a dossier which belonged to M. Picquart's depart- 
ment. Is that not so ? 

" Colonel Henry : Quite so. If I had been present 
I should have observed to Colonel Picquart that my 
charge — a charge which, moreover, had been in- 
trusted to me by Colonel Sandherr — consisted in 
this : that I was not to give this dossier to any one, 
no matter who, or allow him to acquaint himself 
with it, except in the presence of the under-chief 
of the etat major, of its chief, and of myself 

" The Judge : It was Colonel Sandherr Avho had 
given you these orders. Ho is dead, I think. 

" Colonel Henry : He was ill, and had lost con- 
sciousness. 

" M. Labori : And this being so. Colonel Sandherr 
had been replaced by Colonel Picquart. But Colonel 
Henry invokes against Colonel Picquart, then his 
superior, a trust committed to him by his former 
superior. Is that not so ? " 

In the same hearing Henry, with an effrontery 
which almost excites our admiration when we re- 
remember that he was forger-in-chief, said : — 

" What is more, I will explain all about this 



124 THE DREYFUS CASE 

dossier. It is a long time since I took on myself the 
whole responsihilit'i/ of it. 

" Certainly, M. le Colonel. 

" Very well. Here goes ! " . . . 

The above extract sets before us Henry's concep- 
tion of his duty. Sandherr had set him as a sort of 
watch-dog to guard the secret dossier, with whatever 
forgeries it contained, which dossier had been illegally 
communicated to Dreyfus' judges. It was so sacred 
that Sandherr's successor could not, in discharge 
of his duty and in simple exercise of his rights as 
head of the department, demand it and inspect it 
without being accused subsequently of stealing it. 

What was in this secret dossier of Dreyfus ? 

First, there was the letter between Panizzardi and 
Schwartzkoppen, which had the postscript, " Cette 
canaille de D . . . . devient trop exigeant." The 
body of this letter referred chiefly to petit sonpers, at 
which the two attaches had entertained the charm- 
ing wife of D . . . . It may be that Sandherr in 
1894 took these references to be the cipher of the 
German Embassy, and saw menaces to France in 
every phrase. This may seem absurd, but not so if 
we bear in mind that the ingenious M. Bertillon, in 
his three hours' long deposition before Drejrfns' 
judges, affirmed that, with the help of methods 
specially known to himself, he had found in the 
bordereau the exact sum paid to Captain Dreyfus as 
the price of his treason, to wit, five hundred thou- 
sand francs ! 



FORGERS OF THE WAR OFFICE 125 

Secondly, there were in the secret dossier two 
genuine letters addressed by Colonel Panizzardi to 
Schwartzkoppen, They are — and here I speak from 
personal knowledge — in Panizzardi's handwriting. 
M. Cavaignac, French Minister of War, read them 
out to the Chamber on July 7, 1898. 

The first was brought to the Intelligence Depart- 
ment of the French War Office in March 1894, and 
ran thus : — 

" Last evening I finally decided to send for a 
doctor, who forbade me to go out. Being unable 
to go and see you to-morrow, I beg you to come 
to me in the morning, for D . . . . has brought 
me a number of very interesting things, and we 
must divide up the work, as we have only ten days' 
time." 

The other was dated April 16, 1894, and was as 
follows : — 

" I very much regret that I did not see you before 
my departure. However, I shall be back in a week. 
I enclose twelve plans of — (here he gives the name 
of one of our fortresses, which I omit) — which that 
canaille de D . . . . gave me for you. I told him you 
had no intention of resuming relations. He alleges 
that there has been a misunderstanding, and that 
he will do all in his power to satisfy you. He 
says he was obstinate, and that you will not bear 
a grudge against him. I replied that he was mad, 
and that I did not believe you cared to resume rela- 
tions. Do as you like." 



126 THE DREYFUS CASE 

I have it on the highest authority that not one, 
but three or four secret documents were shown, or 
more probably read out to, Dreyfus' judges, behind 
the back of himself and his counsel. It is certain 
that the first of these letters was so communicated, 
and there can be no doubt that the other two were 
also. It was to these two that Cavaignac especi- 
ally appealed on July 7, 1898, when he undertook 
to lay before the Chamber Dreyfus' secret dossier. 

Lastly, there were in Dreyfus' secret dossier 
documents which, as Picquart pointed out in his 
deposition, applied to Esterhazy alone. 

Now all three of these documents suffer from a 
defect ; they do not mention Dre}^us by name, and 
might equally well apply to Drumont — indeed much 
better, since he has so long been the friend and 
accomplice of the traitor Esterhazy, The writer in 
the Eclair, as we have seen, felt this defect so acutely 
that he filled up the blank with Dreyfus' name 
written in capitals. 

The simplest way of remedying the defect was 
obviously to have further documents akin in their 
general character to these three letters, but in which 
Dreyfus should be named ; and Henry, even before 
he succeeded to the post from which Picquart 
was, on November 16, 1896, abruptly hurried away, 
already set himself to supply what was required by 
means of forgery. Panizzardi's two letters were 
scribbled on a particular sort of ruled paper and 
with a blue pencil. Accordingly, he procured paper 



FORGERS OF THE WAR OFFICE 127 

as nearly of the same kind as he could, and a blue 
pencil. Then he took an ex-policeman, who had 
been expelled from his profession for crime, into 
his confidence, and the two of them together, 
perhaps with the aid of Du Paty de Clam, Lauth, 
and Gribelin, and almost for a certainty with the 
connivance of Boisdeflfre, if not of Gonse, concocted 
the following letter, the text of which we owe 
equally to the candid M. Cavaignac : — 

" I have read that a deputy is going to make 
an interpellation on Dreyfus. If — (here is a por- 
tion of a phrase which I am unable to read) — I 
shall say that never have I had any relations 
with this Jew. That is understood. If you are 
asked, say the same, for nobody must ever know 
what has occurred with him." 

It is necessary to give this in the original French, 
and I do so, italicising words or phrases which involve 
elementary faults in French grammar and parlance, 
such as Colonel Panizzardi or Colonel Schwartz- 
koppen, who are both of them graceful French 
scholars, could not possibly have committed : — 

"Si . . . je dirai que jamais jamds des relations 
avec ce juit. C'est entendu. Si on vous demande, 
dites comme ga, car il faut pas que on sache jamais 
fersonne ce qui est arrive avec lui." 

The last phrase seems to have been modelled on 
a German original : " was mit ihm geschehen ist." 
I should conjecture that Lauth, who was an Alsa- 



128 THE DREYFUS CASE 

tian, and tlie only man in the bureau who knew 
German, first constructed the letter in that language, 
and then reproduced the idiom in the French by 
way of imparting to the whole the needful air of a 
German provenance. Probably they were all of them 
too ignorant to recognise in the two genuine letters 
mentioning a spy D. . . . the handwriting of Paniz- 
zardi, and thought that they were Schwartzkoppen's. 
However this may be, it is certain that Lemercier- 
Picard did the caligraphy ; and having discharged 
his task for the War Office, he went to Colonel 
Schwartzkoppen and earned an extra pourboire by 
revealing to him the exact character and extent of 
the forgeries with which the dtat major was arming 
itself against those who might agitate for a revision 
of Dreyfus' sentence. 

But this letter, written in a French worthy of a 
negro of Hayti, was only one of a series of which 
each item must be equally a forgery with this one. 
The existence in the archives of this forged corre- 
spondence between the German and Italian attaches 
was revealed by M. Cavaignac on July 7, 1898, 
when the chcumstance that it belonged to and 
formed part of a coherent series was invoked in 
favour of its genuineness : — 

" Its genuineness is proved beyond doubt by the 
fact that it forms part of a whole correspondence which 
tooh place in 1896. The first letter is that which 
I have just read out to you. An ansiver to it con- 
tains two words which evidently tend to reassure 



FORGERS OF THE WAR OFFICE 129 

tlie author of the first letter. A third letter follows 
of a kind to dissipate many of the obscurities, and 
indicates, with absolute precision — so absolute that 
I cannot read to you a single word of it — the very 
reason why the correspondents {i.e. Panizzardi and 
Schwartzkoppen) felt so much anxiety. . . . Thus 
the guilt of Dreyfus is not established merely by 
the judgment of the court which condemned him ; 
but still further by a piece two years later in date, 
a piece which fits quite naturally into its jylace in a long 
correspondence, of which the authenticity is beyond 
discussion." 

It is clear from the above that the whole of their 
supposititious correspondence was suggested by the 
interpellation of Castelin on November 18, 1896. 
That is the incident referred to in the first letter, 
and this entire mass of forgeries was complete soon 
after Henry replaced Picquart at that date. It was 
indeed the turning-point in the history of the case ; 
for from that moment Dreyfus' condemnation ceased 
to be a judicial error, if indeed it had ever really 
been one, and became a dark crime, of which the 
heads of the French army and the leading politicians 
now made themselves spontaneously the accom- 
plices. 

Meanwhile the publication of the facsimile of 
the bordereau in the Matin on November 10, 1896, 
had given to those who had never believed in the 
guilt of Dreyfus just the weapon they wanted — 
namely, the solitary piece of material evidence that 
had been overtly advanced in his court-martial, 

I 



I30 THE DREYFUS CASE 

They did not indeed know tlaat it was Esterhazy's 
handwriting. To learn that they were yet to wait 
for another weary year, and even then it was not 
through Picquart, but through De Castro, Esterhazy's 
stockbroker, that this appalhng truth was to burst 
upon the world. Still negative results are worth 
attaining to in some cases ; and it could at least be 
shown that Dreyfus had not written the bordereau, 
now that a photograph of it was procurable for a 
couple of sous. 

M. Bernard Lazare, who had already published 
in the autumn of 1896 the small brochure above 
mentioned, published in 1897 a second and larger 
work, entitled " L' Affaire Dreyfus." In this he pub- 
lished the graphological results reached by nine of 
the leading experts in handwriting in Europe and 
America. These were MM. Cr^pieux-Jamin, Gustave 
Bridier, De Rougemont, Paul Moriaud, E. de Mar- 
neffe, De Gray Birch, Th. Gurrin, J.-H. Schooling, 
J. Carvalho. They were supplied on the one hand 
with facsimiles of the bordereau, and on the other 
with facsimiles of no less than sixteen private letters 
of Dreyfus, written during the period 1890 to March 
1897. They worked independently, and each em- 
bodied in a report full of the minutest observations 
the reasons on which he formed his judgment. 
With singular unanimity they all declared that the 
bordereau was written currently, and in the normal 
hand of the writer, but by another person than 
Dreyfus. For those who take an interest in the 



FORGERS OF THE WAR OFFICE 131 

study of handwriting this volume of M. Lazare's is a 
mine of information. In a thousand subtle ways 
the two handwritings are shown to be distinct, and 
it is a revelation to any one unschooled in this field 
of research to be shown how intensely individual 
is a person's handwriting, and in what manifold 
ways, unnoticed by a prejudiced blunderer like Ber- 
tillon, that individuality must reveal itself. 

And in view of the subsequent disclosures of the 
real traitor, it is curious to read his moral physiog- 
nomy as it was detected beforehand in his hand- 
writing by M. Cr^pieux-Jamin, whose conclusion was 
that though there were no fundamental resemblances 
between the two handwritings, yet there was enough 
superficial resemblance to suggest that the writer of 
the bordereau had imitated Dreyfus' handwriting. 
The subsequent comparison, impossible then, with 
Esterhazy's real writing, proved that this hypothesis 
was wrong ; and that the bordereau was homogeneous 
throughout with other specimens of his style. But 
that so skilled a graphologist as M. Crepieux-Jamin 
saw a superficial resemblance explains the error of 
Bertillon, Du Paty de Clam, and of Dreyfus' judges. 
Now let us read the chapter in which M. Cr(^pieux- 
Jamin traces out from their handwritings alone the 
characters of the two men, Dreyfus and Esterhazy: — 

" It results," he says, " from the preceding inves- 
tigation, that the differentiation of the two handwrit- 
ings obliges us to attribute them graphologically to 
two distinct personalities." 



132 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" That of Dreyfus reveals an intelligence quick, clear 
in analysis, capable of rising to actual talent in any 
one given direction. 

" His character is at once one of extreme sensi- 
bility and extreme reserve, most difficult to fix analy- 
tically. There is something about him that is hard 
and proud, and which alienates our sympathy and 
affection. He is endowed with remarkable energy 
and perseverance. 

" The other writing, that of the document of which 
the authorship is in question, reveals to us an in- 
telligence perhaps not less cultivated than that of 
Dreyfus, but a false and illogical mind — quite the 
contrary in this respect of Dreyfus. 

" His restlessness is extreme. It is a nature false, 
lying, profoundly repugnant. 

" His energy is feeble, inconstant, and his feelings 
are at the mercy of the caprices of his imagination 
and mediocre judgment. 

" One easily understands that such a person wrote 
the document in question, so incoherent that it is 
impossible to tell whether the project of a manual 
of firing has been handed over, or promised, or copied. 
Dreyfus would have been clearer. 

" Between the two men there is a fundamental 
difference. Dreyfus is but moderately sociable, but 
he is a character. The author of the document X 
(the bordereau) is above all extremely cunning, 
dangerous, and devoid of character." 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE MACHINATIONS AGAINST PICQUART 

PiCQUART, we saw, left Paris on the i6tli November 
1896, having actually left the Intelligence Bureau 
two days earlier. The following is General Gonse's 
account why he was sent away, given in his evidence 
at the Zola trial, February 12, 1898 : — 

" Colonel Picquart had not completely followed all 
the instructions I had given him. I knew, too, that 
he was, so to speak, hypnotised by this Dreyfus- 
Esterhazy question. 

" I had always told him not to follow this track 
under such conditions as he indicated to me. He 
did not thoroughly perform his duties, being absorbed 
by this affair, and as the chief of the dat major 
(Boisdeftre) has told you, they sent him on a mis- 
sion to try and rectify his judgment. Such was the 
drift also of the representations which I made to him 
at that time ; for he was an officer who had done 
his duty very well until then, and who is capable 
of doing it very well, if he chooses, in the future." 

It is distressing to read such words as these. We 
feel in the presence of a man who has another set of 
moral categories than our own. " To rectify one's 
judgment," that is, to stifle one's conscience — to re- 
nounce the will to redress a great injury discovered 



134 THE DREYFUS CASE 

by oneself. " To do one's duty " is to fall back into 
line with those who desire to conceal the truth. 
" Colonel Picquart is still capable of doing his duty 
if he chooses ; " in other words, Gonse still hopes 
that he will make his compact with crime, and re- 
gain his status among the higher officers of the 
French army. Such is the demoralisation, the utter 
abnegation of soul and conscience, which a Jesuit 
training produces among French officers. 

The mission of Colonel Picquart was at first vague 
and mysterious in its character. At first he was 
sent up and down France, north and south, east 
and west ; but always as far as possible from Paris. 
After two months of this he was sent to Tunis, 
which he reached on January 13, 1897. At that 
date he wrote to Gonse asking if he might be per- 
manently attached to a regiment, and not hence- 
forth required to serve in the 6tat major. Gonse 
wrote him an affectionate reply to the effect that he 
must continue his mission for the present, but that 
when it was over his services might be required 
again. All this time the War Office was really 
deliberating about how best to get rid of so awkward 
a witness to the truth, so that he might never be 
seen again. It was determined at last to dispatch 
him without an escort to the same disturbed region 
of the Tripolitan frontier where De Mor^s had been 
murdered by the natives. The following is from 
the shorthand report of the Zola trial, February 1 1 , 
1898: — 



MACHINATIONS AGAINST PICQUART 135 

" Labori : Was this mission important ? 

" Picquart : It was not indispensable, I think. . . . 
I should not like to criticise my superiors from that 
point of view ; but, as a matter of fact, I find that 
it was not necessary to send any one. 

" Labori : Anyhow, Colonel Picquart himself has 
always understood quite well the object of his 
mission ? 

" Picquart : No, though I did my best to under- 
stand it. . . . 

" Labori : Why does Colonel Picquart think that 
his presence at Paris was not desired ? 

" Picquart : I do not know. . . . 

" Labori : If I rightly understood the deposition 
of Colonel Picquart, he told us that at a given 
moment his mission was to end at Gab^s ? 

" Picquart : What I said was that just at the ti7ne 
when the Dreyfus business began afresh, I received 
orders to place myself on the frontier of Tripoli. 
It was General Leclerc who told me that he would 
not allow me to go any farther than Gab6s. 

" Labori : Had Colonel Picquart received orders 
to go any farther than Gabes ? 

" Picquart : General Leclerc had received orders 
to send me along the frontier of Tripoli. 

" Labori : General Leclerc had received orders to 
send you to the frontier of Tripoli. With what 
troops ? 

" Picquart : Nothing was specified. 

" Labori : But what were the reasons which 
General Leclerc gave you for not allowing you to 
go any farther ? Did it not seem to you very odd ? 

" Picquart : He asked for fresh instructions. 



136 THE DREYFUS CASE 

"Labori: Why? 

" Picquart : Because there was no urgency. 

" Labori : Is the point to which they were send- 
ing Colonel Picquart a dangerous one ? 

" Picquart : It is not one of the . . . safest 
points." 

The next day Gonse went into the box and be- 
trayed an excessive anxiety to repel the suspicion 
which Picquart's answers had roused : — 

" I have said that we had always acted with the 
greatest regard for Colonel Picquart's welfare. . . . 
It has been said that he was sent to the confines of 
Tripoli with an end in view which I will not describe. 
That is all a pure romance. We are not in the 
habit of sending our officers to be killed for nothing 
at all. This part of his mission was due to the 
situation created by the Macedonian war, which had 
excited the Mussulmans everywhere, and particu- 
larly in Tripoli, where certain events had taken 
place." 

General Gonse's explanation provoked a rejoinder 
from Colonel Picquart, who said : — 

" When General Leclerc received the order to 
send me to the frontier of Tripoli, he had had reason 
for some time before to find such a mission very 
odd. But then I had to explain myself, for the 
General said to me : ' You really must give me some 
explanations. What is at the bottom of all this ? ' 
That shows that my mission was by no means so 
natural as they pretend. 

" I should not have entered into these details if 



MACHINATIONS AGAINST PICQUART 137 

General Gonse himself had not done so. I did not 
say that they wished to get me killed. . . . 

" Gonse : They said it yesterday. 

" Picquart : I do not think that any one actually 
said so. 

"The Judge: It was the meaning of Colonel 
Picquart's answer. 

" Picquart : General Leclerc talked to me about 
the pretext given for my going along the frontier, 
and which was I hardly know what . . . some horse- 
men or other that they were exercising on the 
frontier . . . and he said to me : ' That is all over. 
It has been contradicted. It is all nonsense, and 
I will not have you go farther than Gabes.' " 

It is evident from the above that the French 
War Office had planned to set this officer, whose 
only crime was that he had a conscience, in the 
forefront of the hottest battle, where it was hoped 
that the sword of the Bedouin, which " devoureth 
one as well as another," would do away with him. 
It was hoped that the demonstration of Dreyfus' inno- 
cence and of Esterhazy's guilt would die with him. 

In the course of the year 1897 the conviction 
steadily made its way into the minds of men of 
reflection that the Dreyfus trial was an error of 
justice, and worse, and the publication of M. Bernard 
Lazare's book, with the facsimiles it contained, about 
June, proved to every one who read it, and was not 
infected by the anti-Semitic rabies, that at any rate 
Dreyfus could not have written the bordereau. 

In proportion as the movement in favour of truth 



138 THE DREYFUS CASE 

gained ground, the War Office men set their teeth. 
They had failed to get Picquart put out of the way, 
so they resolved to ruin him in another way. It 
was the petit Ueu or telegram-card of May 1896 
which had put Picquart on the track of the real 
traitor, and which, taken in conjunction Avith the 
bordereau and his scarred and scabrous private life, 
conclusively proved Esterhazy to be the real traitor. 
What was to be done ? Esterhazy, as we have seen, 
was warned in October 1896. Six months later the 
plan of campaign was matured against Picquart. 
He was to be accused of having forged the petit 
Ueu in order to incriminate Esterhazy, whose name, 
it was hoped, would not ever transpire. Picquart 
himself knew what was brewing, and that Henry 
was the leading spirit in the conspiracy. Towards 
May 1897 he had occasion to return to the War 
Office some letters which concerned that bureau, 
but which, having been addressed to him by mis- 
take by agents who did not know of his dismissal, 
had been forwarded to him at Soussa. Picquart, in 
returning these to Henry, wrote thus ^ from Soussa 
on May 18, 1897 : — 

" I should be glad if you would once for all tell 
people who come and ask for me at the War Office 
that I have been relieved of my duties. I have 
nothing in that to be ashamed of, but I am ashamed 
of the mystery which surrounds and the lies which 
are told about my departure." 

^ Proofs Verbal of Zola Trial, I. p. 155. 



MACHINATIONS AGAINST PICQUART 139 

For all this time the War Office was concealing, 
as far as it could, why Picquart was gone, or even 
that he was gone. The last thing they desired was 
that it should be connected in any one's mind with 
the Dreyfus affair. 

At the beginning of June, Picquart received in 
reply a threatening and abusive letter from Henry. 
It accused him of vamping up mysteries himself, 
and formulated three charges. First, of opening 
private letters for obscure motives foreign to his 
official duties. This referred to the seizure by 
Picquart, with the assent of his chiefs, of Esterhazy's 
letters in the post. Secondly, of trying to suborn two 
officers in the Intelligence Department to say that a 
document belonging to that department was written 
by a particular person. This charge was, as we shall 
see, more clearly formulated in the Zola trial in 
February 1898, when Lauth accused his former 
superior of trying to induce him to swear against 
his better knowledge that the petit hl&u was in the 
handwriting of Schwartzkoppen. Thirdly, of opening 
a secret dossier, and of using it indiscreetly, to the 
prejudice of the service. 

Henry's letter was couched in abusive terms, 
which it was inconceivable he should have used to 
Picquart, who was his superior in rank, unless he 
was assured beforehand of the support of his 
hierarchical superiors. Picquart saw that he was 
surrounded by machinations. One point in the 
intrigue against him already begun should be 



I40 THE DREYFUS CASE 

noticed here ; chronologically it belongs to December 
1896, but it only came to Picquart's knowledge a 
year later. Colonel Picquart was a favourite in the 
salon of a Mademoiselle de Comminges, a lady aged 
fifty-five. In that charmed circle he was known 
under the sobriquet of le Bon Dicu ; a friend of 
his, Commandant de Lallemand, as le Demi-Dieu. 
About November 20, 1896, the secretary of Made- 
moiselle de Comminges wrote to Picquart a playful 
letter, in which he spoke of demi-dicu, of a Cagli- 
ostro, and of a number of other things intelligible to 
any one familiar with the polite and harmless slang 
of the particular salon, but fraught with mystery 
to any enemy of Picquart's who knew nothing 
about it. 

As soon as Picquart's back was turned at the War 
Office, November 18, 1896, Henry, his successor, 
began to open in his cabinet noir all private letters 
which came addressed to Picquart, and among others 
this one from the secretary of Mademoiselle de 
Comminges. He took a copy of it, then carefully 
closed it again and sent it on to Picquart, who never 
noticed that it had been tampered with. 

Henry had probably long before this been co- 
operating with Du Paty de Clam, and he now took 
him into his confidence about this harmless letter, 
mysterious only to conspirators like themselves. 
They thought that it might be turned to account 
against Picquart, so they communicated with Ester- 
hazy, and the entire group of traitors wrote the 



MACHINATIONS AGAINST PICQUART 141 

following letter and addressed it to Picquart at the 
War Office in Paris : — 

" Your brusque departure has filled us with dis- 
may. The work is compromised. Speak and the 
demi-dieu will act. — Yours, Speranza." 

The name Speranza will meet us later on as the 
regular pseudonym under which Du Paty de Clam, 
with Esterhazy's connivance, writes to him or to 
Picquart. The immediate purport of this first forged 
letter, which of course was not forwarded to Picquart, 
but lodged in one of Henry's pigeon-holes, was this : 
The conspirators hoped to appeal to it later on, 
whenever they should desire to prove to people who 
desired to be taken in that Picquart was already, in 
December 1896, in league with the "Syndicate of 
Treason," as the Dreyfusards were already called. 
The demi-dieu could then be interpreted as the head 
of the said syndicate. 

Thus these criminal, but somewhat silly, intrigues, 
along with the more elaborate forgeries described in 
chapter vii., had already for six months occupied the 
new chief and staff of the Intelligence Department, 
when in June 1897 Picquart resolved to take steps 
to protect himself. He was now provisionally attached 
as colonel to an Algerian cavalry regiment. He had 
a right to visit Paris, and he did so. There he went 
to Maitre Leblois, a friend of his youth, and, like 
himself, a native of Strasbourg, and now a member 
of the Paris Bar. He laid before him Henry's 



142 THE DREYFUS CASE 

threatening letter, all but the thu-d charge m it, 
acquainted him with the cause of the machinations 
against himself, namely, his discovery of the true 
authorship of the bordereau, and left in his hands 
the series of fourteen letters which had passed be- 
tween himself and Gonse relating to the matter in 
question. Maitre Leblois was only to use these 
letters when it should be necessary to do so in 
Picquart's defence. 

Till now Picquart had kept the secret to himself, 
always hoping that outside pressure would perhaps 
constrain the War Office to do justice. That hope 
must have died in him before he resolved in self- 
defence to consult his legal friend Leblois. But this 
action of his led to a very important development of 
the case, for Leblois, in September 1897, acquainted 
Scheurer-Kestner, President of the Senate and the 
most distinguished Alsatian in France, with all that 
he had learned from Picquart, Kestner belongs to 
the oldest and most distinguished family in Stras- 
bourg, and is a man who, with the highest scientific 
culture, combines a singular nobility of character. 
He had long entertained suspicions that Dreyfus' 
condemnation was an error of justice, and now that 
he was left without a doubt, he at once took the 
course that real patriotism and genuine regard for 
the French army dictated, and which was outlined 
in his deposition on February 8, 1898, at the Zola 
trial. After repeating to the jury the second letter 
of Piquart to Gonse, he continued as follows : — 



MACHINATIONS AGAINST PICQUART 143 

" Gentlemen, after I had read this letter my con- 
viction was formed. I was convinced that there 
had been an error. I saw General Gonse, Picquart's 
superior, sharing his ideas and looking upon revision 
as possible. What could I but do ? It was my first 
duty to communicate with the Government, with the 
Minister of War. It was my first duty to take to 
him the documents, and show him that the hand- 
writing of the bordereau was that of Esterhazy and 
not of Dreyfus. That is what I did. I went to 
General Billot and had a very long conversation 
with him. I laid before him the documents I had, 
but did not at once mention the correspondence 
which had passed between General Gonse and Col- 
onel Picquart. I thought it better not to do so. 
However, I lost no time in offering to communi- 
cate to the Government this correspondence, and 
naturally I was authorised to make a copy of it and 
send it to them. 

"Unhappily, things had gone too far. Perhaps 
the Government was in another mood than it had 
been at first. I do not know. Anyhow, my com- 
munication was refused. It seemed to me that it 
concerned the honour of the Government, the honour 
of the Republic, the honour of the democracy, the 
honour of the army, that the initial step in the 
redress of such a wrong should be taken from above 
and not from below. That is why I addressed my- 
self to the Government. ... I almost went on my 
knees to the Minister of War during my visit to him. 
I prayed him to demonstrate to me Dreyfus' guilt, 
and offered to proclaim it on the housetops. . . . He 
simply repeated, ' He is guilty.' ' Prove to me,' I 



144 THE DREYFUS CASE 

said, ' that he 4s.' ' I cannot prove it to you/ was 
his only answer." 

Scheurer-Kestner also had many interviews with 
M. Meline, the President of the French Cabinet, but 
equally in vain. In his concluding depositions he 
returned to his interview with Billot, the Minister of 
War :— 

" My conversation with General Billot, who is my 
old friend of twenty-five years' standing, lasted a 
long time. 

" Yes ; I besought him to give all his attention to 
an affair which otherwise threatened to become ex- 
tremely grave. ' It is your duty,' I said to him, ' to 
take the first step. Make a personal inquiry ; trust 
the matter to no one but yourself. In certain 
bureaux there are dossiers ; have them brought to 
you. Do not leave things to intermediaries ; examine 
them yourself personally and loyally. And if you 
promise to make such an examination, why then I 
promise you to keep silence until I know the result 
of it.' 

" When I left him. General Billot begged me to 
keep absolute silence. I complied, but under one 
condition. ' You need two days,' I said, ' to conduct 
this inquiry. I will give you fifteen days, and 
during those fifteen days I will not stir.' 

" What ensued ? During those very fifteen days 
the ministerial journals dragged me in the mud, 
denounced me as a dishonest man, as a miscreant ; 
overwhelmed me with insults, and called me ' a 
German and a Prussian.' " 




GENERAL BILLOT. 



Page 144. 



MACHINATIONS AGAINST PICQUART 145 

" As they call me an Italian," here interjected 
M. Zola, who was sitting in court. 

In point of fact. Billot set on several officers of 
his entourage to write inflammatory and defamatory 
articles about M. Scheurer-Kestner. To deal with 
this hornet's nest of the 4tat major there was needed 
some one who could strike heavier and more telling 
blows than so tranquil and elevated a personality 
as he would condescend to deal. He had laid his 
hand on them, and had got it badly stung by his 
lifelong friend Billot, who, like Mercier before 
him, and Cavaignac, Zurlinden, and Chanoine after 
him, seems to have divested himself, on entering 
the Ministry of War, of every feeling of honour, 
humanity, and justice, and, I might add, of all 
prudence, foresight, and intelligence as well. It 
needed the trumpet-blast of Zola's unsparing elo- 
quence to open the eyes of any considerable section 
of Frenchmen to the cancer-growth eating into 
the heart of their military and civil institutions. 



K 



CHAPTER IX 

THE AWAKENING 

The discovery of the real authorship of the border- 
eau was made a second time, and quite independently 
of Picquart, towards the end of October 1897, by 
M. de Castro, Esterhazy's stockbroker, who, at the 
first Zola trial on February 8, 1898, made the fol- 
lowing deposition : — 

" I was established at that time as a stockbroker, 
near the Paris Bourse, and I had had occasion to do 
some business for the Commandant Esterhazy. He 
was continually in correspondence with the firm, 
and I knew his handwriting very well ; so well, in 
fact, that when in the morning I had a heavy post- 
bag to overhaul, I recognised his writing before 
opening his letter. 

"Towards the end of October 1897, I was on the 
boulevard, when a newsvendor passed by me hawk- 
ing the facsimile of the famous bordereau attributed 
to ex-Captain Dreyfus. I was startled when I saw 
this handwriting, for I seemed to see in it a letter 
of the Commandant Esterhazy. I went home in 
great perturbation. On the morning of the next 
day but one, I went with my brother-in-law and 
looked out some of the Commandant Esterhazy's 

letters in the letter - book. I even made some 

146 



THE AWAKENING 147 

comparisons of the respective writings, and, as a 
result, I found a complete resemblance, I will say a 
striking identity, between them. 

" I spoke to some friends of this strange coin- 
cidence, and my friends advised me to take some 
of the letters to M. Scheurer-Kestner, who was 
interesting himself in the Dreyfus affair. Mean- 
while those friends probably talked about it to 
M. Mathieu Dreyfus, who came one day and asked 
me to show him these letters. I offered to give 
him some, but he refused them and said, ' Pray 
take them to M. Scheurer-Kestner,' I went to 
him one morning (November 7, 1897), and said, 
' Monsieur le President, I am come to lay before you 
some very curious documents. You will see for 
yourself the resemblance which there is between the 
writing of these letters and the famous bordereau.' 

" M. Scheurer-Kestner took these letters, and 
considered them for a time ; then he went out into 
his bureau, and came back saying, ' Here are some 
letters which are probably by the same hand, and 
from the same source.' I recognised at once in 
them the handwriting of Commandant Esterhazy." 

Maitre Labori here asked : " At that moment 
had the name of the Commandant Esterhazy been 
already mentioned as possibly being that of the 
author of the bordereau ? Had M. de Castro any 
idea that M. Esterhazy was already suspected by 
others of having written it ? " 

M. de Castro : " No, absolutely no idea. . . Eight 
or ten days later." ... 

Labori : " Has the witness not received threaten- 
ing letters ? " 



148 THE DREYFUS CASE 

M. de Castro : " No, not letters. ... I received 
one day a telegram-card, and if M. le President (i.e. 
the judge) likes, I will lay it before the court." 

The Judge : " No ; but say what was written on 
the card." 

M. de Castro : " It is a threat : ' If it is you that 
have given up the letters of which the newspaper 
Paris indicates the initials J. D. C, you shall pay 
dear for your infamy.' . . . This is in a disguised 
handwriting." 

At the date which my narrative has reached, 
beginning of November 1897, the French public 
and the world in general had never heard Ester- 
hazy's name mentioned as that of the real traitor. 
The chief men in the War Office indeed had through 
Picquart's discovery learned the truth in May 1896. 
Picquart had told Leblois in June 1897. Scheurer- 
Kestner learned it from Leblois in September of the 
same year. De Castro discovered it independently 
at the end of October, and through him Mathieu 
Dreyfus learned it. But as yet it had made its way 
into no journal. 

Scheurer-Kestner's interest in Drejrfus had been 
first awakened by finding during a visit to Alsace- 
Lorraine in 1896, that every one in the annexed 
provinces refused to believe in the poor man's guilt. 
On October 29, 1897, when he found that Billot and 
his minions in the War Office rejected his patriotic 
overtures with insults and contumely, he sent a letter 
to the Matin, in which he said, " I am convinced 
of Dreyfus' innocence, and more than ever I am 



THE AWAKENING 149 

resolved to pursue his rehabilitation." This utter- 
ance produced a profound impression ; and it was 
absurd to say that its author had been bought 
by the " S3riidicate of treason," since he was known 
to be rich. Nor was he a Jew, but a Protestant. 
President of the Senate, he occupied the most 
august political position in France. Nor could his 
motive be ambition. On the contrary, his cham- 
pionship of the falsely - condemned Jew, of the 
" traitor " so indispensable to the Jesuits and their 
military pupils, could but make him unpopular. 
And so it has. He has lost his presidency of the 
Senate thereby, and has become one of the targets 
at which Drumont and the rest of the journalists in 
the pay of the War Office sling their daily filth. 
M. Gabriel Monod, professor of the ^ficole des Hautes 
Etudes, the founder of critical historical study in the 
France of to-day, followed in M. Kestner's steps, 
and publicly declared that he shared his convic- 
tions. 

On November 14, 1897, M. Scheurer-Kestner 
once more spoke in a letter to the Temps, in which 
he gave an outline of his overtures to the Minister 
of War, but still withheld Esterhazy's name, for 
Leblois had communicated this to him in confidence. 

On November 15, 1897, the first great blow fell 
like a thunderbolt on the guilty t^tat major. On 
that day M. Mathieu Dreyfus, by the advice of 
M. Scheurer-Kestner, sent to the papers the following 
letter, addressed to Billot, the Minister of War : — 



T50 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" The only ground for the accusation made in 
1894 against my unfortunate brother is a lettre 
missive, unsigned, undated, but proving that military 
documents had been betrayed to the agent of a 
foreign Power. 

" I have the honour to inform you that the 
author of this document is M. le Comte Walsin- 
Esterhazy, major of infantry, withdrawn from active 
service owing to temporary infirmities last spring. 

" The handwriting of Major Walsin-Esterhazy is 
identical with that of this document. 

" It will be very easy for you, M. le Ministre, to 
procure the writing of this officer. 

" I am ready, moreover, to indicate to you where 
you can find letters of his, of incontestable authen- 
ticity, and of a date anterior to my brother's arrest. 

" I cannot doubt, M. le Ministre, that now you 
know the author of the treason for which my 
brother was condemned, you will promptly do 
justice." 

This indictment was like a spark falling into a 
magazine of powder. For days and weeks the 
ministerial anti-Semite papers rained maledictions 
on the imaginary S3mdicate of treason. Yet many of 
the more serious journals noted as ominous the fact 
that on the very eve of Mathieu Dreyfus' letter, the 
German attache had taken a hurried farewell of M. 
Faure, the President of the Kepublic, and had some- 
what precipitately gone back for good to Berlin. It 
was impossible not to connect the two events. The 
excitement became still greater when the Figaro, 



THE AWAKENING 151 

under the editorship of M. Rodays, took up the 
cause of Dreyfus, and published the letters of 
Esterhazy to his cousin, Madame de Boulancy, 
and the narrative of Major Forzinetti relative to 
the arrest and imprisonment of Dreyfus in 1894. 
These I have already given Avhere in my narrative 
they belong. Forzinetti was cashiered in December 
1897 by the French authorities, and execrated by 
the clerical press. Yet for a time it looked as if a 
revision of the unjust sentence were in sight. The 
Minister of War, Billot, invited the Governor of 
Paris to open a judicial inquiry about Esterhazy. 
Many thought that the victory was won, and the 
Figaro actually delegated one of its staff to bear 
the good news of his vindication and release to 
the victim on the Devil's Island. 

I must here depart for a little from the main cur- 
rent of events to narrate some minor incidents which 
took place in the closing weeks of the year 1897. 

M. Rochefort, the editor of a journal called 
V Intransigeant, was a member of the Paris Commune 
in 1 87 1. Though his innate cowardice caused him 
to run away in the moment of danger, it did not save 
him from transportation, under the Government of 
MacMahon, to New Caledonia. He escaped thence 
with the help of English boatmen and came to Lon- 
don, where, being a good connoisseur of art, he made 
some money by purchasing old English paintings 
and re-selling them in Paris. WTien an amnesty was 
granted some years ago to the offenders of 1 8 7 1 , 



152 THE DREYFUS CASE 

Rocliefort went back to Paris and resumed the con- 
trol of his paper, which is written in a very slashing 
manner, and is said to bring in to its proprietor 
nearly half-a-million francs a year. It was necessary 
for the War Office to make quite sure of this journal; 
so, early in November 1897, General Boisdeffre, the 
head of the 6tat major, sent one of his aides-de-camp, 
an officer named M. Pauffin de Saint-Morel, to 
communicate to Rochefort the most crucial of the 
proofs of Dreyfus' guilt which the secret dossier 
contained. Subsequently attention was called to the 
impropriety of Boisdeifre's action, and as a matter 
of mere form a nominal punishment was inflicted 
on De Saint-Morel, who gave out that he had gone 
to Rochefort on his own initiative, and affected to 
be very penitent. 

The substance of De Saint-Morel's communica- 
tions as from the War Office to Rochefort appeared 
in the latter's journal on December 13. It is so 
amusing that I shrink from withholding it, the more 
so because the huzzas with which it was received 
by the clerical and military journals cast a curious 
light on the psychological condition of their readers. 

On December 1 3, then, under the title " The 
Truth about the Traitor," Rochefort began thus in 
his best oracular style : — 

" Yes ; Dreyfus Avas condemned by judges who 
were shown a secret document — nay, several such. 
" Why deny it ? 
" Why not have said so, have cried it aloud on 




GENERAL DE BOISDEFFRE. 



Page 152. 



THE AWAKENING 153 

the house-tops, instead of keeping silent ? Why not 
have glorified in it as in an action to be proud of, 
instead of concealing it as a fault ? 

" For fear of any revision that must folloAV ? 

" What matter ? Here goes ! . . . 

" What the Government has not been willing or 
has not dared to do, we will do it. . . . 

" It is hardly necessary to say that the informa- 
tion we now publish has not been furnished us by 
the Commissary appointed to examine the case of 
Esterhazy. . . . 

" Let it suffice us to affirm that it comes from the 
best source, that it may be regarded as absolutely 
authentic, and that, by consequence, once it is 
known, the noisy protests of the Dreyfus band will 
be objectless. 

" They say that part of the public is in doubt. 
That doubt will disappear. The partisans of the 
traitor base some hope on the investigation (i.e. of 
Esterhazy) now in progress ; that hope will vanish. 

" Dreyfus and William II. 

" Dreyfus had long been exasperated at the anti- 
Semitic campaign conducted by several journals. 

" He was very ambitious, and reflected that, being 
a Jew, he could never reach the tip-top position in 
the military hierarchy to which he aspired. 

" And he considered that, this being so, it would 
be better for him to recognise as final the results of 
the war of 1870, to go and fix his home in Alsace, 
where he had a stake, and, in short, to take up the 
German nationality. 



154 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" It was then that he began to think of sending 
in his resignation and of leaving the army. 

" But before doing so he wrote direct to the Emperor 
of Germany^ in order to acquaint him with the sym- 
pathy he felt for his person and for the nation of 
which he is the head; and to ask him also if he 
would allow him to enter the German army, retain- 
ing his officer's grade. 

" William II. sent a message to Captain Dreyfus 
through the Embassy, that it was better for him to 
serve his real country — to wit, Germany — without 
quitting the post which circumstances had allotted 
him, and that he should he regarded ly the German 
6tat major as an officer on a special mission in France. 

" It was also promised him that in case of war he 
should at once assume his proper rank in the German 
army. 

" Dreyfus accepted these conditions. 

" And his treason then began, and continued up to 
the day of the arrest of the traitor. 

"The Emperor's Letter. 

" This preamble was necessary in explanation of 
that which follows. 

" One of the famous secret pieces is a letter of the 
Emperor of Germany himself. 

" It was stolen, photographed, and replaced where 
it was taken from. 

" In this letter, addressed to M. de Milnster, William II. 
mentioned Captain Dreyfus hy his full name, com- 
mented on certain bits of information already given, 

1 These italics and those below are Rochefort's. 



THE AWAKENING 155 

and charged the particular agent of the Embassy 
who was in communication with Dreyfus to in- 
dicate to the traitor the other informations which 
he must collect, as being wanted by the German Stat 
major, 

" Such is the origin of the principal ' secret 
piece.' " 

Rochefort then relates how he had long before 
received substantially the same story from a mili- 
tary personage, better qualified than most to be 
admirably well informed ; and he goes on to relate 
another legendary story which he says he got from 
a foreign military attache to whom Sell war tzkoppen 
had often talked about the Dreyfus case. 

" Here is the resume," continues Rochefort, " of 
what I learned. 

" Some days before Dreyfus' arrest, the Count de 
Mlinster, the German Ambassador, had gone to M. 
Charles Dupuy, the prime minister, and used the 
following words to him : — 

" ' They have stolen from the bureau of the 
Embassy a parcel of documents, eight letters which 
were addressed to me. 

" ' This is a real violation of territory in time of 
peace. 

" ' I regret to inform you that if these letters are 
not at once restored to me, I shall lea.ve Pa7'is in twenty- 
fonr hours! 

" The documents were returned there and then 
to the Count de Mlinster. 

" Only they had been j)hotoyra.phed. 



156 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" And it was the photographs of these which were 
shown to the judges in the court-martial. 

" Of these eight letters, seven emanated from Dreyfus. 
. . . The eighth was clearly the imperial missive 
addressed by William II. to M. de Miinster, in which 
Captain Drey f is was mentioned hy name." 

The gist of the above rigmarole is evidently 
Boisdeffre's communication. It was the method 
of counterworking Mathieu Dreyfus' denunciation 
which first suggested itself to the head of the War 
Office. However it displeased the Government, 
which first put out a formal denial of it, and then, 
when Rochefort stood to his guns, threatened to 
prosecute him. In commenting on the ministerial 
dimenti Rochefort uttered a real hon mot. " Every 
one knows," he said, " and the Ministers best of all, 
that to govern is to lie " {gouverner c'est mentir). No 
saying could more pithily sum up the policy of the 
Government of Meline and Billot. 

Whether the ultra-secret dossier of Dreyfus really 
contains the seven forged letters of the victim to 
WiUiam II. and an eighth of William II, to De Miinster 
mentioning Dreyfus by name, is not certain ; but 
it is probable for two reasons. Firstly, M. Cl(^men- 
ceauhas affirmed in October 1898 that M. Hanotaux 
gave 27,000 francs for a photograph of a letter to 
De Miinster, in which the Emperor entitles himself 
Kaiser von Deutschlands. This is unlikely, although 
M. Clemenceau, as a rule, knows what he is talking 
about. For M. Hanotaux would know that the 



THE AWAKENING 157 

Emperor would style himself der Deutsche Kaiser. He 
also, long ago, assured two of the leading literary 
men in France that he not merely believed, but 
knew Dreyfus to be innocent, and, in view of the 
turbulent obstinacy with which the generals would 
oppose revision, regarded his sentence as le plus 
grand malheur, the greatest calamity, which has 
during this century befallen France. The person to 
whom M. Hanotaux specially made this remark is 
my informant. For all this conviction, M. Hanotaux 
has been more severe upon Dreyfusards than any 
other French Minister, and has cashiered three 
French consuls and expelled one Dutch one for 
overtly expressing their sympathy with M. Zola. 

A second reason for believing Kochefort when he 
claims official authority for this fable is that at 
the Zola trial on February 12, 1898, Colonel Henry 
made the following deposition, which deserves to be 
quoted, though it must be received with caution, 
since on most points where his evidence could be 
tested he was found to have perjured himself : — 

" In 1 894 — I beg to call your attention to these 
dates, gentlemen of the jury — in the month of 
November, one day. Colonel Sandherr came into 
my bureau and said : ' You must really look out 
in your secret dossiers everything that has to do 
with matters of espionage.' 

" ' Since when ? ' I asked. 

" ' Since you have been here. Have you arranged 
them ? ' 



158 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" I said to him : ' Oh ! that will not take long. 
I have been here a year, since 1893.' 

" ' Well, look out all you have ; you must make 
a dossier out of it.' 

" I looked out what I had, and I found, I think, 
ciglit or nine pieces — I do not remember the exact 
number — of which one was very important, and 
had an extra-confidential character — extra-secret, if 
you like to call it so. 

" I made an inventory of these pieces. I took a 
copy of some, and I gave the whole to Colonel 
Sandherr. 

" This was, as I told you, gentlemen, just now, in 
November 1894. 

" The Colonel took them, and kept them about 
a month. On the 15th or i6th of December 1894, 
the Colonel came to me and said : ' There is your 
dossier.' " 

Henry then went on to say that the most im- 
portant of these pieces was photographed by Sand- 
herr, When the latter returned the dossier, three 
days before the Dreyfus court-martial opened, Henry 
asked him : 

" ' But how is it that you do not want this dossier 
any more ? ' 

" He answered : ' I have a more important 
dossier that that, and I will show you a letter out 
of it.' 

" He showed me a letter, but made me swear 
never to speak of it. I swore. He showed me 
a letter more important than those in the dossier. 



THE AWAKENING 159 

He said : ' I have along with that some documents, 
but I keep them by me, and I shall use them if 
need be.' 

" I never again heard of this second dossier ; the 
Colonel never intrusted it to me. 

" There, I give you the history of the dossier. As 
to the other, I do not know what became of it ; I 
have never seen it. Colonel Sandherr never spoke 
of it to me but once, December 16, 1894." 

It would at first sight appear that the first secret 
dossier compiled by Henry the forger, in which were 
eight pieces, of which one was extra-confidential, 
was identical with the one communicated by De 
Saint-Morel in behalf of Boisdeffre to Rochefort. 
The hypothesis that both Rochefort and Henry were 
lying, in itself likely enough, is untenable in view of 
the evidently undesigned coincidence between their 
stories, and of the morbid anxiety of Meline's Gov- 
ernment to deny Rochefort's tale. But it is also to 
be remarked that Colonel Picquart, who, on account 
of the professional secret, did not allow himself to 
say much about it, yet admitted on February 18 
that the first of these dossiers existed, and that it 
contained the piece, "Cctte canaille de D.," which in 
his evidence Henry first affirmed and then denied 
to be part of this dossier. Picquart added that it 
would be as well to verify the authenticity of these 
pieces, and he instanced the particular letter of 
1896, which has since been proved to be Henry's 
forgery. 



i6o THE DREYFUS CASE 

Yet there meets us here a puzzHng contradiction. 
How could Henry's dossier of eight or nine pieces 
contain seven letters of Dreyfus and the Emperor's 
as its eighth, and along with these the "Canaille de D." 
letter ? Yet Picquart seems to imply on February 
1 8, and Henry on February 12 — though the latter 
was not consistent with himself — expressly says, that 
the dossier of eight or nine pieces contained the 
" Canaille de D." document. May we infer that this, 
like Henry's forged correspondence, was a later 
accretion ? 

De Saint- Morel deposed at the Zola trial that he 
communicated to Rochefort " what was said out 
loud, and without any mystery around him, in the 
etat major." That is likely enough, 

I have stated in a former chapter what is known for 
certain of the secret dossier shown to Dreyfus' judges. 
How to reconcile the accounts of Henry, Rochefort, 
and Picquart, I know not. One thing is certain, 
and that is, that the last of the trio is alone trust- 
worthy ; that he has seen and had in his hands for 
months all the secret dossier of Dreyfus, and that he 
declares that what there is of it that is not palpable 
forgery does not concern Dreyfus, nor in any way 
inculpate him. Nor did Picquart's evidence coun- 
tenance the existence, alleged by Henry, of an ultra- 
secret dossier retained by Sandherr for use at Drey- 
fus' trial, and never seen by any one else. Lastly 
there is a good deal of reason to suppose that the 
forged letters of Dreyfus to William II., along with 



THE AWAKENING i6i 

William's to De Miinster, actually exist, and are 
forgeries of Henry himself, fabricated " to order," 
for Sandherr's use. 

One other incident which took place at the end of 
the year 1897 must be briefly mentioned. I have 
already mentioned Lemercier-Picard, who executed 
for Henry the material part of his forgeries. It was 
almost certainly at the instigation of the party of 
forgers within the War Oflfice that Picard, in the 
course of December 1897, concocted the following 
letter, supposed to be addressed to Esterhazy's mis- 
tress by a German officer Avith the Christian naine 
of Otto : — 

" i^th December 1894. 

" Madame, — Your demands (voire exigence) pass 
all limits. You keep no account of the sums paid 
out, much more considerable than those which had 
been promised you ; and yet you have not handed 
over the whole of the documents enumerated in 
your bordereau. 

" Let me have the piece in question, and what 
you ask shall be given you. 

" Please tell Walsin that I shall be with Stern- 
berg on Tuesday evening. Otto." 

This forgery was, as my reader will see, suggested 
by the bordereau, the petit-Ueu, and the secret docu- 
ment : " Cette canaille de D . . . devient trop exigeant." 
Lemercier-Picard was to take it to the Deputy 
Joseph Reinach, one of the most ardent and strenu- 
ous of the upholders of Dreyfus' innocence ; and it 

L 



i62 THE DREYFUS CASE 

was expected that he would welcome it as a new 
proof of Esterhazy's guilt, pay money for it, and 
publish it ; then the War Office was to turn round 
and denounce the Dreyfusards for fabricating proofs 
of Esterhazy's guilt. For the cry of the military and 
Jesuit faction was that the " syndicate of treason " 
was tr3dng to substitute an innocent man, Esterhazy, 
for the guilty man, Dreyfus. 

But the plot failed. Reinach detected the letter 
at sight as Lemercier - Picard's own forgery, and 
kicked him downstairs. Thus foiled in his first 
attempt, the chartered forger of the Stat major re- 
resolved to make a little money, after all, out of his 
handiwork. So he photographed it, wrote the word 
copid in the corner in a hand as much like Reinach's 
as he could, and took the copy to Rochefort, repre- 
senting to him that it was a forgery which, for the 
modest sum of 10,000 francs, Reinach and the 
Dreyfusards had persuaded him to commit, in order 
that they might have some evidence against 
Esterhazy. 

The whole idea was redolent of Colonel Henry, 
with whom Lemercier-Picard had been so long 
associated. 

However, it was the ex-policeman's owji happy 
thought to play off on Rochefort a trick learned in 
the Intelligence Bureau under Henry, and intended 
for the Dreyfusards. 

It succeeded admirably. Rochefort gorged the 
bait with the most naive credulity, gave Picard 



THE AWAKENING 163 

several hundred francs for the " tip," and beginning 
on December 25, 1897, wrote a series of five articles 
denouncing " cct 6cha'p'p6 dc Ghetto." I may add 
that Lemercier-Picard persuaded the Marquis de 
Rochefort that the original had been in cipher, 
no doubt after the model of the " Canaille de D " 
document ; and great stress was laid on the word 
copid in the corner. " All to whom I have shown 
the letter," wrote Rochefort, " and who are familiar 
with Reinach's writing, have said to me without the 
least hesitation : ' The word was certainly written by 
him.' " 

The end of it was that in January 1898 Reinach 
sued Rochefort for criminal libel, and the editor 
paid for his credulity by going to prison. That a 
mob of Drumont's young men escorted him in 
triumph to and from the gaol can hardly have made 
up to him for the deception to which he had fallen 
a victim. 

Shortly afterwards Lemercier-Picard was found 
strangled in his lodgings. He knew too much and 
the War Office was tired of him. He had not only 
tricked Rochefort, but had revealed all the forgeries 
of the War Office to Schwartzkoppen, with the result 
that the German and Italian ambassadors had gone 
to M. Hanotaux, the then French Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, had told him exactly what forged correspond- 
ences between their attaches lay in the lockers of 
the Mat major, and had exacted a solemn promise 
from him that these forgeries should be kept for 



164 THE DREYFUS CASE 

military consumption only, and not be published for 
the delectation of juries and Chambers of Deputies. 
There was thus an obvious reason why Lemercier- 
Picard should disappear, and, like the last Prince 
de Cond^ he was strangled, and nothing said 
about it. 



CHAPTER X 

ESTERHAZY AND DU PATY DE CLAM 

Mathieu Dreyfus' denunciation of Esterhazy as the 
author of the bordereau greatly embarrassed the ctat 
major under General Billot and the subservient 
Government of M. Meline ; it was evident that the 
forecast made in Picquart's letters to Gonse was 
coming true. It has been observed by moralists that 
an error of justice, unless it is admitted and set right 
at once when it is proved, is apt to fester. Fresh lie 
upon lie must be told in order to back up the original 
one, and what was an error perhaps at first speedily 
becomes a crime, and involves its defenders in new 
crimes from which they would at the beginning have 
recoiled with horror. Meanwhile, if there exist, as 
there does in France, a certain liberty of the press, 
the truth, just because it has a thousand footholds 
in reality where the lies have none, must in the end 
triumph, and one day the top-heavy fabric of fraud 
and cowardice falls by its own weight. 

But in the last weeks of 1897 the men of the 
Uat major had on their side the people who shouted 
loudest, and the French middle class were ready to 
believe that a syndicate of Jews, eager to vindicate a 

Jewish traitor, was vilifying the army, merely because 

165 



i66 THE DREYFUS CASE 

a patriotic minority, with something of Picquart's 
foresight, had begun to denounce the irregularities 
and errors of the court-martial of 1 894, and demand 
a judicial revision of it. 

However, the War Office was not long in making 
up its mind what line to take. To own to a mistake 
had become impossible after their treatment of 
Colonel Picquart. They resolved therefore to have 
the sanctity of the chose jug6c upheld anew in the 
Chamber. To do that they could rely on Billot and 
Meline, who was being kept in power by the re- 
actionary and clerical party in the Chamber. At the 
same time they would go through the form of trying 
Esterhazy for treason, and would acquit him to order. 
His court-martial would also give them an oppor- 
tunity of assailing Colonel Picquart, over whose de- 
fence of himself, as soon as he should present him- 
self in the witness-box, a veil could be drawn by 
invoking the secrecy of the huis clos, or closed doors. 
I will take these points in order. 

On November 18, General Billot being inter- 
pellated in the Chamber, allowed that he had had 
a confidential interview with M. Scheurer-Kestner. 
" He showed me," said Billot, " documents which he 
did not leave with me, and which I had no right to 
receive at his hands." He then proceeded to declare 
that the Government had invited M. Scheurer- 
Kestner " to lay his case before it according to the 
forms prescribed by law." This was a mere quibble. 
After the revelations made by the Eclair in 1896, 



ESTERHAZY AND DU PATY 167 

and more than a year later by M. Kestner and 
Mathieu Dreyfus, the responsibihty lay with the 
Government itself. Outsiders had done all they 
could. The Government alone, through the action 
of the Keeper of the Seals, could initiate a revision 
of the case by the Supreme Court of Appeal. 

On December 5, 1897, M. Castelin put a question 
in the Chamber of Deputies, which was turned into 
a formal interpellation by the Count de Mun, the 
royalist and clerical party leader, and M. Sembat, a 
socialist 6Uve of the Jesuit College Stanislas. In 
reply to them, M. Mcline declared that there was no 
such thing as an affaire Dreyfus ; and General Billot 
got up and added that " on his soul and conscience 
he believed that Dreyfus was justly condemned." 

On December 7 there was a fresh interpellation in 
the Senate, and then both the Minister of War and 
the Premier declared that they had resolved that the 
Government should not take the initiative in re- 
vision, "in order not to invalidate the authority of 
the chosejitgde." It was evident that nothing could 
be done with a Government so hopelessly servile to 
the military and clerical faction. There was nothing 
that M. Scheurer- Kestner and his friends could do 
except appeal, as Voltaire did in the case of Jean 
Galas, to public opinion. The other party set them 
the example, for the adventure of M. Pauffin de 
Saint-Morel, related in my last chapter, proves that 
the heads of the War Office, who had made a per- 
sonal matter of the condemnation of Dreyfus, had 



i68 THE DREYFUS CASE 

lost no time in opening through the press of Roche- 
fort and Drumont in the field of public opinion their 
campaign of calumnies and lies. 

Being sure of the civil authorities, the Minister of 
War invited the Governor of the Paris garrison to 
open a judicial inquiry about Esterhazy, and the 
conduct of this inquiry was intrusted to General de 
Pellieux, It was the intention of the generals to 
keep Picquart safe out in Tunisia until Esterhazy's 
somewhat impaired virginity of character was re- 
stored to him, for they knew that Picquart's evidence 
would sorely hamper the operation. In this aim 
they were disappointed ; for the journals which 
demanded that Picquart should be summoned were 
too many and too important to be neglected. It 
must be remembered that the Temps, the DShats, and 
the Figaro were at that time inclined to revision, and 
that the great wave of military terrorism had not 
yet led their editors to " rat." 

The first essential, however, was to reassure Ester- 
hazy. We have seen in the " Lettre d'lm diplomate " 
into what perturbation he was thrown on October i6, 
1897, by the news of Scheurer-Kestner's impending 
action ; and how in despair he went to Schwartz- 
koppen, and threatened to blow his brains out unless 
he went to Dreyfus' family and pretended to them 
that he had in his hands proofs of the ex-captain's 
guilt. At one time he actually ran away from 
France and went to Lugano, whence Du Paty and 
his other friends in the dtat major had some difficulty 



ESTERHAZY AND DU PATY 169 

in coaxing him to return — a thing very necessary 
for them to do, since his flight meant his guilt, and 
his guilt their exposure. All this took place before 
De Castro made his discovery, and at a time when 
Scheurer-Kestner alone had begun to move in the 
matter. In this connection I must reproduce part 
of M. Mathieu Dreyfus' deposition made at Ester- 
hazy's court-martial, 

"Towards the end of October 1897, at a time 
when as yet no accusation weighed on him, and 
when as yet his name had not been uttered in any 
quarter, a deep anxiety preyed on Esterhazy. 

" Why, at such an early date, this emotion, this 
anxiety ? 

" The reason was that in the newspaper offices 
there was a rumour, accredited by the note in the 
Matin of October 10, that M, Scheurer-Kestner was 
convinced of my brother's innocence, and that he 
knew the real author of the bordereau. 

" The real culprit was the only person who could 
feel himself threatened and exposed by such rumours. 
They could strike terror into no one but him, and he 
was struck with terror, as the following facts prove. 

"On October 20 and 26, Esterhazy wrote two 
letters ... to M, Autant, landlord of a house, 
No. 49 Rue de Douai, in which he had a room 
where his mistress, Madame Pays, lived. In these 
letters Esterhazy asked M. Autant to transfer the 
lease of the room into Madame Pays' name. The 
transfer was not made quickly enough, and Madame 
Pays went to M. Autant to urge him to make haste, 
because Esterhazy, she said, was under the necessity 



I70 THE DREYFUS CASE 

of disappearing or committing suicide within forty- 
eight hours." 

Of course, Madame Pays' object was to have the 
lease made out in her name before the catastrophe 
occurred, otherwise Esterhazy's relations could turn 
her out and seize the furniture. It was soon after 
this, according to Madame Pays, that Esterhazy ran 
away, or took a holiday, as she put it in her deposi- 
tion. 

The same witness — Mathieu Dreyfus — proved 
that on October 24 Esterhazy wrote, and had sent 
from Lyons to M. Hadamard, Alfred Dreyfus' father- 
in-law, a letter threatening himself and M. Hada- 
mard with death : " One step more," it said, " and 
death is on you both," 

It was not enough to write threatening letters to 
those persons alone, but, emulating his friend Henry, 
Esterhazy was bold enough to write in the same 
strain to Picquart, whose deposition respecting this 
letter and the accompanying circumstances follow. 
Referring to his sudden recall to Paris in November 
1897 in order to give evidence, or rather to be him- 
self transformed into the accused at the Esterhazy 
court-martial, he deposed as follows : — 

" I had already received orders to go to the south, 
when they summoned me to Tunis, where they put 
to me questions which struck me as rather singular. 
They asked me firstly, whether I had not allowed a 
secret document to be stolen from me by a woman. 
It was easy for me to answer that I had never taken 



ESTERHAZY AND DU PATY 171 

documents to my house, and that there was no pos- 
sibiHty of a woman taking such a document from 
me." 

This was about the 8 th of November. Within a 
day or two, on the i oth or 1 1 th, Picquart received, 
all on the same day : i st, a letter from Esterhazy ; 
2nd, a telegram signed Speranza ; 3rd, a telegram 
signed Blanche. Here is Picquart's account of the 
letter : — 

" Major Esterhazy's letter ran substantially as 
follows : — ' I have lately received a letter in which 
you are formally accused of having suborned non- 
commissioned officers to procure you writing of 
mine. I have verified the statement, and it is 
true. . . . They have also informed me of the fol- 
lowing circumstance, viz., that you had carried off 
documents belonging to your department in order 
to form a dossier out of them against me. This 
statement about the dossier is true, and at this 
moment I have a document belonging to it in my 
possession.' . . . Then followed a long, pompous 
phrase like this : ' I cannot believe that a higher 
officer in the French army has gone so far as to 
practise. . .' &c. 'An explanation is incumbent on 
you.' 

" At the same time I received a telegram signed 
Speranza which ran : ' Stop demi-diert. Everything is 
found out. Matter very grave.' " 

Both the letter and the telegram were addressed 
to Tunis : wrongly, for Picquart was then at Soussa, 
and in the address of both his name was misspelled 



172 THE DREYFUS CASE 

Fiquart. It was evident, therefore, that the telegram 
had been addressed, if not written, by Esterhazy. 

On the same day, as I have said, Picqiiart received 
a second telegram, in the address of which his name 
was rightly spelled, and which was rightly dispatched 
to him at Soussa, where he was in garrison. This 
telegram was signed Blanche, the Christian name 
of Mademoiselle de Comminges. The sender of it 
was, it is clear, cognisant of Picqiiart's inquiry into 
Esterhazy, for it referred to the petit hleu which 
had set him on his trail, but which was at that 
date only Icnown outside the War OfSce to Leblois 
and Scheurer-Kestner. It ran thus : — 

" They know that George is the author of the 
petit Ueii. He nuist take precautions. — Blanche." 

These two telegrams obviously proceeded from the 
same person, Du Paty de Clam, co-operating with 
Esterhazy. For it was he who on November 20, 

1896, a year earlier, had written a letter, signing 
it Spcranza, to Picquart at the War Office. This 
letter, the first of the series, had not been sent 
on to Picquart, who only saw it late in November 

1897, when General de Pellieux, who was conduct- 
ing the preliminary examination of Esterhazy, taxed 
him with it. 

If there was ever any doubt that Esterhazy was 
partly responsible for these telegrams, it is removed 
by the fact that, in a series of three articles which 
he wrote in the Libre Parole and signed Bh:iy on 



ESTERHAZY AND DU PATY 173 

November 15, 16, and 17, he alluded to them 
and to Picquart's having received them. Now, 
Picquart's letter to Billot complaining of these 
anonymous telegrams sent to him by some one in- 
side the War Office, only left Tunis November 15, 
and reached Paris November 19, Therefore the 
only person in Paris who could write about them 
in Drumont's paper as early as November 15 must 
have been their author or his accomplice. Now it 
was Esterhazy who so wrote. 

My reader must be impatient to know what was 
the purport of these puerile telegrams and tricks. 
They formed, in effect, part of a mass of silly machi- 
nations devised by the half-witted criminal Du Paty 
in order to ruin Picquart and shield Esterhazy. 

In the first letter ^ signed Speranza, of November 
20, 1896, demi-dieu (the sobriquet so stupidly 
picked out of the letter of Mademoiselle de Com- 
minges' secretary), figured to Du Paty's diseased 
fancy the head of a " syndicate of treason " formed to 
rescue Dreyfus. Picquart accordingly was entreated 
to speak and divulge his discovery, in order that 
the dcmi-dieu might take action. 

A year passes, and Scheurer-Kestner takes up the 
case from Leblois, and tells Billot about it, who 
repeats what he has been told to Du Paty. The 
latter promptly jumps to the conclusion that 
demi-dieu in the secretary's letter of November 20, 
1896, had meant Scheurer-Kestner. Hence the 
* See above p. 140. 



174 THE DREYFUS CASE 

telegrams now dispatched to Tunis, " Stop demi- 
dieu," that is to say, " Stop Scheurer-Kestner." 
In the last telegram, signed Blanche, the idiotic 
insinuation is conveyed that Picquart had forged 
the 2>^tit hhu. 

It gives one a very poor idea of the wits of the 
trio of criminals, Esterhazy, Du Paty, and Henry, 
that they hoped by these puerile tricks to hoax and 
mystify Picquart, and somehow or other entangle 
him in the meshes of the false accusations prepared 
against him. 

These accusations were as follows : — 

I. That Picquart had himself forged the petit Ueu 
in order to ruin Esterhazy. 

II. That he had, before he left the ^tat major, 
communicated Dreyfus' secret dossier to Leblois, 
who had handed it on to Scheurer-Kestner, who 
was consequently the demi-die^t alluded to in the 
Speranza forgery of November 20, 1896. 

III. That Picquart had in 1896 stolen out of the 
secret dossier the "canaille de D " letter, and kept it by 
him until the autumn of 1897, when his mistress 
overheard him talking about it in his sleep, and 
vowing ruin on Esterhazy. Seized with remorse, 
and overcome with pity for the innocent Esterhazy, 
whom her lover sought to substitute for the trai- 
tor Dreyfus, Picquart's mistress had abstracted the 
secret document, and after writing to Esterhazy and 
appointing a trysting-place, gave it into his hands 
as a document libdratcur or pledge that the War 



ESTERHAZY AND DU PATY 175 

Office would protect him from the machinations 
of the " syndicate of treason." 

My reader will now see the drift of the question 
put to Picquart at Tunis, also of the statement in 
Esterhazy's letter to him, to the effect that he 
has in his possession one of the secret documents 
out of the dossier which Picquart had prepared 
against him. 

It is now time to introduce an actor in this drama 
without whose evidence the outlines of this joint 
intrigue of Esterhazy and Du Paty could not have 
been so clearly drawn. This is Count Christian 
Esterhazy, a first cousin of the traitor. 

This young man's father was a much respected 
citizen of Bordeaux, a gentleman of irreproachable 
life and a distinguished officer. He died in 1896. 

Shortly after his death his son Christian, still a 
mere boy, who had inherited a slender fortune, 
received a letter from Walsin- Esterhazy, whom he 
had never seen but once. It began by explaining 
how cordial had been his relations with his father: — 

" He was in reality my only relation, and we have 
for long, long years fought both of us, side by side, 
for the honour and in defence of the name we bear ; 
a name Avhich has — for, my poor child, I grieve to 
have to say it — caused us, and myself especially, 
who have lived more than your father in the Parisian 
world, many sorrows and many sufferings. Your 
father did what he could, and I have made great 
efforts to place you in a better position than we 



176 THE DREYFUS CASE 

ourselves began with ; and I think that by many 
means, and by my marriage among others, we have 
greatly improved it. I have no son; therefore all 
that I do henceforth will be for you — you may 
count upon that. But be as your father was to me. 
Write to me often. I was in constant correspond- 
ence with him, and we always walked together in 
the closest union." 

After this prelude, Walsin proceeds to examine 
his cousin's financial outlook : — 

" The death of your poor father will have for you, 
from a worldly point of view, the most painful con- 
sequences." 

" These," says Walsin, " must be remedied," and 
he accordingly begs his young cousin to keep the 
following " tip " strictly to himself : — 

" I was, at the Bonaparte Lycee, the friend and 
playmate of Edmond de Rothschild, with whom 
I have always been on the best of terms. Some 
years ago, in connection with matters affecting the 
Libre Parole and the Jews, being very intimate with 
Drumont and Mores, I came forward as the second 
in a duel of Cremieu-Foa ; and before the Court 
of Assize I made, as an expert in duelling matters, 
such a deposition regarding the duel of Captain 
Mayer and De Mores as was of real service to the 
Jews. Edmond de Rothschild was very grateful 
to me, and since that time has helped me most 
efficiently. This source of help I on three occasions 
enabled your father to avail himself of, and to any 
one but to him I have never even whispered a word 



ESTERHAZY AND DU PATY 177 

about it, not even to my wife. Now with all my heart 

1 place at your disposal the advantages which my 
relation to Rothschild confers on me, only on one 
condition, that I may rely on your entire discre- 
tion." 

He then examines the different investments open 
to his cousin, such as Priorities, Turkish customs, 
Ottoman Bank, Egyptian debt, and continues thus : — 

" One must be a fool or a rogue to advise others 
to buy Turkish stock just now. You tell me about 
speculations which are coming off, or are about to 
come off. I should advise you never to speculate, 
for all speculations may turn out badly." 

Then he propounds his own " tip " : — 

" I am just now, when I leave my country place, 
going to invest, through the kindness of my friend, 
a certain amount in an operation as safe as it is free 
from anxiety. It is he {i.e. De Rothschild) who is 
conducting it, I will tell him that I will increase 
my holding . . . and I guarantee you a minimum 
of 25 per cent, interest, payable monthly. I do not 
mean, of course, 2 5 per cent, per month, but a good 

2 per cent, and a fraction over." 

Christian Esterhazy and his poor widowed mother 
fell into the trap, and advanced 20,000 francs, and 
after that successive sums up to 38,500. On 
November 10, 1896, Walsin wrote to his cousin 
thus : — " My dear friend, I have been this very 
morning to the friend of my childhood — you can 
tell your mother his name, your father knew it — 

M 



lyS THE DREYFUS CASE 

and I told him I would put 5000 francs more into 
it. I found no diflficulty in doing so, and the matter 
is settled." 

My reader will like to hear the end of this amus- 
ing history, though it anticipates the main narrative. 

In January 1898, Christian Esterhazy, who had 
meanwhile come to Paris, began to feel misgivings 
about his investments, although his cousin had 
paid him the instalments of interest, and he asked 
to be allowed to draw hisrcapital out again. On 
January 26, 1898, Walsin answered him thus : — 

" I cannot, in obedience to the express advice of 
Tezenas, Jeanmaire, and others, set foot in certain 
houses before the end of the trial. To do so would 
draw upon me the most ill-natured suspicions. I 
will do what you want as soon as it is all over. 
In any case, and until then, you need entertain 
no anxiety." 

Tezenas and Jeanmaire were Esterhazy's counsel 
in his mock court-martial. His excuse, that he 
could not pay back his cousin's money because he 
would compromise himself by entering Rothschild's 
bank, is in his best style. So were the remarks 
which followed, intended to allay Christian's fears : — 

" I am waiting impatiently for the end of the 
Zola trial — which is a great error — in order to know 
which side to take. If it turns out well, we have 
decided to claim 500,000 francs from Matthieu {i.e. 
Mathieu Dreyfus), 200,000 from Zola, 200,000 from 
the Fi(jaro. If I only got a third of this it would 



ESTERHAZY AND DU PATY 179 

do very well, and we could seriously think of our 
plan of emigrating. In that case you would do well 
to learn some other language at once." 

Christian's doubts were not allayed, and in another 
letter Esterhazy wrote : — 

" I do not understand why you are so absurd. I 
am very busy with the Picquart business, with the 
actions for damages that I shall bring against 
Mathieu Dreyfus and the English (!)... It is not 
usual for people to withdraw at sight sums put 
out at interest." 

All this is inimitable. The end of it was, that 
Christian Esterhazy and his mother went to Roths- 
child's bank in Paris and made inquiries. They 
learned at once that Commandant Esterhazy had 
never had any account there, still less deposited 
with them capital of any kind. They promptly 
brought an action for swindling and obtaining money 
under false pretences against the Commandant. The 
latter has indeed emigrated, and seems to have 
begun his actions against " the English." Whether 
we shall extradite him or not remains to be seen. 

A youth of such engaging simplicity as his cousin 
was just what Walsin-Esterhazy in November 1897 
stood in need of. Here was some one who would 
make a good go-between in the negotiations which 
pended between himself and the 6tat major, which 
on its side appointed Du Paty to arrange with the 
traitor for his acquittal. It would compromise 



i8o THE DREYFUS CASE 

them if Du Paty were seen negotiating in person 
direct with Walsin ; but Christian Esterhazy was 
unknown in Paris. 

The latter had gone there to see about his money ; 
but Walsin had easily talked him over and allayed 
his fears. On November 17, 1897, he made up his 
mind to remain in Paris instead of going back to 
Bordeaux. On that day he repaired to his cousin's 
house in the Rue de la Bienfaisance, and was wel- 
comed, as he says in his letters, like a son. He 
remained there five or six days. One morning the 
Commandant said to him, " You know of my rela- 
tions with Madame Pays. I would like to introduce 
you to her." So they went to 49 Rue de Douai, 
the extra-conjugal establishment. The interview 
was simple and cordial, and they became friends. 
The conversation, at first trivial, soon took another 
turn, and they began to talk of Du Paty de Clam. 
Madame Pays related how many services she had 
rendered to the Colonel, and of how she saw him 
almost daily. She was, she said, the go-between of the 
Commandant and the Colonel ; but she was afraid of 
being caught. Mathieu Dreyfus, Colonel Picquart, 
and the " syndicate of treason " had a clever police of 
their own, who marked her comings in and goings 
forth. The little cousin from Bordeaux must help 
her, and take her place sometimes, since her mission 
was to rescue his innocent cousin from the machina- 
tions set on foot against him. No one knew him, 
and he would not rouse the suspicions of the spies. 



ESTERHAZY AND DU PATY i8i 

He could, therefore, wait, without attracting notice, in 
sechided places — at omnibus bureaux and elsewhere, 
to give and receive letters. Walsin also represented 
to him how the honour of the family was at stake ; 
and Christian accepted the mission. That very day 
Du Paty had two interviews with him, the first 
merely to fix a rendezvous for the second. At 
6 P.M., the hour fixed, Christian was there, and Du 
Paty expounded to him the plots of the " syndicate 
of treason." " The Commandant," said Du Paty, " has 
compromised himself, which is a pity for him, for 
his enemies exploit his acts of imprudence. They 
are powerful Jews, and that is why, in order to 
combat them, one must take precautions, and meet 
at rendezvous which elude their watchfulness. For 
the rest, one need have no apprehension as to the 
results of the duel between Esterhazy and the party 
of traitors." 

" I gave him," says Christian, " the note confided 
to me by the Captain. The Colonel went and read 
it under a gas jet. Then he came back and gave 
me a closed note for my cousin. This first interview 
lasted about half-an-hour. . . . After that I saw 
Colonel Du Paty de Clam again nearly every evening, 
and these interviews only stopped when the court- 
martial began. At each interview there was an 
exchange of notes. 

" Of my conversations with the Colonel I remember 
the following details. He assured me that General 
Billot and Meline, the premier, had at first been 
favourable to the cause of Dreyfus. They had, 



1 82 THE DREYFUS CASE 

however, changed their attitude, and were now 
resolved to oppose, tooth and nail, any revision of 
the trial of 1894. 

" The most dangerous adversary, he said, was 
Lieutenant-Colonel Picquart. It was necessary to 
unmask him, to expose his suspicious conduct. But 
it was necessary to play a close game with him ; 
and that was why he (Du Paty), Madame Pays, 
and Esterhazy had spread a net to catch him in the 
famous telegrams." 

Count Christian then related the vexation of his 
cousin at the experts in his court-martial refusing 
to swear that his letters to Madame de Bou- 
lancy were not in his handwriting. In this matter 
the 6tat major would not help him. " Then," he 
says, " I took to Du Paty this ultimatum : If the 
Commandant is not acquitted of all the charges, he 
will commit suicide ; but before he does so he will 
publish all the little notes from Du Paty de Clam 
exchanged through me. Then the public will know 
all about the part Colonel Du Paty de Clam has 
played, and will have complete evidence to go upon," 

" Colonel Du Paty turned pale with rage. ' This,' 
he cried, ' is a case of black-mail ; and this is the 
way in which I am rewarded for having wished to 
protect Esterhazy against the dangers which threaten 
him ! I shall fall a victim, I who am innocent, to 
my own good-nature ! Well, I shall go straight to 
the Minister of War and to my superiors, and shall 
tell them in full all about my intercourse with 
Esterhazy.' 



ESTERHAZY AND DU PATY 183 

" We left one another," says Count Christian, 
" after those words, and I have not seen him since. 
My interview had lasted two hours." 

In answer to a question as to what he knew 
about the false telegrams signed Blanche and Sper- 
anza, Christian Esterhazy had the following deposi- 
tion to make before the Judge Bertulus, who was 
examining magistrate in the action for forgery 
brought early in this year by Picquart against 
Esterhazy, Madame Pays, and De Clam : — • 

" The Commandant has often talked about them 
to me, as also Du Paty. They told me they hoped 
to compromise Picquart and to startle him from his 
lair, and therefore concocted these subterfuges. Two 
telegrams were sent him at the advice of Du Paty. 
The first, signed Speranza, was dictated by the Colonel 
and written by Madame Pays, and taken to the 
post by Commandant Esterhazy. The same day, 
however, Du Paty told the latter that he feared the 
telegram already sent might miss its destination 
owing to the misspelling of the name Picquart as 
Piquart in the address, a mistake he had noticed 
too late when he looked in the army list. They 
had left out the c. It was necessary to go on with 
their plan, so they resolved to send a second tele- 
gram. Colonel Du Paty wrote or dictated this, I 
forget which. It was signed Blanche." 

The story of the Veiled Lady, as also related by 
Count Christian, must be told in my next chapter. 
It is only important to add here that the facts of 
his intercourse with Du Paty, as above narrated by 



1 84 THE DREYFUS CASE 

Christian Esterhazy, have been endorsed by Com- 
mandant Esterhazy himself in a memorandum 
addressed to the Procureur-Gen^ral of the Court of 
Appeal, in which he tries to exculpate himself from 
the charge of swindling brought against him by his 
cousin. In this memorandum the Commandant 
dwells on the relations that were between himself 
and his young cousin in the following terms : — 

" He arrived in Paris, and since Colonel Du Paty 
de Clam always said to me that in the 4tat major 
they would prefer to have from time to time a second 
intermediary, so as to prevent Madame Pays from 
being caught, I welcomed him with joy." 

This is ample confirmation of Christian Ester- 
hazy's narrative, which he repeated on oath before 
the magistrate Bertulus, and proof positive that the 
dtat major was all along in collusion with Esterhazy, 
the accused of high treason, in order to secure his 
acquittal. 



CHAPTER XI 

THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 

We have seen that the press, and in particular an 
article by Clemenceau, obliged the War Office to 
recall Colonel Picquart in November 1897 to attend 
the Esterhazy court-martial. Before he arrived, 
however. General de Pellieux, who was conducting 
the preliminary inquiry, on the pretext of searching 
for contraband matches, broke into Picquart's rooms 
in Paris, and sacked them. On the other hand 
Esterhazy, the accused of high treason, was neither 
arrested nor his house searched — a singular contrast 
with the treatment meted out to Dreyfus in 1894. 
Thus left scot-free, Esterhazy lounged about the 
boulevards, sat in Drumont's editorial office, or ar- 
ranged with Du Paty the protocols of his acquittal. 
The first question which Picquart asked when, on 
reaching Paris, he was brought under surveillance 
before De Pellieux, was why the latter did not 
arrest Esterhazy. " The witnesses against him," he 
said, " will not rise up out of the earth till he is 
locked up." At the Zola trial, when De Pellieux 
was asked why he had not at once searched Ester- 
hazy's house, he replied with cynical effrontery that 
it was absolutely useless, because Picquart had done 



i86 THE DREYFUS CASE 

it eight montlis before. We have seen that in 
the autumn of 1896 Esterhazy had been warned, 
and that Picquart's agent only entered his room, 
already to let, as any one else might have done. 

Out of respect for the cliose jugSe, De Pellieux 
at first refused to admit the bordereau as evidence 
against Esterhazy, though it was just the charge of 
being its author made by Mathieu Dreyfus that 
had forced the dat major to prosecute for high 
treason. " To do so," said De Pellieux in his de- 
position at the fourth audience of the Zola trial, 
" seemed to me tantamount to reopening the affaire 
Dreyfus. If the bordereau were to he attributed to any 
one else, revision would be forced wpon us." It is not 
surprising, under the circumstances, to learn from 
De Pellieux' depositions at the fifth audience of the 
Zola trial, that, when he did consent to admit it as 
evidence, he found himself " in presence of a veri- 
table strike of experts," and that, in order to get 
any at all, he required a special mandate from the 
Ministry of Justice. De Pellieux in court ascribed 
this " strike of experts " to their general respect for 
the cJwse jugee. A draft letter of Esterhazy, how- 
ever, seized by Judge Bertulus in his lodgings in 
July 1898, helps to explain the reluctance of ex- 
perts to come forward. It was to have been ad- 
dressed to De Pellieux, and dates from the period, 
November 1896, when that officer was arranging 
the preliminaries of his court-martial. It begins 
thus : — 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 187 

" What am I to do next, since the experts refuse 
to come to such conchisions as you hoped for ? " 

We may infer that De PeUieux wanted them to 
find, as Bertillon had done in 1894, that the bor- 
dereau was in Dreyfus' handwriting, for the letter 
continues, though rather obscurely, thus : — • 

" Ought I, as Tezenas wished me to do from the 
very first, and as I have a right to do — ought I to 
ask for the expertise with the name of Dreyfus, and 
talk afresh of the cUcalque ? " 

Clearly Esterhazy, Tezenas, his counsel, and De 
PeUieux regarded experts in handwriting as men 
hired to say what they were wanted to say. But 
the new set of experts, though they were willing to 
allow that Dreyfus had in the bordereau traced 
Esterhazy's handwriting letter by letter, yet shrank 
from affirming the conclusions of Bertillon. 

Esterhazy then proceeds to blame three experts, 
two of whom finally offered themselves, for their 
refusal to acquit him of writing the Uhlan letter to 
Madame de Boulancy : — 

" How is it that neither Charavay nor Varinard, 
whom you know, have found in my favour as regards 
the Boulancy letter, manifestly falsified ? Belhomme 
is an idiot ; you have only to look at him," 

However, Esterhazy still has some hope. The 
ingenious Bertillon, though he is not available any 
more for the bordereau, might yet help them in this 
fresh particular. Accordingly he writes — : 



1 88 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" Shall I get Bertillon to make a contre-expertise 
for the B. {i.e. Boulancy) letters ? All these people 
mean to assassinate me. However, can they not 
prove to Ravary and the experts that I could not 
have written the very words of the chief letter to the 
woman Boulancy ? " 

Evidently the Uhlan letter was felt to be very 
compromising, and yet the experts stuck to it that 
it was his. The next paragraph is so loosely written 
that its meaning is not clear : — 

" If the experts find that the writing {i.e. of the 
Uhlan letter) is mine, it is impossible for me, 
and in the interests of my defence, not to attempt 
to prove that it is Dreyfus that is author of the 
bordereau." 

Evidently the person who wrote the above, and 
the person to whom he wrote, did not believe for a 
moment that Dreyfus wrote the bordereau : — 

" Understand, therefore, that if you are really 
masters of the instruction and of the experts, I can 
but trust absolutely to you ; but if you are not, then 
I shall be absolutely obliged to prove that the bor- 
dereau was traced by Dreyfus upon my writing." 

His faith in De Pellieux' ability to pull him 
through is touching. That it was well grounded is 
proved by another draft of a letter found at the 
same time in Esterhazy's rooms, and as clearly as 
the other addressed to De Pellieux on January i8, 
the day after he had been acquitted " to order : " — 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 189 

" My General, — I was just about to write to you 
to express to you ill enough — for I cannot find 
words to say what I feel — all my deep gratitude, all 
the infinite acknowledgment I have in my heart for 
you. If I have not succumbed in this monstrous 
campaign, it is to you, and to you alone, that I owe 
it. When I found this letter "... 

Here the rough draft breaks off. Taken with the 
other letter, it amply proves that Esterhazy's acquittal 
was a " put up job," engineered mainly by General 
de Pellieux. Let us now return to this court-martial. 
It began January 10, 1898, and General de Luxer 
presided over it ; the Commandant Kavary was rwp- 
porteur, and in that capacity laid a report before it 
embodying the results of his own and De Pellieux' 
preliminary inquiries. Maitre Tezenas, assisted by 
Maitre Jeanmaire, defended Esterhazy. M. Valle- 
calle, whom we met at Dreyfus' degradation, read 
out the accusation of high treason and betraying 
secrets to a foreign Power, couched in the same 
terms as the accusation against ]!)reyfLis, and equally 
signed by General Saussier. 

De Pellieux, I should add, had in his report 
declared in favour of a non lieu, that is, in favour of 
ch'opping the prosecution altogether ; but it had 
been found possible to arrange an acquittal, and 
accordingly, to satisfy public opinion, it had been 
proceeded with. The court began by rejecting 
Madame Dreyfus' claim, urged by Maitre Labori in 
a powerful speech, to be a party in the case, and 



190 THE DREYFUS CASE 

also a similar claim on the part of Mathieu Dreyfus. 
The court, it was ruled, had not to concern itself 
with the affaire Dreyfus, for that had been settled 
in a legal way by the former court-martial. 

Having settled these preliminaries, the report of 
the Commandant Ravary was read, a document in 
every way the pendant of D'Ormescheville's act of 
accusation of Dreyfus. The prosecution was nomi- 
nally of Esterhazy, but all his life and deeds were 
veiled in it by a benevolent sophistry, and Picquart 
was transformed into the real accused. In the 
Zola trial M. Ravary, convicted by Zola's counsel, 
Labori, of the grossest irregularities in his conduct 
of the preliminaries of Esterhazy's court-martial, 
defended himself by saying, " Military justice does 
not proceed like your justice." 

No one who studies his ra])])ort will deny the 
truth of his remark. French military justice is 
happily quite sui generis. It would be a calamity 
for any country whose justice, military or civil, at 
all resembled it. Let us now analyse Ravary's 
report : — 

"The 15th November last, after a newspaper 
campaign as violent as it was regrettable, the 
Minister of War received a letter denouncing Com- 
mandant Walsin-Esterhazy." 

Note that all the violence was on the part of 
the Lihre Parole, L' Intransigeant, Petit Journal, and 
sundry other journals subsidised by the dtat major. 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 191 

" After the inquiry had begun a new accusation 
was added, brought by Lieutenant-Colonel Picquart, 
summoned from Tunisia to give evidence at the 
instance of MM. Scheurer-Kestner and Mathieu 
Dreyfus." 

Here is a candid admission that the etat major 
desired to suffocate Picquart's evidence by detaining 
him in Tunisia, just as they are now (November 
1898) keeping him au secret m prison on a false 
accusation that he may not give evidence before the 
Court of Cassation. 

" This higher officer revealed the existence of a 
telegram-card received when he was attached to the 
Ministry, and which, according to him, demonstrated 
the guilt of Commandant Esterhazy." 

On the contrary. Colonel Picquart has from the 
first insisted that the telegram- card was a mere clue 
which set him on the track of Esterhazy. It was, 
considering its provenance, suspicious only. 

" We shall see further on of what this ' conclu- 
sive ' piece consisted, and what degree of confidence 
it is capable of inspiring." 

Here the keynote is sounded of all the War Office 
machinations against Picquart. He has lain in 
prison several months on the frivolous charge of 
having forged this telegram-card or petit bleu, 
except for the bringing of which to the Intelligence 
Department by Schwartzkoppen's porter in May 



192 THE DREYFUS CASE 

1896 he would never have had his attention drawn 
to Esterhazy. 

" At length the inquiry, pursued with remarkable 
celerity and impartiality, resulted in the giving of 
that order to prosecute {informer) which the accused 
man Esterhazy demanded so energetically." 

Ravary writes thus, although he knew that Ester- 
hazy had meditated suicide, and then ran away from 
France at the mere rumour that Scheurer-Kestner 
knew the name of the author of the bordereau. So 
impartial had De Pellieux been in his " inquiry," 
that, although the authorship of the bordereau was 
the only offence alleged against Esterhazy, he yet 
left it out of account and pronounced for a non lieu, 
without even submitting it to experts, by way of 
testing Mathieu Dreyfus' allegation. This sounds 
incredible, but here is De Pellieux' deposition at 
the fifth audience of the Zola trial : — 

" Labori : Yes or no. When General de Pellieux 
said ' There is no proof,' had the bordereau been laid 
before experts ? 

" De Pelheux : No. 

" Labori : Thank you." 

As to the evidence of M. Autant regarding 
Esterhazy's design in October 1897 to commit 
suicide, we can judge of how De Pellieux treated 
it from the following singular colloquy before the 
court-martial : — 

" The Commissary of the Government said : You 




GENERAL DE PELLIEUX. 



Page 192. 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 193 

do not appear to me to be at all kindly disposed (i.e. 
to Esterhazy) ? 

" M. Autant : Is it to be ill-disposed to him to 
tell tlie truth ? Am I not as worthy of credence as 
Madame (Pays) ? 

" The Commissary : I do not say that, but / ih 
not understand why you make such a deposition." 

As to the evidence which Picquart had to give 
against the accused, we know how Ravary in his 
preliminary hearing of the witnesses took it ; for 
Picquart has told us at the Zola trial, on February 
II, 1898 : — 

" In the little preliminary investigations made by 
me (in 1896) I lit upon a certain number of grave 
matters. They received no attention (i.e. from 
Ravary and De Pellieux). All they said to me was 
this : ' But we know Esterhazy better than you do.' 
And in the report all my evidence is ignored." 

Ravary next reviews in a perfunctory and ironical 
way the evidence of Mathieu Dreyfus and Picquart, 
insinuating wherever he can that it is false, as in 
the following passage : — 

" With the assent of his chiefs, so he says, he 
procured the writing of Commandant Esterhazy, in 
order to officially compare it." 

As if the letters of Gonse were not in existence 
to prove the truth of Picquart's allegation. And 
now we come to Esterhazy's defence of himself. 
It is a string of pearls : — 

N 



194 THE DREYFUS CASE 

"Being called upon to answer the accusation 
levelled at him, Commandant Esterhazy began by 
explaining the circumstances under which he be- 
came aware of the machinations directed against 
him, 

" In last October, when in the country, he received 
a letter signed Speranza, which gave him minute 
details about a plot against him which was insti- 
gated by a colonel named Piquart, and the name 
was written Piquart without a c." 

My readers have already noticed (see p. 183) that 
this was Esterhazy's habitual misspelling of the 
name. Picquart had drawn the attention of De 
Pellieux to this coincidence, but he and Ravary 
deemed it beneath the dignity of military justice 
to take note of such a clue. 

" Terrified by this grave communication, the 
Commandant went straight to Paris and immedi- 
ately laid the matter before the Minister of War, 
to whom he addressed the letter put in." 

The words " grave communication " are excellent 
to describe a missive written with the aid of Du 
Paty, and addressed to Esterhazy by himself. De 
PelUeux and Ravary both knew that the letter 
was one of " Esterhazy's to himself," for Picquart 
had proved it to them. We pass on : — 

" A little time afterwards he got a telegram pray- 
ing him to be at 11.30 p.m. behind the palisade 
of the Alexandre III. bridge, on the Invalidcs side 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 195 

A person, it said, wished to give him very inter- 
estinsf information which concerned him. 

" The Commandant went to the place mentioned, 
and found in a carriage a lady, who began by making 
him swear to respect her incognito. He pledged his 
honour ; whereupon the unkno\vn lady {H7iconnue), 
whom the press has designated the ' veiled lady,' 
detailed to him at great length the manceuvres of 
those whom she called ' the gang.' 

" After that there followed three later interviews, 
all held under the same veil of discretion, sometimes 
behind the Church of the Sacre-Cceur, sometimes at 
Montsouris. 

" In the course of the second visit, the unknoAvn 
lady gave a sealed letter to her interlocutor, and 
said : ' Take the document contained in this enve- 
lope ; it proves your innocence, and if the torchon 
burns, hesitate not to use it.' 

" On the 1 4th November, the accused, being ad- 
vised to that effect, did not hesitate to part with 
the document UMrateur by sending it to the Minister 
of War, intrusting loyally to his chief the care of 
defending his threatened honour." 

This is the place to add a later paragraph from 
Ravary's report, because it suggests the official 
account devised by Du Paty of his veiled lady, who 
was to be, as we saw above (p. 174), identified with 
Picquart's mistress. I need hardly assure my 
readers that these insinuations against Picquart's 
character are baseless. The paragraph is the fol- 
lowing : — 



196 THE DREYFUS CASE 

"One evening (i.e. in 1896) Lieutenant-Colonel 
Henry, on his return to Paris, had entered M. Pic- 
quart's room rather suddenly. There he saw Maitre 
Leblois . . . sitting close to the desk, and turning 
over and studying {compulsant) with Picquart the 
secret dossier. A photograph bearing the words, 
' Cette canaille de D . . .' had got out of the 
dossier, and was spread out on the desk. 

" If one considers that this is the same document 
which was sent to the Minister of War by the 
accused, one is inevitably led to ask oneself, if the 
correlation which unites the two circumstances is 
not the result of their indiscretion ? " 

If one considers that it is the same document 
which Du Paty sent to the Eclair on September 14, 
1896, after duly falsifying it, as an irrefutable proof 
of Dreyfus' guilt, one inevitably understands why he 
sent it to Esterhazy in November 1 897 as a docu- 
nunt HMratcur, by way of assuring that criminal of 
what paternal solicitude on the part of the ^tat 
major he was the object. Having executed this 
childish manoeuvre, Du Paty's next step was to 
suggest to his superiors in the War Office that it 
was Picquart who had in October 1896 stolen this 
document out of Henry's secret dossier of Dreyfus, 
and that his mistress, out of pity for the innocent 
Esterhazy, had sent it to him. His superiors readily 
joined in this silly plot, and, as we saw above (p. 1 70), 
had telegraphed out to the authorities at Tunis to 
put the question to Picquart whether a woman had 
not stolen such a document from him. The name 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 197 

Sp&ranza had suggested itself to Du Paty because it 
was that of a circus girl with whom he had had an 
intrigue at Rouen. 

Before the court-martial Esterhazy was questioned 
by General de Luxer about this veiled lady, and the 
romance would not be complete without giving some 
of his answers. Of course De Luxer was not so rude 
as to press him with any awkward questions about 
adventures so romantic ; and indeed, had he wished 
to do so. General de Pellieux, who, as delegate of the 
Governor of Paris, sat just behind him and interfered 
as he liked,^ though quite irregularly, in the trial, 
would not have allowed him to ask them. 

Here are some of Esterhazy's replies : — 

" Two days earlier I got a telegram fixing a ren- 
dezvous behind the iwnt Alexandre III., on the 
Square of the Livalides. I went, and found there 
the lady of whom they have talked so much, but 
whom I did not know. She was covered with a 
thick veil. I could not see her face, and at her 
request I gave my word of honour not to try to 
recognise her. . . . 

" De Luxer : ' It is very singular that you had 
four rendezvous with the mysterious lady, and that 
you could not try to find out whence came the 
information she gave you.' 

" Esterhazy : ' Her information was accurate ; I 
had proof of that.' 

" De Luxer : ' You did not try to find out what 

^ In the fourth audience of the Zola trial De Pellieux admitted 
this. 



198 THE DREYFUS CASE 

interest she had in discovering to you the manoeuvres 
of your enemies ? ' 

" Esterhazy : ' She seemed to be animated by an 
imperious need to defend an unfortunate man against 
false imputations.' 

" De Luxer : ' Why not reproduce in full daylight 
these allegations ? Why hide oneself, if one has 
anything to say in the interest of truth ? ' 

" Esterhazy : ' I shall not even try henceforth 
to find out whence she derived her information, 
for I have sworn not to speculate about it.' " 

Was ever such a comedy witnessed in any court 
of law since civilisation began as in this court- 
martial, which was presided over by General de 
Luxer, watched over by General de Pellieux, and 
in which six colonels and three majors were judges, 
while two majors more took part as the prosecutors ? 
It was colossal. And now that my reader has 
watched the performance, as it were, from the public 
pit, I would beg him to follow me a moment behind 
the scenes, so that he may see the stage arrange- 
ments from the other side ; and here once more 
Count Christian Esterhazy unlocks for us the green- 
room door. 

" It was myself," avows Count Christian Esterhazy, 
" who wrote the letters of the veiled lady, in whom 
certain members of the etat major believed or pre- 
tended to believe. It is I that fabricated, just as 
they were wanted, the two letters about a rendezvous, 
in which promise was made of a precious document 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 199 

by means of which Commandant Esterhazy was 
to defy his enemies. 

" The following were the circumstances under 
which I did it : — 

" I was at the time in the Rue de Douai at Madame 
Pays' house. General de Pellieux was just then busy 
with his inquiry, and he had begged my cousin 
to send him the letters of the veiled lady. The 
commandant, who had made up this story to ex- 
plain how he came by the secret document, an 
swered M. de Pellieux that he would let him have 
them on the morrow, when he appeared before him. 
He wanted them himself at the time. The com- 
mandant thereupon told me to write out in printing 
letters a missive which he would dictate. He dic- 
tated me two such. The text of the second was 
nearly as follows: — ' This evening, at six, Rue Saint- 
Eleuthere, at the corner of the old church of Mont 
Martre. Take care not to be followed.' The other 
was in the same terms, but appointing a rendezvous 
at the 'pont Alexandre III. These missives were 
meant for General de Pellieux' eye. 

" Esterhazy showed them to the general, who 
recommended him to go to the rendezvous in the 
Rue Saint-Eleuthere. But Esterhazy got out of the 
muddle, which he had not foreseen, by persuading 
the general that it was a useless step to take, since, 
being dogged as he was by Mathieu Dreyfus' de- 
tectives, the ' veiled lady' would not venture to show 
herself." 

" And what about the document libSrateur ? " was 
the next question put to Christian Esterhazy. 

"Ah, that goes back a little earlier. I was not 



200 THE DREYFUS CASE 

yet in Paris at that time. It was the 14th Novem- 
ber,^ after making his deposition to the military 
council, that Commandant Esterhazy sent this 
document back to the Ministry of War. Du Paty 
de Clam had supplied him with it. I got my in- 
formation about it from the commandant himself 
as follows : — 

" ' The colonel, so my cousin told me, fixed a 
rendezvous with Madame Pays and himself at the 
Invalides. The moment was come, so he judged, 
for arming him with this proof, which was to make 
his innocence clear to all.' 

" Esterhazy, reassured as to the complicity of 
Du Paty de Clam, breathed afresh and plucked up 
courage. He wrote to various high personages in 
the army, asking for their protection, and sent a 
note to the President of the Republic beseeching 
him to help him. 

" In due time Colonel Du Paty showed himself 
as good as his word. The interview took place in 
the evening, at a fairly late hour. The three people 
were there, and the colonel held out a sealed packet 
to Esterhazy. He told him what was in it, but 

1 My reader will notice a discrepancy between Ciiristian Ester- 
liazy's date and the lettrc cVun diplomate (see above, p. 24), which 
assigns October 16, 1897. In his communication to Count Casella, 
Colonel Panizzardi seems to put Esterhazy's visit, revolver in hand, 
to Schwartzkoppen at the earlier date, for he says, " Just imagine 1 
When Esterhazy began to suspect that he would be caught, even 
before the denunciation of Mathieu Dreyfus, he dared to present 
himself before M. de Schwartzkoppen," &c. However, in his court- 
martial, Esterhazy swore that he returned the secret piece on 
November 14. He must, then, have had it in his possession for a 
month, and Christian Esterhazy errs in supposing that he received 
and returned it the same evening. Most probably his cousin did 
not relate the whole episode to him accurately. 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 201 

forbade laim to open it, and invited him to take it 
back at once to the Ministry of War. 

" That is what Esterhazy did. He took farewell 
of the colonel and of Madame Pays, and went in a 
carriage to the Rue Saint-Dominique. It was too 
late. The door was shut, the concierge was gone to 
bed. The commandant threw the document into 
the letter-box of the Ministry, and it was given back 
to the officers the nest morning. Then he went 
back to the Rue de Douai. 

" The commandant did not know the exact text 
of this document, for at the interrogatory of General 
de Pellieux he could not say what was its opening 
sentence." 

Such was Christian Esterhazy's deposition before 
M. Bertulus, whose duty it has been to sift the ch- 
cumstances in the civil suit for forgery brought by 
Colonel Picquart against Esterhazy and his accom- 
plices. It was not published until August 5, 1898, 
in the Siecle. 

It only remains to give the text of the receipt for 
the document liherateur sent by the War Offi.ce to 
Esterhazy. The history of the pantomime would 
not be complete without it : — 

" Commandant, — The Minister of War acknow- 
ledges to you the receipt of the document which 
you have returned to him November 14, a docu- 
ment which was given to you, so you say, by an 
unknown woman, and which must be, you add, the 
photograph of a document belonging to the Ministry 
of War." 



202 THE DREYFUS CASE 

This is from General Billot. Note how carefully 
he abstains from verifying Esterhazy's statement that 
it was only a copy, and not the original of a docu- 
ment so immeasurably private in character that it 
could only be shown by Mercier to Dreyfus' judges 
when secrecy within secrecy had been established. 
Du Paty chose this document rather than another, 
not because it really bore on Esterhazy's trial or in 
any way proved that he was not the author of the 
bordereau, but in order that Esterhazy might be able 
to say in case of need to Billot : " You must acquit 
me, for if you do not I will expose the secret evi- 
dence illegally used against Dreyfus by Mercier." 
Thus Esterhazy Avas induced and enabled by the 
etat major to blackmail Billot and every succeeding 
Minister of War. 

And now we must with regret take leave of the 
veiled lady and return to M. Ravary's text. 

" On the next day but one after the return of 
the document liberateur, M. Mathieu Dreyfus published 
his letters of denunciation in certain journals, and it 
was only during the judicial inquiry that Com- 
mandant Esterhazy became aware of all the charges 
brought against him by his enemies. 

" He repels them all with the greatest energy, 
and refutes them thus : — 

" The bordereau laid to his charge is not his 
work ; he had never seen it before it was shown 
him by the officer of judiciary police {i.e. De 
Pellieux). 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 203 

" He admits that in the handwriting of this docu- 
ment there are to be met with words which so 
strikingly resemble his own writing that you would 
say it was traced. But the general effect is essen- 
tially different. His writing is very fanciful, and 
that explains how it is that in his handwriting the 
same letter is not uniformly shaped in the same 
way. 

"Indeed, he adds, even if the identity were still 
greater, that would still prove nothing, and it is easy 
for him to prove that it was impossible for him to 
procure the documents enumerated." 

The letter of Esterhazy to De Pellieux, of which 
the draft was given above (p. 187), proves that it 
was at Esterhazy's own suggestion that the experts 
Couard, Varinard, and Belhomme found that the 
bordereau was traced by Dreyfus from writing of 
Esterhazy's. In this way they satisfied the War 
Office men, who required a report to the effect that 
it was not the work of the real traitor ; they also 
respected the cliose jug^e, and they went as near as 
they could to fulfilling the dictates of their own 
graphological art, which, now that specimens of 
Esterhazy's writing were in everybody's hands, made 
the finding of Bertillon absurd and impossible. 
However, Ravary would gladly forget the " striking 
resemblance " admitted by Esterhazy, and in adduc- 
ing the report of the experts takes care to truncate 
it: — 

"On November 26, 1897, the experts deposited 



204 THE DREYFUS CASE 

their finding in our hands. Their conclusions v/ere 
the following : — 

" The bordereau of which he is accused is not the 
work of the Commandant Walsin-Esterhazy. We 
affirm on our honour and conscience the present de- 
claration. 

" These conclusions, categorical as they are, per- 
emptorily invalidate the accusation brought by M. 
Mathieu Dreyfus." 

Esterhazy's assertion that his writing was fanciful, 
in the sense that he did not uniformly trace the 
same letters in the same way, was made in order to 
discount Mathieu Dreyfus' evidence that after 
November lO, 1896, he changed his handwriting, 
especially the capital letters M, N, A, which he 
thenceforth was careful to make in the German 
style. 

Esterhazy's own lame account of the " striking 
resemblance " of the bordereau to his own writing 
was accepted by his judges no less than by the 
experts as the most natural thing in the world. It 
was in vain that Mathieu Dreyfus pointed out that 
his brother had never seen or had any of Esterhazy's 
handwriting ; that the bordereau could not have been 
traced letter by letter, since it was written in a 
natural running and rapid hand, without any of the 
signs of halting and hesitation, without inequalities 
in the height of letters or other tell-tale character- 
istics of traced writing. In vain he pointed out that, 
if his brother had traced the other's handwriting, it 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 205 

could only be in order that he might say when dis- 
covered, " It is not I that wrote this bordereau ; it 
is the Commandant Esterhazy." In vain he brought 
five of the highest authorities in the world to testify 
that the bordereau was in Esterhazy's undisguised 
and natural writing. What did all that signify 
to the generals, and colonels, and majors who were 
the judges ? Had they not been instructed not 
to trench on the Dreyfus verdict by the Commissary 
of the Government in these words ? — 

" I am here to speak in the name of the law. The 
court-martial has not to go back upon the case of 
the ex- Captain Dreyfus, who has been justly and 
legally condemned." 

In short, the Dreyfus verdict was like a theological 
dogma, which, having been pronounced ex cathedra 
by an infallible Pope or Council, requires all subse- 
quent criticism and history to be conformed to itself, 
instead of being made to conform itself to them. 
If Esterhazy had written the bordereau, then Dreyfus 
would be innocent. But Dreyfus was guilty, there- 
fore Esterhazy could not have written it. 

Du Paty de Clam had, indeed, made up one of 
his little romances to explain how Dreyfus might 
have procured specimens of Esterhazy's handwriting, 
and the traitor having been coached up in it de- 
posed to it before the court-martial. The following 
was the tenor of this new romance, as related by 
Esterhazy in his court-martial : — 



2o6 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" My writing," he said, " has, I am sorry to say 
got into the hands of a great many members of the 
money-lending profession ; what is more, I was a 
second in the Crcniieu-Foa duel. . . . But that was 
not all. I remembered, when the bordereau was 
published by the Matin, that in February 1893 I 
received at Rouen, where I then was, a letter from 
an officer in the itat major, in which he said that he 
was charged to write a monograph on the use of the 
light cavalry in the Crimean campaign, and that 
knowing my father had led a brigade at Eupatoria 
he asked me to send him the documents I might 
have bearing on that epoch. I wrote a little work 
of seven or eight pages in folio, and sent it to my 
correspondent, Captain Brault, Rue de Chateaudun, 

" Do Luxer : What number ? 

" Esterhazy : I forget." 

Esterhazy then narrated to his judges how, as he 
had received no answer, he went to the itat major to 
ask about the matter, and was told that Brault had 
left it, and was in garrison at Toulouse. He wrote 
to him there to ask if he had received the " little 
work," and got the reply that Brault knew nothing 
about it, nor had over asked for the Eupatoria in- 
formation. " None of my friends or acquaintances 
live in the Rue de Chateaudun," wrote Brault. 

What was the purport of this string of lies ? 
Simply this ; M. Hadamard, the father of Madame 
Alfred Dreyfus, lived then as now at 52 Rue de 
Chateaudun, at which address we saw Esterhazy had 
just before sent him a threatening letter. Esterhazy 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 207 

wished his judges to believe that Captain Dre3rfus 
had written, under Brault's name, to him in 1893 
merely in order to get hold of specimens of his 
handwriting. General de Luxer took care to bring 
this suggestion into prominence by asking the ques- 
tion : — 

" This information (about Eupatoria) was asked 
for from you by a third person, who got you to 
address him ' Rue de Chateaudun.' That is it, is 
it not ? " 

Esterhazy answered : " Yes, my General," 

The traitor got up an entire correspondence with 
Brault, who was naturally much mystified about it. 
The astonishing thing is that after taking so much 
trouble over the matter, Esterhazy gave himself 
away in one of his letters to Brault, written October 
29, 1897 ; for he writes in it thus : — 

" My dear Comrade, — Permit me to appeal to 
your recollections for some information of the 
greatest interest to me. In February i8g6, I sent 
you at your own request a notice about the part 
played at Eupatoria by the Fourth Hussars." . . . 

Now, Esterhazy should have written 1893; for 
any monograph of his sent as late as 1896 would 
not have served Dreyfus as a model from which to 
trace the bordereau ; for at that date he was already 
in Guiana. Had Esterhazy's slip anything to do 
with the hypothesis of Bertillon, broached to Pic- 
quart in May 1 896 (see above, p. 104), that the Jews 



2o8 THE DREYFUS CASE 

had then for a year paist been trying to imitate the 
bordereau, and now had succeeded to the point of 
identity ? However this may be, Du Paty's hand 
can be clearly traced in this pretty figment. For 
why should Dreyfus be made to choose the name 
of Brault as a pseudonym under which to mask his 
suggested attempt to get a specimen of Esterhazy's 
writing ? In 1894 Dreyfus, asked by Du Paty if he 
knew any handwriting similar to that of the bor- 
dereau, mentioned Brault's. Specimens of Brault's 
writing were fetched, and Dreyfus at once declared 
that he had been mistaken. It was this incident of 
the Dreyfus trial, known to Du Paty in November 
1897, but not to Esterhazy, which suggested the 
introduction of his name into this apocryph, which 
is very similar in character to the romance of the 
veiled lady. 

The rest of the report of Ravary is occupied with 
the abominable charges against Colonel Picquart, in 
support of which, at the subsequent trial of Zola, the 
military witnesses one after another steeped them- 
selves to the lips in perjury and lies, which yet, 
after all their efforts, crumbled, and failed to form a 
coherent system. This is the text : — 

" There remains the accusation brought by 
Lieut.-Col. Picquart, and based on the telegram 
card. 

" As regards Esterhazy, this accusation does not 
deserve to be taken seriously. Not only is the 
authenticity of this card far from being proved, but 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 209 

the naivete of its being addressed as it is gives tlie 
best measure of its value." 

It is remarkable how critical these judges were 
of a document incriminating Esterhazy, at the 
same time that they gorged Henry's grotesque for- 
geries. 

"Proceeding still further in his refutation, the 
accused alleges and affirms that the document is 
false, and that the accuser is the author of it." 

Esterhazy could hardly assume any other position 
about the petit bleu, which started Picquart on his 
track; but who would have thought that the etat 
major and three Ministers of War in succession would 
have seriously adopted Esterhazy 's charge, and in- 
terned Picquart au secret for nearly four months, 
while they were forging evidence in support of it, and 
suborning witnesses against him ? As if the moral 
murder of Dreyfus, and the acquittal " to order " of 
the real traitor were not guilt enough, they seem to 
revel in crime. Ravary continues : — 

" Count Esterhazy protests with all his might 
against the unqualifiable methods pursued by Lieut.- 
Col. Picquart, who, without any mandate, and for 
long months, gave himself up to odious investi- 
gations into his private life, has cast suspicions on 
his honourable character, and has committed mon- 
strous illegalities by violating his correspondence, 
and by venturing even to search his apartment 
during his absence." 



2IO THE DREYFUS CASE 

All this is just as if a pickpocket, caught com- 
mitting his peculiar crime, were to protest against 
the " unqualifiable " action of the policeman who 
arrests him. Ravary forgets that Picquart's house 
had been ransacked just before without any writ of 
high treason being out against him, and he equally 
ignores the fact that Picquart acted with the ap- 
proval of his superiors, as Gonse's letters prove. We 
pass on to the last paragraph dealing with the bor- 
dereau : — 

" The result of the inquiry (of De Pellieux about 
the bordereau) was far from being favourable to the 
accusation. Not only do the depositions of the wit- 
nesses present numerous contradictions with the 
statements of Picquart, but they reveal, moreover, 
deeds of extreme gravity committed by that officer 
in the conduct of his department. 

" Thus, when he had been put in possession of 
the papers, among which must have been found the 
fragments of the telegram card, he kept them for 
more than a month before handing them on to 
Commandant Lauth, whose regular business it was 
to judge of the importance of papers brought from 
that particular quarter." 

One wonders what Picquart was head of the bureau 
for, except to keep by him, if he thought it neces- 
sary, for a month fragments of such a paper, and to 
judge himself of its importance. However, at the 
Zola trial on February 8, 1898, Lauth contradicted 
the deposition he had made before De Pellieux, and 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 211 

reduced the time during which Picquart kept the 
petit hlcu after it was first brought to him to six or 
eight days. 

" Later on, when the card had been reconstituted 
under his orders, Picquart invited Lauth to photo- 
graph it, expressly recommending him to efface in the 
negatives all traces of its being torn. This ' correc- 
tion ' of it would, said Picquart, enable him to give 
the document a greater look of authenticity, and to 
tell his chiefs, if need be, that he had intercepted 
it in the post." 

We must infer that in the bureaux of the etat 
major, if a spy's letter is brought torn up into tiny 
pieces, and doubt is cast on its authenticity by 
reason of its being so torn, the credit of the docu- 
ment will be restored by the effacing in a photo- 
graph made of it (not in the original, mark that !) 
the lines of tear, as if the " chiefs " could not demand 
to see the original itself. Ravary argues also as if 
the photographic copies themselves went through 
the post. In any case his accusation of Picquart 
does not presuppose much intelligence on the part 
of the chiefs. But the most crushing rejoinder to 
Lauth's charge was, that the bordereau itself, before 
Picquart joined the Intelligence Bureau, had been 
brought in in bits, gummed together and photo- 
graphed, the photographs being so manipulated as 
to obliterate in them the lines of tear. The photo- 
graphs so manipulated were the only copies of it 
shown to Gobert, Bertillon, and other experts, none 



212 THE DREYFUS CASE 

of whom were ever allowed to see the orisrinal. It 
was also a copy thus " corrected " that Du Paty com- 
municated to the Matin. The force of sycophancy 
therefore could no further go than it does in the 
above paragraph, and in those of similar import 
which follow. 

In the Zola trial, Lauth and the War Office 
archivist, Gribelin, went further, and pretended that 
Picquart had tried to get the latter to go to the 
post-office with the iMit bleu, and to get a postage 
stamp affixed with a postmark on it of an earlier 
date. These witnesses swore : ( i ) that the petit 
bleu reached the etat major in about sixty little bits, 
of which the biggest was no bigger than a third of 
an inch square ; (2) that Lauth himself gummed 
it together with transparent slips of adhesive paper 
laid along and upon the lines of tear; (3) that 
Lauth placed these strips on the address side ; (4) 
that Picquart, after the card had been thus recon- 
structed, asked Gribelin to get the post-office 
authorities to stamp and postmark it in the way 
described, that it might look as if it had gone 
through the post. Their joint perjury became 
manifest when Zola's counsel pointed out that by 
their own admission the stamp would have had to be 
affixed on top of and outside the strips of adhesive 
paper (!) ; that there would also have lacked in the 
stamp any lines of tear to correspond with those of 
the part of the letter-card on which it was super- 
posed, the largest intact bit of the card being only 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 213 

one third of the stamp in size ; lastly, that Picquart 
had no interest to make out that it had gone through 
the post, for had it been intercepted at Esterhazy's 
house instead of on German territory, it would have 
roused no suspicion against him. 

" In the course of the same interview Picquart 
asked Lauth if he would not be willing to certify 
that the writing of the telegram-card was that of a 
high foreign personage. This strange demand was 
received with lively protests by his subordinate." 

In point of fact, Picquart has never declared that 
the petit Ueu was in Schwartzkoppen's own hand- 
writing. It merely was suspect to him by reason 
of its provenance. Had it come from anywhere save 
the German Embassy, he would have attached no 
value to it. Picquart also swore that he never made 
any such proposition to Lauth, who remained on 
terms of friendly intimacy with him for months 
afterwards. 

" Every one in the bureau knew that by Picquart's 
orders the correspondence of Esterhazy had been 
for months long seized in the post." 

Here again General Gonse's letters prove that 
Picquart had his full assent, if for a few weeks he 
intercepted Esterhazy's correspondence. 

" They also knew equally well that he had 
employed an agent to ransack, without any legal 
mandate, the accused's house during his absence. 

" At last, when his superiors, informed of these 



2 14 THE DREYFUS CASE 

disgraceful proceedings, and frightened at the scandal 
that might ensue, had advised him to put an end 
to them, Picquart allowed himself to be carried 
away by his feelings and exclaimed : ' Ah, they do 
not want to go forward up there, but I will make 
them.' " 

Once more the above charge is refuted by Gonse's 
letters, and by the fact that Gonse continued to 
write to Picquart for some five months in the most 
affectionate way, which he could not have done if 
the above were true. What really happened has 
been related by Picquart. On September 3, 1896, 
he went and laid before Gonse the results of his 
inquiry into the Dreyfus-Esterhazy affair. 

" The General," he says, " listened to my reasons 
without combating them, but only made a face and 
said : ' Then they must have made a mistake.' Then 
he enjoined me not to meddle with the matter. . . . 
On his return to Paris, September 15, 1898, he 
was still more emphatic, and I think I ought to 
write down the very words of the conversation 
which I had with him on the subject, and which 
will never be effaced from my memory : — 

" The General : What does it matter to you, if 
this Jew is in the He du Diable ? 

" But if he is innocent ? 

" What! would you go back upon that trial ? It 
would be an awful story. Generals Mercier and 
Saussier were involved in it. 

" My General, he is innocent, and that is sufficient 
reason for going back upon it. But, from another 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 215 

point of view, you know that the family is hard at 
work and looking everywhere for the true culprit. 
Supposing they find him, how will we look then ? 

" Oh, if you say nothing, no one will know any- 
thing about it. 

^ " My General, what you say is abominable. I do 
not know what I shall do, but in any case I will 
not carry this secret with me into my tomb. 

" And then I left the room hastily. From that 
moment I had made up my mind." 

Let us return to Ravary's text : — 

" The information {i.e. preliminary hearing) has 
revealed yet other special facts, which lead one to 
believe that Colonel Picquart may well have been 
the soul of the scandalous campaign which has 
just been got up, but in which he seems to have 
been clever enough to lie low himself, while he left 
others to deal the first blows. 

" In the month of August 1896, taking advantage 
of the absence of Colonel Henry, M. Picquart had 
opened that officer's safe and took possession of a 
dossier in which were secret documents. During 
two months he kept it, although of custom he should 
have every evening put back important documents 
in their place." 

We have already seen that Picquart was head ot 
the bureau, and in authority over Henry. There 
was nothing but the dead hand of Sandherr to keep 
the particular safe shut. Then follow the para- 
graphs in Ravary's report already cited (p. 196), in 
which Picquart is accused of having, in the autumn 



2i6 THE DREYFUS CASE 

of 1896, shown to Leblois the secret dossier. This 
allegation rested on Henry's evidence. He swore 
over and over again that he saw Picqiiart and 
Leblois examining it together " in the course " of 
October 1896, not later, in Picquart's room at the 
War Office. But it was proved that Leblois that 
autumn was not in Paris until November 7. He 
also swore before Ravary that the piece " ceMe canaille 
de D. . ." had been taken out of the envelope and 
was spread on the desk before them. In the Zola 
trial he swore that it was not taken out, but that a 
corner only of the photograph of it protruded. 
Picquart denied the incident altogether ; whereupon 
Henry, the forger, called him a liar publicly, and 
the presiding judge refused to intervene to protect 
the witness Picquart. Obviously Henry was per- 
juring himself throughout, and the entire story was 
fabricated by him and Du Paty by way of proving 
that Picquart had started Leblois and Scheurer- 
Kestner on their campaign nearly a year earlier 
than he did, and had revealed to the former the 
secret document. This, it was pretended, was a 
heinous misdemeanour for Picquart to commit ; but 
when Du Paty de Clam was proved to have given 
the same document to Esterhazy, the War Office 
did not complain. Picquart, in fact, never com- 
mitted any such indiscretion at all. 

Ravary's report then blames Picquart for com- 
municating Gonse's letters to Leblois, and it cer- 
tainly has had awkward results for Gonse, since 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 217 

they convict him of being a renegade from the 
truth. Then comes the final assault on Picquart : — 

" Such is the ensemUe of the facts revealed by the 
witnesses, formerly chiefs and official colleagues of 
Colonel Picquart. It seems so serious that, in spite of 
the authority which should attach to the word of 
honour of a higher officer, one does well to ask if it is 
possible to accord to the basis of his accusation, to the 
telegram-card, of which the origin is, to say the least, 
mysterious, authenticity enough to support a charge 
of high treason ; the more so because the character- 
istic attempts made to impart to this document a 
character of prima facie genuineness prove to excess 
that it had none at all in itself. It is not our busi- 
ness to conduct the trial of Colonel Picquart. To the 
military authority will belong the duty of examining 
and appreciating his actions and of visiting upon 
them the consequences they merit." 

The above reveals clearly the line towards Pic- 
quart which the ^tat major had already resolved 
to pursue. They had arranged with Esterhazy that 
the officer whose merit it had been to detect his 
treason should be accused of having himself forged 
the petit hleu or telegram- card which led to the 
traitor's detection. This charge of forgery levelled 
at Picquart is the crowning infamy of the 6tat major, 
and of the all too numerous French officers who 
passively endorse, where they do not applaud, every 
wicked, every cowardly act which wanton complicity 
in treason forces on their superiors. 



2i8 THE DREYFUS CASE 

This accusation rests on nothing but the evidence 
of Major Lauth and of Gribelin, which I have analysed, 
and on that of Henry, who swore that, although 
documents intercepted at a certain Embassy were 
always brought first to himself, the petit Ueu had 
never been so brought to him. It is, therefore, 
mainly on the word of this perjured forger that 
Colonel Picquart has been kept in a dungeon for 
over four months. At the Zola trial, in order to 
rebut Henry's perjury, the defence demanded that 
the detective who intercepted the i^ctit Ueu, along 
with similar documents, should be produced and put 
in the box. The War Office, backed up by the 
judge, absolutely refused. 

After this outburst against Picquart, Ravary pro- 
ceeds to say a few unctuous words of Esterhazy's 
private life : — 

" Certainly the private life of Commandant Ester- 
hazy cannot be held up as a model before our young 
officers. But these errors, even the most repre- 
hensible of them, furnish no ground for suppos- 
ing that he could have been guilty of the greatest 
crime that a Frenchman could commit." 

Not a word of the letters to Madame de Boul- 
ancy. Emphasis is laid, however, on the false testi- 
monials to Esterhazy's character as an officer, which 
for the occasion and to order his superiors had 
produced. On this point I give M. Clemenceau's 
question to the traitor put at the Zola trial : — 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 219 

" Commandant Esterhazy has indicated many- 
times in the letters (to Madame de Boulancy)' 
which I have just had the honour to read to you' 
that he was exasperated, and that his exasperation 
explains his use of such strong terms. Is it not 
the case that he has always enjoyed the most 
excellent testimonials from his chiefs ? " 

Esterhazy refused to answer any questions asked 
by Zola's counsel, who continued : — 

" Monsieur le President, will you permit me to 
read out these testimonials ? 

" This is the character assigned by the chef de corps 
to Esterhazy : — 

" ' One of the most distinguished of our higher 
officers and very capable. Does his duty with most 
absolute devotion. By virtue of his knowledge, his 
experience, his energy of character and the lofti- 
ness of his sentiments, he may aspire to reach the 
highest grades of the military hierarchy ; must be 
promoted before his age becomes an obstacle.' " 

This is laid on " pretty thick," and shows how 
the head of a French corps d'arm6e can lie " to order," 
when a traitor's character needs to be sheered up. 
The words " very capable " {trh capable) remind one 
of Colonel von Schwartzkoppen's tribute to the 
character of his spy. For on January i, 1898, 
Count Casella asked him this question : — 

" Have you known Commandant Esterhazy ? He 
has himself avowed his relations with you. Would 



220 THE DREYFUS CASE 

it be indiscreet to ask what is your personal opinion 
about him ? " 

" I think him capable of anything " (capable de tout), 
replied the Colonel. 

Several other French testimonials were then 
recited by Maitre Cl^menceau, ending with the 
following note for the year 1896: — 

" Conduct very good, morality excellent, character 
cool and energetic, excellent education, lively in- 
telligence, safe judgment." 

Except for the good conduct and excellent morality, 
one is inclined to allow to Esterhazy the other 
qualities here attributed to him. A swindler may 
well possess them ; and Esterhazy's fellow-officers, so 
far as they have come in all this painful business 
under the eye of Europe, have done their best to 
verify his safe judgment of them as expressed in 
his letters to Madame de Boulancy. The next 
question put by Cl^menceau was very apt : — 

" M. le President, will you ask the witness whether 
he was not somewhat taken by surprise at his court- 
martial when they read out to him these excel- 
lent testimonials ? " 

The reading of Ravary's report, which concluded 
in favour of a non-lieu — i.e. of there being no case to 
go before a court — was after all succeeded by the 
formal trial of Esterhazy. I have laid before my 
reader the more important episodes of it. The 
accused had been carefully coached up by his 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 221 

accusers in the answers he must give to their ques- 
tions ; yet this did not save him from a few sHps, 
passed over, of course, by the judges. I give an 
example. 

The bordereau was written early in April 1894. 
Esterhazy, of course, knew its real date better than 
did his judges. But he also supposed, and wrongly, 
that it had been brought to the Intelligence Depart- 
ment immediately after he had written it ; whereas 
it was, in fact, only given into the hands of Gonse 
by Henry at the end of September 1894. Now 
Esterhazy 's line of defence was based on his mis- 
taken supposition ; for he tried to prove that he 
only acquired the items of information enumerated 
in the bordereau at dates later than the April of 
1894, — later, that is, than the date at which he sup- 
posed the French authorities got hold of it ; his 
argument being that he could not sell items to 
Schwartzkoppen three or four months before he 
procured them. I pick out of his cross-examina- 
tion in the court-martial a single answer out of 
many illustrative of this flaw in the harmony which 
Du Paty had sought to pre-establish between the 
accused and his accusers : — 

" M. Mathieu Dreyfus," argued Esterhazy, " main- 
tains that the bordereau was written in March or 
April 1894. Ko^v it was only in the month of 
August that I was at the firing-school {t^cole a feu). 
I could not therefore have betrayed the document 
in question (viz., the note on the hydraulic brake). 



222 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" De Luxer asked : Yes, but could you not always 
ask artillery officers for information ? 

" Esterhazy : I was only at the manoeuvres in 
June. How could I have given information about 
it in April ? " 

Questioned in a similar way about the other items 
of the bordereau, Esterhazy admitted that he had 
known them also or come by them in the year 
1894, but in each case at dates later than April, 
the date at which he was conscious of having 
written the bordereau, and at which he therefore 
supposed that it had fallen into the hands of the 
authorities. Had he known that it only fell into 
their hands at the end of September 1894, he must 
have chosen quite another set of subterfuges. How 
much he had miscalculated in his court-martial 
was made clear at the Zola trial, at the eighth 
audience of which General de Pellieux said : " The 
bordereau does not belong to the month of April ; I 
appeal to General Gonse." And the latter, thus 
appealed to, attested that the Ministry of War only 
received it at the end of Scptemher 1894. Had 
Esterhazy known as much as that, he would have 
sworn that he only came by his knowledge of its 
various items later than that date. 

It illustrates the perfunctory character of Ester- 
hazy's court-martial, and probably of French court- 
martials in general, that not one of his judges had 
the wit to ask him this question : — 

How do you know that the bordereau was 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 223 

written in April 1894? Why do you accept 
Mathieu Dreyfus' conjectural ^ date and make it 
the base of your defence ? We Iniow, on the con- 
trary, that it belongs to the month of September, 
for at the end of that month, and not before, did 
the War Office, according to General Gonse, receive 
it from the agent who intercepted it. 

Probably if they had noticed so obvious a flaw 
in his defence, they would not have been so rude 
as to ask him embarrassing questions about it. 
One would like to know what the bordereau was 
doing between early April and end of September 
1894. Perhaps this is a secret which died with 
Colonel Henry, 

By the time of the Zola trial the generals seem 
to have scented the flaw in Esterhazy's first line 
of defence. Colonel Picquart may have pointed 
it out in his evidence at the court-martial, so dis- 
creetly kept by the huis clos from the public gaze. 
However this may be, they then chose for him 
another line of defence. This was to argue that 

1 Mathieu Dreyfus in his evidence said : " The bordereau must 
have been written (a dH ctrc ecrit) in the spring of 1894, not far from 
the end of March. For had it been written much later, the betrayal 
of the project of a firing manual would have been without value. 
Its author says that he is just off to the manoeuvres. Esterhazy 
took part in the spring manceuvres of 1894. There is then a per- 
fect concordance." Thus Mathieu's only reason for dating the 
bordereau in April was that at that date Esterhazy was asking 
for certain information and doing certain things. Why did Ester- 
hazy accept Mathieu's chronological conclusion, yet deny all 
Mathieu's premises ? Obviously because, as author of the bor- 
dereau, he knew Mathieu's date to be the true one. Yet no one 
else knew it. 



224 THE DREYFUS CASE 

an officer in his position could under no circum- 
stances have procured such information, nor have 
written such a bordereau. One after another they 
took their oaths to that. Yet Esterhazy a month 
before had admitted that he had possessed all the 
items of information, only contending that it was 
at a later date than the month of April, to which 
he said the bordereau belonged, that he had ac- 
quhed them. 

Here the profane naturally ask why — if in 1898 
the Generals Gonse and De Boisdeffre were convinced 
that Esterhazy could not have written the bordereau 
— had they in 1896 supposed him to be its author, 
and under that supposition authorised Picquart to 
procure from Esterhazy 's colonel specimens of his 
handwriting to be compared with the bordereau ? 
Why up to the middle of September 1896 did they 
go on encouraging Picquart in his researches ? If 
he could not under any circumstances have written 
it, why in 1896 did they entertain the hypothesis ? 

When Picquart entered the box as a witness, the 
Commissary of the Government at once demanded 
that the rest of Esterhazy's court-martial be heard 
in camera, and the court granted the demand. 
They had said all they could overtly to blacken his 
character, and had held him up as a forger. It did 
not suit their plans that the public should know 
what he had to say in defence of himself and to the 
discredit of Esterhazy. 

The latter was triumphantly and unanimously 



THE APOTHEOSIS OF TREASON 225 

acquitted of high treason on January 11, 1898. He 
was the hero of the hour, and when he left the 
court " without a stain on his character," aged 
generals, their eyes filled with tears of joy, acclaimed 
him as the victim of the Jews. " Hats off, gentle- 
men," they said to the surging mob of anti-Semites, 
" Hats off, before the martyr of the Jews ! " The 
streets rang with shouts of " Vive I'armc^e ! Vive la 
France ! Vive Esterhazy ! " The cousin of the 
French pretender, the Prince Henri d'Orleans, rushed 
at the acquitted of treason, threw his arms round 
him, and embraced him warmly. General de 
Pellieux arranged with Esterhazy the exact wording 
of the paragraph in which the official news agency 
was to announce the circumstances of his acquittal, 
and on the morrow wrote to him a fresh letter 
beginning, " Mon cher Commandant," and authorising 
him to prosecute the journals which attributed the 
" Uhlan " letter to him, an authorisation of which, 
I hardly need say, Esterhazy has never availed 
himself. 

On the same day Colonel Picquart was arrested 
by the mOitary authorities, and thrown into a cell 
in the fortress of Mont Valerien. 



CHAPTER XII 

THE ZOLA TRIAL 

The military party imagined that by their acquittal 
of Esterhazy, not indeed of the charge of ^vi'iting 
the bordereau, but of treason, they had given the 
death-blow to the cause of revision. It had the 
opposite effect, for numbers of people were so shocked 
at the scandal that they now for the first time 
openly declared themselves in favour of a re-trial of 
Dreyfus. The people — and they are not too nume- 
rous in France — who form their own opinions, instead 
of taking them ready-made from their pet journals, 
and who reflect quietly instead of shouting, began to 
protest all over the country against the conspnacy 
formed to hide the truth. Among those who thus 
came forward and openly protested were ten mem- 
bers of the Institute, two professors of the College 
de France, ten members of the teaching staff of the 
Ecole Normale or of the Sorbonne, eight professors 
of the Faculty of Medicine — all these in Paris. Of 
the provincial faculties, twenty-two professors and 
sixty- seven cigHgds or assistant professors in letters, 
science, and philosophy. Among those who signed 
their names to the protest were many who held their 
posts at the pleasure of the Government, and who, 




EMILE ZOLA. 



Pa^e 226. 



THE ZOLA TRIAL 227 

therefore, risked losing their daily bread by their 
action. 

It was then that Zola came forward, and in a 
letter to the Aurore newspaper, as bold as it was 
eloquent, spoke for all and to all. I had been no 
admirer of Zola in his earlier books. Though never 
prurient, like Paul Bourget's, his works are yet often 
marred by indecencies, and this fault prevents such 
a book as his " Germinal " from rising to the highest 
level of art ever touched by the novel. In his 
latest works, however, he had purged himself of 
earlier impurities, and in his three novels, " La 
Debacle," " Lourdes," and " Rome," he lays his hand 
on the besetting vices, more especially on the super- 
stition of his countrymen. As the author of these 
four works of extraordinary genius, he was well 
qualified to denounce to his countrymen in trumpet 
tones the mystery of iniquity being perpetrated in 
their midst by a band of military and Jesuit con- 
spirators. Many not wholly unfriendly to the cause 
of right have blamed Zola for the excessive vigour 
of his denunciations. I think wrongly. The only 
hope for the cause was to bring the affair into a 
civil Court of Assize, to get the officers Gonse, 
Boisdeffre, and De Pellieux into the box and cross- 
examine them ; above all, to provide Colonel Picquart 
with an opportunity of saying iirhi et orhi what he 
knew. Madame Dreyfus had more than once ap- 
pealed to the Keeper of the Seals to set the Supreme 
Court in motion, but her petitions were rejected 



228 THE DREYFUS CASE 

with contumely. Sclieurer-Kestner, the last repre- 
sentative of Alsace-Lorraine before those provinces 
were torn from France, had appealed to Billot, trust- 
ing to his life-long acquaintance with him, and to 
the august position he enjoyed as vice-president of 
the Senate. He had reaped nothing but insult 
and injury by his pleadings for justice and truth. 
Zola was determined not to plead, but to wither 
with fierce denunciation the nest of criminals at 
the War Office. The time was past for gentler 
methods, and he penned that most terrible of all 
philippics, his letter beginning J'accuse. In this, 
after a long and masterly review of the entire case, 
Zola summed up his accusations as follows : — 

" I accuse Lieutenant- Colonel Du Paty de Clam 
of having been the diabolical contriver of the judi- 
cial error, unconscious I would fain believe ; and 
of having afterwards defended his nefarious work 
for three years by machinations as ridiculous as 
they are guilty. 

" I accuse General Mercier of having made him- 
self the accomplice, through his mere weakness of 
character, in one of the greatest iniquities of the 
century. 

" I accuse General Billot of having had in his 
hands the certain proofs of Dreyfus' innocence and 
of having stifled them ; of having incurred the guilt 
of a betrayal of humanity, of a betrayal of justice, in 
order to serve political ends and to save an 4tat 
iiiajor that was compromised. 

" I accuse Generals de Boisdeffre and Gonse of 



THE ZOLA TRIAL 229 

having made themselves accompHces in the same 
crime — the one, no doubt, led on by clerical passion, 
the other perhaps by that esprit de corps which 
makes of the War Office bureaux an ark holy and 
not to be touched. 

" I accuse General de Pellieux and Commandant 
Ravary of having turned their inquuy into a work 
of villainy, by which I mean that the inquiry was 
conducted with the most monstrous partiality ; and 
that of this partiality the report of Ravary is an 
imperishable monument, brazen in its audacity. 

" I accuse the three handwriting experts — MM. 
Belhomme, Varinard, and Couard — of having drawn 
up lying and fraudulent reports ; unless, indeed, a 
medical examination shows them to be the victims 
of a diseased eyesight and judgment. 

" I accuse the War Office of having carried on in 
the press, particularly in the Eclair and the Echo de 
Paris, an abominable campaign intended to lead 
astray opinion and hide its misdoings. 

" Lastly, I accuse the first court-martial of having 
violated right by condemning an accused man on a 
document which was kept secret, and I accuse the 
second court-martial of having shielded this illegality 
' to order,' committing in its turn the judicial crime 
of acquitting a man they knew to be guilty," 

This letter was published on January 13, 1898, 
being addressed to the President of the Republic. 

M. M^line, the Premier, in answer to a question in 
the Chamber of Deputies, hastened to declare that 
a prosecution of M. Emile Zola was already ordered. 
He had forgotten that his action exposed the Mat 



230 THE DREYFUS CASE 

major to cross-examination in the witness-box of a 
civil court, and also risked the virtual revision in 
that court by a civil jury of the sentence on Dreyfus. 
The action was, therefore, as Esterhazy says in his 
letter to his cousin (see above, p. 1 78), a great tactical 
error. However, the Government sought to dimi- 
nish the risk by limiting the indictment to the 
following passage in Zola's letter : — 

"A court-martial has just dared 'by order' to 
acquit an Esterhazy, in supreme and insolent de- 
fiance of all truth, of all justice. And it is finished. 
France has this blot on her scutcheon. History 
will record that it was under your presidency that 
such a social crime could be committed. 

" They have given this iniquitous verdict, and it 
will for ever weigh upon our courts - martial, for 
ever from now tarnish all their decisions. The first 
court-martial may have been lacking in intelli- 
gence ; the second has been forced into crime. 

"... I accuse the second court-martial of hav- 
ing shielded," &c. 

The indictment of Zola was signed, not by the 
aggrieved members of Esterliazy's court - martial, 
but by the Minister of War, Billot. M. Delegorgue 
was the presiding judge, and, in spite of his ill-con- 
cealed determination to please the Government by 
stifling all evidence of a character to compromise the 
War Office, a great deal of light was shed on the 
affair, especially by the evidence of Colonel Picquart. 
He was the one witness who Icaew everything from 



THE ZOLA TRIAL 231 

the underside, the single mihtary witness, with the 
exception of Forzinetti, who was honest and zealous 
for right. Forzinetti, as I have said, had already- 
been dismissed because of his revelations in the 
Figaro; and when the trial began on February 7, 
1898, Picquart had already been arrested and 
arraigned upon the frivolous charge of having com- 
municated to Leblois documents concerning the 
national defence ; as if by any interpretation Gonse's 
letters could be so described. At the same time, to 
impose on public opinion, an inquiry had been 
opened at the War Office into the abstraction by 
the " veiled lady " of the secret document, and its 
transfer into Esterhazy's hands. Needless to say 
this second inquiry is not yet concluded. The 
court of inquhy had, of course, condemned Picquart 
in camera, but had left it to the Minister of War, 
Billot, to fix his penalty. Billot was adjourning 
his decision till when ? Till the trial of Zola was 
over. For it was still hoped, though faintly, by his 
(Picquart's) superiors, that at the eleventh hour he 
would vote with them and perjure himself. There- 
fore the nature of his penalty was left undecided 
hanging over him. If he were honest, they were 
prepared to be severe; if he were willing to stifle 
his conscience like themselves, his penalty would be 
nominal, and he would be promoted. They hoped 
to intimidate him. They also reflected that by 
leaving him still in the army till the trial was over 
he, being an honourable man, unlike themselves 



232 THE DREYFUS CASE 

would not be able to say all he knew or would like 
to say, because he would feel himself bound by the 
professional secret. And this was actually so. For 
example, in his evidence on February 1 1 , he was 
asked about one of the documents in Dre^^fus' secret 
dossier, which really applied to Esterhazy, and 
answered thus : — 

" / would very much like to say something on this 
point ; but I consider that I cannot do so, unless I 
am freed from the obligation to professional secrecy 
by the Minister of War. If he will free me from it, 
I will speak ; if he will not, I shall not." 

The other military witnesses showed no such a 
sense of their responsibility. Whenever an oppor- 
tunity offered of traducing Dre3rfus or Picquart, they 
freely broke through all reserve in order to use it. 
On the other hand, whenever they were asked awk- 
ward questions, they parried them by invoking the 
professional secret. Even hint at the circumstances 
under which Dreyfus had been condemned they 
might not, but they might make any number of 
little speeches aflfirming their indestructible faith in 
his guilt. 

Zola's advocates claimed to bring evidence to prove 
the whole of his letter J' accuse, on the groimd of the 
connexity of its matter with the few clauses cited in 
the indictment. But the accusers argued that, as 
the Dreyfus case was a chose jug6e, no evidence relat- 
ing to it must be heard nor questions asked about 
it. This claim the presiding judge granted — though 



THE ZOLA TRIAL 233 

it violated the legal rights of the defence — and 
enforced in the most one-sided way ; for the military 
witnesses were allowed by him to break through the 
ruling at will, at the same time that he applied it to 
disallow any question of an import compromising to 
the 6tat major. In one case a witness — General de 
Pellieux — even refused to answer a question because 
it referred to the affaire Esterhazy, and the judge 
allowed his objection. One supreme example from 
among many I must give in illustration of the par- 
tiality with which the judge interpreted the sanctity 
of the chose jugee. At one stage of the trial the 
prosecution was flagging. The ridiculous explana- 
tions offered by the official experts in favour of their 
various and contradictory reports about the bordereau, 
and in particular the antics of M. Bertillon, had 
amused the jury, but had not convinced them. On 
the other hand, the leading palasographers and judges 
of handwriting in France, M. Crepieux-Jamin, and 
MM. Meyer, Giry, Havet, all three members of the 
French Institute, had sworn that the handwriting 
was in their opinion Esterhazy's, and had adduced in 
proof of their convictions reasons more serious, if 
less sibylline, than M. Bertillon's. Then M. de 
Castro's recognition of the bordereau as Esterhazy's 
struck them as important. Over and above that, a 
procession of the noblest and most distinguished 
republicans in France — MM. Hubbard, De Pressense, 
Ranc, Scheurer-Kestner, Thevenet, Jaures, Trarieux, 
above all, the old man eloquent, Grimaux, the savant 



234 THE DREYFUS CASE 

— had passed before tliem, all appealing to them 
with the earnestness of profound conviction to do 
justice, and by their verdict make their light to 
shine before all men. The military faction felt that 
things were going ill with them, and that they would 
lose the verdict unless they could overawe the jury 
by some evidence extraordinary and irrefutable of 
Dreyfus' guilt. Then on February i6, General de 
Pellieux, who without any legal right had interfered 
throughout Esterhazy's trial whenever the argument 
strayed momentarily from the path of acquittal, 
stepped valiantly into the breach and demanded of 
the jury a vote of confidence in the Mat major. 

" What would you have ? " he cried. " What is 
to become of your army in the day of danger, which 
is nearer perhaps than you dream of ? What would 
you have your unhappy soldiers do, led under fire 
by officers whom others have striven to discredit 
in their eyes ? ... It is to a mere butchery that 
they are leading your sons, gentlemen of the jury. 
But M. Zola will have gained a fresh battle, 
will write another cUhdde, will carry the French 
language all over the universe, all over a Europe 
from which France in that day will have been 
struck out." 

And then, as if he himself, and perhaps the Mat 
major, felt nervous about the result, and inclined to 
hedge, De Pellieux went on to say this :— 

" Revision — I shall not be contradicted by my 
comrades — revision matters little to us; it is a 



\ 



THE ZOLA TRIAL 235 

matter of indifference, of pure indifference. We 
would have been deliglited for the court-martial 
of 1894 to have acquitted Dreyfus; for it would 
have proved that there was no traitor in the 
French army, and we mourn for that. But, gentle- 
men, what the court-martial of 1898 could not 
allow nor would allow, the gulf it would not cross, 
was this, that an innocent man should be substi- 
tuted for Dreyfus, guilty or not guilty!' 

This outburst, perhaps honest, was felt to be in- 
discreet ; for it admitted the possibility of Drejrfus 
being innocent, of revision. In the course of that 
night the War Office, if it had really wavered in face 
of the odds against them, plucked up fresh courage ; 
and on De Pellieux was imposed the task of effacing 
the impression his words had made. Without any 
cause, unprovoked by anything in the arguments of 
the defence, De Pellieux came forward the next 
afternoon to the bar of the court, and, with the 
utmost gravity, as if overborne by his sense of 
responsibility, produced Henry's celebrated forgery, 
the letter supposed to have been written in Novem- 
ber 1896 by one attache to the other, mentioning 
Dreyfus by name. To emphasise its importance 
he added : " General de Boisdeffre will confirm 
my words. Let him be called ! . . . Commandant 
Delcasse, go quick and fetch General de Boisdeffre ! 
In a carriage ! Quick ! " General de Boisdeffre arrives 
breathless, but the court has risen ; it is too late. 

The judge, subsequently taxed on the point, 



236 THE DREYFUS CASE 

declared that General de Pellieux had taken him 
by surprise with his secret document. If so, why 
after a night's interval did he allow De Boisdeffre to 
step forward and endorse De Pellieux' revelation ? 
He knew that De Boisdefifre had come to the bar 
to do so, and did not try to stop him. Then 
when Labori, Zola's counsel, demanded as of right 
to be allowed to cross-examine the two generals 
about the extraordinary secret document they had 
adduced against the unfortunate Dreyfus, the judge 
brusquely forbade him to put any questions. Never 
did a judge more cynically abuse his position. 

And then, after being allowed to back up De 
Pellieux, De Boisdefifre, as if that were not enough, 
was allowed to clank his sword and overawe the 
jury thus : — 

" And now, gentlemen, permit me in conclusion 
to say one thing. You are the jury ; you are the 
nation. If the nation has no confidence in the 
chiefs of the army, in those who are responsible for 
the national defence, they are ready to leave to 
others this heavy task. You have only to speak. 
I shall not say another word." 

And, having fired off this terrific threat of a 
general strike of the itat major at the heads of the 
tinkers and tailors of the jury, the gorgeously-clad 
general officers theatrically quitted the scene. After 
that the jury could not waver ; their verdict of 
guilty was torn from them at the point of the 
sword. 



THE ZOLA TRIAL 237 

Among the military witnesses in this trial, 
Picquart enjoyed a splendid isolation. Assailed 
by them with the basest charges and calumnies, 
recklessly advanced, with never an attempt to 
substantiate them, he yet retained his self-control, 
unmoved by their noise and fury ; always courteous 
towards his equals and respectful to his superiors. 
All that he could properly say he said with perfect 
simplicity and clearness, choosing his words with 
care, and sometimes pausing a moment for one 
which exactly fitted his conviction ; no insinuations, 
no innuendoes, no rhetorical fireworks to dazzle the 
jury; above all, no ascription of bad faith to his 
fellow-officers, not even to the puffy, red-faced, 
vulgar forger, Henry, who was their guide and 
Cory~pha3us in malice and perjury. Where he 
thought he had no right to speak because of the 
tie of professional secrecy, he kept silent, even 
under the grossest provocation of his unscrupulous 
opponents. One recognised in him the ideal head 
of an army intelligence department — the mind slow 
to suspect, clear to unravel, just to condemn, swift 
to strike. All the insight, all the balance, all the 
" prudence " was there for which, before " the devil 
entered into him," General Gonse had nothing but 
encomiums. Some who marked the contrast be- 
tween him and all the other officers, out of whom 
the truth had literally to be dragged, and who, 
judged by their manner, had everything to conceal, 
wondered how a man of Picquart's conscience and 



238 THE DREYFUS CASE 

intelligence had ever achieved such high promo- 
tion among them. 

How penetrating, for example, was his detection, 
on February 18, of the Henry forgery, which the 
day before De Pellieux had brandished before the 
astonished jury : — 

" There are," he said, " among the pieces (in the 
secret dossier of Drejrfus) some whose genuineness 
it would be well to verify. There is one in particular, 
which reached the Ministry at a well-determined 
moment — at the moment, namely, when the Com- 
mandant Esterhazy needed to be defended, when it 
had become necessary to prove that the author of 
the bordereau was another than he. Well, it came 
just at the right time, this new proof, as far as I 
can see. They have never shown it me, but they 
have talked to me about it ; at the same time they 
would never tell me where it came from. However, 
I find that this document, if we regard the moment 
when it appeared, and, above all, the terms in which 
it is couched, and which are utterly improbable — 
well, this document may with good reason be put 
down as a forgery." 

Maitre Labori asked : " Is the piece alluded to by 
Colonel Picquart that which was talked about yester- 
day?" 

Picquart answered : " Yes ; it is the one of which 
General de Pellieux spoke. If he had not mentioned 
it yesterday, I should not have mentioned it to-day. 
It is a forgery." 

However, this forgery carried conviction to the 



THE ZOLA TRIAL 239 

minds of the jury, as it did subsequently to an 
assemblage of 570 French members of Parliament. 
May we not add, to the inhabitants of 36,000 com- 
munes, on whose walls it was placarded ? Truly 
Picquart was like a sober man in the midst of a 
nation of drunkards. 

He was conscious of the risk he ran in thus 
deferring to the dictates of his conscience rather 
than to the prejudices of his caste, to what the 
French call esprit de corps, a phrase of which the 
Anglo-Saxon tongue has not the equivalent. In 
words as impressive as they were impassioned, he 
acquainted the court with the perils which, for him, 
encompassed the path of honour and humanity : — 

" You have seen here," he said, " men like Colonel 
Henry, Commandant Lauth, M. Gribelin, levelling at 
me the most abominable accusations. Well, ofentle- 
men, do you know the reason of all this ? You will 
understand it when I tell you that those who worked 
up a case which preceded this one, an affair closely 
bound up with Esterhazy's, were probably the very 
men who to-day stand before me. They are de- 
fending their work, that work which the lamented 
Colonel Sandherr in dying left as a legacy to the 
honour of the bureau. 

" Well, as for myself, I thought otherwise. I had 
my doubts. I thought that one ought not to shut 
oneself up in a blind faith. So I investigated. 

" For months now I have been subjected to every 
sort of outrage. At this moment the situation I am 
in is a terrible one. To-morrow I shall perhaps be 



240 THE DREYFUS CASE 

hounded out of the army, to which I have given 
twenty-five years of my life. I have lost my future, 
my very livelihood, and all for having done that 
which I believed to be, that which ought to have 
been, my duty." 

And his forecast was not wrong. The moment 
the trial was over. General Billot decided on the 
sentence, which, with futile cowardice, and in the 
hope of terrorising his noble victim, he had kept 
open as long as it lasted — Picquart was expelled 
from the French army. 

There remain three witnesses remarkable either 
for their depositions at the Zola trial or for the 
manner in which they made them. 

The first of these was M. Casimir Perier, who 
was President of the Republic at the time of the 
Dreyfus court-martial. He succeeded the murdered 
Carnot, and, after a short term of ofiice, resigned 
early in the spring of 1895, to be succeeded by M. 
Felix Faure. The reason of his abrupt resignation 
was known to be connected with the Dreyfus verdict; 
and it is credibly narrated that, when he learned 
subsequently to that ofiicer's degradation that the 
sentence had been illegally arrived at by the use of 
secret evidence, he demanded to see that evidence. 
The Premier, Dupuy, brought him the D. . . . letter 
or letters, and he did not find them very convinc- 
ing. " Who is D. . . . ? " he asked. " May it not as 
well stand for Dupuy or Delcasse as for Dreyfus ? " 
However this be, he clearly, when he entered the 



THE ZOLA TRIAL 241 

court, had something on his conscience which he 
would have liked to utter, but dared not. For when, 
after struggling through the crowd which pressed to 
see an ex-President give evidence, he emerged in 
the witness-box before M. Delegorgue, the latter said, 
" M. Casimir Perier, raise your right hand and take 
oath," he replied, " I cannot take oath to tell the 
whole truth, because I cannot tell it." And these 
words he repeated pointedly when Zola's counsel 
asked him about the use of secret evidence at 
Dreyfus' trial, and the judge brusquely disallowed the 
question. One cannot but feel that Casimir Perier 
acted rather ignobly. When he discovered, early 
in 1895, that a great illegality had been com- 
mitted, why did he run away from the responsi- 
bility of rectifying it ? Why resign his position, 
which surely gave him the means of putting pres- 
sure on his Ministers ? He might, had he been 
a man of strong character, have saved his country 
from falling into the abyss. He is the " grand 
muet," the great dumb man of the Zola as of the 
Dreyfus trial. 

All the female witnesses for the defence fell 
ill and sent doctors' certificates. The military 
ones, all except Picquart, refused at first to 
attend a civil court at all, on the ground either 
that they had taken part in the Dreyfus trial, 
or that the unhappy cause of the national defence 
was committed to their hands, and that they 
could not compromise the safety of France by 

Q 



242 THE DREYFUS CASE 

appearing. However, it soon dawned upon them 
that unless they presented themselves and over- 
awed the jury, Zola would be triumphantly 
acquitted ; and it was also a fresh opportunity of 
revealing to the public the low opinion which the 
corps of French higher officers had of the honest 
Colonel Picquart. Accordingly they came, and 
Colonel Du Paty de Clam among the first. With 
cadenced step this witness entered the court, hon- 
oured it with a military salute, made a half-turn 
towards the jury, saluted them in the same way, 
and then came stiffly to " attention " before the 
members of the bar. A titter ran round the court, 
amidst which Du Paty took the oath. He knew 
from the conclusions which Labori had had to for- 
mulate two days before in order to compel him 
to attend, that that counsel would interrogate him 
about the use to which he had put the letters of 
another Mademoiselle de Comminges, addressed to 
him in 1892. He had kept at least one of these 
letters, and, under compulsion of his superior 
officers, had restored it to her for a sum of 500 
francs. I have shown how one of the letters, 
written by the secretary of Madlle. Blanche de 
Comminges, suggested the false telegrams and other 
ridiculous machinations of Du Paty, who, there- 
fore, saw in " the youth " of her namesake a 
romantic excuse for holding his tongue before a 
French jury, and in his hurry to get the better of 
Maitre Labori, gave himself away in exactly the 



THE ZOLA TRIAL 243 

manner that any counsel would most desire. Here 
is the dialogue : — 

" The Judge : What is your question, Maitre 
Labori ? 

" Colonel Du Paty : Before any is asked, I must 
be allowed to say a few words. 

" M, le President, I am called here to depose as to 
the affaire Edcrhazij. I am ready to answer all 
questions except those which concern the profes- 
sional secret. 

" But I must, with the deepest sorrow, point out 
that they have touched in this place on questions 
affecting my private life. That does not afflict me 
personally, for I have always acted as a man of 
chivalry (ew galant Jiomme). I have the esteem of 
my chiefs. That is enough for me. 

" But what I cannot allow is that they should 
have been allowed to assail the honour of a young 
gi7'l, ever till now respected {toiijours respoctee). 

" I ask the court, in the name of French honour, 
to spare me in this trial such questions as these. 
To all others I will reply." 

After this singular outburst, therefore, of Du 
Paty's, Zola's counsel merely had to say quietly : — 

" Mademoiselle Blanche de Comminges is a yoicjig 
girl fifty-five years of age. She is a friend of Colonel 
Picquart, and her name was used in the telegrams 
which Colonel Picquart regards as forgeries, and the 
author of which he is now prosecuting." 

Solvuntur tabulce risiL After this the witness 



244 THE DREYFUS CASE 

deemed it well to hold his tongue. Asked whether 
he had had a correspondence with one or two rela- 
tives of Mademoiselle de Comminges (who had in- 
sisted on his returning the letters he had stolen), 
he replied : — 

" This is the point, M. le President, on which I ask 
to be allowed to keep silence. I can reveal nothing. 
It affects the honour of a family, the memory of one 
deceased. I will not do it. 

" It is private ground, it is my domain, and no 
one has a right to trench upon it." 

Of course the presiding judge refused to force the 
witness to answer. 

" Here," said Maitre Labori very justly, " is a trial 
at assize such as I never witnessed before. They 
use all means in it to prevent light being thrown 
on any single point." 

" They are your witnesses," was the taunt with 
which the judge thought fit to reply. 

" Pardon me," answered Labori, " they are simply 
witnesses in the case. M. Du Paty de Clam is called 
because we wished for a discussion both open and 
complete. And no matter what the question we ask, 
the witnesses, in default of one good reason for not 
answering, are allowed to give two bad ones. . . . 
First they invoke the professional secret. When 
that fails them they invoke the reason of State. 
And then, when they have neither professional secret 
nor secret of State nor huis dos (closed doors) to 
invoke, they invoke the ' private ' secret." 



THE ZOLA TRIAL 245 

In the case of Esterhazy himself, the judge 
allowed the self-imposed reticence of military wit- 
nesses to pass all bounds. As soon as he entered 
the witness-box he declaimed violently for a few 
minutes against the " wretch " Mathieu Dreyfus, 
who had denounced him as the author of the bor- 
dereau, and then he used these words : — 

" I am ready to answer any question which it 
may please the court to address to me, and I am 
ready to answer all questions which the jurors like 
to put, for you, gentlemen, have an absolute right 
to ask me them. As for those people there, I 
shall not answer them " {quant a ces gens-la, je ne 
leu7- r^ponds pas). 

Ces gens-ld, meant Maitres Labori and Cl^men- 
ceau, Zola's advocates. Having made his little 
speech, Esterhazy turned his back upon them, and 
with an affected nonchalance listened in silence to 
the series of scathing questions which the counsel 
addressed to him. The dreadful record of his 
falsehoods, his insults to the army whose uniform 
he wore, his forgeries, was unrolled in the form of 
questions, not one of which would the judge compel 
him to answer, nor force him even for a moment to 
relax his attitude of insolent defiance of the just 
rights of the defence. When at last Maitre 
Clemenceau began to formulate his questions with 
regard to Esterhazy's intercourse with Schwartz- 
koppen, the judge utterly refused to put one of 
them. 



246 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" How is it," asked Clemenceau, " that one cannot 
speak in a court of justice of an action performed 
by a French officer ? " 

" Because," rephed the judge, " there is something 
more important than that, the honour and security 
of the country." 

Tumultuous applause from the scarlet-clad officers 
who thronged the court and its approaches greeted 
this interpretation from the bench of what the 
honour and security of France require. When it 
was over Clemenceau remarked : — 

" Monsieur le President, I gather from your words 
that the honour of the country permits an officer to 
commit such deeds, but does not permit of their 
being mentioned." 



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P- 



MAITRE LABORI. 



Pa^^ 246. 



CHAPTER XIII 

THE REIGN OF TERROR 

Zola was condemned. For days and days the mili- 
tary and clerical papers had put on their front sheets 
the names of the jm'ors with their addresses ; had 
menaced them with a thousand terrors if they did 
not give such a verdict as the honour of the army 
and the security of France demanded. The anti- 
Semitic roughs of Drumont, and the leading Jesuit, 
the Pere du Lac, were organised and ready to wreak 
vengeance on them if they did their duty. For the 
last six days of the trial the defendant and his coun- 
sel and supporters left the court at the peril of their 
lives. Men were knocked down and trampled upon 
in the precincts of the court simply for crying, 
" Vive la R^publique." For that to the mind of the 
military Hotspurs was a seditious cry. Half-way 
through the trial one of the jurors fell ill from sheer 
fright and had to be replaced. What wonder if 
they found Zola guilty by a majority of seven to 
five, and if only half of them found in favour of 
there being extenuating circumstances. The prose- 
cution argued that Zola was guilty, unless he 
could produce the actual written order in obedience 



248 THE DREYFUS CASE 

to which Esterhazy's judges had acquitted him. 
They gladly availed themselves of the sophistry, but 
one of the seven who condemned him confided the 
next day to an editor of the Tem;ps that by his 
verdict he only meant that Zola had failed to pro- 
duce the written order ; that he found it difficult 
to screw himself up to such a barren verdict, because 
he could not forget all that he had heard on the 
larger issues ; that he imagined and hoped that 
the revisionists would, now that the truth had been 
revealed, win their end by legal means. 

But in the military journals, and even in the 
Chamber, the verdict, along with the savage penalty 
of a year's imprisonment, besides the fine, inflicted on 
Zola by the judge, Delegorgue, was acclaimed as a 
new and final consecration of the verdict of 1894. 
Meline, the Premier, and accompUce of Billot, de- 
clared from the tribune that he would, if any " bad " 
citizens dared to continue the agitation in favour of 
revision, set in motion the just laws provided to 
check such extravagances. And if just laws were 
not enough to restrain the attacks on the " honour " 
of the army and the sanctity of the chose jugee, 
why then, with the help of his reactionary majority, 
he would forge unjust laws to keep them quiet. 
There is no doubt that if the eyes of the politicians 
had not been fixed on the speedily approaching dis- 
solution and general election, the Chamber would 
have passed a law making it penal to plead for 
Dreyfus either in a journal or in a public speech. 



THE REIGN OF TERROR 249 

M^line's faithful majority voted amidst acclama- 
tions that his speech, in which he threatened the 
Dreyfusards with special legislation, should be pla- 
carded on the walls of all the communes in France. 
One member only of the Parliament, Maurice Le- 
bon, had the courage to revolt ; he threw up politi- 
cal life in disgust, and published the following letter 
to his electors :- — 

" My Dear Fellow-Citizens, — The moment is come 
for me to acquaint you with my intentions with 
regard to the elections which in a few weeks will 
take place. 

" I have witnessed with sorrow the events which 
in the last few months have occurred. I blame all 
violations of the law, and I am of opinion that a 
great party like the Republican cannot with impu- 
nity suffer the higher principles of right and jus- 
tice to be violated, and that by doing so it loses 
all raison d'Stre. 

" I am in open disagreement on this point with 
my friends in the Government, in the Parliament, 
and in the press. I do not mean to make you 
judges of my differences with them, and it would 
not be straightforward for me to conceal the fact 
from you. 

" I shall not, therefore, be a candidate at the next 
parliamentary election." 

The elections came. M. Jaures, the eloquent 
Socialist leader, and Monsieur Joseph Reinach, the 
friend and biographer of Gambetta, were well-nigh 
the only candidates who spoke to their constituents 



250 THE DREYFUS CASE 

of tlie great crimes which had been committed, 
and they both lost their seats in consequence. For 
five months after the condemnation of Zola it 
seemed as if the conscience of France were non- 
existent, or at least dormant. It was but a small 
minority of, for the most part, cultivated people 
that continued to think and write about it. And 
this minority had been fiercely attacked by M. 
M^line on February 24 in the Chamber, in the 
following words : — 

" This must be put a stop to, in the interest even 
of those who have so recklessly kindled this flame. 
. . . And this, alas ! is what this dite intellectuelle does 
not see, for it shuts its eyes and stops its ears. In 
the silence of their studies they seem to have no 
misgivings as to the violent passions that they are 
letting loose, pleasuring themselves by envenoming 
the wound that we are endeavouring so hard to 
cicatrise." 

Nor were the politicians, by nature time-servers, 
the only men who were anxious to hush up and 
compromise with crime. In the very ranks of 
the " intellectuals " themselves were not a few who 
were mesmerised by such phrases as " the honour 
of the army, the security of the country, are at 
stake." Foremost among these was Brunetiere, the 
editor of the Revue des Deux Moncles, who did not 
shrink from declaring his opinion that the agita- 
tion was the mere outcome of the wounded vanity 
of a few intellectuals {la vaniU exasperSe de quelques 



THE REIGN OF TERROR 251 

intellecfuels). He has made it his boast that he 
has not admitted in his journal any articles plead- 
ing for revision, but he has himself, in an article 
which appeared in March, entitled "Aprds le prods" 
offered incense to the Mat major in long dull para- 
graphs stuffed with cant and perfidy. In this 
article he declared that of all aristocracies, one of 
pure intelligence is least adapted to the needs of 
a modern republic. And it is a curious indication 
of the psychological results which the worship of 
force combined with senile distrust of the human 
reason may generate, that Brunetiere, who was once 
a virile thinker, or at least on the way to become 
one, has lately proclaimed in a letter to the SUcle 
that he is no longer so sure as he used to be of 
the innocence of Jean Galas ! 

The Latin Church in France, as might be ex- 
pected, staked its all upon the guilt of Dreyfus 
and the innocence of Esterhazy. Its leader inside 
the Chamber is the Count de Mun ; outside, the 
Jesuit Pere du Lac. From its bishops and priests 
it was vain to expect any pleadings for mercy and 
justice. With one accord the cry has gone up from 
them all over France, " Away with this man and 
release unto us Barabbas." The crimes of the Mat 
major are only to be paralleled in the early Italian 
republics ; they transport us back into the moral 
atmosphere of the Borgias. But the French clergy 
have sprinkled upon them their holy water and 
given them their blessing. After all, is not Mother 



252 THE DREYFUS CASE 

Church in France an Itahan product of the Borgian 
epoch ? What else could we expect ? 

One of the most odious incidents of the Zola trial 
was the petty vengeance taken on his witnesses. 
Thus Grimaux, after Pasteur the most distinguished 
biologist in France, was deprived of the professor- 
ship he held in the military Ecole Polytechnique ; 
and if other distinguished savants, like Gabriel 
Monod and Paul Meyer, were not treated similarly, 
it was only due to the fact that their hierarchical 
superiors, through whom alone the Government 
could proceed against them, were as keen Dreyfusards 
as themselves. Public servants, liable to be so 
treated, and two or three officers who expressed 
open sympathy with Zola, were ruthlessly cashiered. 
Even insurance offices and banks turned out clerks 
and managers who were known to be on the side of 
truth and justice. All observers saw how easy it 
would be in modern France for a reign of terror 
and proscription to be established. 

Zola was not discouraged by the verdict, but 
appealed to the Cour de Cassation, or Supreme 
Court of Appeal. The grounds of appeal were 
many. Firstly, there was the fact that the French 
Government, in its hurry to put down Zola, had 
made Billot sign the indictment, instead of the 
officers of the court-martial, who alone were com- 
petent to sue in the case. This was a merely 
technical flaw; not so the other grounds, which 
exposed actual unfairness on the part of the judge. 



THE REIGN OF TERROR 253 

For example, De Pellieux had been allowed to pro- 
duce in evidence Henry's forgery, after the court 
had excluded such evidence by its ruling, and then 
the same ruling was put in force against Zola's 
counsel when they asked to be allowed to cross- 
examine on the evidence so irregularly adduced. 
Again, Madame Dreyfus and many others had 
not been allowed to say what they thought of 
Zola's good faith. Then there was a " connexity " 
between the actual words charged against Zola in 
the indictment and all the rest of his letter J\iccuse. 
For example, he was sued for having said : " I 
accuse the second court-martial of having shielded 
that illegality {i.e. the Dreyfus verdict) to order." 
This phrase could only be judicially discussed in 
connection with the phrase which preceded and 
explained it in Zola's letter, to wit, this : " I accuse 
the first court-martial of having violated the law by 
condemning an accused man on the evidence of a 
document kept secret, and I accuse the second," &c. 
The authority of the chose jug6e, it was urged, did 
not preclude questions being asked in a subsequent 
trial relative to the manner in which and the 
evidence on which the judges in a former case had 
arrived at their verdict, supposing such questions 
Avere, in a subsequent trial, vital to the interests of 
the defence. 

The Zola trial had bristled with illegalities and 
informalities. The Cour de Cassation selected the first 
I have mentioned as a valid ground for quashing 



254 THE DREYFUS CASE 

it, and held that General Billot, the Minister of 
War, had no locus standi. The indictment having 
been illegal and informal, all the subsequent pro- 
ceedings and sentence were null and void. 

M. Manau, however, the Procureur-General, in 
laying the case before the Supreme Court, dwelt 
on the " scandalous scenes " which had disgraced 
M. Delegorgue's court. Then, after pointing out that 
his own court had solely to decide whether Zola's 
condemnation had been legal — not whether it was 
just or no — he continued in these memorable 
words : — 

" If the law has been in any way violated, if the 
rights of the defence have not been respected, the 
verdict must be quashed, and then the proces Zola 
will begin afresh. God forbid, in case it does, that 
there should begin afresh with it all its scandals, 
its abominable scenes, unworthy of the France of 
the nineteenth century, and which are an outrage 
offered to the memory and the work of the illus- 
trious forerunners of the great Revolution of 1789, 
and in particular of the great emancipator of 
human thought, of the apostle of tolerance. I have 
named Voltaire." 

Lower down he glances at what is now about to 
occur eight months later, in these words : — 

•' It has been maintained that Drej^us was con- 
demned in consequence of the production of secret 
pieces of evidence, which, it is alleged, were un- 
known to the defence. 



THE REIGN OF TERROR 255 

" If that were true, there can be no doubt that 
the decision of his court-martial would be pro- 
nounced radically null and void." 

Then he remarks that the Minister of Justice can 
alone, under the French code, formally order the 
Procureur-General of the Cour de Cassation to de- 
nounce to the criminal section thereof judicial 
acts, decrees, or judgments contrary to law ; and he 
added : — 

" Now in the present case no such order has 
been given to the Procureur -General. No jurisdiction 
other than the Cour de Cassation can legally take 
cognisance of such an issue." 

And it is well to cite the admirable words which 
M. Manau Avent on to address to his fellow-magis- 
trates : — 

" Under the reserves laid down by us with respect 
to the right to revision, the domain of which is 
wisely limited and regulated by law, is it not per- 
mitted to every one to have his own opinion and 
pronounce it, as much in regard to Dreyfus' guilt 
as to Esterhazy's innocence, and contrarily as much 
in regard to Esterhazy's guilt as to Dreyfus' inno- 
cence, without being exposed to insults, calumnies, 
and even to the most atrocious threats ? What ! 
in this country of France, so noble, so generous, 
is one not to be allowed to hold a different opinion 
to one's neighbour about matters Avhich stir the 
public conscience to its depths, without being 



256 THE DREYFUS CASE 

subjected to insult, without being held up as a 
mercenary or as a traitor ? " 

So much for Drumont and his confrerie. M. 
Manau continued : — 

" So it would seem that a long life of honour and 
probity is not to safeguard the noblest against scorn 
and insult, not even our Trarieux, our Scheurer- 
Kestners, our Rancs, nay, not even those whom they 
have called, with an irony which they imagine to be 
clever, ' the intellectuals,' and whom we call, we, 
the men of intelligence that are the honour of our 
land." 

" We protest," continued M. Manau, " for our part, 
against such manners as these. And although their 
own consciences suffice to acquit them, we con- 
sider that the duty is imposed on us of addressing 
a testimony of our profound esteem to the honour- 
able men who, merely because they have had to 
take part in the regrettable campaign at which we 
were present, have yet not ceased to deserve the 
respect of their friends and enemies. Let us bear 
in mind on this point that lesson of old - world 
wisdom, ' Non nostrum inter vos tantas componere 
lites ! ' 

" And in raising these protests, we do not leave 
out of account MM. Zola and Perreux. We choose 
to see in them men who have only allowed them- 
selves to be drawn on too far in the expression of 
their thoughts and wishes — men who have not 
understood that, though it was within their right 
to freely defend in the press, in petitions, or even 
in books, the grounds of their belief that a judicial 



THE REIGN OF TERROR 257 

error, or even an unconscious illegality, had been 
committed, so following the example of most of 
those who hold the same belief; yet it was not 
within their right to accuse magistrates of having 
given a judgment by order. We, in short, see in 
them men whom the jury has declared guilty of 
the oflfence of defamation, and whom the com-t has 
punished. 

" But we refuse to regard as mercenaries and 
traitors men whose whole lives long have been 
dignified by indefatigable hard work. 

" One must be just to everybody." 

It was on April 2, 1898, that the Zola trial was 
quashed, thus imposing on the military party the 
necessity of prosecuting Zola afresh, unless it wished 
to own itself beaten. The first trial had done them 
irretrievable damage, for it had enabled Colonel 
Picquart to go into the witness-box and unbare 
to all the world the iniquitous plot which had its 
centre in the War Office. 

Now in that trial the defence had renounced, so 
satisfying the express wishes of Colonel Paniz- 
zardi, the depositions of Count Casella. This 
ofentleman is an Italian, well known in Paris, where 
he was a teacher of fencing, as one of the best swords- 
men in Europe. In his own country too he enjoys 
a considerable reputation, as having victoriously sus- 
tained the honour of the Italian army in a duel 
with the best swordsman that the French could find 
among themselves. A better man in one respect 
could not be found to draw the confidences of 

E 



258 THE DREYFUS CASE 

Schwartzkoppen and Panizzardi, and communicate 
them to the Dreyfiisard press ; for French officers 
and journaHsts could obviously not insult with 
impunity one so handy with his rapier. In the 
middle of December, Casella went to Panizzardi 
and asked him point-blank if he had not in 
his possession French military documents sold by 
Esterhazy. Panizzardi answered that he had not, 
but said that his friend Schwartzkoppen had often 
expressed surprise that the Dreyfus family had 
not appealed to him to throw light on the matter ; 
and, in the end, he suggested to Casella to go to 
Berlin and interview the ex-attache there. Casella 
went on December 22, and, after being kept 
waiting some days while Schwartzkoppen was 
apparently obtaining his Emperor's leave to be 
interviewed, he gained his end, and obtained a 
declaration from Schwartzkoppen that Dreyfus had 
not been his spy, that the bordereau was not the 
work of Dreyfus, that he knew him to be innocent, 
but that he regarded Esterhazy as a man capable of 
anything. Asked further why his Government did 
not name the traitor, the German continued thus : — 

"We cannot accuse, and the French Govern- 
ment cannot through diplomatic channels ask us 
if Esterhazy be guilty or not. We can only do 
what we have already done, without being asked 
to do it, namely, declare the truth, which is, that 
we never held any relations with the ex-captain. 
But if the French are determined, in spite of 



THE REIGN OF TERROR 259 

everything, that Dreyfus shall be a traitor, we 
cannot help it. It is not our business." 

Casella returned to Paris the bearer of a confiden- 
tial letter from Schwartzkoppen to his Italian friend. 
This the latter partly read out loud for Casella 
to hear. The second or third sentence ran thus : — 

" How can this rogue Esterhazy get out of this 
business ? How can he go on living in France even 
if he is acquitted ? " 

On January 1 3 , the day on which Zola's letter 
J'accuse appeared, Casella had another interview with 
the Italian attache, and asked him point-blank 
whether Zola told the truth in it. 

" Yes, Zola tells the truth," answered Panizzardi ; 
and then he proceeded to relate to his interviewer 
the story of the panic-stricken Esterhazy's visit, 
revolver in hand, to Schwartzkoppen, already given 
in the Letire d'un Biplomate (see above, p. 24). 

This is the gist of the deposition which Casella 
had offered to make at the Zola trial. It was sub- 
sequently published on April 7, 1898, under his 
signature, in the Siicle. On April 16, the Jo7ir, a 
War Office organ, declared that Colonel Panizzardi 
had denied to one of its own reporters the whole 
story of his interview with Casella, as told by the 
latter. The same evening Panizzardi wired to the 
SUcle from Berne that " he had refused to speak at 
all to the representative of the Jour about the con- 
versations he had had Avith M. Casella ; " and to 



26o THE DREYFUS CASE 

Casella he wired at the same time and to the same 
effect. Thus he practically acknowledged the ac- 
curacy of all that Casella had reported. 

I have dwelt on this communication of Casella 
because of its intrinsic value, and because of the 
influence it had on the development of the Dreyfus 
case. On April 7, 1 898, the officers who composed 
Esterhazy's court-martial were called together afresh 
at the Invalides to decide whether they would prose- 
cute Zola anew ; and it was an open secret that they 
were loath to do so, for fear of letting in further 
light upon the case. Judge Delegorgue had, in spite 
of his disjunctive talent, not succeeded in so enforc- 
ing the ruling of the court about the chose jug6e as to 
prevent certain witnesses, notably Picquart, from 
speaking. It was felt, however, by the party of 
revision, that the only hope was to keep the matter 
before the public gaze and maintain a brisk agitation. 
Therefore, by way of goading the ^tat major into a 
renewal of the contest, they arranged that the Si^cU 
should publish Casella's revelations on the very 
morning on which the issue was to be decided. And 
they succeeded. The officers met at 9 a.m., and 
after being closeted together for three hours, came 
out heated, angry, and depressed, without having 
decided anything. Then at mid-day, it is related. 
General de Pellieux hurried up, the Siede in his 
hand, and read it out loud to them. They were 
locked up again, and after three hours more of 
deliberation decided to prosecute afresh. Thus it 



THE REIGN OF TERROR 261 

took six hours for them to make up their minds, 
and, except for the " draw," so skilfully arranged, 
they would no doubt have thought discretion the 
better part of valour. However, by way of limiting 
discussion in the new trial as much as possible, 
they selected not fifteen lines of Zola's letter, as 
before, on which to base their action for defama- 
tion, but three only, namely, the following : — 

" A court-martial has just dared to acquit to 
order an Esterhazy, in supreme and insolent 
defiance of all justice, of all truth." 

The accusation here levelled at the first court- 
martial of 1894 was far graver than that levelled at 
the second of 1898. Nevertheless, the Minister of 
War had not convoked the members of the first one 
and enjoined them to prosecute Zola. It was clear 
that the Government knew that about the conduct 
of the first court-martial which made them hesitate 
to let it be canvassed in a law court. It was also 
noticed that Zola and M. Perrenx of the Aurore were 
this time cited to appear before a jury at Versailles, 
and not at Paris. The Government was clearly 
afraid of another Paris jury, for the last had been 
far from unanimous. On the other hand, a Ver- 
sailles jury could be relied upon to be less demo- 
cratic in feeling, and to contain a sprinkling of 
retired ofiicers. 

The President of the Court of Assize, held at Ver- 
sailles in Seine-et-Oise, was M. Perivier, and the new 



262 THE DREYFUS CASE 

trial opened on May 23, 1898. Zola's counsel, 
Maitre Labori, began by taking exception to the 
competence of a Versailles court to take cognisance 
of an offence committed by a journal printed and 
published in Paris. On this point he appealed to 
the Cour de Cassation, and the trial had to be post- 
poned until this demurrer could be decided upon. 
The Government prosecutor, or Procureur-General, 
who appeared for the members of the second court- 
martial, used language in court, in addressing the 
defence, as virulent as it was undignified : — 

" Ah ! you ask for a Parisian jury ? You are 
easy to please ! But whatever the jury you ask for, 
you will everywhere find it the same ; because, do 
you hear ? the country has had enough of this 
scandalous agitation, which will bring no good to 
yourselves or to any one else. . . . Condemned 
by the jury of the Seine, fleeing from before the 
jury of Versailles, MM. Zola and Perrenx will not 
themselves be judged to-day, but their cause is 
judged." 

Maitre Labori was able to point out in reply that 
if the Cour de Cassation had not quashed the first 
trial on a technical flaw in procedure, they would 
anyhow have quashed it on account of the produc- 
tion as evidence by De Pellieux and Boisdeffre, \nth 
the judge's consent, of a secret and forged docu- 
ment inculpating Dreyfus by name, but about 
which, after it had been so produced, he, as Zola's 
counsel, had not been allowed to cross-examine 



THE REIGN OF TERROR 263 

them. M. Perivier, however, cut short Labori with 
the graceful remark : — 

" There is nothing above the law — nothing 
nothing, not even Zola. Make up your mind to 
that." 

The demurrer was disallowed by the higher court 
on June 16, and therefore the trial opened once 
more on July 18 at Versailles. The great object 
of the defence was to spin out the matter and keep 
it as long as possible before the public, so they 
now raised two fresh demurrers. Firstly, they ob- 
jected that the court-martial, as such, not being a 
civil personality holding property, could not sue. 
This plea was disallowed by the court. They next 
claimed, on the ground of the connexity of the three 
lines of Zola's letter selected in the indictment with 
the rest of his letter, to be allowed to prove the 
letter in its entu-ety. This plea was disallowed, 
whereupon the defendants left the court, leaving 
judgment to go by default. Zola then quitted his 
country, whither he can return any time within five 
years and demand a fresh trial. He felt, to use his 
own words, that " La verite est en marche." He 
had done as much as he could for the present, and 
his country needed a little time to assimilate the 
evidence of Colonel Picquart and others, which his 
first trial had given to the world. 

Once more at this trial the Procureur-General, 
who is a Government officer, distinguished himself 



264 THE DREYFUS CASE 

by the violence of tlae language he addressed to the 
court which the defendants had just quitted : — 

" M. Zola has defamed others, because he is gifted 
with immeasurable pride, because he fancies himself, 
as being the Messiah of the ideal, and as represent- 
ing the genius of France, to have the power of 
driving deep into the rebellious conscience of the 
nation a distrust of the court-martial's verdict. 
He threatens, he has threatened. . . . There you 
have Zola's true motive— pride put at the service 
of hideous machinations. The country has already 
treated him once as he deserved. It must so treat 
him a second time, until he is definitely brought 
to justice. For France has been calumniated before 
Europe. They have dared to say that she was 
deaf to the voice of innocence and truth, that 
she had put herself outside the law of nations. 
They have vowed her to the worst catastroptes. 
They have dared to try to reopen in this country, 
so tolerant and so generous, the era of religious 
discords. They have dared to hint that the army 
is hostile to the Republic. These are things which 
must not go unpunished." 

For the Uhlan Esterhazy those days at Versailles 
were red-letter ones. He had the satisfaction of 
knowing that the patriotic officer, who had been 
hounded out of an army of whose honour he, 
the traitor, was now acclaimed as the imper- 
sonation, was on those days hustled and insulted 
in the public streets. On May the 23 rd Picquart 
was recognised at the railway station of Versailles. 



THE REIGN OF TERROR 265 

He had been cited as a witness, and was there in 
performance of his duty. He would have been 
torn to pieces by the well-dressed gentry of Ver- 
sailles had the police not protected him. That 
evening the Uhlan published the following letter 
addressed to Colonel Picquart in the favourite 
organ of the War OfSce, the Jour : — 

" In consequence of your refusal to fight, dictated 
by nothing but the fear you had of a serious en- 
counter, I have in vain looked for you for several 
days — you know it, and you have fled like the 
coward you are. 

" When I found myself cited in the same case 
with yourself, I hoped at last to get hold of you. 

" I came to-day to Versailles, I waited for you 
at the door of the court ; and every one loiew what 
I had come there to do. 

" Perhaps your cowardice will not go on for ever. 
If so, tell me where and on what day you will dare 
to meet me at last face to face, in order to receive 
the chastisement I have promised you. 

" As for myself, I shall walk up and down for 
three days in succession, beginning from to-morrow 
at seven o'clock, the streets . . . and . . . 

" Commandant Esterhazy." 

In those days this brave Uhlan was dreaming 
of a general massacre of the Jews who had given 
him money, just as formerly he had dreamed of 
a general massacre led by himself in Prussian uni- 
form of the inhabitants of Paris. On the next day 



266 THE DREYFUS CASE 

the following dignified note from Colonel Picquart 
appeared in the press : — 

" It is true that I received a letter in which 
M. Esterhazy pretends that he looked for me in 
vain at Versailles on May 23, and informs me that 
he will wait for me three days in succession in the 
Rue de Lisbonne and Rue de Naples, at 7 in the 
evening. 

" I am astonished that M. Esterhazy did not meet 
me at Versailles when he was looking for me, for 
I went to that town very openly on the day of Zola's 
trial. 

" As for the threats contained in his letter, I am 
quite resolved, in case I come to blows with him, 
to make full use of the right which every citizen 
has to defend himself as the law allows. 

" But I shall not forget that it is my duty to 
respect Esterhazy's life. This man belongs to the 
justice of the land, and I should be to blame if I 
deprived that justice of him." 

A few weeks later, Esterhazy, maddened with 
absinth, rushed out of a drinking-shop and attacked 
Picquart with a club from behind. He thought 
he had taken him off his guard ; but that officer 
was too quick for him, and with a few well- aimed 
strokes of his cane sent Esterhazy head foremost 
into the gutter, into which his hat had preceded 
him. 



CHAPTER XIV 

HENRY THE FORGER 

For a second time in the history of the Dreyfus 
case the impulse to an important development — it 
may be said to its final denouement — was destined 
to arise out of an imimportant communication in 
the English press. As early as February 1898, 
I had begun to take an interest in the sombre 
drama which was unrolling itself in Paris, and in 
the last days of that month associated myself with 
a scheme just set on foot of publishing in the 
English press some facsimiles of secret military 
documents purchased by Von Schwartzkoppen from 
Esterhazy, and in the latter's handwriting. The 
project unhappily fell through at the last moment, 
because the conditions of secrecy, under which 
alone we could work, were menaced by the rash- 
ness of outsiders. However, in June I contributed, 
under the sobriquet of Huguenot, to the National 
Review, edited by Mr. Maxse, a sketch of the case 
as it presented itself to my mind, after a study 
of the shorthand report of the Zola trial, of the 
reports of D'Ormescheville and Ravary, reinforced 

by private information. This article came into 

267 



268 THE DREYFUS CASE 

the hands of M. Joseph Reinach, who has already 
figured in my pages (above i6i), and he translated 
the following paragraphs of it with comments 
in a leading article in the French Sicde, entitled, 
" The Teachings of History : " — 

" The affection of the French for their army is 
as ardent and romantic as that of a woman for her 
lover. But what if by a sudden revelation it were 
brought home to the masses who now parade the 
streets, crying, ' Vive l' Amide ! niort aux Jnifs ! ' 
that their confidence has been betrayed, that the 
swaggering officers whom they cheered so madly 
at the trial of M. Zola are the real traitors to 
France, and that Dreyfus is the victim of their 
base conspiracy ? For the Emperor William holds 
in his hands a weapon with which, when the occa- 
sion arises, he can smite the enthe etat major, and 
destroy the confidence of the French people in their 
army for at least a generation. The series of secret 
documents sold by Esterhazy does not stop in Octo- 
ber 1894, the date of Dreyfus' arrest, but extends 
on into the year 1896. It included many important 
documents of later origin than October 1894, all 
in the handwriting of the bordereau. Dreyfus 
cannot have written these, for he was already in 
prison. . . . 

" Now the Emperor William, by communicating 
to the French or European press in facsimile any 
one of these documents of origin later than 1894, 
can, whenever he likes, tear across the web of lies 
with which the French War Office is now striving 
to hide its misdeeds. Perhaps the ddnoiUmcnt will 



HENRY THE FORGER 269 

come in this way ; for the Emperor has, it appears, 
already authorised Schwarztkoppen, at the close of 
the last year, to communicate to Count Casella, for 
publication in the Sikle, on 8th April last, many 
hints of the truth. , . . 

" How long will it be before William II. draws 
tight the noose into which all the leading French 
generals and colonels, and nearly all the leading 
politicians of every party, save the Socialists, have 
so obligingly adjusted their necks ? " 

In the next day's Jour, M. Castelin announced 
that he would interpellate the Government in refer- 
ence to M. Reinach's article. This was the same 
deputy whose interpellation in November 1896 had 
already given rise to so momentous a turn of events. 
His fresh interpellation was to take effect in a yet 
more striking manner. But I must first relate what 
happened to M. Reinach, who was a captain in the 
territorial army of France, and over whom the 
Minister of War claimed a certain jurisdiction, though 
he had not been for many years in active service. 
The military party had long been watching for a 
chance to strike him, and his article in the SiMe 
seemed to their eyes a sufficiently good one. 
Castelin had given it by his threatened interpella- 
tion the requisite publicity. Accordingly they taxed 
him with having written himself my article in the 
National Review, with having spiced it with inaccu- 
racies by way of making it appear to be the work 
of an English journalist, and with having then 



270 THE DREYFUS CASE 

translated it back into the Sikle with comments of his 
own, pretending that it represented EngHsh opinion. 
One of Billot's last actions, before he gave place to 
Cavaignac, was to cite Captain Reinach before a 
court-martial, which met at the £cole Militaire on 
June 24, 1898, the scene of Dreyfus' degradation in 
1895. General Kirgener, Baron de Planta, Colonel 
Meneust, and three other officers composed it, and 
unanimously reported in favour of the expulsion 
from the army of Captain Reinach for " a grave 
offence against discipline." Thus you may not in 
France, even if you have passed out of active 
service ten years before, criticise the Mat major. 
Cavaiofnac, Billot's successor, of course confirmed the 
verdict. 

Shortly before the court-martial a common friend 
urged me to write a formal letter to Joseph Reinach, 
which he could read out before his court-martial, 
declaring that I was the sole author of the article in 
the National Review, sundry paragraphs of Avhich were 
cited verbally in the indictment drawn up by Billot 
against M. Reinach. I had wished to preserve my 
anonymity, but I could not refuse this request; 
and, as I had been so much honoured by a French 
Minister of War, I thought it was a good opportunity 
of emphasising the opinions expressed in my article ; 
and accordingly I concluded my letter by reasserting 
the risk run by the 6tat major of seeing reproduced 
in a foreign press copies of documents written by 
Esterhazy and sold to Schwartzkoppen. The sword 



HENRY THE FORGER 271 

of Damocles, I said, still hangs over the head of the 
4tat major. 

I had the satisfaction of seeing my letter repro- 
duced in extenso in nearly two hundred daily French 
papers, and it had, I understand, much to do with 
the decline of Esterhazy's popularity. It is singular 
how the French will pay attention to the ipse dixit 
of an unknown Englishman, when they are deaf to 
their own greatest writers and leaders of thought. 

It was curious to read the effusions of the mili- 
tary and religious papers which my letter evoked. 
Rochefort immediately transformed himself into a 
philologist, and discovered that I was a German-Jew 
who had " trucked " his real name of Kcenigsberg 
for that of Conybeare. My crowning offence in his 
eyes was to have edited the lives (sic) of the Thera- 
peutoe of Philo the Jew. He clearly regards Thera- 
pcutce as the Yiddish equivalent of Dreyfusard — not 
a bad equation. 

The following paragraphs from the Journal du 
Centre of Chateauroux for June 28, 1898, present a 
fair specimen of the style of the French clerical 
press. The article was entitled " Immanent Justice," 
and began thus : — 

" When Iscariot had taken the thirty pence, the 
price of the Just One's blood, he went and hung 
himself in a field, his belly burst asunder, and his 
bowels gushed forth upon the ground. 

" It was the Immanent Justice of things which 
thus manifested itself . . . 



272 THE DREYFUS CASE 

" Justice Immanent ! 

" And yesterday, Dreyfus, grandson of Judas, first 
cousin of Deutz, heir of Bazaine, after taking 
German marks in payment for the strips of flesh 
which he tore from off our country in order to 
sell, was seen condemned, degraded ; button by 
button, galloon by galloon were torn from the 
noble uniform of the French officer. And now he 
is choking, the death-rattle in his throat, in a cage, 
too small to contain his offence, yet too large in 
proportion to the punishment his crime deserves. 

" Justice Immanent ! 

"The Greeks called it AnankS ; the Musulmans, 
Fate ; Gambetta, Immanent Justice. The Christians 
proclaim therein the Finger of God. . . . 

" To think that this monstrous Israelite should 
come forward and threaten the ctat major of the 
French army, which is made of the blood and 
bone of our country, threaten its members with 
revelations such that they all ought to flee and 
hide themselves like the most abject criminals ! " 

Then " the text in which once more the action 
of immanent justice reveals itself" is given. It 
is the verdict of the glorious five officers who 
deprived Joseph Reinach of his rank in the terri- 
torial army. The council of the Legion of Honour 
is then exhorted to deprive the Jew of his decora- 
tion ; and Joseph Reinach, along with Zola and 
De Pressense, have lost their badge of honour, which 
was left to Esterhazy as late as November 1898. 
The sacramental diatribe ended thus: — 




PAUL CAVAIGNAC. 



Pag^e 272. 



HENRY THE FORGER 273 

" And for others also Immanent Justice lies in 
wait ; for all the insulters of the army, for all the 
hirelings of the foreigner, for all the detractors of 
our military chiefs, for all who heap calumny on 
France, all the rastas Italian, German, and English, 
who, like accomplished traitors, enriching them- 
selves off the largesses of our country, take shelter 
under our national flag, the better to be able, when 
the day and hour are announced, to betray it to 
the hereditary enemy. 

" It is thine, Immanent Justice, to overtake 
and punish them, that they may be spared the 
committing of fresh crimes, France the useless 
shedding of blood, the hearts of patriots new tor- 
tures, French mothers fresh tears ! " 

M. Castelin's long-threatened interpellation came 
on at last on July 7, 1898. By this time the 
elections were over, and of the newly-constituted 
Chamber M. Paul Deschanel was President in place 
of M. Brisson, who, by a shake of the political 
kaleidoscope, had succeeded to M. Meline. General 
Billot was also gone, and a civilian (M. Cavaignac, 
the historian of Prussia) had taken his place. This 
new Minister of War had as early as January i 3 , 
1898, threatened to be the enfant terrible of the 
^tat major. In the debate which then took place 
both M. de Mun and M. Jaures had spoken. The 
former had invited Billot to defend, for the fourth 
time in one year, the sanctity and fitness of the 
cTwse jiig6e. The latter had warned the Government 
that by shielding the illegalities committed they 



274 THE DREYP^US CASE 

were betraying the Republic to tbe generals. Then 
M. Godefroy Cavaignac rose, and undertook, as a 
" progressive Republican," to defend the army, which, 
he complained, it had so far been left to the Royalist 
Right to defend. He taxed the Government of M. 
Meline with their weakness and hesitation. They 
could, he declared, with a single word arrest, nay, 
prevent, the agitation. Why did they not produce 
the confession of guilt made by Dreyfus on the 
morning of his degradation ? Why not publish the 
incriminating documents with which the ctat major 
had already supplied Billot ? Meline, of course, 
answered, for he knew what he was about, that 
Cavaignac desired a revision of the Dreyfus sentence 
to be begun from the tribune. " The Government 
has refused," he said, "and wiU always refuse to 
take such action. If M. Cavaignac were in the 
Government, he would act as we do." 

In the new Chamber assembled on July 7, 1898, 
no trace was left of the minority of 122 who on 
January 1 3 had voted for M. Jaures' motion " con- 
demning the feebleness shown by the civil power 
in the presence of a military oligarchy, and exhort- 
ing the Government to re-enter the path of Republi- 
can traditions." But M. Cavaignac, the darling of 
the army, was none the less under the obligation of 
producing before all those proofs of Dreyfus' guilt 
which in January he had in vain urged Billot to 
make public. 



HENRY THE FORGER 275 

" What is the situation ? " he began in tragic 
tones. 

" The honest people who composed the court- 
martial judged according to their conscience and 
without passion." 

Thus the legality of the Dreyfus verdict was 
ostentatiously thrown overboard. Presently he 
proceeded to allay the misgivings of the " Intel- 
lectuals," " of those who," he said, " represent a 
notable portion of French thought, and have it 
for their special mission to defend the intellectual 
and moral patrimony of France." And he gently 
reminded these " Intellectuals " that their " good 
faith," their 'bo7ine foi, might get them into trouble. 
" There is no denying," he said, " that just now 
national feeling has been so deeply provoked that 
it would even welcome repressive measures by 
way of assuring respect for the army." 

However, M, Cavaignac did not desire that at 
present. He knew what the country expected of 
him — a declaration which would put an end to 
the agitation for revision. He would make the 
declaration, because he had an absolute certitude 
of Dreyfus' guilt. 

But first he begged the Chamber not to con- 
nect what he had to say to them with what was 
said abroad. " We are," he said, amidst lively and 
unanimous applause, " masters in our own house, 
and will deal with our own affairs as we see fit." 
This, of course, was in answer to the repeated 



276 THE DREYFUS CASE 

official declarations of" the German, Italian, and 
Austrian Governments that Dreyfus was innocent 
as far as they were concerned. " If," he went on, 
" we have to respect, in dealing with others, the 
obligations of international courtesy, it is also the 
duty of others to respect them in dealing with 
us." 

All this was the prelude to the production of 
the two genuine letters of Panizzardi, which I 
have translated above on page 125, and of the one 
forged by Henry. " These pieces," he said, " admit 
of no doubt as to their genuineness, nor as to 
the identity of those who write them. This is so 
whether we consider their origin, or their number, 
or their appearance, or their marks of authen- 
ticity. . . . The two first are letters which passed 
between certain persons who have been talked 
about and a person designated by his initial, D." 

The certain persons were, of course, Schwartz- 
koppen and Panizzardi. Cavaignac then appealed to 
Henry's forgery in proof of his conviction that in 
the first two letters D. meant Dreyfus ; and he 
spoke of the third or forged letter as being itself 
" framed " in a long correspondence between the 
two attaches. Cavaignac ignored the letter with the 

postscript, " Cette canaille de D devient trop 

exigeant," because Colonel Henry, in one of his 
numerous perjuries at the Zola trial,^ had denied 

^ Proces Verbal, I. 375. Perhaps Henry was anxious to discount 
the communication in the Eclair of 1896. 



HENRY THE FORGER 277 

that it formed part of, or had to do with, the Drey- 
fus dossier. 

In conclusion he paraded the so-called confes- 
sion of Dreyfus, namely, the words reported in the 
Temps of January 5, 1895, to have been used by 
him on the morning of his degradation to two 
officers who were guarding him. The words were 
these : — 

" I am innocent. If I have given documents to 
the foreigners, it was only as a bait to tempt them 
into giving up more important ones. In three 
years the truth will be known, and the Minister 
of War himself will take up my cause." 

This is the only contemporary record of this 
famous confession, which Lebrun-Renault, on Janu- 
ary 6, after it appeared in the Tcmfs, wrote down, 
not in the official book kept for such mementoes, 
but on a loose leaf of his pocket-book. " This leaf," 
said Cavaignac, " has always remained in his posses- 
sion." Notwithstanding, in November 1 897, Lebrun- 
Renault had to write it down afresh from memory 
only ; but a Captain Attel heard it from him in 
a Paris brothel in January 1895, and he told it 
to Captain Anthoine, who repeated it to Com- 
mandant De Mitry, who repeated it to Billot and 
Cavaignac. " Now," said Cavaignac to the entranced 
French Parliament, " either human testimony has 
no longer any value, or it results from these deci- 
sive testimonies, agreeing one with the other an 



278 THE DREYFUS CASE 

anterior to all impressions since produced, that 
Dreyfus used the words, ^ If I have given docu- 
ments' " 

Surely it also follows on the same testimony that 
Dreyfus said " I am innocent " — a queer confession 
of guilt. We may be sure that, if he ever tried to 
get whales for his sprats out of the Germans, he 
did so by order of his superiors. But, taking the 
evidence as it stands, it only proves that Dreyfus 
spoke hypothetically and said : " I am innocent 
{i.e. of the charge of giving away documents) ; but 
if I had given any, it would only have been in 
order to get better ones in return." The officer 
Lebrun-Renault has assured Forzinetti that Dreyfus 
never confessed his guilt to him, and he gave the 
same assurance to M. Casimir Perier and to M. 
Dupuy, who was French Premier in January 1895. 
If Dreyfus only used the words in question, this 
assurance was true. Those who discern in them a 
confession of guilt of course honour exceedingly 
Lebrun-Renault as the recipient thereof. 

The French Chamber greeted M. Cavaignac's 
declarations with frenzied applause. MM. Drumont 
and Morinaud were the most demonstrative in an 
assembly which, as a whole, was carried away by 
enthusiasm for the cJiose jugSe. M. Mirman, an ex- 
soldier, demanded that the speech which had buried 
the Dreyfus affair should be placarded on the walls 
of 36,000 communes at the public expense; and 
572 deputies voted for the motion. Of the two 



HENRY THE FORGER 279 

deputies who voted against it, M. Meline, who pro- 
bably knew all about Colonel Henry, was one. 
M. Brisson, the new Premier, abstained. 

In this crisis a foAV of the soberer papers, that 
had till now mostly ranged themselves against 
Dreyfus' cause, had a sort of shivering fit in spite of 
the general jubilation, notably the Temps, the PMppel, 
and the AiUoriU of M. Paul de Cassagnac. Had 
Cavaignac after all buried the affair ? Were his 
documents above suspicion, notably the third one, 
in which Dreyfus was named ? Was it not a moral 
miracle if Dreyfus, in view of his repeated protesta- 
tions of innocence to Du Paty, to his court-martial, 
to his wife, to those present at his degradation, had 
after all really confessed his guilt ? Until the War 
Office was desperately put to it, late in 1897, for 
proofs of Dreyfus' guilt, it had been common ground 
between both parties that Dreyfiis had made no 
confession of guilt, and for nearly three years the 
military and clerical press had execrated him for 
making none. 

The public perplexity was increased when, two 
days later, Picquart, in an open letter addressed to 
the Premier, M. Brisson, declared it to be his duty 
to inform him that he was in a position to prove, 
before any competent jurisdiction, that the two 
letters dated 1894 could not apply to Dreyfus, and 
that the one dated 1 896 bore all the characteristics 
of a forgery. 

On July 12; 1898, Maitre Demange, Dreyfus' 



28o THE DREYFUS CASE 

counsel in 1894, followed up Picquart's letter with 
one of liis own to the Keeper of the Seals, in which 
he declared that none of the documents read out 
by Cavaignac had been communicated to himself 
or to his client at the court-martial. He also sent 
with his letter a memorandum written on December 
31, 1894, by Dreyfus, which probably contains the 
very words which, when he subsequently used them 
to Lebrun-Renault, the latter misheard, and trans- 
formed into the vaunted confession of guilt. These 
words I italicise : — 

Note of Captain Dreyfus. 

" Commandant Du Paty de Clam came to-day, 
Monday, 31st December 1894, at 5.30 p.m., after 
the rejection of my appeal, to ask me, on the part 
of the Minister of War (Mercier), if I had not perhaps 
been the victim of my own imprudence, if I had 
not wished simply to set a traf . . . and then found 
myself drawn into and caught in the wheels. 

" I answered that I had never had relations with 
any agent or attache . . . that I had not given 
myself to any decoying ; that I loas innocent. 

" He then told me, that as for himself, his con- 
viction of my guilt was based, first on the examina- 
tion of the writing of the incriminating document, 
and on the character of the pieces enumerated 
therein ; next, on information which showed that 
the leakage of documents corresponded with my 
stay in the (^tat major ; lastly, that a secret agent 
had said that a Dreyfus was a spy . . . though 



HENRY THE FORGER 281 

without affirming that this Dreyfus was an officer. 
I asked Du Paty to be confronted with this agent ; 
he answered me that it was impossible. ... In 
short, he said, you have been condemned because 
a certain chie indicated that the guilty party was 
an officer, and the letter seized came in time to 
confirm the clue. The guilty one was yourself. 

" The Commandant added that since my arrest 
the leakage had dried up in the Ministry ; that 
perhaps . . . had let the letter lie about on pur- 
pose to catch me, in order not to satisfy my 
requirements." 

Who " let the letter (i.e. the bordereau) lie 
about," and what does the phrase mean ? Surely 
that Henry received it in April from Schwartz- 
koppen's porter, and for reasons of his own kept it 
quiet till September, and then let his superiors 
think that it had only just come in to the bureau ? 
If so, Du Paty also knew the real date of the 
bordereau. The note continues thus : — 

" He then spoke of M. Bertillon's remarkable 
expertise, according to which I had traced my own 
writing along with my brother's, so as to be able, 
in case I were caught with the letter on me, to argue 
that a plot had been got up against me ! ! ! 

" Then he gave me to understand that my wife 
and my family were my accomplices — all the theory 
of Bertillon, in short. Just then, as I knew what 
I wished, and was resolved not to let him insult 
my family any more, I stopped him by saying, 
' That is enough. I have but one word to say to 



282 THE DREYFUS CASE 

you. It is that I am innocent, and that your 
duty is to pursue your inquiries.' 

" ' If you are really innocent,' he then exclaimed, 
'you undergo the most awful martyrdom of all the 
ages.' ' I am that martyr,' I replied, ' and I hope 
the future will show you that I am.' . . . 

" After Commandant Du Paty went away, I wrote 
the following letter to the Minister of War : — 

" ' I have, by your orders, received the visit of 
Commandant Du Paty, to whom I declared once more 
that I was innocent, and that I had never even 
committed an imprudence. 

" ' I am condemned. I have no favour to ask. 

" ' But in the name of my honour, which I hope 
will one day be restored to me, it is my duty to 
entreat you to pursue your inquiries. 

" ' When I am gone, let them ever inquire. It 
is the only favour I beg of you. 

{Signed) ' Alfred Dreyfus.' " 

By way of counteracting the effect of the pla- 
carding all over France of Cavaignac's speech, a 
committee was formed to placard up these letters 
of Picquart and Demange. The SiMe opened a 
subscription list in its columns, and within ten days 
nearly 22,000 francs were subscribed. Though 
in places the colporteurs of the Petit Journal were 
set on to tear down these placards, and though at 
Belfort and other garrison towns generals forbade 
their soldiers, assembled on parade, to read these 
" filthy placards dishonouring the army," they 
must have caused many to reflect, especially when 



HENRY THE FORGER 283 

events took the startling turn which within a 
month they did. 

Meanwhile the first consequence for Picquart 
was that he was arrested on July 13, 1898, on 
the charge of communicating to Leblois documents 
relating to the national defence, as if Gonse's letters 
would ever do to load guns with. This was the 
charge which had already merited to Picquart 
expulsion from the army. To sue him afresh for 
the same offence in a civil court, as Cavaignac now 
did, was illegal, and merely vindictive. The French 
bar, backsliding from its old tradition of opposing 
a barrier to tyranny, had already suspended Leblois 
for the imaginary offence of receiving Picquart's 
confidences as a friend without being profession- 
ally consulted by him ! A similar action was the 
suspension in the course of the summer by M. 
Bourgeois, the new Minister of Public Instruction, 
of Dr. P. Stapfer, Dean of the Bordeaux Univer- 
sity, for a public reference made on July 24, 1898, 
to the Drejrfus case at the funeral of M. Couat, 
rector of that university. It looked for a time 
as if, under the austere Republican premier, M. 
Brisson, a reign of proscription and suppression of 
honest opinion was to begin, unexampled since the 
early days of the third empire. 

But on August 30, 1898, the blow fell on the 
Mat major which cool observers had anticipated. 
Colonel Henry, interrogated by the Minister of War, 
Cavaignac, after swearing some twelve times that 



284 THE DREYFUS CASE 

he had not, ended by admitting that he had, fabri- 
cated that famous letter between the two attaches, 
with which Generals de Pellieux and de BoisdefFre 
had wrung from the jury a verdict against Zola 
in February 1898, and Cavaignac an unanimous 
vote from the Chamber five months later. Henry 
was at once arrested and taken to a cell in Mont 
Valerien, where, after a long interview with an 
officer, whose name has not transpired, he was 
found the next afternoon dead, his throat cut from 
right to left and from left to right, the razor be- 
side him. 

An official com7mmiqu^ of the French War Office 
was issued that evening declaring that the unhappy 
man had committed suicide. It also alleged that 
after he had made his great speech of July 7, 1898, 
and allowed it to be placarded in 36,000 communes, 
Cavaignac began to entertain suspicions about the 
forged letter, an officer on his staff, named General 
Eoget, having noticed that the cross-ruling of its 
paper differed from that of the other two letters 
mentioning a D., and which, as I have said, are in 
Panizzardi's handwriting. Their suspicions aroused, 
said the communique, they compared the papers of 
the respective letters against a strong light, and 
Cavaignac rapidly formed the conviction as early as 
the middle of August that Henry had forged. He 
waited two weeks longer before he took action. 
Another suspicious circumstance was that to the 
letter itself, which, as De Pellieux deposed at Zola's 



HENRY THE FORGER 285 

trial, came to the Intelligence Department at the 
moment of Castelin's interpellation in November 
1896, was affixed no note either saying what agent 
had brought it to the War Office, or giving the 
precise date at which it was brought. 

These details were of course true, but why had 
not Cavaignac chosen to notice them earlier, when, 
on the morrow of his great speech, he received the 
demonstrations of Picquart and Trarieux, the ex- 
Minister of Justice, that it must be a forgery ? For 
days before July the 7th he had let the military 
papers relate how he was studying the Dreyfus 
dossier night and day in order to understand and 
know it thoroughly. Why, moreover, should he 
now at the eleventh hour pitch upon Henry as the 
culprit, and show so clearly, as his published in- 
terrogatory of him proves, that he knew from some 
a priori source that Henry, and no one else, had 
forged it ? 

The shorthand report of the examination by 
Cavaignac of Henry, which preceded his arrest, 
was read out at the first session of the criminal 
chamber of the Cour de Cassation met to revise 
the Dreyfus verdict on October 27, 1898. 

Lieut.-Col. Henry was introduced at 2.30 p.m. by 
General Gonse, under-chief of the Med major. The 
Minister Cavaignac began by warning Henry that 
an examination of the two documents brought to 
the Intelligence Bureau — the one {i.e. Panizzardi's 
letter) in June 1894, the other October 31, 1896 



286 THE DREYFUS CASE 

{i.e. Henry's forgery) — proved that the one contained 
words belonging to the other, and reciprocally, and 
that they must therefore have been both of them 
seriously altered. He adjured Henry to say what 
he knew about these documents, and warned him 
that, in view of the material character of the facts, 
the absence of explanation of them would be as 
grave in its consequences to him as an insufficient 
explanation. 

After this preamble the following interrogatory 
ensued : — 

" Cavaignac : When and how did you reconstitute 
the piece of June 1894 ? When and how that of 
1896 ? 

"Henry: I received the first in June 1894. 
It was I that reconstituted it, as I did most 
of the pieces having the same origin, when 
they were written in French. I dated it to the 
time when I received it. As to the piece of 1896, 
I received it on the eve of All-Hallow's day, and 
I reconstituted it myself. I put the date on it 
myself. 

" Cavaignac : Did you never ungum and then 
put together again the piece of 1894?- 

" Henry : No, never. Why should I have done 
so ? It was a piece of no importance. It had 
been ranged with the dossier of 1894. I am 
quite sure I never ungummed it. What is more, 
I never ungum ^ pieces. 

^ Henry seems to speak with a sense that he had ungummed the 
petit-bleu reconstituted by Lauth in order to scratch out the address 



HENRY THE FORGER 287 

" Cavaignac : Do you ever keep bits of paper 
Avithout putting tliem together ? 

" Henry : Sometimes, for a certain time — time 
enough to make out a Httle what the papers are. 
But I do not remember having kept bits of 
paper unarrangecl for more than eight or ten 
days. 

"Cavaignac: Did you have the piece of 1896 
in your hands subsequently to your giving it to 
General Gonse ? 

" Henry : No, I did not. 

" Cavaignac : How then do you explain the fact 
that the piece of 1894 has in it bits belonging to 
that of 1896 and vice versa? 

" Henry : I cannot explain it, and it seems im- 
possible that it should be so. In fact, the 1896 
piece never left the hands of General Gonse. As 
for the 1894 piece, which, as you know, is in the 
archives, I looked it out some days after I sent the 
other to General Gonse. At the moment they did 
not know where it was, and I was set to look for it. 

" Cavaignac : Was the date which the piece bore 
written on it, or on the register of it ? 

" Henry : There was no register of it, but a dossier 
(i.e. portfolio) in which bits of no importance were 
brought together. 

" Cavaignac : What you say is impossible. There 

on it: "Commandant Esterhazy," &c. He had then re-written 
the same address over the erasure, and put it together afresh, 
by way of suggesting that it had originally borne another address, 
but that Eicquart had obliterated this, and written the address to 
Esterhazy, in order to incriminate the latter. This is the perfidious 
charge on which Picquart was arrested in September, and has been 
incarcerated ever since (November 15) in the Cherche-Midi prison. 



288 THE DREYFUS CASE 

is material proof that certain fragments have been 
interchanged. How do you explain that ? 

" Henry : How ? Why, if it is the case, I must 
myself have intercalated one in the other. For 
all that, I could not say that I fabricated a piece 
which I did not ! I should have had to fabricate 
the envelope as well. How could that be ? 

" Cavaignac : The fact of intercalation is certain. 

" Henry ; I put together the papers in the state 
in which I received them. 

" Cavaignac : I may remind you that nothing is 
more serious for you than the absence of all ex- 
planation. Tell me what passed. What did you 
do? 

" Henry : What would you have me say ? 

" Cavaignac : I want you to give me an explana- 
tion. 

" Henry : I cannot. . . . 

" Cavaignac : What did you do ? 

" Henry : I did not fabricate the papers. 

" Cavaignac : Come, let us look. You put the 
fragments of one inside the other. 

" Henry (after a moment's hesitation) : Well, yes, 
because the two fitted together perfectly. What led 
me to do it was this. I received the first piece in 
June 1894, and I reconstituted it then. When the 
piece of 1896 came, there were some words in it 
which I did not altogether understand. So I cut 
out some portions of the first piece to put them 
into the second. 

" Cavaignac: You forged the piece of 1896 { 

" Henry : No, I did not. 

" Cavaignac : What did you do ? 




GENERAL ZURLINDEN. 



Page 28 



HENRY THE FORGER 289 

"Henry: I added to the 1896 piece some words 
wliich were in the other. I arranged the phrases, 
' II faiit pas que on sache jamais ; ' but the leading 
phrase was left untouched, and the name of Dreyfus 
was in it all right. 

" Cavaignac : You are not telling me the truth. 

" Henry : I am. It was only the phrases at the 
end that I arranged. 

" Cavaignac : Was it not yourself that con- 
ceived the idea of arranging the phrases in such 
ways ? 

" Henry : No one ever spoke to me about it. I 
did it to make the document more cogent. 

" Cavaignac : You are not telling me all. You 
forged the entire piece. 

" Henry : I forged nothing. Dreyfus' name was 
there all right in the piece of 1896. I could not 
take it out of the piece of 1894, since it was not 
there. I had not three pieces to work with — never 
more than the two. I swear that that is how it 
was all done. 

" Cavaignac : Your explanation is inconsistent 
with the facts themselves. Tell me all. 

" Henry : I have told you all. I only added this 
one phrase. 

" Cavaignac : Then this is your explanation : You 
forged the last phrase, ' II faut pas que on sache 
jamais' ? 

" Henry : I cannot say that I made up the phrase. 
When I found the paper of 1896 I was very much 
stirred by it. There was on it, ' I have seen that a 
deputy is going to interpellate about Dreyfus.' 
Then, after a certain phrase I could not find the 

T 



290 THE DREYFUS CASE 

sequel. I then got out of the 1894 piece some 
words which completed the sense. 

" Cavaignac : It is not true ; you forged the 
piece. 

" Henry : I swear I did not. I added the phrase, 
but I did not forge the piece. 

" Cavaignac : What you say is impossible ; so own 
to the whole truth. . . . 

" Cavaignac : You made up the second piece, 
taking your idea of it from the first. 

" Henry : I swear I did not. The other pieces 
which we got at that time quite prove the authen- 
ticity of the next letter. ' It is a bother that we 

have not had the end of the letter of ' (Here 

the name of a foreign officer.) 

" I swear that the beginning of the letter in blue 
chalk is quite authentic. 

" Cavaignac : The beginning was invented as well. 
So tell the whole truth. 

" Henry : No, I only put in the last phrase : ' II 
faut pas.' ... I wrote it without tracing it. 

" Cavaignac : Come now, since the pieces speak 
for themselves, you had better confess. . . . What 
suggested it to you ? 

" Henry : My chiefs were very anxious, and I 
wanted to reassure them and restore tranquillity 
in their minds. I said to myself: Let us add a 
phrase. Supposing we went to war, situated as 
we are now ! 

" Cavaignac : That is the idea which led you to 
forge the letter ? 

" Henry : I did not forge it. How could I 
have imitated a signature like that ? It was the 



HENRY THE FORGER 291 

beginning of it which gave me the idea of adding 
the end. 

" Cavaignac : ' II faut pas que on sache jamais 
personne.' Is that your language ? 

" Henry : Yes, because I knew how he wrote. 

"Cavaignac: You did not date in 1894 the 
piece which bore that date ? 

"Henry: Yes, I dated it in 1894. I do not 
think I dated it afterwards. I beheved I had dated 
it in 1894, I think. I do not remember. 

" Cavaignac : You were alone in doing that ? 

" Henry : Yes ; Gribelin knew nothing about it. 

" Cavaignac : No one knew it, no one at all ? 

" Henry : I did it in the interests of my country. 
I was wrong. 

" Cavaignac : Now, tell the truth, the whole truth. 
Tell me what passed. 

" Henry : I swear I had the beginning of it. I 
added the end to make it more cogent. 

" Cavaignac : Was the 1896 piece signed ? 

" Henry : I do not think I made up the signature. 

" Cavaignac : And the envelopes ? 

" Henry : I swear I did not make them up. How 
could I ? 

" Cavaignac : It is very unlikely that you added 
only the phrase at the end. 

" Henry : I swear it. The beginning suggested 
it to me, and subsequently people were reassured." 

There was here a pause, during which Henry 
retired. The Minister Cavaignac then recalled him, 
and continued his questions. 

" Cavaignac : Let us see. One of the pieces has 



292 THE DREYFUS CASE 

cross-lines of pale violet, the other of bluish-grey, 
which shows that portions of it were regiimmed. 
But your explanation is impossible. The intercala- 
tions do not answer to what you say. 

" Henry : What portions do you say were inter- 
calated ? 

" Cavaignac : I do not wish you to ask me ques- 
tions, but to answer mine. You forged the whole 
letter ? 

" Henry : I swear I did not. I must have had the 
names which are in that of 1896 to do so. Why 
should I have taken a fragment of the 1894 piece to 
insert it in the other ? 

" Cavaignac : You will not tell the truth ? 

" Henry : I can tell you nothing else. I cannot 
say that I wrote the whole of it. As to the first 
letter, I found it ; the second I intercalated, and 
only added the end. 

" Cavaignac : All you could have received was the 
heading and the signature. 

" Henry : I received the first part. 

" Cavaignac : You received nothing at all. 

" Henry : I had the first part, the heading and the 
signature. 

" Cavaignac : Impossible ! You aggravate your 
situation by these concealments. 

" Henry : I did what I did for the good of the 
country. 

" Cavaignac : That is not what I asked. What 
you did was based on the documents themselves. 
Tell everything. 

" Henry : I cannot say I did what I did not. 
When I got the first part . . . 



HENRY THE FORGER 293 

" Cavaignac : Impossible ! I tell you it is written 
on the piece. You had better tell all, 

" Henry : Then you are convinced it is I. 

" Cavaignac : Say what is the case. ... So then, 
this is what happened: You received in 1896 an 
envelope with a letter inside it, a letter of no im- 
portance. You suppressed the letter and forged 
another instead of it. 

" Henry : Yes." 

In the course of the interview General Roget also 
elicited from Henry the statement that Colonel 
Sandherr had laiown Esterhazy in Tunisia. Henry 
also volunteered this statement : — 

" It was to myself that the bordereau was brought, 
seized in 1894. It came in the ordinary way, along 
with documents of which you know, and of which 
the authenticity is undeniable. Every other version 
of the story is contrary to the truth, and materially 
impossible." 

We may infer that the bordereau in 1894 was 
not really brought to Henry, but to some one else. 
If it had come first into his hands, he would, if it be 
true that he was Esterhazy's accomplice in treason, 
have probably destroyed it ; and it is probable that 
he only did not so destroy it because some one else 
received it and invoiced it. 

It is impossible to read the report furnished by 
the War Office of Cavaignac's interview with Henry 
on August 30 without feeling that he had positive 
information from some source or other that Henry 



294 THE DREYFUS CASE 

was the man. In a few days a semi-official para- 
graph in the ItaUan paper, the Corriere di Napoli, 
supplied the key. In this it was declared that 
Count Tornielli, in December 1897, warned M. 
Hanotaux that the ^tat major had got hold of 
several forgeries, among others of the Henry docu- 
ment. I have already related how Lemercier-Picard 
had sold this secret to Schwartzkoppen. Torni- 
elli gave his word of honour at the same time to 
Hanotaux that his attache, Panizzardi, had had no 
relations with Dreyfus ; and Hanotaux not only 
pledged his word that the document should not 
be produced as genuine, but instructed M. Meline, 
then Premier, Billot, and De Boisdefifre in that 
sense. When, on February 17, 1898, it was 
produced by De Pellieux, in order to get a verdict 
against Zola, Hanotaux demanded, but in vain, 
that the prosecution of Zola should be abandoned, 
General de Boisdeffre dismissed from the Stat 
major, and the Dreyfus case revised. Cavaignac 
had been duly informed of all these incidents ; 
nevertheless, he could not resist, on July 7, 1898, 
the pleasure of repeating in the Chamber General 
de Pellieux' success in the Court of Assize; 
and accordingly paraded the forgery afresh in 
insolent defiance of Count Tornielli. This was 
insufferable, and without delay the Italian Gov- 
ernment, backed by the German, gave the French 
the choice of either denouncing the forgery them- 
selves or of having it exposed against them. The 



HENRY THE FORGER 295 

French chose the former course. Cavaignac 
arrested Henry in the Avay described, extorted 
from him the admission ; and, when he threatened 
to name his accomplices, they cut his throat. 
Those who in Paris are best quahfied to know, 
assure me that Henry did not commit suicide. 
Nor do the miscreant's cries on the way to the 
cell, as officially reported by the French autho- 
rities themselves, encourage us to take any other 
view. They were these : — 

" It is a shame ! . . . What do they want of 
me then ? ... It is madness on their part. . . . 
My conscience reproaches me with nothing. . . . 
What I did I am ready to do again. ... It 
was for the good of the country and of the army. 
I have always done my duty. ... In all my 
life I never met with such a pack of wretches. 
. . . They are to blame for my misfortune. . . ." 

These are the cries of a man who had forged 
" to order," and are in terrible agreement with the 
sinister hint which De Boisdeffre gave to Picquart 
on his appointment on July i, 1895, to the In- 
telligence Department : " You must look after the 
affaire Dreyfus ; there is not much in the dossier." ^ 
This was an invitation to forafe in order to rivet 
the poor man's chains on him. In the Zola trial 
Henry said exactly what he said the day of his 
arrest, " We only did our duty as we understood 

^ " Occupez-vous de I'affaire Dreyfus ; il n'y a pas grand' chose 
dans le dossier" (Proems Zola, twelfth audience). 



296 THE DREYFUS CASE 

it." We must not, therefore, attach too much 
weight to the declaration which De Boisdeffre, the 
friend of the Jesuit Pfere du Lac, made in his 
letter of resignation, that " his absolute confidence 
in Colonel Henry had led to his being deceived, 
and had caused him to declare genuine a docu- 
ment which was not so, and to present it as such 
to Cavaignac." It hardly admits of doubt that 
Henry had forged it " to order " for De Boisdeffre 
himself. 

Perhaps it was the knowledge of this which 
has led the Royalist and Catholic press to take 
the line that Henry fell a martyr to the cause of 
duty and patriotism. Thus, in the Gazette de France 
of September 6th, M. Charles Maurras writes 
thus : — 

" We wait for justice to pay to Henry the public 
honours he deserves. MeanAvhile the French have 
vowed a home-worship {cultc domestique) to this brave 
soldier, this heroic servant of the great interests of 
the State." 

A few lines below Henry is called " a grand man 
of honour ; " and, in agreement with M. Judet of 
the Petit Journal, his forgery is asserted to be, as it 
were, a bank-note with a credit value representing 
a bullion reserve of documents of absolute authen- 
ticity. Similarly M. Drumont has declared the for- 
gery to be " the popular version of the genuine 
proofs of Dreyfus' guilt." 



HENRY THE FORGER 297 

" Heniy," continues M. Maurras, " divulged him- 
self to none. . . . He readily consented to run tlie 
risk himself, but alone. In his self-imposed task 
of policing the relations of nations, our energetic 
pleleian could only have shocked the more delicate 
feelings of the high-bred gentlemen of the Mat major 
(? Du Paty de Clam). . . . Henry sacrificed himself, 
with death before his eyes, to the task of deceiving 
for the public good the chiefs he loved, and whose 
complete confidence he enjoyed, M. de BoisdefFre, 
M, Gonse, perhaps -others as well. ... It would 
have been hard for him in such a matter to 
have pushed further his intellectual and moral 
scruples." 

This elegant Catholic thinker, having so clearly 
hinted that Henry had aristocratic accomplices, 
next turns upon the journalists who do not share 
his admiration for fraud and forgery. " They are," 
he says, " held back by the scruples of our mischievous 
half-Protestant education!' 

In such lines as the above, read with enthu- 
siasm by the Catholic gentry of France in the 
year of our Lord 1898, we get a glimpse of the 
awful moral abyss into which confessional and 
Jesuit training has plunged thousands of French 
families. 

We are not surprised after this to learn that in 
Paris there has been circulated during September an 
appeal for subscriptions for a Henry memorial. It 
is signed by M. Charles Leroux, y6 Rue Blanche, 



298 THE DREYFUS CASE 

and is endorsed by M. Renaudin, Mayor of Pogny, 
where Henry was born. The text of it is as fol- 
lows : — 

" Colonel Henry's Devotion to his Country. 

" Public subscription for a monument to be raised 
to him. 

"When an officer is reduced to committing a 
pretended forgery in order to restore peace to his 
country and rid it of a traitor, that soldier is to 
be mourned. 

" If he pays for his attempt with his life, he is 
a martjrr. 

" If he voluntarily takes his life, 

"HE IS A HERO." 

We must suppose that he would become a saint 
in the eyes of high French Catholic society in 
case he had his throat cut for him. I think my 
reader will allow that the Jesuits have not changed 
much since Pascal addressed to them his " Provincial 
Letters." 

It must be admitted, however, that the view that 
the arrest and confession of Hemy was due to re- 
presentations made by the Itahan Government rests 
on imperfect evidence. It is probable that the 
revelations made by Esterhazy himself on August 
26 and 27, 1898, at a court-martial before which 
he had been called to explain the intrigues he had 
conducted in conjunction with Du Paty at the time 
of his mock court-martial in January, may have 



HENRY THE FORGER 299 

at least accelerated the denouement. M. Bertuliis, 
the examininof magistrate in the civil action for 
forgery, brought on July 25 th by Picquart against 
Du Paty and Madame Pays, had unmasked these 
intrigues in his report ; and, although the grand 
jury (chamhre des mises en accusation) had tried 
to prevent the case from going for trial, yet the 
War Office was driven by the denunciations of 
Du Paty, repeated day after day in the Siecle, to 
take some action, M. Tezenas, Esterhazy's counsel 
in the court-martial of January, refused to defend 
him in that of August. He was aware of the 
collusion there had been in the last weeks of the 
year 1897 between the War Office and his client, 
and did not wish to compromise himself any 
further, even for the sake of Esterhazy. Thus 
abandoned, even by his own counsel, Esterhazy, 
on August 27, seems to have hit out wildly, and 
to have hinted at the part that Henry had played, 
though without confessing what is probably the 
full truth, that Henry was his accomplice in 
treason. 

This in itself, however, would not explain the 
tragic end of Henry, for Gonse and De Boisdeffre, 
Avho employed him to forge, must have known 
long before most of Avhat Esterhazy had to reveal. 
Some foreign influence must therefore have worked 
in order to force on the final exposure. 



CHAPTER XV 

REVISION AT LAST 

The agitation caused in France by the confession 
and suicide, real or alleged, of Henry was enormous. 
It carried conviction to many wlio were wavering, 
and stirred the consciences of thousands of Republi- 
cans who hitherto had pretended to themselves that 
no responsibility lay on them. They had avoided 
the subject in addressing their constituencies before 
the general election, and very many of them had 
with complacent ferocity asked, what did the welfare 
of a single Jew matter ? Some had even expressed 
regret that he had not died or been shot at the very 
first, and so got out of the way. The tragic death 
of Henry roused them out of their lethargy ; and, 
in response to inquiries dispatched from Paris by 
the Premier, Brisson, a majority of them declared 
that they were at last in favour of revision. 

It might have been expected that M. Cavaignac 
would also change his mind. But his moral tem- 
perament is that of certain third-rate theologians, 
who, having once expressed an opinion, however 
crude, make it a point of honour never to go back 
upon it. Accordingly Cavaignac declared himself 



REVISION AT LAST 301 

more convinced than ever of Dreyfus' guilt, more 
than ever oj)posed to revision ; and argued that, 
as he had so frankly exposed the forged proof, he 
must surely be believed when he affirmed that 
more than enough remained in the secret dossier 
to convict Dreyfus. M. Brisson, however, and M. 
Sarrien, the Keeper of the Seals, had resolved to 
have revision, and for a few days it seemed an 
open question which party in the Cabinet should 
go. Ultimately, on September 5, 1898, M. Cavaig- 
nac resigned, and General Zurlinden, a Catholic 
and an Alsatian, succeeded him on September 6. 
Friends of justice hoped that, in view of his ante- 
cedents, this new Minister of War would at once 
set himself to liquidate the entire matter, but he 
was evidently appalled by the d6hdde of the whole 
administration of the army which revision would 
entail, and, yielding to the sinister influences of 
those who surrounded him, set himself to oppose 
revision more vigorously than any of his predeces- 
sors. However, he was obliged to throw a sop to 
the wolves, and his first act was to dismiss from 
the army Du Paty de Clam, a partial act of jus- 
tice, from which, by reason of his consanguinity 
with the offender, Cavaignac had shrunk. About 
the 9th of September, Esterhazy, who had been re- 
tired from the army along with Du Paty, slipped 
away from Paris, and is said to have crossed the 
Belgian frontier on foot. Thence he has come to 
London, where, according to Messrs. Lewis and 



302 THE DREYFUS CASE 

Lewis, he has confessed to three persons that he 
wrote the bordereau, and this confession is perhaps 
the gros 'petard or big bomb which he meant to 
reserve for his promised memoirs. It is doubtful 
whether he will respond to the invitation ad- 
dressed to him by the Cour de Cassation to come 
forward and tell it the whole truth. M. Drumont 
and the Jesuits, who continue to subsidise him, 
will probably see that it is worth his while not 
to do so much as that. On September 17, 1898, 
the French Cabinet decided to send for considera- 
tion before a commission of six members of the 
Ministry of Justice Madame Dreyfus' petition for 
revision, which had already been addressed to 
M. Sarrien on September 5. Thereupon General 
Zurlinden resigned, protesting, of course, his belief 
in Dreyfus'* guilt. M. Tillaye, Minister of Public 
Works, went with him, and the military and 
Jesuit sheets redoubled their vaticinations about 
the foreign perils which revision involved ; as if 
France was mistress within her own house to do 
wrong, but not to do right. They argued that 
one Minister of War after another would not 
resign after looking at the dossier secret unless it 
contained irrefutable proofs of Dreyfus' treason 
with the Germans — proofs, moreover, of such a 
kind that war would ensue as the result of then- 
publication. But all this was futile, and on Sep- 
tember 26, 1898, the case was sent irrevocably to 
the Cour de Cassation to be dealt with. 



REVISION AT LAST 303 

M. Brisson and M. Sarrien, his Keeper of the 
Seals, had the good sense, when they had once 
decided on revision, to resort to Colonel Picquart for 
information. He still lay in the prison in which 
he had been locked up early in July, but access 
to him was not yet cut off by the military party, 
as it was a few days later; and he sent a full 
exposition in two letters of all he knew about 
the case, and this was read aloud by Conseiller 
Bard on October 28, 1898, in the first audience of 
the Cour de Cassation hearing the appeal. Colonel 
Picquart's letters are dated September 1 4 and 1 5 , 
1898, and in various ways supplement the account 
of my preceding pages. It is convenient here to 
supply these details, which I pick out in the order 
in which Picquart's letters contain them, adding in 
brackets the context of my book where they severally 
belong. 

1. The documents enumerated in the bordereau 
are not those of which Dreyfus had particular know- 
ledge at the time when it was written (cp. p. 52). 

2. The writer of the bordereau uses these words : 
" Unless, indeed, you would like me to have it copied 
in extenso." Therefore he had secretaries. Now 
Esterhazy had secretaries, but not Dreyfus (cp. p. 52). 

3. When they fovmd nothing against Dreyfus 
except the bordereau, they hunted among the old 
papers of the Intelligence Bureau and formed a 
secret dossier to be laid privately before the judges. 
This dossier, formed by Henry, was in two parts. 



304 THE DREYFUS CASE 

The first, shown to the judges, contained four pieces 
along with a commentary on them drawn up accord- 
ing to Sandherr by Du Paty. The second part con- 
tained mere rubbish (cp. p. 8i). 

4. The four pieces (cp. pp. 83 foil.) shown to the 
judges were the following : — 

{a.) A draft of a letter written by Schwartz- 
koppen,^ probably to his superiors. He was accus- 
tomed to make such rough drafts, and then throw 
them in his waste-paper basket. It is not written 
in French, and belongs to the end of 1893 or 1894. 
Its sense is as follows : — 

" Doubts ... what to do ? Let him show his 
officer's brevet. What has he to fear ? What can 
he furnish ? It is not worth while having to do 
with a mere regimental officer " {officier de troupe). 

The obvious meaning of this, says Picquart, is, 
that the writer of this draft had received overtures 
from some one who said he was an officer in a regi- 
ment. Even if he be an officer, as he pretends, still 
he is not of much use to Schwartzkoppen, as he is 
not attached to the general staff. Du Paty's com- 
mentary, however, turns the sense upside down, for 
it runs thus : — " Schwartzkoppen does not care for a 
mere regimental officer, so he chooses one in the 4tat 
major, and finds him in the Ministry." Such a com- 
mentary, remarked the judge (Bard) of the French 

^ Conseiller Bard used the letters A and B where I fill in from 
my own private knowledge the names of Schwartzkoppen and 
Panizzardi. 



REVISION AT LAST 305 

supreme court, indicates the perfidious spirit in 
which Du Paty went to work. 

(b.) The drift of the second piece was this : — " I 
would like to have certain information about a 
matter of recruiting. I shall ask Davignon, but he 
will tell me nothing. So do ask your friend. But 
Davignon must not know of your doing so, for it 
must not be that they know that we are working 
together." 

The above is in Panizzardi's handwriting, and 
the words in it, " II ne faut pas que Davignon le 
sache, parce qu'il ne faut pas qu'on sache," were 
imitated in Henry's grotesque forgery. The matter 
about which Panizzardi wished to find out was so 
trivial, that Schwartzkoppen could learn it openly 
from any of his French officer friends at the weekly 
receptions which were held in the second bureau of 
the War Office, and at which foreign attaches pub- 
licly discussed such matters. The meaning is, that 
Davignon, who is Panizzardi's friend, cannot be 
relied on for information ; but Schwartzkoppen has 
a friend, who will be good-natured enough to tell 
him. (In passing, I may note that Schwartzkoppen, 
who never shook hands with Esterhazy, alluded to 
him not as mon ami, but as mon Jiomme. The use 
of the word ami indicates that it is not a spy that 
is referred to at all, but a respectable ofiicer, like 
Panizzardi's own friend, Davignon.) 

^.) The third piece also was written by Paniz- 
zardi in 1894. It begins: — "I have seen that 

u 



3o6 THE DREYFUS CASE 

caTmille de D . . . He has given me for you twelve 
plans," &c. This was one of the two genuine letters 
of Panizzardi read out on July 7, 1898, in the 
French Chamber by Cavaignac ; and Picquart 
pointed out that Dreyfus could not have gone to 
the first bureau, which he had quitted a year before, 
and have abstracted so large a bundle of maps, 
without their being at once missed and himself 
detected. On the other hand, they might have 
been abstracted from the Geographical Bureau. 

(<i) The fourth piece is, said Judge Bard, so 
alien to the matter, that it is not worth reading 
Picquart's analysis of it, (This is probably the 
letter with the postscript " Canaille de B. . . . devient 
trop exigeant.") 

5. (Cp. p. 85). It was the commentary of Du 
Paty de Clam which imposed on the good faith 
of the judges, who were wearied out by four days 
of the trial and by the confused discussions of the 
experts. They accepted the explanation which was 
given them, and were unable from their very straight- 
forwardness to see a trap they did not suspect. 

6. In the summer of 1 896, Boisdeffre was opposed 
to revision and to the prosecution of Esterhazy, with- 
out appearing to be convinced of Dreyfus' guilt 
(cp. p. 106). 

7. Billot for a time believed in Dreyfus' innocence, 
but was won over by Henry's forgery (cp. p. 107). 

8. " During four months," says Picquart, " I had 
conducted my inquiry about Esterhazy without 



REVISION AT LAST 307 

anything occurring to trouble me. But from the 
day I sent my report to General de Boisdeffre, 
showing that Esterhazy was the author of the 
bordereau, there began against Dreyfus and myself 
a series of machinations of which I am still the 
victim at this moment (i.e. September 14, 1898), 
and of which the principal authors, if not insti- 
gators, have been recognised to be Du Paty de Clam 
and Henry; that is to say, the two men who are 
chiefly responsible for the mise en seme of the affaire 
Dreyfus " (cp. p. i 1 1 ). 

9. Colonel Sandherr and Henry availed them- 
selves of their private acquaintance with at least 
two of Dreyfus' judges to assure them that they 
privately knew the accused to be guilty (cp. p. 78). 

10. On September 5, 1896, a letter was ad- 
dressed, signed " Veyler," to the Ministry of the 
Colonies for ex-Captain Dreyfus. Between the 
lines were written these compromising words in 
sympathetic ink : " We do not understand your 
communication at all. Say where the safes are 
which contain the . . ." The forgers of this 
letter employed M. Bertillon to photograph it on 
paper of the same water-mark, and were about to 
send on the facsimile to Dreyfus at the Devil's 
Island, to see how he took it. This idea of catch- 
ing out Dreyfus on his island was Du Paty's, and 
" Veyler " was simply one of his many men of 
straw. " This little plot, as silly as it was diaboli- 
cal, was," says Picquart, "the fait grave which I 



3o8 THE DREYFUS CASE 

mentioned to General Gonse in September 8, 1896 " 
(cp. p. 108). 

11. The article in the Eclair of September 15, 
1896, was written by Du Paty de Clam, for it 
contains whole sentences word for word the same 
with conversations he had had with me (cp. 
p. 81). 

12. It was the Minister of War, Mercier, who 
caused to be communicated to Dreyfus' judges 
the secret dossier, along with Du Paty's commen- 
taries. " Any counsel," adds Picquart, " would have 
shown up this dossier in a moment." The fact of 
its being communicated was known at the time 
(December 1894) to Mercier, De Boisdeffre, and 
Du Paty ; and, later on, when Picquart became 
head of the Intelligence Department, to Gonse, 
Sandherr, Henry, Gribelin the archivist, VallecaUe 
the clerk. All these spoke freely of it to Picquart. 
In 1896, when the latter showed it to Boisdefire, 
he was at once asked, " Why has not this been 
burned ? It was agreed that it should be " (cp. 
p. 81). 

13. "When was the secret dossier shown to the 
judges ? Assuredly when the hearing of the argu- 
ments on both sides was finished. For," adds 
Picquart, " I had to report to Mercier the general 
impression made on the judges, and I told him 
it was favourable to Dreyfus. Then, I said, was 
the time, if ever, to convince the judges by means 
of the secret dossier " (cp. p. 78). 



REVISION AT LAST 309 

The two letters of Picquart to M, Sarrien, from 
which I add these details, which supplement, but 
do not contradict, my narrative, were dated Sep- 
tember 1 4 and I 5 . When he wrote them, Pic- 
quart was in prison awaiting the hearing of the 
civil prosecution brought against him and Leblois 
by Cavaignac in July 1898 for divulging Gonse's 
letters. That prosecution was Cavaignac's answer 
to Picquart's denunciation of Henry's forgery. Pic- 
quart had now repeated and aggravated his offence 
by his confidential expose to Sarrien of what he 
knew about the Dreyfus case. 

Therefore General Zurlinden, who, under pretence 
of being a revisionist, had entered Brisson's Ministry, 
decided to strike afresh the chief witness to the 
truth, and this time to strike in such a way that 
he should not be heard — I might say, heard of 
again. He resumed his post as military governor 
of Paris on September 20, and induced Chanoine, 
who had succeeded him as Minister of War, as 
Amurath an Amurath, to sign an order to prosecute 
Picquart for forgery of the petit bleic. This order 
Zurlinden had made out before he quitted the 
Ministry, and its aim was to take Picquart out 
of the hands of the civil authorities and immure 
him in a military prison ate secret, so that he 
might not communicate any more with the outside 
world, not even with his counsel, Maitre Labori. 
The trial of Picquart and Leblois was to have 
begun on September 20, 1898, when the two 



3IO THE DREYFUS CASE 

defendants were brought into court. Then the mih- 
tary party struck their blow, really directed from 
his tomb by Henry, forger and fellow-traitor with 
Esterhazy. In the very court Zurlinden had his 
military police ready to arrest Picquart on the 
more serious offence of forgery, to take him to 
the Cherche-Midi, or military gaol. Zurlindens 
demand having been opposed by his counsel, 
Maitre Labori, Colonel Picquart himself asked the 
judge to be allowed to say a few words on the 
question whether he should be given up to the 
military authorities. He said : — 

" I absolutely oppose my being surrendered. I 
submit my cause to your wisdom ; but I have 
something further to say. It is only here, and 
a few minutes ago, that I learned the reality of 
the abominable plot, in which this morning I still 
could not believe. 

" It is the charge of forgery in regard to the 
petit hleu. You would have understood the matter 
more plainly if this trial had taken place, for it 
would have enlightened you with regard to the 
good faith of my accusers. 

" I shall perhaps this evening go to the 
Cherche-Midi ; and now is probably the last time, 
prior to the secret trial, that I can say a word 
in public. I would have people know, if there 
be found in my cell the rope of Lemercier- 
Picard or the razor of Henry, that I have been 
assassinated. For a man like myself cannot for 
an instant think of suicide. I shall face this 



REVISION AT LAST 311 

accusation erect and fearless, and with the same 
serenity with which I have ever met my accusers. 

" That is what I had to say, Monsieur le Presi- 
dent." 

A thrill ran through the whole audience as, 
amidst profound silence, Picquart uttered these 
solemn words. Then the pent-up feelings of all, 
with the exception of a few friends of Esterhazy, 
like the novelist Gyp, found utterance, and the 
court and its precincts rang with cries of " Vive 
Picquart ! A has Us Faussaii-es ! " 

Then, for the court had no alternative, the civil 
trial of Picquart and Leblois, not yet begun, was 
postponed sine die, and the next day Picquart was 
handed over into the clutches of the military power, 
or, shall we not rather say, of the party of forgers 
and assassins. The coping-stone of the whole struc- 
ture of infamy had been laid by Zurlinden and 
Chanoine — two generals who, out of sheer wilful- 
ness, had made themselves the accomplices of the 
crimes of the &tat major, crimes which will in 
future history be spoken of as we speak of the 
crimes of the Borgias or of the Venetian Council 
of Ten. 

Picquart, however, by his bold utterance on 
September 20, inoculated himself against that 
risk of assassination which, ever since July, his 
friends had so dreaded. He had also divulged 
the full truth through Sarrien to the Cour de 
Cassation. The criminal section of this supreme 



312 THE DREYFUS CASE 

court of appeal consists of sixteen judges, whose 
position raises them, we may hope, far above the 
threats of Drumont and the Jesuits. In their 
first two pubHc audiences, MM. Bard and Manau 
probed the case to its depths. They have deter- 
mined to conduct a searching examination them- 
selves into all the circumstances, for they felt that 
it was not enough to merely annul the verdict 
upon Dreyfus. The whole plot must be exposed, 
and all who have participated in it must be 
punished. Until this is done, France will remain 
the pariah among the nations which her War 
Office has made her. 

And, in conclusion, I would say a few words 
about the institutions and characteristics of France 
which have made possible in her midst, at this end 
of the nineteenth century, the monstrous growth 
of wickedness detailed in my pages. 

There is, first, the general want of backbone and 
private judgment among her citizens. They are 
mostly afraid to speak out loud what they think 
and feel in a matter where, by doing so, they risk 
unpopularity ; and in a case affecting the army, the 
one permanent and popular institution in France, 
it needed a double dose of moral courage to speak 
out. If you did so, you drew upon yourself from 
Drumont, Rochefort, Ernest Judet, Millevoye, and 
the other energumens in the pay of the War Office, 
not only the imputations conveyed in such phrases 
as " Syndicate of treason," " Sans patrie," " Vendu," 



REVISION AT LAST 313 

" Allemand," but strings of the foulest calumnies 
on your private life and on that of the dead you 
loved and respected. The calumnies of Judet on 
Zola's father, of Drumont on Christian Esterhazy's 
father, are fresh in one's memory. The influence 
of the blackmailers I have named is relative 
to the general timidit}^ of Frenchmen. This want 
of initiative and of moral courage is the result of 
Roman Catholic training, more especially of the con- 
fessional, which in Latin countries is so worked by 
the priests as to extinguish all faculty of private 
judgment, and even of independent moral criticism. 
Thousands of Frenchmen emancipate themselves on 
reaching manhood from the dogmas of their Church, 
but not from the mental and moral habits which 
its discipline has impressed upon them. French 
Freemasonry, the religion of the anti-clericals, is in 
itself a symptom of these habits. Why need a 
secret society in order to combat the usurpations 
of the priests ? Why not fight them in the open, 
as we would in England ? The French Protestants 
and the Jews seem to be the only people in France 
who have a moral courage of their own, and the 
reason is that they have escaped Catholic methods 
of training. Indeed, to remain a professing Pro- 
testant at all in a country where the dominant 
religious traditions run the other way, demands 
considerable strength of character. These conside- 
rations explain why the Huguenots have almost to a 
man come forward from the first to protest against 



314 THE DREYFUS CASE 

the iniquities of the War Office. To them belong 
such names as Reville and De Pressense, and, I 
might ahnost add, M. Loyson. 

The part which the Latin Church has played 
has already been described in more than one of 
my pages. A series of outrages against the public 
conscience, a crucifixion before all Europe of truth 
and justice, which in England would have found 
an accuser in not a few churches and in every 
Nonconformist chapel, has in the great and digni- 
fied Galilean Church provoked not a single protest. 
Its clergy and journalists have staked their all on 
Esterhazy, the Papal Zouave. 

At one time Madame Dreyfus, in despair of ob- 
taining justice, and knowing the paramount influ- 
ence which the Pope wields over the higher French 
officers, appealed to him. Her appeal was ignored 
and treated with contempt ; and through the sinister 
influence of Cardinals Rampolla and Oreglia the entire 
weight of the Vatican was cast on the other side. 
The Croix, which is the most popular Catholic paper 
in France, has gone beyond every other journal in 
its incentives to a massacre of Jews and Protestants. 
The Libre Parole is the favourite reading of French 
cur6s, and my reader has already learned the tone of 
the staid Royalist Gazette de la France. Pere Didon, 
the Dominican monk and charlatan biographer of 
Jesus Christ, is the most popular preacher in Paris. 
He it is who publicly eulogised last summer the 
efforts of the praetorians to set might above right, 



REVISION AT LAST 315 

and condemned " the pretensions of the civilians 
to subordinate the military to themselves and to 
their own ends." Mitred bishops have followed in 
the same strain, and, with the exception of two 
or three obscure cuHs, the Gallican clergy has never 
broken silence, except to palliate or praise the crimes 
of the itat major. 

A French publicist, M. Urbain Gohier, in a 
brochure called " L'Arm4e de Cond4" has shown in 
detail that, of over a thousand officers in the French 
Royalist and insurgent forces, which in the last 
decade of the eighteenth century took the field 
side by side with English, Germans, Russians, and 
Austrians, against the French revolutionary armies, 
the grandsons and great-grandsons, nephews and 
great-nephews, are now under the old names in 
command of the army of the French Republic. 
There can be no more pithy proof than this that 
the old French Royalist families, who are entirely 
swayed by the Jesuits, and who refuse loyally to 
ally themselves with the Republic and to serve it as 
civil functionaries, have captured the French army. 
They regard the military or naval career as the 
only one worthy of their dignity, and have suc- 
ceeded in maintaining the ancien regime in full sway 
in the particular departments which they have been 
allowed to make their own. Not only do they 
prevent the common soldier from reading in his 
barrack-room any papers except those of Drumont, 
Judet, and Company, but in their courts-martial 



3i6 THE DREYFUS CASE 

they enact intolerance and openly set aside the 
French military code. In the Dreyfus trial it did 
not seem to strike even the most honest of the 
members of the dtat major that there was any 
harm in getting a Jew condemned by the use of 
secret evidence. Where the 6tat major in Paris 
thus shows itself to be above all considerations of 
legahty, what must be the conduct of courts-martial 
in the provinces and dependencies ? Add to this 
that such courts can always veil their proceedings 
under the secrecy of the huis clos, and it becomes 
apparent that Frenchmen, so long as they are 
serving, have no guarantee whatever that they 
will be either justly or legally tried for any offences 
alleged against them. Nor is this all. The recent 
procedures against Picquart and Joseph Reinach 
demonstrate that the military vehmgericht can always 
get a man back into its power as long as he remains 
in the Reserve, and even after he has quitted the 
service altogether, by merely alleging that he com- 
mitted an offence during his term of military service. 
In a country where every citizen has to serve, such 
dangers as these are not imaginary, and entirely 
frustrate the rights and liberties which the con- 
stitution decrees to the individual. They are all 
the greater because French officers have a profound 
contempt, often not unmerited, for Republican pre- 
sidents and politicians. Felix Faure is a laughing- 
stock among them, and the fugitive Ministries which 
recompose themselves, mostly out of place-seekers, 



REVISION AT LAST 317 

with every fresh shake of the parliamentary kalei- 
doscope, have no weight or authority in the 
country at large. The result is that no outside 
force controls the army as in Germany and Russia, 
where a strong autocracy reveals itself no less in 
the civil aspect of life than in the military. The 
French army has no master, no head ; and the 
general irresponsibility and mutual jealousies of the 
higher officers are in a way to convert it into a 
chaos, powerful for domestic evil, but impotent 
to deal with the enemies that lurk along the fron- 
tiers of the Vosges and the Alps. 

Thus a larger problem awaits the French than 
the mere rehabilitation of Dreyfus, and the retrieving 
of their national character, so sorely tarnished in 
the last two years. They must reform the army 
itself, and insist on the officers being law-abiding, 
and really loyal to the institutions they have sworn 
to defend. The first step will be to emancipate 
the army from the Jesuits, who have fastened their 
teeth into it ; and this can be done by enforcing 
the decrees of 1880, and so obliging the Jesuits 
to quit France. We hope that no more of them 
will drift into England. Secondly, the Jesuit mili- 
tary schools in the Rue des Postes and elsewhere 
must be closed, and a law made that no young 
men shall be admitted into Saint-Cyr and the 
Polytechnique, who have not been educated up 
to the moment of their admission in the national 
lycees, which are not confessional schools. Thirdly, 



3i8 THE DREYFUS CASE 

the State must look after the military clubs pro- 
vided for the common soldier, and see that they 
are not mere centres of Jesuit propaganda, where 
such sheets as those of MM. Maurras, Drumont, 
and Judet are alone set before him. Last of all, 
a law must be passed insisting on the presence at 
courts-martial of civil assessors, who shall be trained 
lawyers; and the power of hearing military cases 
in camera must be limited. In all cases it must 
rest with the civil assessors to allow of a case 
being heard in camera, and no sentence must be 
held valid which has not received their formal 
assent. 



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