The Making of a Republic
WORK -- THAT WAS THE PROGRAMME for France after the convulsions of 1870-71: work to build up the shattered constitutions of the people; work to re-establish the little businesses, the great industries; work to pay off the five milliard francs which Bismarck's dictated peace demanded; work to build a new Constitution for the State.
Work -- that was the programme for Clemenceau. He opened a surgery in Montmartre where he gave free consultations. It was a set of three rooms in the Rue des Trois Frères. An article in the Figaro describes them: "The first room opens off the corner of a narrow corridor; it serves as waiting-room. There would scarcely be comfortable elbow-room for five children, but more than thirty people are crammed into it, waiting their turn and pushing back those who would crowd it out still more. On the deal table and cane chairs ailing women are seated. A few men are propped against the mantelpiece, which is entirely devoid of ornament. Against each window-pane on the left is pressed a face looking out disdainfully on the late-comers crowding the courtyard and stretching in a long queue under the passageway of the first block of buildings and out into the street. . . . Besides the door of entry are two other little doors, one on the right and the other on the left at the side of the window. The first, made of solid wood, opens into a kitchen transformed into an office; that is where Clemenceau's secretary sits. . . . The other is half wood, half glass, the panes chalked over. After three hours of waiting, we open it. We find ourselves in M. Clemenceau's consulting-room. Five pictures hung on threepence-a-roll wallpaper, an oak bureau, a mahogany armchair, an iron stove with its pipe climbing the wall with the aid of