A short despatch from Paris announces the retirement from the French cabinet of Monsieur Ribot, after repeated attacks on his policy by the Socialists. It is not without genuine regret that Americans read of his resignation, as throughout the war he has shown consummate ability and statesmanlike moderation in all his public acts, whether as finance minister, foreign secretary, or Premier. The grand old man of France, as his friends are wont to call him, has given much to his country in return for scant gratitude. For over a quarter of a century he has been active in French politics, but on each of the three occasions when he was made prime minister, his stay in office was embittered by the virulent opposition of the extreme radicals, who on one occasion passed a vote of confidence in his successor upon his announcing identically the same program as the day before had caused M. Ribot's defeat. But in spite of such treatment he has been willing to perform every service in his power for the good of the country.
There is in him much of the philosopher and scholar, who is more at ease among his books than in the stormy atmosphere of the Chamber of Deputies. He has stood, ever since he entered politics, as a detached figure towering above all pettiness, unsullied and unafraid. His public service is probably over, and he can now retire to private life with the consciousness that he has deserved well of his country, and that despite his enemies today, his name will go down to history as among the real statesmen of France.