Well, my dear, I have little news—at least, none that I can tell. I’m just about recovered from an attack of “flu.” I want to get thoroughly rid of it before I go back to my battery. I hope you all keep well. God bless you all.
February 6th, 1917.
My Very Dear M.:
I read in to-day’s paper that U.S.A. threatens to come over and help us. I wish she would. The very thought of the possibility fills me with joy. I’ve been light-headed all day. It would be so ripping to live among people, when the war is ended, of whom you need not be ashamed. Somewhere deep down in my heart I’ve felt a sadness ever since I’ve been out here, at America’s lack of gallantry—it’s so easy to find excuses for not climbing to Calvary; sacrifice was always too noble to be sensible. I would like to see the country of our adoption become splendidly irrational even at this eleventh hour in the game; it would redeem her in the world’s eyes. She doesn’t know what she’s losing. From these carcase-strewn fields of khaki there’s a cleansing wind blowing for the nations that have died. Though there was only one Englishman left to carry on the race when this war is victoriously ended, I would give more for the future of England than for the future of America with her ninety millions whose sluggish blood was not stirred by the call of duty. It’s bigness of soul that makes nations great and not population. Money, comfort, limousines and ragtime are not the requisites of men when heroes are dying. I hate the thought of Fifth Avenue, with its pretty faces, its fashions, its smiling frivolity. America as a great nation will die, as all coward civilisations have died, unless she accepts the stigmata of sacrifice, which a divine opportunity again offers her.