The War on All Fronts: England's Effort eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 187 pages of information about The War on All Fronts.

Yes!—­I must answer your questions—­to the best of my power.  I am no practised journalist—­the days of my last articles for The Pall Mall under the “John Morley” of those days are thirty odd years behind me!  But I have some qualifications.  Ever since—­more than half a century ago—­I paid my first childish visit to the House of Commons, and heard Mr. Roebuck, the “Tear ’em” of Punch’s cartoon, make his violent appeal to the English Government to recognise the belligerency of the South, it would be almost true to say that politics and affairs have been no less interesting to me than literature; and next to English politics, American politics and American opinion; partly because of my early association with men like W.E.  Forster, stanch believers, even when Gladstone and John Russell wavered, in the greatness of the American future and the justice of the Northern cause—­and partly because of the warm and deep impression left upon me and mine by your successive Ambassadors in London, by Mr. Lowell above all, by Mr. and Mrs. Phelps, by the John Hays, the Choates and the Bayards—­no less than by the many intimate friendships with Americans from different worlds which my books have brought me since 1888.  During the last thirty years, also, I have had many friends—­and some kinsmen—­among the leaders of English politics, and in both political parties.  At the present moment my only son is a member of the English House of Commons, and a soldier fighting in the war.  All my younger kinsfolk are fighting; the sons of all my friends are fighting; and their daughters are nursing as members of Voluntary Aid Detachments—­(marvellous what the girl V.A.D.’s, as England affectionately calls them, have done since the beginning of the war!)—­or working week-end shifts to relieve munition workers, or replacing men of military age in the public offices and banks.  I live in one of the Home Counties, within five miles of one of the military camps.  The small towns near us are crowded with soldiers; the roads are full of marching infantry, of artillery-trains and supply-wagons.  Our village has sent practically all its able-bodied men of military age to the front; the few that remain are “attested” and only waiting to be called up.  A great movement, in which this household is engaged, is now beginning to put women on the land, and so replace the agricultural labourers who have gone either into the armies or the munition factories.  And meanwhile all the elderly men and women of the countryside are sitting on War Committees, or working for the Red Cross.  Our lives are penetrated by the war; our thoughts are never free from it.

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The War on All Fronts: England's Effort from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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