But the shadows are coming down on the great scene, and with the sound of the guns still in our ears we speed back through the crowded roads to G.H.Q., and these wonderful days are over. Now, all that remains for me is to take you, far away from the armies, into the English homes whence the men fighting here are drawn, and to show you, if I can, very shortly, by a few instances, what rich and poor are doing as individuals to feed the effort of England in this war. What of the young, of all classes and opportunities, who have laid down their lives in this war? What of the mothers who reared them, the schools and universities which sent them forth?—the comrades who are making ready to carry on their work? You ask me as to the spirit of the nation—the foundation of all else. Let us look into a few lives, a few typical lives and families, and see.
As I begin upon this final letter to you comes the news that the threatened split in the British Cabinet owing to the proposed introduction of general military service has been averted, and that at a Secret Session to be held next Tuesday, April 25th, Ministers will, for the first time, lay before both Houses of Parliament full and complete information—much more full and complete at any rate, than has yet been given—of the “effort” of Great Britain in this world war, what this country is doing in sea-power, in the provision of Armies, in the lending of money to our Allies, in our own shipping service to them, and in our supply to them of munitions, coal, and other war material—including boots and clothing. If, then, our own British Parliament will be for the first time fully apprised next Tuesday of what the nation has been doing, it is, perhaps, small wonder that you on your side of the Atlantic have not rightly understood the performance of a nation which has, collectively, the same love of “grousing” as the individual British soldier shows in the trenches.
Let me, however, go back and recapitulate a little.