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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 151 pages of information about The War on All Fronts.
soldiers at the front, and instructed opinion at home—­have never been so certain of ultimate victory as we now are?  It is the big facts that matter:  the steady growth of British resources, in men and munitions, toward a maximum which we—­and Russia—­are only approaching, while that of the Central Empires is past; the deepening unity of an Empire which is being forged anew by danger and trial, and by the spirit of its sons all over the world—­a unity against which the Irish outrage, paid for by German money, disavowed by all that is truly Ireland, Unionist or Nationalist, and instantly effaced, as a mere demonstration, by the gallantry at the same moment of Irish soldiers in the battle-line—­lifts its treacherous hand in vain; the increasing and terrible pressure of the British blockade of Germany, equivalent, as some one has lately said, every twenty-four hours that it is maintained, to a successful action in the field; the magnificent resistance of an indomitable France; the mounting strength of a reorganised Russia.  This island-state—­let me repeat it with emphasis—­was not prepared for, and had no expectation of a Continental war, such as we are now fighting.  The fact cries aloud from the records of the struggle; it will command the ear of history; and it acquits us for ever from the guilt of the vast catastrophe.  But Great Britain has no choice now but to fight to the end—­and win.  She knows it, and those who disparage her are living in a blind world.  As to the difficulty of the task—­as to our own failures and mistakes in learning how to achieve it—­we have probably fewer illusions than those who criticise us. But we shall do it—­or perish.

* * * * *

May 5th.—­Since the preceding lines were written, the “Military Service Bill” bringing to the Colours “every British male subject” between the ages of 18 and 41, except when legally exempted, has passed the House of Commons by an overwhelming majority, and will be law immediately.  And the Prime Minister informed Parliament three days ago, that “the total naval and military effort of the Empire since the beginning of the war exceeds five million men.”

With these two facts, these Letters may fitly close.  Those who know England best, her history, and the temperament of her people, will best appreciate what they mean.

VII

AN EPILOGUE

August 16, 1916.

I

It is now three months since I finished the six preceding Letters, written in response to an urgent call from America; nor did I then anticipate any renewal of my work.  But while a French translation of the six Letters has been passing through the Press, an appeal has been made to me from France to add an Epilogue, or supplementary Letter, briefly recapitulating the outstanding facts or events which in those three months

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