The Martial Adventures of Henry and Me by William Allen White



FINALLY our talk left the war and its meaning, and we fell to wondering how the Young Doctor's hand was coming on, and we thought of the Eager Soul, too, standing so wistfully between love and death and the picture of the Young Doctor sitting in the garden among the flowers of early autumn, more poet than soldier or doctor, came to both of us as we talked and then Henry stooped to the floor and picked up two folded sheets of paper. Clearly they had dropped from the envelope sent to us by the Eager Soul. He opened one and remarked:

"Why, Bill, it's poetry. She's written here on the margin, 'Verses by our Doctor friend. I thought you'd like to see them. See other sheet for melody to suit. It was the melody he tried to whistle that night. He wrote them for


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me to fit the Doctor's words.'" Then Henry unfolded the other sheet; and there, sure enough, was the air, evidently copied by the girl from the melody written by the Gilded Youth. And clearly it was the theme of the Tschaicovski melody from the first movement of the Sixth Symphony, that dominated the air.1 The fine thoroughbred nerve of him, trying to signal that air back to her, and to play the game of courage to us! Henry read the verses; they were headed "A Soldier's Song." They were very much such rhymes as we wrote when we were young. They ran:

Love, though these hands, that rest in shine so dear,
Back into dust may crumble with the year
Love, though these lips, that meet thy lips so true,
Soon may be grass that stores the morning dew--
O Love, know well, that this fond heart of mine.
It shall be always, always--thine!

Love, though our dreams shall have no hope but this;
Love, though our faith shall be our rarest bliss;
Love, though the years may bring their death and chill,
Love, though our blood shall lose its passion, still--
Still, Love, know well that this heart is divine,
It shall be always--always, thine!

1 For the melody which the Gilded Youth wrote to the Young Doctor's verses the reader should see appendix "A."

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Henry sat holding the sheet and looking through the wall of the room in Buckland's hotel across twenty years, down an elm-shaded path in the little town of Baldwin, Kansas--thousands of miles and seemingly thousands of years away!

"Well," he sighed. "In the note here she's got her he's badly mixed. But we know what she means. And I don't blame them; any boy in his twenties ought to go singing, with one voice or another, after such a girl!"

And then we knew what the Young Doctor was doing there in the garden among the adoring flowers. He was writing those verses. And, we in our forties, after such things have passed, were sitting in a commonplace room in a comfortable hotel, five hundred miles from the battle and twenty years from the primrose path, trying to imagine it all. And like Stephen Blackpool in Dickens' "Hard Times" about all we could make of it was that it was a mess! They were both so remote, the love affair that had followed us over Europe, and the war which we had followed so wearily. The love affair was of course a look backward, for us, to days "when lutes were touched and songs were sung"; but the war and all its significance stretched ahead. It portended change. For change always follows war.

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Yet life, in spite of the current of war twisting so many things askew, does proceed in England calmly, and in something like order. As we looked back upon our London experience it seemed to Henry and me that we were hurrying from luncheons to teas and teas to dinners and from dinners to the second act of good shows all the time. For in London we had no Red Cross duties. We were on our way home, and people were kind to us, and best of all we could speak the language--after a fashion--and understand in a general way what was going on. We had dined at two American embassies on the continent and had worn our tail coats. Of course Red Cross uniforms were proper evening regalia at any social function. But someway a flannel shirt and a four-in-hand tie--even a khaki coloured tie, did not seem to Henry and me de rigueur. We weren't raised that way and we couldn't come to it. So we wore our tails. We noticed in France and Italy that other men wore dinner coats, and we bemoaned our stupidity in bringing our tails and leaving our dinner coats in New York. We fancied in our blindness that on the continent no one noticed the difference. But in England, there doubt disappeared. Whenever we went to an English dinner, in our tails, some

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English ladyship through a lorgnette or a spy-glass of some kind gave us the once-over with the rough blade of her social disapproval and we felt like prize boobs suddenly kidnapped from a tacky party and dropped into a grand ball. But we couldn't help it. How should we have known, without our wives to pack our trunks for us in New York, that tails had atrophied in European society and that uniforms and dinner coats had taken their place.

But other things have disappeared from Great Britain since war began, and Henry was doomed to walk the island vainly looking for the famed foods of old England. All through Italy and France, where onion soup and various pastes were served to us, Henry ate them, but in a fond hope that when we got to England he would have some of the "superior comestibles" which a true lover of Dickens had a right to expect. The French were given to ragouts and Latin translations of Mulligan stews, and braised veal smothered in onions and carrots and a lot of staple and fancy green groceries, and these messed dishes irritated Henry. He is the kind of an old-fashioned man who likes to take his food straight. If he eats onions, he demands that they shall be called onions, or if they serve him carrots, he must know

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specifically that he is eating carrots, and he wants his potatoes, mashed, baked, boiled, or fried and no nonsense about it. Similarly he wants his veal served by itself, and when they bring him a smoking brown casserole of browned vegetables, browned gravy and browned meat, he pokes his fork into it, sniffs, "another cat mess," pushes it aside and asks for eatable food! So all over the continent he was bragging about what he was going to do to "the roast beef of old England," and was getting ready for Yorkshire pudding with it. It was sweet to hear Henry's honest bark at spaghetti and fish-salads, bay deep-mouthed welcome to Sam Weller's "'am and weal pie," and even Pickwick's "chops and tomato sauce," and David Copperfield's toasted muffins, as we drew near the chalk cliffs of England. Also he was going to find what an "eel pie" was, and he had a dozen Dickensonian dishes that he proposed to explore, dishes whose very names would make a wooden Indian's mouth water. But when he got there the cupboard was bare. England was going on rations. Fats were scarce, sugars were rare, starches were controlled by the food board. And who could make a currant tart without these? He dropped two bullet-sized brown biscuits with a hazelnut of butter under

And we felt like prize boobs...

And we felt like prize boobs suddenly kidnapped from
a tacky party and dropped into a grand ball

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his vest the first three minutes of our first breakfast and asked for another round, after he had taken mine.

"That's your allowance, sir," said the waitress, and money would buy no more.

He noticed a cube of sugar by his coffee cup; that was his allowance of sugar. We went out to lunch. Henry ordered the roast beef of old England at the best club in London and got a pink shaving, escorted in by two boiled potatoes and a hunk of green cabbage, boiled without salt or pork. And for dessert we had a sugarless, lardless whole-wheat-flour tart! It puckered his mouth like a persimmon. It fell to me to explain to Mr. H.G. Wells, who gave the luncheon, that Henry had just come from the continent, where he had scorned the food, and one could see from the twinkle in Mr. Wells's eyes that he was going to put Henry in a book. And he certainly was a hero during those London days--the hero of a great disillusion. Of course the British cooking was good. The English are splendid cooks, and they were doing their best; but Henry's picture of the great boar's head triumphantly borne into the hall on the shoulders of four stout butlers, and his notion of the blazing plum pudding as large as a hassock, and his preconceived idea of

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England as Dickens's fat boy forever stuffing and going to sleep again, had to be entirely revised. For if the English are proud of the way they conceal the bitterness of their sorrow in this war, also they have a vast pride in the way they are sacrificing their creature comforts for it. In Latin countries there is more or less special privilege. But in England, the law is the law and men glory in its rigours by obeying it in proud self-sacrifice. If our dinners sometimes were Spartan in simplicity we found the talk ample, refreshing and filling. We, however, had some trouble with our "Who's Who." One evening they sat me opposite a handsome military man who talked of airships and things most wonderfully and it took me three days to learn that he was the authority on air fighting in Europe! He was a Lord of somewhere, and Earl of something and a Duke of somewhat--all rolled into one. Henry hooted at me for two days. But finally he gave me some comfort. "At least," he said, "you are as well-known in London as your Duke's mixture is in Emporia, and London is a bigger town!" Then it came Henry's turn. At our very grandest dinner they sat Henry between Lord Bryce and one of the most distinguished men of contemporary English letters. Henry

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shone that night as he never shone before and when Henry turns on his talk he is a wizard. Meredith Nicholson, who has heard Henry talk at a dinner, in a recent number of Scribner's magazine, said of him: "He's the best talker I've ever heard. It was delightful to listen to discourse so free, so graphic in its characterization, so coloured and flavoured with the very soil," and that night at the English dinner, all of Henry's cylinders were hitting and he took every grade without changing gears. But my ears were eager for the man on Henry's right. He told some stories; my neck craned toward them. Henry returned the Scotch stories with Kansas stories and held the table.

Then going home in the taxi Henry, recalling his dinner companion, said: "Bill, who was that little man on my left, that man they called Barrie!"

It seemed impossible. Yet those were Henry's very words.

"Henry, Henry, have you never heard of 'Peter Pan,' nor 'The Little Minister, 'nor' Sentimental'--" his friend's answer got no further. Henry's snort of shame almost stopped the taxi.

"No, Bill--no--not that. Well, for Heav-

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en's sake! and I sat by him all evening braying like a jack. Bill--Bill, you won't ever tell this in Wichita, will you?"

So it must remain forever a secret!

That was a joyful hour for me, but the next day, Henry had his laugh. We came in from tea and found a card on the table in the snug little room near the elevator, which passes for a hotel office in London. The card was from Lord Bryce inviting us to tea the next afternoon. It fell to Henry's lot to go out for the day in the country, and to me to lunch with Granville Barker. So half-past four saw me rushing into the hotel from a taxi, which stood waiting outside, and throbbing up a two-pence every minute. Then this dialogue occurred.

From me: "Is Mr. Allen in his room?"

From the hall boy: "He is, sir; shall I go for him, sir?"

From me: "If you will, please, and tell him I'm in an ungodly hurry, and we have a taxi at the door chewing up money like a cornsheller!"

The hall boy had to find someone to go on watch. Time was moving. The tea was at five. The Bryce apartment was a mile away, and the chug of that taxi by the door moved me impulsively toward the elevator. But the elevator

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was still three steps away, when the manager of the hotel sauntered out from a side door, looked me over leisurely, and asked blandly:

"You'll be going to tea with Lord Bryce this afternoon--I presume!"

My hand was on the elevator button jabbing it fiercely, and my lips replied, "Yes--yes--say-- Do you know whether Mr. Allen is in our room? It is getting late and he must hurry or--"

The manager continued to look me over still leisurely, then he smiled persuasively, but spoke firmly; realizing that something would have to be done for the good name of his hotel: "Well now, sir, you wouldn't be wearing those brown shoes to Lord Bryce's tea, would you, Mr. White?" And while that taxi ground out two shillings, black shoes slowly but nervously enveloped two Emporia feet, while Henry stood by and chortled in ghoulish Wichita glee!

But if we made a rather poor fist of our social diversions, at least we had a splendid time at the London shows. And then there was always the prospect of an exciting adventure getting home after the performance was over. The hotel generally found a taxi which took us to the theater. But once there we had to skirmish for ourselves

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and London is a big town, and hundreds of thousands of Londoners are hunting taxis at eleven at night, and they are hard to catch. So we generally had the fun of walking back to Brook Street in the dark. And it is dark in London toward midnight. Paris is merely gloomy. Rome is a bit somber, but London is as black as the inside of your hat. For London has been bombed and bombed by the German airmen, until London in the prevailing mist which threatens fog becomes mere murk. Night after night we wandered the crooked streets inquiring our way of strangers, some of whom were worse lost than we; one night we took a Londoner in charge and piloted him to Leicester Square; and then got lost ourselves finding Piccadilly and Regent Street! So that whenever we went out after dinner we were never without dramatic excitement, even if it was not adequately supplied by the show. The London taste in shows seems to sheer away from the war. In the autumn last past but two shows had a war motive: One "General Post," a story of the fall of caste from English life during the war, telling how a tailor became a general; the other "The Better 'Ole," a farce comedy, with a few musical skits in it, staged entirely "at the front." "The Better

Well now, Sir...

"Well now, Sir, you wouldn't be wearing those brown
shoes to Lord Bryce's tea, would you, Mr. White?"

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Ole" could be put on in any American town and the fun would raise the roof! There is no story to it; the show is but a series of dialogues to illustrate Bairnsfather's cartoons.

A soldier comes splashing down the trench. His comrade cries, "Say, Alf, take yer muddy feet out o' the only water we got to sleep in." Again a soldier squats shivering with fear in a shell hole, while the bombs are crashing over him, and dirt threatens to bury him. A comrade looks in and to his captious remarks the squatting soldier answers, "If you knows where there's a better 'ole, go to it!" Three men seated on a plum jam box during a terrific bombardment. Trees are falling, buildings crumbling, the landscape heaving, and Bert says, "Alf--we'll miss this old war wen it's over!" As the shells strike nearer and nearer and a great crater yawns at their feet they crawl into it, are all but buried alive by the dirt from another shell, and Bert exclaims, "Say, Alf, scare me--I got the iccoughs!" And so it goes for a whole evening, while Bert, making love to an interminable string of girls at each place where he is billeted at the front, gives away scores of precious lockets with his mother's hair in them, and Alf tries forever, unavailingly, to make his

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cigarette lighter work, and Old Bill dreams of his wife at home who keeps a "pub"!

The prohibitionist in America would probably insist that she keep a soda fountain or a woman's exchange; but no other alterations would be needed to get the play over the footlights in any English speaking town on the globe.

The British soldiers crowd the house where "The Better 'Ole" is given, but their friends don't like it. The raw rollick of the game with death, which is really Shakespearean in its directness and its horse play--like the talk of the soldiers in "Henry IV" or the chaffing of the grave-diggers in "Hamlet," or the common people in any of Shakespeare's plays, offends the British home-staying sense of propriety, and old ladies and gentlemen write to the Times about it. But the boys in khaki jam the theater and howl their approval.

Curiously enough in musical programs one finds no prejudice against German music in London as one finds it in Paris. To get Beethoven in Paris one had to lower the windows, close the shutters, pull down the shades and pin the curtains tight. At the symphony concerts in London one can hear not only Beethoven, but Wagner, who is almost modern in his aggressive Teu-

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tonism. But the English have little music of their own, and so long as they have to be borrowing they seem to borrow impartially of all their neighbours, the French, the Slavs, the Germans, and the Italians. Indeed, even when British opinion of Russia was at its ebb, the London Symphony Orchestra put in an afternoon with Tschaicovsky's Fourth Symphony. And yet if, in a few months we could form even a vague notion of the public minds of England, and of France, one might say that England seemed more implacable than France. In France, where one heard no music but French and Italian music in the concerts, at the parks, in opera, one heard a serious discussion going on among school teachers about the history to be taught after the war.

Said one side: "Let's tell the truth about this war and its horrors. Let's tell of murdered women and children, of ravished homes, of pillaged cities, of country-sides scourged clear down to their very milestones! Let's tell how German rapacity for land began the war, and kept it up to its awful end."

Says the other side: "Germany is our permanent neighbour. Our children will have to live with Germany, and our children's children to the end of time. War is a horrible thing. Hate

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breeds war. Why not then let the story of this war and its barbarities die with this generation? Why should we for ever breed hate into the heart of our people to grow eternally into war?"

England has no such questions in her mind. England will surely tell the truth and defy the devil. But the Briton in matters of music and the other arts is like 'Omer when he "smote 'is bloomin' lyre"; the Briton also will go and take what he may require, without much sentiment in the matter.

But the things that roll off the laps of the gods, after humanity has put its destinies there, sometimes are startlingly different from the expected fruits of victory. We fight a war for one thing, win the war and get quite another thing. The great war now waging began in a dispute over spheres of influence, market extensions, Places in the Sun and Heaven knows what of that sort of considerations. Great changes in these matters, of course, must come out of the war. But boundaries and markets will fluctuate with the decades and centuries. The important changes that will come out of this war--assuming that the Allies win it--will be found in the changed relations of men. The changes will be social and economic and they will be institutional and lasting.

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For generally speaking, such changes as approach a fair adjustment of the complaints of the "have nots" against the "haves" in life, are permanent changes. Kings, overlords, potentates, politicians, capitalists, high priests--masters of various kinds--find it difficult to regain lost privileges and perquisites. And in this war Germany stands clearly for the "haves." If Germany wins, autocracy will hood its losing ground all over the world. For the same autocracy in Berlin lives in Wall Street, and in the "city" in London, and in the caste and class interests of Italy and France. But junkerdom in Germany alone among the nations of the earth rests on the divine right of kings that is the last resort of privilege. In America we have the democratic weapons to break up our plutocracy whenever we desire to do so. In England they are breaking up their caste and economic privileged classes rapidly. In France and Italy junkerdom is a motheaten relic. And when junkerdom in Germany is crushed, then at least the world may begin the new era, may indeed begin to fight itself free. In the lands of the Allies the autocracy will be weakened by an allied victory. In Germany the junkers will be strong if they win the war, and their strength will revive junkerism all

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over the earth. If the Allies win, it will weaken junkerdom everywhere. Germany, it is true, treats her working classes better than some of the Allies treat their working people. But it is with the devilish wisdom of a wise slave holder, who sees profit in fat slaves. The workers get certain legal bonuses. They have economic privileges, not democratic rights of free men under German rule. And the roaring of the big guns out at the front, seemed to Henry and me to be the crashing walls of privilege in the earth.

Of course in this war, while some of the strange things one sees and hears in Europe may pass with the dawn of peace--woman, for instance, may return indoors and come out only on election day, yet unquestionably most of the changes in economic adjustment have come to stay. They are the most important salvage that will come out of the wreck and waste of this war. In England, for instance, the new ballot reform laws are fundamental changes. They provide virtually for universal manhood suffrage and suffrage for women over thirty upon something of the same terms as those provided for men. So revolutionary are the political changes in England that after the war, it is expected--conceded is hardly too strong a word, that the first political cabinet to

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arise after the coalition cabinet goes, will be a labour cabinet. Certainly if labour does not actually dominate the British government, labour will control it indirectly. And the labour gains during the war will not be lost. Wages in England, and for that matter in most of the allied countries are now being regulated by state ordinance and not by competitive rates. "The labour market" has passed with the slave market. Wages are based not upon supply and demand in labour, but upon the cost of what seems to be a decent standard of subsistence. This change, of course, is fundamental. It marks a new order in the world. And the labour party of England recently adopted a program which provides not merely for the decent living wage for workmen, independent of the "labour market," but also provides for the democratic control of industry: national railways, national mines, national electricity, national housing, and national land tenure. And as if that were not enough the demands of the labour party include the permanent control of the prices of all the necessaries of life, without relation to profits and independent of supply and demand. Such things have been done during the war, and in a crisis. Labour demands that they be done permanently.

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And still further to press home its claims upon society, British labour demands a system of taxation levied conspicuously and frankly at the rich to bring their incomes and their holdings only to a moderate rise above the common level--a rise in some relation to the actual differences of mind and heart and soul and service between men, and not a difference based on birth and inheritance and graft and grabbing. It is, of course, revolution. But Labour now has political rights in England, and has time and again demonstrated that it has a majority in every part of the United Kingdom, and it is closely organized and rather determined, and probably will have its way. In France and in Italy where for ten years the Socialists have more or less controlled assemblies and named cabinets, demands like those of the English are being made.

And when the Allies win it will not be so much a change in geography that shall mark off the world of the nineteenth century from the world of the twentieth, as the fundamental social and economic changes in society. The hungry guns out there at the front have eaten away the whole social order that was!

For conditions in this war are new in the world. In every other war, soldiers have dreamed high

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dreams of their rewards. But they have not taken them--chiefly because their dreams were impractical, somewhat because the dreams that were practical were not held by a majority; or to some extent because if they were held by a majority the majority had no power. Now--even Henry admitted this is no mere theory--we have a new condition. In Europe for two decades the labour problem has been carefully thought out. Labour is in a numericalmajority and the majority has political power and political purpose. Labour has been asking and getting about the same things in every country. It has been asking and getting a broader political control in order to assume a firmer economic control.

But one day we read in the London papers of an incident that indicated how far the state control of industry has gone in England. A strike occurred and an important industry was threatened--not over wages, not over hours, not over shop conditions, but over the recognition of the union. Pig-headed managing directors stood firm against recognizing the unions. Then the government stepped in and settled the strike and has compelled the owners of the plant to remove the managing director and to put in men satisfactory to the workers! Labour now is begin-

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ning all over Europe to formulate a demand for a place in the directorate of industries. This place in the directorate of industries is demanded that labour may have an intelligent knowledge of the profits of a business so that labour honestly may share those profits with capital. That this condition is coming in Europe no one will deny who sees the rush of events toward a redistribution of the profits of industry.

Having the vision and having the power to get what it desires, only the will to use the power is needed. And that will is motived by the great shadow that is hanging over the world--the shadow of public debt in this war. Someone must pay that debt. Heretofore war debts have fallen heaviest upon the poor. Those least able to pay have paid the most. But those least able to pay are coming out of this war too smart for the old adjustment of the debt. Education, for the past fifty years has made a new man, who will refuse to be over-taxed. During our visit to the front the soldiers were forever saying to Henry and me: "We have offered our lives. Those who stayed at home must give up their riches."And as we went about in England we were always hearing about the wisdom of a heavy confiscatory tax. Among the conservatives them-

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selves who presumably have a rather large share of the national wealth, there is a serious feeling that immediately after the war a tax-measure should be passed which would at once confiscate a certain portion of the property of the country--one hears different per cents discussed; some declare that ten per cent is enough, while others hold that it will require 25 per cent. This confiscatory tax is to be collected when any piece of property changes hands, and the accruing sum is to be used for paying off the national debt, or a considerable portion of it at once. The situation is completely changed from that which followed the Napoleonic wars, where war taxes fell largely upon labour. So in self-preservation, capital is considering turning over a part of its property to the state to avoid the slow and disintegrating grind that otherwise inevitably must come.

A curious side light on the way in which democracy is conducting this war is found in the way by which it finances the war. The great debt of the war, piled up mountain high, is of course, converted into bonds. These bonds, similar to our Liberty Bonds, have been purchased not exclusively by the bankers as in former wars, but by the people of the middle class and of the labouring class. Thus democ-

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racy has its savings in war bonds, which would be wiped out by an indemnity to Germany, but would be greatly inflated by an Allied victory; and where the treasure is, there the heart is! Perhaps it was political strategy which placed the war bonds in the hands of the people. But more than likely it was financial necessity. For the tremendous financial burden of this war was too great for the investing classes to bear unaided. So even the financing of the war has been more or less democratized. In fact, the whole conduct of the war is democratized.

One of the corroborating proofs that this is after all not a king's war, but a people's war, is found in the kind of stories they were forever telling Henry and me about the war. They are not hero stories. Mostly they are funny stories, more or less gently guying the "pomp and circumstance of glorious war," for it is the proud boast of the British army that this is a noncoms' war. Doubtless the stories have small basis in fact, but the currency of these blithe stories reflects the popular mind. Thus they say that when General Haig and his staff came down to review the Canadian troops and pin a carload of hardware on their men for bravery in battle, medals of one sort and another, the Canadian

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General lined his huskies up, and as the staff approached he cried anxiously, " Say, boys--here he comes. Now see if you can't stand to attention, and for Heaven's sake, fellows, don't call me Bill while he is here!" And then they say that after the heavy hardware and shelf goods were distributed a British officer lifted his voice to say: "Men, you have written a brave page upon our history. No more splendid courage than yours ever has been known in the annals of our proud race. But with such magnificent courage, why can you not display other soldierly qualities. Why are you so loose in your discipline? Why don't you treat your officers with more respect?" And in the pause a voice from the ranks replied, "They're not a bad lot, sir. We like 'em all right. But we have 'em along for mascots!"

The French also seem to have their easy-going ways. For current smoking room fiction relates that last spring after a troop of French soldiers had been hauled out to be shot for refusing to go into battle under orders, a whole division revolted and demanded new officers--and got new officers--before they would move forward. And the same smoking room fiction says that in the revolt the men were right and the officers wrong.

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"Why," asked a new English officer of some Russian troops who had made a splendid assault on a German position in the spring of 1917, an assault that required high courage and great soldierly skill, "why did you men all lift up your hands just before the charge was made?" The noncom grinned and answered, "We were taking a vote upon the matter of the charge, sir!"

In a theater on the boulevards in Paris recently a hit was made by introducing a stage scene showing the princes and nobility in poverty, looking down from a gallery at the top of the theater, on the rich working people in the boxes below; the princes and nobility were singing a doleful ditty and dancing a sad dance about the changed circumstances that were glooming up the world.

Simultaneously across the channel in England, they were telling this one. Lord Milner, who in Germany would be one of the All Highest of the High Command, was calling at an English house where the children were not used to nobility. They heard their father refer to Lord Milner as "my lord." And one child edged up to him in awe and asked, "O sir. were you indeed born in a manger?" The All Highest smiled and quoth in reply, "No, my child, no, I was not born in

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a manger, but if they keep on taxing me, I fear I shall die in one!"

The Italians have high hopes of harnessing their nine millions of horsepower in Alpine waterfalls, running their state-owned railroads and public utilities with it, and introducing electricity as an industrial power into Italian homes, thus bringing back to the homes of the people the home industries like weaving which steam took away a century ago. But this is only a dream. Yet sometimes dreams do come true. And dreams are wishes unexpressed; and in this day of democratic power, a wish with a ballot behind it becomes a will, and soon hardens into a fact. The times are changing. But of course human nature remains much the same. Men under a given environment will do about the same kind of things under one set of circumstances. But we should not forget in our computations that laws, customs, traditions, the distribution of wealth. make an entirely new environment, and that circumstances are not the same when environment differs. That the surroundings of those people known collectively as "the poor" have changed, and changed permanently by the war, no one who sees them in Europe can doubt. They are well-fed,

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well-housed, and are determined to be well-educated. They know that they can use their ballots to get their share of the wealth they produce. They are never going to be content again with crusts. They are motived now by hope rather than by fear, and they are going to react strangely during the next ten years on the social structure of this old world. But even the new majority will not change everything of course. Grass will grow, water will run down hill, smart men will lead fools, wise men will have the places of honour and power, in proportion to the practicality of their wisdom. But for all that, we shall have in a rather large and certainly in a keenly interesting degree a new heaven and a new earth.

Now as these speculations upon the new order came to us as our journey drew to its close in England, the war seemed slowly to change its meaning. It became something more than a conflict; it seemed to be a revolution--world-wide, and all encompassing. Then we thought of "the front" in new terms.

We realized that behind the curtain in Germany, a despotic will, scientifically guided, is controlling the food, the munitions, the assembling of men and materials for this war. But on this side of the German curtain at the "front"

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which we knew, a democratic purpose is doing these things. The view of that democratic purpose at work, to me at least, was my chief trophy of the war. The laws which make food conservation possible, which direct shipping, mobilize railroads, control industry, regulate wages, prescribe many of the habits of life to fit the war, all rise out of the experience of the people. There is a vast amount of the "consent of the governed" in this whole war game, so far as the Allies are concerned. And as it is in democratic finance, so also is it in the taste and talent and capacity for war. That also is democratic. What a wide range of human activity is massed in this business of war!

For days and days after we left the continent, in our minds we could see armies moving into the trenches somewhere along the "far flung battle line," and other armies moving out. The picture haunted us. It seemed to me a cinematograph of democracy. For the change of an army division from the trenches, tired, worn and bedraggled, moving wearily to its station of rest, with another army division, fresh and eager, moving up from its station of rest to the front, is indeed a social miracle. It is a fine bit of human machinery. So in terms of our modern

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democracy it may be well to review the interminable panorama of this democratic war. Fifty years ago it would have been a memorable achievement. Waterloo itself was not such a miracle. Yet somewhere in this war, this wonder is done every day and no record is made of it. Imagine hundreds of miles of wide, white roads, hard-surfaced and graded for the war, leading to a sector of the line. To make and keep these roads, itself is a master's job. Imagine the roads filled all day with two long lines of trucks, passing and repassing; one line carrying its guns and camp outfit, its whole paraphernalia of war, going to the battle front in the hills; another never-ceasing procession with its martial impedimenta coming out of the hills to rest. A few horses hauling big gun carriages straggle through the crust. Here and there, but rarely, is a group of marching men--generally men singing as they march. Occasionally a troop of German prisoners marching with the goose step, comes swinging along carrying their shovels at a martial angle--road menders--which proves that we are more than thirty kilos from the firing line; now and then a camp-kitchen rattles past. But ever in one's ears is the rich rumble of trucks, recalling the voluptuous sound of the circus wagon on the

"A New Heaven and a New Earth"--329

village street. But always there are two great circus parades, one going up, one coming down. Lumbering trucks larger than city house-moving vans whirl by in dust clouds; long--interminably long--lines of these trucks creak, groan and rumble by. Some of the trucks are mysteriously non-committal as to their contents--again reproducing the impression of the circus parade. Probably they hide nothing more terrible than tents or portable ice plants. But most of the trucks that go growling up and come snarling down the great white roads, bear men; singing men, sleeping men, cheering men, unshaved men, natty men, eating men, smoking men, old men and young men, but always cheerful men--private soldiers hurrying about the business of war; to their trenches or from their trenches, but always cheerful. Sometimes a staff officer's car, properly caparisoned, shuttles through the line like a flashing needle; sometimes a car full of young officers of the line tries to nose ahead of the men of the regiment, but rather meekly do these youngsters try to sneak their advantage, as one swiping an apple; no great special privilege is theirs. Interminable lines of truck-mounted guns rattle along, each great gun festively named, as for instance, "The Siren," or "Baby" or

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"The Peach" or "The Cooing Dove." Curious snaky looking objects all covered with wiggly camouflage--some artist's pride--are these guns, and back of them or in front of them and around them, clank huge empty ammunition wagons going out, or heavy ones coming in. At short intervals along the road are repair furnaces, and near them a truck or a gun carriage, or an ambulance that has turned out for slight repairs. In the village are great stores of gasoline and rubber, huge quantities of it assembled by some magic for the hour's urgent need.

What a marvel of organization it is; no confusion, no distraught men, no human voice raised except in ribald song. From the ends of the earth have come all these men, all these munitions, all this food and tents and iron and steel and rubber and gas and oil. And there it centers for the hour of its need on this one small sector of the front; indeed on every small sector of the long, long trail, these impedimenta of war come hurrying to their deadly work. And it is not one man; not one nation even, not one race, nor even one race kindred that is assembling this endless caravan of war. It is a spirit that is calling from the vasty deep of this world's treasure, unto material things to rise, take shape

"A New Heaven and a New Earth"--331

and gather at this tryst with death. It is the spirit of democracy calling across the world. The supreme councils of the Allies--what are they? They change, form and reform. Generals, field marshals, staff officers in gold lace, cabinets, presidents, puppet kings, and God knows what of those who strut for a little time in their pomp of place and power--what are they but points on the drill of the great machine whose power is the people of the world, struggling in protest against despotism, privilege autocracy and the presence of the few to play greedily at the master game. The points break off, or are worn off--what difference does it make? Joffre, French, Cardona, Neville, Asquith, Painleve, Kitchener, Haig--the drill never ceases; the power behind it never falters. For once in the world the spirit of democracy is organized; organized across lines of race, of language, of national boundary! A score of million men, in arms, a score of billions of people--workers, captains of industry, local leaders, little governors and commercial princelets, bosses, farmers, bankers, skilled labourers, and men and women of fumbling hands and slow brains, teachers, preachers, philosophers, poets, thieves, harlots, saints and sinners--all the free people of

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the world, giving what talents Heaven has bestowed upon them to make the power of this great machine that moves so smoothly, so resistlessly, so beautifully along the white ribbons of roads up to the battle.

When the battle ceases, of course, that organization will depart. But always democracy will know that it can organize, that it can rise to a divine dignity of courage and sacrifice. And that knowledge is the great salvage of this war. More than written laws, more than justice established, more than wrongs righted in any nation and in all the nations will be the knowledge of this latent power of men!

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