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ANOTHER GREAT ILLUSION, Issue 15634, 27 October 1914
ANOTHER GREAT ILLUSION
Those Russians' Who wk the Mnw Rergeret that created them':' Created them by a thought—2so,ooo of them—not all at once, o'f course. Where was the Sunday family dinner in which the monotony of boredom wa* sliarply interrupted by that superb invention? The children were seated, grace was said, the father had played the customary prelude with the steel upon the carving knife. As at a sacrificial rite, the. white-filleted attendant, had lifted the gleaming cov«r from the prone meat-offering. The roots and herbs stood smoking in their places. But on the. mother's heart lay a despairing weariness that could be felt, and before her stretched an indeterminate vista of Sunday dinners till she died. She knew them—'-the smell of mutton one Sunday, and of beef the next; the discussion of the sermon's text and the dresses of people in church; the marital grumpiness, the. children's grasping gluttony and fractious tempers; the repetition of "Don't," regular as the "Amen" to every prayer. Raising her eyes to confront her fate with desperate courage, she beheld something new upon the opposite wall. It was'a map of Europe, and the centre was speckled all over with pretty little flaps. She knew it was a war map, and she know where to find Germany on it, and France, and Russia. There was England, plain as a pikestaff, and there, was the line of flags showing'where our fleets hem the Germans in. But on the top of the map above them stretched great blank spaces without a single, flag to decorate them —sen and land. Norway and Sweden, .strance coasts and cape."', and gulfs, which .she connected with icebergs and the midnight turn. She fixed her eye upon those open peas, and, like a vision of glory. the. inspiration of inborn strategy fell upon her. Splendidly mendacious, and. attributing the sudden splendor of her thought to another (as a, woman should in reaiiovß <iE this imf.iortanee!, she ex- \ claimed ■. " Do you know, my dear, as we 1 i-nmt> cut of <\'lurch, someone told me that i English ships were bringing round a Rus- ! <.-iaii army U> fight for" us in France or i Belgium'.'' " Nonsense, my dear," replied her husband, as usual. But the eprll !of Sunday dinner was broken. He hai cume restive. He igot up between the J , v , ursc ...-_;,ri unheard-of irregularity— u> I e;-;.',mine the map. He, babbled about the ! White Sea and Archangel. " Why is a | town called hi Archangel?" asked his ohb'st, dnugh.ier. and was told that chili dren should be seen and not heard. The i thin:: wa.s done. The vitalising influence. was at, work. That afternoon he met two fiiends during his .Sunday walk. By teatime the. Russian army lived. His wife, wa.s on the way to create 250,000 men. Tike Pallas from the brain of Zeus, they sprang from her brain full-armed, in panoply, accompanied by puns, howitzers, horse*.' transport waggons, and all the ammunition? of war. We know the rest. There is not a roan or woman now living in this island who does not. know someone who has seen those Russians. They have been sighted at. Leifh (what more natural?!, at Newcastle, at Hnll (thousands of them there), .all along the Essex coa::t, at Avonmouth and the Bristol Channel (two or threa r.rmv corps landed there, for it was, of course, safer to send them round Scotland than bring them down the North Sea. sirev.n with mines). Reading and Redhill have known them (both are on a branch lute, by which London could be avoided'!. At" Southampton they have swarmed. Colchester station was closed for two dav.s while they passed. So was the "North London Railway (also a. branch line, connecting both the G.W.R. and the B. and NAV.R. with the Port, of Bondon:-. Suburban residents were kept, awake all night by the rumble, of their hcavv trains, interminably passing. At. •» ■tation on the South-Western (the rout" lo tint) -oiithem poits) the patriotic j r r ul ttii n -' od every n to wateh tl e B issia i 'rims ,"o b\ Thf windows were < Intf -slnd oier ~lhc bhnds m reitatu r rrn ~ ~ *]i , filers i omp-.rtments l-> 1 irerub dnnn But no mattei ' \ . W i tiffin jirfititmiis i mild decei e i ij'iioi and intelligent public Here i,,] il , - mi i audit ghmji-.es of an f hj uniform.' Once when the tram slowed am strarge o,rs speaking an un 1 no i to ieu disuncth heard liln [J,, ] il I'd.Mtnii r cognised s n \ i id noiidph is Russian t rns fl < pie son \\ nat ■> as even ci i e\) dire in tne niforidtic sverr , u l~ a l) di -n tie IMb a- s coins ,n) <1 - ' lep"l« wf e discovered No t f 1 ej.ek s the Russian farthing, h.ng ih iiundi"dth part of the mulV , ," i, hi gs , ->nd its i isertion m the ,hj , ri (i bci -st But sh penny it IMih tlitcw t ir riT-huirs out of ordei, nn ir ho sirong nui Russian qlhani n, p l \n \bo.t a fortnight ago, two r-u ■'il rf r \ oaie -a- fr ur) were se< n n 'h< I mrins Cios= Turkish Baths, beicr defect, d hj, trer prneral hainne«s. 'o<gh the\ --poke perfect English, is i>,, j„ can -v Oaidiff ensineet wis '"„ rn l Co hal 1 iwlle-d with 2 500 K , -, t2i Wf, i ( f tl em dnect from tl • -e - i He lid phot <riarh«, too, no ilk , ,irtn i mint In The bead n. % ,-u w i [ Miiloing fnni v pe king at tie 1 c i i patriotic banqne* *omev he f 1 -<. id tint he had dn.c 1 i dutv nj the ountr s, ee his ships huJ transport 1 i fi 0 l!ti-s ins to ie sraf i f *ir , tl , ,i t P-rs-, Ruiai had cer d , , ~t , i i r t b,t tL< tr f«n*< i i in , i ii'inr li « ttutn Or as to ~„ , [i -i<- the GreaiiK dimg 'iff I], , t , f -e r lmd thif hj, =hr nd be , rl ,j, , thrr. 1« not 111. fast of i i I | (I r tin \l hile t i 1 \ ( 1 thtn the dedurtion is ohxx , s, j J, t i Client newspaper brui sjirle <it 1* "the p hl i \ zr ! lr is taking action ~ , t 7e n i r i 1 frt co nmunicatton ;' Ol , , i, [ n , rnnndativf e\idenee 4 ik ue tl \ f .iitK is judge ,truij i-» t < i Ito I ang a man on it i i i hj *\e he tat#d to bdng; r ,• i, i ic 'hi li' e built on i If r, IBe i cme the Press i , T,i ' t a i ibloned shears, and «.|, C 1 n i U if a t-trategic genus vf) _ i i itm snhere of rorn il al 1 , J x jnr ti no truth what , th '' 'l u " tbp rumor Hit ; u (italic I °'< nded ,n or passed t'to gh (.rt. ♦ Bnuin on the.r waj to 1 ...i.c oi Bfh'iun \\c are heartily i- ,rrv to hear it. We had come to love the-e Rt - nis, as the children acquired a timorous affection for Putoi*. We think it cruel to kill so many phantoms at one blow. It is not for u* to set ourselves up against the generally accepted bc!ia3 of our fellow-citizens. Besides, we consider that those Russian! have done an inestimable service by affording encouragement to the country during a period of great anxiety and depression. May it not be also true that their threatened attack upon the Germau lines of communication induced _or hastened the enemy's unexpected retirement? If they did not exist, may we not .say of them, as of Putoiß, that they had a kind of existence?—' The Nation.'
ANOTHER GREAT ILLUSION, Issue 15634, 27 October 1914
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