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Over the Front in an Aeroplane and Scenes Inside t

Avions de reglage changed to avions de reglage


"When

the war started she agreed to assume the naval responsibility of protecting the coast of France. She has not only done that, and incidentally driven Germany from the seas, but she has thrown her ships into the attack on the Dardanelles and has helped Russia with her submarines in the Baltic.

"When the war started there was a financial understanding between England and France. England has not only carried out her share in this understanding, but has been instrumental in the financing of Italy, and stands ready to assume further similar responsibilities in the Balkans.

"How any candid mind in the face of such a record can charge Great Britain with shirking her share in the war passes my understanding."

There is no doubt about the truth of this. To get the voluntary gift of three million lives within one year, to get the voluntary loan of L600,000,000 in less than one month is probably an unparalleled achievement. Great Britain has done far more than her duty to others called for. And yet the question will not be smothered: Is she doing all that is called for by a strong, far-seeing nation's duty to itself?

She has thrown into the scales all the peculiar assets of a democracy in spontaneous zeal and voluntary sacrifice. But can a really great nation in such a crisis as this afford to be the recipient of only those contributions, no matter how

prodigal, which are spontaneous and voluntary? Can a really proud nation afford to base its career at such a time upon the charity of its citizens? With Russia on the one hand purging herself of the bureaucratic evils of absolutism and forcing upon herself the pains of democratization, with France, on the other hand, sacrificing for the time her most cherished principles of republicanism in order to substitute the efficiency of Authority for the waste motions of Democracy, can England afford to remain complacently convinced that she represents the happy mean between these two extremes--a mean which needs no modifying?

Can England as a nation continue with admiring acquiescence to watch the cream of her manhood spend itself in Flanders and the Dardanelles; continue with deprecating acquiescence to watch the skimmed milk of her manhood preserve itself at home for the sacred duty of fathering a future generation?

Can England acquiesce placidly in the professional, the business, the financial sacrifices generally which so many Englishmen are splendidly making, and acquiesce plaintively in the disgusting treason whose guilt was shared in varying measure by the gouging coal-owners and the striking coal-miners of Wales?

Can England set out to curb the drunkenness which in certain parts is crippling her ammunition production and then sink back into acquiescence in the temporizing compromise which taxed drunkenness instead of terminating it?

Can England, in fine, afford to preserve Personal Liberty at the slightest risk of imperilling National Liberty?

Perhaps England can. Perhaps England must.

So long as England fulfils and far exceeds her covenants with her allies it is not a question for them to answer. It is assuredly not a question to which any neutral visitor can with seemliness hazard a solution.

It is not even a question, in my opinion, which is apt to affect the ultimate outcome of this particular war.

But it is a question to which on some future day Macaulay's New Zealander will, with positiveness and propriety, be in a position to find the answer.

* * * * *

Transcriber's note:

Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. Printer's inconsistencies in the use of accents, hyphens, and punctuation have been retained. The original spelling has been used except where there was good reason to correct it. Any such changes are noted below.

The following misprints and misspellings have been corrected:

Page 3, "avions de reglage" changed to "avions de reglage". (their "avions de reglage," or "regulating aeroplanes.")

Page 4, "aviatiks" changed to "Aviatiks". (Aviatiks of the enemy)

Page 4, "fusilage" changed to "fuselage". (projected over the bow of the fuselage)

Page 11, "pilot- spotted" changed to "pilot spotted". (puffs of smoke in the hazy distance the pilot spotted unerringly)

Page 33, "practise" changed to "practice". (And practice in this matter)

Page 57, "departs" changed to '"departs"'. (distant reports of the "departs")

Page 86, "leant themselves" changed to "lent themselves". (and clay lent themselves to effects which)

Page 100, "scrupulously cleanly," changed to "scrupulously clean,". (I found them scrupulously clean, very patient)

Page 136, "drommelfeuer" changed to "trommelfeuer". (the famous "trommelfeuer" ... "drum-roll fire," as the Germans call it)

There is in the book the single use of the word "exterpreting" (page 78) for which no adequate definition has been found. It is not a spelling mistake. From the context it might be an amusing play on the word "interpreting."

***


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