advised football, invited him to supper and was seeing his way to consider recommending a rise of salary, when something happened which threw out many of Mr. Brewer’s calculations, took away his ablest young fellows, and eventually, so prying and insidious were the fingers of the European War, smashed a plaster cast of Ceres, ploughed a hole in the geranium beds, and utterly ruined the cook’s nerves at Mr. Brewer’s establishment at Muswell Hill.
Septimus was one of the first to volunteer. [...] There in the trenches the change which Mr. Brewer desired when he advised football was produced instantly; he developed manliness; he was promoted [...]
Odette’s features assumed a knowing look which was emphasised when she remarked: “I don’t say that the German armies don’t fight well, but they lack that cran as we call it.” [...] Unnecessary to say that she never neglected to use in all contexts the expression “fair play” in order to show that the English considered the Germans unfair players. “Fair play is what is needed to win the war, as our brave allies say.”
“It is not so much Germany as the war itself that I fear for France. People imagine that the war is only a gigantic boxing-match at which they are gazing from afar, thanks to the papers. But that is completely untrue. It is a disease which, when it seems cured at one spot crops up in another. To-day, Noyon will be relieved, to-morrow we shall have neither bread nor chocolate, the day after, he who believed himself safe and would, if needs must, be ready to die an unimagined death, will be horrified to read in the papers that his class has been called up. As to monuments, the destruction of a unique masterpiece like Rheims is not so terrible to me as to witness the destruction of such numbers of ensembles which made the smallest village of France instructive and charming.”
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