THE WELSH OUTLOOK SEPTEMBER, 1914 NOTES OF THE MONTH War Last month, as we were preparing for August, our thoughts were all on producing a light summer number it was to be full of the sea and the country; we must have short sketches that would fit in with the lazy holiday mood of most of our readers for once we were to eschew problems-we were going to give our readers a rest, not only in August but in September too, for then we had hoped for an Eisteddfod number. As we read the final proofs the air was thick with rumours, but the rumours were so terrible that it was almost impossible to believe them. We had become used to scares. At the bottom of our hearts, probably, most of us believed that a European war could only become real to us in the pages of Mr. H. G. Wells. But almost as soon as the number was out we were in the midst of it. Even now, we cannot realize it we find ourselves reading the headlines of a newspaper, and we have to force our imaginations to realize that it is not a novel we are reading. Again we pore over our maps and talk of advances and retreats and all the niceties of strategy almost as if war were merely a game, the soldiers merely dummies. It is perhaps fortunate that it is so. If we could really feel the horrors of such a war as this, if 8,000 deaths meant for us the anguish of losing a father, a brother or a lover 8,000 times over, and not only that, but the knowledge that many of them were dying slowly and in agony with nothing to hope for but a stray bullet to put them out of their misery-if we were blessed or cursed with such a power of imagination as this we should assuredly go mad. The truth is that none of us know or will ever know what war means; "Peace and War," "Le Débâde," "Jam Uhl," and other novels have given us an inkling, but they have only touched a fringe of it; not even the soldier can realise it; the tragedy is too stupendous. Wellington is reported to have cried on the field of Waterloo, and to have said that the next most terrible thing to a great defeat was a great victory. Whether he said it or not he probably knew it, but even he could only guess at the magnitude of the tragedy. This War And yet it was necessary. There's no getting away from that. We are convinced that during the preceding fortnight Sir Edward Grey did all that was possible to preserve the peace of Europe and when he failed there was nothing left for us to do but to go in, and, if we possibly could, to win. When that was decided the next thing to do was to pray and work for as speedy a termination as possible. Perhaps, as Mr. Shaw has told us, the violation of the neutrality of Belgium made no difference; it is probable that we should have joined with France in any case but it has made all the difference to the feeling behind the government in the country, for it is the first necessity for peace that governments, as well as individuals, should be taught to observe their contracts. We doubt if ever before the country has been so whole- heartedly for a war and so little jingo. Indeed the unanimity in the country is not the least point about this war that is quite literally amazing. For the time being, parties have ceased to exist, party feeling is dead. On all sides we hear Conservatives declaring their complete trust in the present cabinet and Liberals thanking the opposition for their help at the crisis. And as must happen when party feelings die, there is a real sobriety of opinion in the country which is at the very opposite pole to the spirit in