village of Louvigne, we saw, in a meadow, the graves, covered with
wayside flowers, of the farmers who were shot. The soldiers picked out
forty of the villagers, stood them up in a line, then shouted, "Save
yourselves." Thirteen were shot in the back and the rest escaped. What
words to find for this barbarism? But is it barbarism and not rather the
refined cruelty of civilization? Is it not better then to remain a
primitive, with a beautiful faith in the Sun-god?
_October 1st, Thursday._
The siege of Antwerp has begun. Here is a dialogue between the Kaiser
and his _belle armee_.
K. "I need Antwerp."
A. "Your Majesty shall have Antwerp, but we need five hundred thousand
K. "You shall have them."
Does this explain the fantastic array of soldiers, sailors, the old, the
young, grandfathers and infants, the simple rank and file and the
elegant regiments of H. M. that are continually trailing on to the
_September 29th, Tuesday._
The servants are dismantling the house today, putting all the art
treasures in safety--tapestries, silver, portraits, paintings, rugs,
fine china, furniture, dresses, furs, books, linen--in fact everything
of value. All this is to be taken off for safekeeping and sealed
up,--maybe, in the crystal caves of the river nymph, Arethusa. Madame X.
does not like to imagine the _Haus Fraus_ parading in her sables.
A man in the city saw some circulars ready for distribution that were
printed by the German War Office, saying that in case of retreat of the
army, the inhabitants of Liege would have six hours to evacuate the
All that horror over again? Oh! this is a more terrifying thought, even,
than the advance of an army.
Madame de H. managed to get through to us a letter from Brussels by
messenger. What dreadful things are happening, what curious things!
Three kilometres from her chateau on the other side of Brussels is an
old feudal castle which has been occupied for the last two years by an
Austrian family. These people were never very neighborly, preferring
their own society evidently and spending all their time and interest in
repairing the dilapidated walls of an unused wing of the chateau. This
had turned out an endless task, as it appears, continued for weeks and
then suddenly and unaccountably stopped for days, only to be feverishly
recommenced. But of course, people round about, accustomed to the
varying energy of workmen in general were not puzzled at this. At least
this was the explanation given and, in truth, it began to look as if the
old place would live its given quota of days and crumble away still
Twenty-four hours after Germany declared war on France and had already
crossed the frontier into Belgium, the Austrian family disappeared in
the night, taking with them their household goods. The next day BelgianDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>