For the past fortnight they had been unaware of anything that was going on in the world. In Paris people might make arrests and issue condemnations as hard as they could. Germany might make treaties and tear up those she had signed. Governments might lie, the press denounce and armies kill. They did not read the papers. They knew there was the war somewhere all about them, just as there is typhus or else influenza; but that did not touch them; they did not want to think about it.
The war recalled itself to them that night. They had already gone to bed (they spent their hearts so freely in those days that when evening came they were worn out). They heard the alarm signals, each in his or her respective quarter, and declined to get up. They hid their heads in their beds under the bedclothes as a child will during a thunder-