Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/85

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The War and the Future

You may wonder what kind of a life is lived under such conditions.

I can only say that it is a very attractive kind of life, and that most men who leave it want to go back to it, and few men who have lived that kind of life find it easy to settle down to another. And you will see men at their very best under those conditions. You will find them far more thoughtful of each other; far more generous and self-sacrificing than you will ever see them in time of peace. You will be among men who will die for you without a moment's thought or an instant's hesitation, and who will share their last food or drink with you. You will see dying men giving up their last breath to comfort some other wounded man who may be suffering more at the moment. And living among those men, sharing their hardships and their dangers, you will realize to the full the sense of brotherhood and the unity of life which are among the deepest feelings which can come to men. You will realize the gaiety, the courage and the heroism of the mind of man, and you will realize how deeply you love your fellows.

A British officer has defined the life at the front as "damned dull, damned dirty and