Monday, November 05, 2018

Today -100: November 5, 1918: Get ahead of Hungary


The Allies have agreed on the terms which will be presented to Germany.

Friedrich Adler, who assassinated Austrian Prime Minister Count Karl von Stürgkh a little over two years ago, is released from prison. His father Victor just became foreign minister last week (and will drop dead next week).

Germany complains about Allied air raids on towns in the Rhine, saying that Germany has been restricting its bombing raids to purely military targets since Oct. 1 and expected the same courtesy. The US says this is the first it’s heard of any change in German policy.

Hungary will hold a referendum in a month on whether to be a monarchy or a republic. Women will have the vote for that. Carrie Chapman Catt writes to the 4 states holding women’s suffrage referenda today, telling them to “get ahead of Hungary”.

The British Parliament passes the Second Reading of the bill allowing women to be elected to Parliament. Admiral of the Fleet Sir Hedworth Meux MP, says it’s a bad idea because the chamber is simply too crowded. Further,
Perhaps he will explain what class of women he wants. He certainly does not want the noblest class of women, the women who are producing children. It is just as well to speak plainly in these matters. We want as many children in this country as we can get. Why was Belgium destroyed? Why was Serbia overrun? Because there were not enough men to resist the invaders. ...
Admiral Sir Hedworth Meux MP, it should be noted, is married but has no children. He continues,
If there are to be women in this House, I hope to see the really nice ones, women around whom we shall see Members swarming like bees, women something of the noble character of the charming heroines of whom we read, like Rosalind, Imogene, or Portia.
There’s some discussion about letting women into the House of Lords too, but nah, maybe in 40 years or so.

Yesterday -100 poet-soldier Wilfred Owen was killed in action, at 25.

Dulce et Decorum est

     Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
     Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
     Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
     And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
     Men marched asleep.  Many had lost their boots,
     But limped on, blood-shod.  All went lame, all blind;
     Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
     Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

     Gas!  GAS!  Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
     Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
     But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
     And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime.—
     Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
     As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

     In all my dreams before my helpless sight
     He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

     If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
     Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
     And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
     His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
     If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
     Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
     Bitter as the cud
     Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
     My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
     To children ardent for some desperate glory,
     The old Lie:  Dulce et decorum est
     Pro patria mori.


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