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By G. K. CHESTERTON.


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•uta ý,ý ýgt’ tl hý 1 ,t ,s, ‘ l iglll lll ()1 tart ( it they .Irl. I g kill tkih the . t CIti graphi.., sillce it is a sub- ject of whit h I amt esii ally iginorant having been taught it fir al-nit five va.,rs at an excellent English I’ublic Sch]eol. I am far froi nmaintaining that I should have learnt it evn if anvblrds had tried to teach it : but in the only vital sense it happens that nobody did. The first Tommnvy who set foot in North- ern France saw at a glance the truths about the


S ntIrIII v ih II Ite I I)mportanti ; a that It is agricuII- tur.al, tht it I, nutll v Ilat. that rtunl ts sea-ciast, it i- rv lihk1, Souith1 I:ngland ; Iunt that it cares much l v ,,r tr thl pr.utIi ll aI tl l iiu h le for the plctur- l 0ll


product ” anil ” principal exports ” which happen to be manufacttured in the North French towns, and happen, perhaps, to require contributions from the North French country-sides. We shall be told that such-and-such a place produces pickles, gutta-percha, gimlets, boot-laces, soda-water and stained glass : and it will be quite impossible to form any mental picture of what sort of place would be likely to produce that sort of thing. The lists in the geography Ixioks are


exactly hlke the list in the ” Bab Ballads ” of the preentt given to, ‘aha Hal ev Ben- The- brought hiin onllns strung on ropes And cold bIld beet and telescopes And capstan bar, and scales and weights And ornaments for emnlpty grates. I had occasin the other day to consult a work of reference about Bohemia. That country may very well play a considerable part in coming events : for it is the most national of the nations chained to Austria. anel is, perhaps, the least touched with that unique


tenderness w\ich is still felt, not for the Hlapsburg kingdom, but for the lapsburg family. The Hlapsburgs will probably sur- vive the Itohenzollerns; and they will en- dure, not by being efficient, but rather by being inefficient. Well, the only fact that clings to my mind out of all the closely written facts which I read on that occasion, is that one of the Bohemian products, sand- wiched between something like toothpicks and something like pig-iron, was the manu- facture of the Turkish fez. The fez is not made at Fez, apparently, any more than Stilton cheese is made at Stilton. There are morals, of course, even in this minute fact. It is just like the Turks to refuse to make even their own head – gear if they can get anybody else to do it. Not a few nations have suffered from the profound religious belief of the Turks that lHeaven helps those that help them- .selves. And perhaps the Turks have an equally austere modesty ; and cannot call their fezes their own. \lhy, even then, they should be made in Bohemia I cannot conceive. The Bohemians would seem to be heaping coals of fire, or at least some- thing almost as fiery’, on the heads of those who defeated them at M1ohAcz. But I only mention the matter here as an illustration of the unsymnbolic and un-national character of these detached fragments of informatimn. No aserage reader can form any picture of a country from the fact that it has all the materials for making a fez. When I opened the wo,rk of reference I knew almost as little about Bohemia as Shakespeare did. Now I have closed it, I recall vividly that it can make a fez. Surely it might be possible to give a general picture of a country that should leave on the ninil a somewhat clearer out- line of its landlscape; such an outline as I would lnldertake to, give to, any lBhemian child albout the ditterence between North England and South—always supposing I could talk (‘zech fluently. But those thronging thousands of poor Englishmen who are now fighting for the free traditions of Europe are really seeing what countries are like : they are in the frame-work of a living geography, as in the framework of a living history. They are, indeed, in those noble words of the marching medieval hymn – C’ohlridiis et sodales In tinra viventium. In those words is expressed as well as it can ti expressed the truth that is taught in battlefields-nay, even in bivouacs and can- teens-better than it is taught in most of the schools. That histor far back to its first beginnings is, and was, made of men
like


oumrs.Ies; that landscape over the better part of this earth as made almost as much by man as by Nature; that the most interesting things about a people are not the things it makes and exports, but the things it makes and consumes; and, above all, that the true bond of nations is neither in commerce nor diplomacy but in a common facing of the facts of our being, a common love of life, a common pride of death: ” Comrades and soldiers in the land of the living.” [Cohrsekded i. foe U.S.A. 6, /4 ‘”Ne Yok Amr~.ia.”1



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