Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

8 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

The Day's Gossip.


The Day's Gossip. Leader Ofjice, Tuesday. It is useless speculating on the result II of the Swansea Chamber's spirited protest to the railway companies against the irri- tating small charges for tipping ajid weighing at the docks. At Friday's meet- ing there was a disposition to tight them I to the uttermost as long as the port and trade are not damaged. The moral to be drawn here, as in the railway strike I pegotiations, 's, it seems to me, that there must be a simplification of all scales, s<- that vhat is payable is so clear!y and comprehensively dfnned that within the mrrowes( limits it is known before the t:p'ual work commences. Rats! This is Rat Week and the Morning ¡ '{,st" on the contribution of the word rat to thf English vocabulary of ecorn and abuse. "RaL" of political desertion, appears in 179J, fathered by Lord Mal- mesbury. If you have a mind to rat, rat &ans phrase." occurs in Maria Edgs- worth's Harrington." Bentham has, in the language of a modern party. Silas was a rat." Lytton, in U A1ice/' <;peal:s of a well-timed rat." From poli- < ics the term passed to 'blackleg work- men, and wn-s used of printers in 1881, a non-union composing-room being a rat- house." In its better aense of to hunt rats," rat" has newspaper authority from 1871, but mu5t be much earlier. As a frequent term of abuse acd contempt, rat in ShakcpearÐ is too familiar to require a notation. Eighteenth Century f.Iang used the word of drunks" run in by the watch. An approximation toj the later political sense (but still TM'liti- pnl) mav be found in the pamphlet of ljjfO. "Rat., Rhymed to Death, or the Rump Parlia'ment hanged up in tne Shambles." The Rat-rhyming ques- tion has a whole folk-lore literature to itself: see Rosalind 'n As You Like It." Rats to you: dates from &bout 1890. Quite Different. "Hcnv much did yo" say this was? Three and six. "That's a big price, isn't is?" Oh, no, I assure you; the urugs are very costly." "But f am a druggist myself." "Oh. you are. Well—of course— fourpcnce." A Private's Tafe. Mr. Stephen Graham has written, in A Private in the Guards," which have just published, a hook that, whether you tike it or not, you will be unabte to forget. When I was reading it, I con'inuaHy pulled my- self up with the question what purpose was served by this ruthless candour ard admission of terrible facts; but the author drove me to &oe tha-r, if we arc to hate war with a terrible aud working hatred, we must he told, by the men who soEered, how foul a thing it is. And few men can iea<! Stephen Graham's book without saying that the prepara- tion for war, the making of a disciplined armv, the htting of a man for the ordeal of battle. Is (and must be) as brutaj a thing as the actual ughting itself. You see, first of all, what the Spartan train- ing of the Guards did to a sensitive soul like Graham's. What sorrows have gone to the acceptance of things like these: "to have your ear spat into, to be marched across the parade-ground under escort, to be falsely accused be- fore an oincer and silenced when you try to speak in defence for this is what he says—this, and worse things: All these take down your pride, make you feel srnaH, and in some ways fit you to accept the role of cannon- fodder on the battle-ground. A good dsal of it could bo defended on grounds of ut'efulnes* But of tourse it <1o{'n't make a Christian army. and it's hell for the poor British soldier. Msewhere, ho says that for many the greatest ordeal was not the ncid of battle but the field of training; and I have heard scores of men say likewise. DtscipHne. 1 Our discipline was harsh, especially in the Guards; Mr. Graham gives us little I pictures of instructors and their nithy, brutal ways—few were gentlemen, hut I there were a few—that will rouse the .tnger of the civilian who has not been under army discipline. It was hard to bes-r if a man thought, if he were sen- sitive an d highly-strung: but somehow or other, in the end, he did accept it. The officers demand discipline, the X.C.O.'s enforce it. N.C.O.'s are .nuch mot'e frequently hated than are "Seers. They understand how to bully and drive and terrify and even batter soldiers into shape, but they seldom possess the personality and character through which discipline can be perfected. There, says the author, is the point here the deadlincs.s of sergcnnts mnst and the nneneM' of the cajm oScer con)es in, enabling the men to go Int-o battle as camarades de guenc. follow- 'rif! a brave leader, and net merely as 'nit'tary slaves. The Execution. I The shooting of Pri vate X for cowardice, and the curse )L,. nu'jor Y who accused him, make a hor- i-iMe str'ry, one the reader will ne-\ er fer- get. Whnt a picture that of Y, who wotiM not retent although the hint was gi\-pu him to soften things dov/n, on the I g i %ti li ri to s<)ften l? battlefield, with a mcrta! wound, so hated for his attitude to X that "no one would -it-e him a drink of water, though he kept asking for it. Some men even spat on him as they marched past." On paces' 220-221 there is a tale of a brutal deed b- a Taffy which we re- fuse to accept without more reliable evidence. A Shell Diviner. 1 Ex-soldiers who remember thei-r ex- periences whilst dicing in 'old bombing plt.g and opening old trenches which con- tained unexploded bombs and ri{lc gren- i ades. must wonder how the French and Belgian builders and farmers manage the reclamation of their country in the wa.r xonef. ProfesKor Zutton. a French scien- t'st, has invented an ir.trument known as the Zntton Scales Machine, which is able to exactly detect the resting-plaee of any unexploded shell. Electricity is the vital force used for shfll detecting. When the detector i? laid upon the ground in I the vicinity of an unexploded ,hell, the apparatus becomes excited, and a tele- phone arrangement atta-ched to it starts to ring. It is hoped in time, by means o, the detector, to gather up every one of the thousands of buried shells which failed to explode, and which, while they re- main undiscovered, a menace to the agri- cultural workers and the people of tl'e rpf'reated towns which were destroyed by theHuns. J Beach Swimming Baths, j If nnancial conditions were easier, the experience of other towns with beach dimming baths would be. of much in- terest and importance to us in Swansea, in view of the powers aoughc in the 1920 ( Bill to construct one on the Sands. That at St. Anne's. I gather, cost &14,<)00. and in the year 1916. 1917 and 191 S yielded a j towl of CI,500 after meeting the mterest- on Capital. That sounds promising for a &maU place; Swansea might he expected to do much hfttcr. The po'.Ter to con- ttruct, secured, however, it wculd pro- babty ))e two years from now before w/ctoa! construction could be commenced. and finandal conditione thn cannot be —