Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Saturday, April 12, 2014

100 Years Ago: Quotes from April 1914

Apparently someone or other is spreading the rumor that I won't stay in exile till the end of my sentence. Rubbish! I inform you and swear like a dog I'll remain in exile till the end of my sentence.
Stalin to a Police Informer, in Siberia, 7 April 1914

The idea came into my head to take my husband's place, to go myself to demand satisfaction from the editor in chief of Le Figaro.
Madame Caillaux, Pre-Trial Hearing, 7 April 1914

Henriette Caillaux

The air is like a butterfly
  With frail blue wings,
The happy earth looks at the sky
  And sings.
Joyce Kilmer,  KIA  July 1918, in  Poetry magazine, April 1914

I do not know how much longer we shall be able to follow our present policy of dancing on a high rope and not be compelled to take up some definite line or other.  I am also haunted by the same fear as you — lest Russia becom tired of us and strike a bargain with Germany.
British Foreign Office Memorandum, Buchanan to Grey (German diplomats were making an approach to the Russians for detente, who had become alarmed over the German appearance in Constantinople.)

Suffragette Miss Kitty Marion, who was rearrested early in January under the "Cat and Mouse Act," was released from Holloway [Gaol] yesterday. . . having lost 2 stone 8 lb in weight. She had been forcibly fed 232 times. . .She states that so great did the repeated physical and mental agony become that she felt she have to put and end to it by hanging herself. On one occaision she broke the glass protecting the gaslight and set the bedclothes on fire. Miss Marion is now in a nursing home.
Manchester Guardian, 17 April 1914

April 1914 Magazine Cover

[An] ascetic figure whose voice and agitated gestures exercised a fatal and seductive fascination over the delegates at the meeting.
Mussolini Described at a Meeting of Italian Socialists, Azione Socialista, April 1914

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives in Congress assembled, that the President of the United States of America is justified in the employment of armed force of the United States to enforce the demands made upon Victoriano Huerta for unequivocal amends to the Government of the United States for affronts and indignities committed against the Government by Gen. Huerta and his representatives.
Passed by the House, 20 April 1914

U.S. Landing Party, Vera Cruz, Mexico

The Larne Gun Running Operation by Irish Unionists;
...There was no rush or bustle in the doing of it. It was accomplished with celerity, yet without fuss or splutter, because it was done in pursuance of a well-formed plan, executed as perfectly as it had been preconceived...So exactly had this mobilisation been arranged that these hundreds of motors reached the assembly point at an identical moment. It was an amazing sight to see this huge procession of cars nearly three miles in length descending upon the town with all their headlights ablaze
the Belfast Evening Telegraph, 25 April 1914

The Kaiser  on an Archaeological Vacation on Corfu
The excitement is great, the excavations have unearthed very important things that are of great interest to the archaeologists. . .Yesterday we had a great treat — 180 young Greek ladies had come over in a special steamer and in the afternoon danced old national dances in costumes, that came from all parts of Greece and were quite unique.  The effect of all the different colours under the olive trees in the sunlight were simply magical. . . It was all like a fairy tale or a dream.
Kaiser Wilhelm II, April Correspondence


  1. I've read that the Kaiser was fluent in English, though he wouldn't put a g on words ending in ing, so hunting would come out as "huntin". Whether this was intentional or not I do not know. There were probably some other peculiarities as well, but again he was fluent.

  2. I need to go on an archaeological vacation!