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"It is the women who have won the war as much as men'

EACE has come. nage ceases.

The carThe guns no A leaf of history is now to be turned

longer roar.

a leaf charged with record of the great suffering of the entire world. Upon its pages are found engraved the passions, the emotions, of mankind. Here stand revealed the loves, the hopes, the hates, the fears that war, and war alone, engenders. Here, too, stand records of ideals, the goals toward which men struggle, the list of peoples who, suffering all that civilization might not perish, threw themselves into the Titan task. Upon that list of nations many a name will glow undying, but glittering in splendor among the brightest of them all will stand forever the name of France-France who, as her allies waited, girding their strength, stood a bulwark against the foe; France who against the gray and mighty tides of onward-sweeping armies hurled her cherished sons; France who at the Battle of the Marne preserved all that man holds dear. Holy forever upon the lips of men will be held the name of France. The memory of the deeds of her fair sons will endure through the ages.

And what of France's women? Will not the memory of her daughters live undying with her sons? Was it not they who, sending their beloved to the battle-line, turned without a word, with bursting hearts, to do the work of men? They gave their husbands, brothers, children, lovers, but that was


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enough. Yet more their country needed. That wall of men that on the frontier stood unflinchingly against the foe had to be maintained. The armies were but flesh and blood; they cried aloud for weapons, food, and clothing. The labor in the fields, the guarding of the flocks, the work in factories, in mills, in mines, on railroads, ships, and wharves, could not for an instant cease. Else would the armies perish, the nation's sacrifices be for naught, and over France, nay, over all the world, would sweep the devastating hordes. The women heard their country's cry. Laying down their buckets and brooms, they bared their arms and poured into the fields and mills. Their weapons might not be the guns, but in their hands they grasped the ax, the hoe, the scythe, the net, the handles of machinery. These would overcome the enemy as much as any


O women of France, was not yours the greatest anguish of all? Your sons upon the war-racked front had their moments of enthrallment. Though the guns raged, and mutilated bodies fell, yet the mad frenzy of the conflict carried them on. But yours, O wives and mothers, was the waiting and suspense. Your thoughts, distracted not by scream of shells, dwelt ever on the horror that had descended on the world. Your days dragged by-days upon days without a word from loved ones at the front. What can be happening now? you questioned endlessly, your minds upon the battle. Joyless and drear, those hours

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pastures, fields, you guarded flocks, or when throughout the nights you sat alone beside the candle, tirelessly knitting, spinning.

IN those days before the war-days of happiness, tranquillity, when all the world was bright, and France dreamed not of that black cloud of horror and destruction soon to envelop her fair fields and people-Brittany glowed with life. The cobbled streets resounded with the clatter of sabots, children romped noisily,-no dwindling of the population here,-women, in their headdresses, filled the market-places, men, with velvet ribbons to their hats, dotted thick the fields. Along the coast the towns hummed with fishermen. Daily the boats sailed out into the channel; daily they returned laden with their catch. Long before the first pale light of dawn the men would gather at the wharves, and there would rise a tumult of gruff voices, shouts, creaks of windlasses and pulley-blocks. Among forests of dim masts, sails would be hoisted, strange-shaped, ghostly black; yellow gleams from lanterns came, splash of oars, ripplings of water; then, with voices receding, the fishing-boats moved off into the night. In afternoons the boats returned. One by one they crept up softly to the quays. The wharves, The wharves, which through the daylight hours of the mornings had lain silent and deserted, now again grew rife with sound. Tongues wagged. Boats gave up their catch. Sunlight glistened on wet scales and fins. Now, with tug on ropes and rhythmic cadences from shanty-men, the ends of dark-brown nets were lifted to the mastheads. Other nets, in need of mending, were spread upon the quays, and sturdy fisher-folk, drawing the meshes tight with their bare toes, with curiously formed needles and thick twine fell to upon repairs.

Then came the war. Brittany's sturdy race of men was called to face the enemy. Her bronzed sons were torn from the sea, and boats and sails and nets and catch of fish-the sardine catch, upon which the land leans chiefly for its food and income-were left in the hands of women. Of men only the

A Bigoudenne, near Pont-l'Abbé, Brittany

old and the boys remained. To her women Brittany turned for maintenance of life.

Brittany perhaps more than any other province of France distant from the battle-front has felt the throes of war. In common with all France she had her anguish of departing troops; with all France she suffered as her wounded, mutilated sons returned: but also through her channel ports, through Brest, there poured the armies of America, those armies of her mighty sister nation that surging on the railroads across the country's face kept Brittany in turmoil. Yet amidst the thronging of troops, upheaval, agonies of grief, steadfastly the Breton women. toiled with nets, with oars, that loved ones had lain down. Theirs was the task to see that the catch was not diminished-the catch which now more than ever in the history of their land was needed by men.

As it was throughout these years of conflict, so it is to-day. For though battles no more rage, and Teuton hordes no longer ravage the fields of eastern France, still for undetermined months to come must armies guard the Rhine, patrol the neutral zones, devote all energy to the Herculean task of reconstructing wastes of devastation. Not yet may the sons of France return to hearth and home.

And so the wharves and quays of Finistère, which formerly resounded with the deep voices of the men, still give forth their shriller note, the highpitched cries of women. Trousers have all but disappeared. The fishing throngs are now skirt-clad. Now aprons, apron

Fisherwoman of Mont-Saint-Michel, Normandy

strings, and tresses blow in the wind. Women's arms swing baskets of sardines and crevettes to their heads, and women's legs, with feet thrust into sabots, stagger off beneath their loads. The winches rattle, the sails are hoisted, and in the dark before the dawn the fleets of boats as ever make mysteriously out to sea, and return at glow of afternoon as ever laden with their harvests from the deep.

Look casually upon these fisherfolk and you will perhaps judge the skirt to be the greatest change the war has brought among them; but look again. Is it not now the faces of the women that most compel attention, most vividly reveal the revolution in their lives? Gone from all their countenances is the care-free look of early days. A seriousness, a sternness, dwells upon them all, and though at times they laugh, perhaps, and chatter, there is no gaiety among them. Steadily they ply at baskets, sails, and nets, and as they answer

when you speak to them, there is a faraway expression in their eyes. Their thoughts are not of you, but always of their work, their purpose, to do that which they have been called upon to do, and through their faithfulness to duty each moment to bring nearer that blessed, longed-for day when, with permanent peace assured and reconstruction well accomplished, their returning husbands, sons, and brothers will be welcomed to their arms.


DIM and white along her Swiss and Spanish borders loom the mountains of France. Their snow-clad peaks, their glaciers, from heights above the clouds look down remotely on the plains. They stand aloof from the tempests of the lowlands, soar majestically against the sky. Wrapped in mystery, seen now through rifts in vapor, lost now in haze, they speak of other worlds, of worlds untorn by passion. "What is war to us?" they seem to question. "What the strife of men?"

"Why war, indeed?" the peasants' hearts made answer when upon that fateful day of August had come their country's call to arms. Throwing down their rakes and scythes, the mountain men had donned their uniforms, poured down the valleys to the lowlands, joined the army's mighty surge that, rising like a tidal bore in answer to the nation's call, swept on to quell the enemy. "Why war, indeed?" the mountain men kept asking when upon the plains, turning for a final vision of their peaks, they beheld their virgin crests calm and. white against the sky. "What is this war about?" their hearts cried out. "Why must men fly at one another's throats? Why may we not live in peace upon the high plateaus we love so well?" So France's mountains were denuded of their men, and women undertook their tasks. The little figures of the herdsmen with their bâtons, flying capes, are no longer seen mounting the steep ways of upper pastures, following the cows along the dizzy paths that cling upon the faces of the hills. The sound of shepherd's song no longer echoes from plateaus. Shorter, skirted figures now struggle up the zigzags, guard the flocks as with tinkling bells they browse

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A shepherdess on the pastures of La Camargue. Church of Les Saintes-Maries

in the background

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