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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

Zeal for Service

page 15

Zeal for Service

Colomon wrote (Ecelesiastes III., 1, 6 and 8):—

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

"A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.

"A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

This is a time to keep, this is a time of war to save the State.

In every country the adult population is divided into patriots and "pratriots"—men of work and men of words. Happily in New Zealand, as in other parts of the British Empire, patriots are in the great majority.

The spirit of patriotism is not the same in all the sons of men; some it moves to the trenches, and others to the drenches. Recently, in the Magistrate's Court, Wellington, a man, charged with drunkenness and obscene language, pleaded that he had been "a bit patriotic." He had " strafed" a few long beers for hearth and home; he hoisted his pewter, and showed how fields were won.

It is pleasant to pass from a person of that type to the men who matter—men who have followed or preceded their sons to the war. Many fathers of families have gone, and many others are in camp. Some hardy men from the back country, wearing well their forty-six, forty-seven and forty-eight years—and hiding them well—have gone in the ranks overseas. Others over the age limit—not so well preserved—have managed to slip past a district doctor, but have not had the same luck at Trentham. Their disappointment was sad to see.

That is the way of it. The men who are ready to stake all for their country are the cheerful givers. They have come from all trades and professions in the flower of their youth, in the fullness of their joy of living—men of the open spaces and men of the workshops, men of the axe and men of the pen—brothers all in the one great service—splendid manhood, the brightest and the best, one draft after another, training on, marching on, fighting on, for the women and children of New Zealand.

page 16
A Lesson in Bayonet Fighting.

A Lesson in Bayonet Fighting.

A Typical Embarkation Scene Wellington.

A Typical Embarkation Scene Wellington.