Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony-Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?

He pointed to the sky in which Mars twinkled above the darkening roofs, large and red. “Yes, and they say that that fellow up there is closer to our earth than he has been for many years.

He reakons that all declarations of war ought to be made into a kind of festival, with entrance tickets and music, like they have at bullfights. Then the ministers and generals of the two countries would have to come into the ring, wearing boxer shorts, and armed with rubber trunchons, and have a go at each other. Whoever is left on his feet, his country is declared the winner. That would be simpler and fairer than things are out here, where the wrong people are fighting each other.

Pikat e renda e goditen ne fytyre. dhe pernjeheresh ai s’po e merrte vesh ne ishte qesharak apo i mjere, ne vuante apo nuk vuante-dinte vetem se po jetonte. Po jetonte! ai ekzistonte, jeta e kishte pushtuar serisht, dhe ai nuk ishte me spektator, nuk qendronte me jashte saj; shkelqimi i forte i ndjenjes se pakontrollueshme vershonte perseri neper damaret e tij, si zjarri neper oxhake furrnaltash; dhe nuk kishte pike rendesie ne ishte i lumtur apo fatkeq; ai po jetonte dhe e ndiente fort qe po jetonte- dhe kjo ishte mjaft!

We are not, indeed, in the front-line, but only in the reserves, yet in every face can be read: This is the front, now we are within its embrace.

I think it’s more a kind of fever,’ says Albert. ‘Nobody really wants it, but all of a sudden, there it is. We didn’t want the war, they say the same thing on the other side – and in spite of that, half the world is at it hammer and tongs.

Our life alternates between billets and the front. We have almost grown accustomed to it; war is the cause of death like cancer and tuberculosis, like influenza and dysentery. The deaths are merely more frequent, more varied and terrible.

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