3 OCTOBER 1914, Page 9

No doubt it is possible that if the first line

of forts can be taken, the Germans will be able to advance their big guns sufficiently near to drop shells into the city. If, however, the people of Antwerp keep their nerve, this need not greatly matter. A great city like Antwerp cannot be destroyed like a village, or even a small town, merely by artillery fire. The worst that can happen will be the destruction of a particular quarter, or of the Cathedral and other important buildings. If the people steel their hearts to this destruction, they will find, as so many other besieged inhabitants have found, that a bombardment is more terrifying than dangerous. After a week they will become as accustomed to shell fire as the people of Ladysmith. At the beginning of the siege of Ladysmith the bursting of a shell meant a stampede to cover by every one within reach. At the end of the siege the bursting of a shell meant a rush not from but to the place of the bursting. People wanted fragments of shells fur mementoes ! No doubt the German fire will be much more deadly than that of the Boers, but against that we must place the fact that Antwerp is about sixty times bigger than Ladysmith. At any rate, it is pleasant to read that as yet the bombardment has done little harm, and that there is no panic of any sort in Antwerp.