5 AUGUST 1916, Page 2

The separation of French families, so that boys and girls

are taken away from their parents, and are perhaps, as seems to be the fact at present, unable to communicate with them, is a cruelty which did not enter into the dreams of most ancient and mediaeval practi- tioners of the art of torture. The Jews were transported as a nation into captivity. By the waters of Babylon they sat down and wept —in families. The unhappy French men, women, boys, and girls were played away from their homes by German bands. Some of there had the daring to sing French songs to the German tunes, and cry " Viva in France i " Their spirit was perhaps rather like that of the Jews described in Browning's poem, who muttered their true feelings in an unceasing chorus during the Christian service which they were forced to attend. There is a new outburst of savagery in Germany which may yet eclipse all that we have known. The Kaiser's threat to Spanish Roman Catholic landowners in Belgium that their property will be destroyed and defiled (and how well German officers know bow to defile!), if they insist on pro- testing against German acts, is only another sign of this savagery. There is, however, a consolation for us. The Germans are flying ono of the best-known signals of desperation.