Puslapio vaizdai

re-reading of events in European diplomacy during the past fifteen years has shown, we realized that the only course was to fight it out to its end. That end, as our judgment and our hopes promised, was the absolute and final triumph of the Entente Allies. But Psyche and Cassandra could not even compromise with such a future; to them the conflict was hideous and brutal. They could distinguish clearly enough the principles for which the two sets of belligerents were fighting: world-dominion on one side, and the preservation of democracy and freedom of national life on the other; but they were too appalled by the savagery and ruthlessness to keep in view the end for which the Allies were making their tremendous sacrifice of human life.

I never saw a soul shrink so from the horror of a thing, as Psyche's soul from the thought of this war. I tried to make her understand that the war, though the most terrible man has ever known, was different from any other because whatever the causes of its beginning — it has developed into the most spiritual conflict nations have ever waged.

"Nations have fought for all sorts of ideals and principles," I said, "from the dawn of history to the Napoleonic wars, but the French Revolution was the first conflict of conscience, our own Civil War was the second, and this World War is the third-and God grant, the last. Europe, to-day, is not fighting for the sake of kings and courts responsible as the Prussian Junker

is for the calamitous breakdown of civilization nor for aristocracies nor capitalists; the battle is for humanity, the political independence of states and the social freedom of the individual. Not the men who are fighting in the cabinets or field-headquarters, but those who are fighting in the trenches are going to dictate the terms of peace. The diplomatists may sit around the table of the peace congress, but all they do and say will be commanded by those watching millions at home who have paid the price of victory. For these men are going home,- to homes which their absence has altered, to families that have done their bit of sacrifice too,- from the trenches, conscious of a great truth, a great aspiration, and a great strength; and they are going to say, with a mighty voice, the voice of humanity delivered from the thraldom of diplomacy and a minority class government, that: "This kind of murder must stop. We have been crucified; our wives, children, and parents, have been crucified. Through this redemption we have won everlasting


It was evident nobody cared to comment on what I had said. Psyche sat musing at the distance which was limited everywhere by the woods. Cassandra was also preoccupied with thoughts which her face would not betray. I turned to Jason, and he sat with his back against the trunk of a tree smoking, blowing rings of smoke into the air. I waited some seconds, and as no one seemed inclined to break the silence I took my copy of Mr. Ad


cock's Songs of the World War," and began reading "The Path of Peace." It went:

"O brothers, though we fight in hostile powers,
We covet not your country, nor you ours;
Too long we wrecked each other's life in vain;
Whoever won, not ours nor yours the gain;
We are the common people; from of old

We have been duped and driven, bought and sold,
Ours but to blast each other down in hordes
And thus exalt our Kaisers and our Lords;
Too long, an ignorant and a slavish folk,
We humbly bowed and bore that blighting yoke,
Bore it for ends we never understood,
Obeyed our Masters for our Masters' good;
But now (untaught, unlettered now no more)
We are not the blind brutes we were of yore,
Knowledge is sight - we know, and see, and feel,
And may no more like dogs be brought to heel.
To-day, one War Lord's raw, barbaric laws
Leave us no choice: we rise in Freedom's cause
And sacrifice to her our fellow men
On the hell-altars he has built again;

But when the task is done, and in our tread
We hear a bleak world weeping for its dead,
And see the hopes his blood-lust has abased,
The homes this shoddy Cæsar has laid waste,
O then, to saner, prouder manhood grown,
Shall we not hurl him from his pinchbeck throne?
Not now by priestly prayers, nor foolish pride
Of kingly state, is murder sanctified -

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O then, that squalid throne to ruin hurled,
Shall we not we, the workers of the world,
The common peoples of all countries, find
A kinship in our common humankind,

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And, scorning childish cant of wealth and caste,
Join hands in one great brotherhood at last,
Subdue our Masters to that equal law,

And rule ourselves, and make an end of War?

Though our hearts ache, and darkness veils our eyes, Our sorrows are but angels in disguise,

If from War's red field, when this strife shall cease, Blooms the white flower of Universal Peace.

"So, from far off, the listening spirit hears A music of the spheres;

Though heard too close, their sweet accord may round

To one gross roll of sound.

"And War, that with its thunderous gloom and gleam Storms through our days, may seem,

By peaceful hearths, in some far-coming year,
A music that was discord heard too near.

"The soul of Beauty walks with aspect sad,

And not in beauty clad;

But when God's angels come, their passing by
Blinds us like light too nigh.

"But the too-dazzling day that dims our sight
Leads us when all its light,

Upgathered in Night's lifted hands afar,
Orbs to the still perfection of a star.

Mr. Adcock has admirably expressed in these lines what the world is thinking to-day," I appended to my reading.

Jason's thoughts, like a jack-in-the-box, sprang

from the revery in which his mind had been sealed. I concluded that his spirit was laboring in the silence he kept, and it was a kind of relief for him to come to in a vein of humor. "The witticism of Mr. Squire's verses is a good tonic for the warridden system of the world. He may not array himself in samite as your inspired idealist, but he preaches pretty nearly the same gospel though drunk with a libation tart as vinegar. What a difficult task he shows us is the neutrality of Heaven, in this nasty scrap across the ocean. It is set down in a poem most aptly called 'The Dilemma":

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"God heard the embattled nations sing and shout 'Gott strafe England!' and God save the King!' God this, God that, and God the other thing 'Good God!' said God, 'I've got my work cut out.'

I tried to ignore this epigrammic levity by turning to Psyche and picking up the threads of her objection to the war. "You see," I said, "behind the physical horror of it, which affects us all alike, there is a spiritual exaltation, cleansing and regenerative the world-wide vision of a free humanity.'

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"The war is all wrong, all wrong," uttered Psyche passionately. The simple, blind truth of her statement seemed to take the point out of my argument. "It is wrong because it makes the sacrifice of that pure Man of Galilee a mockery. His gospel of peace and good-will, we have made, for nineteen hundred years, the cornerstone of our

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