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The Evening Star TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 1914., Issue 15628, 20 October 1914
The Evening Star TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 1914.
ISki.oicac having been "wiped out
"hell" introduced into TWO Pictures. Central Africa, and China deluged with lies through a bribed Press, it w;i.s tittiiej; that the people of Berlin should lejoice in their
••successes." Xot that they ate boasting, theirs i.- lather that complacent air of smug satisfaction ivh.u-h is apt to change into a look of indignant surprise if any are rash enough to suggest that thirds might be otherwise. Meanwhile, advises a correspondent, the theatres of Berlin are open and crowded : the street ear traffic is regular; the city is« brilliantly lighted; sporting fixtures are being revived ; the universities are open: and the whole population are confident of victory. This, we are assured, is a true picture of the German capital at this hour. There k no lea.-on. to doubt its accuracy. It is too much in keeping with all that has gone befoie. The people of a nation ivlkw ruler.- have blundered to their own ultimate destruction are not likely to he wiser than their masters, and it may well seem to them that the present as not an hour for sackcloth and ashes, but foi the sound of the cornet and duicimer. It will be hard for the outside world to .sympathise with this f-pirit.-'there is nothing in the situation as we see it to provoke laughter—in (Germany least of all. 'that once great nation is swiftly and surely toppling to its fall. Nothing short of a miracle can .-tay the hand of the avenger. And a Berlin bright with lights and gay with chatter over illusive victories, and, full of confidence, not in Uod, but in Zeppelins, is to the average man a. Satanic satire on a. weeping and devastated Belgium. Xo nation envies Germany her "successes'' at Liege or Louvain. at Antwerp or Brussels. These are the millstones around her neck that will help to drag her the more swiftly to perdition. As conquests they are valueless, inasmuch as nothing can hide from mankind the how and why they are temporarily in the hands of the invader. We have said he fore*, and ■the words cannot be too often aepeated, that it i.- moral not material weapons that will decide the conflict in which we are all combatants. "This struggle." said Mr Donar Law to an approving House of Commons, "is in reality a stiuggle of the
moral influences of civilisation against
" brute force." Xo thoughtful citizen will deny, or even attempt to gainsay, this statement. IU value rests in the fact that it ie spoken by ;v politician anil acclaimed by other politicians. It is no mere pious platitude of the - the frank re cognition of a fuii<lamental tvuth, and history is thick -with examples of the melancholy consequentes that follow in the wake of its neglect. 'l'llis. however, is not to .say that the material weapon-; can lie disdained. Knther does it mean, that a nation insphed with the consciousness of the just-ice of its cause can and will perfect its defences as it could not in its absence. When Mr Churchill relets, with quiet confidence to the hour when, please Cod. Belgium is restored to her own people, he floes so knowing that behind the cause for which the Empire is contending there are amiies and navies, whether of sea or air, that are more than a match for those of the aggressor. One is tempted at times to think that some natures are so toustituted that it is both physically and mentally impossible for them to regard anything, even the honor and safety of their own country, except through jaundiced eyes. Did the men of the Army and Xavy so view their work, we should be justified in being apprehensive of the future. Happily, the men of both services are of other stuff than this. The Xavy. whereon in the hist resort the Kmpire must rely for its safety, has no qualms a> tn its own [competency and capability. There can he no more grotesque picture than that of the British Xavy in hiding behind booms. ■ lucked up in harbors, fearful to venture I forth, dreading the coming of Herman submarines and airships, ami the whole fleet in a state of high tension. These attempts to create a hogy man out of the German conscript sailor, or out of Count Zeppelin, or to think that our own gallant free seamen are frightened either of him or his ships, is as lamentable, in its perversity as it is opposite to the truth. This is not the way in the liritish Xavy. As the Rev. I\. S. Horati, formerly one of the most popular of naval chaplains, has said, the Xavy is animated by quite another spirit. In a recent letter from a | friend in command of one of the battlfl- ! ships these words occurred : " 1 tan tell i "you it is wonderful to see the happiness "awl confidence of everyone, and never a "grumble at all the hard work and long " hours. One is proud to be Knglish, isn't
" one, just now ''." Xo fair comparison can be instituted between the British seaman and the Herman. "If there is anything "in the sea instinct, long and patient " training, and in familiarity with environ-
" ment and the instruments of war which "have to be employed, the Germans en- " tered upon the contest on the sea "heavily handicapped.'' Such is the opinion of the naval expert of the London ' Daily Telegraph.' ami no one better knows the truth of what he. states than Admiral Von A navy >yfaich loij^
its men every three years, which mates no provision for keeping its reserve iihreast of naval developments, whose places are •taken by fresh conscripts, the majority of whom, it is said, see the sea for the first time when they arc enrolled, and with no instinctive love for the sea. is not a navy that will, whether represented in submarines or battleships, do more than cause the Navy of the Kmpire to live up to those traditions which confessedly arc the envy and admiration of the foe. We see cause for soberness and for prayer and for righteous auger when we ponder the news that is flushed across the seas, hut in' find no single cause for doubt, or gloom, or fear.
The Evening Star TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 1914., Issue 15628, 20 October 1914
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