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The Evening Star SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24, 1914., Issue 15632, 24 October 1914
The Evening Star SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24, 1914.
Three, mouths ago the world was at peace. With the excepThe Week tiou of sonic half-dozen ' Closes Well, men who were conspiring in secret, few, if any, believed that was was even remotely possible. It was argued that no Power wanted war, least of all Germany. The interests of tho people and the utterances of statesmen were, in complete accord, Europe was busy holiday-making; tens of thousands of visitors from overseas were doing the Continental round of sightseeing, and laughter, chatter, amusement, frivolity ran their merry round from West to East and South and back again. Without warning the bomb fell. Into this Europe—the Europe that is known to many of us, and as it has been, save in the Balkan States, fur over 40 years—there entered the German War Lord to a ceaseless accompaniment of shell and steel and leaden hail. Possibly the unutterable infamy of the business was redeemed by its unexpected suddenness. Had men and women known for weeks and months beforehand what tires of Moloch they were so swiftly to he called upon to pass through, they con Id not have kept their reason and lived. That which constitutes the outstanding shame of Germany proved, in the mercy of mi all-wise Providence, an advantage rather than a. detriment to the victims of her merciless war machine. The swiftness with which the monster sprang upon and vended them left little time to: other thoughts than those for its overthrow. How magnificently the attack wa; met and countered,and beaten back we know. To-day there is, surely, no man or woman who doubts rhe- issue. But during these past weeks of prolonged agony, of th.i rooting up and destroying of those things which mankind through the centuri.-s has conio to regard as alone worth having, and of physical pain, material loss, and mortal anguish, there have been dark hours for all, and pitiful ones, we are afraid, for those whose faith was weak and whoso foundations were insecure, Calmly and dispassionate!v considered, Germany could not win through to her goal. Her fate was sealed from the moment she challenged not only Hum sia, and Britain, and France, and Belgium, but every nation that lias ehhns to be regarded as civilised This world of oius has not reached a stage at which it is picpueil to submit, by tho way of wholesale slaughter, to the dictatorship) of one of its own members, and we recall few thing; more inspiring throughout this pormd of trial than tho unanimity of the answer to the insolent challenge of Prussian militarism. There is no room for question or dubiety in this relation. The official dicuinentai v evidence is unassailable. Germany stands convicted of having deliberately broken her pledged word, of dishonoring her own signature, and of having no single justification to offer save that of “military exigencies.” She was bound to strike, and to strike quick!}, raid the Imperial Chancellor, in apparent |-i-neoiiscio isucss of the fact that such an avowal constituted his own most scathing condemnation. There are those among ns who are not ashamed to suggest, in a tentative sort of way, that the outrages with which Germany is charged, on evidence that it is open tor all men to see and examine, may not be true. The suggestion is born of a lamentable confusion of thought. The alleged acta of personal brutality by drink or war-maddened individual soldiers may not in every case bo true, although the authenticated instances make a sufficiently appalling total, hut when Mr Asquith denounces German outrages it is not of these he is thinking. What tho Prime Minister and others mean by outrages
is thd war itself. This is the supreme outrage of all. Tho Imperial Chancellor’s statement is an outrage, naked and unashamed ; the violation of Belgian neutrality was, an outrage of an unforgettable kind; and the sack of Louvain, of Malinos, of Termonde, the,seizure of Brussels, the shelling of Hhehns, the attack on .Antwerp—what are these? Is the term “exigencies of the military situation” to cover crimes so black? Let it never he forgotten, that the war itself is and will remain throughout the ages ' the greatest of outrages, and one that by the present, generation can never be forgiven. Belgium is fated to become the graveyard of German ambitions. Belgium has blocked the way in more senses than one to the progress of pan-Germanism. It is because of Belgium that the Allies, with the moral approval of the rest of mankind, are determined not to sheathe the sword until militarism, as Germany proclaims it, is dead. To this determination wo in the Overseas Dominions have cried “Amen.” We have given of our youth and manhood for this cause, and we are denying and working and agonising in order that its coming may be soon. The signs are favorable. The whole trend of tho messages from Europe is in the one direction. The machine is being pulverised. The sound of the blows that beat upon it, are like to tho booming of the sea ou the shore. And clear above the roar and the tumult we can detect the voice of despair. We hoar the President of the Prussian Diet protesting that Germany is not fighting for power, nor the enlargement of her empire (alas ! for those Trench colonies), nor for her commerce, but for their homes and families! And we see, too. King Albert of Belgium defending with his gallant remnant the last few miles of Belgian soil. And as we see ii we rejoice and arc glad:
For how can. man die. better Thau facing fearful odds. For tho ashes of his fathers. And the temples of his .gods! King Albert will return to his country. So, too. will his people. The rising tide is with them. The present hour for Belgium is one of hope: for Germany it is the beginning of the end. With this note wc may v eil close, the word of the week.
It has been our custom in the past, to suspend publication ou Labor Day. In view of the. European war, however, and the possibility of some important cable news coming to hand, we have decided to issue this year, there will therefore be a, newspaper on Monday next. On Monday next (Labor Day) there will bo only one delivery by letter carrier, commencing at 7.50 a.m. The other branches of the Fust Office will be open as usual.
The Evening Star SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24, 1914., Issue 15632, 24 October 1914
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