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The Evening Star SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 1914.

Tins, fa\s Mr Li.archil!, is tho policy that 1 he Empire must oppose to that of " Wood and Iron.” Of tho letter the world knows much, and with every day that pastes we learn yet more. Less than four months ago me:: would have regarded each other incredulously had any among them ventured to prediet that within two weeks tho Christian civilisation of which they claimed to Ire a part would bo contemptuously ami savagely spat upon, every idea! and faith that they cherished, however imperfectly, he trodden in the. mire, and what is roughly and inadequately summarised as “hell"’ let loose upon mankind. But the matter-of-fact tocord that is daily sent us affords a more lom'hle revelation of the depths of infamy into which it is possible fop humanity to descend than the most gifted of seers could have imagined. We need go ho further than our cable columns of to-day. They reek with stories of infinite horror and unspeakable wickednoe.-. We have no scruple in using the term wicked.” All warn are not wicked, hut the present great curse that has come upon tho ojr;h is pre-eminently so. It was wicked in its conception, wicked in Us birth, and unutterably and namelessly wicked i« its operation. The German war machine, has torn with savags yelk through tho lino of Belgian villages and across the hearths and homes of its onca contented millions like a demon from the pit. Neither ago nor sox has been spared. The legions of tho German Attila havo been let loo?© to ravage and slay. Through’tt there has been a complete absence of the recognition of any standard, moral or untune, that stood between the War Lords cel their god. Rales of war and codes if honor, such a a live average man has been wont for centuries to accept as bind-

ing upon him, faro no better than Christian ethics and moral precepts. War is “hell,” say those modern barbarians, and hell it shall be. And wo know that they have bettered their boast. Tho world finds itself threatened with a menace which is the realisation in material form of tho mental ravings of a generation of perverted intellects. With what Nietzsche preached and Bornhardi wrote tho world has become familiar. Its fault has been, despite the evidence of its physical senses, to disregard both tho doctrines and their fruit. But long before the coming of these more notorious exponents of German policy and ideals another German (Heine), SC years ago, had detected, . exposed, and predicted the consequences of the free play of the German spirit, Christianity—and this is its highest merit—has in eeme degree; softened, but it could not destroy, that brutal German jov of battle. When ouco the taming talisman, the Cross, breaks in two, the savagery of tho old fighters, tho eeuseless Berserker fury of which tho northern poets ring and cay so much, will gush up anew. That talisman is decayed, and tho day will come when it will pitiably collapse. Then the old stone gods will rise from the silent ruins, and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eves. Thor, with his giant’s hammer,

will at lad spring up and shatter to bits tho Gothic cathedrals Tho poet has prayed a true seer. Tire talisman has been discarded for the hammer, and the sound of its blows is causing blanched chocks and trembling lips the world over. “ Blood and iron,” standing on a prostrate cross, aro revealed, naked and unashamed, before an amazed world. To this policy Mr Cirurehiil calls upon his countrymen to oppose- that of “soul and tire.” Tiro words, which are apt and timely, express the nature as well as tho intensity of the conflict in which the Umpire and her Allies are engaged. Tho present stupendous upheaval of nations is something tmnioasuri'My greater than anything that has hitherto stared the progress of mankind. Writers and commentators of

every class and party insist, upon its moral and opiritned a.-:peers ahiKtit tc> tiro exclu* sion of others. S«oh words arc found in ovfav speech of no;o, and their constant iteration indicates, as few Avoids could, how vast is tuo pulf that separates this fir- in all oilier Avars. Maeterlinck, himself an exile from his hedoved Belgium, sees in the (human onslaught but a fresh illustration of that eternal conflict between the powers of Rood and evil, of light ami darkness, for tho possession of

tlio soul of man that Inuv hcc*n waged since time began. .A nd as wo ponder the talo of death. outrage, and destruction, or in imagination picture that incarnation of detiani and blasphemous arrogance issuing his commands lor the slaughter of yc more tens of thousands, wc caunot doubt its truth. Inexplicable and mysterious as such things are, and not at; human resentmerit is when nun think of devastated Belgium and the tiiiimnhant German ploughing through her ruins, it remains steadfast that God is not mocked with impunity. Watson, ir* one of his Armenian sonnets, asks: What wonder if yon torn and naked throng Should doubt a Heaven that seems to wink and nod, And having moaned at noontide, ‘'Lord, how Jong'.'" Should cry, "Whore hides! thou''” at even fall, At midnight, "Is Fie deaf and blind, our Godr And ere day dawn, “Is He indeed at all?” Belgium, wish even better cause, might repeat the words today. But she has not. She ha« fought, on. She is pitting ‘‘soul and tiro” against “blood and iron,” and site will puli through. Of lids all men are assured. It is their comfort and their pride. And to-day the nows conies from aiross tlio seas that yet another million ni Britons is to I>3 called to arms on Kalnlf if Belgium's cause and their own. 1 his is “soul and fire” tinted in action.

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Bibliographic details

The Evening Star SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 1914., Evening Star, Issue 15650, 14 November 1914

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980

The Evening Star SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 1914. Evening Star, Issue 15650, 14 November 1914

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