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PARADISE LOST, Issue 15660, 26 November 1914
GERMANY’S SIN OF DISOBEDIENCE. r ßv Tsbaet. Zakgwux, in the ’Daily ’ ‘ Mail.’] Occasionally for me the fog in the North Sea lifts, and through the letters of a young officer on a battleship I get a ’glimpse of how Britannia is ruling the waves. The precise position of her trident remains scrupulously shrouded-—at first even the name was removed from the ship’s letter paper—but the glimpse is enough to reveal the greatness and madness of mankind. It is life iu its acme of strain and exaltation ; life joyously ready to pass on tho "instant into death as some unseen mine is struck or some crafty torpedo strikes. Everybody sleeps in his clothes, and half tho night not at all. Tho great ship is bared of all save necessities. My young friend’s spare wardrobe, with all his miscellany of superfluous possessions, the queer garnered treasure of years, wires economically home. Why, indeed, sink more capital with the ship than is absolutely inevitable? Now and again the tension of this terrible vigilance is relieved, if only by a chance in tension. One seeks death instead of waiting for it. ’there is a grapple with a German cruiser, and those not at tho guns crowd cheerfully on deck to watch the match, with that wonderful British love of sport. They compare the cannonading, and note with lively inteiest the scores made by the rival shells. Once tho rift in the fog shows the return of a raiding flotilla, scarred with glorious battle, and tho other vessels of the fleet, are dressed to salute its triumph; the bands are playing ‘Rule, Britannia,’ the crews arc clieering and singing. —An Ineffaceable Impression.— I But none of these peeps has Wt on me so ineffaceable an iinpiession as the picture of niv young friend reading—reading at every’ break in his grim watches—and, reading, not the detective stories that unbent Bismarck, but ’ Paradise Lost ’’. For the first time he has had leisure to read that’sonorous op : e straight through. anct, unlike Dr Johnson, who questioned it an>one over wished it longer, he revels insatiably in the Miltonic splendors, and he quotes Addison and the " Spectator ’ m endorsement of his enthusiasm. Despite the Admiralty decree, you see, he has been unable to regard bis books as dispensab o. Thev am.-1 sink or float with him And to ‘in the midst of this waste of whit, waters and bis-inc shrapnel, no has found i for hims.-lf a quiet paiaaise of beautiful I words and visionary magnificence, and ; evicts:, fo- him out of relation to Die tense j and tragic actual. And yet v.T.r.t could be apter leading than this epic: j of man’s firM disobedience and the fruit i Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal lasts : Brought death into tho world and all our ! woe? ! The verv fit t incident., indeed, rei eroded after Paradbo was lost is a muri < | cr a ud thri fratricidal strife, of Gam I and' Abel has repealed itself iu every geiie- ; ration, and given to the .phrase . ” the 1 brotherhood of man” a sinister sigiufiI canec. But never in ail tho long history I r.f blood-lusL have e<> many millions ol ! brothers stood embattled, ready spike i one another's bowels with steel, or shatter I their faces with devilish explosives, as in j this twentieth century of the G.'KnsUau i era. ... I Th>* Weapons are D ron.». — i Now, whatever bo tit? rights or wrongs ;of war. one thing nems near : 'ne I weapons are wrong. My young tnclid. : wit!: his fine-spun drain and a;s spiutual ! .-biijlit in .Milton’s harmonics, ought not j to he annihilated by r. pice.- of raw i eaif-r. One «fixe not light a Movies v.w ; will, « stone. Bring up your Chinese vase . I and vou will; amt let, the battle he «•» ] I hoaut'v. Thei® is a horrible _ cxpivsMon- ; I "food' for powder.” You wall find it m j all languages that are really civik.s.,<i. u j I implies that the ma-scs are so coarse in . | levtmc, and carcasses so gross and suo- ' human, that their best use is to he thrown ! Ito the guns—a. providential b.e-sereen .or . ! the liner claves. Democracy will m due | time take note of this conception. B«t i 1 i„ it* nuie way the phrase shadows foith j a truth—the truth that, mr all | passed bevond th ' annua! since, the war, of tooth 'and claw Is antiquated. Guv j war, if war there he. must be conducted) v, id, weanon- suitable U> the dignity of ihe mp-M-heist, who has been so laboriously evolved, suitable to the spirit wmch through innumerable icons has been winning its way through the welter of brute impulses - . Not for man tic tahva of the serpent, the fangb ot the ttgei. Ami eliellin" is oii'v the ejection ol a doadhei -iiiiv.i-, the havoiid only n fiercer tang. It se-ms fad!- to have evolved from the brute' if mrr Main-power only makes US bigger brutes. ’—The Fight of tho Future.— ‘•The man behind the gun ”—a 15m gun that hurls a ton of metal for 12 fj,- i..: a wilder and mote monstrous beast than ever appeared even in the. anteddiiviiMi epoch : and that he should not be kept safely stuffed in a museum is an intolerable anachronism. A world in wliwh with mie movement of his he can kill off a whom congregation of Milton woiehippers ; s a world which siiouid have, been nipped iu the nebula. No. it lighting there must Ik\ let my young friend against Niet/sche-worshippeis—let the lucid lines of the Puritan poet confound the formless .-qua,irons of ths pagan dithvramhir-l Bmin against brain, c-oul a gainst sen), thought against thought, art against .tit. man. in short, against man there bes the tight of tlm future. If my friend a man of pt iencA he would bo kept awake, not by the German torpedoes, but bv the German treatises. Were he. only :i tailor, he should never throw away nu» yard stiik for a lance, but with Ms good old scirsorn cut out the Teutonic tailor. After such civilised fashion, mdc’d. the Anglo Goi man contest lias long been raging? and the German has been winning all alon" the line. His patience, his industry, his nice study of his customers have every, where swept the Englishman aside. Before his music the Briton fell—in worship —his drama invaded us triumphantly. Why was Germanv not content with this victorious campaign, with this campaign worthv of human beings? German influence, ' Orman Kultur—it is spread by pea-*, not bv the sword. To Gentian universities shoals of Russian students flocked as to shrines, humble feudatories of German scholarship, German thorougnness. To the barbarous regions, " line an Ovid might still lament bis exile, thev, carried back German methods, the cult of j German science. And to me, on my illiterate island, little Gorman cities, a Munich, a. Dresden, where the theatre was classic and inexpensive, and the opera a form of art. and not a social display, loomed like models of civilisation. Why must Germany challenge the world on trie lower plane of brute matter? It is only tho inferior that need the sword. The Turks have, had to rule with a rod of iron ; thev had no right but might, no gift for the world Such races must, as- 1 wrl themselves in fire and write their I edicts in blood. But fires burn down, and blood dries up and fades, and_ the only durable influence is the power ot the j spirit, , * -I, Fatal perversity of Germany —to ha\« j misunderstood her own greatness! Proud in her pseudo-philosophy, she has repeated j "man’s first disobedience”; she has ig- ; nored Hie Divine voice, and sno has 1 listened to the lower promptings of the Serpent. There wjll never be a Paradise 1 again for man till he bends bis ear to a j truer philosopher than Nie.tz'die. to a | prince of peace— ,; Till one greater Man , . . , ' Restore us and regain the b];*;T".* seat. (
PARADISE LOST, Issue 15660, 26 November 1914
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