The Evening Stard SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1914.
These are the words of Dr Savomin Lehman, representing “The World the historical Christian With Britain." party in the Second (or representative) Chamber of tho Netherlands StatesGcnoral. Remembering the circumstances under which they were spoken, wc need not wonder that the President of the Chamber and others formally protested against their use. Holland is not yet free from danger. Her neutrality is
hourly threatened by tho.savage and sanguinary foe across her frontiers. What that, foe may do when he falls back baffled, beaten, impotent, and shrieking for revenge Holland does not know, but she has the fate of unoffending Belgium before her eyes. She also knows that neither sex nor age, nor defenceless coasts, nor ancient cathedrals and historic buildings arc safe from German wrath, and, knowing these things, Holland dare not for' her own safety venture on the liberty of free speech. At this hour she must not indulge in the luxury of unburdening her soul of those feelings of detestation that to the credit of our common humanity surge in every heart. \ve dare not question the wisdom of this course. If the great United States of
America, through its President, refuses the appeals of its own citizens to place on record the intensity of the scorn that Americans feel for the devastation of Belgium and the author thereof, how infinitely greater the reasons that bar Holland from speaking her thoughts. Nothing remains but patience, especially at a time when Berlin is gay with flags and bunting, and with the sound of music over largely mythical victories in Poland, and in celebrating what the French Press call “ the massacre of helpless civilians” on the English coast by Dreadnoughts which turn tail and run at the sound of British guns. Patience and remembrance! These are the supremo virtues for the present hour. That Germany will pay doubly, both in ships and men, for her naval raid on the Yorkshire coast is as inevitable as it is that the German policy of blood and iron, and with it the destruction of the dynasty that nursed it to maturity, is marked for doom. 'There are some things that all men know intuitively, and the crushing of German hopes is not the least among ■them. The world will never submit to bo Germanised, nor can the war upon which it has entered he ended by a patohed-up peace. It will continue till right has triumphed and Prussian militarism has been killed beyond hope of immediate resurrection. Neither lying, nor boasting, nor outrage cau affect the ultimate result nor save Germany from : reaping as she has sown. This is the lesson of all history. What Germany has sought to do is merely a repetition of what others have attempted, but failed to achieve. The stage to-day is vaster, the supernumeraries infinitely move numerous, and the accessories and scenic effects more appalling; bub the principle and the judgment are ihe same. There are some truths that men unite to call fundamental, by which they moan that they are not affected by race, or creed, or color, or tongue. They are the eternal verities of human life in all its phases. They must enter into and become part of that life, and they are as permanent ns they are unchangeable. There is nothing new or even especially Christian in this. The words but imperfectly express that which is true of all men in all ages, and which must remain true if this civilisation of ours is to persist. Aeschylus, in his ‘ Persians,’ written SCO years before the Christian era, puts into the mouth of tho Ghost of Dairus words which a London ‘ Times ’ correspondent gives a fresh translation. They aro singularly illustrative of tho stupendous drama, with its predestined close, that the madness of one man has presented to tho gaze of the world to-day. Speaking of the Persian onslaught on Greece, tho Ghost says ; They came, and had no shame to desecrate The” statues of the gods and burn the shrines. They hurled the altars down, the sanctuaries They hacked and hewed to ruinous overthrow. So for ill deeds they suffer ill, and worse Shall surely be. Here is the baas Of wee, Not yet tho structure. Ho has still to learn Those silent heaps of dead abide to show Children of children’s children that a man Should have no thoughts that are too high for men. x Always presumption blossoms, and the fruit Is doom, and all the harvest only tears. For God, be sure, exacts a strict account. And smites with heavy hand the overproud. j
And that which was true of the ambition of Xerxes will hold true of that of the Kaiser. Centuries may separate them in time, but the .verities against which each madly pitted himself remain immutable. Hence it is that that civilisation of which we are a part may look forward with calm confidence to the destined end.
It may please Germany to cover the hoardings, the news sheets, and the post cards spread broadcast throughout the Fatherland with of the “Lord of Land and Sea and Air ” in full warpaint, and wearing a death’s head helmet and gaudy with decorations, crosses, and stars that he has bestowed upon himself. And thero may bo something wherewith to affright innocent souls by surrounding this terrible War Lord with guns belching fire, cities in flames, writhing and dead bodies at his feet, and charging horses mounted by dashing, shouting Uhlans in the background. Such is the demi-god of to-day; an Ajax defying the lightning, transformed into a very tawdry and theatrical Bombastes Furioso daring the universe to displace his jack-boots. Mr Thomas Atkina declines to be terrorised. In his own inimitable way he grins and designates the chief War Lord and his satellites as “ sausngers.” The contempt is adequate. But, oh, the pity of it, that the world should have been turned into a shambles to gratify’ the petty dreams of a potty mind!
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The Evening Stard SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1914., Evening Star, Issue 15680, 19 December 1914