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The Evening Star THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31, 1914., Issue 15689, 31 December 1914
The Evening Star THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31, 1914.
Wk hid good-bye to an old year and all j hail to a nt'vv one. .Men, Waterloo: as they reaeh a milestone. ! 1815—1915. or j-tatiti at a turning ! i point, are pleased to :u- j '■ dnlc. tli" fancy fcr retrospect, as wt-11 is j t(i cast a prophesying glance, into the fu- : : hire. At the ringing out of the old and : ! the ringing in of the new we snatch a few : moments for vrileiti■ >n to count pains and to calculate los-e-, The season v;ill be -pi. chilly marked at this juncture of European affairs by the heart searching of nation-; Those who think imperially will lie reviewing the past Sew monUis \u \\\z hope of obtaining some guidance for the coming i months. We ran imagine the Kaiser of j Germany, with his head buried in his j thinking cap, endeavoring to cast the horoI K'ope of his kingdom. The philosophy, so I industrioudv taught, of empire by way of ! the sword, is being put to the test of prac--1 tice ; the day for which 40 yoars have pre- ' pared the approach has come. To achieve ' the great ambition all the stupendous ' energies of a mighty people have been har- '* nested. : To overcome in battle and subcnie i Nations, and bring home spoils with inI finite " ' Manslaughter, shall be held the highest I pitch i Of human glory, and for glory done I Of triumph to be .-tvled great conquer- ; ors. * | I This was to be the top and radiance of j the German national life. To this end the j ' brazen throat of war roars at the part- j ing of the years. The, Kaiser is ending j i the way of the transgressor harder than he j I expected. It may bo that as he looks down the course of the new year by the ; fierce red light of belching cannon, and : strives to catch the message of prediction I amid the din of the agonised cries of men in pain and the wild imprecations of the sword-bereaved, the vision of a dreadful | retribution will fall upon him, as, it did ! upon Adam after ho had committed the ' sin of coveting what did not belong to him. Milton, in his immortal ' Paradise Lost,' sends the angel Michael to drop upon the visual nerve of our first parent a liquid whose ingredients were so powerful as to pierce to the " inmost seat of mental sight." i With eye clarified to see things in their | true relation, he se-:s the awful con.sej nuences oi reaching out the plundering
hand. Be/ore him rises- Lamoch in nil the insolent pride of national power. He has an extensive commerce with foreign parts, created by his son Jabal, the father of merchants. Ho has a high culture developed by his son .Tubal, the father of the arts, and of thOJ«S that command the " concord of sweet sounds." Above all, he lias a perfectly equipped military establishment. His cities are walled and strongly garrisoned. Hi? soldiers are armed with cunning weapons of destruction devised and fashioned by his son Tubal Cain, the father of those that smelt ore and mould iron and temp?r steel to provide implements of death for the service of the migoverned appetite for the wealth and possessions of others. But the end of this God-defying nation Mas the deluge. laws of humanity and of CJod cannot for ever bo violated with impunity. We stirmiso that the vision is not wanting to the Lamech of modern days. The pride of his "culture" Mill fall before the lance of tho Christian conscience of Europe. The great fabric of commerce has already fallen to pieces: the boast that every port rang with tho phrase " made in Germany " has already sustained discomfiture. Tho sword law, the defiant militarism of Germany, is overhung with portentous cloud already beginning to burst and pour down its inundating content?. When Christianity, civilisation, and humanity are assailed there is an invocation to the wrath of Heaven which will not go unheeded. Far different must be the vision which the meditations of the King of England and Emperor of India occasion at this contemplative season of the year. Looking down the course of the centuries that lie behind, ho sees the triumphs achieved by his people in the cause of freedom and justice. He dwells with ecstasy upon the scattering of the " invincible" Armada. He follows his fleet to the Nile and Cape Trafalgar, at every point battering the Napoleonic tyranny with overwhelming defeat. He follows Wellington—that steadfast pillar of his country's hope in the hour of his country's greatest peril—through his Peninsular campaign, and rejoices at the strategy and lion-hcartednes,;-. which it displayed. What a thrill must shoot through the heart of our King as he stands on the threshold of 1915, one century from 1815, the year of Waterloo! With motive., not less exalted, with a righteousness not less unimpeachable, he has entered upon a strugglo more gigantic than that which ended in 1815. The justice of a cause counts in those days, as in times past. Victor Hugo, in explaining the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, says : The shadow of an enormous justice falls across Waterloo. It is the day of destiny. The Power above man had granted this day. Therefore the fearful bending of these heads , . . all these great souls .surrendering their swords. Those who had conquered Europe are fallen confounded, have nothing more to say or do, quaking in the shadow of a terrible presence." On tin? day the perspective uf mankind lias changed, Waterloo is the hinge of the 19th'century. The going of the great j man was necessary to the coming i of the great cycle. The One who is n-.t mocked has. taken ehaige. The panic of the heroes is explained. In thi- Until" of Waterloo there- is moio thaii a- cloud, there is a- meteor—God has pasted by. . . . The too great heaviness of this ma: l in human destiny troubled the balance. The moment was come for the. incorruptible supremo equity to fake counsel. . . . Napoleon had been denounced in the Infinite, and his downfall was lx-solvtd. He bothered God. Waterloo is not- a battle : it is iho universe changing front. These words, we venture to predict, are going to he remarkably apt for tho year 1915. Tho Emperor William has none of tho genius of tho Emperor Napoleon, but he has tho same vicious ambition, and has endeavored to compensate for deficiency in persona! ability by the creation of a military machine of wonderful efficiency. The too en-eat heaviness (>f this machine in human destiny troubles the balance. It has been denounced in the Infinite. Its downfall is resolved upon, .and the yoai of tho accomplishment of its overthrow will be, may wo say, 1915- The abasement, of German militarism will Ise the inauguration of anew era for mankind. It will remove that apprehensiveness which has for so Jor.e gripped the heart of Europe. U will allay that unea-sim\ss which, tho German military preparations inspired in Great Britain, ft will slacken the pace in the raco for the biggest- navy lor our Empire Mill stand on an eminenceof superiority entirely unassailable and unchallengeable. It will let. loose all tho energies of peace undepressed by the fears that have, haunted the mind, and unencumbered by the rxecsshe weights which tho spirit of military aggrandisement would fasten upon them. Truly the- year upon which we are entering is full -of piomi«>. It, holds out the, hope -of a triumph unparalleled in the annals of nation. It excites tho expectation of ;i guerdon of victory, surpassing that of a hundred years ,-iv.o. At present the war is with us accompanied by all tho horrors -nf wounding Mid slaughter, but let ns not forget that while Germany is bleeding to death our nation is bleeding for a fuller life. Th° war darkens tho opening <>i the. year, hut gloiy, we trust, will illumine and make radiant, its close. The time rails for steadfast courage, for large srcritiie. for strenuous endeavor, for unremitting patience, and for ardent enthusiasm, but for neither despair nor despondency. To wish our readers a happy new year ir, do formal compliment; wo wish them, as members of a, nation about to eclipse its former tri|\tm\m&, a happier new \\;u* Unui ev.-y.
The Evening Star THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31, 1914., Issue 15689, 31 December 1914
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