66 THE FORERUNNERS
combined wretchedness and greatness of these tragical days lies in the fact that both parties are drawn to the fight by lofty, though conflicting ideals, which endeavour to slay one another while volleying abuse at one another like Homer's heroes. We, at least, claim the right of doing justice even to our adversaries, even to the champions of the war which we loath. We know how much idealism, how much intense moral feeling, have been poured out on behalf of this sinister cause. We are aware that in this respect the United States has been no less spendthrift than Britain and France. But we wish people to give respectful hearing to the voices from the other side, from the peace party. Since the apostles of peace are few in number, since they are oppressed, they have all the more right to demand the esteem of the world. Everything rages against these bold men : the formidable power of the armed states ; the baying of the press ; the frenzy of blinded and drunken public opinion.
The world may howl as it pleases, may stop its ears as much as it likes ; we shall compel the world to listen to these voices. We shall compel the world to pay homage to this heroic struggle, which recalls that of the early Christians against the Roman empire. We shall compel it to respect the brotherly greeting of such a man as Bertrand Russell, a new apostle Paul, " ad Americanos " ; we shall compel the world to respect these men whose souls have remained free, these men who from their prisons in Europe and their prisons in America, clasp hands across the sea, and across the ocean that is yet wider than the Atlantic, the ocean of human folly.
"demain," September, 1917.