Page:Above the battle.djvu/36

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Above the Battle

to a hero of the French conscience, writers who have the keeping of the conscience of Germany.

"Our enemies of that time" wrote Charles Péguy, "spoke the language of the raison d'État, of the temporal safety of the people and the race. But we, by a profound Christian movement, by a revolutionary effort, at unity with traditional Christianity, aimed at no less than attaining the heights of sacrifice, in our anxiety for the eternal salvation of this people. We did not wish to place France in the position of having committed the unpardonable sin"

You do not trouble yourselves about that, thinkers of Germany. You bravely give your blood to save the mortal life, but do not bother about the life eternal. It is a terrible moment, I grant. Your fatherland as ours struggles for its life, and I understand and admire the ecstasy of sacrifice which impels your youth, as ours, to make of its body a rampart against death. "To be or not to be," do you say? No, that is not enough. To be the great Germany, to be the great France, worthy of their past, and respecting one another even while fighting, that is what I wish. I should blush for victory if

my France bought it at the price for which you