Page:Above the battle.djvu/97

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People Suffering for Justice

pressed idealism of the West. And that the signal should have been given by this little nation seemed a miracle.

Men call the sudden appearance of a hidden reality a miracle. It is the shock of danger which makes us best understand the character of individuals and of nations. What discoveries this war has caused us to make in those around us, even among those nearest and dearest to us! What heroic hearts and savage beasts! The inner soul, not a new soul, reveals itself.

In this fearful hour Belgium has seen the hidden genius of her race emerge. The sterling qualities that she has displayed during the last three months evoke admiration; it should not surprise any one who, in the pages of history, has felt, coursing through the ages, the vigorous sap of her people. Small in numbers and in territory, but one of the greatest in Europe in virtue of her overflowing vitality. The Belgians of to-day are the sons of the Flemings of Courtrai. The men of this land never feared to oppose their powerful neighbours, the kings of France or Spain—now heroes, now victims, Artevelde and Egmont. Their soil, watered by

the blood of millions of warriors, is the most