Page:Jean Jaurès socialist and humanitarian 1917.djvu/25

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THE MAN AND HIS CAREER

the whole of humanity against predominating nations. He wanted a living society, each man in it sacred, free, all banded together for social ends, making up free nations also banded together for social ends, each respecting the other, each secure from tyranny. Is it indeed to be a world such as Jaurès conceived it, or a world of drill-sergeants and of well-drilled slaves that is to come forth from the storm? The death of Jaurès was the first effort of the brute, blind force. It crushed out the most vigorous son of man that it could find, the most living, loving, ardent soul, the clearest brain, the warmest heart, the one most conscious of the whole trend of things. It only needed two small balls, mechanical forces, unmeaning, foolish, and that life was gone, lost to France here and now, though not really lost for evermore. It was a fitting prelude to the great calamity that has followed, with its frightful toll by dead mechanical means of the lives of living, loving men; though no one single life so precious, so ill to be spared, has been taken again.… He fell first.

Jean Jaurès was nearly fifty-five years old at the time of his death. He was born at Castres in Languedoc on the 3rd of September, 1859. It is easy to feel in his vivid and ardent nature a child of the South. "How many centuries had been necessary," said Romain Rolland in Au dessus de la Melée, "what rich civilizations of the North and