Page:Patriotismchrist00tols.djvu/29

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
23
PATRIOTISM AND CHRISTIANITY.

VII.

Hence, when such patriotic demonstrations as the Toulon festivities take place—though they only constrain from a distance the wills of men, and bind them to those accustomed villainies which are always the outcome of patriotism—everyone who realises the true import of these festivities cannot but protest against what is tacitly included in them. And, therefore, when those gentlemen, the journalists, assert that every Russian sympathises with what took place at Constadt, Toulon, and Paris, and that this alliance for life and death is sealed by the desire of the entire nation; and when the Russian Minister of Education assures the French Minister that all his brigade of children, clerks, and scientists share his feelings; or when the commander of a Russian squadron assures the French that all Russia will be grateful to them for their reception, and when arch-priests answer for their flock, and assert that the prayers of Frenchmen for the welfare of the Imperial house are joyously echoed in the hearts of the Russian Tsar-loving nation; and when the Russian Ambassador in Paris, as the representative of the Russian people, states, after a dish of ortolans à la soubise, or logopèdes glacés, with a glass of grand Moët champagne in his hand, that all Russian hearts, beating in unison with his heart, are filled with sudden and exclusive love for beautiful France—then we, men not yet idiots, regard it as a sacred duty, not only for ourselves, but for tens of millions of Russians, to protest most energetically against such a statement, and to affirm that our hearts do not beat in unison with those of these gentlemen—the journalists, ministers of education, commanders of squadrons, arch-priests, and ambassadors; but on the contrary, are filled with indignation and disgust at the pernicious falsehood and wrong which, consciously or unconsciously, they are spreading by their words and deeds. Let them drink as much Moët as they please; let them write articles and make speeches from themselves and for themselves; but we who regard ourselves as Christians, cannot admit that what all these gentlemen write and say is binding upon us.

This we cannot admit because we know what lies hidden beneath at these tipsy ecstacies, speeches and embracings which resemble, not a confirmation of peace, as we are assured, but rather those orgies and revellings to which criminals are addicted when planning their joint crimes.