Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/105

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The War and the Future

that they may have that deep experience for themselves. And to many young men war is exceedingly delightful. It gives them adventure, excitement and comradeship. Only the other day a young English soldier said to me: "Do you think this lovely war will ever come to an end?" I said I hoped it would, some day. And he said, "Well, I don't know what I shall do when it comes to an end. It will break my heart. I've had the time of my life." That boy was not quite nineteen. He had been a school-boy six months before. He had been badly wounded three weeks before. He had been at death's door a fortnight before. He had made an amazing recovery and was panting to get back. There are hundreds of thousand of young men like that, who thoroughly enjoy every minute of it. The older men do not view war with quite such enthusiasm. Their attitude, perhaps, is much like that of the Naval Officer who said the other day: "I do wish to God this war would end, so that I could get the men back to battle practice."

Even if we were able to be rid of all these potential causes of war we should not get rid of evil in this world, and as long as men can be evil, evil men will strike for power, and the