Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/107

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The War and the Future

and stupid devilry of plotting and preparing war; men tried to limit and prevent war, the Hague Conferences did sit. They didn't limit or prevent war, because they were not meant to. While they sat, one great power was doubling its army, and a second was doubling its strategic railways, and a third was increasing its navy, and all were afraid, each of the other. How could peace come from men under those conditions?

Then, though they made recommendations, the Hague delegates had no power to enforce them. They knew this when they made them. Their recommendations were therefore not forceful. They seemed to say, that war is inevitable, let us temper its horror. They did not say, war has no business in modern life, henceforth those who make war shall be treated as criminals by an international police.

They could not say that, but the Peace Delegates of the future will have to say it, if there is to be any future. And after this war men will listen to them if they do say it, for after this war men will passionately want to limit and prevent war. They know now, that the devil of war, which they fed with their arrogance, their envy, their strength and their stu-