Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/56

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A Lecture Given in America
January–May, 1918

I have been sent to you, to speak about the war, and about the future, after the war.

You know more than I do about the future. No one can doubt that this country holds the future. I will try to tell you about the war. I've seen it close to, and I've seen its results.

English people who know America, and who have a pride in the fair fame of England, know, that in the old days, we did this country a great wrong. I, here, am very conscious of that. The best thing I can say of that past is that it is the past. We are now associates in a great work which is a forgetting and a putting by of the past, in an effort to make the future.

Whatever this war is, it is a getting rid of the past. The past has gone into the bonfire. We are all in the war now, realizing with more or less surprise and shock and bitterness, that the old delights, the old ideals, the old way of