Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/73

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The War and the Future

right in any other nation in the world. This blindness leads to an indifference to whatever any other nation may do or care. This indifference leads to the bloody theory, that it is a duty to subjugate any other nation. And at this point, the poison boils over in the system, the nation involved runs up a temperature, and it passes rapidly from acts of injustice to some culminating act of impiety, such as cannot be permitted, and against which a protest has to be made by the outraged world.

Then comes war, which goes on, like a fever, till the nation is dead or cured.

That may not be how all wars begin, but that is how the greatest and longest and most evil wars have begun, in modern times. A nation has caught a fever, run up a temperature, gone mad and bitten, been a danger and a scourge to the world, and has gradually sickened itself out into exhaustion, peace and wisdom. Spain had such a fever three hundred years ago, when her motto was the proud boast, "The world does not suffice for us." France had such a fever a century later. England had such a fever when she forced this country into the Rebellion.

In all three countries, there was just that