Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/76

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The War and the Future

devilish men strike for power here, free men, who had rather die than serve them, will strike against them. And evil as war is, that resolve of the free soul is beautiful. It is in that resolve that we free peoples are banded, and it is in that resolve that we shall fight, till the proud, bloody and devilish idea is gone.

All of you here have read about this war daily for more than three years. All of you know some one who is taking part in it, and all of you have in your minds some picture of what it is like. The population of these States is said to be nearly a hundred millions. Not less than twenty-five millions of men, or the equivalent of the entire adult male population of these States are or have been engaged in the fighting of this war, and not less than another forty millions are engaged in the making the fighting possible, by the making of arms, equipment and munitions. Then besides those millions there are ten million dead, and twenty million maimed, disabled, blinded or lunatic soldiers who will never fight again.

You begin to meet the war many miles from any part of the fighting. You come upon a village of little huts near a railway siding. A month later you find that the village has become