Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/77

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The War and the Future

a town. A month later you find that the town has become a city. In that city the picked intellect of your country uses the picked knowledge of the universe to make the picked devilry of this war, some gas that will be deadlier than the other man's, some shell that will kill over a bigger area, some bomb that will go off with a louder bang and blast a bigger hole in a town.

You go elsewhere, and you see miles of chimneys spouting fire, where every known force is pressing every known metal into every known kind of engine of death.

You see the nimblest brains and hands and all the finest courage perfecting our control of the air. You see men gathering and packing food, breaking stones for roads and shaping sleepers for railways. You see men by the million about whom nobody cared, in the old days, in peace, suddenly taken up, and fed and clad and taught, and made much of. You see horses and cars by the hundred thousand, and everything that is swift and strong and clever and destructive, suddenly important and desired and of great account. You see the toil of a nation suddenly intensified sevenfold, and made acute, and better paid than it ever was, and intellect, the searching intellect, that light