Page:The future of democracy.djvu/10

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are quite aware of what the real nature of the issue is. I am one of those who have thought a good deal about Germany. I have admired, in days that are passed, and I admire not less now, the splendid triumph of thought which the great Germans of a hundred years ago brought before the world. But the efforts for peace of Kant, Goethe, and Schiller of a century ago—who taught mankind what was meant by the wonderful power of thought—those efforts have been perverted and turned to base account in the hands of the military caste who, within a very short time of the outbreak of this war, at last gained real domination over that German people whom they have led submissively into this enterprise against the liberties of mankind.

We can give but one answer to their challenge. Notwithstanding all the power of the thought so prostituted; notwithstanding all their organisation; notwithstanding all their science—we shall oppose to it our own power and our own science, our own energy, our own resolution, and we shall fight to the last man for what we hold dearer than anything else, our liberties and our lives.

Our splendid troops are bearing a hard burden to-day. These glorious men are fighting for our cause. Many of them come from your own midst. I have not forgotten those splendid Midland Territorial Divisions of the old days, when you raised part of them in Coventry, when I saw myself the efforts you were making to build up a force which some of us, even then, anticipated would play its part gloriously if the occasion called for its services. These splendid soldiers have made one proud of the nation, and have made one feel that this country is as strong as of yore, and has lost nothing of its old power, of its old spirit, or its old courage.

And so for us to-day the motto is "Courage and Resolution." Let us not look back. Let us not flinch. We stand for the