Author: Robert Keable
Release Date: January 3, 2005 [EBook #14579]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK Simon called Peter ***
Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Mary Meehan, and the
Author of “The drift of pinions,” “Standing by,” Etc.
She never lived, maybe, but it is truer to say that she never dies. Nor shall she ever die. One may believe in God, though He is hard to find, and in Women, though such as Julie are far to seek.
The glamour of no other evil thing is stronger than the glamour of war. It would seem as if the cup of the world’s sorrow as a result of war had been filled to the brim again and again, but still a new generation has always been found to forget. A new generation has always been found to talk of the heroisms that the divine in us can manifest in the mouth of hell and to forget that so great a miracle does not justify our creation of the circumstance.
Yet if ever war came near to its final condemnation it was in 1914-1918. Our comrades died bravely, and we had been willing to die, to put an end to it once and for all. Indeed war-weary men heard the noise of conflict die away on November 11, 1918, thinking that that end had been attained. It is not yet three years ago; a little time, but long enough for betrayal.
Long enough, too, for the making of many books about it all, wherein has been recorded such heroisms as might make God proud and such horror as might make the Devil weep. Yet has the truth been told, after all? Has the world realized that in a modern war a nation but moves in uniform to perform its ordinary tasks in a new intoxicating atmosphere? Now and again a small percentage of the whole is flung into the pit, and, for them, where one in ten was heavy slaughter, now one in ten is reasonable escape. The rest, for the greater part of the time, live an unnatural life, death near enough to make them reckless and far enough to make them gay. Commonly men and women more or less restrain themselves because of to-morrow; but what if there be no to-morrow? What if the dice are heavily weighted against it? And what of their already jeoparded restraint when the crisis has thrown the conventions to the winds and there is little to lighten the end of the day?