This the reader may remember, as a final lesson. There is no civilized nation which longs for war. There is nowhere a reckless populace clamoring for blood. The schools have done away with all that. The spread of commerce has brought a new Earth with new sympathies and new relations, in which international war has no place.
If you are sure that your own nation has no design to use violence on any other, you may be equally sure that no other has evil designs on you. The German fleet is not built as a menace to England; whether it be large or small should concern England very little. Just as little does the size of the British fleet bear any concern to Germany. The German fleet is built against the German people. The growth of the British army and navy has in part the same motive. Armies and navies hold back the waves of populism and democracy. They seem a bulwark against Socialism. But in the great manufacturing and commercial nations, they will not be used for war, because they cannot be. The sacrifice appalls: the wreck of society would be beyond computation.
But still the sleepless watchdogs bark. It is all that they can do, and we should get used to them. In our own country, whatever country it may be, we have our own share of them, and some of them bear distinguished names. No other nation has any more, and no nation takes them really seriously, any more than we do. And one and all, their bark is worse than their bite, and the cost of feeding them is doubtless worse than either.
Special to our Readers
Those of you who have not received your REVIEWS on time will probably now find a double interest in the article in the last number, on Our Government Subvention to Literature. In conveying periodicals so cheaply, not only is Uncle Sam engaged in a bad job, but he is doing it cheaply, and consequently badly, and he has more of it than he can well handle. He is at length carrying them as freight, and most of you know what that means. We are receiving complaints of delay on all sides, and an appreciable part of the unwelcome subvention Uncle Sam is giving us, goes in sending duplicates of lost copies. We don’t acknowledge any obligation, legal or moral, to do this; but we love our subscribers—more or less disinterestedly—and try to do them all the kinds of good we can. Partly to enable us to do that, as long as the subvention is given, we follow the example of the excellent Pooh Bah, and put our pride (and the subvention) into our pockets. Even if we did not love our subscribers so, we should have to do the pocketing all the same, because our competitors do. Competitors are always a very shameless sort of people.