That is sentiment. Here is fact. We land here and here and here. Then march down here and up there, uniting the armies. Rich country. I’ve never seen it, but I know it better than any letter-carrier in the district. We live on the land, burning and pillaging if the inhabitants don’t give us what we want. A little dose will tame them. We’ll sweep all before us in six weeks.
[In mock protest.
Stop, man, stop! You make me want to try it.
I can’t stop. It’s a game with me. I play it all day in my thoughts and all night I direct campaigns in my dreams. A great game. Only sometimes I get tired of playing it on paper, and want to hear the real guns and see the real battalions.
[A SECRETARY enters with a message.
[To Minister of War.
A message from the King sent over from the Foreign
Office. The Prime
Minister was not there.
Let me have it.
[He takes the message and glances at it.
[With a gesture to the Secretary.
That will do.
Look at this, look at it! The King is sending our national honor to the dogs. He has secretly resumed communication with the Ambassador of the Republic, instead of doing what was natural and constitutional, sending the man to us. He is going to compromise. Pack up your tin soldiers, old man. Take them home for your grandchildren to play with. Our country evidently has no more use for them.
[With compressed lips.
[He takes the paper and reads its contents aloud.
“The King desires to inform the Foreign Office that, in pursuance of his well-known love of peace, he sent for the Ambassador of the Republic this afternoon and outlined a plan that would satisfy the royal government and at the same time yield certain points to the government of the Republic. The Ambassador was courteous, but, although acknowledging the generosity of the King’s offer, regretted that he was unable to consider any compromise before communicating again with his government. The King replied that if his offers were refused he could then have nothing further to say in the matter, but would have to turn it over entirely to his Ministers.