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and roughness of gesture are generally considered lawful; and no place seems more fit for an Englishman to let off the steam of his predilection and prejudices in. A friend of ours laboured under a most disagreeable sense of obstruction, when he was reminded by a gentleman on the Boulogne line, just after the "coup-d'etat"—"Il ne faut pas parler politique." That "il ne faut pas parler" being, by the way, the beginning of the history of all the explosions which have taken place on the State line of our allies across the Channel. They will persist, in spite of all experience, in working steampower without safety-valves, and all their engines are high-pressure. It would be hard to say whether my conversation with Irenæus is to be brought under the head of politics or polemics-perhaps polemics, using the word in its derivative signification; for the subject was war in general, and the war with Russia in particular. I may mention that Irenæus, like a sensible man, does not affect the singularities, though he supports the principles, of his sect, addressing you in the second person plural, like a gentleman and a Christian.
IRENEUS (folding up the Times and tossing the advertisements out of window.)-A sad affair this battle on the Alma! several thousand men butchered like beasts by those who had no personal dislike to them, and who, if they had known them, would more probably have loved than hated them. Surely an awful responsibility rests on the head of him who gives the first signal for the shedding of blood-shall we not rather say, an infinite weight of guilt?
TLEPOLEMUS.-I quite agree with you as to the responsibility of him who lets slip the dogs of war; as to his guilt, that depends on circumstances: it may be a frightful crime or a stern duty. But that men who have no personal dislike kill each other in war is to my mind the redeeming point of it. The feeling evoked in the battle-struggle is that of a race for victory, in which the winners live and the losers die, and there is admiration in the breast of every competitor of proper feeling for all who win or lose nobly. This feeling, when the sword is drawn, takes
the place of personal and national hatred between combatants, and in some degree between the parties at home that back them. War is doubtless one of the most awful facts of our condition; but we know that the soldier may admire, even love, the public enemy, and this partly from self-love; for his enemy draws out his own virtues and puts them before his eyes: he shows him his own manhood. Thus war becomes to the combatants a sublime dispensation of the Almighty, to overlive which is life-long glory, rather than merely the most emphatic expression of the evil passions of man. And modern war is more favourable to this feeling than ancient war. The modern soldier's courage is tested by having to face a rain of shot and shell rather than by the hand-to-hand encounter. In old times, every battle was more like a thousand duels in one field, and when shield pressed shield, and sword bickered with sword, and lance clashed with lance, men's faces looked far more ugly to each other in the crisis of battle than now; for it was, I must confess, rather hard to love the man whose point was within a yard of your heart;-yet even then, as we know from numberless instances, a high-minded soldier could look upon the business with a purely professional eye; and perhaps this feeling was strongest in that most maligned of professional men, the mercenary soldier. Victor or vanquished, he liked a man all the better that he had felt the weight of his hand. I have no doubt that Hector and Ajax had risen many inches in each other's esteem at the end of their famous duel, and that they exchanged presents, the sword and the sword-belt, in the schoolboy overflowing of their hearts. It always struck me that Sophocles entirely mistook the heroic feeling when he makes Ajax speak of Hector's sword, when he chooses it for his suicide, as "the gift of one most hostile, most hateful to my sight." Homer knew far better the spirit of knightly warriors. I need scarcely cite the times of chivalry, as the very name tells its own story. The true knight always loved a brave foe, even in that bitterest war of wars
a religious war. Richard loved
and respected Saladin, and Saladin Richard. How well Scott understands this feeling! Roderick Dhu and FitzJames, though mortal foes, began to love each other as soon as they were fairly placed in a position to measure their swords.
"In his eyes
In fact, this respect for foes was the very essence of chivalry, and the moment that a private enemy became an antagonist in arms, he became in a certain sense a friend, quite as much so as in the sense of your sect, Irenæus. But to come to times nearer our own. We know what was the feeling of the hostile soldiers in the Peninsular War towards each other, when not engaged in action. The English liked the French who fought them far better than the Spaniards who starved them and cheated them. They associated in the most friendly manner, sometimes fraternising on a large scale, but oftener in small parties. They even trusted this friendly feeling so far as to buy and sell from and to each other; though this, I must confess, was more dangerous to the feelings of mutual respect than fighting. I have heard an old officer say that he was often obliged to warn small bodies of the enemy off the ground occupied by the British outposts, the penalty of disobedience being to be taken prisoners in a quarter of an hour by his watch. The appeal to the sword, in fact, has generally been found to extinguish personal hatred between public enemies, in all cases where war was carried on in the spirit of a soldier rather than in that of a cannibal. The general separation prevents petty quarrels, such as occur in friendly ranks; the occasional intercourse, when such is permitted, creates the kindliest feelings.
IRENEUS.-But with regard to our feelings at present towards the Emperor of Russia, I cannot see how being openly at war with him can make any difference if you regard him as a sort of highwayman on a large scale, making the Danubian Principalities his Hounslow Heath,
I cannot see what difference declaring war against him can make. It surely does not fit him to associate with honest men on equal terms.
TLEPOLEMUS.-Pardon me, public opinion may prejudge a question of this kind as much as it likes; but when we appeal to arms, we appeal to the Power that rules defeat and victory. We must treat the foe with the same courtesy with which our law treats an untried man. If he conquers us, it is best that we should be civil to him now; if we conquer him, we can well afford it. Let us fight him, but not abuse him. We blame him for his appeals to Heaven in support of his pretensions, and call such appeals blasphemous-that depends on the feeling with which they are made. The traditional ambition of his family may possibly be mixed up with enough of fanaticism to make them sincere. As for his sly offer to divide with us the "sick man's" patrimony, the less we say about that the better; for our Government certainly did listen to him, and at first expressed its moral indignation so mildly that he might be excused for not attaching much weight to it. Look to numbers of the Times of that date. How ably its leading articles show that Turkey was in the last stage of a decline. The Turks do not write leading articles, but they have written Silistria, Oltenitza, Citale, Giurgevo, with pens of steel, not the goose-quills of our able editors; and it would be hard for all the phalanx of journalism to bear down those four words now. The worst of our popular press is, that by it the country or Government thinks aloud; and even though it adopts the better counsel, and does the right thing at last, it gets little credit, because it is so inconveniently communicative of passing thoughts of meanness or wickedness. If individuals thought aloud in the same way, the most strait-laced gentlemen-dare we say gentlewomen too?-would appear guilty of most of the sins of the Decalogue. I do not think we are morally immaculate enough to throw stones at the foe. Have we not the opium war with China on our consciences?
IRENEUS.-I hate war, and I do not mean to defend the opium war; but surely a war of ambition is much
more wicked than one undertaken to further enlightenment, civilisation, and commercial intercourse between nations.
TLEPOLEMUS.—I cannot say I think so. I think it, of all reasons for war, the one involving the greatest moral guilt. A war of aggression is always bad, as bad as you please. Religious fanaticism will not excuse it, political aggrandisement will not excuse it, but least of all will Mammon-worship excuse it, for this is the only religion in which devotion to its god is the same thing as the meanest and most unmitigated selfishness.
IRENEUS.-Then you do not believe in the blessings of free trade.
TLEPOLEMUS.-I believe that free trade produces certain mutual conveniences, that it diffuses in the world the enjoyment of the world's unnecessary good things,-if these, without a spice of profaneness, are to be called blessings. I will grant this much, though I am not a so-called free-trader; but none but the wildest fanatics of the free-trade religion could justify the forcing of the commerce in a poison which a government, as despised as barbarous, was enlightened enough to prohibit. If you are so fond of free trade, why do you like the Maine Liquor Law, and, while you keep your own kilderkin of XXX., wish to deny the thirsty ploughman his glass of beer? At home you stigmatise as poison the wine "that maketh glad the heart of man," yet you would rehabilitate opium in the Celestial Empire.
IRENEUS (blushing a little).-I don't defend the opium war, or any other war in fact, as you knew before. You quite misunderstood me.
TLEPOLEMUS.-I am glad I did. I thought you thought it more justifiable than the Czar's attack on Turkey. IRENEUS.-I'll give that up for the sake of peace, between us, at all events.
But as to the Czar? TLEPOLEMUS.-Well, as to the Czar, I believe him, in spite of his awful doings, to be a gentleman in the commonly understood sense of the term -one of the few in his dominions. I believe that this war will show him to be the victim of a gigantic system of thieving and adulteration-adulteration, not of tea and sugar, like ours, but of fortifications, army-lists, and muni
tions of war. He will probably be deeply humbled before he has suffered all he has to suffer, and is destined to feel the hollowness of the supports of irresponsible power. But let us treat him with respect (I do not say with adulation, like the emissaries of the Peace Society), but with the respect due to an enemy, who is playing with us the game of war with power, reputation, it may be his crown and empire, at stake. Whatever he may be, he has appealed to the Lord of Hosts, who will judge between us. Let us fight him, and not burn him in effigy. The experience of the last great war ought to teach us respect for enemies. Let us not brag of our superiority, but use it. Thy Adpáσrecav σébw. The abuse of Napoleon I. in the journals of the time did us no good; if he had been successful, they would have followed_the example of the Moniteur: "The Corsican monster has escaped;" "The usurper has landed in France; ""General Buonaparte is at Grenoble;" "Napoleon is at Lyons;” “The Emperor is at Paris;" "Vive l'Empereur!" Above all, let us eschew cant in giving our reasons for the war. We go to war because Russia is becoming too powerful for the peace of Europe, and because, not satisfied with being the third great power, she aims, to use Mr Grote's expression, at the Hegemony of the world. This is a simple and a sufficient ground. As for espousing the cause of the weak against the strong, this is a right thing to do; and a strong nation, like a strong individual, has its duties as well as its privileges. But if we pretend to knight-errantry, we ought to be consistent throughout, and be as ready to take up the cudgels for an annexation of Texas, an inroad into Mexico, or an outrage on a Black British subject in America. If this is our "casus belli" now, it ought to have been at first, and a declaration of war ought to have followed the passage of the Pruth by the first Russian soldier. It is all very well for us to abjure conquest for ourselves henceforth, and to join France in putting down conquerors, as an antiquated nuisance. But France and England must make all due allowances for Russia; we were not always of this mind. France, even more than England, it is to be hoped, before she took up arms
on this just ground, has repented in sackcloth and ashes of former misdeeds.
IRENEUS.-The gist of your argument seems to be, that war between rival nations is more productive of the generous feelings than peace.
TLEPOLEMUS.-It is, than a hollow and hating peace. I do not say that nations or men cannot love one another except their fingers are at each other's throats. It is better to fight, admire, and hope to love afterwards, than it is to abstain from fighting, and hate perpetually. Malice and hatred in human hearts are far more odious in the eyes of Heaven than wounds and death. These are part of natural evil, while those are part of moral evil. I am sceptical as to natural evil being evil at all, except to us. We think it so, because it interferes with our conveniences and enjoyments. War is only the greatest of evils, if life is the greatest good-if life, wealth, luxury, and comfort are to be set above liberty, honour, justice, and religion. To set peace above right is to set the seen above the unseen, the present life of man above his more glorious destiny. It is hard to prove war an evil in the economy of the universe, as it is hard to prove the convulsions of nature-the hurricane, the earthquake, and the pestilence-to be absolute evil. All the arguments of the Peace Society tend to establish the reign of materialism and atheism; the preservation of man's life for a few short years being assumed as the greatest good. Yet I doubt your consistency. What do you say of railway travelling? We are going very fast now.
IRENEUS.-Railway travelling kills its tens, but it is an enormous advantage to the million: war kills its millions, and is an advantage to the ten. TLEPOLEMUS.-Proportion can make no difference in a moral question. My respect for human life is such that I say, put down railway travelling, unless it is to proceed consistently with almost perfect safety to life. Public convenience cannot justify the taking of one life. At present the minimum bonum of railway companies appears to be the minimum of slaughter with the maximum of dividends. Men are sacrificed to the
Juggernaut of gain, and with the free consent of men who would shrink from sacrificing them to the assertion of world-wide justice, and the honour and independence of their country.
IRENEUS.-But the great principles of national justice may be better settled by arbitration than by the sword. TLEPOLEMUS. So you may travel by coach, post-carriage, on horseback, or on foot-the latter plan sa, but slow and sure. But arbitration will settle nothing where there is injustice on one side, which presupposes an unwillingness to submit to arbitration. You might as well arbitrate with a pickpocket as to the amount of treadmill he is to receive for robbing you. I wonder how long the Society of Friends would exist if it were left to the protection of its own principles. It would have served you right if, as you refuse to pay taxes on principle, and, like good Christian men, to serve in the war at the command of the magistrate, you had been outlawed every man of you, and exempted from the guardianship of the police. Why, by this time you would not have existed at all, and some of the thirty thousand thieves of London would have been converted, if not to honesty, at least to commercial respectability, by the possession of your spoils. Society is far too indulgent to you; you live at peace, and your goods are in peace, because a certain strong man armed keeps your home for you.
IRENEUS.-I thank society for its inconsistent indulgence. Meanwhile we will preach and practise peace till all the world adopts our principles.
TLEPOLEMUS.-That is a consummation devoutly to be wished, but we must bide God's time for it: we cannot anticipate a higher will as long as one unjust or ambitious spirit remains,-as long as the human heart, in fact, is what it is. You might as well say that we are not to wear flannel-waistcoats, because it would be very desirable that the air about us should be always temperate.
IRENEUS.-We do not ignore the possibility of having to suffer by refusing to defend; is no courage shown in the brave endurance of wrong?
TLEPOLEMUS.-No: not when it deteriorates the wrong-doer, and
encourages him to do more wrong. Magnanimity and a higher creed would teach us to overlook our little selfish grievances, but it is mere selfishness and cowardice to overlook wrong inflicted on others. If you, for instance, with your sinews, were to see a big drunken bully cruelly beating a child? IRENEUS.-I would remonstrate with him.
TLEPOLEMUS.-But, my dear man, he would be too drunk to appreciate remonstrance.
IRENEUS.-I would stand in the way of the blows.
TLEPOLEMUS.-But the blows might knock you down, and then the injustice would begin anew, with freesher zest from the abortive opposition.
IRENEUS.-I am almost afraid then I should be tempted to knock him down.
TLEPOLEMUS.-Why not at first, and so have saved your own skin? The late armed interference would be quite as inconsistent with your principles as the early.
IRENEUS.-Well, suppose I concede that a sharp decisive war is sometimes necessary to secure solid peace; but while it lasts it is surely the greatest of evils, and rouses the worst passions of the human heart.
TLEPOLEMUS.-I dare to join issue with you even on that ground. What is called peace is too often a misnomer: only another name for intestine and most uncivil war. It is war at home, civil or uncivil, I especially deprecate
jealousy, what arming and disarming, offending and apologising, watching and being watched, did not that peace include, during the reign of the Bourbons, the Citizen King, and the Republic! What diplomacy was necessary to avoid an outbreak! There were Turko-Egyptian embroilments, "Affaires Pritchard," Spanish marriages, and many other such, fanning the flame of national hatred: now we are at war in earnest with FranceIRENEUS.-With France?
TLEPOLEMUS.-On our side, that is far better; but at war with France in some sense it was necessary to be, to have done with the old grudge. As it is, the two nations have been glad enough to rush into each other's arms, and rejoice to substitute a distant war for such a fight in a saw-pit as another war in the Channel would have been. It was necessary that their blood should in some sense be shed together to make them lasting friends, that confederate war should extinguish the animosities which were the remains of hostile war, by covering the old scars with new wounds, and thus inducing forgetfulness of the hand which made them.
IRENEUS.-Do you think we can quite trust the French even now? I wish to trust everybody, and hope everybody will repay it; but France is so unlike us in every habit of thought, so unlike us in manners and customs-even in physical peculiarities.
TLEPOLEMUS.-I do not talk of trusting France so far as to cast aside our armour even when Russia is subdued. I would trust her fully and generous
Θυραῖος ἔστω πόλεμος, ου μόλις παρών, Iy, but I would not tempt her on her
ἐν ᾧ τις ἔσται δεινὸς εὐκλείας ἔρως, ἐνοικίον δ ̓ ὄρνιθος οὐ λέγω μάχην. Now what do you define peace to be?
IRENEUS.-The absence of war, and its accompanying evil passions.
TLEPOLEMUS.-If I can prove that you may be without war, yet have all its bad passions, and many other besides, what is your peace worth?
IRENEUS.-I doubt if you can prove your point.
TLEPOLEMUS.-What was the peace which lasted from 1815 till now worth with our next-door neighbour France? What an amount of suspicion, what
weak point. Now, her military strength is her weakness-she confesses it herself and though she seems to be growing out of that, it would be kind to her, as well as prudent towards ourselves, to keep temptation out of her way. We do not know what may happen in the intercourse of nations::
Καὶ ταῖσι Θήβαις εἰ τανῦν εὐημερι καλῶς ταπρὸς σέ, μοριὰς ὁ μυρίος χρονις τεκνοῦται νυκτὰς ἡμέρας τ'ίων, ἐν αἰς τὰ νῦν σύμφωνα δεξιώματα δορει διασκεδῶσι ἐκ σμικροῦ λόγου. As for the differences which you lay