« PreviousContinue »
CONTENTS OF VOLUME I.
tember 23, 1846
THE TRUE GRANDEUR OF NATIONS.
AN ORATION BEFORE THE AUTHORITIES OF THE CITY
OF BOSTON, JULY 4, 1845.
O, yet a nobler task awaits thy hand,
(For what can war but endless war still breed?)
MILTON, Sonnet to Fairfax.
Pax optima rerum
SILIUS ITALICUs, Punica, Lib. XI. vv. 592–595.
Sed majoris est gloriæ ipsa bella verbo occidere quam homines ferro, et acquirere vel obtinere pacem pace, non bello. - AUGUSTINI Epistola CCLXII., ad Darium Comitem.
Certainly, if all who look upon themselves as men, not so much from the shape of their bodies as because they are endowed with reason, would listen awhile unto Christ's wholesome and peaceable decrees, and not, puffed up with arrogance and conceit, rather believe their own opinions than his admonitions, the whole world long ago (turning the use of iron into milder works) should have lived in most quiet tranquillity, and have met together in a firm and indissoluble league of most safe concord. ARNOBIUS AFER, Adversus Gentes, Lib. I. c. 6.
And so for the first time [three hundred years after the Christian era] the meek and peaceful Jesus became a God of Battle, and the cross, the holy sign of Christian redemption, a banner of bloody strife. This ir reconcilable incongruity between the symbol of universal peace and the horrors of war, in my judgment, is conclusive against the miraculous or supernatural character of the transaction [the vision of Constantine]. -I was agreeably surprised to find that Mosheim concurred in these sentiments, for which I will readily encounter the charge of Quakerism. -MILMAN, History of Christianity, Book III. chap. 1.
When you see fighting, be peaceable; for a peaceable disposition shuts the door of contention. Oppose kindness to perverseness; the sharp sword will not cut soft silk. By using sweet words and gentleness you may lead an elephant with a hair. —SAADI, The Gulistan, translated by Francis Gladwin, Chap. III. Tale 28.
Si l'on vous disait que tous les chats d'un grand pays se sont assemblés par milliers dans une plaine, et qu'après avoir miaulé tout leur saoul, ils se sont jetés avec fureur les uns sur les autres, et ont joué ensemble de la dent et de la griffe, que de cette mêlée il est demeuré de part et d'autre neuf à dix mille chats sur la place, qui ont infecté l'air à dix lieues de là par leur puanteur, ne diriez-vous pas, "Voilà le plus abominable sabbat dont on ait jamais ouï parler"? Et si les loups en faisaient de même, quels hurlements! quelle boucherie! Et si les uns ou les autres vous disaient qu'ils aiment la gloire, .... ne ririez-vous pas de tout votre cœur de l'ingénuité de ces pauvres bêtes ? - LA BRUYÈRE, Les Caractères : Des Jugements.
He was disposed to dissent from the maxim, which had of late years received very general assent, that the best security for the continuance of peace was to be prepared for war. That was a maxim which might have been applied to the nations of antiquity, and to society in a comparatively barbarous and uncivilized state. . . . ... Men, when they adopted such a maxim, and made large preparations in time of peace that would be sufficient in time of war, were apt to be influenced by the desire to put their efficiency to the test, that all their great preparations and the result of their toil and expense might not be thrown away. - EARL OF ABERDEEN, Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, July 20, 1849.
Bellum para, si pacem velis, was a maxim regarded by many as containing an incontestable truth. It was one, in his opinion, to be received with great caution, and admitting of much qualification. .... We should best consult the true interests of the country by husbanding our resources in a time of peace, and, instead of a lavish expenditure on all the means of defence, by placing some trust in the latent and dormant energies of the nation. — SIR ROBERT PEEL, Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, March 12, 1850.
Let us terminate this disastrous system of rival expenditure, and mutually agree, with no hypocrisy, but in a manner and under circumstances which can admit of no doubt, - by a reduction of armaments, that peace is really our policy. - MR. D'ISRAELI, Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, July 21, 1859.
All high titles of honor come hitherto from fighting. Your Herzog (Duke, Dux) is Leader of Armies; your Earl (Jarl) is Strong Man; your Marshal, Cavalry Horseshoer. A Millennium, or Reign of Peace and Wisdom, having from of old been prophesied, and becoming now daily more and more indubitable, may it not be apprehended that such fighting titles will cease to be palatable, and new and higher need to be devised?-CARLYLE, Sartor Resartus, Book III. chap. 7.
After the memorable conflict of June, 1848, in which, as Chef de Bataillon, he [Ary Scheffer] had shown a capacity for military conduct not less remarked than his cool courage, General Changarnier, then commanding the National Guard of Paris, tendered to Scheffer's acceptance the cross of Commandeur. He replied, "Had this honorable distinction been offered to me in my quality of Artist, and as a recognition of the merit of my works, I should receive it with deference and satisfaction. But to carry about me a decoration reminding me only of the horrors of civil war is what I cannot consent to do." - ARY SCHEFFER, Life by Mrs. Grote, Appendix.