But things may turn out otherwise, should Wisdom more and morerecede from rampant Violence. What this last can do, we note withthe same astonishment once humorously expressed by Frederick theGreat when a royal guest, after witnessing a field-manœuvre,declared his wonder at the soldiers' matchless discipline: "Notthat's the greatest marvel," he replied, "but that the knaves don'tshoot us dead." Considering the elaborate springs which are set inmotion for military Honour, it fortunately is not to be anticipatedthat the war-machine will consume its own vitals, and collapse insuch a way as to leave the great Frederick with no more marvels ofhis kind. Nevertheless it can but rouse our apprehension, to seethe progress of the art-of-war departing from the springs of moralforce, and turning more and more to the mechanical: here the rawestforces of the lower Nature-powers are brought into an artificialplay, in which, for all arithmetic and mathematics,the blind Will might one day break its leash and take anelemental share. Already a grim and ghostly sight is offered by thearmoured Monitors, against which the stately sailing-ship avails nomore: dumb serving-men, no longer with the looks of men, attendthese monsters, nor even from their awful furnace-holds will theydesert: but just as in Nature everything has its destroying foe, soArt invents torpedoes for the sea, and dynamite cartouches, or thelike, for everywhere else. 'Twere thinkable that all of this, withart and science, valour, point-of-honour, life and chattels, shouldone day fly into the air through some incalculable accident. Whenevery pledge of peace was thus exploded in the grandest style, itwould only need the outbreak of a general famine — alreadyslowly, but infallibly prepared: then should we stand once morewhere world-Historical development began, and it really might look"as if God had made the world that the Devil might take it," as ourgreat philosopher found stated in the Judæo-Christian dogma.


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