Above the Battle/Chapter 9




National passions are triumphant. For five months they have rent our Europe. They think they will soon have compassed its destruction and effaced its image in the hearts of the last of these who remain faithful to it. But they are mistaken. They have renewed the faith that we had in it. They have made us recognise its value and our love. And from one country to another we have discovered our unknown brothers, sons of the same mother, who in the hour when she is denied, consecrate themselves to her defence.

To-day, it is from Spain that the voice reaches us, from the thinkers of Catalonia. Let us pass on their appeal which comes to us from the shores of the Mediterranean, like the sound of a Christmas bell. Another day the bells of Northern Europe will be heard in their turn. And soon all will ring together in unison. The test is good. Let us be thankful. Those who desired to separate us have joined our hands.

R. R.

December 31, 1914.


A number of literary and scientific men at Barcelona, as far removed from amorphous internationalism on the one hand as from mere parochialism on the other, have banded themselves together to affirm their unchangeable belief in the moral unity of Europe, and to further this belief as far as the suffocating conditions resulting from the present tragic circumstances permit.

We set out from the principle that the terrible war which to-day is rending the heart of this Europe of ours is, by implication, a Civil War.

A civil war does not exactly mean an unjust war; still, it can only be justified by a conflict between great ideals, and if we desire the triumph of one or the other of these ideals, it must be for the sake of the entire European Commonwealth and its general well-being. None of the belligerents, therefore, can be allowed to aim at the complete destruction of its opponents; and it is even less legitimate to start out from the criminal hypothesis that one or another of the parties is de facto already excluded from this superior commonwealth.

Yet we have seen with pain assertions such as these approved and deliriously spread abroad; and not always amongst common people, or by the voices of those who speak not with authority. For three months it seemed as if our ideal Europe were shipwrecked, but a reaction is making its appearance already. A thousand indications assure us that, in the world of intellect at any rate, the winds are quietening down, and that in the best minds the eternal values will soon spring up once more.

It is our purpose to assist in this reaction, to contribute to making it known, and, as far as we are able, to ensure its triumph. We are not alone. We have with us in every quarter of the world the ardent aspirations of far-sighted minds, and the unvoiced wishes of thousands of men of good will, who, beyond their sympathies and personal preferences, are determined to remain faithful to the cause of this moral unity.

And above all we have, in the far distant future the appreciation of the men who to-morrow will applaud this modest work to which we are devoting ourselves to-day.

We will begin by giving the greatest possible publicity to those actions, declarations, and manifestations—whether they emanate from belligerent or neutral nations—in which the effort of reviving the feeling of a higher unity and a generous altruism may become apparent. Later we shall be able to extend our activities and place them at the service of new enterprises. We demand nothing more of our friends, of our press, and of our fellow-citizens than a littte attention for these quickenings of reality, a little respect for the interests of a higher humanity, and a little love for the great traditions and the rich possibilities of a unified Europe.

Barcelona, November 27, 1914.

Eugenio d'Ors, Member of the Institute; Manuel de Montoliú, Author; Aurelio Ras, Director of the Review Estudio; Augustin Murúa, University Professor; Telesforo de Aranzadi, University Professor; Miguel S. Oliver; Juan Palau, publicist; Pablo Vila, Director of Mont d'Or College; Enrique Jardi Barrister; E. Messeguer, publicist; Carmen Karr, Director of the Residencia de Estudiantes El Hogar; Esteban Terrades, Member of the Institute; José Zulueta, Member of Parliament; R. Jori, Author; Eudaldo Duran Reynals, Librarian of the Biblioteca de Cataluna; Rafael Campalans, Engineer; J. M. López-Picó, Author; R. Rucabado, Author; E. Cuello Calóu, University Professor; Manuel Revenlós, Professor of the Escuela de Funcionarios; J. Farrán Mayoral, Author; Jaime Massó Torrents, Member of the Institute; Jorge Rubió Balaguer, Director of the Biblioteca de Cataluna.

Translated from the Spanish by R. R.

Journal de Genève, January 9, 1915.