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Letter to My Critics

One owes it to that adversary to recognise that in default of other virtues the spirit of sacrifice is, in the present instance, almost boundless. It would be a great mistake to force it to extremes. Instead of driving this blind people to a magnificent and desperate defence, let us try to open their eyes. It is not impossible. An Alsatian patriot, to whom one could not impute indulgence for Germany, Dr Bucher of Strasbourg, told me not long since, that even though the German is full of haughty prejudices carefully fostered by his teachers, he is at any rate always amenable to discussion and his docile spirit is accessible to arguments. As an example, I would instance the secret evolution that I see in progress in the thought of certain Germans. Numbers of German letters that I have read this month begin to utter agonised questionings as to the legitimacy of the proceedings of Germany in Belgium. I have seen this anxiety growing, little by little, in consciences which at first reposed in the conviction of their right. Truth is slowly dawning. What will happen if its light conquers and spreads? Carry truth in your hands! Let it be our strongest weapon! Let us, like the soldiers of the Revolution, whose heart lives again in our troops, fight not against our enemies, but