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Above the Battle

for them. In saving the world, let us save them too. France does not break old chains in order to rivet new.

Your thoughts are fixed on victory. I think of the peace which will follow. For however insistently the most militarist among you may talk, venturing as did an article to hold out the delightful promise of a perpetual war—"a war which will last after this war, indefinitely.… "[1] (it will come to an end, nevertheless—for lack of combatants!) … there must come a day when you will stretch out the hand of friendship, you and your neighbours across the Rhine, if it were only to come to an agreement, for the sake of your own business. You will have to re-establish supportable and humane relations: so set to work in such a manner as not to make them impossible! Do not break down all the bridges, since it will ever be necessary to cross the river. Do not destroy the future. A good open, clean wound will heal; but do not poison it. Let us be on our guard against hatred. If we prepare for war in peace according to the wisdom of nations, we should also prepare for peace in war. It is a task which seems to me not unworthy of those among us who find themselves

  1. Paul Bourget