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Pro Aris

proudest spirits of Germany, a disavowal which would have been ennobling instead of humiliating. The letter which I wrote to one of them, the day after the brutal voice of Wolff's Agency pompously proclaimed that there remained of Louvain no more than a heap of ashes, was received by the entire élite of Germany in a spirit of enmity. They did not understand that I offered them the chance of releasing Germany from the fetters of those crimes which its Empire was forging in its name. What did I ask of them? What did I ask of you all, finer spirits of Germany?—to express at least a courageous regret for the excesses committed, and to dare to remind unbridled power that even the Fatherland cannot save itself through crime, and that above its rights are those of the human spirit. I only asked for one voice—a single free voice.… None spoke. I heard only the clamour of herds, the pack of intellectuals giving tongue on the track whereon the hunter loosed them, and that insolent Manifesto, in which without the slightest effort to justify its crimes you have unanimously declared that they do not exist. And your theologians, your pastors, your court-preachers, have stated further that you are very just and that you thank God for having made you thus.… Race of Pharisees, what chastise-