Above the Battle
despise the weak, as if you did not know that the wheel of fortune turns, that this force one day will weigh afresh upon you, as in past ages, when your great men, at least, retained the consolation of not having yielded to it the sovereignty of the spirit and the sacred rights of Right! … What reproaches, what remorse are you heaping up for the future, O blind guides—you who are leading into the ditch your nation, which follows you like the stumbling blind men of Brueghel!
What poor arguments you have opposed to us for two months!
1. War is war, say you, that is to say without common measure with the rest of things, above morals and reason and all the limits of ordinary life, a kind of supernatural state before which one can only bow without discussion;
2. Germany is Germany, that is to say without common measure with the rest of nations. The laws which apply to others do not apply to her, and the rights which she arrogates to herself to violate Right appertain to her alone. Thus she can, without crime, tear up written promises, betray sworn oaths, violate the neutrality of peoples which she has pledged herself to defend. But she claims in return the
right to find, in the nations which she outrages,