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Through German Eyes (Classic Reprint)

Through German Eyes (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Through German Eyes

After nearly five months of war, and that the season of the great festival of peace and goodwill towards men, it should be possible to survey the European situation in the spirit of the great Roman historian, 'sine ira et studio.' The present writer has friends and relatives in Germany and Austria, and he would fain say nothing here which he could not say to them, face to face. But this attitude does not involve the abatement of one jot or tittle of the truth. On the contrary, truth is the great reconciler of differences - the common ground on which we and our enemies have to take our stand. It is too soon to attempt a final verdict on the great questions which will come up for adjudication before the bar of history. But it is even now possible to cultivate the spirit of common sense, and to associate with it that nobler 'sensus communis' - the bond of mankind - of which a Roman satirist speaks as rarely found where it is most wanted.

It is possible, indeed, that all reasoning in time of war is mere self-illusion. And the present writer recognizes that in attempting to demolish certain phantoms of the mind, which seem to him to stand in the way of the light - 'idols of the tribe, the cave, the market-place, and the theatre' - he may be found to be harbouring idols of his own. If so, they too will come within the general scope of this paper, as 'idols of war'.

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