Who called this demon up?"By pride comes nothing but strife!" Proverbs 13:10
(Archibald Brown, "Peace Versus War!" July 17th, 1870)
[Editor's note: Brown is referring to the upcoming French-German War, July 19, 1870 - May 10, 1871]
It is humiliating to our race, to find that after well-near nineteen centuries of Christian time have passed, the clumsy method of war yet remains the last resource of arbitration for the nations. Humiliating did I say? Yes, and something infinitely more: War is a crime only worthy of its father, Hell!
Strip war of its outward pageantry and pomp,
tear from it the gaudy cloak called national honor;
look at it in its naked reality —
and was ever so loathsome and horrid a specter seen outside of Hell?
This is the monster that has so unexpectedly stalked upon the scene, carrying dismay and panic and grief into the hearts and homes of myriads. Who called this demon up? What compensation is there for the curse? These questions are soon answered. This war is only the food demanded by accursed pride in order to glut its insatiable appetite. Men are to become mere food for the cannon, to maintain what is libelously called national glory. It looks like bitter sarcasm to contrast the paltry causes of war — with the dreadful results of war.
Some petty point of etiquette neglected — some ridiculously little slight which, in ordinary everyday life would be counted unworthy of any notice, becomes (when offered to a nation) sufficient motive to lead it to the battlefield! To wash away some tiny stain supposed to be found upon the robe of honor — a stain not worthy of the shedding of a tear — behold, a very ocean of blood is spilt! To avenge an insult, to maintain the old bugbear of the "the balance of power," or to glorify the ambition of a man . . .
countries are desolated,
trade is paralyzed,
blood is spilt in unknown measure,
agonies are endured by those who are as innocent of the quarrel as new-born babes,
and all the miseries contained in that one word War are let loose upon the continent!
It is horrible and sickening beyond all description, to think that even this week there will be heard the roar of the cannon and the sharp crack of the rifle, carrying death to a thousand hearts! Who can bear to contemplate without a sigh — the wives that will be made widows, and the multitudes of children that will shortly become orphans?