F. Marion Crawford: The world dreads the very name of war, lest it should become universal once it breaks out
F. Marion Crawford
From Marzio’s Crucifix (1887)
“Your brother represents an idea,” answered the Cardinal. “That idea is the subversion of all social principle. It is an idea which must spread, because there is an enormous number of depraved men in the world who have a very great interest in the destruction of law…They will, it is true, always be a minority, because the greater part of mankind are determined that order shall not be destroyed. But those fellows will fight to the death, because they know that in that battle there will be no quarter for the vanquished. It will be a mighty struggle and will last long, but it will be decisive, and will perhaps never be revived when it is once over…”
“May we not be alive to see anything so dreadful!” exclaimed Don Paolo devoutly.
“No, you and I shall not see it. But those little children who are playing with chestnuts down there in the court – they will see it. The world is uneasy and dreads the very name of war, lest war should become universal if it once breaks out. Tell your brother that.”
“It is what he longs for. He is always speaking of it.”
“Then it is inevitable. When many millions like him have determined that there shall be evil done, it cannot long be warded off. Their blood be on their own heads.”