The Dead are not Sacrificed.


Did the dead feel that they were sacrificed--Rupert Hughes, for example, who acted without a moment's hesitation? To us who look with reverence upon our living, and with love upon our dead soldiers, it might seem that the profoundest answer to all these questions has been given by another French soldier, himself no mean artist, who gave up his young life for his country last year. "If fate claims the best," he wrote to his mother, "it is not unjust. The less noble who survive will thereby be made better. . . .Nothing is lost. . . The true death would be to live in a conquered country--for me above all others, as then my art could not exist." The notion that a man of genius is too precious to fight is, to some minds, attractive and convincing. But it is specious. It has its origin in the school of pessimism--the Schopenhauerian pessimism which fears contact with the realities of life. It springs from that same suicidal philosophy which leads men to avoid marriage and women to shirk motherhood. The artist who sacrificed himself belongs to a nobler--and commoner--humanity. --London Daily Mail.