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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 242

              [loose newspaper clipping]
  �W. H.� believes in Milner.  I don�t, and never
did.  He is an obstinate �intellectual,� and a
nagger, and is apparently without sympathy, a per-
fect tool for the Colonial Secretary.  A man of
John Morley�s or James Bryce�s type was wanted;
if, that is to say, we desired to adjust matters and
keep the Republics standing, which is very doubt-
ful.  �W. H.� may have good information; but we
have ours (leaving the newspapers out of the ques-
tion, as useless); and our information convinces us
that the Republics hated the idea of war, and that
it would never have been thought of on their side
but for the Jameson Raid, and our ill-disguised sym-
pathy with it, the utterly dishonest revival of a
plainly-abolished suzerainty, and the ceaseless nag-
ging of the Colonial Office, followed by our prac-
tical declaration of war, by calling out the Re-
serves, moving troops to the frontier, and summon-
ing Parliament to vote Supplies.  We believe that 
the �conspiracy� was ours; and this is why we
hold that the war is our war, and as unnecessary as
it is wicked.  We regard it as a great crime which
has morally ruined us, as a matter of fact, and in
the eyes of the world; and it is our real patriotism
that resents it.
  W. H. startles me with his statement that �this
has been the most humane war ever waged.�  I
invite him to get behind his newspaper, and to read
the evidence that is fully set forth in the publica-
tions of the various anti-war committees.  I ques-
tion whether even in the French and German war,
or the war in the United States, the devilry of
farm-burning and the �denuding� of the country
came up to our sort of that devilry in South Africa;
and certainly the transportation of women and
children, to herd as prisoners in sheds hundred of
miles from home, is new.
  It is startling, too, to be coolly told that I �must
see that Lord Roberts is one of the gentlest, kind-
est, most religious-minded of men.�  I see nothing
of the kind, notwithstanding the faked little stories
about curly-headed little girls.  His Indian record
is a haunting misery, and his South African pro-
clamations�blends of futile assumptions of fero-
cious threats (carried out) �may yet break his re-
putation when the consequences are seen and felt.
He is going to be welcomed as a great hero.  What
has he done, even with his six men to one, and
Great Britain, the Colonies, and the seas to back
him?  We have nothing, absolutely nothing to be
proud of.  As for �religious-minded,� I prefer
not to discuss it.  The less we talk about religion
or Christianity�or Christmas�in this connection
the better.  It is shocking.  It is too horrible to
think about.               
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