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The Breaking of the Storm, Vol. III.
written by "Spielhagen, Friedrich, 1829-1911"
... paltry wisdom! Woe to the individual, and woe to the nation! "Woe to the nation that forgets it, and exists for generations and centuries in crass selfishness and blind hatred, till the hereditary foe breaks into its fields, and, waking the people from their dull dreams, reminds them at length that they are brothers; and as brothers they stand by one another, as we have done on innumerable battle-fields in the most glorious and most righteous of all wars, only on returning home to begin anew the struggle over mine and thine--the wild, desolating struggle of self-advancement, that feels no shame and knows no mercy, desires no peace and gives no pardon, and respects no right but that of the victor, who scornfully tramples the conquered under foot. Oh, my friends! we have experienced this! These last years will remain noted as the most shameful, following immediately upon the most glorious in our history--a melancholy memorial and sign how low a great nation can sink. "But our great German nation cannot, will not sink deeper. "Let us, my friends, take this fearful storm with its desolating horrors, which have now exhausted themselves and upon which this sublime peace has come down from heaven, as a token that the storm which is now raging through German society will sweep away the poisonous vapours of self-love, and make the glorious German sun shine brighter than before; that the barren waters which now cover so many acres of young green grass will pass away, and offer a new land for fresh honest labour and honest golden fruits. "May this hope and this assurance soften the grief for the beloved dead whom we now commit to the sacred bosom of the earth--this hope, this assurance, and the certainty that they have not died in vain; that they were blossoms struck down by the storm to warn the gardener that he must tend and cherish the noble tree more carefully. "The call comes thus to us the elders and old m...

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