The Charlotte News
Saturday, January 25, 1936
Site Ed. Note: The remainder of the quote preceding and following the abstract below from Mysterious Stranger is:
" 'Monarchies, aristocracies, and religions are all based upon that large defect in your race--the individual's distrust of his neighbor, and his desire, for safety's or comfort's sake, to stand well in his neighbor's eye. These institutions will always remain, and always flourish, and always oppress you, affront you, and degrade you, because you will always be and remain slaves of minorities. There was never a country where the majority of the people were in their secret hearts loyal to any of these institutions.'
"I did not like to hear our race called sheep, and said I did not think they were.
" 'Still, it is true, lamb,' said Satan. 'Look at you in war--what mutton you are, and how ridiculous!'
" 'In war? How?'
" '[Quote below.] ...Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers--as earlier--but do not dare to say so. And now the whole nation--pulpit and all--will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.'" (from Chapter 9)
"Satan", the nephew of Satan, is, of course, a metaphorically named character in the book--at least it would so seem, an anthropomorphization for the author's, or any fiction author's, imagination? And there is a dastardly priest-accuser--named Adolf--and an equally dastardly accuser, an astrologer, who falsely accuses the good priest of theft of gold not belonging to the astrologer, all brought about only by the conjurings of "Satan"; yet "Satan", also through conjurings, frees the wrongly accused, though in the bargain drives him mad--but happy in his madness, through Wilhelm, the momentarily enchanted lawyer of the accused who finds the dates on the supposedly stolen coins to be post the astrologer's claimed ownership. Oh, you Missouri river-rat and your imagination.
Wonder what Cash imagined the story and its opinings ascribed to Satan's nephew to bespeak in January, 1936?
Mark Twain On War.
Concerning the motive of war, Mark Twain, our great American humorist, penned some rather serious lines that will no doubt live and apply to war for another million years.
In his "Mysterious Stranger" he laid down an endurable formula for war:
"There has never been a just one, never an honorable one--on the part of the instigator of war," he said. "The loud little handful--as usual--will shout about war. The pulpit will, warily and cautiously, object--at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, 'It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it'... Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity."
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