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above all other nations, which has given the most blood for civil and religious liberty, when I say that they would to-morrow welcome peace throughout the world.
I am also thoroughly convinced (and I stand in a rather peculiar position) that there exists no man, whether in France, Germany, America or anywhere else, that is a stronger advocate of peace than King Edward, who prays night and day for the welfare of his people and for universal peace.
You know as well as I do that the time for disarmament
has not yet come. I understand that this meeting is a meeting to protest against war, regarding a state of peace as the logical well-being of every nation.
Someone has said: "Give me the money that has been spent in war, and I will purchase every foot of land upon the globe; I will clothe every man, woman and child in an attire of which kings and queens would be proud; I will build a school-house on every hillside and in every valley over the whole earth; I will build an academy in every town and endow a college in every State."
I do not wish to be a sycophant to you or any other man in this country or in any other country, but I believe the way to obtain peace has been taken by the man who occupies the Chair to-night (applause); it is to build libraries, endow schools, erect colleges and try to permeate every man and woman with the higher ideals of life, then armaments will fall to pieces; for, peace having been declared between nation and nation, there will be no further need for armament or for discussion of armament. (Applause.) I believe honestly and truly that so long as we have people whose money is spent for the welfare of the people in the way it has been spent in this country and in many other countries, so long as we have big-hearted monarchs or Presidents of Republics, as they may be, and governments full of heart and soul, telling the people what they should live up to, and ministers of the Gospel telling men how to live rather than how to die (applause) we will have an exemplification of justice between man and man. To me it is the realization of the words that Burns wrote, 137 years ago:
"It is coming yet for a' that
For man to man the world o'er
Well, I am not so sorry now as I thought I was, and as you thought you were when Mr. Stead was stopped; I think we got as good an oration, equal even to anything that that celebrated orator could have given us.
Gentlemen, we have with us to-night a man who has made a deep impression upon us in the literary field; he was at Pittsburg, and I heard him the other night make his first speech in public, and I have had a great many requests from others that he should be heard on the metropolitan stage. We give him now the finest audience that he can find, and we ask him for ten minutes to say a few words to us-Mr. "Maarten Maartens." "MAARTEN MAARTENS" (MR. VAN DER POORTEN-SCHWARTZ):
MR. CHAIRMAN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: My rising here to speak at all, is, when you look at it properly and rationally, quite a strong argument for the impression made by this great movement; for, as you have just heard, I never spoke in public before I came to America a few days ago, and the chances are ten to one that when I once leave the country I shall never speak in public again. I have no claim upon your attention, these are important matters that are before you; all the men who have spoken hitherto are men who have spoken officially or have done something in this great work. Why do I speak at all?—it is, I think, because when this demand for peace comes before us, no man who thinks or speaks has a right to keep silent. It is because we are disciples, for I am one of you; I am not one of the gentlemen who know all about the matter, but I am one of the audience, and possibly it is because we people at last have begun to see that if we kept silent, the stones would cry out.
It is only a very short time ago that I trod the deck of one of the great Atlantic liners; I saw how much has been accomplished in a few years. I thought of what these vessels were twenty years ago; I realized the enormous improvements that have been made, it seemed as though everything had been done for comfort and for safety. Hardly had we left the harbor when the storms of heaven swept down upon us and the waters arose and for two days we passed through fierce gales and for two days afterward through thick fogs, and my thoughts were all the time
of the man on the bridge-the captain. One mistake, and perhaps that great living, throbbing organism, with its three thousand souls, would go crashing down to sudden wreck.
So, men and women, the blessing we enjoy in these times. The great Ship of State, has started off; we know that any moment the winds of avarice may rush down upon it; we know that the waters of Envy may arise-we trust our captains, but we also hold our breath as we think of the oceans of human folly and of the tempest of human crime.
We are told, I have often been told, that the men at the head of this movement are theorists, men who do not reckon with hard facts, but it seems to me rather that they are men who have learned how to judge men. All of them can say they have fought many a successful battle, brought many a prosperous bark into port, but because such tasks are difficult they wish to do this work. They know the tempest will come, they know any time war may break out, and that is why they resolve to stop war; to destroy the powers of darkness arrayed against one another. Gentlemen, we are resolved to give the men who are doing this work our hearty co-operation. Because these ideas are so difficult to achieve, therefore we strive for them, knowing that a cause has often gained more through honest ridicule and honest opposition than through empty applause and too easy and insincere adherence.
Last but not least the celebrated astronomer, a man who is perhaps better known in Great Britain, in every town in Britain, than any other man, who has brought to light the mysteries of astronomy and explained them to more people than any other man living. I am very happy to say that Sir Robert Ball, Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge University, will now consume ten minutes of your time.
The Evolution of Warfare
SIR ROBERT BALL
I gladly avail myself of the permission to say a few words on this occasion. I do so with the object of tracing the bearings of the doctrine of evolution on the question of transcendent importance which has brought us together.
The immortal doctrine of Darwin has much to tell us, not, perhaps, on the doctrine of peace, but on the doctrine of war. I hope you will not be shocked at what I am going to say. If you are I cannot help it, for I am determined at all hazards to say what I want to say. It would be an affront to this audience not to speak from this platform the exact truth so far as I have been able to learn it. I am encouraged by the reflection that the moral I shall draw will not be different from that of the other speakers who have addressed you on this memorable occasion to discuss the sublime theme before us.
The teachings of history have occasionally been mentioned by other speakers; but the history to which I now invite your attention is not the flutter of a few paltry centuries, nor even of a few score of centuries, like the period during which man has strutted his little hour on this planet.
Some of us can trace our ancestry back a few generations and there are those can trace an ancestry back for many generations. But after all, how short, as compared with geological time, is the vista thus opened up.
The bluest blood among us has not the slightest idea of what his ancestors were like one hundred generations back: let us say in 1000 B. C. But what an insignificant trifle is 3,000 years in comparison with the immemorial ages which have been required for the evolution of the human species. I want you to think of that critical period of earth history, I know not how many hundreds of thousands of years ago, when a being capable of reason was evolved from the lower forms of life.
From this point when man first began to exist, our retrospect of ancestry extends through myriads of generations. Not to be too vague, let us concentrate our attention on one particular date, I cannot tell you the exact date, but we can define it sufficiently for our present purpose. It is a date of much interest to us in connection with the recent celebrations in which so many of us had the honor of participating. The date I refer to is that when that truly majestic animal the Diplocodus Carnegii adorned the plains of Wyoming with his dignified presence.
Every one of us had, we must have had, a direct lineal ancestor living in those days many millions of years ago, when that monster reptile swam in the rivers, or wallowed in the
swamps. I am not intending to suggest that the Diplocodus Carnegii was one of our forefathers. I wish I could think that the ancestor we had at that time was anything like so respectable as the Diplocodus. The rudimentary man was some small and miserable creature which the Diplocodus Carnegii would not have deigned to notice, nevertheless we should like to see his photograph.
The period of the vast reptiles, though ancient beyond all human standards, was still quite recent in comparison with the earlier stretches of time during which the evolution was proceeding. Back again through hundreds and thousands and millions of generations our retrospect must be carried through organisms ever simpler and simpler in structure until at last the dawn of life commenced, at some period so remote that Haeckel and Gadow estimate that not less than five million generations of living forms have culminated in the man of the present hour. Think of it, you and I and even the Chairman have descended through a prodigious ancestry of some five million generations. You know something of two or three or four or perhaps a few more. But even he whose ancestral mansion is lined with pictures of his forebears knows of his ancestry less than the fifty-thousandth part. The pictures of the rest he has not got. Even the arboreal members he would perhaps not care to have on his walls.
You, perhaps, who pride yourselves on long series of ancestors, will please observe that your knowledge of your ancestry is so infinitesimal that you are little better than the rest of us.
Fortunately for our present purpose we are not totally ignorant of our five million ancestors. We do know quite enough to teach us the merits of peace.
Civilized warfare would mean that the rich in body or mind or in moral nature must not be cured, they must be destroyed; the weaker races according to natural warfare must not only be conquered, they must be annihilated. We shudder at natural warfare, we will have none of it, we will not even listen to it.
The warfare of civilized man is conducted according to the principles of chivalry. The non-combatants are not to be slaughtered. Their weakness is their protection. Civilized man for his warfare picks out all his strongest and best men, exposes them to all the risks of conflict while the weaker man is pro