The appalling destruction and misery of this war mount hourly destruction of what should be the common wealth of Europe and the world if mankind were not so besotted wealth the loss of which will affect us all victors or not Yet people gloat to

hear of the endless lines, 40 miles long, of miserable refugees, women and children pouring West, dying on the way. There seem no bowels of mercy or compassion, no imagination, left in this dark diabolic hour ... I do not mean that it may not all, in the present situation, mainly created by Germany, be necessary and inevitable. But why gloat! We were supposed to have reached a stage of civilization in which it might still be necessary to execute a criminal, but not to gloat, or to hang his wife and child by him, while the orc-crowd hooted. The destruction of Germany, be it 100 times merited, is one of the most appalling world catastrophes." [Letters p.111]

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