The Free lance. (State College, Pa.) 1887-1904, June 01, 1899, Image 5

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    and crippled for life. Look at a great naval battle, shorn of its
halo of glory. See the powerful forces of nature man has learned
to control, engaging in mortal combat; hundreds of human lives
being crushed out almost in the twinkling of an eye as if life
were but a plaything; millions of dollars worth of property being
destroyed, and tell me, in these days of our boasted enlighten
ment and civilization, is it necessary that we sacrifice all this
blood and treasure to the god of war ?
Would that I could paint this awful being in his true colors.
This monster who has but to breathe over a land and the lives
' and happiness of thousands of its people are blasted forever.
Who issues his mandates, and the most sacred bonds are burst
and hearts are broken. Who, even in times of peace, snatches
the very bread from the mouths of the starving that his cohorts
may be fed and strengthened. It is to his greed that Europe is
sacrificing over one thousand millions of dollars every year while
thousands of her poor peasantry must suffer for the very neces
saries of life.
Why need we, in these closing days of the nineteenth century,
continue to make such enormous preparations for some mythical
future conflict. Here in America we have as yet felt the burden
comparatively little, but since we have entered the arena of the
worlds' great powers and have become the possessors of foreign
colonies, we must awaken to the same necessities that have
prompted foreign nations to such . vast expenditures, unless we
can reach some international agreement which shall at least
curb this breakneck competition among nations.
Statesmen are not blind to these facts. Eight years ago Lord
Salisbury called the attention of some of the leading monarchs
of Europe to the fact that, during the six years ending eighteen
hundred eighty-eight, seven of the leading European powers ex
pended no less than four billions, eight hundred seventy millions
of dollars, or over eight hundred millions of dollars annually for
military and naval purposes alone. And this sum; vast as it is,
has been continually increasing since. The expenditures of
Great Britain alone for these two purposes during the current
year will reach almost one-fourth billion of dollars.
We Americans are surprising the world and ourselves by the
wonderful growth of our commerce and manufactures. ° We are
rapidly gaining a strong foothold in the very heart of some of the