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Excerpt from The Eve of a Great War: A Sermon Preached in Westminster Abbey, on Sunday Afternoon, August 2, 1914, by the Archbishop of Canterbury
So let the fair white-winged peacemaker ﬂy To happy havens under all the sky, Till each man find his own in all men's good, And all men work in noble brotherhood Breaking their mailed ﬂeets and armed towers.
Such were the hopes, such the expectations of not a few And what happened? Englishmen must have thought over those hopes with a grim feeling in the icy trenches of Sebastopol, or in the noonday glare upon the ridge at Delhi. And they formed a startling memory for many others besides Englishmen, for our gathering in I851 was cosmopolitan, and some of the strongest speeches and the rosiest prophecies came from other nationalities than our own. What did those prophets think, a little later, about Magenta and Solferino? How were their hopes illustrated, later still, on the hillside at Gravelotte or in the corn fields of Sedan? What are we to say of Plevna, of Port Arthur? The strifes were hotter, some of the fields were bloodier than any that our grandsires had known.
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