“It was a famous victory” sighs the songster after abashing and affrighting the unsophisticated mind of his bearer with details of the horrors of a battle.
We, too, are called to rejoice over bloodshed and burning, and these in vindication of a most unrighteous act. Vain have been the hopes that the victories of this nation would be over wrong and ignorance, not mere conquest of the bodies of other men to obtain their possessions or guard our own. Our Stars have lighted us only to the ancient heathen—the vulgar path of a national aggrandizement; and our Eagle, like the Roman, loves better to snatch its prey from the field than soar to the purer regions near the source of light.
The ode performed last night—Schiller’s Ode to Joy—where occur the grand lines (misprinted in yesterday’s Tribune,)
This kiss to the whole world,”
and his other poem where he says—
Honor in the subject the service of a subject,”
seemed prophecies of what might so easily be effected in this country, which all omens marked out as the dominion where the hopes of the Prince of Peace might be realized. But aversion to his precepts and disbelief in his mission died not with the contemporaries of Pilate. A Church is to be dedicated to-day. But the flames of burning towns rise higher than those of the altar, and tell to the departed Friend of Man, that at the end of eighteen centuries, his simple precepts “Love one another,” and “Feed my lambs,” are as far as ever from being obeyed. If the lion lies down with the lamb for an hour of slumber, it is only to get an appetite for breakfast, and the wolves of war rage abroad without the slightest excuse from hunger.*
“Victory,” New-York Tribune, 21 May 1846, p. 2.