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Copyright, 1900, by THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW PUBLISHING Co. All rights served. Ost-Und at the Post-Office at New York, and admitted for transmission through the mal-and-matter.

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DR.

NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW.

No. DXXI.

APRIL, 1900.

WAR.

BY ÉMILE ZOLA.

IN the first place, I must confess that my whole being rebels against the idea of war. Its massacres exasperate me and appear to me a useless atrocity. This may seem a sentimental view of the matter, one for which temperament and mental and physical habits are undoubtedly responsible, but it is also a reasonable view, for, in looking back over history, I am amazed at the bloody uselessness of war.

I have not yet found, and I believe no one has discovered, the pretended law of civilization demanding that nations mercilessly attack one another. In the beginning there was evident need of war, it being the means by which nations were enabled to establish themselves and to acquire their respective strips of land. Then came immigration, political upheavals, long hereditary hatreds; but, apart from that, I doubt if, as has sometimes been alleged, war has been a means toward civilization. Our map of the world bears no trace of it as a civilizing element. All great conquerors such as Alexander, Cæsar, Charlemagne and, at a later day, Napoleon, bettered the world only by what they were able to give it of the good and beautiful, and we are shocked at the hurtful consequences of some of their brilliant exploits. The great empires founded by their splendid warlike achievements have VOL. CLXX.-NO. 521.

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Copyright, 1900, by THE NORTH AMERICAN REView Publishing COMPANY, All rights reserved.

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