Mid-West Quarterly, The (1913-1918)


Date of this Version

October 1915


Nowhere in modern times, I dare say, have the ideals that the current war in Europe has violated found a more moving exposition than in the later works of Tolstoi. Is war right ? Are any of our hopes, or beliefs, or ideas worth fighting for? Tolstoi spent the last thirty years of his life giving these old and almost trite questions an impassioned negative. It is impossible to say what his influence has been. No corner of the world but has his admirers, even his disciples. The cult of peace has perhaps never had so many followers. And yet the irony of the present war, coming, as indeed he foresaw, within a few years of his death, is not without its comment on an inveterate militancy in the human passions that no interim of peace has as yet long suppressed.