St Ignatius College - Ignatian Yearbook (San Francisco, CA)

 - Class of 1917

Page 9 of 102

 

St Ignatius College - Ignatian Yearbook (San Francisco, CA) online yearbook collection, 1917 Edition, Page 9 of 102
Page 9 of 102



St Ignatius College - Ignatian Yearbook (San Francisco, CA) online yearbook collection, 1917 Edition, Page 8
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St Ignatius College - Ignatian Yearbook (San Francisco, CA) online yearbook collection, 1917 Edition, Page 10
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Page 9 text:

THE GLAMOUR OF WAR 9 maddened action of the battlefield. War crushes the thriving cities and leaves a desolate ruin, a fruitless field, a dreary waste. Many civilizations there have been, epoch-making triumphs of mankind, the growth of evolutionary develop- ment. They have held their allotted sway upon the earthg they have reached heights in arts, in science, never known before. But even these vast civilizations have found their ruin by the sword. War has shaken their lirmarnent until, like the falling stars, they have plunged from the very zenith of glorious achievements down into the abyss of degradation, This is the record of war. When we consider War's direful pictureg those scenes of grieving families, broken homes, ruined cities, wasted nations and tottering civilizations, we fully realize that war is terrible. Yet, strange to say, in spite of all this horror, there is a glamour, a fascination, an almost inexplicable witchery, that inspires us with admirationg there is a thrill which makes our hearts beat quickly. Let us consider for a while this thrill, its effect on literature and the cause of the thrill. We all remember how in days of childhood we listened with beaming eyes and with a feverish emotion of youth to those strange old tales of battles and of wars, of brave deeds and valiant men. How our young breasts thrilled at such inspiring stories. How we loved to hear our parents at eventide tell us of Richard the Lion-Hearted and his bold Crusaders, or of the daring knights of the Round Table, or of Napoleon's lightning strokes. How we loved to paint with the rich coloring of the youthful mind those glorious scenes. just as, long ago, the boy Spartacus, sitting at the feet of his aged grandsire, heard with throbbing temples and cheeks aglow with a mysterious ardor, those rousing tales of Marathon and Leuctra, so we in childhood days desired to hear those stirring tales of wars and heroes. . We were thrilled not only with the deeds, but even with the death of heroes. Yes, even at tales of death in the ranks

Page 8 text:

El CQQQ Ci'lS'5g W T K J hr Cblumnm' uf mar AR as conceived by some people may be likened to a game of chess. They look upon it more or less as the interesting pastime of rival kings, in which a multitude of human pawns are placed upon the .chess board of the battlefield and with cold scien- nd order are maneuvered, moved and sacri- tilic precision a Heed in one great game. The chess board may represent the battleiield. The pawns of the game are the companies and battalions of living soldiers, the obedient instruments of belligerent governments. The game itself is war, stripped of all its realism and dread significance, nothing more than an array of moving units. But there is another and truer conception of warg a con- ception of war not as a scientific contest or a strategic enter- prise of nations, but as the hideous expression of passion triumphant over reason, the wild orgy of ghastly exploits and sanguinary strifeg the embodiment of all that is abhor- rent to the eye of man, of all that is most repulsive to his feelings, of all that is most adverse to the natural yearnings of his heart. And well we might conceive of war as such. Shattering all the sweet ties of domestic happiness, peace and simple contentment, war, like some clutching fist of mail, reaches into the hallowed precincts of the home and snatches from out the warmful associations and loving sympathies of family life, the very iiower of young manhood. And for what? To tear those beloved creatures into pieces with jagged shot, until they starve and parch and perish through days of endless torture, deserted on the battlefield. Proud cities, the costly products of ceaseless human toil, have raised their towering edifices with civic majesty. But war transforms the healthful activity of industry into the wild,



Page 10 text:

1U THE IGNATIAN of battle we were not shockedg we were not horrifiedgiwe were inspired by that same mysterious, irresistible emotion. We felt that such a death is glorious. "Come to the- bridal chamber, Death, Come in consumption's ghastly form, The earthquake's shock, the ocean storm, And thou art terrible! , "But to the hero, when his sword Has won the battle for the free, Thy voice sounds like a prophet's word, And in its hollow tones are heard The thanks of millions yet to be. We tell his doom without a sighg For he is Freedom's now, and Fame's- One of the few, the immortal names, That were not born to die." In more mature years, as we emerged from the fanciful days of childhood, as we learned to appreciate the purpose of various wars, and as we began to realize what great causes, what great principles, what great blessings are won and lost through the cruel arbitrament of the sword, then our enthu- siasm was increased, our thrilling interest in war was intensi- fied. The Crusades were fought that the sacred soil of Palestine might be purged of the sacrilegious, scoiiing Sara- cen. Are we disgusted at the .cost in blood and in life of those holy wars? No, we are aflame with the holy cause. Our revolution was fought that our nation might be free. Do we not thrill at the recollection of each sad event of that sorrowful time? Our Civil War was fought that our nation, conceived in liberty, might endure. It was fought to spread the cause of freedom through the world. just as we have felt the thrill of war, so people of every century have been influenced by the same subtle emotion. We are not surprised therefore to End that war is the pre- dominant note in all literature. Poets and orators, thrilling ., if .wwuiamwvw f- f "Wi, - w?"".

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