''Bethink Yourselves!''

''Bethink Yourselves!''

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''Bethink Yourselves!'' by graf Tolstoy Leo

Published:

1904

Pages:

49

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22,968

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''Bethink Yourselves!''

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Book Excerpt

ill at first be astonished at your question. He is a soldier, he has taken the oath, and it is his duty to fulfil the orders of his commanders. If you tell him that war--i.e. the slaughter of men--does not conform to the command, "Thou shalt not kill," he will say: "And how if ours are attacked--For the King--For the Orthodox faith?" (One of them said in answer to my question: "And how if he attacks that which is sacred?" "What do you mean?" I asked. "Why," said he, "the banner.") And if you endeavor to explain to such a soldier that God's Commandment is more important not only than the banner but than anything else in the world, he will become silent, or he will get angry and report you to the authorities.

Ask an officer, a general, why he goes to the war. He will tell you that he is a military man, and that the military are indispensable for the defence of the fatherland. As to murder not conforming to the spirit of the Christian law, this does not trouble him, as either he does not believe

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