Gilbert Murray to Jane Addams, August 27, 1915


August 27 1915

Dear Miss Addams,

I have just heard from Maurice Browne about the result of his Trojan Women tour. It was a fine thing to undertake, and it looks to me as if the Brownes had done it in a fine spirit and probably achieved some effect in a good many minds, though the external results do not seem particularly brilliant. Many thanks to you and the Women's Peace Party for organizing the tour.

Thank you also for your kind letter, after our lunch at Mr. Ball's. I was grieved that we did not agree about the main question of public duty which lies before us. I do think that there are occasionally in history crimes and tyrannies which a good man should die rather than tolerate, and it seems to me, after long and patient study of the [illegible] evidence, that the case has now occurred. I am ready that I and all my friends should die rather than admit the right of any nation to make deliberate use of war as a weapon of aggrandizement. And being ready to die I am also ready to kill, if that is the only way to save humanity.

Fighting is doubtless the worst of all tribunals. But we appealed before the War to all earthly tribunals, and Germany rejected them all. I think on the whole that we shall win. But even if we are beaten, if the crime of last July proves successful and we are made tributaries to Germany, the fact that some millions of us have died rather than submit will be all to the good, and will make "the strong wicked man" a little less confident in future. I shall be glad that we have resisted Germany as I was glad that the Boers resisted us...though of course I do not think the cases are parallel.

I know you don't agree and I do not mean to argue. I have published so much argument already. Meantime my best wishes to you and all your causes.

Yours very sincerely,

Gilbert Murray.

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