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important event of our time.
At any rate it can be truthfully said that the writers of this book, however much they may differ in outlook and temperament, share a common enthusiasm for, and a profound belief in, the League of Nations. OLIVER BRETT.
THE GATHERING OF THE ASSEMBLY
COMPARISONS, Owing to the existence of a superficial adage, invented one can only imagine by some unfortunate who had suffered disadvantageously from an examination of his own qualities in relation to those of a greater man, are regarded with suspicion and disfavour by those who speak the English tongue. Yet the student of history learns his principal lessons by virtue of comparing one set of facts with another; and the record of human progress can only be understood by means of a series of comparisons. The outline of history is no outline at all but the envisagement of things in relation to each other, the nice appreciation of great and little. Affairs that bulk big in their own moment of time are seen later in their proper insignificance by the historian and the poet; whilst things of small beginnings, like the great religions of the world and the institutions by which men govern themselves, are found to grip and grow each year more strongly, until
by slow degrees they wind themselves round the very heart and life of man. It is a comforting thought, when one hears some hard-headed practical fellow deriding ideals saying of the League, for instance, that it is unpractical, that the Covenant is too ambitious, that the Permanent Court will have no real authority-to reflect that, in the days when representative Government was in the making in this country, there were abroad just the same practical hardheaded fellows shaking their heads with grave misgivings and saying, "Yes, it's a grand idea, this elected Parliament, but it won't work"; or, "Well, Magna Carta of course magnificent idealism, but not really practical"; or of the Curia Regis, "Yes, but they'll never enforce its decisions, you know." It is good also to remember that to the "wise" world of His time Christ was just an unbalanced idealist about whom people (outside His tiny band of disciples), if they bothered to talk at all, spoke in terms of pitying contempt; and it is as well to keep in mind that in all the ages to come there will still be wiseacres and pessimists (there are probably such people even in the Elysian Fields) who will greet whatever great new thing shall come to the human race with the same timehonoured slogans. For the lesson one learns from "odious " comparisons is that idealism and progress go hand-in-hand, and do somehow triumph in the end.
The League of Nations is an advance in democratic government: one of the forward