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The Angel Of The Revolution George Chetwynd Griffith

The Judgment Of Natas

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"With the confidence born of intimate knowledge, I give this power into his keeping, and those who have shared his counsels and executed his commands in the past will in the future assist him as the Supreme Council, which will form the ultimate tribunal to which the disputes of nations will henceforth be submitted, instead of to the barbarous and bloody arbitration of battle.

"No such power has ever been delivered into the hands of a single body of men before; but those who will hold it have been well tried, and they may be trusted to wield it without pride and without selfishness, the twin curses that have hitherto afflicted the divided nations of the earth, because, with the fate of humanity in their hands and the wealth of earth at their disposal, it will be impossible to tempt them with bribes, either of riches or of power, from the plain course of duty which will lie before them."

As Natas finished speaking, he signed with his hand to Tremayne, who rose in his place and briefly addressed the assembly--

"I and those who will share it with me accept alike the power and the responsibility--not of choice, but rather because we are convinced that the interests of humanity demand that we should do so. Those interests have too long been the sport of kings and their courtiers, and of those who have seen in selfish profit and aggrandisement the only ends of life worth living for.

"Under the pretences of furthering civilisation and progress, and maintaining what they have been pleased to call law and order, they have perpetrated countless crimes of oppression, cruelty, and extortion, and we are determined that this shall have an end.

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"Henceforth, so far as we can insure it, the world shall be ruled, not by the selfishness of individuals, or the ambitions of nations, but in accordance with the everlasting and immutable principles of truth and justice, which have hitherto been burlesqued alike by despots on their thrones and by political partisans in the senates of so-called democratic countries.

"To-morrow, at mid-day in this place, the chief rulers of Europe will meet us, and our intentions will be further explained. And now before we separate to go about the rest of the business of the day let us, as is fitting, give due thanks to Him who has given us the victory."

He ceased speaking, but remained standing; the same instant the organ of the Cathedral pealed out the opening notes of the familiar Normanton Chant, and all those at the table, saving Natas, rose to their feet. Then Natasha's voice soared up clear and strong above the organ notes, singing the first line of the old well-known chant--

The strain upraise of joy and praise. And as she ceased the swell of the organ rolled out, and a mighty chorus of hallelujahs burst by one consent from the lips of the vast congregation, filling the huge Cathedral, and flowing out from its now wide-open doors until it was caught up and echoed by the thousands who thronged the churchyard and the streets leading into it.

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The Angel Of The Revolution
George Chetwynd Griffith

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