- Historic Sites
Letter From The Editor
April 1973 | Volume 24, Issue 3
As for war itself, we personally have taken pan in it, hated it most of the time while it was going on, and looked back on it, we must confess, somewhat as Mencken predicted. And when earnest young people tell us that war is “unnatural” as well as evil, we refer them to a famous short story of the late H. H. Munro (“Saki”) called “The Toys of Peace.” Many subscribers will recall this account of an English family, full of pacifist zeal, that snatched away the lead soldiers from its children and substituted little figures of town councillors, garbage collectors, and other good and useful workers. These could be arranged and moved just like the toy soldiers, but they would be going about their socially beneficial lives. Hearing sounds of delight and excitement in the nursery, the man of the family rushed in to find his horrid little charges happily enjoying their new playthings. They had smeared them with red ink, for soldiers, and were conducting a fine make-believe war with France. Munro wrote his story before World War i, in which he was killed, for king and country. There is nothing the matter with the world except for the people in it. As Louis xiv might have said if he had taken a broader view, L’état, c’est nous .